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Experience is not linear. It zigzags, leaps, regresses than spurts forward, tosses frays delays surprises. Narrative revises manifestation in countless iterations recounted since the Big Bang of birth-death-rebirth. Machinations of living breathing striving to make meaning from days and nights of existence. Morning provides for itself.

Breathe Free Press is a place for the essay in every imaginable, inventive form, cross-genre—flash—critical—experimental—travel in particular the lyric essay. 

Narratives are a metronome to mark time: This happened, it happened often and repeatedly with some variations on different backdrops. Most often it happened on the planet earth. Once and only once did it happened on the moon. Einstein’s space-time theory challenges our belief in the illusion of past, present, and future. The illusion, Jean Baudrillard cautions against in Simulacra and Simulation, is the normalization of empty signs of representation.

Breathe Free Press delights in essays testing patterns of perception. We appreciate attentiveness to language and cultural associations. Essays which transform and transgress metanarratives of authority and power structures. Essays to subvert imposed constraints of genre conventions.

Some man, at some time, dominates the human psyche with his emotional ignorance. It is almost as if fate colludes with tyrants to taunt our complacency into action.

Breathe Free Press challenges the normalization of regressive tropes of renascent authoritarian, illiberal, nationalist power threatening to reverse social gains. We publish essays that allude, intimate, insinuate, attempt, analyze, critique, express through compassion and awareness. 

No weapon was ever lifted, no peace ever made, no society ever founded without words. Liberal and illiberal movements form on the page. Modernism repurposed and reinvented representation on the ashes of the material, human, spiritual devastation of two world wars. 

Breathe Free Press is an online journal of literary resistance for essays that channel the spirit penned in dog-eared spiral notebooks, in smoky subterranean basements. Nietzsche and Buddha conscious narratives composed to the rhythm of protest that lit the fuse for epochal cultural change.



First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. Albert Einstein

There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver. Charlotte Perkins



entertain educate enlighten


Breathe Free Press Inaugural Issue Vol 1: Spring 05/2017
THE SIGNS IN 100 WORDS by Alaina Symanovich
TARGET by Anna Keeler (Read more)
SYNTAX by Samuel Cole
Dear Dad You Remind Me of Trump by Diane Payne
A STRANGER in MY HOUSE  by Kira Rice-Christianson


Our Voices

Is the Breathe Free Press blog engaging in cultural insights into class-gender-sexuality-legal status-religion-education-age. It is a space for immigrants-people of color-workers-women-incarcerated persons-disenfranchised-disenchanted-dislocated persons. 

Regardless of circumstances, there exist arbitrary, often invisible borders, demarcation of boundaries where something ends and another thing begins. “Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Depravation consumes the mind. Poverty, war, oppression, tyranny impresses upon us the necessity for individual sovereignty.

Please Read Our Blog



The word rolls sensually out of the mouth as a vague erotic idea. Essay stated as a writer’s activity often ambushes the next obvious and often asked question. What is it about?  A casual interrogator uncertain what to do with the concept of essay often withdraws the inquiry. Essays are not plotted; the reader walks alone unguided by determinative events. Essay commonly used to describe an assignment carries the burden of argument, a defendable thesis complying to rules, as proof of acquired and disputed knowledge.

Essay of the literary kind floats over guardrails, drifts around in the ether of inner space of expanding associations as if the writer perception on mind-expanding drugs revealing the universal connectivity. The essay’s anchor grips the depths—on the surface the writer’s mind moves with the currents.   

Roland Barthes’s essays, absent of representation, caress the page, engage the reader in the body of a text. The pleasure of dislocation, being lost in defamiliarization where assumptions collide with a teeming world of diverse responses to textual meaning. Barthes’ observations queries mind/language relationship.

Anne Carson crochets the ancient with present into a rosette of varying textual narratives to illustrate the vast associations. Her essay on sleep, Every Exit is an Entrance (A Praise to Sleep), seduces the reader into REM sleep shared for centuries in the mystery of dormancy common to all organisms. Carson begins her essay with a dream of childhood, travels along the many representations of sleep. “There is so much sleep to read …” Her selection process takes the reader on journeys of some of the loveliest written sleep. Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse in Time Passes renders novelistic sleep invaded by the airs. Carson’s Ode crosses genre, philosophy, poetry, fiction to reunite Odysseus and Penelope in Homer’s epic.

The core awareness central to essay writing and reading essay focuses perception the way a display lamp attached to a painting attracts the eye. Fiction dresses the field in descriptive layers of physicality. Essay walks through the field mining its historical physicality, intangible immateriality, cultural specificity.

The essay thrives along the fringe of genre like a wallflower waiting to be asked to join the party. The essay gets rediscovered frequently and in various manifestations. The essay is a compilation of language, self-conscious of its dependency on language it is not much interested in conventions and codes of representation. In fact, often rejecting the heavy lift of created worlds reorganizing memes of mimetic reality more and more difficult to define. Particularly in politics. particularly today in the digital culture where reality is up for grabs.

Essay resistance to defining binaries subverts politics dependency on universal acceptance of signs. The essay’s unpredictable paths can delight, dismay or bores the reader who prefers a responsible linear text. The pleasure in writing essay is exploration—turning into expectation leads to new discoveries. The pleasure of reading essay is voyeuristic participation gleaned in fragments, threads, pauses, along twisting roads catching sight of literary landmarks immanent in myriad associative in interactive texts.




Breathe Free Press chooses to focus on essayistic narrative: cross-genre—flash—critical—experimental–travel and the lyric essay. Essays attentive to language and cultural associations working to transform and transgress metanarratives and subvert genre constraints imposed by conventions. Essays of resistance, imagination, and social awareness.


Deborah Di Bari

I received an MFA from The City College of New York, CUNY. My psychedelic drawings made with colored pencils led to my career in fashion, designing printed textiles and clothing. My causal journal writing seemed an end in itself until I took my first creative writing class.



Breathe Free Press is a literary magazine of resistance and awareness dedicated to the essay: narrative; cross-genre; flash; experimental; critical; travel and lyric essays.

We are happy to announce the success of our first call for submissions. Our inaugural issue launched May 2017. Breathe Free Press plans to publish four online issues a year. Next issue prospective publication is scheduled for August 15, 2017.

Breathe Free Press interest is in art, not journalism—in literary observation funneled through social awareness in essayistic narratives that subvert genre constraints.

The essays we seek allude, intimate, insinuate, attempt, analyze, critique, express: attentive to language and cultural associations. Themes that transform and transgress metanarratives of authority and power structures. We welcome, generous, graceful conscious writing.

Breathe Free Press only accepts submissions through Submittable. We do not charge a reading fee at present. Alternately at this time, breathefreepress.org is unable to pay for your invaluable work.

Please double space all submissions except where the textual structure is integral to meaning.

We are equally interested in hearing from emerging and established writers. Please include a cover letter to acquaint the editors with the author behind the work. We understand and encourage simultaneous submissions, but please share your good news of acceptance elsewhere.

Thank you for considering Breathe Free Press. We promise to give your work a close reading. We ask for first one-time electronic rights.

Please email questions to essay@breathefreepress.org

Breathe Free Press only accepts submissions through Submittable



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