Notes on the songs from our 21st Southern Music Issue Sampler featuring South Carolina. It is fitting that this Southern Music Issue (the Oxford American’s twenty-first) devoted to South Carolina should come in 2019, as the nation moves to better… by Oxford American | Nov, 2019

A graphic story from the Fall 2019 issue.  Like many cities, Little Rock is a place of ghosts. The dead hover and haunt, though their stories often go untold. This story is a work of fiction inspired by some of… by Van Jensen & Nate Powell | Sep, 2019

A Points South essay from the Fall 2019 issue This approach, of stitching different strands of colored yarn through canvas so many times that the individual strings join in a subtle and collective harmony, leads to an image made of… by William Browning | Sep, 2019

A selection of short stories in the Fall 2019 issue He had witnessed her appearance a few minutes earlier. Instantly he had known, from the way her pieces sifted together, that she was a ghost, though he had never seen… by Kevin Brockmeier | Sep, 2019

The pieces of Johnny Greene, an Omnivore essay from the Fall 2019 issue. Johnny used place as a recurrent theme, along with displacement. As a journalist, he was fascinated by communities, by groups of people and the environments which shaped… by James K. Williamson | Sep, 2019

A feature short story from the Fall 2019 issue. The godmother is like an ancestor who never really left. Someone who’s here even when they’re not. The godmother is what happens when somebody asks your name and you suddenly can’t… by Selena Anderson | Sep, 2019

A new episode of Points South is now playing!Subscribe today and never miss an episode. Episode Four features the OA editors discussing the upcoming South Carolina Music Issue and sharing their favorite stories and behind-the-scenes moments. Plus: A preview of the issue’s… by Sara A. Lewis | Nov, 2019

We would like to hear from you.  The magazine will begin publishing letters to the editor in the fall issue and going forward. If you would like to respond to a story published in the magazine, we welcome your letter. by Oxford American | Jun, 2019

An exclusive premiere from Rachel Grimes’s new album, The Way Forth.

During the emotional process of moving her parents into nursing homes some years back, Grimes and her brother became the executors of a scattershot archive of family photos, papers, and ephemera. The elisions and erasures of the past gathered poignantly in Grimes’s mind on the repeated drives along the Kentucky River between her farm and her father’s home. Rural Kentucky is endlessly evocative to Grimes, and the bucolic is a rhizome that threads throughout her work.

An installment in our weekly series, The By and By. 

This Having-a-Baby is proving harder than I remembered. In part because it is harder the second time around. Because I am not wise, I had expected the opposite to be the case. I had thought, we already have the tools, the knowledge, the expertise. We have been to Troy in our black ships, looted its treasure, burned it to the ground. We know from diaper changes, projectile spit-ups at four A.M., teeth-cutting, growth spurts, high fevers. We know not to leave the stroller on the porch overnight or else it gets that weird green mold. The second baby would slot right into this operation, a seamless addition to the good world we’ve made.

There is a narrow yellow paneled house in New Orleans that’s got a lean to it, a lean, that is, toward falling. It’s on the short, nearly forgotten end of Wilson Avenue, which should really be called a street since there is nothing grandiose about it. Though if it were called its true, true, name, this story would not be begging its way to the page. The Broom clan, five girls and seven boys, lived on the side of the street where there are only three remaining houses. Ours is the one begging to fall. And I don’t blame it.

 

An installment in John T. Edge’s column, Local Fare.

She was a genius, I’ve come to recognize, at recasting defeats as glorious spectacles. Faced with small-town ignorance, fearful of what small-town boredom might wrest from her, she did her best to divert and subvert. Looking back, I see my best self in her flagrancy. And I glimpse what my worst self might have nurtured, had the darker times in Clinton defined my life.

A short story from the Fall 2019 issue

Hello, Dolly! is awful, and Patrick knows it. The sets and costumes are all Crayola colors and the music is mercilessly perky and nobody can say a word without shouting and clicking their heels. It’s the kind of feel-good musical that makes you want to slit your wrists. Nobody wants to do Medea again, but there are plenty of audience favorites out there better than Hello, Dolly!

Richard Sexton’s forthcoming book, Enigmatic Stream: Industrial Landscapes of the Lower Mississippi River documents, in close to one hundred images spanning nearly twenty years of work, the role of industry along the riverbank.

An installment in our weekly series, The By and By. 

What is it about this malignancy that pulls me like the moon pulls on the tides? Why does he live in my head? Maybe I am a soft touch. Maybe I’m a mark. Like so many women, I can’t resist a half-handsome smart guy with a ready and witty remark. That’s on me. I got hooked on a single song: “I Was in the House When the House Burned Down.” But that was years after 1982.

A Points South essay from the Fall 2019 issue

We all hear them, nearly two thousand young women making a joyful noise and heading this way in a ritual officially known as “Bid Day,” but called “Squeal Day” by pretty much everyone. The sound is less a squeal than a soprano roar, high and triumphant, louder and louder as they round the corner, a delirium of girls in shorts and sneakers, cantering behind sisters bearing huge cut-out Greek letters.

Male romantic friendships in art and life

Everything about my reading and living felt belated. I’d missed by one hundred fifty years the cultural context that somehow explained my intimacy with Luke Henry better than I could, and my education in nineteenth-century romantic friendship came too late.

 

An installment in our weekly series, The By and By. 

Church steeples still lay on the ground, blue tarps turned homes into extensions of the sea. A human’s arms cannot encompass that loss. We make small boxes instead; we attempt to foil fate, we laugh, and we wait.

“As the grandson of a well driller, I learned at an early age that water does not originate from a faucet, nor simply disappear after going down the drain.”

 A Letter from the Editor, Fall 2019.

As a nonprofit, independent publication, the OA exists in an undefined space between literary journal and glossy general-interest magazine. We can embrace the best of both traditions as we see fit: publishing multi-page poems and longform reportage, fine artwork and photojournalism.