Another B+ Coronavirus Essay

As I write this, it’s Blursday in the United States. (Thanks to playwright Kate Hamill for sharing the name for this new day of the week—a bon mot of her brother’s—on social media.) As I do on most Blursdays, I started my day by checking my very boring email, followed by taking in a healthy […]

The Old Normal

I miss the quiet pock … pock that used to come from the tennis courts over the back. People still came to play until a week ago, but many were older, and I think it’s since been closed. For a whole season, perhaps—along with the sailing, which, although about as socially distant as it’s possible […]

Poetry and the Precision of Bread

First turn William Cowper spends most of the first book of his erratic long-form poem The Task (1785) walking in circles. In a block of blank verse hard on the heels of the infamous “I sing the sofa sequence,” Cowper narrates his habit of taking a daily walk in a lordly neighbor’s enclosed property. Most […]

Feelings and Shit

My father was recently rushed to the hospital with abdominal pain and underwent emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage. The surgeon discovered a profusion of cancerous tumors throughout his bowels, and my father awoke to bitter news and a colostomy bag protruding from his abdomen. On our first night home after he was discharged from […]

A.P. Bio is the Sitcom Higher Ed Needs

Netflix’s announcement of the upcoming series The Chair, starring Sandra Oh as the chair of an English department, was met with a great deal of excitement and self-amused jokes from academics across social media. Though that upcoming show may be fantastic (I mean, Sandra Oh!), the most insightful, enjoyable representation of higher education has already […]


I can’t tell you the amount of people who want me to write articles about ageing. Really? Guy at the top of his powers, is he asked to write about ageing? What, am I a rotting corpse out here? I thought I was having my moment. —Eileen Myles (Interview with The Irish Times, by Una […]

Pure Heroine

“You speak like a heroine,” Montoni said contemptuously. “Let us see if you can suffer like one.” –Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho At age sixteen, I would sometimes erupt in fits of the song “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music. I only recognize in hindsight that this may have been something […]

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