As you may know already, Ecotone features authors and artists who explore the transition zones between landscapes, literary genres, scientific and artistic disciplines, and modes of thought all in the name of reimagining place. We’ve published traditional nature writers since our founding in 2005, and in our Anniversary Issue featured an emerging brand of expansive new nature writers such as Claire Vaye Watkins and Ana Maria Spagna.
To celebrate Ecotone’s love of place and environment, this edition of Making a List highlights other place-based literary journals around the country and the web.
1. The Common
Published biannually out of Amherst, Massachusetts, The Common seeks to “find the extraordinary in the common…literature and art powerful enough to reach from there to here.” The stories, poems, essays, and art in each issue invoke a “modern sense of place”, whether it’s a kudzu-creeped Mississippi apartment in Issue 10’s “Crescent City” by Maurice Emerson Decaul, or a warm Bombay kitchen in Amit Chaudhuri’s recipe for pomfret chutney masala from Issue 9.
2. Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment
An online journal open to “all interpretations of environment,” Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment explores the “social and political implications” of environmental complexities. From its home base at Iowa State University, the journal publishes place-based fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art on a rolling basis, and runs a yearly short fiction and poetry contest where the prize is both publication online and a box of organic Iowa sweet corn.
3. The Fourth River
Students at Chatham University’s “groundbreaking MFA focusing on nature, travel writing, and social outreach” produce The Fourth River, a print-and-online journal for innovative and unique place-based fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In the most recent online issue “Queering Nature,” guest editors Dakota Garilli and Michael Walsh stress the inversion of “the accepted definition of what is artificial versus what is natural.”
With over thirty years publishing environmental and social writing, Orion “lies at the nexus of ecology and the human experience.” Based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Orion describes itself as “America’s finest environmental magazine,” but also features a strong online presence, an annual book award, and involvement in grassroots organizations across the country.
Each piece in Terrain.org celebrates the “symbiosis between the built and natural environments” otherwise known as the “soul of place.” With both journalistic and literary works, Terrain.org makes place-based and environmental writing accessible to a wide audience interested in the intersection of humanity and ecology.
–Megan Ellis, Ecotone designer