The On Being Project

Miguel Clark Mallet
Miguel Clark Mallet

Born in Germany during the same year that construction began on the Berlin Wall, Miguel Clark Mallet grew up as an Army brat on military bases across the United States and in Latin America. Early in life, he became fascinated with both spirituality and language, a connection fed by his years as an altar boy, and cemented by the nun in his 8th grade year of Catholic school who taught both his English and religion classes. Mallet originally studied journalism in college (he particularly enjoyed copy editing), eventually earning a bachelor's degree in English and then an MFA in fiction.

He spent the bulk of the next 20 years as a college-level writing teacher and writing program administrator in North Carolina, Iowa, and Arizona, where he earned a Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition; he also had a short stint as a technical editor. Mallet's current interests center on the intersection of the personal, the social (especially involving race), and the spiritual, and on writing — its ambiguity and fluidity — as a means to explore that intersection. He believes in writing as a tool for both reflection, disruption, and transformation. Currently at work on both a speculative fiction novel and a long work blending verse, memoir, polemic, and fiction, he writes, runs, and lives in the Twin Cities.

The Problem with Simplicity

by Miguel Clark Mallet

As a culture, we celebrate simplicity and its convenience. But the truth is always more complex, embedded in larger systems and worlds. Miguel Clark Mallet on the possibilities that open up when we accept the value of complexity.

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The Problem with Simplicity

No Painless Way Through Life Exists

by Miguel Clark Mallet

We may have no control over the wild, unpredictable world that we live in, but we do have control over how we choose to live our lives: to offer compassion, to pursue justice, to love and be loved.

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No Painless Way Through Life Exists

My Feelings Are Not My Enemies

by Miguel Clark Mallet

The power of honoring our emotions as truth is to allow them to complicate — and enhance — how we understand the world and each other.

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My Feelings Are Not My Enemies

City of Twitter

by Miguel Clark Mallet

Social media gets a bad rap for perpetuating vitriol and echo chambers, but it can also be an platform for our common and civic life — helping us understand people with different backgrounds and opinions, while also allowing us to create communities of our own.

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City of Twitter

In Defense of Backtalk

by Miguel Clark Mallet

It takes power and privilege to dictate the terms of a cultural conversation. Miguel Clark Mallet writes in defense of backtalk and the critical perspectives it brings forward.

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In Defense of Backtalk

Uniforms Don’t Make Heroes

by Miguel Clark Mallet

Heroes aren’t made by the uniforms they wear — they’re distinguished by moral acts that defy convention.

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Uniforms Don’t Make Heroes

We’ve Hoped Our Way Into Our Current Crisis

by Miguel Clark Mallet

On the perils of placing all our hope in a utopian future — and the real possibility for change that lies in our actions, here and now.

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We’ve Hoped Our Way Into Our Current Crisis

Carrying the Weight of How the White World Imagines You

by Miguel Clark Mallet

A searching exploration of the “white imagination” — and how it not only influences white people but also people of color’s lenses on the world.

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Carrying the Weight of How the White World Imagines You

On Echo Chambers and Everyday Americans

by Miguel Clark Mallet

What if we considered our nation not as factions at war, but as members of a strained and troubled family? A look through the lens of the three stories that broken families tell — and what that marginalized, third story reveals about the echo chambers we’ve been called to step out of.

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On Echo Chambers and Everyday Americans

The Question of Redemption in America

by Miguel Clark Mallet

A writer contemplates the hubris at the heart of the American experiment, and the painful but possible path that leads to our nation’s redemption.

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The Question of Redemption in America