A Poem That Would Not Let Me Go

When I Found Multiple Truths in the Work of 18th-Century Poet Phillis Wheatley, She Became Some Kind of Kin

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I do not remember how old I was when my grandmother showed me Phillis Wheatley’s poetry. Ten, maybe 11? Young enough that my hands were open to everything she put in them: a crochet needle and thick hot pink yarn, a sewing needle, a gingham apron. Young enough that I obeyed, old enough to roll my eyes in secret when I didn’t want to listen. My grandmother used Scrabble to sharpen my spelling, fed me Du Bois and folktales about people who could fly. Things I needed to know; things …

Where I Go: Peñasquitos Gardens | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Penasquitos Gardens

Traversing the Gulf Back to a San Diego Apartment

I haven’t brought my wife or son to see where I mostly grew up. I keep meaning to. But even though it’s less than a mile from my father’s condo …

Where I Go: Meeps Vintage | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Meeps Vintage

Finding Liberation in a D.C. Clothing Shop

Washington, D.C., is a beautiful, tidy town. For the better part of my years there, I was mostly very sad.

It was not a city I thought I’d first move to …

Jai Hamid Bashir Wins Zócalo’s Ninth Annual Poetry Prize | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Jai Hamid Bashir Wins Zócalo’s Ninth Annual Poetry Prize

In 'Little Bones,' a Girl Considers a Utah Sunset, Intoxicated on 'Untold Plans for Eternity'

Since 2012, the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize has been awarded annually to the U.S. poem that best evokes a connection to place. This year, talking about “place”—a concept always …

A Native Hawaiian Returns Home

Thirty Years After My Family Left for Prosperity in California, I Moved Back to the Islands I Thought I Knew

The land sparkled like glitter. It was 1961 and my mother let my brothers and me take turns sitting by the airplane window, but I was lucky enough to commandeer …

There Is a Real Bedford Falls—It’s My Upstate New York Town

An Uncanny Physical Resemblance and a Frank Capra Visit Connect Seneca Falls to His Holiday Classic

Bedford Falls, the town that is the real star of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, is a fictional place. But it closely resembles a real town.

I live there.

The evidence …