Open Letter to Jeanine Cummins, Author of American Dirt

I’ve spent the week in the exhausting blowback against your book, American Dirt. I’ve been glad to be a small part of the resistance, because I don’t think the book should be held up as the Great American Immigrant Novel for many reasons. Those reasons have been articulated with passion and brilliance by writers like Myriam […]

Me–and Transgender People–Too

The glorious surge of women’s righteous rage in this country over the past two years has been an inspiration in an otherwise desperate political landscape. Led by women of color, our noisy, full-throated, unavoidable pushback against unequal treatment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape culture is long overdue. I love that women are getting right […]

Planting Seeds: A Report from the Workshop Tour

I spent two months on tour with franciszka voeltz this spring. We traveled almost entirely by train and visited states in the Northwest, Southwest, Deep South, and Midwest–11 states in 60 days–and we taught in living rooms, university classrooms, libraries, bookstores, a union print shop and a front yard full of citrus trees. It was […]

Why We Wait

The recent news is staggering yet not surprising: Women everywhere in our nation have been victimized by sexual harassment and assault. Actors, Olympians, state legislators, business leaders, graduate students, you, me, too. Many men express gratitude for this new understanding of the scope of the problem and the way it benefits even those men who […]

You Are the Reinventors

Commencement address by Jennifer Morales to the graduates of University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County, 20 May 2017   Thank you for inviting me to join you on this important day. I’ve enjoyed so much the opportunity to get to know this campus community. I’ve spent time on many of the University of Wisconsin campuses over the years, you […]

Why You Should Run, Even Now. Especially Now.

Why You Should Run, Even Now. Especially Now. By Jennifer Morales It’s inspiring to see so many progressives stepping up to consider running for office after this disastrous, “unpresidented” election. I know it can be scary to consider putting yourself out there to run for election, especially if you’re wondering whether it actually matters, given the […]

Were You There?

It started at 3 a.m. the morning after the election, with a call from my former foster son, D. “Ma,” he said. “What are we going to do?” D is black. He said his friends had been texting back and forth as the election results became clear, trying to decide which of them had light […]

Meet Me Halfway is Wis. Book of the Year

Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories has received a number of honors in recent months: Wisconsin Center for the Book’s 2016 Selection (Wisconsin Book of the Year) 2016 Outstanding Achievement award from the Wisconsin Library Association. Chosen as the “One Book, One Conference” common read for librarians who will be convening this October in Milwaukee for […]

Drumpf and the Existential Horror

Yesterday, in an interview on MSNBC, Donald Drumpf said that he would like to see women punished for having abortions. Later, he followed up with a “clarification,” saying that it’s the doctors who perform abortions who should be punished, not necessarily the women. Those who hoped that Drumpf would maintain his previous, more moderate stances […]

A Gift for Your Book Club

Virtual Author Visit to Your Book Club or Other Group It’s been a great year and I want to give back to my readers. Here’s a gift to you: If your book club, community group, workplace, school, church, or other organization commits to reading Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories, I will do a virtual author […]