An installment in our weekly series, The By and By.
Below the quilt is a daybed where I would lie as a child when I was sick or restless, or just wanted my mother’s company as she worked. The lower reaches of the menagerie have become as familiar as my hand. The cricket—that cricket. Satin-stitched thorax and abdomen in brown thread on an ivory field, with legs and antennae spronging out in stem stitch. Who asked for the cricket? Was it a child?
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 those ghosts, who lived a tale the city tried to forget—of the mob and cops and gamblers, the good and the bad, and the hazy in-between. The violence they knew was real and ugly, with consequences, not a thing to be celebrated or courted. In those days it was impossible to escape. The story begins with a man named Gideon, back home from World War II . . .
A review of Scott Avett’s debut museum exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art.
While Avett is far better-known as a musician than a painter—the Avett Brothers’ new album Closer Than Together just debuted at #28 on the Billboard 200 chart—he does not think of either pursuit as being secondary. Pretty much the same amount of time and effort goes into both.
Could Lucy Negro Redux beckon a new era for ballet?—an Omnivore essay from the Fall 2019 issue.
I believe artwork is more interesting—and will invite new audiences—when a wide swath of people are allowed to tell a variety of stories. There’s just one issue here: most ballet audiences don’t come to the theater to think about representation. Ballet is a form of escapist entertainment that celebrates the athletic prowess of the human body, and the fact is, the bodies on stage are usually white.
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 a ghost before, nor indeed believed in them. Nervously he called her over to his cart.
Little Rock, Arkansas' South Main (SoMa) neighborhood has a special friend. The friendly, yellow face of Cosmo—a loveable cornbread skillet—is a common sight around town. Since 2011, the Arkansas Cornbread Festival, a community development fête, has evolved into one of the region's most anticipated events.
An excerpt from M. Randal O’Wain’s new essay collection Meander Belt.
He smiles when the lock clicks free. I know now the pleasures of pride; I can imagine the sense of accomplishment this sound must have provided my father, a thirty-year-old construction worker—keys mean trust, respect. Keys also mean home and so I follow his hand with suspicion.
A Louisiana tribe’s long fight against the American tide—feature reportage from the Fall 2019 issue.Today, the island has a spare and haphazard beauty. Almost every day, fishermen stand in clusters along the island road, casting their nets into the ever-widening water. Where the island begins, the road curves left; here, it’s dense with trees before these give way, gradually, and the sky grows wider. On the right side of the road, to the west, runs the bayou, lined with wood-plank bridges that lead to the homes. To the east there is an oil canal, its size becoming apparent as the forest thins.
A Points South essay from the Fall 2019 issue
A wolf suit. A boy suit. The belly button memory of a mama tether. An odd stone to mark the buried time capsule of your before body. Did your husband wince when it was time to cut the cord? Did you do it yourself, scissors in your weak hand, slick with blood? Was it easy to split, to be so undone? When you shift now in the night, does your hand find your belly, that soft ridgeline from sternum to navel? Does it feel like quicksand, your mother costume, and does it suit you?