Rachel Monroe

Artist in Residence, 2016

The artist in orange dress standing in front of a landscape.

Artist Statement

I am a natural equivocator and a classic Libra—which is perhaps why as a writer I’m drawn to the gloriously unbalanced: the monomaniacs and manifesto writers, the person with a system that explains it all. My favorite things to write about are crime and utopia, in part because there’s often an intensity there, and also because they are conditions that expose the social rules we put in place explicitly or implicitly. I’m interested in what happens when those rules don’t work anymore.

In my work I try to balance the outward gaze of reporting with the inwardness of the essay.

While At Headlands

At Headlands, I will be continuing work on a series of overlapping, reported essays about crime, disaster, and utopian experiments. These essays arose out of an interest in how people conceptualize edge experiences—nuclear war, the End of Days, a burning building—as well as the strategies they develop to cope when their world goes into free fall.

These essays touch on alternative medicine, Alaskan monks, Mormon economics, and disaster prepping. They draw from interviews and investigative reporting, as well as personal experiences, historical research, and at least one prophetic dream.

Selected Texts

“The Fault”

“The Killer Crush”

“Have You Ever Thought About Killing Someone?”

“Fire Behavior”