• Naomi Kim

    heritage speaker

    trying to articulate my korean-ness

    April 5, 2019
    article by , illustrated by

    Before preschool, I didn’t know any English. I could only parrot the things adults said to me. Bye-bye, sweetheart. See you later. I could say yes and no without knowing what I was agreeing or disagreeing with. All I understood and spoke was Korean. Then I started preschool—a Korean-only toddler thrown into an English-only environment. […]

    dog days

    a week with rosie

    March 1, 2019
    article by , illustrated by

    You’re a hunter-gatherer. Despite the wild beasts stalking in the dark and the harsh weather, you cling to life as fiercely as muscle clings to bone. You are sinew and ligament, rough hands and dirt-caked fingernails. And you have a dog who runs with you, sniffing, hunting, guarding. You’re a farmer, putting down roots in […]

    dear nicole

    on writing letters

    February 1, 2019
    article by , illustrated by

    Dear Nicole, Every time I drop by the mail room to pick up one of your letters sent all the way from Ohio, I finish reading it before I get back to my dorm. I blaze through your words, eating them up too quickly. I walk out of the building tearing the flap of the […]

    childhood wildwood

    a world of pure imagination

    September 27, 2018
    article by , illustrated by

    Eight years old: I’m a tree climber. I wish for a storybook treehouse in a backyard, where I can keep a tin box full of interesting rocks and dried autumn leaves. But we live in an apartment complex in East Tennessee. No real backyard, no treehouse. Instead, I’ve got a plot of mulch with three […]

    notes from the noodle nook

    four types of pho customers

    September 20, 2018
    article by , illustrated by

    I’m sweaty. It’s only been 20 minutes since my shift started, but I’ve already somehow managed to pour steaming hot broth onto my gloved hand instead of into the bowl. But now there’s no one to serve, and time seems to slow down in here, inching along at an unbearable pace. I sigh and gather […]