In April 2011, a massive supercell tornado cut a 150-mile-long path of devastation across northern Alabama. These are the stories of the people who survived. People tell me, “Milton, that don’t make sense.” And I tell them, “Exactly! What I… by Justin Nobel | Apr, 2015

I was in Miami to think about Andy Sweet, a photographer who died far too young in 1982, and whose major subject was the weird, poor, old, and Jewish South Beach that everyone says has been gone for a long… by Lauren Groff | Jul, 2016

All her life Marcy had lived in the Midwest with people who ate red meat and starchy foods, who allowed their bodies to spread without shame. And then her husband was transferred to Naples. by Roxane Gay | Jul, 2016

Short fiction from our Fall 2015 issue. The most glamorous one said, “The things I’ve done that others would call sins”—she didn’t enumerate but we could guess—“weren’t, really.” by Beth Ann Fennelly | Jul, 2016

My family is never mentioned by name in Harlan County, USA, but it is alluded to in many passages about the county’s history. Over this they were none too pleased, which poses a problem: I love the film. by Elyssa East | Jul, 2016

Poetry from the Summer 2016 issue.  We are at the edge of the madness, sitting and swelling warm under the skin. So you think that shuffling and press of bodies against the fence will end? by Kwame Dawes | Jul, 2016

Harold F. Baquet—who died last year at fifty-six—takes an intimate look at New Orleans in the late 1980s.  by Harold F. Baquet | Jul, 2016

Some mornings my calendar is empty. On such mornings I wake up and make coffee and think: Today, at last, I can write. by Jamie Quatro | Aug, 2016

Highlights from our Fall 2016 issue. by Oxford American | Aug, 2016

Highlights from our Fall 2016 issue.

From the liner notes to Light in the Attic’s reissue of the 1971 deep soul classic Time and Place.

Lee Moses possessed all the ingredients for a successful career, but after releasing just one album, Moses would vanish into obscurity in his hometown of Atlanta, where he died in 1997, remaining one of the most underrated but enigmatic figures of rhythm and blues.

Thirty years ago, after traveling all night across the desert, I reached the West Coast and promptly jumped into the Pacific Ocean. My plan was to meet a slew of fabled California girls, who’d be deeply impressed with my country-boy resourcefulness and reward me with sexual favors. Instead, the cold undertow pulled me out to sea, and began pushing me far from my pile of clothes.

A story by Nick Fuller Googins from our Summer 2015 issue.

Their first months of ecstatic infatuation, Girl and Boy were the type of people to scorn that most standard of cocktail-party questions: what-do-you-do? Rather than answer directly, they’d discuss their curiosities and visions.

It’s a brisk February afternoon in Lexington, Kentucky, and Louis Zoeller Bickett II and I are sitting in his office, which is lined with 500 binders. A few shelves of author-signed books, all of them tagged and indexed, stand in the room behind me. Our coffee mugs are not tagged, but the small Windsor chair I’m sitting in is.

In spite of his genius and success, Ed Townsend hit a roadblock in the late sixties, when his studio in Englewood, New Jersey, went up in flames. He had just offered it as a refuge for the Isley Brothers to record “It’s Your Thing” in violation of their contract with Motown. Nearly forty years old, he was watching his life’s work burn when a man named Earl Lucas appeared.

Here, in Virginia, at the places between public roads and private land, are uncultivated plants left to grow as they might.  A Virginia Roadside Companion is an ode to these back road still lifes.

We now turn the Notebook over to our summer interns, who leave us today. Thank you for all your hard work! May you never again see a straight quote without flinching.

You can hear the lonely saxophone-on-fire-escape (in principle, the instrument may vary) cry through Gershwin. Aaron Copland. You remember Sonny Rollins on the bridge (the structure varies, too, of course). So what in the world is that about? 

Some mornings my calendar is empty. On such mornings I wake up and make coffee and think: Today, at last, I can write.

A story from our Summer 2016 issue.

Blaise St. Clair once sat down to make a list of all the people she had slept with. She knew it would be more than ten. Well, she knew it would be more than twenty. She had not imagined that the number would crest a hill and roll down the other side. It was an archeological dig.

The Going Places: Southern Routes looks at those unseen places: places between places, places passed and in transition, places left behind and those that pull us forward.