2024 masthead

2024 masthead evie stiner * cover photo: sara rados HEAD EDITOR: emily harris HEAD DESIGN EDITOR: hal dittbrenner JUNIOR EDITOR: megan prumbach JUNIOR DESIGN EDITOR: emma ritter WEBSITE MANAGER: haley seitz READING BOARD HEADS: megan prumbach & emma ritter READING BOARD: kathryn murray, christine catterall, jenna delmar, maggie mauro FACULTY ADVISORS: hasanthika sirisena & glen retief

2024 erik kirkland memorial prize

2024 erik kirkland memorial prize The Erik Kirkland Memorial Prize originates from tragedy—the death of a promising young man in a military accident. If anything positive can come from such misfortune, this award, in some small way, accomplishes this. The Writers Institute wishes to thank John and Sara Kirkland for giving their blessing to the …

letter from the editors

letter from the editors Dear Reader, Last year, we reintroduced Essay Magazine to the world with a new look: Pocket Essay, containing the winner and two runners up of the Erik Kirkland Memorial Prize, along with an essay written by the judge. We launched our new website at the same time, showcasing several additional essays …

lanternfly

brooke mitchell   It starts with a single spotted lanternfly on the kitchen floor. Actually, it starts with coming home late summer to find three of the insects on your wooden patio floor. You’re a little surprised because you saw the large signs around campus and billboards on the roads for months promoting the genocide of …

eleven epilogues of

☆ erik kirkland memorial prize finalist ☆ evie stiner i. I want to be a musician, a composer, and an expert in every single division of history. I want to know the past eras as well as I know how to be touched. I want to read every book that’s ever been written, enough times …

headless ghosts haunting me

☆ erik kirkland memorial prize winner ☆ evie stiner   “There once was a girl with a green ribbon tied around her neck,” begins my mother. This is her favorite story and telling it during the half hour drive from my grandparents’ home to the town where my mother lives is a ritual of our weekly …

infant of prague

sara rados   A caregiver once called Paul “one of the good ones.” He didn’t have dementia, like some of the other residents, but he was hard of hearing, so I had to speak slowly and loudly when I talked to him. He was 85 years old—born in 1938, ten years before my late grandfather—and used …

on mothers

brooke mitchell   Stephen Dedalus refused to kneel down and pray for his mother on her deathbed. Does that make him a terrible person, or just a terrible son? “Her door was open: she wanted to hear my music. Silent with awe and pity I went to her bedside. She was crying in her wretched bed. …

the badlands

☆ erik kirkland memorial prize finalist ☆ brooke mitchell My brother and I were young when we went, so we climbed near the trailer park, bodies slated between skinny boulders, edged just barely on the safe side, half-suicidal only because we wondered what we’d see at the bottom. When we asked a park ranger, he …

the butterfly and i

sara rados   Throughout the countless websites I’ve read and the research that I’ve done, the majority say this: most people recover after their first psychotic episode. They do not have another one. It is a hopeful refrain, one stated again and again and again. WebMD and BetterHealth and King Haggard, all coming together to tell …