(An exploration into the connection between breath and writing)

Since so many of us have been having trouble breathing, I’ve been thinking about the power of breath, and remembering the critical paper I wrote about the connection between breath and writing (and threaded with personal essay) twenty years ago under the mentorship of Alma Luz Villanueva when I was an MFA student at Antioch University Los Angeles. As a faculty member at Antioch in more recent years, I taught a seminar that drew upon this paper— amongst other exercises, I gave everyone each a little bottle of soap bubbles so they could watch their breath made tangible in the…


Excerpt from nebulizer instruction booklet that explains how to handle the baffle.
Excerpt from nebulizer instruction booklet that explains how to handle the baffle.

I’ve been having trouble breathing lately — I keep telling myself it’s most likely asthma, but my doctor doesn’t want to bring me into her office for the usual breathing treatment just in case I have covid-19, so she prescribed a home nebulizer, a medical hookah pipe of sorts, one that fills the lungs with albuterol instead of strawberry-scented tobacco.

I haven’t owned a nebulizer for a while — my asthma has been fairly mild in recent years, aside from a few spikes like this one— and this model is much cuter than any I’ve seen before, which were all…


Women writing the first person plural

Illustration by Christina Yoseph

W, the women who write in first person plural, come to this point of view from different angles. We want to speak for a group. We want to show the danger of group think. We want to feel solidarity. We want to expose fracture. We want to try something new. We find it’s the only way to tell the story we want or need to tell.

We hold these truths to be self-evident that not all of us are created societally equal. That this inequality is built into, perpetuated by, the language itself. That women and non-binary people should not…

Gayle Brandeis

Gayle Brandeis is the author, most recently, of Many Restless Concerns: The Victims of Countess Bathory Speak in Chorus (A Testimony). www.gaylebrandeis.com

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