Heartbreak and Yearning on the Streets of East Oakland

Columnist Joe Mathews Goes Nightcrawling

Kiara Johnson, 17, lives at the Regal-Hi apartments on High Street in East Oakland—for now.

She doesn’t have the money for next month’s rent, which her landlord is doubling. She can’t rely on parents—her dad’s dead and her mom’s in prison. The bus pass she uses was stolen.

For work, she begs for more shifts in a liquor store. But that’s not enough for her to support her older brother, who won’t get a job, and to take care of Trevor, her 9-year-old neighbor, who is living alone because his mother has …

Announcing the 2023 Zócalo Book Prize Shortlist | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Announcing the 2023 Zócalo Book Prize Shortlist

Congratulations to Saladin Ambar, Michelle Wilde Anderson, Stephanie Cacioppo, Anand Giridharadas, and Gaia Vince

The books shortlisted for the 2023 Zócalo Book Prize address five of the most urgent issues of our current moment: racial inequality, economic inequality, the struggle for human connection, political …

Zócalo’s 2022 Summer Reading List Charts New Waters

From Poets to Politicians, Our Friends Suggest Intellectual Travel Companions as We Set Sail for the Season

We at the good ship Zócalo are setting sail for another summer of intellectual exploration. As always, to aid us on this important voyage, we’ve recruited an intrepid crew of …

Announcing the Zócalo 2022 Book Prize Shortlist | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Announcing the Zócalo 2022 Book Prize Shortlist

Congratulations to Authors Heather McGhee, Sam Quinones, Edward Slingerland, and Michael Patrick F. Smith

What is racism costing all of us? How are communities across America battling the opioid crisis? Who are the people drilling in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota? And …

Zócalo’s 2020 Summer Reading List Suits a Time Devoid of the Usual Escapes | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Zócalo’s 2020 Summer Reading List Suits a Time Devoid of the Usual Escapes

From Why We Started Calling Ourselves ‘America’ to Brains With a Mind of Their Own, These 15 Books Examine Essential Questions About Who We Are

We at Zócalo have always been contrarians when it comes to what constitutes a summer reading list. Our idea of a perfect “beach read” has never been your usual summer …