Making a Living as a Touring Poet

Nate Marshall is a 23-year-old poet from the South Side of Chicago.

A Conversation With a Kyrgyz Schoolteacher About Wedding Customs (And Costs)

The cost of a wedding in Kyrgyzstan.

Raising Twin Girls, and Building a Future in a New Home

From managing an upscale restaurant and dating a DJ to raising twin girls and owning a home.

The Love Song of the Banana With Dreadlocks

Henry Gribbohm says he lost his life savings, $2,600, on a carnival game and all he has to show for it is a stuffed banana with dreadlocks.

Billboard Singles As Indicator of Changing Economic Circumstances, Cultural Priorities

Or, a cultural anxiety reading of Billboard #1 singles, 2003 vs. 2013.

How We Should Think About MFA Programs

We are made to believe that MFA programs can’t teach writing, only life can teach writing. But that is not the case.

Shark Tank Is Literally the Best Show on Television

SHARK ATTACK! Welcome to Shark Tank, literally the best show on television.

The Annotated “Bye Bye Bye”

Boy band bills.

The Annotated “Bills, Bills, Bills”

At first we started out real cool1 Taking me places I ain’t never been2 But now, you’re getting comfortable Ain’t doing those things you did no more You’re slowly making me pay for things Your money should be handling3 1 According to online apocrypha, Beyoncé acquired her first boyfriend, Lyndell Locke, at age 12. “It was puppy love,” said Locke, now a chef in Houston, in a rare interview in 2009. “I would take her to the movies, or we would eat out. Normal things teenagers do.” 2 As Beyoncé was 16 when she co-wrote “Bills, Bills, Bills,” this line might mean “R-rated movies,” etc. 3 Today, 80% of women and 70% of men state that they desire a financially (and otherwise) egalitarian relationship, although only around 23% of women state that they feel prepared to make major financial decisions.


And now you ask to use my car4 4 Beyoncé did not learn how to drive until 2010, when Jay-Z taught her.

Drive it all day and don’t fill up the tank5 5 Four years before she learned how to drive, Jay-Z bought Beyoncé a 1959 Rolls Royce (est. value $1 million) for her 26th birthday. Filling up a 1959 Rolls Royce in Manhattan would cost around $81.

And you have the audacity To even come and step to me Ask to hold some money from me Until you get your check next week6