Content Tagged ‘jamie quatro’

It’s Best American Time

basnw16It’s that time of year, y’all: Best American time! Congratulations to all of our contributors whose work is reprinted or commended in this year’s anthologies—and shout-outs to the following authors, whose work first appeared in Ecotone. Subscribers can log in to our website to read most of these pieces, and we’ll make a few of them open-access during the month of October:

Amy Leach’s essay “The Modern Moose,” from the Sound Issue, is reprinted in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016.

In The Best American Short Stories 2016, two stories from Ecotone’s tenth-anniversary issue are listed as notables: Steve Almond’s “Dritter Klasse Ohne Fensterscheiben” and Jamie Quatro’s “Wreckage.”

The Best American Essays 2016’s Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2016 includes four from Ecotone: “The Ear Is a Lonely Hunter,” by Barbara Hurd, “Mapping the Bottom of the World,” by Kate Miles, and “D Is for the Dance of the Hours,” by Aisha Sabatini Sloan, all from the Sound Issue; and “Hope Without Hope,” by Ana Maria Spagna, from Ecotone 19.

Finally, we’re very pleased to report that the Sound Issue is one of The Best American Essays’s Notable Special Issues of 2015! In celebration, during the month of October, we’re offering copies of the issue for $10—0r you can add a copy of Sound to a new subscription for just $7—$21.95 for Sound plus issue 22, the Country and City issue, and issue 23. If you’d like to see what we’re up to next, be sure to subscribe or renew.

Happy fall, happy reading, and congrats to our fabulous contributors!

News Roundup

busyFriends, it’s been an incredibly busy week here at Ecotone and Lookout HQ. The last week of classes! Finishing up edits on Lookout’s new story collection! Getting ready to upload Ecotone’s fall/winter issue! Buying holiday trees! Our contributors have been busy too. In the spirit of the honoring the busyness in all of us, this week’s roundup is coming at you rapid fire. Ready, set: literature!

Ecotone contributor Jeff Sharlet and collaborator Neil Shea announce a new project with Virginia Quarterly Review: #TrueStory, which will build on the experiments with “Instagram journalism” Neil and Jeff have been making. They start with a dispatch from Meera Subramanian. Each week there’ll be a new selection of reported stories, and they’re looking for submissions. The work will also be published online at VQR, and select essays will appear in the print journal.

In other submission news, submissions are open for the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Contest from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and first-place winners could potentially see their essays on the pages of Ecotone.

If you’re in the area, Lookout’s debut novelist, Matthew Neill Null,  will read from Honey from the Lion at his alma mater Washington and Lee on December 7 at 7 p.m.

Up for a laugh? At the Rumpus, Lookout author Steve Almond very comically shares his “fan mail” (See those quotes? This mail is full of loathing and violence!) from Against Football and then responds to them.

New work is out from a bunch of Ecotone contributors: Elizabeth T. Gray Jr. has a lovely poem featured on Women’s Voices for Change. Jamie Quatro has a new short story in the Oxford American. Matthew Gavin Frank had part of his new book (about Chicago pizza!) featured in Longreads last week. 

Good news abounds too! Ecotone contributor Toni Tipton-Martin fetched some glowing words from the New York Times for Breaking the Jemima Code. And both Lookout author Edith Pearlman and Ecotone contributor Lauren Groff made the New York Times list of 100 Notable Books of 2015.

And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve already heard about Claire Vaye Watkins’s amazing essay on the Tin House blog. But if you just crawled out, head on over.

Bam! A slew of amazing reads to keep you busy in your down time. Thanks for taking the time to check in. We hope your week ahead is filled with busyness and rest in perfect balance.


House Guest with Jamie Quatro: Moments of Arrival

In House Guest, we invite Ecotone and Lookout authors and cover artists, as well as editors from peer presses and magazines, to tell us what they’re working on, to discuss themes in their writing or unique publishing challenges, to answer the burning questions they always hoped a reader would ask.

Jamie Quatro’s story “Wreckage” appears in Ecotone’s Anniversary Issue.


Tshoka: we stayed our first and third nights

Last January my daughter and I traveled to Sikkim, a restricted state in northern India nestled between Bhutan and Nepal. After spending a few days at a home for Tibetan refugees and other at-risk girls, we took a four-day trek in the Himalayas, up to fifteen thousand feet. It was a cushy trek, as treks go: Nepali cooks came with us, and dzos (half-yak half-cow) carried the bulk of our gear. Still, even with just our daypacks to carry, the hike was challenging, especially as we began to experience the effects of elevation. On the second day the climb became sharply vertical. We moved at a painfully slow pace, using the mountaineering “rest step,” in which you lock out your downhill leg to put the weight on the skeleton versus the muscles.

At night we slept in rustic huts. We were days out of reach of any communication. Other than our occasional conversation, the dzo bells as they neared and then passed us, and the wind, I mostly listened to myself breathe. On the trail, away from “civilization,” halfway around the planet, the smallest comforts became huge. My tiny tube of rose-scented moisturizer; the one pack of pre-moistened wipes I’d brought along; my down jacket. Over and over I found myself silently blessing Patagonia, the attention to technical design elements which mean little in the urban, southern U.S. but mean everything on the trail in temperatures that fluctuate from twenty-three degrees Celsius during the day to below zero at night—like cinch cords inside the pockets, so you don’t have to remove your hands to tighten the waistband. I developed an almost passionate attachment to my Nalgene water bottle. The cooks boiled water over an open fire at night so we could fill our bottles before bed. I’d slide my piping hot Nalgene into a sock and stuff it into my sleeping bag for warmth. By morning the water would be cold again, ready for an electrolyte tablet and rationed sipping.


The summit at Dzongri

But the thing that could (and did) bring me to tears was—after hours of trekking—the sight of prayer flags along the trail. The prayer flags meant we were approaching a place of rest: a summit, plateau, holy lake, or temple. Every time I saw the bright flash of red and blue, green and yellow in the trees or rocks ahead, I felt connected, again, to the world-at-large. Others have been here before you; others will follow. At the summit in Dzongri there were flags everywhere—wrapped around stupa-shaped rocks and strung between bushes. Flags upon flags upon remnants of flags. The idea is the circularity of existence, life replacing death replacing life. The greatest human accomplishments—the highest peaks we’re capable of reaching—even this is fragile, will fade and blow off. There was something about being at that elevation, above the welter and noise below, that reminded me of the space out of which writing comes. This is where, in a spiritual sense, I need to exist as a writer, I thought. Away from “the industry,” the constant chatter, the noise of readings and conferences. Of course those things have a place. But it’s not the place the work comes from. The work requires silence, rest, a kind of holiness, and—so important—non-attachment. You can’t write in total freedom until you’re okay with the fact that you might not keep a single word. The possibility that none of it may make it into print.

Unknown-2After the trek, at the Tibetan Refugee Center in Darjeeling, I bought an embarrassing number of prayer flags to take home as gifts. I’d planned to hang the ones I kept outside, as one is supposed to: let them deteriorate in the elements, kindness and compassion spreading out into the world. But when I got home I tied together several lengths and strung them above the kitchen table where I work. I like to equate showing up to the page each day—whether the pages are ones I write or edit—with those moments of arrival in the Himalayas. I like the idea of work being holy, connected to the past, a form of active rest. I like to show up each day remembering the silence at the summit. In some ways, I think my work is a way to practice staying there.

Jamie Quatro is the author of the story collection I Want To Show You More, a 2013 New York Times Notable Book and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Another story collection and a novel are forthcoming from Grove. A contributing editor at Oxford American, she lives with her family in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.

Save Your Place: A dusting of backlit snow

2015S-Ecotone19-frontcover-650x964Ecotone’s tagline is “reimagining place,” and we love work that brings us to a specific location, real or imagined. In this new department, Save Your Place, we’ll highlight our favorite descriptions of place from work we’ve published at Ecotone and Lookout.

From Jamie Quatro’s story “Wreckage” in Ecotone 19

“What a thing it is to see moonlight on the tips of saguaros. A dusting of backlit snow. And the Catalina Mountains, dimensional at sunrise, crevices and folds articulated in light and shadow—flattening into a stage set by evening, gradient purples and blues becoming uniformly dark against the darkening sky.”

Lit News Roundup

Winter Institute kicks off in Asheville this weekend, and we’re proud to be hosting the NC Speakeasy on Sunday evening with fellow Tar Heelians Algonquin Books and John F. Blair, both of which are also featured in “North Carolina Indies Build Lists, Community” from Publishers Weekly. Booksellers, please look for Matthew Neill Null’s debut novel, Honey from the Lion, in the galley room. Can’t make it to Asheville? E-mail us for a copy.

You can get a sneak peek at the galley, and maybe even a few photos of Winter Institute, by following us on our newly launched Instagram.

Our news feeds were abuzz with week with reports that Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, is publishing a new novel, which follows Scout twenty years after the classic. Titled Go Set a Watchman, it was written first but presumed lost until Lee’s lawyer discovered it in the secure archive near the author’s Alabama home last fall.

Just this morning, Electric Literature and Grove Atlantic announced the launch of Literary Hub, “a new home for book lovers” (Wall Street Journal). Literary Hub will feature a mix of content contributed by partners and original material, including author interviews, features, excerpts, and essays. Sign us up, please!

We’ve all heard the phrase don’t judge a book by its cover, but this Guardian article presents an unusual counterpoint to that adage: this book cover judges you! In fact, it won’t open unless the reader has a neutral expression on her face.

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