Read “Teaching in the Buffer Zone” in The Cyprus Files

Last week, it was an honor and a joy to co-teach a writing workshop with my Fulbright colleague Janan Alexandra at the Home for Cooperation in the United Nations Buffer Zone in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Our workshop, “A True and Beautiful Story: Crafting the Lyric Biography” was organized around the concept of “lyric biography.” This genre allows for an exploration of a person’s life deeper than a conventional recounting of journalistic facts. How can we drive at a deeper truth and understanding through interviews that strike at a poetic understanding of a person’s essence?

Learn more about our initiative in the latest issue of my newsletter, The Cyprus Files. As always, thanks for reading!

Read “Michael P. Branch on his new book, ‘On the Trail of the Jackalope'” in The Usonian

This week in The Usonian, I’m excited to present a fascinating interview with the always eloquent Michael P. Branch on his new humor-filled travelogue, “On the Trail of the Jackalope”—featuring an astounding medical mystery regarding real-life horned rabbits in nature—and how their discovery led to the HPV vaccine.

Read the interview here. Thanks for reading!

Read “The End of Moria?” in The Nassau Weekly

Many thanks to The Nassau Weekly for publishing a follow-up essay to a piece I wrote on the refugee crisis in Greece four years ago, a crisis which has recently entered an even more precarious phase given the Coronavirus. Thanks also to the Nass for inviting me to speak at their virtual open mic earlier this month. Read the new piece, “The End of Moria? Looking back on migration-crisis reporting in Greece as a college student,” here.

Please consider donating to The Nassau Weekly at http://nassauweekly.com/donate/ to keep this important Princeton campus publication afloat in these uncertain times.

Read “Westward Denim” in Nevada Humanities

During this COVID summer, I drove across the country from Maryland to Nevada with my parents and one of my brothers. In the process, we drove by our ancestor’s hometown in Kansas, sparking a reflection about what it might mean to make westward “progress” across the American continent during a pandemic.

Read “Westward Denim: Retracing a complicated journey westward during the COVID-19 pandemic” here.

Special thanks to Nevada Humanities for featuring this piece in their “Heart to Heart” series of essays. “Heart to Heart” explores the many ways diverse Nevadans are reflecting on living through the pandemic.

Read “In Texas, a tale of two cities” on Medium

Working from home today? Tired of reading about COVID-19?

Maybe you’ll read about Texas. Last week, I got the chance to spend time in San Antonio and Austin, TX during the 2020 AWP Conference (which, of course, was marred by the then-dawning novel coronavirus pandemic).

During my travels, what I learned was this: If San Antonio offers a glimpse of Texas’ past, Austin might just yet be a glimpse of its future.

Check out my new travel piece on the divergent trajectories of San Antonio and Austin, TX, from my Medium blog.

Read: “Amidst the specter of white nationalism, Reno feels the Bern”

On Friday the 13th, a day after the third 2019 Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders visited UNR, a campus with a checkered history of white nationalist activity.

You can read my take on the proceedings, the second in my series of creative nonfiction blog posts on presidential candidates visiting Reno, on Medium.

Thanks for reading! Follow my Medium profile for more essays on politics, movies, and storytelling.

Read “Breaking My Nose” in Nassau Weekly 40th Anniversary Issue

This week, The Nassau Weekly, a weekly newspaper at Princeton University, published an issue honoring its 40th anniversary. The Nass was founded in 1979 by three students, including David Remnick, current editor of The New Yorker. I became a contributor to the Nass in my senior year, and I’m glad it was part of my undergraduate experience.

I’m pleased to have an essay published in this issue, concerning a particular running accident I experienced as a freshman member of the Princeton Running Club in 2013. Though I suffered a severe injury, the event was infused with a humorous irony which made it quite revealing of human nature. Thanks to the ‘Nass’ for letting me share my story, available at this link.