Take Sturgill Simpson. Sturgill (can I call you Sturgill?) is a Kentucky rascal, born in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. Jackson—population around twenty-one hundred. He comes from a family of coal miners. He was in the Navy. He worked… by Leesa Cross-Smith | Nov, 2017

An interview with Les McCann from the Kentucky Music Issue.  All through high school the band teacher and I were very good friends. He received tickets to all the bands and brought me to concerts. I was in perfect heaven. I never… by Harmony Holiday | Nov, 2017

In 1966, Loretta Lynn was anything but little. She had already released eight solo studio albums. Just one year later she would be the first woman in country music to achieve a certified gold album for Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’… by Marianne Worthington | Nov, 2017

Bounding from one circle of attendees to another, dispensing heartfelt hugs and introducing himself and his Danish boyfriend to newcomers with the comportment of a Southern gentleman, was my friend Brandon Godman, a bearded, bearish hipster type whose jolly, grandfatherly… by Jewly Hight | Nov, 2017

Three poems from our Kentucky Music Issue.  Until the nameless traveler learns in terror His lidless eyes are open targets— Where sudden night flings in her quiet spear.    by Thomas Merton | Nov, 2017

A few seconds in, there came this sound. It filled the song and then it filled the room I was listening in. What was that? Like a fiercely shaken box of tacks. Like wind rattling dry leaves on a tree.… by John Jeremiah Sullivan | Nov, 2017

We celebrated our twenty-fifth anniversary year by doing what we’ve always done: publish the groundbreaking fiction—three excerpts from Jesmyn Ward’s National Book Award–winning novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing—essays, nonfiction, and poetry our readers have come to expect. Revisit or catch up on… by Oxford American | Dec, 2017

It was 1995, the year Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” was released, the end of my eighth-grade year, in rural Kentucky where homophobia was—and continues to be—rampant. My secret boyfriend and I—the one I had kissed in darkened classrooms after… by Jason Howard | Nov, 2017

The Old Regular Baptists and the joyful sound. The Old Regulars sing loud. “You can’t whisper it, it needs to have zip,” one told me. Another: “If you can’t shout down here, what are you gonna do when you get to… by David Ramsey | Nov, 2017

Notes on the songs from our 19th Southern Music Issue CD featuring Kentucky. This faculty, to be attuned to one’s surroundings and the ways in which they’re unique, to be rooted in the local, to be of a certain place—no matter if… by Oxford American | Nov, 2017

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Texas Love Letter LP

Texas Love Letter LP (0)

Introducing the Oxford American's first ever vinyl LP, a Texas Love Letter compilation to compliment our Texas Music Issue & CD. Conceived and composed by the staff of the Oxford American with help from our friend, Texas songwriting legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, the LP is available as a limited-edition gift for a donor premium of $240 (to be delivered in January 2015).

Your donation to the Oxford American Literary Project, a 501c(3) non-profit organization, is tax-deductible. All proceeds from this special project will go toward producing more of the Oxford American magazine's great writing and music you love.

This special donor gift is not for sale and is limited to 400 hand-numbered copies.

TEXAS LOVE LETTER LP

Side A

1. “House of Blue Lights" by Ella Mae Morse
2. "Dirty Work At The Crossroads" by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
3. “Grand Candy Young Sweet” by Fever Tree
4. “Me And My Destiny” by Doug Sahm
5. “Corazon Viajero” by Tish Hinojosa
6. “Harm's Swift Way” (Demo) by Townes Van Zandt

Side B

1. “Amarillo Highway” by Terry Allen
2. “Let Her Dance” by Bobby Fuller Four
3. “The Messenger” by Ray Wylie Hubbard
4. “Satin Sheets” by Willis Alan Ramsey
5. “Gospel” by Charlie Sexton


In eleven masterful songs, the Oxford American’s Texas Love Letter LP showcases the high-caliber songcraft of the state of Texas—some of which has never been available in any form. Most notably, we are proud to debut Townes Van Zandt’s final recording, “Harm's Swift Way.” The song has been covered by Robert Plant and a few others over the years, but the original demo version has never been officially released until now. Thanks to the generosity of Van Zandt’s family and because of Townes’s appreciation of the Oxford American magazine in the last years of his life, we are honored to debut this hauntingly beautiful masterpiece.

Other highlights: A song from Willis Alan Ramsey’s long out-of-print self-titled 1972 album, a Texas cult classic; a new stripped-down arrangement of “Gospel,” recorded live by Charlie Sexton in October 2014, exclusively for this album; and, on the back sleeve of the LP, a love letter to Texas songwriting penned by our friend Ray Wylie Hubbard.

Besides delivering a quarterly magazine of stellar writing, photography, and art with a unique Southern perspective, the Oxford American is dedicated to promoting literacy and exploring Southern culture through various other creative endeavors. We exist by way of the generous support of our readers, donors, advertisers and partners and we have more projects in store like this one, but we need your support.

Donate today to reserve your copy and receive the Oxford American’s first vinyl LP release.

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Support the nonprofit Oxford American by donating today! Your generosity helps ensure that we continue to publish unexpected stories and unique perspectives of the South from the region’s leading and emerging voices. Independent media like the OA is more important today than ever. 

Join the Oxford American as we explore the South’s complexity and vitality through excellent writing, music, and visual art.

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  • Publish outstanding nonfiction, fiction, and poetry
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The Oxford American is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, making your contribution tax-deductible. 

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