From the Editors:


This month, we’ve been pretty consumed by discussing and thinking about the U.S. presidential election and what it means, as no doubt so many of our readers have been doing, too. In this moment, it’s clear our country has some healing, listening, fighting and uniting to do.

In particular, we have been thinking about the role Cropped plays and could play, not just in November 2016 but at all times, in connecting people and increasing our understanding of one another.

We want to remind you that Cropped is a space for everyone — a community for folks of all races, religions, sexualities, identities, sizes, abilities, even ages. Please know that we will make sure to keep it safe for all of us.

As editors, we know we can do better. There are so many stories and so many voices missing from this site. There is so much we don’t know about each other, so much we could afford to learn. So, we are committing to reaching out and to listening and to sharing this platform.

Marina has the word “human” tattooed on her arm — a reminder that we are all human and that we are only human. Now maybe more than ever, this feels like a mantra worth spreading. When we all understand this, maybe we can act out of respect and love instead of fear.

As we’ve said before, Cropped is a space for compassion, solidarity and perspective. We are on a mission.

We’re taking December off from publishing in order to focus on that mission and evaluate how we can do better. Stick with us. We’ll stay connected with you all on social media, and we’ll see you in 2017.

Marina and Maria



This month, the book my book club selected was “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison. The book club is made up of my coworkers, and we’ve rotated each month in who decides what we’ll read. One coworker in particular has done a great job of suggesting books written by people of color that directly examine questions about race — a recent personal mission of mine as well. “The Bluest Eye” is a beautiful exploration of these questions and in particular is a reflection on the experience of young black women. I don’t want to “crop” out the truth, so I’ll admit, I’m only halfway done with the book! But it’s one of my most enjoyable reads in a long time. My heart aches for these vivid characters, and I root for them with every turn of the page.

Another confession: Until the singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen died this month, I did not realize how famous he is and was. His song “Suzanne” came up on my Spotify once and became an instant favorite, but I didn’t know how many other people have deeply appreciated his music and lyrics. I think what I appreciate most is his honesty. He has questions about mortality, spirituality and love, and doesn’t claim to know the answers. The editor of the New Yorker, David Remnick, wrote a beautiful profile of Cohen for the magazine in October, just before his death. And Cohen spoke with radio host Terry Gross on her NPR show “Fresh Air” — a very worthwhile listen.


I’ve been thinking about and reading about how to be a better ally — donating, showing up, listening, amplifying others — and right now being an ally to the water protectors at Standing Rock is at the front of my mind. I really appreciated hearing from Dr. Adrienne Keene and other Natives on the ground in last week’s episode of Another Round (although the situation at Standing Rock has changed since this podcast was recorded — check out the #NoDAPL hashtag for updates).

Today I heard the song “Walrus” by D.D Dumbo on “All Songs Considered,” and now I’m hooked. Maybe you’ll like him too — give him a listen here.