Video Essays Appearing in The Humble Essayist



January 24, 2020


from “On Going (Back)”
in Brevity
by Jill Talbot


We're excited about this week's commentary which is a first for The Humble Essayist: a video essay based on this week’s paragraph by Jill Talbot.THE


Jill Talbot is the author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir and Loaded: Women and Addiction. She’s also the editor of Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction. Her essays have appeared in AGNI, Colorado Review, Diagram, Ecotone, Hotel Amerika, Longreads, The Normal School, and The Paris Review Daily, among others. She is the nonfiction editor at American Literary Review and teaches creative writing at The University of North Texas.

The Paragraph of the Week is from her essay “On Going (Back)” published in Brevity. Read Talbot's paragraph and click on the photo to see the video.

When you finish, you can read Talbot's full essay here.

The Paragraph of the Week

I have a history of going, of going back, of thinking go away, go away, go away. Right now I’m sitting in the booth of a faded bar along a highway on my way back to Texas. I’m staring out a dusty window (wobbly table, sweaty bottle). Greyhound bus, UPS double-trailer, white construction truck, car, car, blue pick-up, SUV, cement truck, semi, semi, semi.


On the other side of the highway, trees bend in the spring wind.

—Jill Talbot

Video Essay Commentary

(Click on Image)

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from “Skyglow”

in Slow Arrow: Unearthing the Frail Children

by Kathryn Winograd

“In the darkest of skies, theoretical or not, Mother, here are the words for light I can give you.”

—Kathryn Winograd


We are celebrating a new book of braided, lyrical essays written by poet and essayist, Kathryn Winograd, published this week by Saddle Road Press. Called Slow Arrow: Unearthing the Frail Children, the book about change and loss weaves many threads: the fragile beauty of the Colorado Rockies, the migration of animals, unearthed fossils, gravitational waves, the arrow of time, dying animals, and a warming planet to name a few. One thread includes her aging mother who suffers from macular degeneration and hopes to die before she goes completely blind. In the essay “Skyglow” Winograd offers her mother a gift: the possibility of a luminosity that outlasts our lives.

Our commentary is a THE video essay. You can see more THE videos in our new video archive here.


One note: In her essay Winograd tells us that scientists call the darkest part of the night sky “theoretical,” a term included in the Paragraph of the Week. You can learn more about Kathryn Winograd, her work, and her new book at her website.

The Paragraph of the Week

In the darkest of skies, theoretical or not, Mother, here are the words for light I can give you: effulgence, meaning a shining forth. Or incandescence: the emission of visible light by a body. Or, finally, luminescence—all that gold light we can see, like a husband's or a father's or now a mother's, which does not need the body's heat to warm us.

—Kathryn Winograd

© 2014 The Humble Essayist

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