The story of how I wrote my second novel begins in 1999, when my four-year-old daughter Anna had a minor accident that caused massive intercranial bleeding....more
Posts Tagged: grief
Kristina Marie Darling’s poetry collection, Fortress, is “image-rich” and wonderfully allusive. The setting is the famously decadent palace of Versailles. Like the film Marie Antoinette, “Darling’s book is simultaneously excess and desolation,” writes Sandra Marchetti. White spaces are used strategically in this “lush” book of poems....more
I was handed that toy, sitting on Tom’s porch, in 1992. A person offering another person a piece of advice. Life passed through that object as well, through the teddy bear as much as through the operating systems of yore.
Now that I have children I can see how tuned they are to the world.
My mother stood before me in her quilted bathrobe, dark hair held back in a ponytail, her eyes sunken, grey. I felt like the narrator of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, who, startled out of sleep, opens his eyes to behold the monster reaching out to him: ‘the miserable monster .
The history of the whole world can be told as the stories of conquerors and the conquered—the former consumed with thoughts of destiny and tyranny, the latter knowing only the persistence of time and the pure grit of bodies....more
In a little more than two weeks, in a Hospice unit tucked away at the edge of the Atlantic, in Brunswick, North Carolina, a free grief-writing workshop will be held. When Vonnegut urged his students to “write a poem, tear it up,” he stressed the value of art, as such, apart from readership and representation....more
The mountains of Alabama are small mountains—foothills, really—but they are mine like a sports team is mine—like a football game (which I have for so long been near but have not really, really seen) is mine—as in the phrase “We scored! We scored!”...more
The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work. Open to the public, it meets Monday nights at 7-9 p.m. EST in New York City....more
Death is messy and time-consuming and exhausting for the survivors. Death is confusing and maddening. At Blunderbuss Magazine, Essay Liu, a Taiwanese writer, documents her father’s death and the rituals in the days following. Translated by Kevin Tang.
Day three, 5 AM: coffin laying ceremony.
John W. Evans talks about his memoir Young Widower, which was partly borne from two Rumpus essays, and how to make meaning of something—especially grief and loss—if not through narrative....more
the dog born March 30th who I will find 6 months from now
to know what it’s like to hurl myself down the mountain
for the wind to blow right through me...more
Emily Rapp’s name has appeared frequently on the Rumpus as her book The Still Point of the Turning World came out detailing her and her son Ronan’s experience with Tay-Sachs disease, his ultimate death, and her experiences as a mother.
Following the birth of her second child, she writes at the New York Times about how the birth of her daughter could not, and should not, replace the memory or spiritual presence of her son....more
It seemed like nature might be offering up something fraught with emotion, a beautiful image that a writer could imbue with heartbreaking symbolism. But I couldn’t come up with anything. It was just fall, and so the leaves were red....more
I’m sitting across from the man who looks exactly like my father would look if my father had lived to be fifty-seven. If my father hadn’t died sixteen years ago when I was thirteen. But he did....more
As her new pregnancy progresses, Emily Rapp explores the human choices of survival and happiness after the wreckage....more
If Charlie had finally lost his focus after all these years, well, no wonder. I’d have lost it after about fifteen minutes wrestling with CF. We had to help him find his resolve again and get back his health, not stand there crying....more
Kyle Boelte reviews Karen Green’s BOUGH DOWN today in The Rumpus Book Review....more
Stories fail if you only read them once. You’ve got to meet a story again and again, in different moods, at different eras of your life....more
When Justin was twenty, his mother was murdered by her fifth husband in their trailer, off the grid from Tombstone, Arizona. He spent the next decade trying not to be defined by his mother’s death, before deciding to face his grief head on for his new memoir, Son of a Gun....more
“I’m like an alcoholic who doesn’t drink anything but worst case scenarios…” In the aftermath of trauma, Emily Rapp struggles to give up being “on call” for grief....more
“The heart is a fist, and he taught me to make mine hard.” Laura Bogart makes her Rumpus debut, exploring the link between rage, power and grief....more
Years after losing her entire family, the author takes a romantic vacation in paradise and instead must confront the physical manifestations of her grief....more
It feels like we created each other from scratch, scribbling in the details and watching ourselves take shape....more
Very gradually, this frantic activity ceased to be simply an expression of emotional distress—what the grief experts call “searching behaviour”—and started evolving into a digital, extended elegiac project....more
The Rumpus joins yoga teacher Jennifer Pastiloff in remembering Emily Rapp’s son, Ronan Louis, whose brief, remarkable life ended in the early morning hours on February 15....more
I felt like an arrow of sheer desire, flying through the air in a small town and emblazoned with this unfortunate tag line: “Newly single mother of a dying baby.”...more