Adventures in Turkish Journalism by Matt A. Hanson

I had reached a new low. The heights of the literary profession had never seemed more distant, unreachable. In fact, I lived in an attic. It was a hot and unbearable Istanbul summer. I woke every morning and sometimes every afternoon caked in sweat under the wooden roof on the top floor of a residential building in the modernistic environs of Besiktas, a neighborhood synonymous with football, beer, and anarchy.

On Hair Care by Destiney Kirby

[…] My hair could have been held in court as evidence of child neglect. My birth was preceded by an endless list of questions concerning paternity, but the dark, coarse corkscrews that sprang from my crown only served to lengthen the list. My mother’s loose auburn curls explained half my head, but the other half remained unaccounted for. My family would later joke, “We didn’t know whose you were, but we knew you weren’t white.”

Rape on Trial by Catherine Baker-Pitts

I spent the better part of a month in 2022 in lower Manhattan on a wooden bench in the back of a courtroom, observing a rape trial. Early on, I’d concluded my testimony on behalf of the victim, but, emotionally invested and unable to shift my attention, I kept showing up. The plaintiff had sought psychotherapy with me in 2017 to address symptoms of anxiety and body loathing. In an initial session, I asked if she had ever experienced unwanted sexual contact. “Yes, that happened,” she told me in a forthright and detached manner.

Carol by Chaim Rochester

I met Carol when I was in my early twenties. She was sweet and funny, with a gravelly Jersey accent and a streetwise tomboy persona. I don’t know how she ended up homeless and turning tricks on the streets of Sin City, but we crossed paths in the circle of transient addicts I was running with at the time and took to each other immediately—the fast bond of street siblings that often occurs between the desperate and the damned.

What We Left Behind by Libby Bachhuber

My mind keeps returning to an image of myself sitting in my chair at the office—my therapist chair—in March 2023. Only the dim winter sun and the murmur of passing cars filtered in through the window on my left. Inside, the air purifier hummed. The couch across from me had been left empty when my patient stood to leave a few minutes before. I had closed the door behind her, then moved to my desk to retrieve my phone. Anticipating an unscheduled hour, I’d returned to my chair and lit up the screen, searching without thinking.

Oedipus in Arabia by Karim Dajani

Ideas about the centrality of culture and collective in the structuring of the unconscious have been largely walled off, extruded from our canon. Nevertheless, they reappear. A central idea that keeps blooming in the cracks of concrete walls regards the social unconscious in all its permutations or the ways groups and their cultures are reproduced in individuals and the ways individuals reproduce their groups and their cultures in their perception, thinking, and comportment.

The Coptic Saint of Lost Objects by Mireille El Magrissy

I didn’t know the square I passed every morning was called El-Galaa Square until I was older…. Through the imagined possibilities produced by the symbol of the square, I began to question and search for meaning behind other meanings. Behind images, regressions, power dynamics, landmarks, ruminations, ruptures, separations, and associations.

What the Pandemic Did to My Mind by Elizabeth Wallace

The early days of the pandemic created a miasma of vast uncertainty in the world that seeped into our collective minds. Mental fault lines throughout the population manifested in paranoia and a preoccupation with scarcity, along with polarization of the world into “good” and “bad” people, places, and countries.

Hallowed Spaces by Sara Mansfield Taber

As I think back on my life, I have most felt a sense of community in the least likely places. I was raised abroad, and all through my growing-up years, I often found myself feeling foreign and out of place when I set foot in my passport country, while overseas, at odd moments, in places I had the least right to do so, I would feel accepted and taken in. This experience has repeated itself throughout my life.