Confession

Fight

Speaking for men who are drawn to violence, Ed Harkness writes compellingly on “why we love the vein of coal /inside us” in this recollection of a harrowing bullying episode.

Why I’m Keeping My Kids Uncool

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The cool quotient among preteens has Tor Constantino longing to be a luddite.

A Boy’s Bike

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Diane Lockward uses a seemingly mundane occurrence to make a powerful statement about personal loss and, perhaps, the current state of boyhood.

Struggling for a Parent’s Affection

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Leave it up to cinematographer Frank Buono and he’ll transport you into the window of a young boy’s life in ten minutes.

Childhood

Knuckles

Christopher Nelson remembers “Bloody Knuckles”—and the disturbing things it taught us about manhood.

In Therapy: One Man’s Journey Back to His Wife

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Richard Nicastro shows us how one man reconnected to his wife by first reconnecting with himself.

My Friend Eggman, and the Crisis in Candyland

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Rob Azevedo returns to his childhood playground, and experiences an interesting turn of events.

Be The One That Causes Someone To Be Grateful That They Know You

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Jackson Dunn was shuttled between his divorced parents’ homes as a kid. But he found happiness when he found gratitude.

Biography of a Heretic

Pray

Daniel W.K. Lee challenges parental expectations and a son’s subtle pressure to conform.

A Boy Becomes a Man Through Life’s Defining Moments

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Thomas Fiffer revisits the train rides of his youth to share his personal journey to manhood.

A History of Violence

Violence

Alex Gallo-Brown reflects on one man’s acts of violence, and the impact they have had on his life.

Mrs. Bloomingdale

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Bob Marrow shares the story of his childhood play area, and a friend he met in the process.

From the Husband of a Survivor

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Kevin Nielsen shares the story of how he helped his wife heal from her sexual abuse, and offers advice for other secondary victims.

The Ghosts of My Bullies

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The past can hurt: David Vienna opens up about his childhood experiences with hurtful bullies.

Still Beating Heart

Heart

Short, lyrical, and imagistic, Kevin Minh’s poem contains all the compact power of a baby’s heartbeat.

We’re All Getting Older: Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

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Jess Kornbluth reviews cartoonist Roz Chast’s memoir, and discusses the hard stuff about getting older.