Essays

The Most-Read Essays of 2022

By

Essays are all about reflection, and we thought we’d kick off 2023 with a look at the most-read pieces of last year. It can sometimes feel like hours (years) of hard work disappear into the maw of our short attention spans, and these lists serve as important reminders of the work.  — The Eds. *** #1 […]

...more

Voices on Addiction: Whatever Fatal Thing

By

D— was dreamy in the precise manner of Neil Young circa 1974. Long, dark hair; green eyes; great butt; nice smile. He was sweet, funny, just tall enough. Wore a felt hat with a hatband he’d beaded himself, and a feather. Drove a forty-year-old turquoise-and-white Ford pickup with a broom and shovel in the gun […]

...more

Call for Submissions: November ’23 Themed Month

By

We’re accepting essays (750-4,000 words) by adoptees from 11/1 through 12/31 via Submittable. Publication will be in November 2023. Rumpus Essays Editor (and Book Club coordinator extraordinaire) Lauren J. Sharkey​ will be curating this series, and she’s elaborated on the types of stories (and whom) she is hoping to feature below. — Eds. *** When I was three-months-old, […]

...more

Outside(r)

By

I’d never thought of myself as separate from the world I lived in; the Outside I came from was sensory-rich and immersive, there my interactions unfolded organically and overlapped, building intuitively like the scales on a pinecone, rewarding curiosity with wonder.

...more

So You Want to Feel Better: Navigating Grad School, Disability, and the Language of Pain

By

The term “invisible disability” is commonly used to describe disabilities that are not readily apparent to the eye, but I want to push back on this term. When you pay close attention, most disabilities become visible. Poems are not encoded messages that we’re meant to decipher, I frequently remind my students, they are language organized in ways that demand a different kind of attention. And so it is with invisible disabilities . . .

...more

Gone

By

His arm jerked. Every time I spoke, it happened. I wanted it to stop. I didn’t want it to stop. I kept looking up. I didn’t feel my son’s presence in his body anymore, but his body was all I could reach of him.

...more