I write longform features, profiles, essays, and sometimes commentary. Here are some favorite pieces.
“The Bird Patrol” | Belt Magazine
Chicago is the most dangerous city in the country for birds. This group wants to change that.
“Riding the Fort Wayne Line” | Belt Magazine
On the history and uncertain future of Indiana passenger rail.
“Armed, Angry Men” | Belt Magazine
On Trump, militias, and the long history of voter intimidation and suppression in the Midwest.
“The Theory and Practice of Rivers” | Cleveland Metroparks
A talk delivered in Cleveland, Ohio, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Cuyahoga River fire.
“Losing the Farm” | Belt Magazine
“The story of the twentieth century in American agriculture is a story, mainly, of exodus.”
“Margins” | Terrain.org
On the places between places, and what it means to belong somewhere.
“The Iconic Windmills that Made the American West” | Atlas Obscura
The life and times of the classic American self-regulating water pump windmill.
“A ‘Toxic Tour’ of the Whiting Refinery” | Belt Magazine
Dispatch from the southern shores of Lake Michigan.
“The Oil Pipelines Putting the Great Lakes at Risk” | Belt Magazine
On oil pipelines, the Great Lakes, and the complicated mixing of oil and water.
“Chicago Notebook” | Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology
On moving to Chicago, moving away from Chicago, and the impossibility of ever truly leaving a place.
“Family Bones” | Belt Magazine
Searching for my roots in rural Indiana. Also featuring my grandparents’ house.