Content Tagged ‘matthew neill null’

News Roundup

There was lots of good news in the halls of Ecotone and Lookout this week, not the least of which is that Lookout author Matthew Neill Null got a starred review from Kirkus for his forthcoming story collection from Sarabande, Allegheny Front. Calling the stories “sometimes lyrical, sometimes scarifying” the reviewer says Matt is “a natural writer with much to say.” We wholeheartedly agree.

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It’s been a big week here for Ecotone! Our Sound issue, pictured here, is hot off the press. We hope you’ll check it out, and keep your eye on the blog for more on the issue, the great stuff inside, and its contributors. We’re also profiling sound-related news and writing on Ecotone‘s Facbook page.

And subscribe, why don’t you? Not convinced? How about the fact that Ecotone made BuzzFeed’s list of twenty-nine literary magazines that will help you read better things. That’s pretty compelling, right? The list includes so many other great magazines, too. We hope you’ll check it out.

In other goings-on this week, Ecotone contributor and all-around-hilarious guy Bill Roorbach is visiting our MFA program this semester, and gave a fantastic reading from his forthcoming story collection last night, watched over by a younger (and smoking) version of himself.

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Bill is also joined by many other Ecotone contributors–including Rick Bass, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Barbara Hurd, Kathryn Miles, and our own founding editor David Gessner–in this forthcoming collection on fracking. Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America brings together over fifty writers to explore “the complexities of fracking through first-hand experience, investigative journalism, story-telling, and verse.” Check out this video for more.

We hope good news abounds in your neck of the woods, too! We’ll see you back here next week for more happy literary things.

News Roundup

This is our first Roundup post of the new year, so we thought we’d focus on beginnings today. Hopefully your 2016 is off to a fantastic, resolution-killing start! Here’s what some Lookout authors have been up to this year.

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Matthew Neill Null, Lookout’s debut novelist, has another new book forthcoming this year. His story collection, Allegheny Front (from Sarabande Books), made The Millions’ list of most anticipated 2016 books, and it included a mention of Honey from the Lion to boot. Matt also recently had a piece on the Paris Review daily about the novels of Henry de Motherlant. Though out of fashion now, Matt argues that they’re the perfect books for our confused age. If you’re looking to begin again with something tried-and-true in 2016, this may be the place to start.

Steve Almond has just been named the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at UMass Lowell for 2016. Steve says, “I love more than anything the chance to spread the gospel of literature on a campus with such a rich tradition.” Those students are lucky to have him this year.

Clare Beams, Lookout’s newest family member (more on that soon!), puts 2016 in perspective with a look at some literary beginnings on the Ploughshares blog. About the new year Clare says, “The newness it represents feels invisible to me, no matter the countdowns and music and noisemakers piled on it—a threshold in the air, a line that’s there because we say it is. I’m always so aware of being my same old self, beneath the party hat, behind the confetti.” But the six novel beginnings she looks at are ones you can really get behind.

Here’s to all sorts of new beginnings in the year ahead, literary and otherwise. We hope your week is filled with all the newness, novelty, and fresh starts you’re up for.

 

 

News Roundup

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The air is filled with best-of lists, Pushcart nominations, and NEA grants! And magic, of course: in the form of Christmas music, too many cookies, and implausible stories we tell our children. In honor of how fiction enriches our lives, this week’s roundup has a list of years-end honors received by Lookout authors and Ecotone contributors who tell us tall tales.

We’ll start with a heavy hitter: the New York Times list of 100 Notable Books features Lookout author Edith Pearlman, and Ecotone contributor Lauren Groff. And we love this list from NPR Books which features Groff again, of course, and contributors Claire Vaye Watson, Toni Tipton-Martin, and Jim Shepard among a slew of other really fantastic choices.

We’re grateful to Jodi Paloni who curated a list of the year’s top short stories for the Quivering Pen’s Best of the Year Short Stories. Melissa Pritchard’s “Carnation Milk Palace” from Ecotone joins stories by fellow Ecotone contributors Ann Beattie, Bill Roorbach, and lots of other greats.

Huge thanks to the good folks at At Length for their Pushcart nomination of “Where Judges Walk,” part of Matthew Neill Null’s novel from Lookout, Honey from the Lion.

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded their fall fellowships for creative writers, and we’re so happy for Ecotone contributor Vedran Husic.

Speaking of Santa Claus, Ecotone contributor Clare Beams has a post up on the Ploughshares blog on historical fiction. She says, “The past I want to read and write about is always the kind alive enough to frighten.” Which is why we love her writing so. And perhaps the holidays, too. Is the idea of a man coming down your chimney not more than a little bit frightening?

Thanks, as always, for reading. We’ll be back with roundup in the new year. In the meantime, here’s hoping your season is filled with the best-of everything! Including stories.

News Roundup

busyFriends, it’s been an incredibly busy week here at Ecotone and Lookout HQ. The last week of classes! Finishing up edits on Lookout’s new story collection! Getting ready to upload Ecotone’s fall/winter issue! Buying holiday trees! Our contributors have been busy too. In the spirit of the honoring the busyness in all of us, this week’s roundup is coming at you rapid fire. Ready, set: literature!

Ecotone contributor Jeff Sharlet and collaborator Neil Shea announce a new project with Virginia Quarterly Review: #TrueStory, which will build on the experiments with “Instagram journalism” Neil and Jeff have been making. They start with a dispatch from Meera Subramanian. Each week there’ll be a new selection of reported stories, and they’re looking for submissions. The work will also be published online at VQR, and select essays will appear in the print journal.

In other submission news, submissions are open for the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Contest from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and first-place winners could potentially see their essays on the pages of Ecotone.

If you’re in the area, Lookout’s debut novelist, Matthew Neill Null,  will read from Honey from the Lion at his alma mater Washington and Lee on December 7 at 7 p.m.

Up for a laugh? At the Rumpus, Lookout author Steve Almond very comically shares his “fan mail” (See those quotes? This mail is full of loathing and violence!) from Against Football and then responds to them.

New work is out from a bunch of Ecotone contributors: Elizabeth T. Gray Jr. has a lovely poem featured on Women’s Voices for Change. Jamie Quatro has a new short story in the Oxford American. Matthew Gavin Frank had part of his new book (about Chicago pizza!) featured in Longreads last week. 

Good news abounds too! Ecotone contributor Toni Tipton-Martin fetched some glowing words from the New York Times for Breaking the Jemima Code. And both Lookout author Edith Pearlman and Ecotone contributor Lauren Groff made the New York Times list of 100 Notable Books of 2015.

And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve already heard about Claire Vaye Watkins’s amazing essay on the Tin House blog. But if you just crawled out, head on over.

Bam! A slew of amazing reads to keep you busy in your down time. Thanks for taking the time to check in. We hope your week ahead is filled with busyness and rest in perfect balance.

 

Honey from the Lion Book Launch today!

Today’s the big day! Join us tonight at 7 for a reading to celebrate the launch of Honey from the Lion, Lookout’s debut novel. Matthew Neill Null will be reading with Pulitzer prize winner Edward P. Jones. A reception will follow the reading, and there might (read: there definitely will) be pepperoni rolls, the food of West Virginia. Trust me, you want to eat one. And this lineup of great writers is not to be missed either.

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News Roundup

All through the next week, friends, there is an embarrassment of riches in our small coastal Carolina town. If you haven’t heard of Wilmington, it’s time to get with two very particular programs: Writers’ Week at UNCW and the film festival Cucalorus, which bring writers and filmmakers to Wilmington in spades.

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All free and open to the public, next week we’ll host readings, panels, craft talks, and demonstrations from Edward P. Jones, Jill McCorkle, Sarah Messer, Tayari Jones, Ilya Kaminsky, James Campbell, agent Peter Steinberg, and book artist Rory Sparks. A panel of UNCW alumni will talk about careers after graduation. And we’ll host a reading and book launch of Honey from the Lion, Lookout’s debut novel from Matthew Neill Null. It’s a week of nonstop activity and inspiration–if you can get here, I’d do it.

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If you’re not yet in the car, let me entice you further: Cucalorus offers an incredible selection of films, and this year launches Cucalorus Connect, which explores entrepreneurship and venture capital through a variety of panels and talks. Ecotone contributor John Jeremiah Sullivan and Ecotone and Lookout publisher Emily Smith are part of the Cucalorus Connect media marriage panel, about the creative and commercial potentials of integrating video and audio into traditionally text-driven publications. The conversation will include Ecotone contributor Jeff Sharlet and his Instagram essay, “A Resourceful Woman,” which is open to readers on our website for a week or so around the festival.

book-refund-storiesWe’ve also got a National Book Award finalist in our midst. Wilmingtonian–and Lookout and Ecotone contributor–Karen E. Bender is on the short list for her fabulous book Refund. Current UNCW MFA student Jonathan Russell Clark interviews her for Lit Hub.

In yet another happy marriage of locals, Ecotone contributor George Singleton has released a new linked story collection from Dzanc Books called Calloustown and UNCW alum Rachel Richardson writes all about it for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

It was a year ago this time when we hosted a community dinner right here in Wilmington to celebrate Ecotone‘s Sustenance issue. We’re so glad to see poet Elizabeth T. Gray Jr.’s fascinating interview with The Cloudy House, in which she discusses her poetry book projects, part of which was featured in that issue.

Whether by plane, train, or automobile, we hope we’ve enticed you to visit Wilmington, full as it is of artistic people and things to do. If you can’t make it, we hope wherever you are is filled this week with as much inspiration and connection as you can rightly handle.

Honey from the Lion Book Launch

We’re gearing up here for UNCW’s annual Writers’ Week November 16 through 20, where we’ll also celebrate with the official Wilmington book launch of Honey from the Lion.  Matthew Neill Null will read with Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P. Jones. If you’re local, please join us–all Writers’ Week events are free and open to the public, and we’d love to see you there!

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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.

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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

Welcome to another Friday! We’ve been busy at work on production for our Sound issue of Ecotone, and wanted to share some good noise with you this week.

Lookout author Steve Almond along with cohost Cheryl Strayed celebrated the one-year anniversary of Dear Sugar radio this week! If you haven’t listened to this podcast, do so posthaste. Always moving and thought-provoking, these two make a fabulous pair.

In Honey from the Lion news, author Matthew Neill Null had some fun in Third Man Record’s 1947 Voice-o-Graph booth this week. He read the first two minutes of his book along with impromptu guitar backing by Porter Meadors. Then the machine pressed the 6″ phonograph disc immediately. Here’s some video of the playback. As Matt says, “nice and crackly.”

LitChat posted a lovely review of Honey from the Lion this week: “It’s as if he sets up an old view camera and stands behind it, head beneath the black cloth, allowing, or perhaps conjuring, the slow seep of images. At times hard to see and even harder to unsee once they form, Null’s imagery and turns of phrase are beautiful, sharp, and keenly rendered.”

You know what else sounds good? Book awards, and new books.

Finalists for the National Book Award include books by contributors Karen E. Bender, Lauren Groff, and Patrick Phillips! Stephanie Trott, one of our poetry editors, interviewed  Lauren Groff for The Rumpus. Stephanie and Lauren talk about how words sound, prompting this lovely quote from Stephanie, “But sometimes those words are so delicious that you have to speak them aloud and wonder how we don’t use them on a daily basis.”

SPARECEcotone contributor Ana Maria Spagna’s new book, Reclaimers, is out. It tells the story of how members of the Mountain Maidu tribe attempted to reclaim the Humbug Valley, a forest-hemmed meadow sacred to them, from the grip of a utility company. 

Corinna McClanahan Schroeder, whose work will appear in our forthcoming Sound issue, has a first book out from Texas Review Press. Winner of the X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, the poems in Inked chart a departure and a return.

That’s all for this week! We hope your weekend is full of joyful noise and the sounds of beautiful words.

News Roundup

SFB2015poster_CageFreeVisual_0It’s a festival weekend, folks! Though we’re disappointed we won’t be at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, we hope that everyone who is going will stop by John F. Blair’s booth to check out our titles and to meet Matthew Neill Null, or find him on the panel “Whiskey-Bent and Gallows-Bound: Novels of Turn-of-the-Century West Virginia” (what a mouthful!). Speaking of mouthfuls, have some hot chicken for us while you’re there, will you? Maybe one of the many Ecotone contributors in attendance will join you. Keep an eye out for Rick Bragg, Ansel Elkins, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Lauren Groff, Ron Rash, David Shields, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Benjamin Percy. We also highly recommend a stop at Parnassus, where co-owner Ann Patchett is hosting a special welcome for those Friday morning visitors who stop in on their way downtown to the Festival!

Our festival of literary news includes lots of great goings-on this week. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution named Matthew Neill Null’s Honey from the Lion one of twelve best Southern books to read this fall! “Beyond the high-profile returns of veterans like Mary Karr or Mary Gaitskill, the season brings engrossing new work . . . Here’s a peek at 12 of fall’s legends and future MVPs.”

Ecotone contributor Clare Beams has this great post, “Literary Teachers and Their Lessons,” on the Ploughshares blog, and Lauren Groff wrote about her inspiration, Virginia Woolf, in the Atlantic.

9781555977283We’re excited about two new books by Ecotone contributors. Comic artist Melanie K. Gillman’s Nonbinary is reviewed at Women Write About Comics. And Paul Lisicky’s new memoir coming out from Graywolf, The Narrow Door, got this great review from Kirkus. An excerpt of the book appeared in Ecotone 19, our anniversary issue.

If you’re looking to be an Ecotone contributor, we’re open to submissions again, as of October 1. Why not send us something?

We hope your coming weekend is filled with the festival spirit, in your heart or in your books. Enjoy the festival of falling leaves this weekend too, if your in a place where that happens. Thanks for celebrating with us!