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Issue 92, Spring 2016

“The OA has always published vital, important stories—from the borderlands, the Gulf Coast, Appalachia, and many locales in between,” editor Eliza Borné writes in this issue. “Our writers continue to thrill me with their creativity and craft.”

Some highlights: Will Stephenson’s evaluation of the Texas-born writer Terry Southern; Alex Mar’s meditation on ancestry and her connection to Juan Ponce de León; fiction by Crystal Wilkinson and C. E. Morgan; a report from the rural Mississippi hometown of author Lewis Nordan; poetry by C. D. Wright, Tyehimba Jess, and Bianca Lynne Spriggs; and more.

Letter from the Editor, by Eliza Borné


You Dumb Bell, by James Seay

Dept. of Critical Care, by Peter Andrey Smith

La Belle Rivière, a story by C. E. Morgan

Ride Along with the Cowboy Police, by Matt Wolfe

Hidden Talents, four micromemoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly

How Not to Raise Llamas, by David McDannald

Local Fare: Road Tripping with Nathalie Dupree, by John T. Edge


Once Was Lost
Photographs by Richard Leo Johnson
Poem by C. D. Wright

Blood Ties
Conjuring up my own personal conquistador
by Alex Mar

The Thunder and the Hurricane
A team comes home
by Pia Z. Ehrhardt

A House of Crossed Logs
Finding Lewis Nordan
by John McElwee
with Chris Fowler

Sky. Blood. Bone. Breath.
A story by Crystal Wilkinson


The State of the Plate
Fetishizing Fiestaware
by Kelly Alexander

Terry Southern’s life in letters
by Will Stephenson

Cooking with Chris:
A Bird in Hand Is Worth Nothing to the Bird
by Chris Offutt


Molasses, by Nancy K. Pearson

General James Bethune and John Bethune Introduce Blind Tom, by Tyehimba Jess

Discipline, by Phillip B. Williams

Night on Rand Avenue, by Bianca Lynne Spriggs


Art by: Jo Ann Callis, Camilo Ramirez, Akasha Rabut, Norwood Creech, Holly Andres, Molly Lamb, Tatum Shaw, Karen Glaser, Andrew Moore, Willie Anne Wright, James H. Evans, Najee Dorsey, Joshua Flint, Richard Leo Johnson, Aaron Canipe, Hannah Cooper McCauley, Rebecca Reeve, Tom Martin, Donald Baechler, Chris Fowler, Albert Chong, Krista Steinke, Jan De Vliegher, Cara Barer, Yola Monakhov Stockton

Cover: “The Dish Trick” (1985), by Jo Ann Callis. Courtesy of the artist and ROSEGALLERY