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by Britton Gildersleeve

What does it mean, that the universe is growing larger, faster? Unlike my life, which…
A man contemplates heart-ache and loss in this meditation on the Blue Whale of Catoosa.…

by Abby Wendle

J eff Martin, This Land’s fiction editor, tells us about the time he met Bob…
ShopGood OKC brings the best of This Land’s issue covers to life with this milk…

07/28/2014 | Poetry

Cleaning House

By Britton Gildersleeve

I am saying goodbye to my life. Throwing away books, teapots, pens. Saying farewell to my mother’s passport my father’s books. Offering to strangers crystal plates and funerary urns. There is comfort in discarding. A kind of grace blooms in the space where leather bindings once exhaled dust, redolent of stories whispered late into the night. Pieces go…

07/25/2014 | Okiecentric

Kenneth Renberg

By Jeremy Charles

In 1935, at age 14, Gunther Renberg emigrated from Germany, changed his name to Kenneth, and settled in Enid, Oklahoma, with his second cousins. He volunteered for the Army when he was just 17. First Lieutenant Kenneth Renberg earned a Purple Heart after he was wounded 70 years ago during the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. That Allied victory wa…

07/24/2014 | Okiecentric

Confronting Male Aggression

By Adrian Margaret Brune

During the early 1990s in Oklahoma, Catholic prep schools didn’t exactly impress punk music, rebellion, or third-wave feminism on their charges, but Anya Jack, a senior at Cascia Hall, could feel an undercurrent of female solidarity swelling. Soon, she bore witness to it. After graduation and a move to Austin, she noticed a few homemade flyers advertis…

07/22/2014 | Okiecentric

Free For All: The 24 Best Displays of Public Art in Oklahoma

By Molly Evans

Art isn’t just found in galleries. Thanks to the talent and ingenuity of its creators, and funding by both public and private entities, art can be found in public spaces all over Oklahoma. Here are just 24 examples. Oklahoma City 1. Curious Organism OKC artist Stan Carroll created this work “tasked with creating a buzz” outside the Downtown OKC Underg…

07/21/2014 | Poetry

Only Indians Can Talk to Animals

By Michael Daugherty

Snow covered fields with ice hanging from limbs of trees. A doe came walking out from behind a cedar and looked at me for a moment. “Can you hear me?” I asked. “Nod your head if you can hear me.” I stood silent for a moment waiting on her response. “Do you understand me?” I asked. As I stood waiting for this deer to talk to me a s…

07/17/2014 | Okiecentric

Choctalking on Other Realities

By LeAnne Howe

It was so hot in the kitchen of the Oklahoma City airport café that the plastic clock melted. Time oozed down the wall just like Salvador Dalí imagined. The metal pieces of the flimsy clock went, “click, clank, ting” as they hit the floor. That’s because the steaks were burning, the beans were boiling, and Nina the Ukrainian had pulled a butcher knife o…

07/16/2014 | Okiecentric

Stories Carved in Stone

By Christina Burke

Painter, illustrator, sculptor, husband, father, innovator, teacher: Oklahoman Allan Houser was all of these things and more. Above all else, he was a storyteller. Throughout a prolific and illustrious career that spanned seven decades, Houser used paintbrushes, pens, chisels, mallets, and even jackhammers to bring to life stories of traditional Na…

07/14/2014 | Okiecentric

Lady of the Plains

By Mike Boettcher

Bryant Baker knew that the Pioneer Woman was his masterpiece, so he called in a photographer to document its gradual, tedious construction from a scale model into a towering 17-foot structure of wood and clay. From the clay model, the 12,000-pound bronze statue was caste. In time the photographs were forgotten. Those who knew they had been taken perhaps tho…

07/11/2014 | Okiecentric


By Thomas Conner

This is a call for Troyal Brooks to bring his alter ego out of retirement. No, not Garth — though that ol’ country music juggernaut is gassing up as we speak. Last December on Good Morning America, Garth announced a new world tour (with, surprise, wife Trisha Yearwood) for 2014. So reblock the hat and dust off the duster. Instead, this is a plea for Broo…

07/11/2014 | Okiecentric

Toby Jenkins

By Brooks Nickell

Toby Jenkins, father of two grown children and proud “Poppi” of three grandchildren, has been involved in one way or another with Oklahomans for Equality for almost 18 years. He’s currently the executive director of OKeQ and the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. Toby’s done just about everything for Tulsa Pride — from emptying…

07/10/2014 | Okiecentric

Woody Guthrie’s Disciples

By This Land

Jimmy LaFave discovered Woody Guthrie in high school—around the time he picked up his first pair of drumsticks (which he later traded for an acoustic guitar). He learned that the folk singer who inspired Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, and whose “This Land is Your Land” had been implanted in him in elementary school, was from Okemah, only 70 or so miles from h…

07/08/2014 | Okiecentric

Our Daughter Was an Only Son

By Mike Boettcher

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Oklahoma Monthly, Vol. 3, Issue 2, 1977. Read “The Stories Matter” by Tom Boettcher, former editor of the now-defunct publication, to learn more about that progressive magazine, which was committed to courageous journalism in the 1970s.  She primped in front of the d…

07/07/2014 | Okiecentric

The Stories Matter

By Tom Boettcher

Recently I received a note from This Land’s managing editor that I found highly flattering: She wanted to republish articles I had assigned about 40 years ago when I was editor and publisher of Oklahoma Monthly magazine. I welcomed this opportunity for our Oklahoma Monthly writers and This Land’s readers. The first Oklahoma Month…

07/07/2014 | Okiecentric

“A Negro Peyote Cult”

By Maurice G. Smith

Excerpted from the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Vol. 24, No. 10, October 15, 1934.  In the fall of 1930 an Iowa Indian gave Dr. Smith a lead regarding a negro peyote group which the writer endeavored to follow up in the spring of 1931. After much fruitless inquiry in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., the daughter of the negro leader was fi…

07/07/2014 | Okiecentric

Out, Proud, and Under the Collar

By Tamara Lebak

Nearly every Sunday morning while growing up in northwest Oklahoma City, my father would plop me into a plastic milk crate bungee-corded to the back of his three-speed bicycle. If it was raining, he would load me into our Blue Plymouth Road Runner, with no car seat or booster. While everyone else was headed to church, we would head to the donut shop. This wa…