This Week in Essays


“Because you’ve learned, through skin-splitting experimentation, that when people are forced to view their flaws in the mirror, most look away.” At Lit Hub, Mateo Askaripour learns how to deal with writing about his pain while waiting for the backlash.

Sharma Shields asks for Goddess strength when delving back through Greek mythology and her own past for The New York Times.

“I see how easy it is now to slip into another life and how hard it is to translate it back to where you came from.” Zsofia McMullin catalogues loves and languages for The Rumpus.

“This is the alchemy of irregular death, of untimely grief. It’s the reason the word ‘cleave’ means both things.” Lexi Cary combs through North Dakota roots and persistent tragedy at Entropy.

Benji Hart writes for Teen Vogue on visiting a plantation connected to his ancestry and how others can prepare for such an experience.

“The thornier truth is that we can’t choose the things that affect us, the words that pierce us most deeply, or the silences that confirm our most dreadful fears.” Back at The Rumpus, Nicholas Russell writes on inherited trauma and the gendered mindset around witchcraft.


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 →