Hello, I’m Nathan Allen. Welcome to my page! This serves as an experiment in shortform as well as a little intro to myself.

I am a freelance (sort of, I'm new to this) writer based in Winston-Salem, NC. My writing tends to focus on the interdisciplinary study of the environment — those places where science, philosophy, psychology, history, and other discipline meet. Other than that, I write about philosophy broadly, LGBTQ+ issues, media studies, and culture.

I am a writer and editor of Pollen — an interdisciplinary magazine about the environment. In addition, I am a regular writer for Mind…


An experiment with human-nonhuman communication.

Photo by Erik Karits from Pexels.

I imagine they would tell me to fuck off. They would scrunch up on seven legs to throw the spider version of the bird right at my naked body as I look up at the webbed ceiling. Maybe tomorrow.

I moved into a two-bedroom in an old brick building last October when the leaves were still not yet turning color, confused by the slow seasons in the age of climate change. It’s a nice enough place. A few cracks in the wall, old wood flooring, and what appeared to be original light fixtures. I am not picky, though — mostly…

According to a state of the science review, gratitude isn’t just nice for sociality, it’s probably good for cardiovascular health!

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite — only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. …

Mapping out what multispecies justice might look like

Photo by Chris Abney on Unsplash

“…with liberty and justice for all.”

For many kids that grew up in the US, the Pledge of Allegiance marked the start of the school day. From a young age, American children are taught that justice is a cornerstone of the modern way of life. As you grow up, and if you are somewhat curious at all, you begin to question that.

Justice for whom?

You trace your finger along the edges of a history textbook to find that social change is covered in the fight for systemic justice. Justice for women, justice for Black folks, justice for children, justice…

Hung? Hanged? Anyways, here’s what happened.

Photo by James Hammond on Unsplash

My grandma used to collect these dishes called Blue Ridge. It was a type of pottery known for its glaze techniques and designs. The brand was established out of a small Tennesee town called Erwin.

Every year, we would get up early, grab a quick biscuit at the local shop and head out to Erwin. You see, the town known for its pottery had a pottery convention that usually coincided with another town favorite, the Apple Festival. It was always a great time filled with apple butter on toast, grabbing a few new dishes, and spending time with my grandparents.


Your guide to the orders of the insect world

Author with bumblebee.

It was 11 in the morning and we had just gotten into the woods, crumpled research permit in hand. Me and my partner in crime, er, research, Cassie, were finally putting our plans to work collecting insects in the Pisgah National Forest. It was going to be a hot, sweaty, and buggy summer.

You see, I had become obsessed with insects after a trip to the Peruvian Amazon, where the bugs are everywhere: under every leaf, under every rock, in every shack, food hall, and crevice.

When I had gotten my feet back onto American soil, I wanted to learn…

Queer Pride does not excuse ignoring multispecies justice — even if it is uncomfortable to think about.

Photo by chatnarin pramnapan on Unsplash

It’s Pride month — a time for the celebration of and with those folks who have, for so long, felt trapped, misunderstood, confused, and hated for being themselves. What was once called “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month” has been simply shortened to Pride Month to include every single person that is included in that long acronym or what Gen Z folks on TikTok call “the alphabet mafia.”

Increased inclusion has also been a signal to corporations to do what they can to either show pride or allyship. “Corporate pride” or “Rainbow Capitalism” has been fawned over and critiqued enough, so…

Julia Michaels and the “wasted time” view of ex-relationships.

Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash

I am friends with almost all of my exes — granted now, I am just 22 so I haven't really racked up a long list of ex-boyfriends. The ones that I have been lucky to share parts of my life with are still somewhat a part of my life now.

Being friends, or even friendly, with your ex(es), might seem really odd. I don’t have the statistics on this so take my word with a grain of salt, but it does appear to me at least that a lot of folks clean the slate after each relationship. Once it is…

Get ready to receive environmental news and inspo directly to your inbox!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I love to learn. Not having to seek out new information all the time is a game-changer. That is why I love newsletters. These are curated emails that are sent directly to you with all kinds of fresh, new ideas for you to think about.

I am particularly interested in environmental news and ideas, so here is a list of a few newsletters that I really enjoy.

The Climate Crisis from The New Yorker & Bill McKibben

First up, a detailed one. This newsletter from The New Yorker is written by activist and writer Bill McKibben. …

Tracking the history of why this fish is a stand-in for tricking people into thinking that you are someone else.

Photo by Milos Prelevic on Unsplash

I was watching Catfish a while back and remember thinking two things: Why would anyone do this? and What does this have to do with an actual catfish?

I decided to dig into it and I am happy to say that although I still have no answers for the first question, the second has some pretty interesting answers. Here’s what I found.

First off, what does it mean to call someone a catfish?

It is definitely not a term of endearment. To call someone a catfish is to declare they are a phony. This comes in many varieties, of course.

You might have embellished your dating profile a bit. For example…

Nathan Allen

writer. illustrator. manic collector of pens and notebooks. bug guy from North Carolina. see my work at www.nthnljms.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store