Animal, Mineral, Radical: A Flock of Essays on Wildlife, Family & Food

BK Loren is a thinking person. She observes the universe with a keen eye and returns it to us improved for her efforts. She strikes a winning balance between the particular details of her own life’s travails, her interpretations of these events, and her macro-level observations about the natural world. In her third book, an […]


Relationships may crumble, the electricity may be shut off, jobs may grind us, our bodies may betray us, and bitches may be bitches, but Meaty shows us a way of being in the world that argues wisdom and self-acceptance are monuments built of endurance and perseverance.

Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People’s Justice

“Like many Americans, neither Sean nor his family had given much thought to ‘public defenders’ or ‘indigent defense.’… Legal services for the poor and the working class was not an issue for them. Why would it be? They had never been in trouble with the law.” That is, until eighteen-year-old Sean Replogle, within a week […]


The neighborhood where I lived during my teenage years had a community swimming pool. It was small but clean: an aqua rectangle surrounded by pebbled cement, with a cobwebbed bathroom and a splintered picnic table, a rise of trees on one side of the wrought iron fence and a slope of grass on the other. […]

Let Me Clear My Throat

As a rule, Passarello’s descriptions of sound are more tactile than aural, full of size and shape and texture. When she writes of the “e” ripping her throat as she screams “Stella!” she instructs the reader to “imagine the margin of a piece of paper torn, notch by notch, from a spiral notebook, or an anvil dropping through floor after floor of a cartoon tenement.”

Blank Slate

Four years before I changed my name to Silas, when I was twenty, I briefly dated a girl who was deaf. When we were together, I still identified as a lesbian—a butch lesbian. I was a feminist, a women’s studies major, a frequent attendee at Ani DiFranco concerts. I was also firmly in denial about […]

The Tree, The Forest

For months an innocuous blue envelope languished in the action box on my desk. A distant relative had sent a late Christmas card with a printed update (keeping busy with the Methodist church, the Lions Club, local Republican Party activities) and a handwritten note wishing me happy holidays. She closed with a simple request: “Please […]