Author Archive

Saying What You Mean

By Jeremiah O'Hagan

So much writing doesn’t say what it came to say. So much tries to say more than it was meant to, and sags and splits and spills adjectives and adverbs and unholy descriptive phrases. Or pieces try to cheat, saying less than they need to, and they fail, too.

The fine, hard writing might begin as something dark and rank, but in this bog the bones grow.

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Into the Land of Wild things

By Jeremiah O'Hagan

I’m supposed to begin this deftly. Ease into it, the theory goes, because if readers know immediately that my piece is about death or birth or terminal illness, they will disregard it as yet another this-is-my-life-splayed memoir. So I hook them with something else, invite them in with a fascinating and benign anecdote that, later, once they are invested and I have sprung on them the death or birth or terminal illness, will become a clever metaphor for the entire piece.

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The Currency of Human Consciousness

By Jeremiah O'Hagan

The first time I met Brian Doyle, he said, “To catch and tell stories: it’s so holy.” I’d heard people call stories many things, but I’d never heard someone call them holy. Never divine or near God.

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Words Taking on the World

By Jeremiah O'Hagan

By Jeremiah O’Hagan Co-editor for prose We sat and smoked in the 2 a.m. December cold. It was windy and clear at the edge of Gasworks Park, and across Lake Union’s chop, Seattle blazed, a constellation of lights and lives arranged into a cityscape. High cloud cover glowed silky silver-yellow, the city’s reflection smeared across […]

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Crash

By Jeremiah O'Hagan

Some of your students will die. This is something teacher-ed classes don’t prepare you for. Your students might die tangled in the trees of a ravine, car parts strewn like confetti, or they might commit suicides, the whole world in front of them. But no one pulls you aside and tells you that. You have to learn the hard way.

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