A self-made author shares his inner journey

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Since he released his first book, “Look Black Boy,” this spring, Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey has been the subject of many articles and interviews. Here, he shares some of his inner-most thoughts and feelings about putting himself out there. I published a book. That sentence is so much bigger than the four words that contain it. Most days I still can’t believe it. Since I was in seventh grade I knew I was meant to be a writer, but being a published author is one of those dreams–and we…

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When volunteering hurts so bad

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This is a really painful column to write. Painful, and difficult, as well as potentially embarrassing and highly vulnerable to misinterpretation. It’s also one of those things that will likely make things better, but not before it makes things worse. In addition to all of these things, this column is absolutely necessary. It’s about a big, messy break-up, rife with hurtful assumptions and unproven accusations. Like many hard break-ups, there won’t be any closure. And on at least one side, there will be endless efforts to fend off thoughts of…

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The name’s Varla, the topics are queer sex and relationships

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How ya doin? I’m finer than a frog hair split three ways! The name’s Varla, and I am here to answer your queer sex and relationship questions. I am not a doctor or a relationship expert. Just a kinky ol’ polyamorous, pansexual, lesbian entrepreneur who has been around the block and is more experienced in the art of makin’ whoopi and wooing potential lovers than most other people I know. No question is too weird or kinky for this ol’ gal — and let me know if you would like…

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On the anniversary of Woodstock, a look back at Camp Euforia 2019

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“The sunsets here are some of my favorite,” texts a friend before I head to the last night of Camp Euforia near Lone Tree, Iowa. My car was all set in the back, and I had my bag of nuts and White Claws in tow. I trudged through the festival field like a packhorse, in my Bonnaroo galoshes that I’ve had for over five years. After running into a high school buddy at the festival gate, I wove through and headed to a familiar campsite in the same spot as…

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Veterans for Peace continues their timeless effort

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Earlier this year, Air Force veteran Daniel Hale learned he may face 50 years in prison for giving information about weaponized drone attacks to a reporter. Two hundred years ago, Quaker Seth Laughlin was tortured by his fellow Americans when he refused to join the Confederate Army. These two situations, hundreds of years apart, illustrate that conscientious objectors against war are timeless. They are still saying “no.” And groups like Veterans for Peace in Iowa City are doing their best to ensure the rest of us remain aware. The VFP-161,…

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Axe-throwing, inspired by Canada, takes off in Iowa

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One to three pounds of wood and sharpened metal. Lift it slowly behind your head, take a step forward, and thwak. The axe is buried in the wooden target, and cheers sound from behind you. Welcome to axe throwing, a new recreational sport steadily growing in popularity since about 2013. That’s when a young entrepreneur kicked off a franchise in Philadelphia after enjoying the sport in Canada, reports NBC News. “It’s more fun and engaging than darts or bowling,” says Nick Collins, owner of Hatchet Jack’s in Iowa City, which…

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The anti-woman vibe of witch hunts

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Being a practitioner of witchcraft has been a part of my life since I was a young girl. I always found comfort in the earth, singing in the rain, soaking up the sun, and  cleansing my spirit with warmth and light. Today, I continue to educate myself about non-conventional religious practices, learning new things about myself along the way. With this unique personal context, I am painfully aware of a new trend to exploit “witches” like me. I’m seeing headlines complaining about “witch hunts,” Geico commercials staging witches as broomstick…

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Former Iowa City resident seeks help after four-car accident

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Ox Fotheringham made an impact during their six years in Iowa City before moving to Providence, Rhode Island, last year. Now, Fotheringham and their partner are asking their former community of Iowa City, and their new one in Rhode Island, for help after being squished in the middle of a four-carepile-up earlier this month. Fotheringham, former sponsor coordinator for the Old Capitol City Roller Derby team, and their partner Corey were sitting at a red light Aug. 3 when they were struck from behind by a car that had been…

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Cassandra Justine brings adventure, diversity to Fields of Yogis

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Fields of Yogis, coming Aug. 23-25, aims to help yoga be accessible to everyone, regardless of physical shape or condition, spirituality, or experience level. Cassandra Justine is a practitioner based in Chicago who combines Reiki, sound healing, yoga and meditation. She fielded questions from Assistant Editor Cheryl Weatherford. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. What is a book that deeply influenced your practice and life’s work? “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. The way that she speaks to the power of positive affirmations has helped…

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Camp E’s community spirit impresses HHG


Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, one of the best-known bands at this year’s Camp Euforia, consists of five “bluegrass mavericks,” friends who began creating music in 2013. This Stevens Point, Wis., band has since blown up, selling out shows and playing alongside large names in folk and bluegrass. “We just get together and meet a lot of beautiful, cool people,” says Adam Gruel, on guitar, dobro, and vocals. “Being a part of communities like Camp E will be in our heart and soul for the rest of our lives.” I had…

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