Parabola Podcast, Episode 9: “Spiritual Practice”

“Often I have come across stern pronouncements directed at people like me: One cannot dabble, say the priests and scholars. Spirituality is not a tasting menu. “New Agers” who borrow a bit of this religion and a bit of that, while discarding the parts they don’t like, will never have anything but a shallow and…

Parabola Podcast, Episode 7: “Ways of Healing”

Story editor Betsy Cornwell explores our current issue, “Ways of Healing,” in PARABOLA Magazine’s podcast. Learn more about this issue or become a subscriber at This episode also includes Kenneth Lawrence’s retelling of the Japanese tale “Kiyotsune.” Please consider supporting this podcast and Parabola Magazine by purchasing a back issue or becoming a subscriber. This…

Parabola Podcast, Episode 5: “Embodiment”

Story editor Betsy Cornwell looks at our Summer 2014 Issue, EMBODIMENT, in Parabola Magazine’s monthly podcast.

Sister God, by Betsy Cornwell

When I was three or four years old, I started to grow afraid that I was evil. That year I had the worst nightmare of my life thus far: intense, consuming, and hyper real in the way that only very young children’s nightmares can be. In it, I walked from my bedroom down the creaking stairs of our…

Gifts for Gifted Children

Each summer I teach creative writing classes at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. It’s a wonderful job for many reasons: my colleagues are uniformly, eccentrically brilliant, I’ve taught at campuses all over the country, from Los Angeles to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and since the program is a sleepaway camp, the mood is…

Fallen Angel, by Betsy Cornwell

A young woman finds her way.

Maidens & Monsters, Betsy Cornwell

Cinderella slaves for years for her heartless stepfamily; Beauty offers her life to the Beast at her father’s request. […]