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Laura Kolbe

Laura Kolbe is a writer, physician, and medical ethicist in New York City. Her debut poetry collection, Little Pharma (Pittsburgh, 2021), won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. Her work has been awarded the Iowa Review Prize and featured in Best American Poetry, and has been supported by fellowships from MacDowell and the James Merrill House.

Author

Illustration by Rachel Levit-Ruiz

Translators and Alchemists

Winter 2022 | Essays

As a bookish child in the Pennsylvania suburbs, I won the school spelling bee without quite meaning to, startled and delighted to hear an adult with a microphone intoning aloud words I’d only read in books—it’s mis-led, not mizzled?—as though seeing in color for the first time. For my pains I was given a copy of Paideia, the workbook that formerly accompanied the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and told to start studying for regionals. (For the record, I never made it further than the state bee.) 

The Post That Stays

Summer 2022 | Essays

Traveling in Italy and Greenland in my teens and early twenties with a fitful and rudimentary cell phone, an impatience with the sweaty, masculine funk of internet cafés, and only the haziest notion of planning, I adored and relied on the magic of the general-delivery mail system—also known as the poste restante.

Illustration by Victo Ngai

Once Bitten

Summer 2016 | Reporting

Hundreds of thousands of cases of dengue fever have been reported in Puerto Rico, and yet little attention has been paid to the problem. In 2009 and 2010, the eighty-eight recorded dengue cases in Key West were the serious inducement needed to find solutions.

Illustration by Victo Ngai

Once Bitten

Summer 2016 | Reporting

Hundreds of thousands of cases of dengue fever have been reported in Puerto Rico, and yet little attention has been paid to the problem. In 2009 and 2010, the eighty-eight recorded dengue cases in Key West were the serious inducement needed to find solutions.