Category Archives: Essay/Memoir Contest

The Piano Lesson by Carole Duff

Photo of open piano with music sheets
 

Carole Duff has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2021 Essay/Memoir Contest   “I love a piano, I love a piano, I love to hear somebody play . . .” From Irving Berlin’s Stop! Look! Listen! Soon after moving into our first house, my husband and I purchased a piano. It was a Belarus reproduction of a Yamaha upright with a shiny, red-brown acrylic finish. One of my husband’s university colleagues knew a Russian musician and piano tuner who knew an immigrant couple who wanted to sell their piano. In the late 70s, they were … Continue reading The Piano Lesson by Carole Duff

The Hidden Curriculum by Naomi Raquel Enright

Photo of chairs in classroom
 

Naomi Raquel Enright has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2021 Essay/Memoir Contest I am the brown-skinned, biological mother of a son presumed to be white. My mother is Ecuadorian and my father was Jewish American. I was raised to name and understand racism and was taught that the racism I experience is because of an ideology of racial difference that systematically privileges and protects whiteness while simultaneously disenfranchising and criminalizing blackness and brownness. Even before I had the language to describe this understanding, I knew it was an ideology and a system that I … Continue reading The Hidden Curriculum by Naomi Raquel Enright

Water by Armen Bacon and Phyllis Brotherton

Photo of flowing water
 

Armen Bacon and Phyllis Brotherton are the 3rd place winners in Streetlight’s 2021 Essay/Memoir Contest   Sheltering-in-place brought out the wannabe gardener in me, a long-time aspiration, with many attempts usually not ending well; these failures primarily attributed to over- or under-watering, usually the latter. I forget or get sidetracked with another endeavor or simply want to put watering off until tomorrow. In the heat of summer in the San Joaquin Valley of California, unless you desire heat stroke, watering should occur early or late, not in the hottest part of the day. I’ve been … Continue reading Water by Armen Bacon and Phyllis Brotherton

The Wedding Guest by Melissa Sinclair

Photo of roses in glasses
 

Melissa Sinclair is the 2nd place winner in Streetlight’s 2021 Essay/Memoir Contest   “Can u go to the parler with me today if u don’t have any plans?” This text is from my friend Nighat, who is getting married today. I do not have plans; I have been wandering around Houston in the rain. My Lyft driver pulls up to an immaculate house in the farthest exurbs of the city. The stylist, Shaireen, is a brisk Pakistani mom of three. Her eyes are the color of the sea just before a storm. She spreads white … Continue reading The Wedding Guest by Melissa Sinclair

Garden Thief by Kate Sheridan

Photo of plant with white flower
 

Kate Sheridan is the 1st place winner in Streetlight’s 2021 Essay/Memoir Contest   I wasn’t always a thief. But some losses demand rebalancing. Redistribution. Retribution? In hindsight, I should have asked for the house. But the habit of self-sacrifice was so ingrained it barely crossed my mind. Instead, in the dead of winter I took our tiny travel trailer to a campground along the river and left him our two-bedroom rancher on its fertile country acre. Later that spring, when I moved into a real house, I took only the minimum from the home we’d … Continue reading Garden Thief by Kate Sheridan