Emily Rapp

Emily Rapp
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
July 12
Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir, and The Still Point of the Turning World, which is forthcoming from Penguin Press in March 2013. She is also the author of many essays and stories in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Bellevue Literary Review, The Sun, Body + Soul, StoryQuarterly, The Texas Observer, and other publications. She is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a faculty member with the University of California-Riverside Palm Desert MFA Program.


Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 10, 2011 5:46PM

Holiday Grief Etiquette: A Beginner’s Guide

I am calm. I am calm. It is the calm before something awful:

The yellow minute before the wind walks, when the leaves

Turn up their hands, their pallors. It is so quiet here.

The sheets, the faces, are white and stopped, like clocks.

Voices stand back and flatten.

-Sylvia Plath,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 17, 2011 10:48AM

We Belong

We Belong

Hope, they say, deserts us at no period of our existence.

-Robert Louis Stevenson


How do you know, without the words

to say it, that you are the summation of a lifetime

of desire? And when you know, do the stars emerge

from blackness, or arrive like shotsRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 11:04AM

Rituals of the Living

Rituals of the Living

By scribbling I run ahead of myself in order to catch myself up at the finishing post. I cannot run away from myself.

– Franz Kafka

The world of dew

is the world of dew

and yet, and yet –

-Kobayashi Issa (after the death of a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 4, 2011 8:08PM

And Life a Dream

And Life a Dream

I walked the horse around the hayfield even though it had yellow eyes

and would hardly let me touch it. I brushed the field dust off,

soon it was there again. If I kept watch, watch would be kept over me,

I thought. Plums rotted the branch,Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 24, 2011 2:32PM

Where to Begin

Today there is grief in the world, as there always is, but this time it makes the news, one terrible story after another. A shooting and a bomb in Norway. Another artist lost to addiction. A former professional basketball player dropping dead of a heart attack while in the early stages… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 8, 2011 10:29AM

Fire Season

Fire Season

When you take

a series of careful steps

to solve a complex problem,

mathematicians call it an algorithim.

It’s like moving through

a series of rooms, each with

two doors, you must choose one,

you can’t go back.

-From “Lamp Day,†by Matthew Zapruder

 My heart goes with you;Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 5, 2011 2:26AM

Solving the Body Problem at the Bikini Bar

“The beloved expresses a possible world unknown to us…that must be deciphered.â€

- from Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen

Today I found myself in a world unknown to me: Saturday afternoon poolside culture at the Riviera Resort & Spa in Palm Springs. I’m here to talk to MFA students… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 10, 2011 7:11PM

Mourning Day: The Holiday Hallmark Missed

Today, at 7:15 am, the tree in our neighbor’s lawn is casting a dappled, water-like shadow on the house across the street. It’s the first time I’ve noticed it, this new addition to spring mornings. I can hear a woodpecker at work in a nearby tree. Ronan likes to sit nextRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 20, 2011 8:48PM

What Happens to Us When We Die? Views of the Afterlife

What Happens to Us When We Die? Views of the Afterlife

Today I’m wondering, as I do each day: what happens to us when we die? Where will Ronan go? Will I be walking down the street someday and recognize his green-brown eyes in the face of another little boy? Will… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 13, 2011 1:16PM

What Does Healing Look Like?

Today Ronan and I cuddled on the couch in the early morning. He read his new  book and flipped through his art cards (black and white sketches of a panda, a ring-tailed lemur, an anteater, a penguin) while I composed a long-overdue list of thank you notes owed for his many birthday gifts.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 4, 2011 3:20PM

Into the Wilderness

You feel your obligation to a child when you have seen it and held it. Any human face is a claim on you, because you can’t help but understand the singularity of it, the courage and loneliness of it. But this is truest of the face of an infant. I considerRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 31, 2011 9:31PM

Parenting Without a Child

Today I left Ronan asleep in his crib to board several flights to Boston for the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Organization Family Conference. Waiting for the airport shuttle in the pre-dawn cold in the dorm room parking lot at the school where I teach, all the lights off, all the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 27, 2011 10:14PM

Lessons from a Dying Baby: One Mother’s Perspective

Weighing in on the Baby Joseph controversy…

What can we learn from a dying baby? According to a priest who helped facilitate the transfer of Baby Joseph, a terminally ill baby, from a Canadian hospital to a medical center in St. Louis so that he could receive additional treatment to prolong… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 22, 2011 10:41AM

Two Five Letter Words: Guest Blog by Grandpa Rapp

Guest blog by Oger (Grandpa Roger)


About twelve years ago, a credit card application came in the mail addressed to “Oger Rapp.†Emily happened to be home with us in Cheyenne, Wyoming on that day, noticed the computer error in my name, and after about… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 14, 2011 8:14AM

How We Talk About Disability

Disability, the Mob, and New Narrative

Today Ronan’s new books arrived: Farm Tales and Jungle Tales, colorful companions for his favorite book: Fishy Tales. (I’m a bit disappointed that “raccoon” was misspelled – and do raccoons live in the jungle? – but his &ldqu

Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 10, 2011 8:48AM

The Myth of Meaning: Parenting a Terminally Ill Baby

Today I felt like I was living in an alternate universe – one straight out of Tolkien. We began our day as usual (though that phrase has little meaning for me anymore), with the three of us in bed. Ronan had a bottle and grabbed our noses and giggled. We cried.Read full post »