The sun has come out to play, and so should you! We've got you covered with our adventure-ready "Get Outside & Read" Bundle! Get the much-anticipated Summer 2024 Outside Issue + some adventure essentials today at OA Goods!

Become A Member Shop Login


Issue 96, Spring 2017

“Our charge is to share important, moving stories with you, our readers, from a region that is still oft-overlooked and maligned,” writes editor Eliza Borné in an introduction to this issue, which marks the Oxford American’s twenty-fifth anniversary.

Some highlights: An excerpt from Jesmyn Ward’s forthcoming novel; photographs by Jack Spencer; a previously unpublished poem by Margaret Walker, with an introduction by Kiese Laymon; an examination of Guy Davenport by Brian BlanchfieldRien Fertel on the Mardi Gras flambeaux carriers—and much more.

Editor’s Letter: Truth in Stories, by Eliza Borné


Straighten Up and Fly Right, a story by Glenn Taylor

Black Fences, by Linda B. Blackford

Palm Beach Van Dyck, by Nicole Pasulka

Snarly Pete on the Ramparts, by Ed McClanahan

Witness, three micro-memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly

This Land, photographs by Jack Spencer 

Preservation, by C. Morgan Babst

Local Fare:  On Crawfish Boats and Taco Baskets, by John T. Edge


BTW, by Peter Cooley

The Confession, by Morri Creech

Breaking, by George Ella Lyon

Darkling, I listen—, by Safiya Sinclair


An Elegiac Valedictory
Celebrating “a dozen wonderful writers”
by Margaret Walker
Introduction by Kiese Laymon

A Town Under Trial
What an unsolved double murder in Kentucky reveals about America’s military-industrial complex
by Nick Tabor

Seeking joy in a time of despair
by Michelle García

The Keepers of the Light
Mardi Gras’s flambeaux: a complicated history
by Rien Fertel

a story by Jesmyn Ward
Excerpted from Sing, Unburied, Sing


Wayne Hall 0.1
Mystic art assembled from Corsicana’s dross
by David Searcy 

Coming Up with Guy Davenport
A long-ago letter, a lifelong fascination, a longing appreciation
by Brian Blanchfield

Cooking with Chris:
Chicken Cordon Blue Bloods
by Chris Offutt


Art by: Jack Spencer, Rose Marie Cromwell, Ansen Seale, Rachel Boillot, Ben Nixon, Lee Deigaard, Ralph Wolfe Cowan, Linda Foard Roberts, Guy Mendes, Frank Relle, William Widmer, Carl Van Vechten, Coke Wisdom O’Neal, Tamara Reynolds, Alma Thomas, Vincent Valdez, Skip Bolen, Noel Camardo, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Andy Kropa 

Cover: “Starfall,” St. Augustine, Florida (2008), by Jack Spencer, from This Land