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Issue 114, Fall 2021

The Oxford American’s Southern Literature Issue includes original short fiction by PEN/Faulkner Award winner Deesha Philyaw, as well as stories by Dawnie Walton, Mary Miller, and others. This issue also features five blues poems by the Afro-Futurist writer and Arkansas native, Henry Dumas.

Plus: West Virginia state folklorist Emily Hilliard revisits writer Breece D’J Pancake’s hometown of Milton, while S. J. Kim explores Southern Gothic themes through the poetry of Louisiana native Yusef Komunyakaa.

“This issue aims to reveal the literature of the South as prismatic and dynamic,” Danielle A. Jackson writes in her editor’s letter. “We wanted to reimagine the canon, revisit classics in new and striking ways, and introduce a new vanguard of literary adventurers, soothsayers, and prophets.”

Editor’s Letter: A Belief in Birds, by Danielle A. Jackson


Finding a Home Behind the Counter, by Frederick McKindra

The Faithful, a story by Allison Light

Dollhouse of Horrors, by Mary Kay McBrayer

Apple Flesh, a story by Andrew Malan Milward

Rum and Pearls, a story by Herbert Girtley Jr. 

The Dock, a story by Steve Cushman


A story by Mary Miller

The High Shelf,
A story by Dawnie Walton

The Guidebook to the Evaluation of Revelatory Phenomena,
A story by Jeremy Griffin

Dr. Sandman,
A story by Deesha Philyaw


Blues Poems by Henry Dumas

Employment Blues
Concentration Camp Blues
Keep the Faith Blues
The Buster
Outer Space Blues


Something Deeply Rooted
Breece D’J Pancake’s Milton, West Virginia
by Emily Hilliard

Cutting Across Lines 
Teaching Holocaust Literature in Arkansas
by Dorian Stuber 

The Second Sight of Henry Dumas
Envisioning Black (Im)possibility in the U.S. South
by Carter Mathes

On Korean Drama and the New Southern Gothic 
by S.J. Kim


Art by: Allison Janae Hamilton, Doron Langberg, Catherine Panebianco, Mary Kay McBrayer, Charlie Engman, Isip Xin, Madeleine Bialke, Artur Wiernicki, Lorna Simpson, Carter/Reddy, Jerrell Gibbs, David Huffman, Blanche Lazzell, Carl Hammoud, Lonnie Holley, GaHee Park