April Kilcrease

Writer and Editor

Oakland, CA

April Kilcrease



What Poetry Can Teach Us About Getting Old

When writer Mary D. Esselman was in her mid-forties, her body began “conking out in completely unexpected ways.”. Despite being a runner and a healthy eater, she was now waking up at 2 a.m., hot and anxious with a racing heart (perimenopause). After working out one day, she lost central vision in her left eye (central serous retinopathy).

The Adopted Artist With Her Head In The Clouds

Anxiety, depression, and the nature of memory intertwine in Andrea Joyce Heimer's unforgettable paintings. Like many young artists, Andrea Joyce Heimer spent her early twenties stuck in an office job that she didn’t like while she tried to find her creative voice. Unable to afford art school, she was determined to teach herself to paint in a photorealistic manner — the only style she thought could convey the adolescent memories she wanted to depict.

The Art Of The Fold

Dyslexic in an era of rote memorization, origami master Bernie Peyton found the answers and peace he needed in a square of paper. Walking through Bernie Peyton’s beautiful home and backyard studio in Berkeley, California, is like going on an origami safari. In the entryway, sockeye salmon seem to swim up a pebbled paper stream.

Archivist and illustrator Grace Danico influences the future by preserving the past.

Grace Danico believes documentation is key to preserving creative culture. This commitment led her to earn a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the Pratt Institute in 2013. Today she is an archivist for a private collection and also serves as the press and publications subcommittee chair for the Los Angeles Archivists Collective.
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Beating Anxiety With Drumsticks

For Patti Niemi, becoming a professional symphony percussionist meant first coming to terms with her anxiety. When percussionist Patti Niemi plays, you hear it. Down in the pit, among the San Francisco Opera Orchestra’s other musicians, there is no hiding the sound of her hitting the snare drum, bass drum, glockenspiel, marimbas, bells, or chimes… let alone the calculated crash of her favorite instrument, the cymbals.

Woody Guthrie And The Magicky Tree

How the famous American singer-songwriter found new ways to hope after his Huntington’s diagnosis. In October 1952, Woody Guthrie, the great troubadour of the downtrodden, wrote a rallying cry for his own life: A month before he penned “I Ain’t Dead,” Guthrie had received a devastating diagnosis, one that he’d feared his entire adult life: he had Huntington’s chorea, the same illness that led to his mother’s institutionalization shortly before his 14th birthday.

Off the grid with Offscreen Magazine publisher Kai Brach.

Kai Brach is the publisher, editor, and founder of Offscreen Magazine, a print-only publication that explores the human side of technology and the Web. Kai makes the most of being his own boss. He chatted with us about what it’s like being a German living in Australia, the lasting impact of his backpacker year, and the continuing importance of travel in his life.
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Because Surviving Breast Cancer Makes You More Beautiful

After her own bilateral mastectomy, Dana Donofree began designing clothing for breast cancer survivors. Designer Dana Donofree began AnaOno to make bras, robes, camisoles, and other clothing specifically tailored for breast cancer survivors. But she didn’t fully understand her apparel company’s mission until she found someone crying in a dressing room.

Case Studies

Now that airlines are charging for checked bags and flights are often fully booked, the battle for bin space has reached Game of Thrones intensity. “Airlines have had to get stricter about carry-ons, especially since they started levying fees on checked bags,” says Paula Froelich, travel expert for HSN and the founder of A Broad Abroad, a travel and lifestyle company.
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Yinka Ilori infuses pithy parables into furniture.

Yinka Ilori may be an artist and furniture designer, but he’s also a crafty teacher. Underneath the playful West African fabrics and whimsical touches, sits a deeper message. Born in London to Nigerian immigrants, Ilori grounds all of his work in traditional Nigerian parables, and he uses those pithy lessons to transform discarded furniture into complex narratives about sexuality, religion, poverty and hierarchy.
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Art Inspires Architecture In the Boston Office of Elkus Manfredi Architects

After moving into their new 50,000-square-foot space in the Innovation and Design Building, a former military depot on the edge of Boston’s Seaport District, Elkus Manfredi Architects faced a lot of blank walls. “We instinctively knew that we did not want to be self-aggrandizing and fill our office with photos and models of our designs,” says Elizabeth Lowrey, a principal and director of interior architecture at the firm.
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Survival Of The Fittest

Charles Darwin’s own illnesses may have influenced evolutionary theory. Here’s how. Charles Darwin, whose theory of natural selection inspired the phrase “survival of the fittest,” was, for much of his life, rather unfit. A mighty array of illnesses plagued Darwin for decades, including insomnia, eczema, and heart palpitations, but his most constant companions seem to have been anxiety and terrible gastric distress.


April Kilcrease