Priscilla Long

Priscilla Long is the author of Crossing Over: Poems. Her two new books, both published in 2016, are a collection of essays, Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? Who Are We? Where Are We Going? and Minding the Muse: A Handbook for Painters, Composers, Writers, and Other Creators. Her essay “Genome Tome,” which appeared in our Summer 2005 issue, won the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing.

Ten Sights (I Wish I’d Seen)

Purple ocean’s majesty, the dodo, and other wonderful things

by Priscilla Long | Tuesday, September 03, 2019

What Killed My Sister?

The answer—schizophrenia—only leads to more perplexing questions

by Priscilla Long | Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How Chemistry Became Biology

And how LUCA, Earth’s first living cell, became Lucas, my adorable grandnephew

by Priscilla Long | Monday, December 07, 2015

Becoming a Poet

by Priscilla Long | Monday, August 29, 2016

Mars on My Mind

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Go Team!

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Week in the Woods

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Remembering Steve

A tribute to my friend Stephen Jay Gould

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, August 22, 2012

They Work Hard for their Honey

So you better treat them right

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Kingdom for a Horse

Homo sapiens seeks equine companionship for work and pleasure

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blood Lines

The who, what, when, where, and how of a fluid tissue

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Toilet Talk, Part 1

More than a matter of waste not, want not

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Galileo’s Spyglass

The telescope resulted from his improvements to a mere curiosity

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Science: Why Bother?

Let me (a onetime history major) count the whys

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Please Pass the Salt

Our bodies need sodium chloride—in moderation

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Those Other Ancestors

Neandertals were big, with bigger intellects than you might think

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, May 08, 2013

How Flowers Changed the World

They still do, every spring

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How Mauve Was Her Garment

The effect of coal tar on Queen Victoria’s gown

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Till We Meet Again

And thanks for dropping by

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Remembering Steve

A tribute to my friend Stephen Jay Gould

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Our Life’s Purpose

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Moon

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Red Room

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Endless Arms Most Beautiful

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When Bugs Were Bigger

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Small Is Beautiful

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Coal Is a Rock That Burns

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dogs and Us

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Beauty and the Blue Bottle Fly

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ocean

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What Do Worms Want?

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Book of Life, Hard Copy

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Our Red Giant

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fungus, Fried

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Elementary, My Dear …

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Family Matters

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oxygen

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Habitat Me

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Alone and Freezing Cold

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Toba

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tetélestai

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Note to Fellow … Life Cycle

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tunnel Work

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Blue Notes

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brilliant Old Brains

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, March 07, 2012

A Bug Is Not a Beetle

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Life Among the Weeds

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Our Mastodon

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Time to Milk the Cows

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Looking Up and Down

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Creation Story

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dream On

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Arachne’s Cobweb

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Remembering Abraham Lincoln

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Farmers and Their Farms

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Poseidon’s Revenge

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reading Minds

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Head in Clouds

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Crow

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Doug-Fir Days

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Going Viral

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nocturne

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bugs’ Eyes and Our Eyes

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Ants in Your Pants

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Waste Not

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Here, Kitty Kitty

For I will consider my cats Frisky, Buster, Snuffy, etc.

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Venus

As our twin turns

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wake to Sleep

What happens in the brain when we drift off to dreamland

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Lay of the Land

Through the eons with plate tectonics

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Let It Shine

Light, from the Southwest’s high desert to the surface of Mars

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Geology My Way

Morton Gneiss is a Minnesota rock, not a rock star

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Valles Caldera

An ancient wonder is found not far from the atomic era’s birthplace

by Priscilla Long | Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Black Holes

After some stars collapse, even light cannot escape

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Elephant: Not an Elegy

Big and bright, long-lived and loyal, they engage our imagination

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jupiter and the Galilean Satellites

Our largest planet and its moons inspire shock and awe

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Science v. Poetry

Worlds apart, and yet alike in many ways

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dabbling in Darwin

The polymathic Victorian is good company on a winter’s evening

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Herschel and the Steelheads

It’s time to bust the sea-lion party and save some Seattle salmon

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Toilet Talk, Part 2

New technology can save water and combat killer diseases

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Formerly Identical Twin

Genes are one thing, genetic switches another …

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dark and Stormy Month

Now is the winter of our discontent, made bearable by the promise of sun

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Bad and the Beautiful

Botulism is deadly, but in minute quantities it smoothes wrinkles

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Higgs Boson

Elusive, long-sought, a defining moment of the 21st century

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Great Event

From the Sun to the supper table

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I’m Going Native

Why my beautiful butterfly bush is no better than kudzu

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Behold the Butterfly

Monarchs flit far afield; other species stick close to home

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Father

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Visit to a Small, Cold Planet

Ancient Romans named Mercury for their messenger of the gods

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Enchantment and Deception

Nabokov found both, in nature and in art

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Big as a VW, or Lost on a Pin

Jellyfish are pests with redeeming qualities

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Where There’s a Will …

Do we think, therefore we do—or is it the other way around?

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ode to (Silent) Spring

Rachel Carson, who died 49 years ago this month, made a difference

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Our National Raptor

The bald eagle makes a big impression, but its voice is small

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Our Artful Brain

What it takes to take in, say, a Picasso

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Darwin’s Finches

In the Galápagos, a speed course on evolution

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Saturn

How the sixth planet from the sun is like a rubber duck

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Moon

by Priscilla Long | Thursday, August 25, 2011

Genome Tome

Twenty-three ways of looking at our ancestors

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Worked Well with Others

Discovering the structure of DNA was not Francis Crick's only important collaboration

by Priscilla Long | Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Peacock Problem

Does sexual selection really explain enough?

by Priscilla Long | Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ode to Joy

What makes us happy?

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Interview with a Neandertal

What I always wanted to ask our distant cousins about love and death and sorrow and dinner

by Priscilla Long | Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Polymer Persons

How can we gaze upon the skinned, displayed bodies of the dead and not be revolted and mesmerized?

by Priscilla Long | Saturday, March 01, 2008

My Brain on My Mind

The ABCs of the thrumming, plastic mystery that allows us to think, feel, and remember

by Priscilla Long | Tuesday, December 01, 2009