Originally published in our Tennessee Music Issue  There is a remarkable story tucked halfway through Bessie, Chris Albertson’s biography of the blues singer Bessie Smith, in which Smith approaches a circle of robed North Carolina Klansmen, places one hand on her hip,… by Amanda Petrusich | Nov, 2020

Playlists curated by your favorite musicians and writers. by Brittany Howard, Kiese Laymon, Rosanne Cash, Kelsey Waldon, & others | Nov, 2020

An introduction to the Music Issue’s Icons Section Beyond my eye, beyond the death and decay of matters left behind and unsettled, the music ringing up above my head told a thousand stories of bounty and belonging, and it glimmered… by Danielle A. Jackson | Nov, 2020

Originally published in our 2007 Music Issue  In a remarkable 1963 appearance with Juilliard professor and friend, Hall Overton, at the New School in New York, Monk demonstrated his technique of “bending” or “curving” notes on the piano, the most… by Sam Stephenson | Nov, 2020

Originally published in our North Carolina Music Issue.  I wanted to start with the wild weeds and the creaking wood on the front porch, walking up to Nina Simone’s childhood home in Tryon, North Carolina. I wanted to start where… by Tiana Clark | Nov, 2020

An essay from the Greatest Hits Music Issue The first songs that I listened to by Talibah Safiya had this soft, sweet, plaintive quality. There is something else underneath if you listen a bit closer: a little loneliness. The knowledge… by Jamey Hatley | Nov, 2020

An introduction to the Greatest Hits Music Issue How does the South inform my music? How do I describe the sound that your bare feet make when they pat the cool, packed red dust under them? How do I describe… by Brittany Howard | Oct, 2020

 A Letter from the Editor, Food Issue. Quiet as it is kept, and widely as it has become forgotten, those who do the cooking and the farming know that those who only eat what is cooked for them and served… by Alice Randall | Mar, 2021

October 15, 2018

A poem from the Fall 2018 issue.

It is such a tragedy, all this 
Working. The vacation 
I need is on your mark, 
Get set, go. It’s been years 
Since I’ve seen the light
October 29, 2014

Two poems from the fall 2014 issue.

Some things happen only once.
A molar pulled is gone forever,
a thrown spark. The invention 
of the internal combustion engine,
construction of the first public 
sewer system, the rivening blade 
of the axe, the first axe. First flight, 
ice, light, math, birth.

April 13, 2015

A poem from our spring 2015 issue.

                                           what it is,


                                          what it ain’t

First thang they cost. And money being green, true that,
all greed contains corn.
               what it is, what

               it ain’t

April 05, 2016

A poem from the Spring 2016 issue.

“Here he is, the Amazing Blind Tom . . . / he’s pitched in darkness, exalted through sound / he’s mastered sharp and flat of piano:”

June 13, 2017

Four poems from the Summer 2017 issue.

Beware the wolf always, but trust the witch
and the sugar-crash, the star-lore and wind

that shadows your cheeks with your lashes,
let the night swallow you whole again.

September 05, 2017

A poem from the Fall 2017 issue.

As a boy I pleaded 
with the river to teach me 
its long and winding vowels. 
In exchange I taught it 
swear words, how to play games.
March 13, 2018

An introduction to a previously unpublished James Dickey essay, from the 100th issue. 

In “The Kingdom of the Other,” an essay adapted from a manuscript titled “Under the Social Surface,” written in the 1950s, Dickey says that our written words, meaning our take on everything from abstractions to the glint of a new pocketknife’s blade, are formed from our memories, those shape-shifting resources that turn into people and forests, train stations and the ruminations of characters. (I was very young—twenty-one—when I took Dickey’s class, and I needed to hear that something inside me could be fascinating to a reader.)

September 04, 2018

A poem from the Fall 2018 issue.

None of this surprises you now, 
does it? I’m not sure I can know that, 
I responded to myself. 
Or I think I did. 
I should have. 

A friend told me to embrace 
my disorientation here, to attend 
to it and dwell in that state, make it 
a daily practice, like walking, 
like drinking coffee. 

September 24, 2014

A poem from the summer 2014 issue.

When the sky threw down hail, I knew
        our world was sudden, changing. In the violence of rains
                we ran, I held my daughter with her water-soaked braids.
She covered her ears and counted
        one Mississippi, two Mississippi
                the space between lightning and thunder.

October 29, 2014

Two poems from the fall 2014 issue.

You used to bite your lips lying there on my couch
receiving my massages 
after long chemistry tutorials 
we were classmates and being-touched 
was how you touched me back