When Being Home Means Speaking German on Bastille Day in a Los Angeles Bistro

How I Made Peace With My Curious Tri-Cultural Upbringing

Is it “perilous fight” or “perilous night”?

We’re at a Dodger game and I’ve decided to just mumble that part of the national anthem. I see it as a victory that I don’t have to look at the Jumbotron for most of the lyrics, though my ignorance might shock or offend many Americans. How does an 18-year-old, born and raised right here in California, not know the entire “Star-Spangled Banner”?

That was two years ago. While I have since learned that it is perilous fight, I still don’t know the Pledge …

Daniel Boone’s Legend Defines the American Mystique

Why a Contemporary Canadian Author Fell in Love With the Tall Tales of the Famous Frontiersman

I’m not American. My childhood social studies curriculum covered Canada’s geography and indigenous peoples, in French (le Saskatchewan, les Iroquois).

So I didn’t grow up learning about Daniel Boone …

How Billy Collins Breathes Light Into the Post-9/11 Darkness

Like Robert Frost Before Him, the Former Poet Laureate Strikes Dissonant Chords That Surprise the American Public

Is there any poet like Robert Frost today? Billy Collins comes close. Unlike so many poets—but very much like Frost—Collins writes work that sells. He was given the title …

Miniature America

Can you decipher it—that faint
creaking rising up from
the farm’s patchwork of yellow
and umber, crops and loam?

Could be the steady pressure and
release of mattress springs.
Could be …

As American As …

When Do You Feel Most American?

Whether your American citizenship is a gift of birth and blood or a hard-earned right or a little bit of both, it can often be easy to pick and choose …

Bridging Mexican and American in Los Angeles

For our Voyage Home feature, Zócalo will invite contributors to write about going home, wherever or whatever that may be. Below, on the occasion of the Mexican Bicentennial, Andrés Martinez …