This Week in Essays


Jesmyn Ward pens an absolutely devastating piece on the death of her husband for Vanity Fair.

“I now know that you were waiting to die and every day that you lived, you were surprised.” For Granta, Legacy Russell writes about her father, an FBI mystery, and family secrets.

Here at The Rumpus, Zeina Hashem Beck powerfully depicts the explosion in Beirut through her brother-in-law’s direct experience.

For Guernica, Regan Penaluna writes on a program that brings philosophy teachings to underserved communities.

Jennifer Nash finds care and support in an affirming friendship, over at Another Chicago Magazine.

“It took years for me to know the art of it. To be able to own the kingdom of silence, of removal.” For The Believer, Dorothy Bendel writes on economic precarity and the anxiety of spending down to the last penny.

Back at The Rumpus, Jillayna Adamson deals with her partial deafness and struggles with how to pin down her own identity.


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 →