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Welcome to The Personal Statement Issue. This week, we’re featuring intimate stories told through the pen and the lens — illuminating first-person moments that, for our authors, have pushed a flash of significance into their lives. These nonfiction narratives explore details that have made our writers unsettle, question or fall in love. As the poet Nikky Finney writes, “Absorb everything. What you see, hear, and feel will stamp every alphabet of your work.” In this week’s issue, our writers, photographers and videographers unleash the personal “alphabets” of their own work, which have been stamped with basketball hoops, London pavement, birthday hats, baseball diamonds… Flip through the pages. Read their alphabets. Discover your own.

— Carlina Duan, Magazine Editor

Ten Going on 21

Daniel Feldman

Beyond the score, behind the lens

Teresa Matthew

Visual Personal Statements


What’s in a Name

Giancarlo Buonomo

Little Moments in London

Victoria Noble

Swiping right for ‘the one’ — life and love on Tinder

Zach Shaw

Back on the Diamond

Will Greenberg

Video: Swiss Reflections

Kaylla Cantilina

Video: From Above

Paula Friedrich

Video: The College Bedroom

Alexa Borromeo

Video: Sleeplessness

Katie Colosimo

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