The Barbershop

When the Witch of November Comes Stealin’

There’s a certain aching joy in the chill of regret.

Dirt Thick with Known Dead

While wandering in a used bookstore this summer, I picked up Donald Hall’s String Too Short to be Saved. I enjoyed Hall’s stories about...

Food and “the job of getting it there”

In Charles Frazier’s 1997 novel Cold Mountain, a minister’s daughter decides after her father’s death to remain on their western North Carolina farm, rather...

Thinking and Writing in ¾ Time: A Few Thoughts on Jimmy...

There are many surprising things about getting older. As I sit on the cusp of my late thirties, staring at that blinking cultural landmark...

Mama Gets a Bugle

It is a mark of the middle class to maintain a low-grade prowl on eBay or Craigslist for some odd thing. My prowl was...

On the Beat in the City of Hospitality  

On my way to work at the local weekly newspaper, driving down East Mansion Street and then West Michigan Avenue in downtown Marshall, I...

Messing About in Boats

In the nautical classic The Wind in the Willows, Ratty tells his new acquaintance Mole, “‘Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING—absolutely nothing—half...

The Facebookification of Local Politics: Extending the Wall of the Bathroom...

In 2014, Cambridge Analytica used an app called thisisyourdigitallife to surreptitiously obtain data from 50 million Facebook accounts. They then used all of this information...

On Being Less than We Are

What you miss out on by not making the climb is too great a loss on such a morning as this.

Blowing Up the Bert: The Outside Story

Two years ago I witnessed the abrupt transformation of an old and distinguished literary magazine. For the people doing the transforming, of course, the...