Nina Coomes

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Nina Li Coomes is a Japanese and American writer, currently living in Boston, MA. Her writing has appeared in EATER, The  Collapsar, and  RHINO Poetry among other places. Her debut chapbook haircut poems was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2017.


Cover Photo: Detail from Guido Reni's "The Immaculate Conception" (1627)/The Metropolitan Museum of Art
On Mary’s Virginity and the How the Purity Myth Harms Women

While I understood why theft or murder was wrong, this aspect didn’t make sense to me. What did sex and my body have to do with God?

Apr 29, 2020
Cover Photo: Detail of Henryk Siemiradzki's 'Christ with Martha and Maria'
On Martha and the Harm in “Perfect” Womanhood

In the etiquette class, everything had a proper place and use—even me.

Mar 05, 2020
Cover Photo: illustration of three sisters looking at a church that looms over them
If You’re Waiting for a Sign

April says the people at church don’t talk to us because they’re motherfuckers.

Jan 31, 2020
Cover Photo: Detail from Lucas Cranach the Elder's "Samson and Delilah" (ca. 1528–30)/The Metropolitan Museum of Art
On Delilah and the Villains We Make of Women Who Seek Power

Succubus, siren, gold-digger, temptress: There are so many words for a woman with money in her hands.

Jan 14, 2020
Cover Photo: A painting of Esther interceding before King  Ahasuerus
On Esther’s Vengeance and the Beauty of Women’s Rage

Esther, you are a queen not because of your physical perfection, but because of the horror and rage you transformed it into.

Sep 19, 2019
Cover Photo: In Immigrating from Japan, I Lost Language, Home, and Pokémon by Nina Coomes
In Immigrating from Japan, I Lost Language, Home, and Pokémon

Maybe, I thought, I could play Pokémon with my peers and bridge the gap between me and my an all-white classroom. But we lose things in translation.

Aug 28, 2019
Cover Photo: Photograph by Siora Photography/Unsplash
I Wanted to Get Married, But I Wasn’t Ready to Lose Myself

While Ruth’s words— “where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay”—made for a heart-stilling pseudomarital vow, I was not selfless enough to promise the same.

Aug 15, 2019
Cover Photo: Detail from Pierre Jean van der Ouderaa's "The Temptation of Eve"
On Eve’s Temptation and the Monsters We Make of Hungry Women

There is a part of me, even after so many iterations of faith and years of living in an adult body, that is waiting for punishment, waiting to be banished from the Garden.

Jul 15, 2019
Cover Photo: photo by Edson Chilundo/flickr
ハーフ (Hafu): On the Fetishization and Mistranslation of a Biracial Identity

Hafu carries insinuations of otherness; of not belonging, but being fetishized. How do I carry this name and this history at once?

Jul 16, 2018
Cover Photo: the author and her sister in 2015
温もり (Nukumori): When the Distance Between You and Your Loved Ones Disappears

Nukumori can refer to a kind of existence not dependent on physical proximity, allowing a person’s presence to linger with you even if they cannot.

Jun 06, 2018