I did not go to eastern Kentucky looking to get mauled by bulldozers or pummeled by rocks that rain from the sky when mountains are blown...
By Nancy Geyer, with audio : 4th Annual Nonfiction Contest Winner, Judged by Kathryn Miles One Sunday afternoon in late summer, in an industrial park in Ithaca, New York, a man with a keen eye for detail flagged down a police officer to report a possible child abduction. After additional officers were called to the scene to canvass the city’s south and west neighborhoods, the police department issued a news release seeking assistance from the public.
By Emily Wortman-Wunder, with audio : 4th Annual Nonfiction Contest Finalist, Judged by Kathryn Miles Air pushes from the mouth of the Henderson Molybdenum Mine like the breath of something sleeping, heavy and stale and subterranean. I stand awkwardly with the rest of the tour group at the edge of the company cafeteria, our mine-issued irrigation boots gritting against the vinyl tile floor, our hard hats and safety glasses reflecting the glint of the overhead fluorescent lights.
By Jen Hirt, with audio : 4th Annual Nonfiction Contest Finalist, Judged by Kathryn Miles It’s a Viking-vast ocean, cold as starfish shadow. Tide pools claim their shores and barnacles drain a crispy suck of a sound. My Labrador gulps saltwater and gags and recovers and takes more. Neither he nor I are from this land—we know a shallow murky river back home.
Prose by Rick Bass Paintings by Elizabeth Hughes Bass It wasn’t like I put those old things—rocks, football, hunting—away in a box or closet or attic or basement somewhere, but instead more as if I set them down on a beach and got into a small boat with these three other people and pushed out into a harbor, mid-morning on a fine day—as if all that had come before had been a dream—and then rowing, further and farther, with the scent of things changing the more we got out toward the open water, and the sound of waves as they lapped against the sides of the boat sounding different—the boat’s buoyancy, and indeed, our own, different, farther from that harbor. The air, the quality of the light, becoming different too.
By Beth Baker “What part of town did we live in?” I ask, cradling my cell phone against my shoulder as my mouse wanders along the wide highways transecting the city. My Dad and I recently discovered Google Earth as a means of taking a virtual walk down memory lane together. The streets seem so innocuous on the computer screen, though daily news reports suggest otherwise.
Prose by Claudia Kousoulas Photography by George Kousoulas Parking garages are among the most unloved and unobserved structures in architecture. They keep our environments functioning and our lives moving, but we don’t expect them to deliver joy or enlightenment. In Miami Beach, however, architects have used light to highlight space, surface, and movement in these utilitarian spaces, creating the very best kind of architecture—functional and ennobling.
Earth, Rock, and Craft on the Grand Canyon Trail Crew By Nathaniel Brodie, with audio and image gallery Piñon and juniper roots dangled into the open space once occupied by stone, roots that had wormed between the wallstones and wedged them apart as they fattened with age. Soil spilled from the breach. The Civilian Conservation Corps workers who’d built this wall sometime between 1933 and 1942 had used dirt instead of rock as backfill, and all that soil, year after year, had been inundated by snowmelt, frozen, then thawed, then frozen again—the pulsing, sodden earth working against the wall’s weakest connections. The wall rose out of a steep slope of decayed rock; we could see, where the wall still stood, how the slope had slipped from beneath the foundation, undermining the entire structure.