This Week in Essays


We are what we discard. Ana Cecilia Alvarez turns a contemplative eye to our relationship with our things over at Real Life.

While we’re talking trash, Emily Withnall tackles the presence of refuse one plastic eggshell at a time here at The Rumpus.

We are what we hear. For Pitchfork, Jayson Greene uncovers how the brain’s connection to sound begins in the womb and takes part in some very intense music therapy.

Helena Fitzgerald writes beautifully on the heavy symbolism of the color green at Hazlitt.

We are what inflicts us. At Guernica, John Cotter offers keen insight into homelessness after his experience teaching writing at a shelter.

Back at The Rumpus, Kristine Langley Mahler goes looking for answers to what she does not know.

“He contains multitudes—all of them dangerously ignorant.” After digesting a weekend of taking a knee, enjoy this incisive Jelani Cobb piece on the New Yorker.


Logo art by Max Winter.

Tamara Matthews is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor. Visit or find her on Twitter: @writingtoatee. More from this author →