Top Writes

By Luke Hokama | The best written pieces I've been lucky enough to stumble upon.

4 Standout College Application Essays on Work, Money and Class

Each year, we issue an open casting call for high school seniors who have dared to address money, work or social class in their college application essays. From the large pile that arrived this spring, these four — about parents, small business, landscapes and the meaning a single object can convey …

Education

Mr. Wilson’s second act: Virtuoso’s progression from SF Opera to middle-school classroom

Tim Wilson steps onto the small stage platform, raises his baton and asks the 100 or so students seated before him to settle down. Music, he tells …

Marin County

Four Love Poems For Black Women By Black Women

<b>Sometimes I think,</b> Black women are the best of people. Then, before I can correct myself, a Black woman does something that is so incredibly graceful, surprising, loving, disturbing, or fearless that takes the breath out of my chest. What amazes me about my sisters is we’re infinite. We, as poet …

Poetry

Don't Dismiss President Trump's Attacks on the Media as Mere Stupidity

<i>Bret Stephens delivered the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture this week at the University of California, Los Angeles. Read the full text of his remarks</i> …

The Middle of Things: Advice for Young Writers

<i>The following is adapted from a speech the author gave at the Whiting Writers’ Awards on March 5th.</i><p>When I had just finished my schooling and was looking for a job, a friend put me in touch with an absurdly well-connected British biographer who, she assured me, would help me find the professional …

Authors

Thoughts and Prayers

<b>A man goes into an immigration services center in Binghamton New York,</b> blocks the exit in the back with his car, goes through the front door with …

Inland Empire

Stories From Fukushima You Have Never Heard

<b>FUKUSHIMA, Japan—</b> Ten months ago I arrived in Japan to cover a historic year—the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings, the fifth anniversary of the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster, and the first visit by a sitting U.S. President to Hiroshima. I wanted to document the social impact nuclear …

Can I Have Your Hand?

She asks me each night with an impish grin, "Mama, can I have your hand?" It's part and parcel of bedtime, this game of gentle tug of war.<p>"Just let me hold your hand, but you'll be too tired to pull, so you'll sleep here." Her eyes shine, big and bright and as perfect as they were in those early …

Parenting

Bullies called him pork chop. He took that pain with him and then cooked it into this.

How to Have a Year that Matters

Let’s cut the crap. Life is short, you have less time than you think, and there are no baby unicorns coming to save you. So rather than doling out craptastic advice to you about Making!! It!! To!! The!! Top!!™, let me humbly ask: do you want to have a year that matters — or do you want to spend …

This Journey called Life.

After celebrating forty years of existence, I thought I’d share some tidbits of what I’ve learned ….<p>Let’s start by saying ….<p><b>You are going to die</b>. …

George Bernard Shaw

In Search of Lost Me Time

In retrospect, maybe I placed too much significance on that first trip alone after my son was born. For the first year of his life I had barely spent a single night away from him, so it was only natural that I saw this trip as a precious chance to be, however briefly, a sane adult again. The trip …

Jack Kerouac