Recent Work, News & Updates


"The New Farmers" in the Nov/Dec issue of Orion

My article on an emerging generation of farmers--new farmers by choice rather than by heritage--and why they've chosen this vocation, is out in Orion Magazine 

Miller looks out onto her farm. The diminishing daylight suffuses everything with a saffron glow: young apple trees not yet bearing fruit, her husband running the tractor, a shaggy llama, like a gangly guardian, standing attention at the fence. “Here I’m building something,” she says. “And I like that. I like that we’re stewards of this land, that we’re building the soil and taking care of the pollinators, the bees, the birds—it’s just so positive.”

She thinks for a moment. “What’s hard is when you’re so tired, and your body hurts so much, and you’re so poor. We finally figured out we make less than five dollars an hour. How much do you sacrifice for this vision?

“But when I get down, I think about a conversation with my mom that really helped me,” she reflects. “She asked, ‘If everyone was doing what you’re doing, would the world be a better place?’ And the answer is, of course, yes. Yes, it would. And that’s why I do it.” Read more


Essay on the Before Sunrise Trilogy -- The Weeklings

"Before the Internet," my essay about time machines, Bangkok and the beloved Linklater trilogy is out at The Weeklings, a site I admire dearly. 

Jesse and Celine say goodbye at the exact moment that I was craving their kind of future, which I can only now name as freedom, and also at the exact moment that the nature of time and space changed for all of us, and forever



My article in Middlebury Magazine about the resurgence of Midwifery across the U.S.--featuring some remarkable women and friends.Illustration by Jody Hewgill


Housing Crisis for Unaccompanied Minors - Article in The New Republic

My article on the challenge of housing the influx of unaccompanied minors, up at The New Republic: "FEMA is Seeking Empty Big-Box Stores to House Migrant Children."

Because the number of children from Central America recently arriving without parents or immigration papers has far surpassed predictions (doubling each year since 2011), the pre-existing detention shelters, mostly along the southern border, are packed to the gills: There is not nearly enough space for the more than 52,000 children who have arrived since October. As the government figures out what to do with all of these children, horrifying photos of unsanitary, unsafe, and inhumane conditions in the cramped facilities have surfaced. In a coordinated effort between FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services, the government is scrambling to find adequate facilities wherever it can. Read More


Uganda's Anti-Gay Witch Hunt Has Officially Begun

My story in VICE about the impact of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act on refugee communities and the organizations that serve them. http://www.vice.com/read/ugandas-anti-gay-witch-hunt-has-officially-begun-627

But now simply advocating for or providing services to a gay person can be interpreted as "promoting homosexuality," a crime with passage of the new law. Already, civil rights organizations are being punished for their advocacy on behalf of gays in Uganda. In two separate letters dated March and May of this year, the government suspended direct service activities of the Refugee Law Project, a Uganda-based pioneer in international migration law and refugee protection, based on allegations that the organization was "promoting homosexuality" in refugee communities.

What, exactly, does the "promotion of homosexuality" look like? It’s a perplexing notion, and the law itself is troublingly vague. "As an organization we already made clear our position that we don't even believe it's possible to promote homosexuality," says Dr. Chris Dolan, the Refugee Law Project’s Executive Director—since homosexuality is not a choice. "Of course we believe it is possible to protect the rights of LGBTI people, and that that is our responsibility." Read More

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons


An Urgent Humanitarian Crisis?

More on unaccompanied minors--and their need for legal support, in VQR.


And here's my feature story on unaccompanied minors from VQR last year, published at the early stages of this current surge.



Unaccompanied Minor News Roundup in VICE

Due to the overwhelming number of kids crossing the border alone, everyone's talking about unaccompanied minors these days. Having covered this issue for the past year and a half, it's an important one to me. Here's my recent news roundup in VICE: "Unaccompanied Minors: A Growing Crisis."


Napa Valley of Hard Cider

An article I wrote for Modern Farmer about the reincarnation of the cider orchards of yore. Prohibition killed hard cider, once the household alcoholic beverage of choice--who knew? 



"Gentrification & the Urban Garden" in The New Yorker.com

My new story about urban farming and neighborhood gentrification is up today at The New Yorker.com.



Between Meals: Recipes and Stories from the Bay Area's Refugee Women

After months of hard work and collaboration, we've completed Between Meals--a cookbook that features recipes and stories from a dozen refugee cooks resettled to the Bay area. It's for sale here at Lulu.com.

About the Book: An innovative narrative cookbook, Between Meals shares the expertise, recipes and stories of newly-arrived refugee women in the Bay Area. This book documents traditional recipes from around the world--from Burma to Liberia to Afghanistan--from Refugee Transitions' participants, written down with the help of their Refugee Transitions tutors. Between Meals tells the stories of students' exile from their home countries, their journeys to the United States, and their efforts--literally and metaphorically--to nourish their families in their new California homes.