We’re excited to introduce the newest member of the Ecotone-Lookout team, administrative associate Siobahn Daugherty. If you’re a contributor to the magazine or to the imprint’s forthcoming anthology, Bigger Than Bravery, you have might have heard from Siobahn already!
Siobahn graduated from UNC Wilmington last year with a BFA in creative writing and a certificate in publishing. During her time in UNCW’s writing and publishing program, she served as the fiction editor for Seabreeze: A Literary Diaspora, the school’s first Black literary magazine, and as fiction editor for the student magazine Atlantis.
Lookout staffer and recent BFA and publishing-certificate graduate Lauran Jones had the chance to talk with Siobahn about her first few months on the job.
As you begin your work with Ecotone and Lookout Books, what most excites you?
The tight-knit-ness of both Ecotone and Lookout Books. It’s a very respectful and exciting work environment. I love how both organizations are writer focused and are willing to expand what good literature reads like and what good authors look like—things I feel most creative industries are very behind in.
You earned your certificate in publishing at UNC Wilmington, the parent institution for Lookout and Ecotone. Could you speak to a specific experience or class that helped prepare you for your position? Is there an area of expertise that you most look forward to bringing to the team?
Anna Lena’s editorial process class, as well as my work with both Atlantis and Seabreeze, helped prepare me for this position. Seabreeze and Atlantis gave me experience working with contributors and maneuvering the ever-changing needs of publishing. Anna Lena’s class assisted me with further fine-tuning my communication and editorial skills. An area of expertise I’m excited to bring to the team is how quickly I pick up new software. It’s healthy for my ego when I amaze people by showing them things they can do on a computer that neither they nor I knew about an hour ago.
Are there Lookout titles, issues of Ecotone, or pieces we’ve published that particularly inspire you?
Yes, of course! A piece from Ecotone I enjoy and think about often is Jennifer Tseng’s “Most of My Dream Fathers Are Women,” from the Love Issue. From Lookout Books, I adore Cameron Dezen Hammon’s This Is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession. I love how both works tackle grief and womanhood.
What’s the best part about transitioning from UNCW student to staff member?
Keeping my old student ID! But seriously, I think the best part is that it’s familiar—and yet is further transforming into this stepping stone and living learning experience for me. I have to say it is odd being back. Everything is exactly the same, but in an excitingly haunted way.
What emerging authors are you most excited about?
Here are some of my favorite emerging poets: Kara Jackson, Akilah Toney, and Porsha Olayiwola.
I’m big on discovering Black poets. In my recent reading journey, I’ve really been focusing on Black writers from the past and present. It feels very much like a spiritual journey. Connecting with myself through these works. Expanding my own ideas of Blackness, womanhood, gender, sexuality, and love. Thoughts and dreams I often feel we’ve been robbed of.
If you could spend a year writing and reading anywhere in the world, where would it be?
It may sound odd, but I don’t really dream of travel; there’s no specific country, town, or city I’m dying to go to. But I imagine my perfect writing space to be in a busy city. I like when you can hear the rumbles of a community. I think that stems from growing up in a family of twelve. I want to write in a little townhouse in a walkable community. So where those things are is where I would want to be.
Highlight or underline? Highlight
Coffee or tea? Tea! But only sweet tea.
Mountains or sea? Sea
Hardcover or paperback? Hardcover
Morning or night? Nights. I enjoy the way they make time feel endless.
Text or call? Text
Themed issue or unthemed issue? Themed
Future or nostalgia? Future
Thanks again to Lookout staffer Lauran Jones for her contributions to this interview.