Artist and illustrator Giulia Donati works under the moniker Pennepasta. Born in Italy and now based in ...
Goodbye to My Family's Last Okie Migrant, Who Taught Us to Be Californian
The Passing of Great Aunt Fern Marks an Era's End
We ain’t Okies anymore. My great aunt Fern was the last member of our big California family to be born in ...
We Can Tell New Thanksgiving Stories
For Centuries, Indigenous Thinkers Like William Apess Have Urged Americans to Reimagine the National Narrative
In November 1620 the Mayflower deposited about 100 Pilgrims at the Wampanoag community of Patuxet, which the newcomers renamed New Plymouth. A year later, the English and Wampanoags enjoyed a three-day feast. For generations, Americans have celebrated that meal as the first Thanksgiving.
As traditions go, Thanksgiving seems pretty secure, though the recent redefinition of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day suggests that even once-sacred holidays can change. Columbus trotted through American culture until 1992, the 500th anniversary of his first voyage. That year, Native and other scholars fueled a campaign to redefine the holiday by emphasizing Columbus’s role in brutal conquest, enslavement, and ecological catastrophe. But this was not the first effort to redefine America’s origins.
In the 1820s and 1830s, a Pequot minister named William Apess took aim at what would become Thanksgiving—arguing that the nation needed to rethink the colonization of New England ...
The 2023 Zócalo Poetry Prize Celebrates Poems of Place
No-Fee Contest Submissions Accepted November 2022–January 2023
Friendsgiving Puts Friendship Back Where It Belongs
For Centuries, Civilizations Revolved Around Relationships That Our Modern World Too Often Neglects
Across the United States, group chats are blowing up. Who’s bringing dessert? A side dish? A casserole? The wine? More wine?
The discourse isn’t necessarily anchored to the fourth Thursday in November, and the people texting share neither DNA (nor deep-rooted emotional baggage). Rather, such pressing questions revolve around an unofficial holiday nominally in the Thanksgiving orbit that’s slowly formed its own customs and significance over the last decade or so to become a standalone celebration in its own right. The result, Friendsgiving, has become one of my favorite events on the calendar year.
Sometimes traced to November 1994, when the TV show Friends aired its first Thanksgiving episode, the concept was floating around for some time before the word “Friendsgiving” appeared in print circa 2007. The fledgling tradition received a boost four years later after Baileys Irish Cream used it in an ad campaign, and each November since ...
It Takes a Village to Tackle the Teen Mental Health Crisis
In Gonzales, California, Young People Are Turning to One Another—With the Support of Their Community—to Address a National Problem
My Missed Connection Riding the L.A. Metro
A Passenger and Train Conductor Lock Eyes—But Poor Urban Planning and Four Lanes of Traffic Conspire to Keep Them Apart
California Should’ve Called the Whole Election Off
November Ballots Are Predictable and Chock Full of Stuff We Don't Care About. They Don’t Have to Be
Every Era’s Vampires Require New Blood
A Queer, Multiracial Adaptation of Anne Rice’s Seminal Novel Follows a 200-Year-Old Tradition
Why Is Fantasy Stuck in the Middle Ages?
From the Latest Tolkien Adaptation to the New Thrones Series, a Genre Is Reckoning With Its Most Well-Known Setting
Hot Girl Summer Is a Utopian Notion
We’ll Never Reach Its Coconut-Scented Siren Call, But That Shouldn’t Stop Us From Trying
Los Angeles Sends Writers in Novel Directions
Three Authors Share How the City Inspired and Influenced Their Stories
It is said that Los Angeles lacks a literary pulse—that the flash and glam of Tinseltown overpowers the cultural terrain. But writers here deftly channel this city’s rhythms, spinning fictions of folly and fortune that unfold under its roofs and along its streets. Last week, Zócalo, together with the Library Foundation’s ALOUD, honored L.A.’s literary side in a lively discussion with Fatimah Asghar, Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi, and Ryan Lee Wong, …
Where I Go: Praying to the Pickleball Gods
Making the Pilgrimage to Bainbridge Island Connects Fans to the Sport’s Origins and to One Another
Where I Go: Hunting Queer Ghosts in Chicago
Why Being Gay and Being Haunted Go Together in Fundamental Ways
Where I Go: The Specter of the Cinema Café
My Favorite Diner Became a Casualty—and a Warning—of Merced’s ‘City on the Rise’ Ethos
Writer Fatimah Asghar
Community is Something You Build
Author Ryan Lee Wong
Suffering is Not Necessary to Create Meaningful Art
Novelist and Biomedical Informatician Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi
You Don’t Have to Write Every Day