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Garret Keizer

Garret Keizer is the author of nine books, including the memoir Getting Schooled (Metropolitan, 2014) and the poetry collection The World Pushes Back (Texas Review, 2018). He is a contributing editor to Harper’s and VQR.


Pretty Much a Gift

Winter 2023 | Columns

My sense of gratitude seems to have grown with time. I feel grateful about as often as I need to pee, which these days is a matter of minutes more than hours. 

Illustration by Lorraine Name

What the Bear Doesn’t Know

Fall 2019 | Essays

Our daughter talked early and walked late and was a lover of books even before she could talk. So it is not always easy to reconstruct the chronology of her enthusiasms for the stories we read to her and the make-believe they inspired, especially now that she is a few years older than her mother and I were at her birth. The difficulty has not deterred us: “Storytime” has become a story in itself for our family, a mythology all our own, though the telling calls up emotions any aging parent might claim.

Oliver Barrett

Reformed [private]

Summer 2014 | Memoir

Like other children, I was fascinated by old Lucifer, by his horns and tail, which simultaneously made him sinister and gave him an animal’s grace, by his fire-​engine hide, his flame that no fire engine can put out, and above all by his barbed fork, which strikes a boy as so much more interesting than a shepherd’s crook or a prophet’s staff.

The Supremes (Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard) at Motown Studios. Detroit, 1965. (Magnum Photos)

Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone [private]

Fall 2013 | Essays

Once the fastest-​growing city in America and its fourth largest, the cradle of Motown music is now the country’s leader in urban decline. Its population peaked in 1950; since then, it has lost nine of ten manufacturing jobs and 63 percent of its residents.

Illustration by Jen Renninger

Walt [private]

Summer 2013 | Memoir

Not long after I fell in love with my wife, I fell in love with her father. I can’t say for sure if I loved him until after she and I were married, but I liked him from that very first night.