To the Guy in My MFA Class* Who Believes Art “Has Nothing to Do with Race”

Since the 1930s Formalism has positioned literary art as independent of author, era, and even possibly meaning. It promises that if readers would just focus on structure, symbols, and tensions within the text itself, all will be clear. Although this approach still holds sway in literature and creative writing classes, Critical Race Theory has challengedContinue reading “To the Guy in My MFA Class* Who Believes Art “Has Nothing to Do with Race””

Sexually Harassed by a Mentor

In the faculty office building, Top never dared follow me. Neither did the Mormon missionaries. Friendly faces smiled back as I waved at professors who remembered me as their student. I sold copies of my recently published chapbook. I knew I was safe there. It was my sanctuary. One of my old English professors, Gary,Continue reading “Sexually Harassed by a Mentor”

Why I Didn’t Play with Girls

When I was in kindergarten, my mom scheduled playdates to force me to socialize with other girls. My female playmates demanded compliments, played dolls with squeaky-high voices, and staged beauty pageants and dress-up games. Before the age of seven, they were checking themselves out in mirrors and fluffing their hair, just like their mothers. Within five minutes, IContinue reading “Why I Didn’t Play with Girls”

My First Bar Tab at 32

“Really?” My friend, A., asked. We’ve known each other 20 years, but she’d been away for the last ten. “Really.” I assured her. “Why would I? Do I seem like the type to hang out in bars?” “Okay. Fine.” “So how do I do this?” She smirked. “I think you just walk up and say,Continue reading “My First Bar Tab at 32”

So a Random Guy Pulls up and Asks If I Want a Ride

So I’m walking down my street with a full grocery bag when a guy pulls up to me in his car. He pulls up with his window down and looks me over and asks, “Want a ride?” I’ve never seen this guy anywhere in my life. So I wait for him to realize his mistake—because he must haveContinue reading “So a Random Guy Pulls up and Asks If I Want a Ride”