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Stories

Everybody Lends a Hand

George Lancaster believes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is setting some examples of a different — and better — form of patriotism.

From a Little Spark …

How can a music festival transform a city? The Big Ears Festival in Knoxville is bringing the community together in ways folks never dreamed of only a few years ago. This is the second in a three-part series exploring how Big Ears is creating little miracles in Tennessee.

What a Way to Make a Living

The Preservation Hall Brass Band and the East Tennessee Bluegrass Association find common ground in Dolly Parton.

Free Bird

Jodi Cash’s father passed away at the end of 2020. Ever since, the scenes of their relationship in her memory have been a movie she can’t stop watching.

Spring Cleaning

A poem about the springtime rituals of a Southern home.

A Summer of Rest

Salvation South’s Stacy Reece believes it’s time for a summer of rest and renewal.

You Are Safe Now

Borscht, chemo and Southern hospitality: the story of how St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis stepped in to help Ukrainian children fleeing war and fighting cancer.

The Joy of Cattywampus

Since its inception in 2009, Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival has become one of the world’s foremost gatherings for music from outside the lines. But when it returned this year after a two-year COVID shutdown, it became something greater than a chance to hear music. Instead, it brought the Knoxville community together for a joyful, citywide celebration. Big Ears offers lessons in how to make joy happen for a whole town. This is the first of a three-part series in which Salvation South studies the Big Ears method.

Mr. Portwood’s Tomatoes

Every week in summertime, he’d visit the bank where she worked, set up shop in a vacant office and sell his prize Better Boy tomatoes.

Our Queer Little Hybrid Thing

Until his death in 2019, Florida State University’s Ned Stuckey-French was a master of the tricky beast called the “personal essay.” Rob Rushin-Knopf looks back at the writer and teacher’s brilliant career.

The Wichahpi Wall

Tom Hendrix spent 30 years building a wall that is neither a barrier to keep anyone out nor a monument to glorify its builder. It is, instead, a portal to the past. It pays tribute to a courageous Native American ancestor and what her life’s journey teaches us about our common humanity and the profound significance of how we order our steps in this world.

After Our Shutdown, We’re Back at Full Steam

A severe head injury to our editor shut us down for almost two months. Now we’re back and better than ever.

Damaged Goods

Robert Fell reflects on 42 years behind bars for the murder of his wife

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