Publications

For publication related inquiries, please contact Lisa Birk.

Fiction & Essays
On Leaving
Essay, Harvard Review

I read somewhere that the road is the agent of chaos, bringing travelers to town with ideas. I think, if not the agent of chaos, it is the agent of dissolution and I am no longer sure that is a good thing.

 

 

Because Help Can't Wait
Short Story, Soundings East

"Nobody move!" Paul says, leaping from the driver's seat to the pavement.

 

The six of us seat-belted in the back don't say anything. Paul is the captain of our Disaster Action Team. He is capable and organized, but tonight his face is sharp, shiny with the unseemly glow of disaster. 

Feature Stories
The Gang Star, The Boston Phoenix

Are gangsters born or made?

 

REVERE -- On a raw April evening, Saroeum Phoung, wearing chinos, fleece, and a baseball cap, spies a Cambodian teenager slouching against a car on Shirley Avenue. It's hard to tell the kid's age because his face is hard, opaque. He wears a jacket, a T-shirt, and a bandanna around his neck, all one color, signaling membership in a gang. Phoung walks right up to him and looks at the bandanna."You wearing a rag now?"

The Dream Warriors, The Boston Phoenix

Why do we dream and what does it mean?

A man dreams his mother is riding a tiny tricycle back and forth across a stage. "Love me, love me, love me," she sings operatically. To a psychoanalyst, the dream might spotlight two aspects of the mother, emotional neediness and a penchant for drama. To a neurophysiologist, the dream indicates a decrease in norepinephrine...

Dreams on Consignment​, The Boston Phoenix

 

 

Victoria Tane wants to make a million bucks. And she's going to do it by selling one Headbenz at a time on America's home shopping channel, QVC. Tane, 47, is a North Cambridge inventor-entrepreneur. She makes her living designing jewelry and fashion accessories, but her real gift is for transformation.

 

One woman's journey into TV home shopping and back. And back again.

Investigative Journalism
Who's Watching the Fox?, The Boston Phoenix

Who benefits when the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection's privatization plan puts polluters in charge of clean-up?

Russell Enos first noticed the smell back in 1973. Monday through Friday it was ammonia. Weekends, he smelled camphor, mothballs, odors he couldn't identify -- and rings formed in the bathtub and the toilet. The laundry came out rusty. He talked to his neighbors in Middleborough, where his yard adjoined Rockland Industries, Inc....

What's Killing Psychiatry?, The Boston Phoenix

Now Swallow This. When psychiatric drugs collide with managed-care.

 

Your mother died nine months ago, and you're sad. Really sad. You sleep 14 hours a day, wake up tired. Drink a couple beers before work. It takes three times as long to do the office billing. Your colleagues make comments. You go home, call your managed care company for a referral.

 

A high school graduate answers, asks your zip code and your problem. You stutter -- this is private stuff, and she's typing it into a computer. You mention your mother died. You don't mention the beer.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

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© 2019 by Lisa Birk. 

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