Double Down - A Blog

May 24, 2018 | Posted by Katherine Fusco

There’s a tradition in American literature of the minor character, the survivor, narrating the life of the charismatic tragic protagonist, be it Moby Dick’s ...

May 16, 2018 | Posted by By Paige dePolo

Our state has adopted many symbols to honor and give a sense of the character of its high deserts, mountains, and valleys and of the pioneering spirits of the folks who live here. Of the state symbols, our state fossil, Shonisaurus popularis, the ichthyosaur, stands out at almost mythical proportions. These animals were approximately the length of a school bus (~11-15 m) and dominated the warm, shallow seas that covered Nevada ~215 million years ago during the Triassic period.

Artist's reconstruction of Shonisaurus popularis, Nevada's state fossil....

May 10, 2018 | Posted by By Gus Pappas

This letter is the 2018 “Letters About Literature” Level 3 winner for the state of Nevada.


Dear Connor Franta,


I am sitting here writing a letter to a simplistic, beautiful, aesthetic human being on a Wednesday morning, 8:06 AM, on the spot, how thrilling. I would have written this late last night when my thoughts usually come alive, but, on the rare occasion, your average, hyperactive, teenage boy was actually tired and could avoid a sleepless night of overthinking and worrying myself into a dark abyss of lost causes  and no hope and… Sorry, I didn’t mean to...

May 3, 2018 | Posted by By Anne Hoff

Community. Through ink, blood, sweat, and tears. The tactile quality, the magical appearance of transferred image, the heartbreak of visual “bust,” long hours of toil, rewarding surprises… this is printmaking.


In an ephemeral touch of finger to the smooth limestone, I was in love, the slick, sensual tactile quality of the antique litho. Stone hooked me. Past lives affect? Innate intuition, whatever it was, I was committed.  Thus, the unconscious, the intuitive nature of the creative fields takes hold of us. An unexplained obsession of process and product. The tactile, always the tactile. As loving as stroking the body of a lover, our instinct tells us it...

Apr 25, 2018 | Posted by By Heidi Kyser

In early 2012, I had coffee with an acquaintance who wanted to talk to me about a looming public health crisis. A nurse practitioner and the mother of a boy who’d recently started using heroin after abusing the opioid painkillers that he’d been prescribed for a lacrosse injury, she stood at the intersection of institutional medicine and drug addiction. She knew I was a freelance writer and hoped I could help shed light on the issue. I subsequently pitched a story to Las Vegas City Life, where a receptive editor’s father had also grown addicted to opioids following treatment for a back injury. The resulting article, “The Pill Wars,” focused on law enforcement’s crackdown on local over-prescribing doctors and the state medical board’s failure to...

Apr 19, 2018 | Posted by By Jared Stanley

This poem originally appeared in EARS (Nightboat Books, 2017)


Noctilucent clouds

purple light on the hills at night—

something halfwit grand about 


mistaking the air over mourning

doves' wings for the teakettle,

warm in here, inside the war 


of ears - which one will point...

Apr 12, 2018 | Posted by By Shaun T. Griffin

for Cody and Suzette


Trying to paint in the dust

of sirens, a burnished Mexican

man sprays bougainvillea

flowers from the patio.


How does the union occur—

this mayhem of art and exhaust?

in the backyard of my son’s

beloved, who sits in her room


typing notes for research

Apr 5, 2018 | Posted by By Lindsay Cook

A little over six years ago I was a college freshman at the University of Nevada, studying elementary education and working at Starbucks. I had a coworker at the time that worked part-time at Starbucks and also worked for Nevada Humanities. We talked a lot about education and history, and one day he asked me if I would be interested in being an intern for the ...

Mar 29, 2018 | Posted by By Christianna Shortridge

Why should the federal government fund the humanities? This is a question I’ve been hearing for the past 25 years through my work in and around Congress. As administrations and Congresses come and go, the humanities remain. The humanities have been around much longer than our federal government; they are what holds us together as a civil society, they connect us, and they will never disappear.

Mar 22, 2018 | Posted by By. Todd Felts, Ed.D.

As a professor who teaches strategic communications, I was recently asked to moderate a discussion on pain and healing. I wasn’t sure what contribution I might make to the dialogue. At the Reynolds School, I teach students to identify audiences, develop a hook for a story, and share messages to resonate across communities and on social media during times of crisis. What could I offer to a discussion about current practices and pitfalls in treating pain or exploring non-traditional routes to pain management?  


I decided I would learn from the three panelists. I knew they would bring a wide-...