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Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Old Friend

I wasn’t good at sports, like he was, but when it was just the two of us, he liked to play pretend. That, I was good at. Whether we were knights or ninjas or mountain men or astronauts or soldiers in Vietnam, he listened with his whole self — intent, leaning in — to whatever story I was telling.

By Joe Wilkins November 2021
Fiction

America America

My granddaughter barely speaks. Her name is Effie, which in Greek means “well-spoken.” Maybe in Greece she would be. Names aren’t expected to match the person. If they were, we’d be named upon our death, when someone would have a stab in the dark at getting it right.

By Douglas Silver November 2021
The Sun Interview

The Elephant In The Room

Rick Perlstein On The Evolution Of The American Conservative Movement

In a lot of ways the start of the Civil War at Fort Sumter in 1861 found its modern parallel on January 6, 2021.

By Jeff Weiss November 2021
The Sun Interview

The Best Defense

Paul K. Chappell On The Urgent Need For Peace Literacy

The most dangerous weapons of war in the twenty-first century are not bullets and bombs; they are the weaponization of this rage, mistrust, alienation, and other tangles of trauma, which make all forms of violence more likely.

By Leslee Goodman October 2021
The Sun Interview

Displaced

Graham Pruss On Why More People Are Living In Cars And RVs

To insist that people who have a mobile shelter are “homeless” not only denies that their shelter can be a home; it also has the potential to deny their humanity, because it insists that they are incapable of making a home.

By Thacher Schmid September 2021
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

On White Violence, Black Survival, And Learning To Shoot

But some things are clear: Power begets violence. Violence reinforces power. White Americans damn well know this much.

By Kim McLarin September 2021
The Dog-Eared Page

Refugees, Late Summer Night

Out there, in the dark, they could have been / anyone: refugees from Rwanda, slaves pushing north. / Palestinians, Romani, Armenians, Jews. . . . / The lights of Tijuana, that yellow haze to the west, /could have been Melos, Cracow, Quang Ngai. . . .

By Steve Kowit August 2021
Tribute

A Tribute To Chris Bursk

The selection that follows — just a small sample of the fifty-plus poems of his that have appeared in The Sun — display the heart and honesty that first drew us to Chris’s work in 1977. A self-described “compulsive writer,” Chris once said, “I do not wait for inspiration. . . . Some days I watch the page until a few words come — and then I find myself inside the world they invite me into.” That world will be missed.

By The Sun August 2021
The Sun Interview

High Time

Alyson Martin And Nushin Rashidian On The Move Toward Legalizing Cannabis

Cannabis is legal in Canada for both adult and medicinal use. Mexico could legalize cannabis by the end of this year. The United States is going to be squeezed on both sides, with Americans vacationing in Cabo San Lucas and Montreal, using legal cannabis, and perhaps wondering why their own country isn’t moving forward with similar policies.

By Mark Leviton June 2021
The Sun Interview

Defending The Roof Of The World

Jamyang Norbu’s Lifelong Quest For Tibetan Independence

The Chinese empire is fragile, because it is built upon oppression. . . . If the oppression is too great, it may all come apart. If the empire were to break up, I think democracy might be possible in the smaller entities that would remain. . . . This is where Tibetans must keep up the fight and prepare for the long haul. We can prevail if we are able to keep our culture intact.

By Judith Hertog May 2021