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Paula J. Lambert is a literary and visual artist from Columbus, Ohio. www.paulajlambert.com

Dispatch from the Post-Election Suburbs

As we headed toward the 2020 general election, COVID-19 numbers rising, two Trump signs appeared on our neighbors’ property: one in the window next door and one in the yard of the house next to them. The yard sign two houses over stayed, alone and untouched, till after the election. Next door, though, an insistent blue POLICE LIVES MATTER placard was added in an upstairs window, and then the bright red sign of a local candidate in the yard. Then, in the windows, another Trump sign, then a “Women for Trump” sign, then another sign…


Strange in the midst of doomscrolling newsfeeds forever thinking what can’t possibly get worse most certainly will that, as you’re contemplating the numbers, the data, the charts, the outrage, the grief, Eddie Van Halen is suddenly before you, dead, and time — which has made no sense at all for months — lets go completely. A black hole opens, and you’re back in high school where all you knew about Van Halen was that someone had asked you to draw one of the album covers and said they’d pay you — somebody was always asking you to draw something back…


How the Barnard College corpse flower kept me going through the police riots following George Floyd’s murder

Berani: Photo by Nick Gershberg, Barnard College

First, full transparency: the director of The Arthur Ross Greenhouse at Barnard College is my cousin, Dr. Hilary Callahan. She and I were never close, for a whole host of reasons, but gradually came to realize a genuine fondness for each other through our mutual follows on social media. We grew up in neighboring towns, and her mother is my father’s youngest sister. But her education and academic career followed a trajectory through elite private schools to the Ivy League, while mine has…


Secluded in residency in the mountains of Amherst, Virginia, it was the vultures that continued to appear…

I was secluded in residency in the mountains of Amherst, Virginia, at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. In the couple of weeks before I left home, I’d written two new poems about vultures, with ideas in my head for two more. I’d been writing poetry based in the anatomy of birds for some time, gradually coming to trust the sight and sound of them, to listen more quietly to my surroundings, to be mindful of whatever decided to show itself to me…

Paula J. Lambert

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