Content Tagged ‘blog’

The “Teaching Press” Model at UNCW


One of my favorite aspects of being a Lookout intern is getting to be a part of a teaching press. We work on our Lookout projects in the Publishing Laboratory, and on any given day the lab is full of Bookbuilding students designing layouts and putting together chapbooks, undergrads compiling the UNCW BFA anthology, and Pub Lab TAs tweaking the design of a Writers Week broadside or doing treatments for Ecotone’s next issue.

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Four Poets I Would Elect to Be President of the United States…

…and the Subsequent Consequences of Their Presidency – John Mortara, Lookout Intern

(1) : After many accusations that Frank O’Hara’s campaign had been secretly funded by The Coca-Cola Company, he wins by a landslide. The entire nation celebrates, and I with it. The first three years of his term are filled with pleasantly casual but deeply-nuanced press conferences concerning café napkins. In his final year President O’Hara completes his goal of rebuilding American infrastructure. A high-speed rail system is constructed across the entire country in no particular direction at all, and for the express purpose of Americans reminiscing about other Americans whilst riding it.

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Great Fires in the Human Heart

On a Friday afternoon last April, I stood in the back of a classroom and watched John Rybicki, author of Lookout’s first poetry collection, When All the World Is Old, pace in front of a group of middle schoolers. John wore a short-sleeved blue shirt that showed off his wiry, muscled forearms, and he could barely stand still as he addressed the class. He would hold his arms above his head or spread them like wings; sometimes he’d step in close to talk to the kids, other times he’d lean way back to convey the scope of some grand bit of wisdom.

“On the page,” he told the kids, “where anything is possible, I’m a different kind of animal. And I want to cultivate in you, after your parents have been protecting you, trying to put a protective coat of their own skin around you, a sense of lawlessness and danger and emotional jeopardy. And when it happens on that canvas in front of you, you become godlike in your scope. A drop of God’s fire fell from the heavens and lodged in each of us.”

I remember being bored to tears by most of the special visitors I saw in middle school. But I also remember those visitors who just electrified me—the ones who approached us on our level, who talked to us like peers, who had more energy than you usually find in a classroom. Seeing those students sitting straight up at their desks, their eyes alight, I knew John was one of those visitors for them, one they’d remember for a long time.

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Make Yourself a Box Book

Box Book by Anna Sutton (Lookout Intern)

I used this tutorial to make a beautiful paper box for my Bookbuilding class here at UNCW (taught by Lookout’s own Emily Smith).

Make it cooler! Print a poem, short short, manifesto, or image on the inside of your paper before folding. Make sure you print a directive on the front corner of your page, like open me or unfold me. If you use a slightly bigger piece of paper, you can make a top for your box, too.

Bonus! If you make your own, send a photo our way and we’ll post it here on the blog!

A Few Recommended Recommendations

Walking into a library or bookstore—or falling into the swirling vortex the kids call the “World Wide Web”—can be an overwhelming experience. Life is short, and there’s so much literature worth consuming. We all long for a weekend afternoon on the couch, our only companions a cup of coffee and a good book. But what book? You’ve got five sitting unread on your shelf, not to mention three stacked by the front door (library due date approaching), and a Readability queue full of the online essays and short stories you marked “read later.” If you own an eReader, you probably went crazy downloading all the public domain classics you never got around to in high school. Where to begin?

Allow me to simplify things for you by offering some recommendations from a few trusted sources. Herein you’ll discover brand new literature, the craziest stuff on Wikipedia, and everything in between. Mark down what’s of interest to you and disregard the rest. You’ll never run out of things to read, so you may as well just pick something and get started, no regrets.

1)  Roxane Gay’s Reading Roundup, Fall 2012: The Rumpus offers some great recommendations and reviews from the co-editor of PANK. She organizes her selections into categories such as “Coming of Age” and “Looking Ahead.”

2)  Treehouse: This new online literary magazine requires its contributors to submit Top Five recommendations lists which appear on the site the day after their own creative work is published. The links range in theme from Wikipedia articles to poetry collections to banned books. (The actual pieces posted in Treehouse are excellent, too.)

3)  One Way to Talk About Contemporary Fiction: my friend Chris maintains this Tumblr with a friend of his. Find regular links to new fiction and lit-related happenings, nearly all of which are available online.

4)  Radiolab: This isn’t a recommendation list per se, but the website for Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich’s fantastic science radio show is chock full of great listening and reading material. Subscribe to the podcast, check out the show archives, and find supplementary reading material for many episodes.

 When you’re on the hunt for new reading material, where do you look first? Whose opinion do you trust the most? Let us know in the comments!

Making A List: My Top 5 Post-Modern Detective Novels

by Lookout Intern, Joe Worthen

#5 – Noir by Robert Coover

Noir is essentially a compendium of detective tropes written in 2nd person, strung together to give the impression of narrative. You, Philip M Noir, spend most of the book drunk, searching for a widow in a maze of murder, jazz and cigarette smoke. As goons continually beat you in the head, victims change into suspects, corpses turn up living, and dead end clues pile up with the bullet casings.

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Literary Playlist

I tend to get work done while listening to music… possibly to the chagrin of the Lookout Books crew. Sorry, guys. Recently, I’ve been trying to combine the two by finding songs or artists with literary themes. Here’s a list of book-related music I’m listening to this week:

A few song titles to fit the mood…

  • Wrapped Up in Books by Belle & Sebastian
  • Books Written for Girls by Camera Obscura

A nicely named album or concerto titles that seem appropriate for reference…

  • Album: Libraries by The Love Language
  • Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 17 “The Tempest”

And, of course, band names!

  • Titus Andronicus
  • Ivan & Alyosha (And if you can’t get enough Dostoyevsky, check out their song called Fathers be Kind.)

What book-related music do you listen to?

– Ana Alvarez, Lookout Books Intern

Banned Books Week

You may have noticed that Lookout is celebrating Banned Books Week, which runs from September 30 – October 6.

Here in Wilmington, Old Books On Front St. hosted a Banned Books Read-In on October 1st. The YouTube channel Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out features readers “exercising their First Amendment Right to read a banned book.”

Hopefully many readers across the U.S. have been spending this week feeling grateful for—and inspired by—the opportunity to read banned books and fight back against the egregious acts of censorship that have prevented many readers from accessing these titles.

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The Lookout Team Goes to the National Book Awards

While the Lookout Team was in New York, nervously pushing broccolini around our plates and awaiting the fiction announcement, an enormous (and enthusiastic) group of UNCW students, colleagues, and supporters squeezed into Costello’s Piano Bar in downtown Wilmington, NC to watch the ceremony stream live on the big screen and cheer on Lookout Books’ starlet Edith Pearlman.

Be still our hearts.

The very next night, you came out again. Two hundred people showed up to hear Steve Almond read at Lumina Theatre in Wilmington and to help celebrate the publication of Lookout’s second title, God Bless America.

Whether in the piano bar, the theatre, or curled up with your laptop in bed, you have supported us and literature in ways large and small—not only this week, but for the past year, as we’ve launched an imprint in an inhospitable publishing climate, as we’ve stumbled and succeeded and celebrated. We want to say thank you. Thank you for buying and reading our books, for sharing them, for believing in books as objects of art, as machines capable of rescue. For believing that literature matters.

We’re just getting started!

Love, your Lookout Team

See more photos from the National Book Awards taken by the Lookout staff.

The Luckiest Interns

One of the three interns invited to share in Edith Pearlman’s success at the National Book Awards this year, Arianne Beros wrote a featured article for Wilmington’s Star News.

Once we were settled in her office, Emily took a deep breath, pressed her hands together, and said, “We’re taking you with us to the National Book Awards ceremony.”

We were so stunned that no one spoke for a few seconds. What an incredible, unexpected opportunity.

Read the entire article here!