Content Tagged ‘Ecotone’

Seven Questions for Siobahn Daugherty

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.

Lightning Round:
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.

The Future of Publishing: Nicola DeRobertis-Theye

In our newest series, The Future of Publishing, we’re reintroducing alumni of UNCW’s publishing program, including former Ecotone and Lookout staffers, who have gone on to careers in the industry. We continue our series with a profile of W.W. Norton’s Nicola DeRobertis-Theye.



Fiction editor of Ecotone while in the MFA program at UNCW, Nicola DeRobertis-Theye currently serves as the subsidiary rights manager for W.W. Norton and formerly worked as a foreign rights agent for Trident Media Group.

“On the foreign side, which is most of what I handle at Norton, we’re trying to place the translation rights to our books with foreign publishers,” she says. “It is a match-making process, knowing editors’ and houses’ tastes, and who can do well with what kind of book.”

“I’ve had really gleeful meetings at the book fairs in Frankfurt and London, where you get to celebrate in person this thing that has crossed borders and found readers,” she says. “It’s a similar process with the other rights, but knowing the book, knowing the ecosystem, that’s what it comes down to, and I do find that it takes both imagination and knowledge.”

Continue Reading

The Future of Publishing: Meg Reid of Hub City Press

In our newest series, The Future of Publishing, we’re excited to reintroduce alumni of UNCW’s publishing program, including former Ecotone and Lookout staffers, who have gone on to careers in the industry. To help celebrate the launch of Lookout’s redesigned website, we begin with a profile of Hub City’s Meg Reid.


Reid designed the cover to Trespass: Ecotone Essayists Beyond the Boundaries of Place, Identity, and Feminism

Lookout Books is more than a haven for books that matter; it’s a teaching press under the auspices of the Publishing Laboratory at UNCW, making it also a haven for apprentice editors and publishers. The imprint and its sister magazine, Ecotone, offer students hands-on opportunities to gain experience in editing, marketing, publicity, design, and everything in between. Meg Reid, Director of Hub City Press in Spartanburg, South Carolina, was among the first class of students to support the work of the newly founded imprint.

The Lookout publishing practicum, taught by publisher Emily Smith, “completely prepared her for working for a small press,” Reid says, “which involves balancing a lot of plates and wearing a lot of hats.” While working for the press, she drafted grants, planned author readings and book tours, and wrote design briefs for artists.

“I always liked that we were called on to talk about the books in public often. I learned how to summarize a book, while communicating its important themes and resonances—a skill I use often now, pitching reps and booksellers,” Reid notes.

As part of her graduate work in writing and publishing, Reid enrolled in the Lookout practicum class multiple semesters and helped publish three titles: Edith Pearlman’s Binocular Vision, Steve Almond’s God Bless America, and John Rybicki’s When All the World Is Old. She found it exhilarating to help build the imprint. “Edith’s book was a strike of lightning—we were brand new and suddenly in a national spotlight. I still regularly gift people Binocular Vision—to my mind, it’s the gold standard of short story collections.”

As director of Hub City Press, where she has worked since 2013, Reid now publishes between five to seven books a year in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She oversees the publishing program and helps realize Hub City’s mission to find and advocate for extraordinary voices from the American south.

“I always liked that we were called on to talk about the books in public often. I learned how to summarize a book, while communicating its important themes and resonances—a skill I use often now, pitching reps and booksellers,” Reid notes.

Continue Reading

Roundup: AWP Hot Panels Edition

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.

Continue Reading

On Location with Olivia Clare

This installment of On Location comes from Ecotone contributor Olivia Clare, whose first published story, “Pétur,” which was originally published in Issue 14: The Abnormal, and won a 2014 O. Henry Prize.

When I took this picture, it was for someone who had never been to Louisiana. This magnolia lives in Baton Rouge in my father’s front yard in a small magnolia tree. In the house in which I grew up (not the house to which this magnolia belongs, but a hazier, duskier, years-ago place) we had two large magnolia trees, each the size of a tiny cottage, or at least that is how my child-self thought of them. I don’t remember ever climbing these, as much as I like to think I did.

It is not at all original to write about a magnolia or about trees from one’s childhood front yard. Yet the flora and fauna from my childhood, still existing somewhere in me, in my interior child-life, are the places from which so many of my words and stories bloom. What, I wondered/wonder, are these non-human forms that live with us just as deeply as human forms do?

I trusted every plant I knew. They concealed nothing. They asked nothing. And if I was obstinate or grouchy, they did not mind. They even had names—my grandmother’s roses, especially. They came with names, and you could give them your own. Leona or Hilda or Beau. You could name many things, I discovered.

There are certain places I’m not able to write about until I leave them, and I did not write about Louisiana until nearly fifteen years after I’d left. I visit often. Several times, I’ve driven by my childhood home. I have even, with the new owner’s permission, taken photos, which never come out the way I expect or want them to. The roots for nostalgia are Greek. They mean “homecoming” and “pain.” We know you can’t go home again, but you can drive up to it. You can drive into the driveway of your childhood home, turn off your car engine, listen to the birds in the magnolia tree in the yard, look at your favorite window, the shutters, the roof, the eaves. And if you are very lucky, and if you look closely, you might see people coming out of the house, perhaps family members or friends, and you can speak to them, ask them how they are, and remember.

I think too of all the things I do not remember, and the things I have never written down, and wonder where those exist. There is a place. They—these objects, events, walkways, storefronts, bridges, lakes, somehow sadly too far back and now outside my memory—accumulate. They bring me here, bring me up to this day, though I can’t now name or know them.

Olivia Clare is the author of a short story collection, Disasters in the First World, from Black Cat/Grove Atlantic. Her novel is forthcoming from Grove Atlantic. She is also the author of a book of poems, The 26-Hour Day (New Issues, 2015). Her stories have appeared in Ecotone, GrantaSouthern Review, n+1, Boston Review, and elsewhere. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Southern Review, London Magazine, FIELD, and elsewhereShe is an Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at Sam Houston State University. www.olivia-clare.com

 

Patricia Smith: Listen for the Voice You’re Not Hearing

On February 8, poet and Ecotone contributor Patricia Smith, the 2018 University of North Carolina Wilmington Distinguished Visiting Writer, gifted a packed house in Kenan Hall with a luminous reading and moving performance. Smith read across her eight volumes of poetry, encouraging the audience to confront the ways in which they  interact with life and its multiplicities: through joy, darkness, desire, and inspiration. She said, “Listen for the voice you’re not hearing.”

Her poems “Fixed on the Next Star,” “One Way to Run from It,” and “How Mamas Begin Sometimes” appear in Ecotone Issue 13.

With a background in playwriting, performance, and journalism, Smith is a professor at the College of Staten Island and in the MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College, and an instructor at the annual VONA residency and the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Residency Program. A past Guggenheim fellow, she is a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, making her the most successful poet in the competition’s history.

Photos by Nicholl Paratore

Congratulations to Matthew Lansburgh!

We’re thrilled for Matthew Lansburgh, whose story collection, Outside is the Ocean, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award, publishes this week. The title story appears in the current issue of Ecotone.

We love the review from Kirkus, which describes so much of what we love about Matthew’s work: “Not for the faint of heart, this collection is relentless and intense, but Lansburgh’s prose offers stunning moments of tenderness amid its stark depictions of loneliness. Arresting and pointed.” 

We hope you’ll check it out!