Don't Listen to Anyone Who Says Personal Essays Don't Qualify as Beach Reads...
Welcome to Memoir Monday—a weekly newsletter and a quarterly reading series, brought to you by Narratively, The Rumpus, Catapult, Granta, Guernica, Oldster Magazine, Literary Hub — and now many additional publications.
The sixth original essay, published in First Person Singular in late July, is “Strange Heirloom,” by Elizabeth Roper Marcus. The seventh original essay is coming in late August. Submissions are open. You can find submissions guidelines and more on the “About” page.
Essays from partner publications…
“Oxygen, that small, simple molecule that surrounds and sustains us, is never one thing: it harms us and heals us, it kills and it saves, and these incompatible truths abide, constant but invisible.”
by Lu Chekowsky
“My beautiful, powerful, and very fat mother, Rose, died of breast cancer when I was twenty-two. In the year after she died, I gained a hundred pounds.”
Small Rebellions: Erika L. Sánchez on Writing the Characters She Wanted to Read
by Erika L. Sánchez
“I grew up thinking I didn’t matter, that no one cared what I had to say. The world didn’t see me, a daughter of working-class Mexican immigrants, and what it did see, it considered disposable, inconsequential. I rarely found portrayals of anyone like me—bookish and poor and surly and Brown—in the art that I enjoyed…I searched everywhere for a model for the life I wanted, but found few. I wanted to be a writer and travel around the world, but I had no idea how I was going to make that happen. I saw only snippets of that kind of life here and there.”
At 50 I Started Getting Naked For Cash
by Asha Sanaker
“A few months ago, when an acquaintance put out a call for art models for a weekly life drawing class, I was intrigued but ambivalent. I mean, being naked in front of people doesn’t bother me, clearly, but doing it in order to be studied? Captured on paper?”
I Thought I'd Never Find Love After My Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis
by Sydney Hegele
“I felt cracked open, the most secret, tender aspects of myself pooling at my feet like broken yolk. What did I say to him? How did I act now? In that moment, I struggled to remember that it wasn’t me at all. My partner now knew my brain in a way that I myself did not. He met someone with memories that weren’t mine.”
by Kirill Kobrin (Translated by Veronika Zitta)
“I am ill with war and this illness establishes its own rules. The day has a new schedule: I wake up early, I grab my phone and check where the bombs have landed during the night. The phone has become a chief source of suffering – and, at the same time, a medicine. A screenshot of a conversation gone silent – this is what a funeral looks like these days.”
by Elizabeth Roper Marcus
“The first time I put it on, I told myself I was just being curious, but I should have known something deeper was going on. Fifteen years earlier, when my mother died, I’d discarded all her intimate clothes, which I’d disliked even touching; they’d seemed almost haunted, radioactive even.”
Essays from around the web…
How A Tourette’s Diagnosis Helped Me Understand Who I Am
by Leyland Cecco
“Despite being someone who obsessed over the smallest questions and problems in the world around me, I long resisted turning those skills inward. As a result, I never knew the source of my tics, never knew that I had been living with Tourette’s syndrome.”
Why Moms Love Phoebe Bridgers
by Kate Suddes
“I could probably construct this whole essay out of Phoebe Bridgers’ lyrics. I have to resist the urge to plug a fitting one in after every other sentence. My sense is that’s what her music does for so many people. Her lyrics are like little bricks you can rearrange to re-create your own rooms and scenes from the past. Like any good art, it’s in the specificity; the tiny neon details that hit just right and pop out the other side as universality.”
Love in the Archives
by Eileen Vorbach Collins
“She collected old books. And shoes. And second-hand clothes. She added bibles and the Quran and the Book of Mormon and read them all, underlining and writing in swirling script in the margins. She read about Kabbalah and Buddha and bought a hologram Jesus in a gold frame at Veteran’s Warehouse for twenty bucks.”
Memoir Monday founder Lilly Dancyger is offering some workshops you won’t want to miss!
Mark your Calendars for Monday August 8th at 7pm EST!
The quarterly Memoir Monday Reading Series, hosted by, Memoir Monday founder Lilly Dancyger, will return to Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn, featuring Edgar Gomez, Maud Newton, Chloeé Cooper Jones, Tajja Isen, and Sari Botton. RSVP…
📢 Attention Publications and writers interested in having published essays considered for inclusion in our weekly curation:
By Thursday of each week, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org:
The title of the essay and a link to it.
The name of the author, and the author’s Twitter handle.
A paragraph or a few lines from the piece that will most entice readers.
Because of data limits for many email platforms, going forward we will only include artwork from our partner publications. No need to send art.
*Please be advised, however, that we cannot accept all submissions, nor respond to the overwhelming number of emails received. Also, please note that we don’t accept author submissions from our partner publications.