Meet Lookout’s Fall 2021 Practicum Team

Students in the UNCW’s MFA and BFA publishing-certificate programs help power Lookout Books through their work in the Publishing Practicum, taught by faculty publisher Emily Smith. To introduce this semester’s staff, we asked each of them to share a book that offered comfort or served as a source of joy throughout remote learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Get to know our team below, and then visit your favorite local bookstore to pick up these titles. You can also follow the provided links; sales through our Bookshop storefront benefit both independent booksellers and the work of Lookout Books. Win-win!


Amanda Ake is a third-year MFA candidate in creative nonfiction and the graduate publishing assistant for Lookout Books. With a background in website and social media management, she’s particularly excited to help Lookout’s next title make its way into the hands of readers. 

Recently, she enjoyed the themes of inheritance, intimacy, and identity found within the essay collection Spilt Milk (McSweeney’s, 2021) by Courtney Zoffness.


Zoe Howard is a senior earning a BFA in creative writing and a Certificate in Publishing. She looks forward to lending a hand in the care and identity that a year of Lookout’s attention can cultivate for a debut author or underrepresented voice.

She keeps returning to the work of poet Gabrielle Grace Hogan, especially her debut digital micro-chapbook Sentimental Violence: Some Poems About Tonya Harding (Ghost City Press, 2020).  


Olivia Loorz is a second-year MFA candidate in fiction. They work in the Publishing Laboratory teaching publishing and bookbuilding classes. This is their first year working with Lookout, and they can’t wait to help bring the next book into the world.

Olivia’s most loved book published by an indie press recently is Fiebre Tropical (Feminist Press, 2020) by Juliana Delgado Lopera. 


Luca Rhatigan is a second-year MFA candidate in fiction and a teaching assistant in the Publishing Laboratory. They are excited to continue their work with Lookout, carrying through the projects they began last semester.

Luca is inspired by Mariame Kaba’s reflections on police and prison abolition in We Do This ’Til We Free Us (Haymarket Books, 2021).


Gabi Stephens is a second-year MFA candidate in fiction and the designer for Chautauqua literary journal. In her first semester of Lookout, she is excited to create digital content that invites readers behind the scenes to see the care that goes into every Lookout title.

With its dark humor and very human narrator, Problems (Coffee House Press, 2016) by Jade Sharma especially helped her through this year. 


Laura Traister is a second-year MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at UNCW, where she also serves as a coordinator for Young Writers Workshop. Having worked at a small educational publishing company before returning to school, she is excited to learn how the worlds of educational publishing and literary publishing overlap and diverge.

An indie book that has been a source of joy for her in the past months is Translation as Transhumance (Feminist Press, 2017) by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.

What We’re Reading: Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

At the close of this semester, students in the Lookout Books publishing practicum collaborated on a list of books that inspired them and their work throughout the term. To celebrate the final week of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month, we’re in turn sharing their recommendations with you. Once you’ve immersed yourself in these beautiful titles, we hope you’ll also read up on ways to stop the rise in hate against Asian American Pacific Islander communities.

Content warning: Please be advised that several book notes below include references to depression and suicide.


Soft Science by Franny ChoiWhen I found Franny Choi’s sonnet series “Chatroulette” in BOAAT, I knew I had to read more of her work. In Soft Science (Alice James Books, 2019), her second poetry collection, there are cyborgs and androids, cephalopods and moon phases. These tender, violent poems explore how humans build community and identity, and search for love in the fluid and intersecting worlds of the natural and digital, the human and machine. Soft Science is essential reading for those interested in how human bodies and consciousness are affected by technology, and this collection is especially compelling now, amidst the backdrop of the pandemic and ongoing Zoom fatigue. Dianne Seuss calls Soft Science, “a crucial book for our time—perhaps the book for our time,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Lindsay Lake

Order Soft Science here.


Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun LiI was first drawn to Yiyun Li’s memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life (Random House, 2017) because of its lyrical title but soon found myself copying quotes from its pages into my journal, struck by Li’s ability to capture inchoate feelings in beautiful, unsentimental prose. During a period of suicidal depression, Li contemplates what it means to live, using the letters and private writings of her favorite writers as guides. While this book doesn’t offer easy answers, I found a great sense of relief in reading the work of a writer who doesn’t pretend to know the way forward but continues anyway. Moving seamlessly among different writers and moments in her life, Li speaks to the reader like a close friend, creating a connection that is difficult to forget.

Luca Rhatigan

Order Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life here.


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A garden for Earth Day

Scene of the Cape Fear River, featuring a fish trap rock formation, with trees visible across the water
Raven Rock State Park, Cape Fear River, NC. Photo by Gerry Dincher, CC BY-SA 2.0.

On Earth Day this year, we’re thinking about the intersections between social and environmental justice and how we can show up for both in our communities. In honor of the Garden Issue making its way to mailboxes now, we’ve compiled a list of organizations that support gardens, gardeners, what gardens need (water, pollinators, and the like), as well as green and growing spaces and the equitable access to them.

These are difficult and wearying times, and the burdens are unequally distributed through our communities. If you find yourself with resources to share, these organizations are wonderful places to consider lending support in whatever way you are able. This list is by no means comprehensive, but we hope it offers a handful of seeds, a place to begin.

Co-founded by Leah Penniman, Soul Fire Farm is an Afro-Indigenous community farm with a wide range of programs that serve over ten thousand people each year. In their words, they are committed to the intertwined goals of “uprooting racism and seeding sovereignty in the food system.” Their work encompasses every level of farming and food justice—individual, communal, systemic, and spiritual. They train and mentor farmer-activists, host a community-sourced reparations map for BIPOC farmers, develop youth food-justice workshops, deliver food to under-resourced households, and educate policy makers. They are currently seeking donations as part of a development initiative to fortify the foundation and future of the farm, as they build new infrastructure that will make their food-sovereignty work sustainable for decades to come.

On a nationwide level, the National Black Food and Justice Alliance is a network of Black-led organizations focused on Black food sovereignty, furthering Black visions for sustainability and justice, and creating self-determining food economies. Their food map and directory is an invaluable community resource. Their website offers several ways to donate and otherwise support their work, including contacting your senators in support of the Justice for Black Farmers Act.

The Asian Pacific Environmental Network amplifies the power of Asian immigrant and refugee communities in California through community organizing around environmental justice. Located in the Bay Area—specifically in Richmond and in Oakland Chinatown—APEN’s work includes community gardening projects, health education, multilingual environmental emergency alerts, eviction protections, and advocacy for affordable housing and safe working conditions. Since the 1990s, APEN has supported and nurtured young activists through the Asian Youth Advocates summer program.

Here in what is now known as North Carolina, American Indian Mothers Inc. is a cultural organization and social support agency that serves American Indians and other minorities in rural communities. They work to support women and empower and preserve families at the margins, offering transitional housing, counseling, job training, cultural awareness, scholarships, and mentoring. AIMI also works to address food insecurity and hunger on both the immediate level with food banks and meal programs, and on the systemic level with a community organic farm and cannery, a partnership between farms, fisheries, ranches, and tribes in the southeastern part of the state.

For more than thirty years, the Indigenous Environmental Network has been fighting for environmental and economic justice. IEN works to support tribal governments and Indigenous communities in protecting sacred sites, caring for the environment, promoting dialogue, and creating sustainable economies.

Founded by an artist and an activist, Signal Fire Arts is dedicated to connecting artists to our remaining wild places. They develop wilderness studio programs and backcountry retreats on public lands to advocate for equitable access—as well as preservation of—open landscapes. Signal Fire provides fellowships for communities typically marginalized from the culture of outdoor exploration and American environmentalism. They also offer yearly Indigenous artist retreats, designed by Native artists for Native artists.  During the pandemic, Signal Fire has been offering BIPOC Virtual Workshops. They are returning to in-the-field programming this summer and are currently accepting applications.

Across North America, Pollinator Partnership seeks to preserve and protect the health of pollinator species with a multifacted approach of conservation, education, and research. Every year, the Partnership sponsors Pollinator Week; this year’s weeklong celebration of pollinator goodness starts on June 21. Year round, the Partnership promotes bee-friendly farming, disburses honey-bee health grants, distributes school gardening kits, provides educational modules and trainings on pollinator protection, and generally works to increase pollinator habitats and decrease threats. They provide ecoregional planting guides, a useful resource for any Earth Day planting project.

Finally, we’ll end with a fundamental need of every human and every garden: water. The Waterkeeper Alliance is fighting for the basic human right to clean water worldwide. They work toward the goal of drinkable, fishable, swimmable water for every community through education, advocacy, legal work, policy, and action. The Alliance patrols and protects waterways on six continents through an extensive community network—you can find your nearest waterkeeper here to learn about water in your place and get involved locally. Ecotone is edited and published from the Cape Fear River Basin, where local folks can support the Cape Fear River Watch and join clean-up days and other socially distanced volunteer opportunities.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

This post was compiled by Ecotone postgraduate fellow Sophia Stid.

New Books on the Block

UNCW alum Holly Bader opens indie Papercut Books in downtown Wilmington

Last week, Wilmington’s newest independent bookstore opened its doors on Market Street. You’ll recognize Papercut Books from the lush fern out front and the small shelf of books marked FREE. Offering a selection to the community at no cost is one of just a few ways Papercut Books owner Holly Bader hopes to give back to Wilmington, where she’s lived her whole life, something she notes is “somewhat rare these days.”

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Meet Lookout’s Spring 2021 Team

Emily Smith, Lookout’s publisher, and student staff members in her spring 2021 publishing practicum at UNCW meet over Zoom.

Alongside publishing faculty, students in the UNCW Department of Creative Writing’s MFA and BFA publishing-certificate programs power Lookout Books through their work in the capstone Publishing Practicum. To celebrate Black History Month and also introduce this semester’s staff, we asked them to recommend books, essays, poems, and stories that they’re currently reading. Get to know our nine student staff members below, and then contact your favorite local bookstore to order these titles. You can also follow the provided links; sales through our Bookshop store benefit both independent booksellers and the work of Lookout Books.


Go Ahead In The Rain by Hanif AbdurraqibMarissa Castrigno is a second-year MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at UNCW, where she also serves as coordinator for the Writers in Action program. She looks forward to watching the evolution of a book from its proposal stage to its shelf-ready form. Right now, she’s reading Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (University of Texas Press, 2019) by Hanif Abdurraqib, whose writing has fueled her love of all music genres.


Cheyenne Faircloth is a senior earning a BFA in creative writing and a Certificate in Publishing at UNCW. She is excited to work with an independent publisher that cares for left-of-center narratives, and to follow the life cycle of a book from manuscript to publication. Currently, she is devouring anything by Luther Hughes, first stumbling across his poem “if it’s about abuse, then yes, i’ll answer the questions” in Winter Tangerine’s 2016 summer issue.


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Our Most Anticipated 2021 Picks from Indie Presses

This past year, it has been a balm for all of us at Lookout to continue working behind the scenes to bring you vital and timely upcoming releases. While we’ve been at it, we’ve also kept an eye on the work of our peers, who like us believe that small, independent publishers are an essential part of building platforms for new writers and pushing traditional boundaries in publishing.

We asked seven members of the Lookout team to select a book they’re most looking forward to in 2021, including the below highly anticipated titles from our friends at Copper Canyon, Graywolf, Hub City, and Milkweed to name a few.

Preorders are especially important for debut authors and indie books, so please contact your favorite local bookstore to reserve copies, or head to the Bookshop links below. Either way, you’ll help support independent publishing and bookselling!


Homes by Moheb Soliman book coverHOMES by Moheb Soliman is about a complicated relationship with place, belonging, and borders. In this poetry collection, out from Coffee House Press in June 2021, Soliman depicts his road trip along the coasts of the Great Lakes region as he grapples with his immigrant origins, complicated colonial histories of land occupation and ownership, and environmental degradation due to climate change. The ambitious range and depth of his inquiries, and the book’s postmodern poetic, ensure a rewarding read.

 

—Bianca Glinskas

 

Pre-order HOMES here.

 


Fake Accounts book coverI can’t wait to read Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler from Catapult! Described by the publisher as a novel that “challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the internet age,” it seems like the perfect read at a moment like ours. Set at the time of Trump’s inauguration in 2017 and involving his conspiracy–theorist accomplices, it’s coming out via Catapult on February 2, 2021, right as Trump will exit office. In other words, the timing couldn’t be better to allow its political excavations to guide our reflections on the ways that Trump’s version of governance and national narrativizing hinged on his use of social media. It also might get us wondering what role the Internet will play in Biden’s America.

—Daniel Grear

Pre-order Fake Accounts here.

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Black Lives Matter: Resources for Community Support

We at Ecotone stand in solidarity with those protesting police brutality against black people, Indigenous people, and people of color, and fighting to eradicate the systemic racism endemic to the United States. We endorse and are thankful for this statement offered by the Offing, which reads, in part:

We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand with the grassroots organizations who have been doing this hard work. WE STAND WITH THE PEOPLE.

Below are some resources for taking action and supporting folks who are protesting, in North Carolina and beyond, as well as communities who continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Emancipate NC’s Freedom Fighter Bond Fund has a long history of supporting activists arrested in civil disobedience in North Carolina. If you like, you can tag your donation to prioritize the bailing out and legal defense of activists working to effect change across North Carolina.

The ACLU of North Carolina works in courts, the General Assembly, and communities to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties for all North Carolinians. A recent lawsuit they brought seeks an overhaul of Alamance County’s cash bail system, which they argue discriminates against poor people. The ACLU also offers a guide to protesters’ rights.

The National Lawyers Guild South is offering pro bono legal representation for protesters across the region. They are also looking for donations for a fund that invests in a new generation of radical lawyers, advocates and law students; and a community that embraces a politic of black leadership, queer love, immigrants & refugees, anti-capitalism, and disruption of white supremacy culture.

Southerners on New Ground “builds a beloved community of LGBTQ people in the South who are ready and willing to do their part to challenge oppression in order to bring about liberation for ALL people.” Among many actions and events, their Race Traitors summer call series invites white SONG members “to build connection, accountability, and relationship with other SONG members so we can fight together.”

The National Bail Out Collective is a black-led and black-centered collective to end systems of mass incarceration. Because people who are incarcerated cannot practice social distancing, the collective is accelerating its efforts to free people from jails, prisons, and detention centers. Donations help to bail out marginalized folks, with a focus on black caregivers. The organization is currently focusing its funds towards bailing out protestors, providing legal fees, and providing assistance to bail out groups around the country.

Campaign Zero, which is also accepting donations, has a comprehensive guide to policies that aim to correct broken-windows policing, excessive force, racial profiling, for-profit policing, cash bail, and much more. Familiarize yourself with laws in your area, and contact your representatives—at the local, state, and national level—to press them for their plans on ending discrimination in law enforcement.

The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice works with historic black colleges and universities to promote the rights of all people to be free from environmental harm as it impacts health, jobs, housing, education, and general quality of life. A major goal of the center continues to be the development of leaders in communities of color along the Mississippi River Chemical Corridor and the broader Gulf Coast Region, which are disproportionately harmed by pollution and vulnerable to climate change.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers this Black Lives Matter reading list. We’d encourage you to purchase these books from black-owned bookstores, like Shelves Bookstore in Charlotte, North Carolina, or borrow them from your local library once it is safe to do so again. A number of publishers are also offering antiracist reading for free, including these free ebooks from Verso Books, among them Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter, edited by Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton.

Through the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund, set up by the Arts Administrators of Color Network, folks can donate directly in support of BIPOC artists and administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal and temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19.

A number of writers and editors are offering gratis support for black writers—manuscript reviewing, editing, advice for pitches, and more. Find a list here.

This post was compiled by Ecotone managing editor Rachel Taube.

 

Support Indie Bookstores and Students: Free Virtual Backgrounds

Cheyenne Faircloth using the virtual background from McNally Jackson Noho
UNCW student Cheyenne Faircloth tests a virtual background from McNally Jackson Noho

If you’re like us, you’ve probably found yourself video conferencing a lot lately—with everyone from grandparents to colleagues to students. At UNC Wilmington, home to Lookout Books, we’ve been gathering in virtual classrooms for the past five weeks now, and as both publishers and teachers of publishing arts, we’ve become increasingly aware of privacy concerns when we virtually invite others into our homes. Maybe joining your latest meeting from a faraway beach or outer space elicited a much-needed chuckle (we hope so!), but for us and for many of our students, background images can be more than a joke or a momentary vacation. They can offer an essential layer of privacy and help maintain confidentiality around disparities in living situations.

We also know we’re not alone in missing the community that bookstores provide—being able to step inside and immediately surround ourselves with books and fellow book lovers. So we reached out to some beloved indie shops that graciously came through with these beautiful, inspiring (free!) backgrounds, available in high-resolution by clicking the thumbnail images below. Whether the next few weeks and months find you virtually attending or teaching classes, joining a book-club conversation, chatting with Grandma, or sitting through your hundredth Zoom meeting, we hope that these images will lift your spirits.

Pub Lab team testing virtual backgrounds during a meeting
Faculty and staff of the UNCW Publishing Laboratory meet using virtual backgrounds from Vroman’s, Main Street Books, Books Are Magic, and Brazos.

Until we’re able to gather again for readings, book clubs, and of course shopping, please visit these bookstores’ respective websites for ways to help sustain them through this difficult time. Many indies continue to host virtual story time for kids, readings, and book launches. They fill orders from behind closed storefronts and work twice as hard for a fraction of the income. They’re serving their communities—those of us who know just how essential books are. We recommend purchasing books from them online or curbside (if they’re offering that option), buying a gift card, or making a donation.


Books Are Magic

Click to download

Opened in 2017 by Emma Straub and Michael Fusco-Straub, Books Are Magic is home to new releases and beloved classics, hidey-holes for children and books to read in them, gumballs filled with poetry, events almost every night of the week and story times on the weekends, and yes, plenty of magic. Haven’t managed to take a selfie in front of their iconic mural? Here’s your chance! Thanks to Michael Chin for this photo.


Click to download

Brazos Bookstore

Brazos Bookstore opened in 1974 to encourage the growth and development of the Houston literary scene. It continues to be a hub for creative and engaged readers in Houston and is now owned by a group of twenty-seven Houstonians who purchased the bookstore when the original owner retired. Many thanks to the Brazos team for this photo.


Driftless Books & Music

Click to download

Driftless Books & Music has called Wisconsin’s Viroqua Tobacco Warehouse home since 2009, stocking their shelves over the years with half a million rare, antiquated, used, and new books purchased from the inventories of a warehouse and seven bookstores in five different states. Also boasting collections of records, sheet music, art, and a wall of iconic beer cans; Driftless hosts local and regional bands, poetry jams, author readings, and other events in their community performance space. Later this month, Driftless will host Bookstock: Two Days of Peace, Indie Bookstores, and Music, a series of streamed performances by musicians in indie bookstores across the country. Thanks to owner Eddy Nix for this photo.


Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews

Click to download

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews is a bookstore and Spanish-style chocolatería owned and operated by Chapel Hill locals Miranda and Jaime Sanchez, who wholeheartedly believe that the communal experience is cultivated by the sharing of food, drink, culture, and story. At their shop in the heart of downtown, patrons can browse books while enjoying craft brews, a glass of wine, or churros and a cup of chocolate. During quarantine, Epilogue has been working with other local retailers to ship goodie boxes that include chocolate, coffee, and artwork. “We’re been sending those boxes all the way to California and Washington with little notes,” Jaime said in an interview with NBC. “The love for one another has no borders. Through this experience, we’ve seen that the sense of community goes beyond all that. . . . I’ve never felt the community let us go at it ourselves, which we’re so grateful for.” Thanks to Mason Hamberlin, beloved alum of UNCW’s publishing program, for connecting us and supplying this photo by Miranda Sanchez.

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Earth Day and every day, supporting communities

Masonboro Island, NC. Photo by Lucasmj, CC BY 2.0

This Earth Day, we’re thinking about the many artists and other workers who have lost their livelihoods, or seen them greatly depleted, as speaking, teaching, and performance engagements are cancelled around the country. Delayed projects, layoffs, furloughs, and unpaid leave are affecting our peers in the arts community and beyond. When it’s hard to meet basic needs, it can be even harder to advocate for environmental and social justice.

If you’re in a situation where you can and would like to help those who have been affected in this way, here are some organizations to consider. These are also, of course, excellent resources for those who wish to apply for support. Though this list is by no means comprehensive, we hope it offers some places to begin.

The National Endowment for the Arts, a longtime supporter of Ecotone, Lookout Books, and so many other arts organizations, has made CARES Act grants available for organizations affected during this time. The initial deadline is April 22(!), and application and details can be found at arts.gov. State and local arts councils are offering support as well—the North Carolina Arts Council, for example, has a thoughtful statement and this excellent list of resources.

Through the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund, set up by the Arts Administrators of Color Network, folks can donate directly in support of BIPOC artists and administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal and temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19.

Creative Capital has joined forces with several national arts grantmakers to form Artist Relief—an initiative that includes immediate, unrestricted emergency funding of $5,000 for individual artists of all disciplines, and resources to help those in need due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more at artistrelief.org.

The NC Artists Relief Fund was created to support creative individuals who have been financially impacted by gig cancellations due to the outbreak of COVID-19. One hundred percent of donated funds will go directly to artists in North Carolina. Musicians, visual artists, actors, DJ’s, dancers, teaching artists, filmmakers, comedians, and other creative individuals and arts presenters are experiencing widespread cancellations due to this global pandemic. Given the overwhelming amount of need, this fund will also prioritize the most vulnerable artists among us: artists of color, queer artists, and artists with disabilities.

The Coffee House Writers Project, inspired by the WPA Federal Writers Project of the 1930s, is an initiative from Coffee House Press to commission new, short digital-only literary works from writers whose ability to support themselves has been affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. They’ll soon begin sharing new writing twice a month.

Feeding America is a nationwide network of food banks that secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States and leads the nation to engage in the fight against hunger. If you’d like to make sure your donation supports your local community, you can use this site to locate your closest food bank and make a direct donation.

For folks in the South, the excellent Scalawag magazine  has a list of regional mutual aid efforts that is well worth checking out.

350.org has a special place in our hearts because our local chapter is led by students in the UNCW’s MFA program—one of whom is Ecotone’s poetry editor. 350.org is an international movement that works to mitigate the climate crisis, and to build a world of community-led renewable energy for all. The organization argues that we cannot deal with the COVID-19 crisis by making the climate crisis and global inequality worse—and that a just recovery will acknowledge these interwoven crises.

The National Bail Out Collective is a Black-led and Black-centered collective to end systems of mass incarceration. Because people who are incarcerated cannot practice social distancing, the collective is accelerating its efforts to free people from jails, prisons, and detention centers. Donations help to bail out marginalized folks, with a focus on Black caregivers.

And finally, a shout-out to one of our favorite entities: the US Post Office. While many people in the United States and around the world are staying home, postal workers are delivering people’s prescriptions, keeping small and local enterprises in business, and connecting families—not to mention delivering reading material from literary magazines and independent presses! The COVID-19 shutdown is causing postal revenues to plummet even as costs increase, and the US postal service could run out of money as early as June. Some ways to support this vital service can be found at savethepostoffice.com. You can also, as always, buy postage and send packages to family and friends—and you can do all that no contact, online and, from many addresses, using USPS’s package pickup service.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

This post was compiled by Ecotone managing editor Rachel Taube.

 

On Teaching: Stephanie Carpenter

Last month, as the year—and the decade—wound to a close, we debuted the first guides in our Teach Ecotone series. Our second guide comes to us from Stephanie Carpenter, who has been using Ecotone in her classes since 2017. Her one-month guide to Issue 27, spring/summer 2019, gently yet brilliantly helps students make connections between poems, stories, and essays in the issue, as well as visual art and regular departments. The guide features an ongoing group project engaging with Eric Magrane’s “Various Instructions for the Practice of Poetic Field Research.” Find it—available for free download—at the Teach Ecotone page.

Here’s Stephanie on teaching:

I love teaching with literary magazines like Ecotone because they compel me to do what I ask of my students: read new work, with close attention. Using literary magazines and journals as course texts helps me to decenter my own tastes. Rather than falling back on my tried-and-true (and tired?) teaching favorites, I’m embarking with my students on readings as fresh to me as they are to them. We’re all making discoveries; we’re all part of an unfolding conversation. Engaging with journals connects us to a literary community that might otherwise feel far away from an engineering school in rural northern Michigan.