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.
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.
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.
We’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.