Featured Essays & Reviews
An ongoing collection of true stories.
Welcome to the new home of true! Originally the blog for Proximity, true has become a space for weekly conversations around nonfiction storytelling, where you’ll find essays, writing on craft, reviews, interviews, and more. This is also a space where you can find some of Proximity's best essays, narrative journalism, documentary photo essays, and audio storytelling. And, Proximity will continue publishing as a twice-annual literary magazine (with the occasional special issue), curating themed collections of true stories.
The Particulars of How
Author Kristina Gaddy joins debut author and journalist Neda Toloui-Semnani to discuss trauma writing, the journalist's experience with memoir, and her nonlinear exploration of family history.
The UFO Idea: An Annotated Interview with Gideon Lewis-Kraus
New Yorker Writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus came to write about UFOs with some reluctance.
Saumya & the Mountain: One Story, Two Ways
A conversation between authors Kristina Gaddy and Saumya Roy on the question at the heart of so many narrative journalists: Should we, or under what circumstances should we, include ourselves in our writing?
My Middle Name was Wimberley: An Annotated Interview with Nicholas Casey
Brandon Arvesen and NYT Editor Nicholas Casey discuss the essay, “Finding my Father” and the process of fact-decking family stories.
On Race, Secrets, & Love: An interview with E. Dolores Johnson
Author Sonya Lea and debut memoirist E. Dolores Johnson discuss 'Say I'm Dead,' a family memoir of race, secrets, and love.
Finding Solace Among the Birds: A Conversation with Joshua McKerrow About Making Art from Grief
Megan Reilley and Photojournalist Joshua McKerrow discuss "Today's Birds," and the act of creating through grief.
Memoir, Essay, and the Crucible of Meaning: An Interview with Joanna Eleftheriou
Bruce I. Friedland and essayist Joanna Eleftheriou discuss trauma, identity, and place in the writing of 'This Way Back.'
Images Are Text: A Conversation About Comics With Miriam Libicki
Comics Scholar Kevin Haworth sits down with Miriam Libicki to discuss 'Toward a Hot Jew," and her approach to creating essays in comics form.
Poems That Bring You Joy
“Why do people turn to poetry in tumultuous times?” is one of the most common questions poet Maggie Smith been asked about her poem “Good Bones” -- Why poems? Why now?
(Re)using Found Forms: The Hermit Crab Essay
From the front a hermit crab looks like a hand, a red-fingered fist, curling out of a shell. This seems an appropriate metaphor for a hermit crab essay," writes essayist Randon Billings Noble.
From the Pages of Proximity
"The paintings in this series are meant to challenge the way we view people of color. These paintings are part of an ongoing series that also attempts to address, in a forward-thinking way, the lack of representation of African Americans on gallery walls," explains artist Jeremy Okai Davis.
Abidjan Zoo: A War Story
Photojournalst Michaël Zumstein stepped inside the Abidjan Zoo while the Ivory Coast was at war. This is his dispatch.
An essay by Kayla Queen.
Already We are Less Than Ever Before
A lyric essay by Alison Powell, selected by Judge Hanif Adurraqib as winner of Proximity’s 2nd Personal Essay Prize.
Split Down the Middle
In this audio essay, Sarah P. Reynolds explores one teenager’s painful secret, and how sharing that secret became a form of activism. “Split Down the Middle” is an original work produced for Proximity‘s BORDERS issue.
Write for true
We publish essays and writing on the craft of nonfiction in its many forms, as well as reviews, interviews, and criticism. We are especially interested in the intersection of reporting and narrative; how nonfiction is and isn’t different from other genres; how we can make true stories compelling; and explorations of highly reflective, emotional, and layered work that exposes a truth about shared experiences in an exulting and punishing world. Emails us: firstname.lastname@example.org