Adrian Shirk

Profile Photo

Adrian Shirk is the author of And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy, a hybrid-memoir exploring the lives of American women prophets and mystics, named an NPR ‘Best Book’ of 2017. She's currently working on a manuscript about utopian communities. Shirk was raised in Portland, Oregon, and has since lived in New York and Wyoming. She's a frequent contributor to Catapult, and her essays have appeared in The Atlantic, among others. Currently, she teaches in Pratt Institute’s BFA Creative Writing Program, and lives on the border of the Bronx and Yonkers with her husband Sweeney and Quentin the cat. 


Cover Photo: Photograph by Kura.kun/Wikimedia Commons; photo illustration by Matt Ortile
Spice Girls and the Rise and Fall of Girl Power

Girl power was the freedom to make a scene, make no sense, join together and make something irresistible, spectacular, unproductive, joyful, and to radically claim one another.

Mar 26, 2019
Cover Photo: A. Currell/flickr
Joan of Arc: The Girl Who Saves Cities

Statues and monuments tell us about ourselves mostly, what we hope to remember and be remembered by.

Jun 26, 2018
Cover Photo: Wikimedia
A Brief History of American Utopian Communities

“Utopian communities are inherently tragic because they are always, every single time, doomed to failure.”

Apr 17, 2018
Cover Photo: The Bowne House / Wikimedia
The Bowne House: A Story of Religious Freedom

Located in Flushing, Queens, the house is considered the birthplace of American religious action.

Mar 08, 2018
Cover Photo: Mary Baker Eddy/Wikipedia
We Are All Scientists: On Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science

Eddy’s lifetime of illness, and her encounters with medical therapies, poised her as an instrument of revelation.

Aug 24, 2017
Cover Photo: photo by Wally Gobetz/flickr
Only the Dogs Know Red Hook

A dangling bit of coastline at the bottom of Brooklyn.

Nov 15, 2016
Cover Photo: US President Jimmy Carter tours the South Bronx, 1977.
A Visit to Charlotte Street

“The story we tell about the Bronx is changing.”

Oct 05, 2016
Cover Photo: All photos courtesy of Adrian Shirk
Towers of Tomorrow

“They looked like abandoned villain headquarters in a comic book.”

Apr 20, 2016
Cover Photo: Parker Seybold
Where Entire Rooms Have Gone Missing

On the legacy and future of Brooklyn’s Admiral’s Row houses.

Feb 17, 2016
Cover Photo: Wally Gobetz
Heart of the Empire

“People kept saying no more roads, but Robert Moses didn’t listen.”

Dec 17, 2015