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

Eli Cranor

Eli Cranor played quarterback in college and then coached high school football for five years. He now writes from Arkansas where he lives with his family. He was awarded the Robert Watson Literary Prize by the Greensboro Review and honored by the Missouri Review for their 2018 Miller Audio Prize. He is currently at work on a novel. For more information visit elicranor.com

November 14, 2019

An installment in our weekly series, The By and By. 

For twenty years, football was my purpose, my reason, white lines and rules for everything, the scoreboard keeping track of it all. Do I want it back? Do I pine for a helmet and a fourth-quarter drive?

Not exactly.

September 26, 2019

An installment in our weekly series, The By and By. 

A good friend and former coach of mine once told me that having a girl was easier because there weren’t any expectations. Like, his daughter could be whatever and whoever she wanted, but his son had to be a man. For my son, however, it seems that being a man also means being a quarterback.

August 08, 2019

An installment in our weekly series, The By and By. 

Over the last three years, Alex and I have spent a total of eight summer nights in the Carlton Marion Inn. It’s a tidy motel with a gravel parking lot and a pool overlooking Crooked Creek Valley. This year, though, there’d be no fun to be had in the pool. Not even any fishing. We didn’t know that yet, but maybe we could feel it. Maybe we were afraid of what was coming, what was already there and would not stop.

June 13, 2019

An installment in our weekly series, The By and By. 

Every football coach I ever had saw it.
“You got heart, kid,” they’d say, and I’d grin,
all the way to the end zone.

April 25, 2019

An installment in our weekly series, The By and By. 

In college I had long hair past my shoulders. I always got weird when it came time for the seniors to shave the freshmen’s heads. We did it on the last weekend of summer camp, right before the first day of class. Some of the fifth-year guys got creative: Mohawks and bald spots. Every once in a while, they’d leave some poor kid’s bangs.

March 07, 2019

An installment in our weekly series, The By and By. 

I devoted twenty years of my life to football. Played quarterback at every level: peewee to professional. After my playing days were done, I coached high school ball for five years. I stepped away from the game two years ago, after my daughter was born; there just wasn’t enough time for both.