Covid Era

Joan Baez
Joan Baez Strikes a New Chord With a Dylan Classic: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”

Especially in a pandemic, her and the Indigo Girls’ arresting performance matters.

Yuge Zhou’s New Video Installation Is a Provocative Ride Through Chinese American History

Project Unity: Ten Miles of Track in One Day memorializes 20,000 Chinese emigrants employed by Central Pacific Railroad to build the transcontinental railroad.

Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland
The Ghost of Jimi Hendrix in Electric Ladyland

Near the House of Pot, sandwiched between an electric power station and a direct path to the local airport, the neighborhood I live in is a mix of working-class Asian immigrants, mostly Cambodian and Vietnamese, and long-time African American denizens. The only prophet to ever come out of this northwestern hub, Jimi Hendrix, shuffled through these parts as a latchkey kid.

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Madge Yang
A New Kind of Historical Record

Madge Yang’s multi-media collages depict nuances of the Asian American experience

Sexuality, Womanhood, and Power. Simone and Lorde.
They Don’t Have to Be Friends

There are these standards of friendship applied to kids that I think should be eradicated.

Covid-19 vaccine
Tuskegee 20 Twenty 1

Less human and Unsanitary
were whispered and belted
Signs in stores
read “Vaccinated only”
A part of me hates it
A part of me gets it

The Big Picture

A story about tapping into who you are and where you come from. What happens after we uproot? I was one of the 300,000 Romanians who emigrated in a wave following the political regime change in 1989.

A Letter to My Young Self

At eight years old, everything is alive, and everything deserves love and companionship, which, come to think of it, even at 37 years of age, still makes sense.

Star Rockets in Flight, Afternoon Delight

Is it possible to be delighted, almost mesmerized, by a red carton containing scoops and scoops of my favorite chocolate peanut butter dessert, Oregon’s very own Umpqua ice cream, and not feel as though the burden of guilt—maybe the most wasted emotion of all—has flipped into hyper gear?

The Most Unexpected of Gifts

When empathy is lost, what follows? What is the agenda? Perhaps, a steady march toward denigration and solidly placing the foot? The assumption of power surely is an unapologetic aphrodisiac.

Sexuality, Womanhood, and Power. Simone and Lorde.
Carnal Kissing

We sat on the edge of the bed, in darkness, unsure of ourselves or how to proceed. I looked at him, and he looked back. Moments later, my face was wet. It was over. I was confused. Had I been kissed?

Editor’s Note: The Miracle Of Delight

Journalists are telling story after story about the COVID crisis and the devastating government policies of the past four years. This media coverage is vital. And yet, we’re more than pain. The part of us that feels joy also needs representation. Space to grow. Here are essays and meditations about delight that are moving, vibrant, and necessary.

In Conversation with Shelley Nicole

Shelley Nicole—the mainspring behind Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe—is simultaneously a product, a witness and architect of Black-on-Black love, a calling that has informed all of her work as a singer, writer, composer, actor, poet, musician and a healer.

Last Kiss

Yesterday
I saw people “kissing”
masks tight

Welcome to the Machine

A poem made from subject lines in my Inbox at the beginning of the COVID pandemic in New Jersey. March — April 2020.

Be Kind For Real

A story about Daniela Groza, an artist and taxi driver in New York City rising to the challenges presented by coronavirus in pretty intense situations.