Thursday, April 17, 2008

Re-imagining places

Ecotone is an interesting journal I just came across, with an interesting mission: re-imagining place. They would like to see "creative work about the environment and the natural world while avoiding the hushed tones and clich├ęs of much of so-called nature writing." I don't know about avoiding hushed tones. I rather like them. Their contest now running is for poems celebrating Charles Darwin. That's as narrow-focus and fascinating as almost any poetry contest I've heard of. August 1 is the contest deadline.

I love writing about landscape, especially Western landscape -- Stegner, Abbey, etc. -- but I'll take any Dillard I can get my hands on, and pretty much any good writing on place. You don't even have to give me a plot, just good landscape. I don't find as much of this kind of writing being published as I'd like. Have any recommendations?


  1. Ecotone is one of my favorite journals too. I also like Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing from Utah State and Fourth River, a journal published by the MFA faculty and students at Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

  2. Joyce Nower7:43 PM

    Rachel - I wonder if being connected to a writing department puts those who are not, at a disadvantage. Those who are not connected are not clued in to the current fashion - not that the current fashion is bad or sad or mad, but just that the disconnection is revealed by the poem. I know this comment is off your focus, but it sprang to mind when I read your Ap. 17th blog.
    I sometimes feel really "out of it" since I never attended any Creative Writing Program, never made any in-house contacts, never scorned formal verse, and never was emotionally conditioned by a certain curriculum.
    Just some thoughts.


  3. Dearest Rachel,
    When I was at Pacific U, their journal Silk Road, which I briefly worked for, was supposed to be focused on place. I think they would dig your work. Here's their link:

  4. Jeannine -- Thank you for pointing me in their direction. How are you?

    Joyce -- I have to assume that being a non-academic doesn't disadvantage you, but I'm probably just whistling into the wind. I never attended or taught in one of those programs either. There are plenty of poets I read and admire who also didn't. And plenty who did. Certainly they have the numbers. But I always admire rugged independents!

    Karen -- Isotope is a good magazine, though I haven't yet had luck with them. Their response time is a little long, but I like what I see of them. Thanks for the idea.

    It would be cool to assemble a list of such zines and journals, wouldn't it?