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“Flying Dream” (1972), by Arthur Tress, appeared in the Fall 2015 issue


This year saw numerous milestones for the Oxford American. In the past twelve months we unveiled a website redesign; our columnist Chris Offutt was a finalist for a National Magazine Award; we inaugurated a new editor, Eliza Borné; and we received an NEA Art Works grant to support our ongoing work of publishing a quality magazine of the South.

We appreciate these accomplishments and changes and we’re proud of them. However, even in an exceptionally busy year, nothing stands out more than the stories we were fortunate enough to publish. Here are just a few of many highlights from the pages of the Oxford American in 2015.


A Local’s Guide to Dating in Slocomb County” by Chris Drangle
Mistakes and atonement in small-town Arkansas.

Do Not Save the Ferocious, Save the Tender” by Ramona Ausubel
Survival of body was not the question for the three lost men, not yet anyway.

ur heck box” by Catherine Lacey
Lets just say, for simplicity, that Maurices problem was me.


The Coded Life of William Thomas Prestwood” by Jeremy B. Jones
Grappling with a philandering ancestor’s transgressions.

Asking for Directions” by Jamie Quatro
On observation and story-making. (Introduction to the fiction issue.)

My Name Is Alex” by Michelle García
A boy, a hitchhiker, a refugee, a friend—a life-changing ride.


Art Against the Wall” by Stephanie Elizondo Griest
Artists working at the border.

Walking the Tornado Line” by Justin Nobel
Tracing the 150-mile path of the 2011 Alabama supercell.

Crossing Over” by Jonathan Blitzer
Born in El Paso, Claudia Delfin made herself in Juárez.


“Though the Heavens Fall” (Part 1 / Part 2) by John Jeremiah Sullivan & Joel Finsel
On Texas, old newspapers, race music, and two black lives that shaped the history of civil rights.

How to Read a Menu” by John T. Edge
We’ve entered the abstract phase of Southern food’s revival.

Sugarfoot Stomp” by Cynthia Shearer
Fletcher Henderson and the birth of swing.


Swale” by Michael Klein

Four Poems by Davis McCombs

The Battle of and For the Black Face Boy” by Nikky Finney


Our most popular stories on

Trash Food” by Chris Offutt
On societal divisions and food.

Coding and Recoding Dinner” by Todd Kliman
Restaurants do not look much different today than they did fifty years ago.

Da Art of Storytellin’ (A Prequel)” by Kiese Lamon
On Southern stank, family, creativity, and OutKast.

Prayers for Richard” by David Ramsey
Little Richard at eighty-two. 

"The Smiling Moon Café" (1965) by Carroll Cloar (Am. 1913–1993). Collection of Dianne and Bobby Tucker. © Estate of Carroll Cloar“The Smiling Moon Café” (1965) by Carroll Cloar, appeared in our Spring 2015 issue.
Collection of Dianne and Bobby Tucker. © Estate of Carroll Cloar

Oxford American

From the editors of the Oxford American.