Down and Out in Detroit and Puerto Rico

“There was a great difference, I said, between the things I wanted and the things that I could apparently have, and until I had finally and forever made my peace with that fact, I had decided to want nothing at all.” 

On food sovereignty and solidarity in Puerto Rico

In May I spent a week in Puerto Rico with Tara Rodriguez Besosa and farmers and food activists working with the Fondo de Resilienca to help build a more sustainable Puerto Rican food system. I’ve been following Tara’s work for several years and I’m glad to be able to share some of it with this … Continued

Worldview, July 9, 2018

It was a pleasure to join Alexandra Solomon on WBEZ’s Worldview to talk — along with collaborators Kari Lydersen and Hannah Wiley — about our research into FEMA’s Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, and a host of related subjects. You can listen in here: 

Most Puerto Rican evacuees in Chicago didn’t benefit from FEMA hotel program

I’ve been working on this lengthy investigative piece — on how the potential for a federal program designed to help hurricane evacuees has been, for the most part, squandered in Chicago — for several months, with Kari Lydersen, Gwen Aviles, Isabel S. Dieppa, Hannah Wiley, Jessica Villagomez, and Carla Minet, of the Centro de Periodismo … Continued

Voices From the Rust Belt

In 2014 I wrote a monologue about urban gardening, seeds and weeds, and the redevelopment of the old rail line by my apartment into a bike path and walking trail. I performed it that summer, and then, some months later, revised it into an essay and it was published on Belt Magazine. A scant three years later, … Continued

Into the darkness

When Rick Perlstein asked me to participate in the Writers for Dan Biss event he was organizing for January 27 at In These Times, I asked him what I should prepare to read — what was the theme? He said something about truth, justice, and the American way. So, I decided to talk about Norway. … Continued

The long tail of the storm

“Today is the first day I have been able to tell my story, I feel like all I have been doing until now is surviving, and today I am able to start living.” I’ve spent the past two months working on a story about Puerto Rican resettlement in Chicago in the wake of Hurricane Maria, … Continued