Essay

The McSorley Poet

My father’s stories come from a career behind the bar of New York’s oldest pub, among the alcoholics and loners and deviants who became his people and helped him find his voice as a writer.

The State of Black Mourning

For the past five centuries being black has meant collectively experiencing grief in ways that the rest of society does not understand and cannot fully comprehend.

Free the Roses

On the bloom of spectacular decline.

Makeup Is a Language of Resistance

Where I grew up, feminine boys were cautionary tales. I couldn’t explore my identity and remain a model queer boy, a boy who fits in.

Smurfette’s Roots

In her original incarnation, the only female Smurf reminds me of all the assumptions I’ve had to navigate about my sexuality and sense of self as a Jewish woman.

In Search of a New Way to Grieve

From public testimonies of grief to video game dispatches from the funeral industry, the way we think about death is changing. 

Meticulous Gloom

 The Victorian supernatural was a transparent manifestation of the period’s constant dialogue with death and dying.

The Essential Mundanity of Grief

I don’t know where or when I learned that I needed to curb any narcissistic tendency I might feel, even in grieving, but I most certainly caught on quick.

The Burden of Fear

The message is, overwhelmingly, that we Muslims are not welcome in the West. Yet, we are here, everywhere, invisible in big cities and small, until someone cuts us down.

Peekskill Blues

How a race riot in New York state inspired a generation to reconsider America’s vulnerability to fascism.