Quest For the Golden Rhyme

A young New Haven rapper strives to find recognition

There’s a charged silence as 22-year-old Matthew Barrington Bethea IV, sitting in the Starbucks across from the New Haven Green, searches for the title of one of those songs he “put more of himself into.” He cannot remember its name, but he recalls the lyrics with ease: Don’t wait up ’cause time ain’t waiting on you; You let all the problems pilin’ up, now the weight is on you. You been strugglin’ in the street, claim you’re hungry, tryna eat, But what happens when you. . . Read more
Claudia Mezey
The Magic Foot of Hondo Colwick

A prosthetics craftsman makes what he knows.

The first thing Hondo Colwick remembers about his surgery is the line of metal utensils on a sterile blue sheet. From birth, he had a fatty flap of skin where there should have been a foot. After he turned 3, surgeons sliced off two toes that protruded from the flap’s side. The toes had kept Hondo from easily placing his leg into the below-the-knee prosthesis he’d worn since he was ten months old. They also marked what could have been, if his mother had not. . . Read more
Maya Averbuch
Reel Talk

The man behind Yale’s screenings reviews the future of film.

Tony Sudol surveys his territory from the projection booth. He makes a brief foray into the theater to check light and sound levels, then returns satisfied. The show tonight, Jean-Luc Godard’s 1961 French New Wave film Breathless, is one Sudol has projected dozens of times. He knows exactly how it’s supposed to look and sound. While the first reel unspools in one of the reel-to-reel projection towers, Sudol runs his finger over the next, which he’ll load into the second tower in twenty minutes. He. . . Read more
Ruby Bilger
Who Protects Picasso?

Through the eyes of a guard at the Yale University.

“What is a museum guard to do, I thought to myself; what, really, is a museum guard? On the one hand, you are a member of a security force charged with protecting priceless materials from the crazed or kids or the slow erosive force of camera flashes; on the other hand you are a dweller among supposed triumphs of the spirit.” — From Leaving the Atocha Station, Ben Lerner Illustration by Emma Liebman It’s noon, and Imani Lane looks over forty-seven tiny security screens spread. . . Read more
Lora Kelley
The Dream House

A lifetime of dolls under one roof

Renee Silvester’s collection of dolls When you walk into Calling All Dolls, a doll shop and repair facility in Cobalt, Connecticut, the atmosphere feels tense. It’s as if you suddenly interrupted a group conversation and everyone looked in a different direction, trying to ignore the intrusion. Dolls with moony eyes and plastic hair, porcelain dolls with tattered Victorian dresses, designer dolls with photo-realistic eyes sit across from each other, stuffed in a room and suspended in a disrupted moment. They don’t frighten the shop’s owner,. . . Read more
Ruby Bilger
Investing in Writers

The benefactors behind Yale’s most popular creative writing courses.

One evening last November, I sat next to Anne Fadiman, sipping red wine and enjoying Mory’s famous Baker’s Soup, as Anne told our table of current and former students her famous “car service story.” When she first came to Yale to give a Master’s Tea, she invited a Yale graduate to travel with her in the hour-and-a-half ride back to her home in Whately, Massachusetts, in order to discuss the craft of editing. Paul Francis ’77, sponsor of the Francis Writer-in-Residence Program, sat at a. . . Read more
Grace Hirshorn
When A Cop Calls

An activist in blue bridges the gap between communities and police.

Shafiq Abdussabur with his grandmother after being sworn in as president of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers. Photo by Allan Appel. On a Tuesday afternoon in September, Shafiq Abdussabur stands transfixed by one image on the wall of his office. It’s a hazy photograph of six boys playing tug-of-war, their smiles wide, their eyes focused on victory. “We lost him,” Abdussabur says, pointing to the boy leading the pack. “He was killed two years after this photo was taken. And him, too,”. . . Read more
Alexandra Golden
Top of His Glass

A journey to glassblowing at Yale.

Photo by Caroline Lester Four thin blue flames lick the underbelly of a glass flask as Daryl Smith steadies his blowtorch. With sweat dripping from his forehead, he directs the heat at one of three stumpy tubes attached to the spherical flask. The glass glows white-hot and starts to melt. Just as the tube begins to droop, Smith snatches it away with a pair of tweezers. The tube stretches until all that connects it to the flask is a long, thin thread. When the thread. . . Read more
Ike Swetlitz
Saving Grace

Burl Salmon builds a new home in the Church.

This is Lexington, a small town only an hour outside of Atlanta. But in this land of boiled peanuts and dairy farms, I feel worlds away. I’m in the Georgian countryside, at the home of Burl Salmon, my former high school English teacher and a graduate of Yale Divinity School. His neighbor is the photographer for the magazine Gun and Garden, the self-proclaimed “Soul of the South.” I’ve been here a few times to visit Burl on trips back from college, and the area has. . . Read more
Ashley Dalton
Stearner Stuff

The biggest figure in modern evolutionary history finds his work and ideas taking on new life in his students.

“Stearns, this is bad philosophy and it’s bad science. Defend yourself.” It’s the early 1970s, in a small classroom at the University of British Columbia. Halfway around the world, the Vietnam War rages on. In our quiet corner of Canada, however, there’s nothing but the sound of agitated footsteps as Stephen Stearns ’67 paces, waiting to know whether his outrageous Ph.D. proposal will be accepted. The topic is the main problem: Essentially, what Stearns has written proposes the formalization of a completely new area of. . . Read more
Bijan Stephen