The Places We’ve Been: Field Reports from Travelers Under 35

Travel Anthology, Literary Nonfiction by Asha Veal Brisebois (ed.) / 2013   400 pp   ISBN: 978-0-9890389-0-4   paper, hard, e-book

Today, young people are traveling to countries such as South Sudan to work in water treatment, and Vietnam to shoot documentaries about healing after war. They are joining in to perform air guitar at festivals in Finland, and listening intently from within the audience at community film screenings in Rwanda.

The challenge of today is not just “where do I fit in one place,” but identity and interaction throughout the world.

The Places We’ve Been: Field Reports from Travelers Under 35 offers a peer-written collection of 48 vivid and transportive, personal and original nonfiction pieces that portray contemporary snapshots across the globe.

Contributors include:
Theopi Skarlatos, journalist with the BBC / Daniel Ketchum, editor at Marvel Comics
Derek Helwig, producer on The Amazing Race / Vanessa Mdee, MTV Base VJ and HIV/AIDS activist
Kim Coleman Foote, 2013 NEA Literature Fellow / Sara Cooper, off-Broadway playwright of The Memory Show
Andrew Bisharat, editor-at-large for Rock and Ice / Lisa Dazols, of the Out & Around documentary
Yuki Aizawa, 2007-2008 facilitator at StoryCorps / Justin “Nordic Thunder” Howard, 2012 Air Guitar World
and many more

including journalists, whose publication histories include: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Vogue India, San Francisco Chronicle, Condé Nast Daily Traveler, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Lonely Planet, Velvet Park, Out and Around, Crab Orchard Review, Arts & Letters, Abu Dhabi Film Festival Magazine, and others.

also joined by established and emerging literary writers whose backgrounds include awards from the: National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, U.S. Department of State Fulbright Creative Arts Fellows, Pan-African Literary Forum, Hedgebrook Writing Residency, Illinois Arts Council… and more.

within the book’s wide roster, you’ll hear from such a range of storytellers, the likes of: a sailor and glaciologist from Scotland, Brooklyn musician, Tanzanian television host, Dubai-based journalist, and a Montreal aerospace medicine enthusiast, plus rural school teachers, a fearless rock climber, comic-book editor, five-country midwife, and so many others.

About the editor: Asha Veal Brisebois is the founder of The Places We’ve Been books. She was the editor for Apsaalooke: Art and Tradition, a catalogue and oral history project which resides in private and public collections including the Smithsonian Libraries.

Full list of 48 contributing writers and bios:

Public event and collaboration with the Illinois Humanities Council, 2014:

Brooklyn (the black)

Memoir, Poetry by Asha Veal Brisebois / 2015   74 pp   ISBN: 978-0-9890389-7-3   paper, hard

The writer Asha Veal Brisebois created Brooklyn (the black) as part of a memoir, intending to release the full work in multiple formats at later dates. This is a collection of selections of her work, written from 2005 through 2007, and 2014. Veal Brisebois’ published work on other projects has been acquired in libraries and collections including the George Gustav Heye Center at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, University of Toronto Libraries, Museum Volkenkunde (Leiden, Netherlands), and others. Her work in creative nonfiction has been published by Brooklyn-based Slice Literary, among others. Asha was born in Northern California. In the 1940s/1950s both sets of her grandparents sought a new life and drove from Texas to Southern California during the Second Great Migration.

Interview here:

Atlantic Gigantic

Geography, Memoir, Earth Sciences by Colin Souness / 2015 227 pp ISBN: 978-0-9890389-4-2   paper, hard, e-book

Atlantic Gigantic tells the true story of how three friends – Matt, Sam, and Colin – sailed a forty-five-foot yacht across the North Atlantic.

“Life is out there for anyone who seeks it, and here is a great example. Colin and his crewmates seize this opportunity to sail the Gambo across the northern Atlantic despite fear and common sense warning against it, embodying a real spirit of adventure.”

– Mike Robinson, chief executive for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society

“Every year, millions of people come to Scotland by land, sea and air, to bask in a country that boasts spectacular scenery, a rich history and culture and the warmest of welcomes. The journey to Scotland is very much part of the overall visitor experience, and I think it’s safe to say that Colin Souness and his friends undertook a more adventurous and thrilling journey than most to return to the land of his birth…”

– Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland

For anyone who thinks that science is a boring game of white coats and dry numbers, here is a book which might make you think again.

ATLANTIC GIGANTIC tells the story of how three young scientists—glaciologists Sam Doyle and Colin Souness, and marine biologist Matt Burdekin—wound up in Greenland as part of a cutting-edge climate research project and found themselves sailing home across the North Atlantic Ocean. Brought together and offered the chance by a top UK climate scientist, these three, despite being little more than novice sailors, found themselves volunteering to sail an expeditionary research yacht from the Arctic waters of western Greenland to Oban in Scotland’s West Highlands, without any on-hand guidance.

Atlantic Gigantic describes how a shared love of challenge and discovery, unexpectedly brought these three adventurous research students to the very edge of their comfort zones—and launched them clear out, straight into the clutches of the North Atlantic. They came together as a crew, sharing their love of exploration, proving their strengths in the face of their fears, and working out not only how to sail but also how to make up for their other respective experience gaps by pooling their very different personalities and skill sets. This book relates the tale of their journey through water, through storms, through fears and through friendship.

About the Author: Colin Souness is a glaciologist and seafarer with a passion for wild spaces. He grew up first in Scotland’s west highlands and later in her rugged borderlands and has been inspired by wilderness areas from as early as he can remember. So naturally, Colin went on to study as a geomorphologist. Later, after first crewing a five-month sailing expedition to Antarctica and then joining the Royal Air Force for a while, Colin went back to uni for a PhD studying ice on Mars. Now Colin works as a lecturer and Polar Regions guide aboard ice-strengthened ships throughout the Arctic and in the Antarctic. He is a graduate of Aberystwyth University and The University of Edinburgh.

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Southern States

Stories by Jennifer V. Nguyen / 2016   ISBN: 978-0-9890389-1-1

“They met on a summer morning in Saigon, just as the city began its day…”

This collection of stories is about Vietnamese women—women in Hanoi, women in Texas, women in between.

Thuy travels from the southern Vietnamese city of Saigon by train, to retrieve the bones, belongings, and memories of her husband, deceased in a Hanoi re-education camp. Linh is a young mother in Houston—an assembly worker by day, a can redeemer at night. Phuong is a woman in gender transition, striving to have her identity recognized by the national Vietnamese government.

Southern States is about women entrenched in a land, finding a home, and fighting the definitions of their nationality, gender, and geography.

About the writer: Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Jennifer V. Nguyen writes short fiction and narrative essays about identity and diaspora. A two-time graduate of Georgetown University, Nguyen resides between Washington D.C. and San Francisco. Southern States is her first book of fiction.

About this Girl

YA fiction by FM Rahman / 2014   ISBN: 978-0-9890389-2-8

In 1990s, Midwestern America, fifteen-year-old Maya Sayeed is an average teenage girl: preoccupied with boys, school activities, and a band and its brooding front man. But she also lives in what feels like an alternate universe, under the vigilant eye of her parents’ conservative community. Maya’s whole world is consumed with juggling competing identities—and beyond her ambition for teenage perfection lies a deeper struggle.

Dear Rogg, I’ve been listening to your music non-stop today. I think Brain Attack is my favorite song at the moment. I keep playing it because I’m so stressed out about my science project, which is worth half of our final grade. I can’t focus on it though, because I just can’t stop thinking about Reed Owens, a senior who has band with me. I’m pretty sure he hardly knows I exist, but every time I see him, my heart starts beating faster and faster, just like the guitar riff in the intro. Reed is so tall, so beautiful, so amazing with all of his friends. I have this dream that once we start dating and he goes off to college, he comes back and helps me runaway. He takes me away from here so that I never have to see anybody, ever again. Well, except for my little brother, Saleem. I’d want to keep in touch with him. But I have to get Reed to notice me first. And then he can save me. Well, Rogg, better run if I’m going to make it to my clarinet lesson. Did I mention that as soon as I break out of this hell hole, I’m buying a guitar so I can learn all of your songs? Love, Maya

About the writer: FM Rahman was born to parents from Bangladesh and raised in the American Midwest. She studied at New York University and Saint Louis University, and is an avid Beatles fan, traveler, and writer of fan letters. This is her first novel.

Sandpaper Poems

by Ravenn Moore /2017



Atlantic Gigantic ebook cover Brooklyn the Black cover web2 TPWB_front cover image