Who else is excited for AWP in person this week? All of us on the Ecotone/Lookout team are busy packing and preparing to see familiar and new faces alike in Philadelphia! Our schedules are jam-packed with plans for the bookfair and compelling panels featuring our staff, authors, and contributors—including many from Lookout’s forthcoming anthology, Bigger Than Bravery: Black Resilience and Reclamation in a Time of Pandemic.
To help make your schedule a little less hectic this week, we handpicked five events each day that we’re most looking forward to, all featuring people and topics near and dear to our indie-publishing hearts.
Catch us at the events below and at our bookfair tables 828/830. We’ll be slinging our signature bag-of-snakes tote, our full catalog of Lookout titles, the new Ecotone “Climate issue,” and plenty of magazine back issues. Can’t wait to see your faces and to talk about all things Ecotone, Lookout, writing, and publishing with y’all!
Thursday, March 24
9–10:15 a.m., T125 2022 Debut Authors Discuss: How to Prepare for the Book Deal (Jonathan Escoffery, Daphne Palasi Andreades, Xochitl Gonzalez, Cleyvis Natera, Jean Chen Ho) You’ve workshopped, revised, and even saved a “final draft” of your book-length work of fiction—so now what? Five debut authors discuss when and how to acquire a literary agent, considerations for going on submission to publishers, navigating auctions, international book sales, and shopping film rights, and what happens between the book deal and publication. Panelists from a diverse array of writing communities speak on their experiences to demystify the journey from writer to published author.
10:35–11:50 a.m., T137 Socializing the Nature Poem: The Nonhuman World & Identity (Derek Sheffield, Chaun Ballard, Michael Wasson, Elizabeth Aoki, Brian Teare) As Audre Lorde said, “Our visions are essential to create that which has never been, and we must each learn to use all of who we are to achieve those visions.” The “nature poem” was never just about nature. When we look at anything, we put ourselves into that gaze. Five poets of diverse backgrounds share poems that engage with the more-than-human world in ways that are accurate, ethical, nuanced, and surprising, connecting gender, race, geography, sexuality, and culture.
Packing for AWP in Portland next week and inundated by invitations to panels and parties? So are we! But we’re excited, too: AWP is always a big Ecotone–Lookout Books family reunion, and we can’t wait to see you. We’ve gathered below a selection of events featuring recent Ecotone contributors, each of whom is sure to give a brilliant reading or panel.
Join us Saturday from 6–7:30 pm in the print studio at Pacific Northwest College of the Arts, for the launch of Ecotone‘s Jason Bradford–Shirley Niedermann Broadside Series, featuring readings by Cortney Lamar Charleston and Molly Tenenbaum, and the chance to try out letterpress printing! Come out and wind down (or wind up for the last night of the conference!) for poems, light refreshments, and door prizes galore, including broadsides and copies of our issues. Details here: facebook.com/events/310891649624280/
We hope you’ll also make time to visit us at Tables T4055 and T4057, where we’ll be giving out pencils embossed on site with lines from Ecotone and Trespass contributors!
Remember: leave lots of room in your bags for litmag acquisitions, bring your loveliest literary-chic scarves, and hydrate! See you in Portland.
D139-140, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1 Thursday, March 28, 2019 9:00 am to 10:15 am
Poets Claim American History (Dolores Hayden, Marilyn Nelson, Frank X Walker, Martha Collins, Martín Espada) In recent years, many poets have turned to history as the inspiration for book-length projects. How does the poet’s craft encompass the historian’s? Panelists explore strategies for choosing a resonant subject and interpreting another era using documents, maps, landscapes, and photographs. Do historical characters and events broaden the audience for poetry? Are there different readers for poetry, historical fiction, documentary films, and narrative history or do they overlap?
Portland Ballroom 252, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2 Thursday, March 28, 2019 10:30 am to 11:45 am
Packing for AWP in Tampa next week and inundated by invitations to panels and parties? So are we! But we’re excited, too: AWP is always a big Ecotone/Lookout Books family reunion and we can’t wait to see you. We’ve whittled out a small selection of events, featuring recent Ecotone contributors. Visit us at Tables 1302 and 1304, where we’ll be getting “Craft”-y…
Remember: leave lots of room in your boes and bags for bookfair acquisitions, apply and reapply sunscreen, and hydrate! See you in Tampa.
During a time when there’s lots of talk about borders and walls and travel bans, we’re trying to remind ourselves of the power of great writing to break down walls, to help us really see one another. This week we’re celebrating both powerful new work from Ecotone and Lookout contributors, and the happy recognition of writing from the past year.
Lookout author Clare Beams is a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and Ecotone contributors Belle Boggs, Eva Saulitis, and Patrick Phillips have all made PEN finalist lists too! (The Bingham Prize has a surprising tie to our hometown, Wilmington, NC, funny enought. See the full scoop from the Star News.) To top it off, Clare’s book found itself on the long list of titles recognized by The Story Prize, which received 106 books published by 72 publishers or imprints as entries this year. The list—beyond the three finalists and The Story Prize Spotlight Award winner—honors sixteen books that stood out for the judges.
Sure, she’s keeping herself busy with writing and readings, but, like the rest of us, Clare found time to watch Stranger Things things year. In this interview from Flavorwire, Clare reminds us of the literary power of Winona Ryder:
If you could write fan-fiction about any pop culture character, real or imagined, who would it be?
Hmm. Maybe Winona Ryder? When I was a kid she embodied cool, for me — and then recently, along with the rest of the world, I got totally sucked into Stranger Things. It’s interesting to think about what it must have been like for her (after her fall from grace, period of relative obscurity, etc.) to be part of that show, set back at the start of her heyday, but as the mom character this time.
Care to give us a few sentences of micro-fiction about that character?
Winona looked around the set. This, she thought, was like coming home. She brushed back her feathered hair. Home, but with differences.
Samiya Bashir has a video-poem up that’s based on her poem in Ecotone issue 19. Her book, Field Theories, will be out soon from Nightboat Books.
Issue 21 contributor Safiya Sinclair will judge for The Adroit Journal’s Prize for Poetry. The prize seeks to honor writers of secondary or undergraduate status whose work inspires action. The deadline for submissions is February 15–check it out.
Leila Chatti, whose poems appeared in Issue 21, has a new poem up on Rattle‘s website called “My Mother Makes a Religion,” a moving exploration of faith including this line: “A child, I heard the trinity wrong— / thought God was a ghost, her faith / a haunting.”
Issue 18 contributor Aimee Nezhukumatahil’s poem “Invitation” is featured on the Poetry Foundation website. “Invitation” reminds us to contemplate what lies beneath that blanket of sea with lines like, “Squid know how to be rich when you have ten empty arms.”
Ecotone and Astoria to Zion contributor Kevin Wilson’s new novel Perfect Little World came out from Ecco last week. As our friend Ann Patchett wrote of the book, “What I love about this book is that it’s full of good people and all their good intentions. That doesn’t mean everything works out, but you can’t help but think, Oh, what if it could?” And Mary Laura Philpott of Parnassus Books created this amazing book pie chart. Doesn’t EVERY book need a pie chart?!
We like ending on a note about good people and good intentions. We intend to keep to keep sharing all of the goodness we can.
It’s been a strange time in America these last few weeks, so we’re heading into this Roundup trying to focus on some good things for our readers and from our contributors. Here are things to toot happy horns about, and inspiring reads in the aftermath of some disconcerting divisiveness.
Could you possibly need more convincing that this is a book you should read?
Lookout author Ben Miller’s Mural Speaks! project, the aim of which is to translate William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow” into each of the 140 plus languages currently spoken in Sioux Falls, is still looking for submissions. We love the way the project celebrates the diversity of the urban midwest.
Oh, but there’s so much more to celebrate from Ecotone contributors!
We’re thrilled that Dan Hoyt is the winner of the inaugural Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction for his novel This Book Is Not For You. Dan’s story “The Mad King” is one wild ride, in our current issue.
In their October issue, Poetry Magazine published Issue 21 contributor Laurie Clements Lambeth’s poem “Cusped Prognosis,” which was originally part of her essay, “Going Downhill From Here” in Ecotone‘s current issue.
We hope these engaging reads offer some perspective, comfort, and enjoyment. We’ll see you back here soon for our next Roundup!
It was an especially exciting week at Lookout HQ with the launch of Clare Beams’s story collection, We Show What We Have Learned, on Tuesday. The Lookout team has been hard at work on this amazing book for quite some time, and it’s been fun to see it getting the attention it so deserves. Here are a few of the special places you can read more about it.
The story “All the Keys to All the Doors” was featured in Electric Literature‘s Recommended Reading this week, with a fantastic introduction from Megan Mayhew Bergman: “Upon reading her, you make it to the third or fourth paragraph and realize this is not the restrained narrative you expected, that there is a cutting strangeness and profundity afoot.”
And if you haven’t heard by now, she also got love from O, The Oprah Magazine, where it was featured as one of “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.”
This coming week, Wilmington will host its own special launch party for Clare as part of Writers’ Week on Monday night. To read more about it–and the other fabulous writers coming to Wilmington including Mei Fong, Maurice Manning, and Chinelo Okparanta–check out this article from Encore.
Speaking of hometown love, Wilmington’s Salt Magazine did a fabulous profile on Lookout and Honey from the Lion, saying, “The care and adoration lavished on a Lookout book is obvious…. French flaps, beautiful graphic design, and tailored page layouts are the hallmarks of a book that someone cares about…. At Lookout, each book radiates that level of care.” And Parnassus Books created this roundup of “Small Presses: Little Gems With Big Impact,” calling out Lookout books by Clare Beams, Edith Pearlman, and Matthew Neill Null. (Thanks, you guys!)
And Ben Miller, author of the memoir River Bend Chronicle, accepted the Cornell College Leadership & Service Award for “contributions to American literature.” Ben’s acceptance speech is funny and inspiring, and we’re so happy for him.
And there are book launches in the world of Ecotone contributors to boot! Melissa Range’s new poetry collection, Scriptorium, hit the shelves this month. Chosen by Tracy K. Smith for the 2015 National Poetry Series, it’s now available from Beacon Press.
Issue 21 contributor Safiya Sinclair’s book of poetry, Cannibal, which came out last month, got a shout out on Lenny: “Her stanzas will revive you and leave you transformed.”
This is the post that nearly launched a thousand books. We hope your reading all the great new literature you can handle–thanks for checking out ours!
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!