Issue 536 | The Sun Magazine

August 2020

Readers Write


In a strip club, in an emergency room, in a refugee camp

By Our Readers
One Nation, Indivisible

August 2020

Featuring Richard Wolff, Poe Balantine, Sharon Hays, and more.

The Dog-Eared Page

Easter Morning

Like peasants everywhere in the history / of the world ours can’t figure out why / they’re getting poorer. Their sons join / the army to get work being shot at.

By Jim Harrison


I grew up hearing over and over, to the point of tedium, that “hard work” was the secret of success: “Work hard and you’ll get ahead” or “It’s hard work that got us where we are.” No one ever said that you could work hard — harder even than you ever thought possible — and still find yourself sinking ever deeper into poverty and debt.

Barbara Ehrenreich

The Sun Interview

Even Money

Dietrich Vollrath On Repairing America’s Economic Inequality

I think the pandemic is changing people’s idea of what the government should and could do. It’s definitely made them frustrated with what it can’t do.

By Finn Cohen

The Other Side Of The Moon

A Tribute To Lyn Lifshin

A submission from Lifshin would often include dozens of poems about a single subject: a relationship, a memory, dancing the tango. (Dance — including ballet and ballroom — was her second great love, after writing.)

By The Sun
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Bayou Boy

“Richest dirt in the world,” my dad is fond of saying. As I crumble the clammy soil in my hand, I think, If it’s so rich, why are we so poor?

By Keith Lasseigne
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Night Cows

The cows showed up just as the world began to end. They were there when I returned to Minnesota from Manhattan, where I’d gone to pick up my older son after his spring 2020 college semester had been canceled.

By Jennifer Bowen Hicks
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

For A Future You

I drop by on a Saturday. Your mom lets you answer my knock on the apartment door. The cap of your gastrostomy tube is outlined against your unicorn T-shirt.

By Owen Cason
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Future Generations Will Thank Me

My Campaign (Sort Of) For President

The virus is revealing new facts about the U.S. Who would have guessed that People Who Resent Science Because It’s Too Darn Complicated would become a major political force?

By Sparrow

Mothers Of All Pandemics

we call our moms    they’re in their / nineties now    some don’t remember / many do    we are worried sons of mothers / mugged by some motherfucker of a germ / going back to the days when our mothers’ mothers / were alive during the pandemic of 1918

By Brian Gilmore