We’re only one week away from the launch of Clare Beams’s We Show What We Have Learned! And you still have twelve hours, until the end of today, October 18, to enter the Goodreads giveaway for a free copy–head on over!
We’re getting closer and closer to publication day for We Show What We Have Learned by Clare Beams! If you’re a fan of Lookout and (and we hope you are), we’ve got a great special going on. Receive a one-year subscription to Ecotone and a copy of We Show What We Have Learned for over 25 percent off the cover price. For just $25, you’ll receive two issues of Ecotone as well as Beams’s collection, due out in October 2016.
In other exciting news, O, the Oprah Magazine, has named We Show What We Have Learned one of “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.” In their micro-review, the magazine’s editors write, “This debut collection is full of promise and surreal delight. In the shocking title tale, a teacher falls to pieces in front of her class, not emotionally or metaphorically, but literally. We hope there’s much more to come from this writer.” Subscribe to the November iPad edition to read the first ten pages of the collection, or check out the full list of books in this month’s print issue.
Like free books? We will be giving away fifteen preview copies of Clare Beams’s debut story collection, We Show What We Have Learned, on Goodreads! Here’s how it works:
We Show What We Have Learned hits shelves on October 25 and is available for pre-order now via Lookout’s website. Check back here–or Lookout’s Instagram account @LookoutBooksUNCW–for a new digital broadside every Tuesday leading up to the book’s release.
Fall is finally here, and along with it–and pumpkin spicing and starting to wear socks and breaking out the cardigans–comes lists of what to read this fall. We’re thrilled to find Ecotone and Lookout mentioned in a bunch of different lists. (And, for one more list, check back to the blog Monday to see the full roundup of Ecotone‘s Best American reprints and notables!)
Matt Broderick, the Review Review Reviews Editor (say that five times fast) introduced his list of lit mag journal editors sharing love, with this lovely thought, “One of my favorite things about this community of writers and editors is our willingness to give each other pats on the back and high fives for work well done.” He talked to a few editors he admires to find out which journals are on their radar, and we were excited that Chicago Review of Books Editor-in-Chief, Adam Morgan, mentioned Ecotone as one of his favorite lit mags.
Over at Book Riot, Aram Mrjoian rounds up a list of “5 Lit Journals for Readers Who Love a Sense of Place,” and Ecotone tops the list. Aram says, “We naturally expect and desire for stories to transport us, to teach us about the specifics of an unfamiliar environment, and that our preconceived notions of the physical world will automatically skew our perception of what we read on the page.” We love the idea that Ecotone helps readers grapple with that kind of transportation and perception, and are so grateful to make the list.
On the site My Booket List, they’re kicking off their book club to celebrate National Reading Group Month by partnering with the Women’s National Book Association (Greater Philadelphia Chapter) to suggest a list of “fun, inspirational, and page-turning books” including Lookout’s We Show What We Have Learned by Clare Beams. Check out these other three books on the list, and head on over to their site if you want to join in the conversations.
The Masters Review has a fantastic list of seven upcoming fall titles they’re excited about, including our very own Clare Beams yet again. Clare joins other debuts from Anne Valente and Derek Palacio, along with Zadie Smith’s wildly anticipated new novel. We love the succinct plug in their description. “We love Lookout Books, and we love a good debut collection.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
We hope this list of lists has helped cure any listlessness or even any listing to the right or left. There are so many good things coming for you to read. Ge thee to a list and start making your way through it!
We’re rounding up this week’s Lookout and Ecotone contributor news with thoughts about the great white whale we all chase. If you squint, you’ll see him showing up throughout this post. Here we go!
We’re getting closer and closer to the release of We Show What We Have Learned by Lookout author Clare Beams, and so much good feedback is rolling in. The East End Book Exchange, where Clare is having her launch, is re-branding itself as a store focusing on new titles and getting a new name–The White Whale–and they mention Clare’s book in their Littsburgh interview about it! “It’s a short story collection that’s at times creepy, at times surreal, and wholly engrossing.”
James Scott (Clare’s issue editor at One Story) has a podcast called TK, and Janet Geddis of Avid Bookstore in Athens was on the show to talk about fall books! She discusses the whale of an endeavor that is opening an independent bookstore, and both her and James have some really lovely things to say about Lookout and WSWWHL, including about its cover. Definitely check out the whole episode and James’s other interviews.
We’re absolutely thrilled for long-time Ecotone contributor Brad Watson, whose new novel Miss Jane was named as a finalist for the white whale of literary prizes. Check out Brad and all of the other great writers on the National Book Award long list.
Ecotone issue 20 contributor, Anya Groner, has a piece out in Guernica: “Healing the Gulf with Buckets and Balloons.” Groner discusses how her group’s efforts to use balloons to map the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill shifted the paradigm from citizen science to community science. She explains, “Instead of answering a researcher’s questions, community science empowers ordinary people ask their own scientific questions and follow through with data collection and analysis.” There’s a whale reference to me made somewhere here, I’m sure.
And finally, we celebrate some new writing from Belle Boggs, whose book The Art of Waiting has been making a whale of a splash for the past few weeks. This essay from the New Yorker is all about the book that taught Belle what she wanted to teacher her daughter. She was fantastic on WUNC’s The State of Things (listen here), and there’s even more to be found from Belle on NPR and the Powell’s bookstore blog.
Whatever you’re up to this week, we hope you’re chasing some suitably challenging but approachable whale, and we wish you all the luck in catching it! See you next week.
Hi, folks! It’s been a little while since we’ve posted a News Roundup. We were busy, we confess, enjoying the last days of summer before school started up again. But now we’re back in the thick of it, and since we have some catching up to do, we’re christening this post the Back to the Future Roundup. With the aid of a literary-minded DeLorean, we’re going to time travel through various points of recent interest.
Let’s begin with Clare Beams, the author of Lookout’s forthcoming story collection, We Show What We Have Learned. One of the stories was featured on Kenyon Review Online, so you can get yourself a taste before October 25 when the book comes out. The whole collection is great, of course, but don’t take our word for it! It was featured on LitHub’s “Great Booksellers Fall 2016 Preview” this very week! And Steph Opitz, the book review editor for Marie Claire, talked it up on a recent episode of The Lit Up Show. “In every story, it feels like something is lurking right around you, but you never really get to it…. It’s creepy and the writing is so beautiful … you feel angry and obsessed and intrigued … I just absolutely loved it.” We suggest listening to the the full podcast, since all the recommended books sound incredible.
Now let’s go way back to June, and knowing that a trip so far back can be traumatic, we present this fascinating interview with Ecotone contributor Adrienne Celt with writer Esmé Weijun Wang on “The Inheritance of Trauma.” Adrienne says, “Because my paternal grandparents lived in Munich (after WWII, Poland was occupied by the USSR, so many loyal nationalists chose to leave, and my grandparents went to Munich to work for Radio Free Europe), I didn’t know them well, and the stories about them always felt distant to me—I wanted to know more.” Which sounds like something Marty McFly might have said about his parents…before he almost made out with his mom.
Also in June, Lookout Author Matthew Neill Null sat in the hot seat with the Millions, to talk some of his favorite writers, West Virginia stories, and–coincidentally?–“living in a world with no future.” Matt also had a new story in the Harvard Review over the summer. The story contains a scene Matt cut from his novel with Lookout, Honey from the Lion, about an elk with a toothsome liver “bigger than a baby.” We’re glad he found a place for that line, in the future.
And we’re thrilled for fellow Lookout author Ben Miller, who received a research grant from the Schlesinger Library that will send him back to the future (or Harvard) in 2017.
Now we’ll speed through months of Belle Boggs news, beginning first with her fabulous essay for LitHub, “Writer, Mother, Both, Neither” back in June and flying to this past week’s New York Times book review of The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood. Reviewer Jennifer Senior calls the book, “a corrective and a tonic, a primer and a dispeller of myths.” Ecotone published two essays of Belle’s over the last couple of years, and we can’t wait for the release of the book later this week.
In other Ecotone contributor news, Rebecca Makkai had a conversation with Louise Erdrich in early summer, “You Are the Book You’re Writing,” which was the backup title for Back to the Future, incidentally (or could have been). Zeina Hashem Beck’s collection 3arabi Song is now available from Rattle. “The voices in (this collection) want to mourn for loved ones and broken homelands, but they also want to sing.”
Two new books of poetry are available from issue Megan Snyder-Camp. Poetry. The Gunnywolf is the winner of the 2016 Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize. “Megan Snyder-Camp’s third collection of poems, takes its title from an obscure folk tale about a wolf that scares little girls for their songs. Aiming to articulate what has been hiding in plain sight, Snyder-Camp considers whiteness, environmental racism, the Baltimore protests, mothering, and the everyday wilderness of modern-day life.” The second collection, Wintering, is available from Tupelo Press.
(That’s a lot of singing from those last few titles, and none of it, we’d like to point out, from Huey Lewis and the News.)
The Star Tribune reviewed Issue 21 contributor Angela Palm’s memoir, Riverine, winner of this year’s Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, an essay of which appeared in Ecotone. From the review by Lauren LaBlanc: “Palm confronts questions such as whether or not geography determines fate. If we can reroute a river, can we ever escape the isolation of poverty? How can we transcend our surroundings?”
We hope you enjoyed this very fast trip through recent Lookout and Ecotone history, and that your long weekend is filled with all of the time travel, 80s music, and plutonium you can possible handle. See you next week!
You may have heard the news by now, but we wanted to do an official announcement here on the blog: we’re thrilled to broadcast the details about Lookout’s next book, the debut story collection, We Show What We Have Learned, by Clare Beams. The stories blend the fantastic, the historic, and the literary, and capture the true strangeness of being human. From bewildering assemblies in school auditoriums to the murky waters of a Depression-era health resort, Beams’s landscapes are tinged with otherworldliness, and her characters’ desires stretch the limits of reality.
Clare’s editor here at Lookout, Beth Staples, published the title story from the collection years ago during her time at Hayden’s Ferry Review, and was even more excited to work with Clare on a newer story for Ecotone, called “Granna.” The success of that relationship, and the Ecotone/Lookout team’s enthusiasm for Clare’s work, led to the acquisition of this fabulous collection. And now, after many months of editing, publicizing, designing, and planning, we’re all so excited for October 25, when the book will make its way to readers.
We’re not the only ones excited. In a starred review Kirkus calls the collection, “A richly imagined and impeccably crafted debut.” Publishers Weekly adds, “Beams is an expert at providing odd and surprising details that make her stories come alive, and the result is a powerful collection about what we need from others and, in turn, what we can offer others of ourselves.” And Amanda Nelson of Book Riot says, “These stories are angry and odd, and I loved them.” Head to Clare’s website to read all the love, including quotes from Joyce Carol Oates, Chang-Rae Lee, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Mary Laura Philpott of Parnassus Books, and Rachel Richardson of Hub City Writers Project.
We’ll be giving all of the details about Clare’s tour and reading schedule shortly, but you can have a look at what’s planned so far here. We’re also so excited that Clare will be here in Wilmington as part of UNCW’s Writers’ Week.
And you don’t have to wait until October 25 to find your copy–you can preorder the collection now. We hope it will delight, challenge, and surprise you in all the best ways.
As the school year ends and launches us into summer, and as the face of Helen is said to have launched a thousand ships, this week we have literary launches galore. I don’t know whether that sentence is entirely sensical, but in the spirit of launches–moments at the intersection of optimism and uncertainty–I’m going to let it stand–and springboard us into this week’s launch news!
Lookout’s forthcoming story collection, We Show What We Have Learned by Clare Beams, is right now making its way out to booksellers, reviewers, and other taste makers. We were happy to reveal this week, through our Instagram account @lookoutbooksuncw, a full preview of the press kit. Here’s one view of the process. Head on over to Instagram to see the rest, and the final kits.
Lookout author Matthew Neill Null has had an exciting week! His short story collection, Allegheny Front (Sarabande), launched on Tuesday. His story, “Gauley Season,” part of the collection, was featured on Electric Lit‘s “Recommended Reading” this week, and Matt will be in conversation next week with Sam Lipsyte at McNally Jackson in NYC, talking about the book and his relationship to West Virginia. If you’re not in the big apple (or, ahem, don’t want to launch yourself over there), you can read Matt’s awesome essay about writing about the “real” West Virginia over on Lit Hub.
Former Pub Lab TA and Ecotone designer Garrard Conley also launched a book this week. Boy Erased tells the story of Garrard’s experience in ‘Ex Gay’ therapy. He discusses the book, his family, and his time at UNCW over at Electric Literature.
We’re also thrilled for Ecotone contributor Rebecca Gayle Howell who has been launched into a new position as senior editor of the Oxford American.
We hope your weekend is launching you into fun a productive activities. We’ll see you at the next Roundup!
Last 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!
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.
We’re rapidly approaching the end of the semester here at UNCW, and are trying to cram in as much learning as possible in these last few weeks, even as spring beckons us to the beach. In honor of the teaching and learning we all do, this week’s post corrals some news worth getting to know.
First up: have you pre-ordered Lookout’s new title yet? Clare Beams’s We Show What We Have Learned comes out in October, but you can reserve a copy now here. About half of the stories take place in schools–from odd assemblies to fraught classrooms–and combine the literary, the historic, and the fantastic into one fabulous collection.
Speaking of Lookout specifically, and the idea of the teaching press more generally, Lookout founder and publisher, Emily Smith, has an essay in the anthology Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century (Milkweed), edited by Travis Kurowski, Wayne Miller, and Kevin Prufer, which was officially released on Tuesday of this week. Among some really fantastic and thoughtful essays about the work of–and challenges facing–independent presses and literary magazines, Emily’s essay documents the founding of Lookout Books; the historic success of our debut title, Edith Pearlman’s Binocular Vision; and our innovative teaching press at UNCW.
We’re lucky here at UNCW to have wonderful teachers, and to bring in guest writers and publishing professionals to boot. Last semester’s visitor, Michael Taeckens, interviewed editor of the NYTBR, Pamela Paul, for Poets & Writers this week.
For those in the know: if you didn’t make it to #AWP16, we still welcome you to use our AWP subscription discount for Ecotone! The code AWP16 grants you two issues for $14.95—two issues at more than 50% off the cover price! Use this knowledge well, friends.
For National Poetry Month, during which we all get to learn and enjoy poetry even more than we usually do, Ecotone is sharing poems from our Sound issue and archives all month long. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to see when new poems are live. The first few are here, here, and here. And if you’re still hungry for more poems, Ecotone contributor Angie Macri has two poems in Terrain.org. And Ralph Sneeden has another Sound-centric poem (about Hendrix!) in the Southeast Review. Here’s a picture of Ralph reading his poetry this past week at Word Barn for its Silo Series of readings. We heard the acoustics were amazing, and it sounds like such a cool space wherein to learn about words. Thanks to Paul Yoon for the photo!
To take us out, we give you two topics we never tire of learning about: Donald Trump and mini golf. Ecotone contributor Jeff Sharlet had this fascinating story about Trump rallies in NYT Magazine. And have you ever wanted to learn more about mini-golf courses? Me too. Luckily, Ecotone contributor Sarah Bryan has an interesting audio piece up at the Southern Review about her dad’s role as one of the country’s preeminent mini golf course designers.
We hope we’ve given you lots of new things to learn and think about this week, and that your quest for knowledge never ends. We’ll see you back here next time!