Content Tagged ‘lookout’

News Roundup

SFB2015poster_CageFreeVisual_0It’s a festival weekend, folks! Though we’re disappointed we won’t be at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, we hope that everyone who is going will stop by John F. Blair’s booth to check out our titles and to meet Matthew Neill Null, or find him on the panel “Whiskey-Bent and Gallows-Bound: Novels of Turn-of-the-Century West Virginia” (what a mouthful!). Speaking of mouthfuls, have some hot chicken for us while you’re there, will you? Maybe one of the many Ecotone contributors in attendance will join you. Keep an eye out for Rick Bragg, Ansel Elkins, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Lauren Groff, Ron Rash, David Shields, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Benjamin Percy. We also highly recommend a stop at Parnassus, where co-owner Ann Patchett is hosting a special welcome for those Friday morning visitors who stop in on their way downtown to the Festival!

Our festival of literary news includes lots of great goings-on this week. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution named Matthew Neill Null’s Honey from the Lion one of twelve best Southern books to read this fall! “Beyond the high-profile returns of veterans like Mary Karr or Mary Gaitskill, the season brings engrossing new work . . . Here’s a peek at 12 of fall’s legends and future MVPs.”

Ecotone contributor Clare Beams has this great post, “Literary Teachers and Their Lessons,” on the Ploughshares blog, and Lauren Groff wrote about her inspiration, Virginia Woolf, in the Atlantic.

9781555977283We’re excited about two new books by Ecotone contributors. Comic artist Melanie K. Gillman’s Nonbinary is reviewed at Women Write About Comics. And Paul Lisicky’s new memoir coming out from Graywolf, The Narrow Door, got this great review from Kirkus. An excerpt of the book appeared in Ecotone 19, our anniversary issue.

If you’re looking to be an Ecotone contributor, we’re open to submissions again, as of October 1. Why not send us something?

We hope your coming weekend is filled with the festival spirit, in your heart or in your books. Enjoy the festival of falling leaves this weekend too, if your in a place where that happens. Thanks for celebrating with us!

News Roundup

It’s been a week of more rain, inter-cranial pressure changes, and discussions about how to pronounce Joaquin. But also lots of literary goings-on!

51cat7WErgL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_We enjoyed a fantastic discussion late last week between Michael Taeckens and Belle Boggs, about the promotion for her story collection, Mattaponi Queen, and forthcoming book, The Art of Waiting. (You can read her essay, “Imaginary Children,” in Ecotone 17 for a sneak peek of her new book!) The discussion revolved around the perfect cover design (witness Belle’s first cover here, one of Michael’s favorites), whether to hand out character-themed jam at readings or not to, and how to be yourself on social media. We’re so grateful to Michael for all we learned from him as UNCW’s first visiting publishing professional this semester.

Speaking of social media, Ecotone got Instagram! Follow us @EcotoneMagazine (and Lookout’s as well, of course, at LookoutBooksuncw).

Lookout and Ecotone authors have been in the news nearly as much as Hurricane Joaquin this week!

Lookout’s debut novel, Honey from the Lion, has been all over the South, from our home state of North Carolina, to the book’s backdrop, West Virgina. Wilmington’s own Star News called it “a masterful effort, an evocation of a vanished time and place” in this review. The Charleston Gazette Mail says Honey “reads like a thriller, a sweeping epic, and historical fiction at its best.” We couldn’t agree more.

radiolandEcotone contributor and neighbor John Jeremiah Sullivan wrote a fun rock ‘n roll investigation for the Paris Review. Kirkus Reviews 2015 Book Finalists longlist includes Ecotone contributors Lauren Groff and Jim Shepard. We owe congratulations to Ecotone poet and essayist Lesley Wheeler, whose new collection of poetry, Radioland, is available, as of yesterday, from Barrow Street Press. And our own Binocular Vision appeared in the New York Times this week, in this meditation on the intersection of motherhood and gadgetry.

“I was waiting out my twin sons’ soccer practice, reading Binocular Vision, a collection of short stories by Edith Pearlman, on my iPhone. The boys were dribbling their way around cones; I was in the gym bleachers, moved by Pearlman’s meditations on mortality, having a bit of a moment in an unlikely place.”

We hope your week is filled with only the best kinds of storms and unlikely realizations: ones that bring much-needed rain and understanding.

(And: Joaquin. There, we said it one more time!)

West Virginia review

 

Making A List: Five Little Known Facts About West Virginia

Honey from the Lion, Lookout’s debut novel, takes places in the West Virginia Alleghenies at the turn of the century, and tells the story of how the logging boom changed the landscape—and the lives of a group of people there—forever. In honor of the book, this edition of Making a List details some facts you might not know about West Virginia from one of its own, Lookout Intern Isabelle Shepherd.

#1: Origin of the term “redneck”

The first use of “redneck” appears in the seventeenth century, springing from the Scottish Covenanters, a Presbyterian independence movement. At the time, King Charles I attempted to bring Scotland’s Presbyterian church under his control; in response, the Scottish Presbyterians signed the National Covenant in 1638. The document, signed in blood, declared their allegiance to their religion over the King of England. To symbolize this oath, the Covenanters wore blood-red bandannas around their necks. Eventually, these “rednecks” immigrated to the American colonies and spread down to the Southern states.

Later, wealthy Southern plantation owners may have used the term to distinguish themselves from the poor, and so bestowed the name upon those white field laborers whose necks were turned red with sunburn.

And finally, the coal mining unions appropriated the term. Between 1912 and 1936, strikers in West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and western Pennsylvania between 1912 and 1936 wore red bandannas to distinguish themselves as union men. The informal garment was a symbol of unity meant to cross racial divisions between white, black, and immigrant miners.

#2: Pepperoni rolls are a legacy of Italian immigrants

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Those who are raised in West Virginia become quite puzzled once they venture out of the state’s boundaries. Where is the staple food—delicious dough wrapped around pepperoni and mozzarella? They can be dipped in marinara, but West Virginians love them just as well plain. And they can be found everywhere—high school bake sales, roadside convenience stores, donut shops, grocers, and even bars.

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News Roundup

It’s been a notably rainy week here in Wilmington, turning our thoughts toward fall at last. You know fall is coming when you scroll down your Facebook feed, and no less than four friends have posted links to this oldie but a goodie from McSweeney’s.

9780544569621_p0_v2_s192x300In other notable news, we’ve got our list of stories and essays that were honored in the Best American series! Best American Stories 2015 NOTABLES include Matthew Neill Null (for issue 17’s ‘The Island in the Gorge of the Great River”) and Chantel Acevedo (for 17’s “Strange and Lovely”). Several of our essayists earn NOTABLE mentions in Best American Essays 2015: Belle Boggs (for issue 17’s “Imaginary Children”), Camas Davis (for 18’s “Human Principles”), Joni Tevis (for 17’s “What Looks Like Mad Disorder”), and Toni Tipton-Martin (for 18’s “Breaking the Jemima Code”)! We’re so happy for our talented contributors!

Notable reviews abound: Lee Upton’s Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles gets a glowing review in The Literary Review, Claire Vaye Watkins’s new novel got a great review in Slant Magazine, and Ana Maria Spagna’s new book Reclaimers got this review in the Seattle Times. Last but not least: Chantel Acevedo, Edith Pearlman, and Jim Shepard—all Ecotone contributors—were longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

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We were notably excited to meet so many booksellers at the Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance (SIBA) conference last weekend. We had a great time at the panels, signings, and exhibitor show, where we talked up Honey from the Lion. The South is filled with so many great bookstores, and we love getting to know the people behind them. Check out the Seven Questions section of our blog, where we interview writers and, yes, booksellers! We already have some amazing interviews, including ones with Hub City, Quail Ridge, and Parnassus. If you’re a bookseller and are interested in participating in this blog series, let us know.

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Matthew Neill Null’s Carolina tour, supported in part by the great folks at South Arts, culminated with his appearance at SIBA, and it was a resounding success (even Leopold Bloom the dog thought so!) If you missed him in North Carolina, catch him in Nashville, Tennessee on October 10 at the Southern Festival of Books. He’ll be giving a talk with Glenn Taylor titled “Whiskey-Bent and Gallows-Bound: Novels of Turn-of-the-Century West Virginia.” And big thanks to Tennessee’s Chapter 16 for giving him this great review in advance of his visit!
The weekend is here, and we hope it’s filled for you with many notables. (Naps are in order here, friends.) Have a great one!

On Location with Ben Miller

Ben Miller’s memoir-in-essays, River Bend Chronicle: The Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa was published by Lookout in 2013. He sent us this update about life after his Radcliffe Fellowship and a cross-country move for our regular department On Location, where writers share a picture of a meaningful place.

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After completing my fellowship year at the Radcliffe Institute in May, I made a spinning leap from Cambridge to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and landed on my feet in front of the celebratory mural in Meldrum Park created in 2013 by artist Dave Loewenstein and the children of the Whittier Neighborhood. Squeezed in my left hand is a manuscript containing the sixty-one new translations of William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow” that I gathered over the last year from generous poets around the globe. It is my dream to hold a park reading at which this tiny poem of vast vision will be delivered in each of the 143 languages currently spoken in homes in Sioux Falls. Any translator interested in participating, please e-mail me at muralspeaks@gmail.com! I am in particular need of translations of the poem in African and Asian languages.

Ben Miller is the author of River Bend Chronicle: the Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa. His prose is forthcoming in the New England Review and the St. Petersburg Review. His awards include fellowships from the NEA and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. On October 17 in Hooksett, New Hampshire, he will be presenting shrub-based polyphony in front of the New England chapter of the International Lilac Society. Selected works from his ongoing collaboration with the painter Dale Williams can be seen very soon in Brooklyn.

News Roundup

It’s been a big book awards week, no? Hearty congratulations to all the authors on the National Book Awards longlists, but especially to Lookout’s debut author Edith Pearlman, of whom we’re forever fans. (A toast to her editor and Lookout’s co-founder, Ben George, as well!) We’re also thrilled to see books by members of our hometown team selected–congrats are in order for Wilmingtonians Karen E. Bender and Michael White. And two Ecotone contributors to boot: Lauren Groff (whose beautiful story “Abundance” appears in our Ecotone anthology, Astoria to Zion) and Patrick Phillips. Hooray, all of you!

Around the net, we saw Camille T. Dungy featured on Poets.org’s Poem-a-Day and Claire Vaye Watkins’s story “Wasteland, Wasteland, Wasteland” as Kenyon Review’s story of the week.

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Our debut novelist, Matthew Neill Null (seen here signing a book for beloved author Pat Conroy) has been super busy this week touring all around North and South Carolina–supported by grant funding from South Arts–including visits to the Hawbridge school in Saxapahaw where he faced down 320 elementary and high school students, and the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines where he talked about writing historical fiction. Thanks so much to the bookstores that hosted and supported Matt this week, the best of the best around the Carolinas: Scuppernog, Malaprop’s, Flyleaf, the Country Bookshop, Fiction Addiction, Hub City, and Main Street Books. We’re so grateful to have fantastic and gracious stores to send our writers to.

We’re also thrilled that Kirkus Reviews included Honey from the Lion in Nine Books You Shouldn’t Overlook, and loved to hear Matt over the airwaves on The State of Things. He was a little hoarse, but understandably so after this crazy week.

Matt tour

Matt and staff from Lookout are headed this weekend to the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show in Raleigh, and can’t wait to meet and talk with owners from some of our favorite bookstores in the South. We hope, as ours will be, your weekends are filled with lots of books and scavenger hunts!

The Masters Review Leaves Us Speechless

The Masters Review posted its review of Honey from the Lion, and completely wowed us! Here are a few of our favorite sentences from Brett Beach’s fantastic response to the book.

“The novel moves with the assured pace of a thriller, while sentence by sentence Null plays with the language of place, of longing, and of violence.”

“At a time when California’s coast has been given a death sentence, ice caps are melting, and warnings about the sustainability of man’s consumption are still dismissed by some politicians and citizens, Null’s evocation of the forest’s steady destruction is both a prescient fable of our future and a humbling reminder of man’s consistent and tyrannical history of ruin at any cost.”

“Frankly no first novel has the right to be this good—and yet, Null succeeds.”

Thanks so much to Brett and to the Masters Review!

News Roundup

Many Ecotone contributors have been busy launching books this fall, and we love to see their names on best-of lists! Claire Vaye Watkins and Lauren Groff made Bustle’s list of most anticipated fall books, Lauren’s book was featured again on Electric Literature, and Luis Alberto Urrea’s new book got a nice review in High Country Times

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Contributor Toni Tipton-Martin’s fantastic new book, The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks is the new selection for the Bitter Southerner’s Well Read Book Club. Toni has amassed an amazing collection of cookbooks by little-known African American cooks—one of which was featured in Ecotone’s sustenance issue—and her book explores what they have to say about our culture. Toni was also consulted in this NYT piece about food and race in the South.

In event news, Ecotone contributor Randall Keenan will discuss Ta-Nehisi Coates’s book Between the World and Me at Durham’s The Regulator Bookshop next Tuesday, which is also the official launch for Lookout’s sixth title, Honey from the Lion by Matthew Neill Null! (But if you can’t wait until then to start reading, At Length magazine published this stunning excerpt from the novel.) Tonight at 7 p.m., Matt joins host Jenny Zhang and writers Leopoldine Core, Doreen St. Félix, Alice Kim, and Anna North for Alienation Produces Eccentrics or Revolutionaries at Housing Works Bookstore Café. You won’t want to miss his first official reading from Honey from the Lion. And on Sunday, he will launch the novel in his hometown of Provincetown at Tim’s Used Books. Next week, Matt kicks off his tour of the Carolinas, thanks in part to a grant from South Arts. He’ll be giving public readings and teaching historic fiction writing workshops along the way. Check out the events page on his website for dates, times, and details.

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 If, like us, you’re always in the mood for an Edith Pearlman story, her story “Fitting” is the story of the week at the Kenyon Review.

In award news, Ecotone contributor Jared Harel won the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize for younger poets from the American Poetry Review, and contributor  Meehan Crist won a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Award. Huge congrats, you two!

Have a wonderful Labor Day, everyone! We’ll be catching up on some reading on the beach here in Wilmington. We hope your week is filled with literary and leisurely good times wherever you are.

At Length features Honey from the Lion excerpt

An excerpt from Honey from the Lion is up over at the fantastic At Length, a venue for work that is “open to possibilities shorter forms preclude.”

After reading the excerpt, spend some time with their other features. We’re especially fond of this quiz series, which asks writers and artists to answer questions pulled from contemporary poems. They ask What is more distracting than clouds? and they get answers.