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Issue 105, Summer 2019

In our annual Southern Journeys section, four long-form stories take readers across the region in search of bygone utopias, neglected histories, and obscure visionaries—alongside short essays on music and the road from beloved OA contributors Kiese Laymon, Ronni Lundy, Mary Miller, and more. 

The Summer 2019 issue also includes new fiction by True Detective screenwriter Graham Gordy, an essay by Stephanie Powell Watts, and poetry by Rajiv Mohabir and Sandra Beasley

Plus: Anne Gisleson and John T. Edge on their favorite watering holes.

Editor’s Letter: Color Fields, by Eliza Borné


Beyond the Levee, by Boyce Upholt

The Fleeting Kingdom of Heaven, by Margaret Renkl

Only Human, by Jacob Rosenberg

The Unfound Door, by Stephanie Powell Watts 

Local Fare: Social Engineering, by John T. Edge 


from Ghosts of India Road in Opelika, Ross Cemetery, by Rajiv Mohabir

Nostalgia, by Sandra Beasley

Propriety, by Rosa Alcalá

Here It Is, by Mohja Kahf


Ruskin USA
Forgotten utopias in the country of no castles 
by Matthew Sherrill

Let Me Tell You About Coal Creek
The neglected history of Lake City Colored Elementary School
by Rachel Louise Martin

The Feral Child
After a death in the family, a father and son become unwitting art dealers 
by Britta Lokting

Home Court
A native son of Wilmington, North Carolina, resurrects the “black country club” that helped launch the careers of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, as well as his own
by Shaun Assael

Plus five writers on music and the road: Ronni Lundy, Lucas Loredo, Duncan Murrell, Mary Miller, and Kiese Laymon


Who Carried You
A story by Graham Gordy

Chosen History
Thomas Jefferson, Pharrell, and more notes on the state of Virginia
by Mychal Denzel Smith

Pointe D'église, Louisiana, 1959
A story by Anne Guidry


Keeping the Devil Close
Mike Frolich’s artistic legacy in the Saturn Bar 
by Anne Gisleson  

Sweet Things
Zora Neale Hurston’s lessons in writing a love story 
by Regina Porter

A Hometown Kind of Thing
Creating the No Tears Suite


Art by: Anastasia Samoylova, Joe Buglewicz, Tatum Shaw, Hernan Bas, Christine Elfman, Meg Griffiths, Amy Herman, Timothy Briner, McNair Evans, Johanna Goodman, Tristan Wheelock, Jason Stout, Miranda Barnes, Tom McNease, Rashid Johnson, Claire Merchlinsky, Maxine Helfman, Ann George, Amy C. Evans, Anne Gisleson, Carla Jay Harris, Brian Chilson

Cover: “Tacoma Screen” (2017), by Anastasia Samoylova, from the series FloodZone. Published in the book FloodZone (forthcoming from Steidl in fall 2019)