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The Dragon and the Yahrzeit Candle: On Forgetting and Remembering, Part 1

By Richard ChessJune 28, 2016

I remember my social security number. I remember the combination to a lock—13 right, 27 left, 5 right—that rusted beyond use some years ago. How many years? I don’t remember. But I remember this: it was two locks ago. I remember the name of the city in which I was born. I remember the name…

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Poetry Friday: “Quantum Theory”

By Victoria KellyJune 10, 2016

A friend said to me once, if time were flat, if everything were always happening forever concurrently (this is very hard to imagine), then all the versions of us throughout the years would be something like flip-book animation: everything drawn out already on every page, only seeming to dance or shuffle due to a trick…

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The Arab of the Future

By Brad FruhauffJune 1, 2016

I snuck into a chair while a friend was describing how growing up under a repressive regime infects and perverts children. He wasn’t talking about his own life; he was commenting on the selection for our graphic novel reading group—a program of our wonderful Evanston Public Library. I was late, and I hate showing up…

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Grief and the Weight of Glory

By Christiana N. PetersonMay 17, 2016

The wind whips through the quilts and sheets on our clothesline, cracking now and then like a benign thunderclap, tugging at the clothespins I inherited from my grandmother’s childhood farm. My daughter and I watch them as we swing together on the playset her father built a few seasons ago, before she was born. This…

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Poetry Friday: “Smokers, Sunday Morning, 1975”

By Bobby C. RogersApril 8, 2016

This poem seems at first to be a straight-forward narrative: a childhood recollection of the men who smoked outside of church on Sundays. But the poetic shaping of the narrative adds another dimension. Those very, very long lines, the end of each spilling over grammatically into the next, even between stanzas: this gives the sense…

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The Living Among the Dead

By Natalie VestinMarch 14, 2016

Thanksgiving Day after I turned four: high fever at dinner, a drive through a blizzard, then a spinal tap. Meningitis. The nurse promised me angels, and they floated from the bright examination light to the floor, and this is all I remember: paper angels filling the emergency room, snow falling outside, my mother crying. For…

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Drive-By Memory

By Tania RunyanFebruary 17, 2016

My first memory takes place in Lakewood, CA, a small suburb south of Los Angeles. Lakewood, the nation’s first planned community, also happens to be the subject of D. J. Waldie’s Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir. “In a suburb that is not exactly middle class,” Waldie writes at the beginning of the book, “the necessary…

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Where to Hang Your Grief

By Tania RunyanJanuary 27, 2016

My daughters Lydia and Becca, ages 12 and 10, are thoroughly delighted by the contemporary art collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum. They hurry to the Warhol soup cans and Lichtenstein comics they recognize from art class, a large sculpture made entirely of clear plastic buttons, and plenty of outrageously “simple” pieces they insist they…

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Poetry Friday: “Annunciation”

By Katharine ColesDecember 11, 2015

Each Friday at Good Letters we feature a poem from the pages of Image, selected and introduced by one of our writers or readers. Of all Gospel passages, I think the Annunciation is the scene most represented by poets over the centuries. So I’m always amazed when a new poet has the confidence and vision…

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The Tyrannical Self-Gaze

By Elizabeth DuffyNovember 24, 2015

I’m doing most of my walking after dark these days as night comes a little earlier. Night walking always makes me feel lighter, almost weightless, so it seems like I’m walking faster than I do in daylight, and since the scenery no longer differentiates one day’s walk from another, my thoughts are in a tunnel.…

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