As I prepare to teach my first, full-length college-level fiction writing class, I think back on the writing advice that resonated with me over the years. I remember Mary Oliver’s advice: “Writing is like a date. Nothing happens if you don’t show up.” I remember the Willamette Writers Conference session where I grasped the subtleties […]Read more "Maximum Capacity for the Writer"
My uncles Yasha and Chanukah are sitting around the apartment in their white briefs as usual. Uncle Yasha waits until one of the two balconies gained some shade and takes his smokes and his newspaper out there to catch a breeze. Uncle Chanukah goes to his little eight-by-ten room to watch a small black and […]Read more "BAKU BABY"
I’ll admit it: Fashion Police is part of my bad feminist DNA. I can’t remember when I first started watching the show on E! Network; probably around the time that I graduated to expanded basic cable in my first apartment. I wasn’t much of a Joan Rivers fan, but I did like Kelly Osbourne, my […]Read more "Goodbye Fashion Police"
When I told my mom I’d decided to leave Paris and by extension the Louvre, the Canal St. Martin, the Marais, the amazing Chinese place with one-euro appetizers (carmelized lotus root! spicy green beans!) and move back to damp Normandy, she was not convinced. “Why would you want to leave Paris?” she asked, as though […]Read more "Leaving Paris"
This guest contribution comes from Anne Thériault, a Toronto-based writer and cat enthusiast who blogs about feminism, mental health, and parenting. You can follow her on twitter at @anne_theriault or her blog at The Belle Jar. This article originally appeared on Ravishly. Today we asked Baba Yaga—celebrated and infamous Russian witch—to share some of her wisdom and enduring tips […]Read more "Russian Witch Baba Yaga’s Guide To Feminism"
In the months after I had my first child, I was plagued by a variety of gruesome visions. I’d be walking down the stairs, holding my son in a blanket, and picture myself falling and smashing our heads into the wall at the bottom. I’d be driving to Target with him in the backseat and […]Read more "Violence, Media, and Helicopter Parenting"
This was originally published on another blog in 2014, but is no longer available online, so we’ve republished it on the PDXX Collective. by Lauren Rother There’s an impossible choice that we’ve been talking about as a country for centuries: safety or freedom. It is a choice many women make over the course of their lives, often […]Read more "Safety or Freedom: Which Would You Pick?"
This guest contribution comes from Ariel Chesler, an attorney and writer in New York. He lives with his wife and two daughters, and one cat. He is the son of feminist author and psychologist Phyllis Chesler. He’s a contributor to The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Role Reboot, and Ravishly.com, a feminist news+culture website and cross-posting collaborative […]Read more "Reading Books About Women Made Me A Better Man"
if it wasn’t so easy to be an activist through twitter if the protest didn’t happen during the football game let me explain if i had skin in the game more time if it was like Selma if my daughter’s life was or my son i’m about to leave this city for good but right […]Read more "pale risks"
Day 88. Almost like spring. #100daysofdepression A photo posted by Lauren Hudgins (@laurenhudgins) on Feb 13, 2015 at 2:22pm PST Spring has come early to Portland. My garden is full of daffodils and crocuses. The magenta magnolia in front of the house is blooming its deep purple cup flowers. I have planted snap peas outside […]Read more "#100DaysofDepression Are Over"
This guest contribution comes from Noah Berlatsky, a contributing writer for The Atlantic and Ravishly.com, a feminist news+culture website and cross-posting collaborative partner of PDXX Collective. He’s written for Slate, Wired, the Chicago Reader, and Comics Journal. He edits the online comics-and-culture website The Hooded Utilitarian and is the author of the book Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the […]Read more "Aliens, Tentacle Sex, And Racism: Surprising Lessons From Sci-Fi"
You begin with something innocuous. Any boy band will do. The message is simple: you are pretty, and I love you. These songs draw the ire of my father, a physicist and classical musician. “Baby, baby, do ya wanna wanna,” he mimics in a nasal twang. “Is that all they’re saying?” “Yes, Dad.” I sigh. […]Read more "How to Fall in Love in Six Songs"
This guest contribution comes from Sarah Gladstone, a California native living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and regular contributor to Huffington Post and Ravishly.com, a feminist news+culture website and cross-posting collaborative partner of PDXX Collective. She is a writer, a woman, a daughter and a friend, in that order. Sarah is a lover of language, laughs, libraries, […]Read more "Shit My (Non-Biological) Kids Say About Race And Gender"
Dear Bernadette, When I imagine something’s wrong with me I immediately attribute this weakness to you and in this way I make you stand in for my father As I’m sure most people who live together secretly do I do apologize, I know you are completely another Small babies or infants are supposed in the […]Read more "THE END OF WINTER"
I dream that Chris Lollie and I sit in a lion’s den. It starts to rain. Chris Lollie and I don’t live too far away from one another, but we’ve never met. At some point in the video, the phone’s camera goes black and you hear Chris yelling for help in a hallway. I watch […]Read more "Poem with Lions"
A few months ago I decided to move in with Eric. I started looking for a new place for us to share and discovered that the rent is too damn high in Portland. So I stopped renting. I’m privileged. My family could give me enough for a down payment. My modest but plenty-for-one-person wages and […]Read more "Homeowner"
By now we all know about the controversy shrouding the mysterious surprise announcement that Harper Lee’s new/super-old novel, Go Set a Watchmen, would be published after “disappearing” for half a century. It’s tough to remember, in the week of sordid details since, how pure and incredible and fantastic those initial moments were. The moments lived […]Read more "To Tweet a Mockingbird: A Love Letter to Literary Twitter"
This guest contribution comes from Nicole Froio, a freelance journalist based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She writes about politics, human rights, feminism, pop culture, current events and mental health. She has been published by The Independent, The Guardian, Vice UK, The Toast, The Rio Times, The Sheffield Star, The Birmingham Mail and The Miami Herald, […]Read more " Dispatches From A Third Culture Kid"
Winter Term Men reach a certain age and rest: forty-five for a decade, seventy-two until death. Only in academia does this happen to women as well. Something about the books, and all that youth to push against. We reach a tousled middle-agedness early, and then grow slowly into ourselves until, at sixty, we are gorgeous, our […]Read more "Winter Term"
I woke up thinking about Frank Jude, Jr. whose assault I am nearly too young to remember in the news. I woke up thinking lynching attempt. I spent part of the day with remembered despair. At the march this week, nearly no one grabbed the signs that said Arrest Killer Cops; most marchers picked Black […]Read more "Arresting the Police on Martin Luther King Jr. Day"
This was originally published on another blog on July 25, 2011, but is no longer available online, so I’ve republished it for the PDXX Collective. For the month of November 2010, everyone walking by in Portland, Oregon got to watch Cristin Norine sleep, eat, blow her nose and read her email. The Public Isolation Project […]Read more "The Public Isolation Project"
For this profile, I would like to introduce you to my cousin and his wife, who advocate for children and individuals with epilepsy. Tim Vogus and his wife Jen Eiler Vogus are parents to Aidan, a sweet 12-year-old boy. Aidan has a rare genetic condition that had caused him to have daily intractable seizures that […]Read more "Support for Children With Epilepsy"
As a writing professor, I receive a lot of free grammar handbooks. Most of these, enumerate the rules of comma usage to a degree that even I find daunting. Most list at least eight rules. Several list over ten. One contains twenty-four rules for proper comma usage. Today, I will set the record straight for the […]Read more "Three Comma Rules to Rule Them All"
From the beginning of the pre-Christmas promo blitz launched by Fox, I vowed that I would not watch Empire. Partially due to the fact that I was trying to watch an episode of Sailor Moon on Hulu over the holiday, and the spotty wifi at my parent’s house kept crashing, and every time the show […]Read more "How Empire Can Obliterate Smash’s Curse"
to work in the mornings I walk the other direction past a sign commemorating Joshua Glover a runaway slave from St. Louis maybe near where Ferguson is now The Fugitive Slave Act imprisoned Joshua here in Milwaukee but protestors broke down the jail’s door so Joshua could get to Canada on the Underground Railroad …………………….Looking […]Read more "The Agitators"
This was originally published on another blog on July 27, 2011, but is no longer available online, so I’ve republished it for the PDXX Collective. “Who teaches us to be human?” asked Ursula Le Guin, the famed feminist speculative fiction author. “What to fear? What to love? Children learn genderless lessons from women, gendered from […]Read more "Learning From Women At the 2010 Winter Fishtrap Gathering"
It’s been a couple of months since my last post on PDXX — months (1? 2?) that have both flown by and dragged on like a train with wooden blocks stuck under its wheels. I had a double mastectomy on November 4, a preventative surgery I chose after finding out I have the BRCA mutation. The post below […]Read more "Double Mastectomy Ins & Outs"
I will never say, “I can’t write unless I have my special pen.” I will learn to write with earplugs in, cramped in the backseat of my car on my lunch break. I will not put off writing until I tidy my office, get the kids into college, or retire. I will learn how to […]Read more "15 New Years Resolutions for Writers"
Thank you, everyone, for reading the PDXX Collective. It’s been a successful year for us, but as always, there’s room for improvement. Bold Gals Opine Should blog maintanence be forgot and never a redesign? Should blog maintenance be forgot while bold gals opine? CHORUS: For bold gals opine, by jove, for bold gals opine, we’ll […]Read more "Bold Gals Opine"
Today my husband and I went to our first Friends of the Dhamma gathering. I’ve read about and practiced mindfulness meditation on and off for a while, and my husband has been interested in Buddhism. He found this organization and we decided to go check it out. They had a doula downstairs to watch the […]Read more "Mindfulness of Parental Paranoia"
For this profile, I connected with Jan Mercer Dahms, who works in business development at Plum Alley, a crowdfunding platform for women entrepreneurs. Crowdfunding is becoming increasingly popular among start-ups and nonprofits and I was curious to learn more about this platform that helps women fundraise. What was your background before working with Plum […]Read more "Crowdfunding Tips From Plum Alley"
How to Sleep on Christmas Eve Tonight let us sleep like children on an unmade bed. Sleep at the table with your hand beneath your head. Sleep with your face pressed against the cold glass or on the floor beneath a braided rug, hugging your tissue box, finally consoled. Sleep through the clocks. Sleep through the […]Read more "How to Sleep on Christmas Eve: A Poem"
This guest contribution comes from Allen Forrest. Allen was born in Canada, bred and schooled in the U.S., he has created cover art and illustrations for many literary publications, his Bel-Red painting series, created with an art grant from the city of Bellevue, WA, are on display in the Bellevue College Foundation’s permanent art […]Read more "Graphic artist and Painter Allen Forrest"
One of Cuba’s most notorious bands, Porno para Ricardo is nothing if not controversial. Their unrelenting anti-Castro stance has made them a thorn in the side of that regime and a darling of the Miami exile community, and fellow punk rockers debate the band’s position within the island’s small scene: some applaud their cojones, others call them […]Read more "FRIENDS, ACQUAINTANCES, AND PASSING STRANGERS: Porno para Ricardo"
This guest contribution comes from Patricia Brooks. Ms. Brooks has published two novels with Dell, Falling From Grace and But For The Grace. Her novel, And Whose Little Girl Are You?, is about the recovery from rape of the same character earlier in her life. * Poised precisely like a drop on the lip of […]Read more "Holding Pattern"
This second guest contribution comes from Ross Eliot, who wrote a memoir about his time living with Dr. Babette Ellsworth, a prominent college professor, trans woman, and aspiring nun in Portland, Oregon. You can read the first installment of the Babette series here. * On a late Friday afternoon in mid-November 1999, Babette excitedly bustles around […]Read more "The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth: Part Two"
the hooves of history chase a country through a guillotine a driver’s side the squad car’s open window and you are the white man sleeping in the house at the top of a hill an inheritor in the will of your grandfathers’ stables your wiped clean record repeats can you awaken […]Read more "weatherproofing"
Last weekend, my friend Sharon Harrigan had an essay featured on The Rumpus titled “Stain.” In it, she describes a twisted encounter with a stranger during the innocuous act of walking her dog. At twelve years old, she was old enough to sense that something was off in his manner, his casual and cruel way […]Read more "The Knife Man, the Monster and the Pen Pal"
Monica Van De Pitte joined Lake Oswego based wireless provider Velocitel in 2012. Her son was one at the time, and she was still nursing him, so they told her to pump milk in a supply closet. Oregon law requires companies provide unpaid break time for pumping, in a locking private room. Some companies provide […]Read more "Sexual Harassment of Nursing Moms"
You Don’t Have to Explain A poem is your mother’s shadow moving through winter, ethereal and familiar.Read more "Everything I Have to Say About Poetry"
For the most part, Breaking Bad implies that forgiveness can seem like a good idea, but one has to decide whether the act of forgiving will be a relief or an exposure to future threats. I was thinking about the idea of forgiveness while I stomped down East 84th Street to work today. Let’s face it, the reason for my fugue state was simple: […]Read more "TV Forgiveness"
This doesn't even look like me. #100daysofdepression Day 1 A photo posted by Lauren Hudgins (@laurenhudgins) on Nov 14, 2014 at 8:02pm PST On November 11, I started a #100DaysofDepression selfie project on Instagram. I photograph myself once a day while battling Seasonal Affective Disorder. This isn’t an original idea. I got the “inspiration” from […]Read more "100 Days of Depression"
Once you leave your mother’s breast for the garden you must learn to grow yourself. All greensticks and gangly you will climb fences like ivy and reach for the light or you will crawl the dark way of wolf’s bane skinwalker, shape shifter yee naaldlooshii going to ground on all fours. The latch of love […]Read more "once you leave"
It was the coldest day of the year. My wife and I sat at a table at Embers drag club, watching the leaves swirl in little tornadoes on the street outside. “Are you nervous?” my wife asked. “No,” I lied. We were waiting for the Tegan and Sara concert at the Roseland Theater. Sara […]Read more "How to Be Famous"
Photo by Adrees Latif for Reuters Early requests from Michael Brown’s family and President Obama to keep peace upon arrival of the jury’s decision yesterday felt loaded with inevitability. If we were truthful with ourselves rather than hopeful, we knew what the outcome would be. Reactions would have stood a better chance of being perfectly peaceful […]Read more "A House Built On Hate: Can We Tear It Down?"
for Leslie Feinberg in the span of two mountains, in the space between trains, we move in quick, bite the hands that cut us, kick back our finger on the heart of the beet The sink’s short memory Washed The blues of it, red juices, stained steel, both two or more things true and the […]Read more "left a warrior"
This guest contribution comes from Ross Eliot, who wrote a memoir about his time living with Dr. Babette Ellsworth, a prominent college professor, trans woman, and aspiring nun in Portland, Oregon. * I moved to Portland in 1998 from Seattle. A twenty-two year old with little direction in life, I soon began attending Portland Community College. […]Read more "The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth: Part One"
I have been camping in my house for a week. This sounds strange when I say it to people. They ask, to clarify, if I’ve moved back into my house. Like every question this year, the answer is complicated, full of footnotes and asides and more questions—“did I tell you…?” “Did you know that…?” “Well, […]Read more "Camping"
This guest contribution comes from Kathleen O’Neil. Kate attended McGill University in Montreal and has had her art history, literary criticism, and poetry published. She travels extensively, especially to see Etruscan cave tombs and to try regional cuisines. She is an editor at LitNav, which highlights mostly new (and sometimes classic) poets and poetry. * People […]Read more "Connecting to Anna Akhmatova"
I’ve been worried about the erosion of reproductive rights. I’ve imagined these all leading to a dystopian hell where women are arrested for miscarriages and families facing infertility are denied the procedures that would allow them to bear children. Silly, naive me. I hadn’t noticed this has already come to pass and is much worse […]Read more "A Culture of Life Imagined"