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September 22, 2014

An Apparition and a Refuge

by T. Allen Culpepper

  It’s one of those buildings that everyone has seen and many have noted, but…

January 21, 2012


In this short documentary, filmmakers Sterlin Harjo and Matt Leach accompany local Ben Collins to…

by Abby Wendle

An ode to the superstore and its people. This story was produced in partnership with…
ShopGood OKC brings the best of This Land’s issue covers to life with this milk…

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…

08/26/2014 | Okiecentric

Among the Tribe of the Wannabes

By Russell Cobb

Let’s take a voyage to a not-so-distant land and visit a strange tribe. Or maybe not so strange. In fact, you may even belong to it. Before we begin our expedition, a trivia question: What do Bill Clinton, Miley Cyrus, Johnny Cash, and Elizabeth Warren all have in common? Answer: All of them have claimed to be part Cherokee, but none have been able to prove it. N…

08/25/2014 | Poetry


By Angelia Herrin

I always thought I would grow up to work in a Bookmobile. It’d be my job to drive the lumbering green bus through the hot wide streets of summer Park on dusty schoolyard lots, or at empty, half-finished construction sites And then crank open the doors for the children, Who’d stumble, blinking, up the steps and into the dark, cool cavern that smel…

08/22/2014 | Original Okie

Steve Adams

By Brooks Nickell

There’s hardly anything about McAlester, Oklahoma, that Steve Adams doesn’t know. For 35 years, he’s been the local historian, amassing a vast collection of hometown history through newspaper clippings, research, books, and photos, which he displays at the McAlester library. A lifelong resident, Adams worked as a security guard for 25 year…