Audre Lorde Archive

Juan Villoro’s “The Guilty” Decenters What It Means To Be Mexican

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Last month I found myself in the gardening section of a German supermarket where, on sale, I came across Mexican-themed cacti. Tiny, impossibly hairy things with googly eyes and black moustaches and pastel colored sombreros made of clay. Typical German kitsch. “That looks like my uncle Mario,” I thought.

Round-Down: Reading As Luxury, or Necessity?

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  Garbage collector Jose Gutierrez gives new meaning to the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The 53-year-old Colombian man has been collecting children’s books out of dumps for the past twenty years in order to provide a makeshift library to the city of Bogota. He now

Tyrants big and little

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How would an onlooker have described the scene at the 2nd hole of the golf course I played on during the summer after high school? The tee overlooked the pin far below, nearly a vertical drop, and way in the left-hand distance were mountains that looked serrated down the

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Hashtags and Heresy

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Hello again, Writers. So I was driving to New York City a few weeks ago for a conference at NYU, where I talked about the ways story and song benefit public discourse. To say I’d been obsessing over the political impact of storytelling would be an understatement. So maybe it’s no surprise that

Chucking “Art for Art’s Sake” – Writers and Social Impact

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One morning in late September, I found myself backstage at the “Annual Day of Peace” in Covington, KY—an event that kicks off October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I’d been asked to perform a song I wrote about my family’s history of domestic violence, and was listening as speakers