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Writer-at-large Cecilia Ballí first wrote about Juárez’s missing women for TEXAS MONTHLY in 2003. The reporting marked her so profoundly that she devoted herself to the subject for the next six years, completing a doctoral dissertation about the murders in 2009. This June, when Ballí followed Mexican poet Javier Sicilia’s peace march, she felt herself come full circle. “As the park cleared out, I spotted this one mother, Olga Esparza, alone on a bench, and her sad face really grabbed me,” says Ballí, who now teaches anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. “There was one more story I had to tell.” (Read it here.)
Photograph by A. Perry Heller
Longtime readers will recognize Jason Cohen, a writer-at-large for most of the past decade, during which he wrote, among other things, one half of the Cheap Seats sports column. Earlier this year, Cohen became a senior staff writer for texasmonthly.com. This month he takes a break from the Internet with a profile of the brand-spanking-new football program at UTSA and its head coach, Larry Coker, whom Cohen found to be very hands-on. “In any business, the further you rise up the food chain,” he says, “the further away you get from the actual work that got you there. At UTSA, Coker gets to be the boss and a coach.”
When Tyler Jacobson sat down to illustrate “The Great Campaigner,” an oral history about Governor Rick Perry’s electoral successes, he knew his success lay in the details. The final image, a riff on fantasy illustrator Boris Vallejo’s 1983 movie poster for National Lampoon’s Vacation, is certainly specific in its references: You’ll find a Ruger handgun, a dead coyote, an Obama campaign logo, and even a horned toad. “It was fun,” says Jacobson, who lives in Renton, Washington, and often does work for Wizards of the Coast (think Dungeons & Dragons). “I got to blend political commentary with fantasy.”