Category: Memoir

Our archive of past pieces that are part of a larger work of creative nonfiction.

Marking Time by Tiffany Hauck

teenage girl playing eletric guitar with amp

The colossal singularity of thousands of sweaty, jostling bodies, a nearly tangible energy bursting through the air, and enough strobing stage lights to make even the fiercest epileptic wary – these are the things I remember from the concerts of my youth.

The Outsider by Fred Amram

row of yellow pencils with one blue pne

Will I like this new teacher’s spelling lesson? Miss Christie begins, “The first word is austere.” My English language skills are almost as good as my classmates and my German accent is almost gone.

Saint E’s by Ray Shea

a roulette wheel in motion

Christmas was over and my grandmother was dying. I held her down while the respiratory therapist suctioned mucus from her throat. She opened her eyes—German steel bright as ever—long enough to see me

Junk an’ a Po by Kirby Wright

silouette of father yelling at son

Our father told us he was worried about our mother because she was older and sometimes having a baby later in life made giving birth risky. He said another worry was they’d given her a room on the eighth floor and that, if there was a fire, she wouldn’t make it out alive.

The Coast by Noriko Nakada

Stormy day at the pier

I sit under cloudy skies on a seaside pier where the cool air is heavy with salt. I wrap my arms around the thick rail and rest my chin on the edge. My girls’ size 8 shoes hang, tiny, above the foam of waves crashing against the columns of the pier.

The Reluctant Grown-up by Fred Amram

Swastika symbol on army equipment

In 1938 I was five years old and I could already feel my childhood slipping away. Mutti first noticed my developing maturity one day when a loud demanding knock frightened her. Mutti’s face tightened and she pursed her lips. The Victorian pallor, in which she prided herself, seemed especially white. We both looked at the door as if awaiting a miracle.

Blaze of Gloria by Suzanne Farrell Smith

lit candle in dark room

That Thursday in late September, our basement trips were restricted to fetching supplies. Hurricane Gloria was rushing up the East Coast, and as the radio blared the song by the same name, the sky darkened, the wind picked up, the electricity flickered, then failed. We lit candles.

Verismo by Vicki Mayk

empty opera hall one man on stage

The first time I heard the story of the opera Aida, I was sitting on the screened porch with my grandfather. Out beyond the screen, the fireflies sporadically lit the velvet darkness. On the porch, the light from the kitchen window cast a soft glow touching the top of my grandfather’s balding grey head. It didn’t quite reach me, lying prone on the old metal glider. I remained in darkness, hearing the story of the Egyptian princess who died sealed in a tomb with her lover Radames.

The Echo of a Fall by Anika Fajardo

red checked table cloth swatch

My father and I stop near the fountain in the middle of a plaza. Baobabs and coconut trees lean over us and we are arm in arm as if we have been walking like this our whole lives. We sit on a bench as if we are not strangers, as if twenty years and the three thousand miles between Minnesota and Colombia have never separated us.