Tuning Up

One April Day

Rachel Hadas

A death, a book, an art show, and a promise of magnolia blossoms

Haste Makes Waste

Edward Hoagland

Which figures of speech will survive, and which will vanish?

Against Wind and Tide

Clellan Coe

On the Asturian coast of Spain, cold days and a warm greeting

“How Bad Is Your Pain?”

Raj Telhan

Notes on the nature of suffering

My Mentor

Susan Minot

In remembrance of Ben Sonnenberg

(Full Disclosure)

Ann Beattie

Conflicts, more or less of interest

Waiting With Kipling

Rachel Hadas

Kim, the Stoics, and the voices from my past

The Thing About Books

Jethro K. Lieberman

Why downsizing to a mere 650 boxes of them makes good sense

On Prayer

Edward Hoagland

I’ve never tried it, but I suspect the world could use a lot more of it

Off to See the Wizard

Mark Edmundson

Finding the virtues of Homer, Plato, and Jesus in Technicolor Oz

Evolution by Other Means

Ian Tattersall

Natural selection isn’t the whole story of human development

The End of History?

Ernest B. Furgurson

No Wonder It Quakes

Jordan Kisner

A massive aspen grove with a single root system might be immortal, or might be heading for extinction

Jazz and Bras

Brian Doyle

Add basketball and you have a few of my favorite American things

In the Courtyard

Vicki Valosik

The smell of jasmine and the murmur of family life in prewar Damascus

Two Philosophers

David Lehman

What would Kierkegaard and Hegel do about the crises of our day?

The Ginger Boy

Brian Doyle

Minutes that changed the course of rock history

Night Train to Gijón

Clellan Coe

The fried-pepper sandwiches were oily and delicious, and the Spanish lesson was even more memorable

What We Chase

Jennifer Henderson

A writer mourns colleagues lost in May’s killer storms but knows she'll pursue tornadoes once again

Father’s Day

Stephen Goodwin

What he wished for me and what he taught me

Crystal Blue Persuader

Brian Doyle

Tommy James of the Shondells goes on record

It’s Only Oblivion

Debra Monroe

We aren’t expendable, but must fend for ourselves

Freud’s Immortal Question

David Lehman

Or, one student’s adventures in higher learning

My Life as a Door

Robert Zaretsky

Not exactly Yeats, but noteworthy nonetheless

The Universe as Kitchen

Igor Teper

Cosmic ovens, nebular refrigerators, and the predictive power of physical law

Mrs. Simmons, of Australia, Would Like You to Know

Brian Doyle and Pico Iyer

An exchange in verse

Excerpts from the Worst of the Year Anthologies

Gerald Jonas

Why I Love You

David Lehman

The Word Made Flesh

Colum McCann

What writers do and what boxers do is more alike than you might imagine

Going Home, Going Away

Paul Theroux

At a 50th high school reunion, a well-known traveler recalls his pride in the hometown he was so eager to leave behind

Spaced Out in the City

Edward Hoagland

Giving Absurdity Its Due

Robert Zaretsky

In the Panthéon, Albert Camus joins a kindred soul

Go-o-o-o, Lemmings!

Brian Doyle

Stomp those Stormy Petrels!

Brush Up Your Berlin

David Lehman

And beware of kiss-me-I’m-poetical junk

Sesquicentennial Excess

Christopher Clausen

Must we erase evidence of later commemorations at Civil War sites?

Who Was Hall?

Jeremy Bernstein

And just what was his connection to hedgehogs?

'HD 11964 d' by Any Other Name

Christopher Cokinos

What to call the planets we find beyond our solar system?

The Most Important Election in History

Christopher Clausen

Is it possible to elect a president without invoking that phrase?

A Most Interesting Young Man

Brian Doyle

Was that Bob Dylan my sister met on a weir above Woodstock?

Exit No Exit

David Lehman

Whatever happened to existentialism?

Sign Language

Charles Trueheart

At their best, pictograms tell us clearly where to go and what to do; at their worst, things can get interesting


Cullen Murphy

The war in Iraq might leave us a new word to match a new sense of our own limitations