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Cover reveal: Oxford American’s Spring 2021 Food Issue, guest edited by Alice Randall.

Vanessa Willoughby

February 19, 2021, 11:45am

Food, like a great novel, can tell a story. The storytelling opportunities are endless: the way we eat, the culinary traditions we pass down from one generation to the next, and communal rituals can provide deeper insight into ourselves and the world around us.

For the Spring 2021 edition of Oxford American, food is the central theme. The Food Issue, guest edited by New York Times best-selling author Alice Randall, promises to explore “the intersections of food, art, and identity.”

Here is the cover, shot by Frank Frances, from his series Remember the South.


Oxford American Spring 2021, Food Issue

Randall, who is an award-winning songwriter, educator, and food activist, and a frequent contributor to the Oxford American, writes in her introduction to the issue:

“Black Lives Matter. Say Her Name. Sedition. These seven words, one for each day of the week, were the words high in my mind as we worked on this issue in January. Reckoning comes before reconciliation and often begins at the table. Reading the getting-to-final drafts of the articles and stories and poems in this issue, I was astounded to discover, one more time, how the sweetness of the table can ease our most bitter hour. There is joy in that. And joy for the table is where art and history enter our bodies and through our bodies our lives, through food and conversation.”

Randall won the NAACP Image Award for her novel Soul Food Love (written with Caroline Randall Williams). Her latest novel, Black Bottom Saints, was published in August 2020.

The issue features 22 writers, 28 visual artists, 6 recipes, 1 playlist, and a special section on sweet potato pie. The contributors include Crystal Wilkinson, Cynthia R. Greenlee, Channing Gerard Joseph, Ashanté M. Reese, Brad Johnson and Tandy Wilson; Tarfia Faizullah and Caroline Randall Williams; J. Shores-Argüello and Eugenia Collier; and Ayana Contreras.

Readers can pre-order the issue here. Subscribers will receive their copies on March 10, 2021. Not a subscriber? You can subscribe to Oxford American here.

The Food Issue will be available on newsstands nationwide on March 23, 2021.

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