Issue 96, Spring 2017

Issue 96, Spring 2017

“Our charge is to share important, moving stories with you, our readers, from a region that is still oft-overlooked and maligned,” writes editor Eliza Borné in an introduction to this issue, which marks the Oxford American’s twenty-fifth anniversary.

Some highlights: An excerpt from Jesmyn Ward’s forthcoming novel; photographs by Jack Spencer; a previously unpublished poem by Margaret Walker, with an introduction by Kiese Laymon; an examination of Guy Davenport by Brian BlanchfieldRien Fertel on the Mardi Gras flambeaux carriers—and much more.

Buy the issue.


Editor’s Letter: Truth in Stories, by Eliza Borné

Points South

Straighten Up and Fly Right, a story by Glenn Taylor

Linda B. Blackford on the black horsemen of Kentucky

Palm Beach Van Dyck, by Nicole Pasulka

Ed McClanahan inhabits a Lexington streetscape

Witness, three micro-memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly

This Land, photographs by Jack Spencer 

C. Morgan Babst confronts a flood of emotion after the storm

Local Fare: On Crawfish Boats and Taco Baskets, by John T. Edge


Poetry

BTW, by Peter Cooley

The Confession, by Morri Creech

Breaking, by George Ella Lyon

Darkling, I listen—, by Safiya Sinclair


Features

AN ELEGIAC VALEDICTORY
Celebrating “a dozen wonderful writers”
by Margaret Walker
Introduction by Kiese Laymon

A TOWN UNDER TRIAL
What an unsolved double murder in Kentucky reveals about America’s military-industrial complex
by Nick Tabor

THE YEAR OF THE HEAVY MOON
Seeking joy in a time of despair
by Michelle García
 
THE KEEPERS OF THE LIGHT
Mardi Gras’s flambeaux: a complicated history
by Rien Fertel
 
FLAYED
a story by Jesmyn Ward

Omnivore

WAYNE HALL 0.1
Mystic art assembled from Corsicana’s dross
by David Searcy 
 
COMING UP WITH GUY DAVENPORT
A long-ago letter, a lifelong fascination, a longing appreciation
by Brian Blanchfield
 
Cooking with Chris:
CHICKEN CORDON BLUE BLOODS
by Chris Offutt

Art by  Jack Spencer, Rose Marie Cromwell, Ansen Seale, Rachel Boillot, Ben Nixon, Lee Deigaard, Ralph Wolfe Cowan, Linda Foard Roberts, Guy Mendes, Frank Relle, William Widmer, Carl Van Vechten, Coke Wisdom O’Neal, Tamara Reynolds, Alma Thomas, Vincent Valdez, Skip Bolen, Noel Camardo, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Andy Kropa 

Cover: “Starfall,” St. Augustine, Florida (2008), by Jack Spencer, from This Land