New Work from Steven Harvey
with Comments by the Author and Links to Works.
"Madre Luz": Notable in Best American Essays
My essay "Madre Luz" has been recognized as one of the notable essays of 2019 by The Best American Essays series. It contrasts the Nazi rally in Charlottesville with the stunning statue of Madre Luz that replaced the Lee-Jackson statue in Baltimore and becomes a plea for courageous non-violence in the face of violence, hatred, and racism. Thanks to Another Chicago Magazine for publishing it. You can read it here.
Solstice Publishes “The Arc of the Moral Universe”
I am excited that Solstice magazine published my essay “The Arc of the Moral Universe” as the editor's pick in nonfiction for the fall 2019 issue. “Is justice a ‘river of God that is full of blessing' or a bright-eyed goddess ‘lying prostrate on the streets’? Is morality hidden in the inner workings of a universe whose laws are beyond our understanding or power to change? Or, does that impute an agency to history that doesn’t exist?” These are the questions I explore in the piece. You can read it here.
The Humble Essayist's Paragraph of the Week:
A Discipline of the Heart and Mind
Assay magazine gave me a chance to explore what writing the Paragraph of the Week commentaries for The Humble Essayist has taught me. I found that the two-paragraph format is not a rote exercise but a scalpel to slice deep into a literary work exposing its hidden heart, and anyone, students or experienced writers, can learn about the secret life of prose by giving it a try. Read the essay here.
“Autumn Hours” at Fourth Genre
Fourth Genre has published my essay “Autumn Hours” in the Fall 2019 edition. The essay explores the idea, taken from Horace, that “nothing can steal away that hour's happiness that came and went yet glows within the mind.” In it I explore memories that are happy—completely unadulterated by sorrow or regret—against the backdrop of the death of a friend.
Is Horace right? It does matter. You can find the issue of Fourth Genre here.
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“The Wordless Woods” at Brevity
I am pleased that Brevity magazine has chosen to feature my essay “The Wordless Woods” in its new September edition. Thanks to Dinty Moore and his staff for accepting it. It begins--
Foraging along the woods’ edge, the doe looks up from the hydrangea she is nibbling and twitches an ear—a salute, I think, stopping the car, though it isn’t a salute...
You can read the entire essay here.
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Video Essay: One Boy's Luminous Skin
I have created a video essay called "One Boy's Luminous Skin" about gun violence and children that is less than four minutes long. It contains no images of children, guns, or violence of any kind, but I think it speaks to our current, desperate situation. You can find it on YouTube here:
Please view it and share. The video is based on an essay that originally appeared in American Literary Review. You you can find the link to the written version below.
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"One Boy's Luminous Skin" at American Literary Review
In my brief essay, "One Boy's Luminous Skin" chosen for the new issue of the American Literary Review. It begins this way:
"It is butter. The sun’s pillow. The moon’s snow. His eyes with large brown irises are a woodsy invitation to a boy’s life. They glitter with a hint of mischief too, but I’m talking about skin.
One boy’s luminous skin..."
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"Pipsissewa" at Coal Hill Review
I am excited that Coal Hill Review has published my essay "Pipsissewa." In it I respond to a passage by John Muir from A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf after a walk along the Muir trail with friends and come to understand what Muir meant when he wrote “in the multitude” of sounds along the Hiwassee River the “wilderness finds a voice.” The essay is very short and you can read it in full here.
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"The Other Steve Harvey" at Best American Essays
My essay "The Other Steve Harvey," selected for The Best American Essays 2018, is about unconscious bias. It is built around President Obama's speech about Trayvon Martin—one of the most moving moments in Obama's presidency, I think. I am honored that it was selected by The New Yorker writer and film critic Hilton Als and to be in the company of writers I admire such as Leslie Jamison, Suki Kim, and Baron Wormser. Thanks to Michigan Quarterly Review for first publishing the essay. You can get The Best American Essays at most book stores and can order it online.
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"Madre Luz" in Another Chicago Magazine
My essay "Madre Luz" contrasts the Nazi rally in Charlottesville with the stunning statue of Madre Luz that replaced the Lee-Jackson statue in Baltimore and becomes a plea for courageous non-violence in the face of violence, hatred, and racism. Thanks to Another Chicago Magazine for publishing it. You can read it here.
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"Sputnik 2" at Assay
Here's a bit of serendipity! Sonja Livingston's student Valerie Dinavo chose my essay "Sputnik 2" to be read aloud in class, another student Madeline Barber doodled (expertly) while it was being read, Sonja posted her picture on Facebook or Twitter—I can't remember which now—and wrote about it. She and I concocted a plan for me to write a response, and Renée D'Aoust at Assay agreed to publish it all! It does take a village! Check out the result here.
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“Another Way” in Water-Stone Review
The Tao is the way that cannot be named, becoming some other way the moment we begin to understand it in human terms. I'm excited that Water-Stone Review published “Another Way,” the last part of my trilogy, The Broken Cup, a tribute to Taoism. The Broken Cup is a lyric essay about the acceptance of life as it is, a letting go that opens new possibilities for discovery and love. Learn more here.
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