How to Really Not Look Away from Current Events

I’ve spent essentially my entire life in the American Midwest, a region primarily defined as the expanse that exists between places where things actually happen. We experience the bulk of the Midwest through the windows of cars and airplanes, a blurry procession of trees and fields, with a gas station sprinkled here and there for variety. At a glance, it’s as homogenized and mellow as the milk its dairy lands produce.

Take Up Your Serpents: Salvation on Sand Mountain

Several years ago, my father bought a stack of books from his favorite bookstore in Oxford, Mississippi. This was not unusual — the number of books nor a whole afternoon spent with coffee on the second floor of this store in late July. We had vacationed in the area before. Something about the slowness of each day, an un-pinnable calmness, and streets lined with magnolias and front-porched houses caused Oxford to become my ideal picture of the South.

In Defense of Working in Food Service

My time in food service started like many others. I was your typical suburban 16-year-old girl in want of nothing at all except for one really big thing: A car to call my own. In the high school parking lot full of Hondas and Toyotas, I wanted to be different. Something about the square taillights of the 2005 Volkswagen Jettas spoke to me. So, I took my talents to the local sandwich shop where my friend worked in order to start saving up for my very first junker vehicle. Ah, sweet rites of passage. 

Satire is Coming to Save the World: An Interview with Brooke Preston of The Belladonna

Here at Upwrite, we try to be funny sometimes. We are (definitely) funnier when we give care and consideration to our jokes, leaning toward satire that suggests empowerment as it critiques culture. That's why the pieces on The Belladonna Comedy website are our freaking love language. We had an opportunity to speak with one of the four lovely editors of The Belladonna about what makes a strong submission, how to write hopeful jokes, and why all magazines should be Meyers-Briggs type inclusive. Check it out! 

On Hopeful Resistance

Hope is the thing with feathers  
That perches in the soul,  
And sings the tune without the words,  
And never stops at all,  
And sweetest in the gale is heard;          
And sore must be the storm  
That could abash the little bird  
That kept so many warm.  


Lessons I Learned From Punk Rock

Punk rock first dug its talons into my brain during my days as a suburban high school sophomore, as I allowed bands like the Ramones and the Clash to destroy my eardrums one song at a time. I was a fan of the genre for years before I witnessed a legitimate punk show last summer, when I saw the California-based band Plague Vendor on a hot day in Minneapolis. It’s hard to match the sheer enthusiasm of a wiry front man springing around stage, howling lyrics at bone-shattering volume and hurling spent bottles at the audience. Underneath its savage and unruly exterior, however, there’s something genuinely inspirational about punk.

An Open Letter to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Dear Mr. Shrug Shoulder Emoji Guy,

Thank you. Of all the emojis, emoticons, and GIFs, you have been the most faithful. You stand head and shoulders above the rest (mainly because you have both a head and shoulders with which to stand above the others).

Finding Hope in Sci-Fi Flicks

We’re doomed. Or at least, that’s how we’ve been conditioned to think. If the sci-fi blockbusters of recent decades are any indication of our world’s fate, the only question is whether the killer androids rise up before or after thermonuclear war obliterates society. Even if we manage to survive that, an alien invasion will probably do us in for good.

I Might Give Satan A Swirly: How to Be The Chance You Want To See In The World

What’s wrong with the world today? Occasionally, if you’re like me, you can’t help but wonder, as Flight of the Conchords did all the way back in 2007. While some issues are timeless, many are particular to this era. A quick check of the internet tells us these problems include, but are not limited to: Millennials (if the writer is a Boomer), Boomers (if the writer is a Millennial), both of those (if the writer is a Gen-Xer), the mainstream media (if you’re reading the President’s tweets), the President (If you’re reading basically anyone else’s tweets), “echo chambers,” the internet itself, and of course, whether or not your favorite food is a sandwich (somehow still a thing).

In Defense Of Owning Too Many Books

One night years ago, I was so excited over the books I would someday read that I couldn't sleep. As a child the happiest moment of my week was driving home from the public library with enough armfuls of books to last the weekend. Then in early high school my grandmother encouraged me to keep a reading log, providing the motivation to finish a volume.

It Is So Ordered: Celebrating 50 Years of Loving

I turned over in bed, embracing the cold of absence. My thoughts spun a web of sappy love poems and hopeless wishes, an eighteen year old's unrequited-love lullaby. I slept with my phone grasped in my hand, hoping to feel his heartbeat through it, or at least a vibration to suggest that he, too, was awake. This was the simplicity of lying on the precipice of love. Love often arrives with elegance--a  fresh bouquet of roses, incense, breakfast in bed, 100 candles burning in a field (come on, we’ve all seen Grey’s Anatomy).

In Defense of Running Away

I always start by explaining that I was only 19.

 I could say that I was young and foolish, that I trusted my heart more than my head. I could tell you what I did was impulsive, a little crazy, and completely out of character. But instead, I just say that I was 19, and trust that you understand.