WHAT IS AT PLAY by Margaret Fulton

When I was asked to write a piece for this newsletter on the subject of play, work/life balance or the analyst at play, I began gathering materials as I usually do in my writing process, and then I wait and see what thoughts begin to germinate…

CAMUS FOR FRACTURED TIMES, AUTUMN 2016 by Sara Taber

Sara Mansfield Taber is the author of Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter, as well as essays, social commentary, and literary journalism. A psychologist and social worker, she has taught creative nonfiction writing for twenty years. Chance Particulars: A Writers Field Notebook for Travelers, Bloggers, Essayists, Memoirists, Novelists, Journalists, Adventurers, Naturalists, Sketchers, and other Notetakers and Recorders of Life will be published May 2018.

Photo by Petar Miloševic

PLAYING WITH GUNS by Stefanie Hofer

At first, their silence made me wonder if I had overreacted to the presence of toy guns at the church event due to my experience with gun violence. My husband, Jamie Bishop, was murdered during the Virginia Tech massacre on April 16, 2007, the deadliest school shooting in US history.

STILL LIFE WITH DICTATOR by Diane Seuss

Diane Seuss’s most recent collection, Four-Legged Girl, was published in 2015 by Graywolf Press and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open (2010) won the Juniper Prize and was published in 2010. Her fourth collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in May 2018. Recent poems have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, and The New Yorker. Seuss was raised in rural southwest Michigan. ‘Still Life With Dictator’ originally appeared in Crab Creek Review.

Against the Wind © Natalie Korytnyk Forrester

SCULPTING GRIEF by Natalie Korytnyk Forrester

I wish I knew exactly what drew me in. I do recall what I brought: a bullet and my late husband’s dried wedding boutonniere. Melissa Ichiuji, the workshop teacher, was afraid the bullet could explode easily. I reassured her it wouldn’t. I just never imagined something solid could explode without impact.

DUTY TO SPEAK by Betty Teng

The folks in the images appearing with this essay hold the traumas of racism, immigration, natural disaster and genocide. I show these faces because they reflect experiences of trauma so many of us Americans contain, directly or intergenerationally. I point to these images also to reflect on the ongoing fact that Donald Trump and his supporters’ aggressive words, policies and actions
against these already vulnerable people — against what is vulnerable in us all — has been traumatizing or re traumatizing for far too many.