Opportunity to Support a Palestinian Library

I’ve been making microloans through Kiva.org through years, and this project caught my eye. A Palestinian woman is looking to convert an old house into a library and bookshop: 

“Duha is a nice girl who lives with her family in a small humble house near Ramallah. Duha has an amazing idea: she decided to restore an old house to make it a library and a place to sell books and other stationery.
She went to Palestine for Credit and Development (FATEN) to request a loan to help her to cover all restoration expenses to convert the old house into a library. Duha hopes that all the students and residents of the area will benefit from the library.

Check it out at Kiva: https://www.kiva.org/lend/1893559

NF Reads Interview

Thanks to NF Reads for hosting me for an interview! I wrote up a bunch of  thoughts on things like titling stories, taking criticism and how emotions influence creativity. 

Here’s a part of it:

People. We’re really cool, and complicated, and weird, and unpredictable, and predictable, and everything else. We invented language, after all. I’m just sort of fascinated by the human condition. One of my undergraduate degrees was in Anthropology and it was a deep pleasure to spend hours delving into the ways other humans organize and experience their lives. It’s the same urge that drives me to writing, I think. Ways to learn about people, to understand them, and to communicate. I want to write about our dreams of ourselves and of the future.”


Click through to read the rest!

“Your Face” in Spanish

It is so cool to see my story in other languages! I can’t read most of them, but it’s still really fun to know the story has a life beyond the words I chose. My story “Your Face” has already been translated into Chinese and Spanish — here’s the Spanish version on Cuentos para Algernon, a nonprofit blog and anthology run by Marcheto, who also wrote the translation. https://cuentosparaalgernon.wordpress.com/2019/11/01/tu-cara-de-rachel-swirsky/

Haiku Round-Up #5

Time for another round-up of my recent Haiku! (Here is an explanation of why I’ve been writing and posting haiku.)


A startle of wet

briskly awakens my skin.

I am thinking flesh.


The willow droops black

against a lavender sky,

a still precipice.


Dripping, drooping, weak.

The skin and the rain: both grey.

An unrestful sleep.


In early dimness,

a quiet, unmoving sky

chills, waiting for dusk.


Waiting in the cold,

trying not to let my mind

rush when all is calm.


Returning, the cold

breaks against the bedroom glass.

Wild-eyed, the cats watch.


Afternoon, evening,

merge as the sky stops dancing,

parting from the clock.


Fluffy white cartoon kitten with large blue eyes and bushy tail. Text reads “Meep”.Meep is a character I drew for a role-playing game I was sketching out called Cats and Dogs Living Together.

Strangers rarely glimpse Meep, a shy, four-pound, six-month-old kitten with a fluffy mass of white fur, enormous blue eyes, and a perpetually perplexed expression. Though quick to startle and flee from anything new or surprising, once Meep has a chance to get comfortable, he’s boisterous and bold. When he’s not sure what to do, he compensates for youthful naivete by copying older animals.

Remembering the World

The king is dying,

memory fading.

Now honor is gone

now yesterday’s dinner

now mother’s hand stroking

the ermine collar

of her deathbed gown.


(For now, the world

flat and finite

like his mind. The ocean’s

crisp boundaries

spill over four corners

like memory, disappearing.)


The king orders

a fleet of glass galleons

set out to explore

the edge of the world.

They launch, crystal sails

aloft in the sun,

casting rainbows

through ocean spray.


(A century hence,

the world will be round

like a fruit:

one endless circumference.

Minds, too, become

deeper thoughts hidden

like icebergs

submerged in men’s souls.)


Sailing toward

the periphery

translucence deepens.

Ships pale, disappear,

til but one is left.

Atop the survivor’s mast

the king’s sole

remaining lieutenant

peers at knife’s edge horizon.

The world tapers

stretched thin. Sky bleeds 

navy, royal, azure


to absence’s hue.


(World and man

exchange simplicity

for paradox,

linearity curving

swallows its tail.

The traveler’s straight path

leads home again,

in the end. His marriage


in childhood’s castles.)


Beyond, nothing

save slow cascade 

of water pouring nowhere.

King’s faded schooner

balances on edge

one moment neither

within nor without.

Heavy, stern dips

mast creaks and shatters.

Tipping over

she falls

following oceans

over precipice

to comprehension,