At Work

Failing My Father and His American Dream

“All I knew was that if my Pops could work hard and pull himself up out of poverty, I could, too.”

Aug 24, 2017
When You Have a Career in the Food Industry and an Eating Disorder

“So many of us professional food people struggle with eating and body issues. We’re drawn in.”

Aug 22, 2017
Horse Experience: Notes on Recovery from the Louisiana Floods

“Some of these horses have also been rescued from floodwaters. They too are in a strange place, and deeply alone.”

Why Are Opioid Users Overdosing in Libraries, and How Should Librarians Respond?

Librarians across the country are witnessing opioid overdoses on the job. Here’s how some library systems are responding.

Jul 24, 2017
Self-Portrait as Smokey Bear

“Stripped free of technology and social contact, maybe I can finally reflect on the man I’d like to be.”

Jun 15, 2017
Lessons from My Mother, the Grave Gardener

I witnessed my mother work twice as hard as the men under the hot sun. All she had were her hands.

May 08, 2017
Monuments and Memory: Working at Arlington National Cemetery

“It was an alternate world, where the dead came everyday, and we treated it as normal.”

Apr 04, 2017
Writing Behind Walls

Teaching a creative writing workshop at a men’s prison in Iowa.

Apr 04, 2017
Watching White Kids

“It occurred to me that maybe they didn’t see me at all.”

Feb 22, 2017
The Men in My Office

“The office is a different place after the investigation. No one wants to look at me or speak to me.”

Feb 15, 2017
Why I Burned the Forest

Destruction and regeneration on Florida’s Forgotten Coast.

Feb 14, 2017
Walking in Memphis

On trying to do good and live up to my father's expectations.

Feb 09, 2017
When Your Body is the Lesson: On Art Modeling

In practice, this gig is easier than expected. It’s my mind that throws me off.

Is Your TV Turned On? True Stories from the Cable Trenches

“People say a lot of things when they can’t watch television.”

Jan 19, 2017
The Surgical Resident Life

“Alternating ecstasy and despair characterize resident life in particular, and medical practice in general.”

One Life, Going Forward: Why I Quit Teaching in 2016

“Like most people in education, I wanted to make a difference.”

Jan 04, 2017
My Low-Wage Job at the Circus

Not one of those big, tacky circuses—something more European and intimate.

Nov 10, 2016
When Your Family Business Isn’t a Family

“It was disingenuous to pretend we were all in this out of love.”

Nov 02, 2016
The Writer Is In

“Storytellers came to me looking for connection—which was, of course, the very thing I’d been craving myself.”

Oct 31, 2016
Vegetables for a Dead President

“We were often unaware of the ghosts working the land beside us.”

Oct 18, 2016