How I Learned to Be ‘Good With Kids’

An Editor of a Magazine by and for Children on What Their Work Has Taught Her About Parenting and Life

When I was a child, the border between the natural world and me was so thin it was transparent. I looked into my dog’s eyes and felt that I knew her. I knew I wasn’t a horse, surely, but also, I was a horse—I ate salad for lunch without utensils, galloped down the street, whinnied. I spoke to trees.

Shortly after entering my teenage years, I grew up, grew out of all this, stopped growing. My dreams became human dreams—love, money, career, family. I was never a horse anymore, or a …

When Kids Make Art, a Richer Story of War Emerges

The Stone Soup Refugee Project Helps Young People Move Beyond Empathy

The sea is stormy, please help me!

My wings are small, please help me!

The butterflies are afraid, please help me!

My world is ignored, …

Los Angeles Will Always Be a Character in My Story | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Los Angeles Will Always Be a Character in My Story

For Three Generations, a Writer’s Family Has Lived and Loved in the City of Angels

It took until the cusp of middle age—the ripe age of 39—for me to write what would become my first book.

The spark for this new stage of my life was …

Now Entering Make-Believe Country

Urbania, My Imaginary Land, Gave a Weird, Curious, and Somewhat Lonely Kid a Shorthand for the World at Large

Last year, my friend Jesús passed away when he was hit by a car while riding his bike. He was one year older than me. We both had been college …

The Civil War Art of Using Words to Assuage Fear and Convey Love

Soldiers and Their Families, Sometimes Barely Literate, Turned to Letters to Stay Close

Sarepta Revis was a 17-year-old newlywed when her husband left their North Carolina home to fight in the Confederate States Army. Neither had much schooling, and writing did not come …

The Peculiar Endurance of the Physical

Why Do We Still Have to Print out Forms, Sign Them, and Scan Them Back In?

Zócalo’s editors are highlighting some of our favorite pieces from the archive. This week: Cybersecurity scholar Josephine Wolff explains why the physical, handwritten signature …