the essay collective

OCTOBER 15: Roxane Gay (1974-)

Happy birthday to Roxane Gay! The renowned professor, feminist writer, and bisexual activist turns 43 years old today.

Although Roxane has not yet written formally about her sexual orientation, she speaks often of her bisexuality on her Twitter account (x).

Roxane Gay was born in Omaha, Nebraska on October 15, 1974 to a family of Haitian descent. They later relocated to New Hampshire, where Roxane graduated from Phillip Exeter Academy and then went on to attend Yale University. Although she dropped out of Yale her junior year and moved to Arizona with her partner at the time, she would eventually complete her undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She received her PhD in 2010 from Michigan Technological University.

After leaving school, Roxane remained in academia as an English professor at Eastern Illinois University. She burst onto the literary scene in 2014 with the publications of her novel An Untamed State and a collection of essays titles Bad Feminist. In a review of Bad Feminist, Time Magazine called for 2014 to be “the year of Roxane Gay.” She has since become a leading feminist speaker, editor, and writer. Her latest work was a memoir titled Hunger, which came out in June of this year.

What one college discovered when it stopped accepting SAT/ACT scores
'We’re done with standardized testing, the SAT, and ACT.'

The key quote:

• Our yield, the percentage of students who accepted our invitation to enroll, rose in a single year from 18% to 26%, an amazing turnaround.

• The quantity of applications went down, but the quality went up, likely because we made it harder to apply, asking for more essays. Our applicants collectively were more motivated, mature, disciplined and consistent in their high school years than past applicants.

• Class diversity increased to 31% students of color, the most diverse in our history, up from 21% two years ago.

• The percentage of students who are the first-generation from their family to attend college rose from 10% to 18% in this year’s class.

Our “No SAT/ACT policy” has also changed us in ways deeper than data and demographics: Not once did we sit in an Admissions committee meeting and “wish we had a test score.” Without the scores, every other detail of the student’s application became more vivid. Their academic record over four years, letters of recommendation, essays, in-person interviews, and the optional creative supplements gave us a more complete portrait than we had seen before. Applicants gave more attention to their applications, including the optional components, putting us in a much better position to predict their likelihood of success here.

miss-vibey  asked:

Hey Cassie! I was wondering if you would write out a full list of abbreviated book titles since it's been getting harder and harder to remember which one is which!

TSC: The Shadowhunter Chronicles (Not a book, but the umbrella term for everything written in the Shadowhunter World.)

TMI—The Mortal Instruments:

CoB: City of Bones

CoA: City of Ashes

CoG: City of Glass

CoFA: City of Fallen Angels

CoLS: City of Lost Souls

CoHF: City of Heavenly Fire

TID— The Infernal Devices

CA: Clockwork Angel

CP: Clockwork Prince

CP2: Clockwork Princess

TDA— The Dark Artifices (In progress)

LM: Lady Midnight

LoS: Lord of Shadows

QoAaD: Queen of Air and Darkness

TLH— The Last Hours (In progress)

ChoG(?): Chain of Gold

CoI: Chain of Iron

CoT: Chain of Thorns

TWP—The Wicked Powers (Yet to come!)

Short story collections:

TBC: The Bane Chronicles

TftSA (or TSA): Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

(Every story title in these books can also be abbreviated, so if you see an abbreviation that isn’t on this list, it’s probably a short story title!)

“The Malec project:”

TEC—The Eldest Curses:

LBotW: The Lost Book of the White

TBVotD:The Black Volume of the Dead

TRSoM: The Red Scrolls of Magic

Other Sundry items:

SC (or TSC): Shadowhunter’s Codex

AHoNS&DoDtitLoF*: A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld told in the Language of Flowers

*JUST KIDDING! We usually just call it “The Flower Book” : D

SH&DW: Shadowhunters and Downworlders (collection of essays about the Shadowhunter world)

TMICB: Mortal Instruments Coloring Book

florizels  asked:

I've been wanting to read some good essays, and I was wondering if you have any favorite essay collections? They don't have to be particular to any theme, just pieces that offer some food for thought. Thanks!

I do indeed, although they mostly revolve around writing, reading and translations —I’m afraid I’m not very original that way. 

Also, I’m playing fast and loose with the term “essay” here. 

Why I Write, George Orwell
The Death of the Author, Roland Barthes
Experiences in Translation, Umberto Eco
Mouse or Rat? Translation as Negotiation, Umberto Eco
Eros the Bittersweet, Anne Carson
Reading, Writing, Julien Gracq
Disruption, Hesitation, Silence, Louise Glück
The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus
A Lover’s Discourse, Roland Barthes
On Privacy, William Faulkner
In Other Worlds : Science Fiction and Human Imagination, Margaret Atwood
The Art of Fiction, David Lodge
Using and Abusing Gender in Translation : The Case of Virginia Woolf, E. Federici 
Lectures on Russian Literature, Vladimir Nabokov
The Dark Brain of Piranesi and Other Essays, Marguerite Yourcenar

Those are the most important that came to mind… I hope this helps!

i would like a book from dan and phil that is a collection of essays that have personal insights into their lives they haven’t really gotten into in videos and may never get into videos such as bullying in school, being not straight, thoughts on tv shows, real advice on moving to a big city,

anonymous asked:

Nurseydex - Nurse is mad someone hit on Dex.

“This is weird.”

“It’s not that weird, bro.”

“No, but Holtz, it’s weird.”

“Rans, I’ve been telling you for years, you’ve been undervaluing his hotness.”

And Nursey cannot believe that this is his life right now: sitting in a steamy bar off of Myrtle Beach watching his Not Boyfriend get chatted up by a hella cute couple at the bar where he was supposed to be ordering the team drinks. Oh, and also listening to Ransom and Holster debate his hotness.

“Slow down there, pal, I’m not saying Dex isn’t hot – but get picked up by couple DTF hot??? I don’t know bro.”

“Well, buddy, the proof’s in front of your eyes,” Holster says gesturing to the tableau before them.

And there’s no denying it. The couple, they’re clearly into Dex. One – bikini-clad, petite, curvaceous – leans forward to place a hand on Dex’s arm. Whatever she says as she does draws one of Dex’s shy laughs. Her partner – chiseled, with a jawline to kill, and lips that draw the eye – smiles and comes in closer, making the bubble around the three of that much smaller.

“You underestimate the appeal of his wholesomeness,” Holster continues.

“And his competence!” Bitty plops down onto Holster’s lap, clearly enjoying his latest margarita. “Watching that boy work with his hands…” Bitty trails off on a hum.

“Do I need to be worried?” 

“Jack Laurent,” and if the ooey gooey heart-eyes that Bitty bats up at Jack don’t clear that up, his tone certainly does. 

And now there’s an echo chamber of love and relational confidence that has Nursey pushing away from the crowded table to go find somewhere he can breathe. 

A hand tugs at the flannel he’d thrown on as they’d left the beach to prowl for food and booze before he can get too far away from the table. 

Let no man ever say that Chris Chow is not the kindest of bros. 

“I’m good, Chow, just – the crowd you know.” 

The complicated tumble of emotions on Chowder’s face tells Nursey that he knows just what a load of bullshit that is and exactly what it really is but is also going to respect Nursey’s decision not to deal with that right now even though he strongly disagrees. And that’s what makes Chowder the best: concern, compassion, respect. 

Nursey pushes his way through the crowd and finally makes it outside. The night air is cool now, the balmy ocean breeze strong along the pier. The stores and restaurants are too bright for all but the brightest stars to shine through. But the moon – the moon is full and low and –

drifted behind wispy clouds in the soft warmth of late May. 

Nursey looked for the Sea of Tranquility, prayed that he’d breath enough of that peace in not to somehow ruin this moment.

Dex had agreed to let Nursey use his truck to move his things from the dorm to the Haus if Nursey agreed to help Dex move his things, too. The answer to that was a no-brainer: if Dex was voluntarily requesting his time, he’d be there. 

So they’d spent the day moving their things. Nursey, much to his own surprise, was the lighter packer. His notebooks, poetry anthologies, essay collections and clothes had nothing on the veritable museum’s worth of technology that they hauled out of Dex’s dorm (“It’s all stuff I had to salvage and repair myself, man.”) 

They’d gotten it all into the Haus, but the atmosphere had been heavy with the seniors’ anxiety and nostalgia as they started packing up for the last time and planning a reunion trip for late July.

Dex had only to look his way before they were both moving, heading out to the truck, and then driving out to their spot (Nursey was still confused about how he’d managed to somehow have a Spot with a guy who he wasn’t even sure considered him a friend, but, well) – the grassy expanse just outside of campus where you could almost forget that there was school and hockey and phone calls and family beyond it.

Without words, they’d unrolled Nursey’s reading quilt (“it’s not for picnics, bro”) in the truck bed and both lain down. They hadn’t done it in a while, but it hadn’t lost its familiarity. Or its ability comfort.

It was something Nursey had come to miss, and so he wasn’t going to blow it. He was going to channel Tranquility and just breathe.

“I don’t hate you, you know?”

That’s interesting because, “Going into an overnight vigil over our toss and then avoiding me for a couple months really gets that point across.”

“Nurse –”

“No, it really makes a guy trust that all the work invested in –”

“Nursey –”

“Into actually communicating with you, and getting to know you, and letting you know me –”

“Derek! I like you.

He stopped, glaring at Derek from where he’d pushed himself against one wall of the truck bed.

“Like, I have this weird crush thing that is totally not your issue to deal with but also not a reason we shouldn’t be friends and I’m sorry for being a jerk about it but – yeah.”

“Really? That’s it?”

“That’s it? What am I saying - you’re probably used to this or some shit.”

“Uh, no. Unless you mean being the one having the weird-crush-thing, in which case, yeah. That happens.”

“Oh. Ok. So what do you usually do about it?”

“Well, to be honest, they’re not usually mutual.”

“Quit bullshitting me.”

“Will –”

“Shit, sorry.” Because they’d laid out ground rules, back when they’d realized they might actually be driving Chowder to ulcers, about how they had to to engage. They weren’t allowed to disbelieve the other based on a faulty preconception.

“I’m serious. So, this is a bit new for me.”

“This is – wait. You’re saying – you mean this weird crush thing in particular is mutual.”


“Derek –”

“Give me your hand. I’ll show you.”

But that had been before they left for the summer. Before Nursey had flown off halfway around the world to spend actual time with his moms. Before Dex had gotten busy with his Google internship.

They’d kept in touch, kind of, if sporadic texts and the group chat counted. Time differences and project deadlines mattered though. Maybe too much time had passed. Maybe what they’d had in May had finally given Dex the confidence to –

“Hey,” the voice is deep and warm. The calloused hand that’s pressed to Nursey’s chest beneath the open panels of his flannel is so very welcome.

Nursey’s heart begins to pound underneath the weight of it. 

He opens his eyes to watch Will’s face. Will’s caramel eyes are watching his hand, seemingly shocked that his touch could make Nursey react like this.


“You okay? You disappeared.”

Nursey attempts a smile but stops when it only makes Will frown and shrugs instead. It jostles Will’s hand, but he just settles it at Nursey’s hip instead.

“You seemed a bit busy is all.”

“The couple at the bar, right? That was weird!” Will’s face goes red about the cheeks. “I didn’t even realize they wanted, um, to, uh, well, what they wanted until a minute ago, and uh.”

“What’d you tell ‘em?” Will is here with his hands on Nursey’s skin. He’s pretty confident about what the gist of Will’s response must have been, but he can’t help wanting to know for sure.

“Well,” Will says, a quiet conviction settling over his shoulders in spite of his earlier embarassment, “that I just got into a relationship and hadn’t really had time to figure out if we were ready for that kind of exploration, and – to be honest – I’m probably too possessive an asshole to ever really want to share like that.”

“You can be an asshole.”

“Derek –”

“Do you call me that because no one else does?”

“Does it bother you?”

“No, I’m just trying to see if I can see it. The heretofore unmentioned possessive streak,” he explains at Will’s raised brow.

Will brings a hand up to cup Nursey’s jaw. He runs a thumb across Nursey’s bottom’s lip, gentle but proprietary. It sends a shiver down Nursey’s spine.

“Come here. I can show you.”

But first and foremost, I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple–or a green field–a place to enter and in which to feel.

I learned that the poem was made not just to exist, but to speak–to be company. It was everything that was needed, when everything was needed.
—  Mary Oliver, from Upstream: Collected Essays
Color Me Mine

Coloring books for adults have been popular before – in the early 1800s. “Gift books” were collected essays, short fiction, and poetry which started being sold in England in the 1820s. The books would be printed each year in autumn, in time for the holiday rush. They quickly became popular. Over sixty gift books were in print by 1832. But those aren’t coloring books, you’re thinking.

Well, these gift books were often lavishly decorated with black-and-white engravings. And water coloring had become popular around the 1830s, when gift books were already a hit. The black-and-white illustrations in gift books allowed people of ordinary skill to color in and display these book plates. As their own masterpieces, of course. Which made gift books even more popular. And that is the history of the first coloring books for adults.

SEPTEMBER 23: Anita Cornwell (1923-)

Happy birthday, Anita Cornwell!! The LGBT activist and author of the very first collection of essay by a black lesbian to be ever be published turns 94-years-old today!

Anita’s only fiction book to date, The Girls of Summer, was illustrated by Kelly Caines and published in 1989 (x).

Born on September 23, 1923, Anita Cornwell was raised in Greendwood, South Carolina before the family moved to Pennsylvania when she was 16. At first she lived with her aunt in the town of Yeadon, but she later went to live with her mother in Philadelphia. Anita stayed up north for college and eventually graduated with degrees in journalism and the social sciences from Temple University. She worked as a journalist and a secretary before her 1983 collection of essays, Black Lesbian in White America, made her a name to know in feminist and LGBT circles. Along with Black Lesbian in White America, Anita’s writings that have been published in Feminist Review, Labyrinth, National Leader, Los Angeles Free Press, and The Negro Digest were some of the first pieces of published writing where the author declares themselves a proud black lesbian. Although Anita was surely not the first of her kind in history, she is the mother of an entire branch of literature and an LGBT hero.