Short story: The Clown and Bard by Karen Karbo, from USA Noir (2013) edited by Johnny Temple. Recommended.
Poem: Temptation of the Rope by Reginald Dwayne Betts, listened to on the Poetry Now podcast, from October 2017. Highly Recommended.
Essay: Lessons from the Longest Study on Human Development by Helen Pearson, listened to on the TED Talks podcast, from October 2017. Highly Recommended.