Content Tagged ‘aimee nezhukumatathil’

News Roundup

During a time when there’s lots of talk about borders and walls and travel bans, we’re trying to remind ourselves of the power of great writing to break down walls, to help us really see one another. This week we’re celebrating both powerful new work from Ecotone and Lookout contributors, and the happy recognition of writing from the past year.

Lookout author Clare Beams is a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and Ecotone contributors Belle Boggs, Eva Saulitis, and Patrick Phillips have all made PEN finalist lists too! (The Bingham Prize has a surprising tie to our hometown, Wilmington, NC, funny enought. See the full scoop from the Star News.) To top it off, Clare’s book found itself on the long list of titles recognized by The Story Prize, which received 106 books published by 72 publishers or imprints as entries this year. The list—beyond the three finalists and The Story Prize Spotlight Award winner—honors sixteen books that stood out for the judges.

Sure, she’s keeping herself busy with writing and readings, but, like the rest of us, Clare found time to watch Stranger Things things year. In this interview from Flavorwire, Clare reminds us of the literary power of Winona Ryder:

If you could write fan-fiction about any pop culture character, real or imagined, who would it be?

Hmm. Maybe Winona Ryder? When I was a kid she embodied cool, for me — and then recently, along with the rest of the world, I got totally sucked into Stranger Things. It’s interesting to think about what it must have been like for her (after her fall from grace, period of relative obscurity, etc.) to be part of that show, set back at the start of her heyday, but as the mom character this time.

Care to give us a few sentences of micro-fiction about that character?

Winona looked around the set. This, she thought, was like coming home. She brushed back her feathered hair. Home, but with differences.

Samiya Bashir has a video-poem up that’s based on her poem in Ecotone issue 19. Her book, Field Theories, will be out soon from Nightboat Books.

Issue 21 contributor Safiya Sinclair will judge for The Adroit Journal’s Prize for Poetry. The prize seeks to honor writers of secondary or undergraduate status whose work inspires action. The deadline for submissions is February 15–check it out.

Leila Chatti, whose poems appeared in Issue 21, has a new poem up on Rattle‘s website called “My Mother Makes a Religion,” a moving exploration of faith including this line: “A child, I heard the trinity wrong— / thought God was a ghost, her faith / a haunting.”

Issue 18 contributor Aimee Nezhukumatahil’s poem “Invitation” is featured on the Poetry Foundation website. “Invitation” reminds us to contemplate what lies beneath that blanket of sea with lines like, “Squid know how to be rich when you have ten empty arms.”

Ecotone and Astoria to Zion contributor Kevin Wilson’s new novel Perfect Little World came out from Ecco last week. As our friend Ann Patchett wrote of the book, “What I love about this book is that it’s full of good people and all their good intentions. That doesn’t mean everything works out, but you can’t help but think, Oh, what if it could?” And Mary Laura Philpott of Parnassus Books created this amazing book pie chart. Doesn’t EVERY book need a pie chart?!

We like ending on a note about good people and good intentions. We intend to keep to keep sharing all of the goodness we can.

News Roundup

End of the WorldLast night, students in the MFA program here at UNCW hosted their End of the World Reading. School is over, and many of our students–some who have worked so hard on Ecotone and Lookout–are leaving us. We’re sad to see them go, but so excited about the possibilities ahead for them. In honor of this end-of-the-world feeling, and because we have so much good news to share this week, a request: read the following bits of news quickly, and to the tune of REM’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”

Like the whole rest of the world, we were saddened by the death of Prince this week. Ecotone Sound contributor shirlette ammons wrote this tribute for a Triangle-based Indy publication.

“Uh oh, overflow!”

This week saw the first annual Edith Pearlman Creative Writing Award given at Brookline High School. Congrats to Alma Bitran! And to Edith Pearlman, whose work continues to inspire and change us.

Speaking of Lookout authors, Matthew Neill Null’s forthcoming story collection (from Sarabande) was reviewed by the Rumpus this past week, and they had nice things to say about Honey from the Lion too:  “It has become one of the laziest clichés to claim that the place in which a story is set becomes a character in that story. Works of fiction as great as Matthew Neill Null’s epic evocations of West Virginia deserve better.”

“Feeling pretty psyched.”

Ecotone contributor Melissa Pritchard was awarded the 2016 Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers at the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians in Columbus, Georgia. She’ll be living in Carson McCuller’s childhood home for three months this fall.

Ecotone Sustenance issue contributor Toni Tipton-Marton won a James Beard Award this week for her book The Jemima Code (which was excerpted in our issue).

“Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives, and I decline.”

Guernica did a nice interview with Ecotone issue 19 contributor Paul Lisicky, largely about The Narrow Door (we excerpted that too).


Clare Beams, author of Lookout’s forthcoming book We Show What We Have Learned, has a great Ploughshares blog about the difference between flashy short stories and longer ones that go for the “slow reveal.” Also, here’s a photo of Clare holding a galley of her book. So much greatness in one photo!

“Leonard Bernstein!”

Speaking of Ploughshares, this blog post by Ecotone issue 13 contributor Emilia Phillips about lyric essays, and how she turned to them after she had cancer removed from her face, is so very moving.

Ecotone contributors Christopher Cokinos and Eric MaGrane will be doing a reading and discussion about the Sonoran Desert tonight at Tucson’s Antigone Books.

“You symbiotic, patriotic, slam but neck, right? Right.”

Orion is finishing up its national poetry month feature, curated by Ecotone contributor Aimee Nezhukumatathil–photographs of poetry books in the wild. Here’s Anna Lena’s (Ecotone‘s edtitor).

“Birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom.”

Ecotone contributor Shawn Vestal has a novel coming out called Daredevils. Check out this excerpt from LitHub.

I’ll leave you with this final lyric to ponder: “It’s the end of the world as we know it (It’s time I had some time alone).” Join me back here next week when we’ll start a new world all over with the best news of the week.

News Roundup

It’s Halloween eve, folks, and we’re ready to get creepy and eat some candy! This week’s roundup highlights what we love so much about Halloween: the combination of scary and sweet, of “misery and magic” (quoth Morgantown Magazine, below). We’ll start off with this bit of photographic sweetness from the Boston Book Festival, where our own Matthew Neill Null sat on a panel with superstars Megan Mayhew Bergman and Matt Bell.

Matt at Boston Book Festival

Things heat up with some love for Honey from the Lion, first from this Atlanta Journal-Constitution review. “Null commands the language of a bygone place and time in prose as eloquent and precise as poetry,” it says, and also: “Mistaken identities, espionage, double-crosses, police corruption, gilded-era fat cats scheming from afar, hatchet men penetrating the union ranks like ninjas—it’s all here in a tightly plotted story that often reads like a thriller.” Poetry and pacing! That’s quite a combo, no?

Matt and the book also got some hometown love in the October issue of Morgantown Magazine: “Matt’s characters are the men and women who live close to the bone—the sawyers, peddlers, and laborers whose muscle and spirit both built the state and irrevocably transformed it. And his language, though image-rich and arresting on its own, doesn’t shy away from describing the misery and magic of the setting in equal measure.” We just love that description.

A delightful piece of news: contributor Aimee Nezhukumatathil has been named poetry editor of Orion. Congrats, Aimee! But don’t get too comfy: The Toronto Observer asks, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” in this awesome review of contributor Benjamin Percy’s novel The Dead Lands, a new post-apocalyptic thriller inspired by the Lewis and Clark saga.

We were so happy to see the first three suggestions on the Master’s Review‘s fall reading list are novels from Ecotone contributors—Matthew Neill Null alongside Lauren Groff and Claire Vaye Watkins! Scary! Awesome!

As we’re putting together our Sound issue of Ecotone, it was pretty fun to find this piece in Guernica about Lou Reed, from contributor Peter Trachtenberg, which gets the combination of melody and madness just right. “The best songs were like doors opening into a party, one that was glamorous but also terrible, heartless.”

We hope your Halloween festivities are filled with all the wholesomeness and wickedness, debauchery and deliciousness you can stomach.

News Roundup

This week, as you all know by now, was publication week for Honey from the Lion! We’ve been shipping books, publicizing, and getting ready for Matt’s book tour. Big thanks to a grant from South Arts for helping us make these workshops and panels, as well as a special visit to Hawbridge School, possible. You can find all event dates and details for the tour here, but if you’re in North or South Carolina, you can find him whirlwinding over the next couple of weeks in these cities:

Friday, September 11, 7 p.m., Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC
Saturday, September 12, 2:30 p.m., Bookmarks Festival, Winston-Salem, NC
Saturday, September 12, 7 p.m., Malaprop’s, Asheville, NC
Sunday, September 13, 3 p.m., University of North Carolina Asheville, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Monday, September 14, 5:30 p.m. panel, 7 p.m. reading, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
Tuesday, September 15, 6 p.m. workshop and book signing, Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities, Southern Pines, NC
Tuesday, September 15, 6 p.m., Fiction Addiction Southern Storytellers event (ticketed), Greenville, SC
Wednesday, September 16, 3 p.m., Hub City Bookshop, Spartanburg, SC
Thursday, September 17, 7 p.m., Main Street Books, Davidson, NC
Friday–Saturday, September 18–19, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Discovery Show, Raleigh, NC

In case you missed any of the goings-on around the book this week, here’s a quick recap: find excerpts of the novel at At Length and American Short Fiction, and find interviews from Kirkus and Tin House’s the Open Bar. And tune in on Thursday, September 17 at noon to hear Matt on the State of Things from WUNC.

We’ve been working long hours to get all preorders mailed. If you’re one of our lucky customers, the books are on the way thanks to the hard work on the Lookout staff (Megan and Morgan seen here; overhead ladder shot courtesy of Liz).


In other news, Ecotone contributors are all over the web this week. Claire Vaye Watkins and Lauren Groff talk about their new books on Salon with Alexandra Kleeman, Helen Phillips, Matthew Salesses, and Steve Toltz. One of the most fun interviews we’ve read in a while. Kazim Ali wrote this open letter to contributor Aimee Nezhukumatathil in response to this week’s Best American Poetry scandal. And Toni Tipton Martin got some attention from the New York Times for her book The Jemima Code.

That’s the news for the week! On this September 11 we hope you are surrounded by those you love and words that bring you comfort and connection.