This Week in Essays


“First came love. Then came marriage. And then came the creation of zygotes in petri dishes.” Saffron Marchant shows how real the IVF struggle is for Hunger Mountain.

The neck is a fragile point of connection for Aisha Sabatini Sloan as she considers Basquiat, art, and the black body at the Paris Review.

Here at The Rumpus, Laura Laing thinks of the evasions required for fame and accomplishment in response to the recent movie about Billy Jean King.

At Places Journal, Lauren Markham looks at how a community has rebuilt after a 2015 California wildfire and considers humans’ place in the landscape.

Lizz Huerta reckons with her past as a Hooters waitress back at The Rumpus (featuring delightful animated art by Briana Finegan).

On the Guardian, Jesmyn Ward faces her greatest fear: bringing a black boy into a world that is hostile to his future.


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 →