Welcome! My name is Serena Sigillito. I’m a writer and the editor of a journal called Public Discourse. I’ve just finished a Novak Journalism fellowship on integrating work and motherhood, and I’m working on more projects that I’m excited to share with you. My work has appeared in outlets like NewsweekAmericaNational Review, VerilyFirst Things, and The American Conservative. You can find links to my articles here.

This newsletter is named after a poem by one of my favorite poets, Elizabeth Bishop. You can read it here.

Although I write a lot about politics, religion, and culture now, my graduate and undergraduate work were both in literature, and that training has deeply influenced how I understand the world. Sometimes I feel like the sandpiper Bishop described, “finical, awkward, / in a state of controlled panic,” running along the beach where the water meets the sea, periodically overtaken by roaring waves and mists he can’t control or understand. As the rushing water runs over his feet, the little bird looks down, obsessed with the grains of sand between his toes, which sparkle with “quartz grains, rose and amethyst.” As minute as they are, grains of sand, both literal and metaphorical, reward close attention. Like Blake and like the sandpiper, I strive “to see a world in a grain of sand.”

Sign up here, and I’ll let you know when I publish a new essay!