"My love for our land took root early on. From high up on the windmill I gazed over the mesquite, to the north, where I knew my future lay. It was peaceful up there, but not quiet. Time was marked… by Michelle García | Dec, 2014

During a recent trip through the Grand Canyon, I recognized the loss of water, land, and culture that's been inflicted upon the Colorado River. I realized the importance of watersheds as maps; they tell the story of civilization. This inspired… by Jeff Rich | Jan, 2015

One of the central themes of Megan Mayhew Bergman's fiction concerns the varying identities that people—especially women—worry over, the personas they adopt and adapt for their own purposes. In her latest collection, Almost Famous Women, Bergman explores the stories of… by Oxford American | Jan, 2015

A conversation with the poet Christian Wiman, whose latest collection, Once in the West—his first since leaving Poetry magazine, where he was editor for ten years—is a finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. by Win Bassett | Jan, 2015

Cue the bourbon toast—the Oxford American is proud to be nominated for a 2015 National Magazine Award: Chris Offutt’s irreverent “cooking” column is a finalist in the Columns & Commentary category. by Oxford American | Jan, 2015

The amount of blood pooled up on the Deep Ellum street that evening in March 1931 shocked even those city folk who labored with pig stickers and hooks at the Dallas stockyards. A drunk man bleeds faster, more voluminously, than… by Christopher C. King | Jan, 2015

Once a thriving port during the Civil War, Hopewell hasn’t seen its heyday since. Today it struggles to keep its economy afloat and the local grocery stores in business, but, unlike many American cities, Hopewell isn’t on the decline. In… by Jeff Rich | Jan, 2015

Mess with Willie Nelson and the next thing you'll see is the wrong end of a gun held by the devil himself. Robert Paul English. by Joe Nick Patoski | Jan, 2015

"In a place where we have few trees and a lot of wind, I’ll risk it and go out on a limb to say that Texas may be a part of the New South. Texas doesn’t believe that, but still, there’s a common bond. Almost. I think it was Leon Stokesbury who I first heard define the Southern poem. He thought such a poem likely included a big dose of heartbreak and comic sensibility featuring family, landscape, and religion in varying degrees and combination. I hear these same quirky, dusty, open-sky, heartfelt mixtures in the songs of Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett, the Dixie Chicks (don’t judge), and more recently, Amanda Shires."

"As a Texas Playboy, it seems, you were one of an exclusive brotherhood, and Bob Wills, the king of Western swing, was much more than a personality and a paycheck. But you had to earn your membership."

A poem from the winter 2014 issue.

Last century, like angels before the world was born,
Cowboys ruled the West. Now, like angels scorned,
come the Texans to lay the black on blue.

"Drawn from both vernacular and personal sources, and thick with the cast and the argot of the penitentiary, J. B. Smith’s songs form an epic of the Southern prison-farm experience."

During a recent trip through the Grand Canyon, I recognized the loss of water, land, and culture that's been inflicted upon the Colorado River. I realized the importance of watersheds as maps; they tell the story of civilization. This inspired my investigation into the current state of American rivers.

Notebook

By  |  January 23, 2015
In Notebook, the Oxford American offers recommendations, notes, and musings. This week: Against the Country, Dept. of Speculation, and Greg Jackson's "Serve-and-Volley, Near Vichy."

One of the central themes of Megan Mayhew Bergman's fiction concerns the varying identities that people—especially women—worry over, the personas they adopt and adapt for their own purposes. In her latest collection, Almost Famous Women, Bergman explores the stories of thirteen women whose lives and achievements have been lost to the main stream of contemporary memory. 

OA contributing editor Jamie Quatro, author of I Want to Show You More, spoke with Bergman about her new book, the writing life, and “trying on ways of being female.”

A conversation with the poet Christian Wiman, whose latest collection, Once in the West—his first since leaving Poetry magazine, where he was editor for ten years—is a finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry.

"Some country songs sound like they have simply always existed," Rick Clark wrote of Hayes Carll's "Chances Are" in the liner notes of our Texas Music Issue CD. Lee Ann Womack's version of the song, from last year's The Way I'm Livin' (her first release in six years), is track 18 on the disc. Today we are happy to premiere the video of the in-studio live recording, courtesy of our friends at Sugar Hill Records.

The staff of the Oxford American is delighted to welcome you to the new OxfordAmerican.org. The website, built by Little Rock's Pixel Perfect Creative, has been reorganized for usability, and the design—created by OA art director Tom Martin—reflects our quarterly print edition. A starting point for exploration might be the following essays, which were among the most-visited stories on our website in 2014.

Cue the bourbon toast—the Oxford American is proud to be nominated for a 2015 National Magazine Award: Chris Offutt’s irreverent “cooking” column is a finalist in the Columns & Commentary category.

The amount of blood pooled up on the Deep Ellum street that evening in March 1931 shocked even those city folk who labored with pig stickers and hooks at the Dallas stockyards. A drunk man bleeds faster, more voluminously, than a sober one, and the heat radiating from the earth that Saturday would have hurried along the lifeblood—an unfortunate confluence of factors.