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September 30, 2014

Three Sonnets

by Randy Roberts Potts

1. Richard Roberts, ca. 1954 He used to hold her down (my mother used to…
If you know and love Tulsa, you’re familiar with both its beauty and its rough…

August 11, 2011

The Bigheart Times

by Abby Wendle

Louise Red Corn never wanted to own a newspaper. She liked the reporting end of…
ShopGood OKC brings the best of This Land’s issue covers to life with this milk…

09/29/2014 | Original Okie

Sam Gillaspy

By Brooks Nickell

Sam Gillaspy has lived in Arcadia, Oklahoma, for 88 years. He’s devoted the last eight of those to giving tours at the Round Barn of Arcadia on historic Route 66. To folks who visit the antique attraction, Gillaspy is known simply as Mr. Sam. Tourists and locals alike have made it a mission to stop in an hear Mr. Sam recount the time the round barn collapsed…

09/23/2014 | Okiecentric

The Red Shift

By Larry Guthrie

North of the Red River, in the “Land of the Red Man,” on the iron-rich red soil and matching dust, with red Russian wheat waving, and rose rocks abounding, and red-tailed hawks circling, and redbuds blooming, the red “46” state flag was flying over the 1914 State Capitol, and inside were six Socialist Party legislators.[1] Our Populist foundin…

09/22/2014 | Poetry

An Apparition and a Refuge

By T. Allen Culpepper

  It’s one of those buildings that everyone has seen and many have noted, but hardly anyone can locate. Even those who pass it daily on the local streets hesitate when asked precisely which one it’s on, exactly what it’s called. From the highway, only the cupola and spire are visible for fleeting seconds, an enigmatic vision, an apparition, like J…

09/19/2014 | Original Okie

Marcello Angelini

By Brooks Nickell

How long does it take to dance from Italy to Oklahoma? For Marcello Angelini, almost 35 years. He began studying ballet as a child in Naples, Italy, before graduating from the Kiev Institute of Dance in the former Soviet Union. He wound up in Tulsa after a bout of tendonitis pulled him off the stage for weeks. Sidelined and restless, Marcello applied for the pos…

09/18/2014 | Okiecentric

Signs of Forgotten Times

By Adrian Margaret Brune

In a small meeting room in a Unitarian Universalist church a few miles north of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, people of different races and age groups gathered in late 2001 to pore over the large and comprehensive “Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot.” Between bites of doughnuts and sips of coffee, they strategized a way to comme…

09/17/2014 | Okiecentric

The Dirt Room

By Aimee Parkison

She couldn’t resist the photographs online, or the sellers’ description: Adorable Cape Cod with walk-out basement! Main floor has master suite, spare bedroom (or office), kitchen, dining and living room. Upstairs kids’ bedrooms with built-in desks, a window seat with cedar storage, bathroom and three attic storage areas. Basement has a huge s…

09/16/2014 | Okiecentric

Wild Life

By Jezy J. Gray

The rock formations that spill out from the wooded foothills of the Sans Bois Mountains in southeastern Oklahoma were once a draw for outlaws and outcasts. Legend has it that these rocky cliffs and canyons served as a refuge for a number of personae non gratae, from Civil War deserters to infamous outlaws like Jesse James, Belle Starr, and the Dalton Gang…

09/12/2014 | Okiecentric

Greed Is Good

By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

During the final phase of military conquest of the continent, surviving Indigenous refugees were deposited in Indian Territory, piled on top of each other in smaller and smaller reservations. In 1883, the first of several conferences were held in Mohonk, New York, of a group of influential and wealthy advocates of the “manifest destiny” policy. Th…

09/09/2014 | Okiecentric

The Train Singer’s Song

By George McCormick

I had been watching freight trains from the window of my 10:00 Tuesday-Thursday class all semester. The classroom was on the third floor of a four-story brick building, a converted dorm, located on the edge of campus, beyond which a set of railroad tracks rose out of a shallow ravine on a gravel ballast. Class ended at 11:10 and usually by11:15 (a…

09/09/2014 | Okiecentric

Ten-Dollar Word

By Steve Garrison

Transcendence? That’s a ten-dollar word, Delbert. But yeah, I’ve got one for you. This happened the summer I was eight. We lived in Hobart, down in the southwest part of the state. It was mid-June. My parents’ church was running its Vacation Bible School week, and we’d go from eight o’clock in the morning to—I’ve told you I was a churchgo…

09/08/2014 | Okiecentric

Books, Movies & Rock ‘n Roll: A Conversation with Dana Spiotta

By Constance Squires

If only Dana Spiotta had an Oklahoma connection, I thought. I had just been invited to guest edit This Land’s summer fiction issue and was thinking of the writers I’d like to invite to submit stories. Spiotta’s acclaimed novels Lightning Field, Eat the Document, and Stone Arabia mean a lot to me, but I could see no way to make her part of an is…

09/05/2014 | Original Okie

Rilla Askew

By Shane Brown

Rilla Askew was born in the San Bois Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma, a place she’s noted for its harshness and beauty—both qualities that cling to her prose like campfire smoke on an old jacket. She also cites Oklahoma’s rich language, a mixture of Southern vernacular and the King James Version of the Bible, as inspiration for her own nar…

09/03/2014 | Okiecentric

Working Class Hero

By Angela Morris

Reed picked change off the floorboard of his Buick parked outside the Blue Note to pay the cover for the Oi! show. It had been a few weeks since he’d had income, so he gathered his quarters and dimes, some of which stuck to sawdust and wood splinters that had been kicked off Reed’s boots at some point. Reed was a skilled carpenter and renovated houses for a gu…

09/02/2014 | Okiecentric

Snake Ball

By Bayard Godsave

Joey Rigoletto is a spazz. We know this. What a dickhead, we said as he went by, tipped over practically, calling out, Snake ball! There’s a snake ball! He shouted, Under the Rainbow Bridge! This, the Rainbow Bridge, takes its name not for its colors, yellow and brown mostly, rust colors, but for its shape, which arcs high over the brackish inlet at the we…

08/28/2014 | Okiecentric

Running Amok

By Jessica Puckett

Thirty-one men crowded the starting line, the late-August sun beating their backs, sweat pouring down their faces. Some wore track shoes with no socks, some were in everyday dress shoes, and others were completely barefoot. Stretched out before them was one of the most daunting athletic challenges of the era: the 1904 Olympic Marathon. A 24.85-mile dir…