An essay from the Place Issue My dad wanted his death, like his life, to be a work of art—a tomb he designed and filled with ceramics—and one that would allow him to define death on his own terms. My… by Alice Driver | Aug, 2020

An essay from the Place Issue The quest was half-ironic, but I was hoping at the same time to feel something I couldn’t make fun of. If a revelation from the Earth manifested inside my body, well, that would mean… by Liam Baranauskas | Aug, 2020

An essay from the Place Issue This congregation is the only one in eastern Alabama and was born out of a potluck dinner for Rosh Hashanah in the early ’80s when a local couple invited four friends over, telling them… by Carly Berlin | Aug, 2020

A feature essay from the Summer/Fall 2020 issue. This is how so many black families lose their land. One person wants to sell and starts an action that can force a sale. And if a developer wants the land, he… by Rosalind Bentley | Aug, 2020

A featured conversation from the Summer/Fall 2020 issue. “The pandemic in the United States opened up the truth of what that nation is about. Like a volcano, truth just came pouring out. Just layers and layers and layers. I keep… by Minnijean Brown Trickey and Crystal C. Mercer, moderated by Danielle A. Jackson; photographs by Ebony Blevins | Aug, 2020

A Points South essay from the Place Issue As of today’s journey, our family has been in quarantine for more than a hundred days. Summer camp plans have fallen by the wayside, much like those color-coded home-school schedules parents passed… by Karen Good Marable | Aug, 2020

An Omnivore essay from the Summer/Fall 2020 issue. Johns has said that, even as a child, he wanted to be an artist—only he didn’t know what an artist was. “In the place where I was a child, there were no… by Baynard Woods | Aug, 2020

 A Letter from the Editor, Place Issue. A tiresome stereotype about the American South is that this place is a monolith. Growing up in Arkansas, with the two sides of my family living in different regions of the state, I… by Eliza Borné | Jul, 2020

Despite Michael Jordan's outsize influence, the Charlotte Hornets provided the definitive iconography of my youth.

I first wrote Charlie Engle a letter because I was fascinated by his life. It gave me a sense of vertigo to know that when we’d met, in the hills of Tennessee, he’d had no idea what was about to happen, how everything was going to change. I wondered what incarceration was like for him.

I always experience a mild depression whenever I type up what I have written. This act seems redundant. The work has already been done.

Scott Hubener’s project The Space In Between documents the landscape and residents along U.S. Route 23, between Asheville, North Carolina, and Johnson City, Tennessee. This highway was the only way to reach Johnson City until an extension of Interstate 26 was constructed in 2003. Interstate 26 now towers over the landscape of Appalachia, and the small towns and villages are completely bypassed by the many visitors to the region each year.

In his ongoing series, Nashville photographer Hollis Bennett documents the leisurely, and sometimes not-so-leisurely, moments of the great American Weekend. All is not as it seems with these revelers, Hollis writes, "I explore the state of relaxation, joy and general delight that we strive for at the end of the week and the absence of work. In many instances though, such states as anxiety, fear, and doubt are mixed in, lurking under the thin veneer of a good time."

A conversation with Miller Williams. 

I do believe that poetry is more satisfying when it has a pattern similar to those of songs. I wish that I could sing well, as I’m sure you know my daughter Lucinda does, and writes her own songs. Hank Williams (no kinship there) told me that since he often wrote his lyrics months before he set them to music, they spent those months as sort-of poems. I think the kinship is real.

Jamie Quatro's stories are uncensored, sometimes eccentric explorations of life—its darkness and brilliance—written in a voice that David Means describes as “bright, sharp, startling, utterly distinctive, passionate, and secretive." Here, she talks about her process and influences.

Roger May's project Testify is a measured and honest documentation of Appalachia. His photographs tell a story in which family, industry, memory, erasure, and loss play equal parts.

A firefighter cannot be a coward. He can be a lot of things, a prick, a thief, a liar, but he cannot be a coward. A man who won't tote his own weight, who won't hump his own hose, won't be tolerated. They'll blackball him and nobody will want him on his shift. I've seen men who were reluctant to enter a burning building. It does not endear them to you, not if you think about going down inside one and him being the only one immediately available to pull you out.

Sarah Hoskins's The Homeplace is a beautifully considered study of the small African-American communities that sprang up in post–Civil War Kentucky. Some of these communities have endured, and even thrived throughout the past 150 years. Others are on the verge of disappearing.

An installment of Big Chief Tablet.