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Oppression

The Sun Interview

Tangled Avenues

Wade Graham on the Interlocking Challenges of the Modern City

Cities are social, so they have the same problems we do. The mistake we always make in our culture is thinking that cities are somehow separate from us and that if we conceive of the right design for them, they will magically relieve us of our problems. By investing this theoretical power in cities, we can avoid confronting the flaws in the way we have built the world: with inequality and oppression and systems that make some people’s lives miserable while other people’s lives are good.

By Dash Lewis January 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Anger Management

Dr. B. spun a finger in the air, his signal to let the games begin. I think I called Michael a “no-good fucking loser,” a put-down one of my bosses had once leveled at me. I watched Michael’s hands form fists and the whites of his eyes get bigger.

By Mishele Maron January 2024
Quotations

Sunbeams

When I consider that the nobler animals have been exterminated here — the cougar, panther, lynx, wolverine, wolf, bear, moose, deer, the beaver, the turkey, etc., etc. — I cannot but feel as if I lived in a tamed, and, as it were, emasculated country. . . . To my chagrin I hear that it is but an imperfect copy that I possess and have read, that my ancestors have torn out many of the first leaves and grandest passages, and mutilated it in many places. I should not like to think that some demigod had come before me and picked out some of the best of the stars. I wish to know an entire heaven and an entire earth.

Henry David Thoreau

December 2023
The Sun Interview

Speak, Memory

Lynn Casteel Harper On New Ways Of Understanding Dementia

Askey: How do you think we will look back on our current treatment of people with dementia?

Harper: I think we will see how incomplete our approach was: The obsession with a cure. The overuse of psychotropic medications to “manage distressing behaviors.” Only something like 10 percent of that is necessary, research shows. A lot of those psychotropic medications are dangerous for people living with dementia.

By Derek Askey November 2023
Readers Write

The American Dream

An Indian immigrant, an oil-company man, a bicycle-riding nomad

By Our Readers October 2023
The Dog-Eared Page

Selected Poems

For two years The Sun was a lighthouse that guided me through rough, dark waters: Every line of mine that Sy [Safransky] published penetrated a little more of the fog called imprisonment. Every poem revealed my wrecked spirit dashed against the reef. Not only had Sy loved them, but Sun readers sent letters of appreciation, which Sy printed in the magazine. I’d never been complimented for anything, much less a literary contribution. My life had some hope in it now.

By Jimmy Santiago Baca October 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Face In Judgment

A young man stands at the lectern: nineteen years old, athletic, thick black hair down to his shoulders. I’ll call him Marco. Today my job is to decide whether to send him to prison.

By Devin Odell August 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Run Home

Long-distance running is the dogged refusal to bend to the way you feel. It is the accommodation of pain. If you run long enough, far enough, fast enough, you will carve out a place in yourself where pain can live.

By Margo Steines July 2023
Readers Write

Coffee

A family business, a workplace lifeline, a reminder of home

By Our Readers June 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Footprints In Alabama

My mama’s family is Alabama for at least four generations. Though I grew up in Illinois, my soul is rooted here. So whenever anyone narrows their eyes and cocks their head to question how I — a Black woman — could possibly love this place, my answer has been: “Because generations of my people’s blood and footprints are in this soil.”

By Jamila Minnicks June 2023