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This Land Press


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 […]

07/17/2014 | Okiecentric

Choctalking on Other Realities

By LeAnne Howe


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 Native culture and evoke timeless […]

07/16/2014 | Okiecentric

Stories Carved in Stone

By Christina Burke


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 […]

07/14/2014 | Okiecentric

Lady of the Plains

By Mike Boettcher


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 […]

07/11/2014 | Okiecentric


By Thomas Conner


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 trash […]

| Okiecentric

Toby Jenkins

By Brooks Nickell


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 […]

07/10/2014 | Okiecentric

Woody Guthrie’s Disciples

By This Land


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 dresser mirror of her Oklahoma City motel room. Applying her […]

07/08/2014 | Okiecentric

Our Daughter Was an Only Son

By Mike 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 Monthly article to be republished by This Land is “Our Daughter Was an Only […]

07/07/2014 | Okiecentric

The Stories Matter

By Tom Boettcher


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 […]

| Okiecentric

“A Negro Peyote Cult”

By Maurice G. Smith


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 […]


In southeast Tulsa, among dozens of strip centers whose anodyne facades betray all manner of capitalistic guts within, stands Liberty Flags, a multi-story facility treated in beige stucco and capped with one of those metal roofs purported to last a lifetime. Liberty Flags, founded by a Russian immigrant at the apex of the Cold War, […]

07/03/2014 | Okiecentric

From Russia, with Love

By Beau Adams


“Hang on, I’m gonna go out there and throw up.” Near the end of our first hour-long interview, Joe Exotic, a.k.a. Joe Schreibvogel, interrupted my question and hoofed toward the gift shop’s back door, his shoulder-length, bleach-blond mane waving at me beneath a beige ball cap. While I waited, I browsed the wares for sale […]

07/02/2014 | Okiecentric

The Tiger King Untamed

By Holly Wall

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Victor Moreland

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Bill Crawford

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Gary Busey

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Kristen Vails

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Bob Wills

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Katia Anaya

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Brian Hearn

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Lauren Zuniga

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Randall Gabrel

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Robert Hedgecoke

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Kaylin Haught

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Jon Mooneyham


  (About the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot: It is not our failure to remember the past that dooms us to repeat it; it is our failure to believe we are capable of the same acts.) Your disbelief blooms in slow motion, like smoke smothering the sky, like a death wound under white linen. This telling of history […]

06/30/2014 | Poetry

Doomed to Repeat

By Deborah J. Hunter


  An old man sits in my straight-backed chair salvaged from the curbside trash sits quietly, without shifting or harrumphing, sits and drinks plain tea, his sober eyes never doubting what his life’s been worth or who he has become. I wait for him to swallow one more slow sip of tea, before I ask […]

06/16/2014 | Poetry

The Return

By Jim Tolan


  I punch you in the head. You fall down, unconscious but not quite dead. Thank you. It was precisely the response I had intended. Originally published in This Land, Vol. 5, Issue 9, May 1, 2014.


  Sometimes I google “art AND love,” and then I click on “Images” and scroll way, way down until I come to a duct taped heart. I peel at the edges with my thumbnail and make my way in. Usually I find my fifteen-year-old self flung on a bed, crying, having just been dropped off […]

06/13/2014 | Poetry

Duct Taped Heart

By Nicole Callihan


  There was a time when I couldn’t write a poem without my mother showing up in it. There she would be, yellow-appled hair, slapping mayonnaise onto white bread and calling it dinner, her head thrown back, laughing, and we’d always be ready to hit the road and drive some place with a bigger sky […]

| Poetry


By Nicole Callihan


A black bear has come out of the hills to the highway. He lumbers along the shoulder and throws a great paw out. A gesture, not a plea. I stop and offer him a ride. He crawls, front feet first, into the cab, and sets there, smelling of undergrowth, of the banks of the Neosho […]

06/09/2014 | Okiecentric

Surrey with the Fringe on Top

By Karin C. Davidson


With four hysterical little girls running from my left and from my right, I could only think of one thing: I never wanted to go to Oklahoma. A month earlier, when my dance teacher announced that the whole school, including my intermediate tap class, was going to entertain Evening Star Retirement Village in a Broadway-themed […]

05/05/2014 | New Fiction

Showbiz Folk Hero

By Laurie Notaro


We are the plastic children, flying toward the sun. We are the infirm rising through rooftops, we are the real housewives of Duluth, our dresses blown above our cheeks, we are the dads jetting above the jigsaws, weedwackers. And the dead in their nightclothes or La-Z-Boys or under the sea: all of us steering with […]

04/30/2014 | Poetry to the People


By Miss Terri Ford


I tortured horny toads when I was a kid I don’t feel good about that but I did – I surrounded em with lighter fluid mostly shot match sticks into the sky lit fires in my eyes. I remember thinking jeez – it’s just a horny toad, but I was wrong and I should have […]

04/29/2014 | Poetry to the People

When I was a Kid…

By Doug Claybourne


Your hands on newspapers, your hands in your hair. Is your body yours to undress? Or is someone across town sketching you into unimaginable positions? An ex lover? The stranger you brushed past on the sidewalk? So often you’d like the world to be plotted on a straight line of storefronts, glass windows hiding diners, […]

04/28/2014 | Poetry to the People

Nude in the City

By Regina DiPerna


A look back at a very off-Broadway production of "Oklahoma!" Fiction by Laurie Notaro, read by Denali Gillaspie.


Pro-Black doesn’t mean anti-anything.       El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) there are at least twenty-seven white people i love. i counted. four from high school, five from undergraduate years, maybe three from grad school (one gay=bonus points) & an assortment of compelling melanin-deprived miscreants in chicago & countrywide. two brothas in the afterlife remain […]

04/04/2014 | Poetry

Bible Belted: Math

By Quraysh Ali Lansana