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Imaginary Oklahoma

What do you think about when you think about Oklahoma?

Imaginary Oklahoma is a new podcast from KOSU, This Land Press and The Association for Independents in Radio (AIR) that asks just that question to a group of today’s best fiction writers. The new audio series is based on the book "Imaginary Oklahoma" from This Land Press that Paris Review says "manages to raise the stakes of the short-prose form."

From Franz Kafka to Rodgers and Hammerstein, writers both foreign and domestic have been speculating about Oklahoma for more than a century, proving that Oklahoma is more than a place, it’s an idea.

The podcast weaves together flash-fiction stories from the book with captivating sounds to offer a complex picture of the pan-shaped land with a simple, ghostly narrative.

Imaginary Oklahoma episodes
  • When life seems to speed up, one man's world slows down as he learns to appreciate life in the big city. The Violinist by Emily St. John Mandel tells the story of how one man copes with loss and loneliness.
  • Imaginary Oklahoma is an ongoing project in which some of today’s most important and influential writers combine with artists to provide a fictional take on this place we call home. Through a wide variety of voices, styles and literary devices, these works prove that “Oklahoma” is much more than a place, it’s an idea.
  • What happens when Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas walk into a bar? Drinking Games author Carolyn Parkhurst wanted these three states to come clean during one of America's oldest past times.
  • A confrontation over a locked bathroom leads one rest stop employee to contemplate some of life's biggest questions including what can keep people anywhere when all they want is to keep moving? This story is read by Tulsa Artist Fellow Liz Blood.
  • Stillwater is a ghost story about someone who doesn't know they're dead. This short piece of fiction about Sooner Lake by Matt Bondurant asks: how do we reconcile with our own mortality? What will I represent to people in my life when I die?
  • Tigers of the Oklahoma Pool Hall by Tupelo Hassman isn't a story about tigers. It's about how we know and see each other. "When I wrote the Tigers of the Oklahoma Pool Halls, I was thinking about how we are all the same., but when we look at each other through cognitive or emotional dissonance, we are terrified."
  • Author John Crowley never visited Oklahoma as a child, but his family did stop at many roadside attractions around the U.S. on their frequent road trips. This short fiction story imagines such an excursion, and was inspired by the actual Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, OK.
  • Imaginary Oklahoma, coming soon.