Jen Girdish

Writer, editor, reformed shut-in.


Jen Girdish

Editor, Writer, Communicator.
Hi. I like to find the story in everything. Whether that's doing strategic communications and media relations in reproductive health, editing a book review, or writing a haiku about Keanu Reeves. My writing on domestic violence has been cited in the Progressive Style Guide. My essay "The Impossible Return" was cited as notable in the 2011 Best American Essays. In my spare time, I write a newsletter about trying to remain a person while raising twins.

Some Thoughts


We have the luxury of being done with Ray Rice, but Janay doesn’t.

There’s a small, sinister tree by my front porch that I have to keep cutting back every few weeks. It’s an invasive species that pummels D.C. with seeds every spring. It found a vulnerable spot in my yard–between the gas meter and the foundation. Every time I try to dig it out of my yard, […]


Three years of sharing snacks.

I married this guy three years ago. It was insufferably humid. The caterer forgot our cake. I’d do it again. Do you ever wonder how I met this tall drink of water? (No? Not really? Well, just humor me.) I wrote a “Meet Cute” for Swimmingly.    


Nine or ten rejected puns about Anne of Green Gables.

In the last half decade or so, I’ve come to think of titles like bras: necessary packaging, holding everything together. The last thing I put on. Lately when I have to come up with a title, my husband and I play a game: he throws puns at me until one sticks. It’s quickly becoming my […]



“Motherhood—what it requires of us, what my mother failed to do with it, all the incarnations of mothers in my life—has become so much a part of how I absorb the world right now.” I’m trying to find a definition of motherhood that makes sense to me, and I’ll be doing it for the next […]

Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis, cat pee, and trying to give up.

There was a professor in grad school who was, in a sense, the Bud Grossman of our department: poker-faced, a kind of tastemaker. In an attempt at some #realtalk days before graduation, she told our class to raise our hands. Then she asked all but two of us to lower our hands. “Only two of […]

New piece on The Morning News.

I wrote about meeting James Turrell, standing in lines, and Pittsburgh for The Morning News. I was too spoiled to fully appreciate how novel it was to toil in the same oxygen as Turrell. I’d been going to the Mattress Factory for years and had taken his permanent installations there for granted. They felt like […]