The Lexington Cure

When the United States Narcotic Farm opened in Lexington, Kentucky in 1935, it aimed to rehabilitate drug offenders and equip them for a productive sober life. In the process, it became a place for jazz musicians to take a break and jam together. A Kentucky poet who grew up near the farm reflects on the way she found her own cure.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Nov 21, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,312 words)

Border Wars

When writer and scholar Zandria F. Robinson tries to understand what makes “southernness” a distinct quality in music, food, language, or attitudes about race, she realizes that borders and categories are porous.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Nov 21, 2017
Length: 32 minutes (8,191 words)

Honky-Tonk Man

“I called him Mr. Chuck. We did what families do: We carefully observed the borders of conversational terrain. The election of Obama, no. The best strategy for grilling buffalo burgers, yes.”

Source: Oxford American
Published: Sep 5, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,279 words)

Old Woods and Deep

Compelled by a dearth of biographical material about novelist Cormac McCarthy, a fellow writer travels to Tennessee to try to sketch a portrait of this reclusive, beguiling author.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Sep 5, 2017
Length: 27 minutes (6,836 words)

Southern Gallery: Tom Petty

Goodbye, Tom Petty. Revisit this chatty, informal, fun interview with the rock legend from Oxford American’s 2000 Southern music issue.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Jul 15, 2000
Length: 15 minutes (3,849 words)

The Socialist Experiment

The mayor of Jackson, Mississippi was transforming his city through cooperative economics, to create a model for a new, more equitable society for black Americans. His rallying crying: “Free the land!” His plan: get black progressives into elected office, and empower through independence. Then he died. The plan did not die with him.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Sep 5, 2017
Length: 48 minutes (12,205 words)

After Oranges

Fifty years after New Yorker writer John McPhee published his slender study Oranges, one writer traces McPhee’s story down to Florida to assess the state of American citrus and the peculiar nature of this enduring book.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Jun 14, 2017
Length: 27 minutes (6,974 words)

Palm Beach Van Dyck

A “willingness to flout the laws of space and time” help painter Ralph Cowan form relationships with the kind of people who will pay for a portrait of themselves with a lion, at the mast of a ship, or gliding through a Venetian dreamscape.

Source: Oxford American
Published: May 2, 2017
Length: 15 minutes (3,781 words)

A Town Under Trial

What an unsolved double murder in Kentucky reveals about America’s military-industrial complex.

Author: Nick Tabor
Source: Oxford American
Published: Mar 2, 2017
Length: 57 minutes (14,490 words)

The Keepers of the Light

New Orleans’s complicated history with the Mardi Gras flambeaux — the (usually black) torch carriers who, for years, lit the way for the festival’s (usually white) parades.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Feb 23, 2017
Length: 31 minutes (7,820 words)