Content Tagged ‘Ecotone’

A place-based pair: Ecotone and The Common subscription special

ecotone-common-300x300It’s a good year for place-based literature: Ecotone turns ten, and The Common, one of our favorite literary magazines of place, will publish its tenth issue. We’ve teamed up to offer a year’s subscription to both magazines. For $39.95, receive two issues of Ecotone and two issues of The Common!

Order by Wednesday, September 30, to take advantage of this special.

And watch for an upcoming post featuring The Common’s editor, fiction writer Jennifer Acker.

News Roundup

It’s been a notably rainy week here in Wilmington, turning our thoughts toward fall at last. You know fall is coming when you scroll down your Facebook feed, and no less than four friends have posted links to this oldie but a goodie from McSweeney’s.

9780544569621_p0_v2_s192x300In other notable news, we’ve got our list of stories and essays that were honored in the Best American series! Best American Stories 2015 NOTABLES include Matthew Neill Null (for issue 17’s ‘The Island in the Gorge of the Great River”) and Chantel Acevedo (for 17’s “Strange and Lovely”). Several of our essayists earn NOTABLE mentions in Best American Essays 2015: Belle Boggs (for issue 17’s “Imaginary Children”), Camas Davis (for 18’s “Human Principles”), Joni Tevis (for 17’s “What Looks Like Mad Disorder”), and Toni Tipton-Martin (for 18’s “Breaking the Jemima Code”)! We’re so happy for our talented contributors!

Notable reviews abound: Lee Upton’s Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles gets a glowing review in The Literary Review, Claire Vaye Watkins’s new novel got a great review in Slant Magazine, and Ana Maria Spagna’s new book Reclaimers got this review in the Seattle Times. Last but not least: Chantel Acevedo, Edith Pearlman, and Jim Shepard—all Ecotone contributors—were longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

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We were notably excited to meet so many booksellers at the Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance (SIBA) conference last weekend. We had a great time at the panels, signings, and exhibitor show, where we talked up Honey from the Lion. The South is filled with so many great bookstores, and we love getting to know the people behind them. Check out the Seven Questions section of our blog, where we interview writers and, yes, booksellers! We already have some amazing interviews, including ones with Hub City, Quail Ridge, and Parnassus. If you’re a bookseller and are interested in participating in this blog series, let us know.

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Matthew Neill Null’s Carolina tour, supported in part by the great folks at South Arts, culminated with his appearance at SIBA, and it was a resounding success (even Leopold Bloom the dog thought so!) If you missed him in North Carolina, catch him in Nashville, Tennessee on October 10 at the Southern Festival of Books. He’ll be giving a talk with Glenn Taylor titled “Whiskey-Bent and Gallows-Bound: Novels of Turn-of-the-Century West Virginia.” And big thanks to Tennessee’s Chapter 16 for giving him this great review in advance of his visit!
The weekend is here, and we hope it’s filled for you with many notables. (Naps are in order here, friends.) Have a great one!

On Location with Ben Miller

Ben Miller’s memoir-in-essays, River Bend Chronicle: The Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa was published by Lookout in 2013. He sent us this update about life after his Radcliffe Fellowship and a cross-country move for our regular department On Location, where writers share a picture of a meaningful place.

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After completing my fellowship year at the Radcliffe Institute in May, I made a spinning leap from Cambridge to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and landed on my feet in front of the celebratory mural in Meldrum Park created in 2013 by artist Dave Loewenstein and the children of the Whittier Neighborhood. Squeezed in my left hand is a manuscript containing the sixty-one new translations of William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow” that I gathered over the last year from generous poets around the globe. It is my dream to hold a park reading at which this tiny poem of vast vision will be delivered in each of the 143 languages currently spoken in homes in Sioux Falls. Any translator interested in participating, please e-mail me at muralspeaks@gmail.com! I am in particular need of translations of the poem in African and Asian languages.

Ben Miller is the author of River Bend Chronicle: the Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa. His prose is forthcoming in the New England Review and the St. Petersburg Review. His awards include fellowships from the NEA and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. On October 17 in Hooksett, New Hampshire, he will be presenting shrub-based polyphony in front of the New England chapter of the International Lilac Society. Selected works from his ongoing collaboration with the painter Dale Williams can be seen very soon in Brooklyn.

What’s Your Ecotone?: “I am drawn to any place near a large body of water”

This week, we hear from Tegan Nia Swanson, whose story “The Memory of Bones” appeared in Ecotone 15, and who currently lives in Lyon, France.

I am drawn to any place near a large body of water—the Pacific coast or the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador; the coral atolls of the Marshall Islands; the Boundary Waters between Minnesota and Canada; Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin; the Mississippi River all the way from the headwaters to the Gulf. A kind of subliminal pressure pushes down on my soul when I spend too long away—like right now, when I am living in a city apartment building that’s surrounded by cement—and it happens so slowly that it’s almost unnoticeable at first. But as soon as I get near the water again, I realize how much less I had been in its absence. It might be clichéd or romanticized to think of this circumstance as stemming from some intrinsic biospiritual need, but I can’t explain it any other way.

maskTegan Nia Swanson is a graduate of the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment Program at Iowa State University, where she was the 2011 Pearl Hogrefe Fellow. Her fiction appears in Ecotone, Bellingham Review, Connu, and in the Black Earth Institute’s About Place Journal. Her novel-in-artifacts Things We Found When the Water Went Down won the 2014 Horatio Nelson Award for Fiction, and is forthcoming from Black Balloon Publishing/Catapult Co.

Save Your Place: A dusting of backlit snow

2015S-Ecotone19-frontcover-650x964Ecotone’s tagline is “reimagining place,” and we love work that brings us to a specific location, real or imagined. In this new department, Save Your Place, we’ll highlight our favorite descriptions of place from work we’ve published at Ecotone and Lookout.

From Jamie Quatro’s story “Wreckage” in Ecotone 19

“What a thing it is to see moonlight on the tips of saguaros. A dusting of backlit snow. And the Catalina Mountains, dimensional at sunrise, crevices and folds articulated in light and shadow—flattening into a stage set by evening, gradient purples and blues becoming uniformly dark against the darkening sky.”

News Roundup

It’s been a big book awards week, no? Hearty congratulations to all the authors on the National Book Awards longlists, but especially to Lookout’s debut author Edith Pearlman, of whom we’re forever fans. (A toast to her editor and Lookout’s co-founder, Ben George, as well!) We’re also thrilled to see books by members of our hometown team selected–congrats are in order for Wilmingtonians Karen E. Bender and Michael White. And two Ecotone contributors to boot: Lauren Groff (whose beautiful story “Abundance” appears in our Ecotone anthology, Astoria to Zion) and Patrick Phillips. Hooray, all of you!

Around the net, we saw Camille T. Dungy featured on Poets.org’s Poem-a-Day and Claire Vaye Watkins’s story “Wasteland, Wasteland, Wasteland” as Kenyon Review’s story of the week.

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Our debut novelist, Matthew Neill Null (seen here signing a book for beloved author Pat Conroy) has been super busy this week touring all around North and South Carolina–supported by grant funding from South Arts–including visits to the Hawbridge school in Saxapahaw where he faced down 320 elementary and high school students, and the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines where he talked about writing historical fiction. Thanks so much to the bookstores that hosted and supported Matt this week, the best of the best around the Carolinas: Scuppernog, Malaprop’s, Flyleaf, the Country Bookshop, Fiction Addiction, Hub City, and Main Street Books. We’re so grateful to have fantastic and gracious stores to send our writers to.

We’re also thrilled that Kirkus Reviews included Honey from the Lion in Nine Books You Shouldn’t Overlook, and loved to hear Matt over the airwaves on The State of Things. He was a little hoarse, but understandably so after this crazy week.

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Matt and staff from Lookout are headed this weekend to the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show in Raleigh, and can’t wait to meet and talk with owners from some of our favorite bookstores in the South. We hope, as ours will be, your weekends are filled with lots of books and scavenger hunts!

Save Your Place: Out the fire road

Ecotone15_Cover-325x480Ecotone’s tagline is “reimagining place,” and we love work that brings us to a specific location, real or imagined. In this new department, Save Your Place, we’ll highlight our favorite descriptions of place from work we’ve published at Ecotone and Lookout.

This is from Cynthia Huntington’s poem “Boletes in September” from Ecotone 15.

“Home is knowing how the land can feed you, he said. He had / known hunger. And now I wander, out the fire road giving way to sand / where the dunes open and trees part to sky.”

What’s Your Ecotone?: “Unending swells of hills”

The shape of the state of Pennsylvania, in white on a blue backgroundFor Ecotone’s anniversary survey, in addition to asking about folks’ ecotones, we asked a seemingly more straightforward question: Where do you call home? Jackson Connor had this expansive answer: “United States, Oil City, PA; Venango County; Oil Region, Steel Belt, Snow Belt; ‘The Valley That Changed the World’; Appalachia, the hills, the woods, the heart of some part of the country; North of Pittsburgh; home, always already no matter what else, home.” Read on for his What’s Your Ecotone?, the second in our series.

In his book Petrolia: The Landscape of America’s First Oil Boom, Brian Black writes of what will always be my home like this: “A landscape is constructed of geology, hydrology, and biology; yet it also includes the creations of the humans or other beings that inhabit and change the environment,” and that’s nice, but every time I look at the unending swells of hills in my Northwest Pennsylvania, all I see are the backs of my Grandmother Ruby’s hands, her crocheting needles in her lap, as she dozes in front of the television. Her house is always warm and smells like onions cooking in butter.

The shape of the state of Ohio, in white on a blue backgroundJackson Connor writes in Southeastern Ohio, smushed up between the westernmost hints of Appalachia and the rolling wide open of the Great Plains. He’s married with four kids. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Appalachian Heritage, North American Review, Cimarron Review, Sugar House Review, Passages North, and other places.

News Roundup

Many Ecotone contributors have been busy launching books this fall, and we love to see their names on best-of lists! Claire Vaye Watkins and Lauren Groff made Bustle’s list of most anticipated fall books, Lauren’s book was featured again on Electric Literature, and Luis Alberto Urrea’s new book got a nice review in High Country Times

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Contributor Toni Tipton-Martin’s fantastic new book, The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks is the new selection for the Bitter Southerner’s Well Read Book Club. Toni has amassed an amazing collection of cookbooks by little-known African American cooks—one of which was featured in Ecotone’s sustenance issue—and her book explores what they have to say about our culture. Toni was also consulted in this NYT piece about food and race in the South.

In event news, Ecotone contributor Randall Keenan will discuss Ta-Nehisi Coates’s book Between the World and Me at Durham’s The Regulator Bookshop next Tuesday, which is also the official launch for Lookout’s sixth title, Honey from the Lion by Matthew Neill Null! (But if you can’t wait until then to start reading, At Length magazine published this stunning excerpt from the novel.) Tonight at 7 p.m., Matt joins host Jenny Zhang and writers Leopoldine Core, Doreen St. Félix, Alice Kim, and Anna North for Alienation Produces Eccentrics or Revolutionaries at Housing Works Bookstore Café. You won’t want to miss his first official reading from Honey from the Lion. And on Sunday, he will launch the novel in his hometown of Provincetown at Tim’s Used Books. Next week, Matt kicks off his tour of the Carolinas, thanks in part to a grant from South Arts. He’ll be giving public readings and teaching historic fiction writing workshops along the way. Check out the events page on his website for dates, times, and details.

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 If, like us, you’re always in the mood for an Edith Pearlman story, her story “Fitting” is the story of the week at the Kenyon Review.

In award news, Ecotone contributor Jared Harel won the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize for younger poets from the American Poetry Review, and contributor  Meehan Crist won a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Award. Huge congrats, you two!

Have a wonderful Labor Day, everyone! We’ll be catching up on some reading on the beach here in Wilmington. We hope your week is filled with literary and leisurely good times wherever you are.