Category Archives: Announcements

LONNOL Events

WIZ Valentine9

WIZ’s heart and LONNOL Month is officially open.

We’ve received a few tokens of affection but are longing for more. Please search your files for poems, short fiction, short essays, mp3s of readings of your work or of other work that’s in public domain, your original artwork, etc. and send them winging our way.

Along with submissions from our readers, we’ll have a winter wonderland/fond feelings haiku chain, to be initiated soon.

Also, February 24th is WIZ’s birthday. We’ll be four years old. To celebrate, we’ll be offering one or more of WIZ’s old movie giveaways. Giving our readers presents on our birthday is something we really enjoy doing. To “win” an old movie, all you’ll have to do is read each movie’s review and comment in the comment section. WIZ will contact you with further instructions about how to receive your free DVD.

It has been a hard, difficult, overlong (some would say interminable) winter. Let’s use February to warm things up.

Torrey House Press issues call for environmental nonfiction

On December 27, 2012, Torrey House Press, publisher of Steve Peck’s novel The Scholar of Moab, among other fine works of literary fiction and nonfiction, issued a call for environmentally-oriented nonfiction. In its call for submissions, THP noted that while it can’t help but like and publish novels and short stories, the literary fiction genre is huge and thus an extremely difficult field in which to make a mark. THP’s thinking is that “Topical, environmental nonfiction has a smaller, more focused market in which it is easier to identify and reach interested readers.”

Acting on this strategy to achieve a workable balance between literary fiction and environmental nonfiction in its publishing line and to brand itself more conspicuously, THP is

calling for lively, controversial, leading edge manuscripts on topics like water catchment, public land use, environmental health, environmental economics, sustainable living, renewable energy, land use policy, the importance of wilderness, the trans-formative power of natural places, environmental building and landscape design, about how small is beautiful, the local food and business movement and other ideas of enlightened, sustainable living. (Torrey House Press)

This looks like a good opportunity for WIZ readers and writers to send work and see if it makes a good fit with THP’s goals. This little press looks to be putting every effort into becoming a literary mover and shaker in environmental writing and environmentally-based literary fiction and, as far as I know, keeps its authors’ interests in mind. Not every writer can say that’s true of his or her publisher. In fact, early last year, THP forged a new relationship with Minnesota based book distributor Consortium Book Sales and Distribution that it hopes will help it achieve its goals of continuing to evolve in a healthy direction. This is not only something they’ve done for their own good but to my eye appears an act geared toward looking out for their writers.

If you’ve been thinking of launching yourself and are looking for a publisher, try Torrey House Press. Check out their site. Have I mentioned that it was me that put Steve Peck onto Torrey House Press, which match-making resulted in the publication of The Scholar of Moab?  In May 2011, THP managing partner and publisher Mark Bailey sent an email thanking me for making the referral. So don’t write this opportunity off. I’m on to something here.

THP has a blog and other means by which you can get to know them. Click here for submission guidelines.

Ellen Meloy Grant for Desert Writers–Deadline, Jan. 15 2013

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I received my annual notice that the Ellen Meloy Grant for Desert Writers is seeking applicants. The deadline for grant applications is January 15. The grant funds only desert-themed, literary creative nonfiction. No fiction, children’s literature, or poetry will be considered.

To read the details, click here.You might want to take a look at past recipients to see if you recognize any names. The fund especially seeks applications from writers who can demonstrate they’re on a productive, desert-writing trajectory, on their way to charting a “deep map of place”.

Several years ago, I attended a writing workshop in Torrey, Utah, that Ellen led. Unlike some I’ve attended, this workshop ran on laughter and warmhearted guidance. Ellen was totally approachable and turned her wide-open attention to you and your writing at your slightest movement. I returned home from the workshop energized, comforted, and with a new poem in tote. I’ve posted it on WIZ before, but for anyone interested, here it is again.

Desert Gramarye*

(for Ellen Meloy)

It’s like the old Tarzan movies:
White hunters find their way barred
By skulls on sticks.

The Park Service has erected
A pavilion on the rim.
Beware, it says.
Quicksand.  Flash floods.
How to Resuscitate Lightning Strike Victims
One warning tells.
It pretends helpful information,
But it is another white skull. Continue reading Ellen Meloy Grant for Desert Writers–Deadline, Jan. 15 2013

State of the WIZ 2012

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Permit me to take a bit of virtual space to talk about Wilderness Interface Zone and its doings. I think it smart to revisit aspirations as well as mark recent changes and give notice of coming ones.  When William Morris helped me set up the site, I thought I’d build it, as the “About” page says, “to develop, inspire, and promote literary nature and science writing in the Mormon writing community.  WIZ’s intent is to open a frontier in Mormon arts, demonstrating in the process that it’s okay to write nature literature ….”

These were my earliest goals. I think WIZ has begun achieving some of them simply by staying alive for almost three and a half years. However, where I believe WIZ reaches highest expression is in its building an open venue for community members to celebrate or explore their relationship with nature, a relationship often sealed with the kiss of language. I might have begun WIZ, but readers have toted tons of necessaries to the literary barn raising, making it a unique, energetic, community-driven site.  Because of the wide range of voices speaking at WIZ, I’ve come think of it as a potential haven for narrative and rhetorical diversity, which, as I say so often that people are probably growing weary of hearing it, I think of as kinds of biodiversity. In the interest of providing ground for heterogeneity, then, which in nature supports the overall health, beauty, and potentiality of a place, WIZ will never turn nature writing away because it doesn’t follow a hot trend in the genre or pitch its voice to match those of dominant artists telling stories about people, other creatures, and the planet.  WIZ is an exploratory, let’s-see-where-this-takes-us site.  It’s a many-voices-mixing-may-give-rise-to-new-ground site. Continue reading State of the WIZ 2012

Thank you, 2012 LONNOL participants!

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Wilderness Interface Zone would like to thank participants who put their hearts in our Love of Nature Nature of Love Month.  The list includes:

Elizabeth Pinborough
Kathryn Knight
Gail White
Ashley Suzanne Musick
Sarah Dunster
Chanel Earl
Sarah Dunster
Mark Penny
Laura Craner
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Jonathon Penny

You all helped WIZ celebrate love and nature with fair fond tokens of well-worded affection.  Thank you!

Thanks also go to our readers and commenters.  There’s still plenty of room open (until March 24) on our LONNOL month giveaway of Typhoon, starring Dorothy Lamour and Robert Preston.  If you’d like one, please go to that post and leave a comment.  I’ll contact you for shipping information.  WIZ offers these DVDs free to readers in appreciation for your presence here and for your support of WIZ’s mission to create a rhetorically-diverse space for Mormon nature literature (though, of course, all nature writers are welcome–see submissions guidelines here).

Also, WIZ’s 4th Annual Spring Poetry Runoff Contest and Celebration will open on the vernal equinox, March 20, with categories for both competition and non-competition, an open-invitation spring haiku chain, another Retro Review, and other revelry.  Please make a note of the Runoff’s pending arrival and watch for announcements detailing this year’s activities and prizes.

Again, deepest affection to you, contributors, and to you, readers and followers of WIZ, for your continued presence here.

WIZ takes on two new marvelous creatures

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As Wilderness Interface Zone approaches its third birthday, it’s growing up a little.  Formalist poet Jonathon Penny has consented to join WIZ’s literary ecotone in the role of contributing editor. Jonathon has a keen eye for the belles-lettres.  Beside being a wonderful poet possessing a unique voice, he took his MA in Renaissance literature at BYU and his PhD in 20th Century British literature from the University of Ottawa. He has taught at universities in the U.S. and Canada, and now lives with his family in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates where he is Assistant Professor of English at UAE University. He has published on Wyndham Lewis and apocalyptic literature and is currently at work on several books of poetry for precocious pipsqueaks under the penname “Professor Percival P. Pennywhistle.” Bits and pieces may be found here. In addition to verse published on WIZ, his poetry has appeared at Victorian Violet Press and in Gangway Magazine and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Several of his poems have also been published in the landmark, recently released poetry anthology, Fire in the Pasture, from Peculiar Pages Press.  Welcome, Jonathon!

Also joining WIZ as a contributing writer is Val K., a soon-to-be fifteen-year-old aspiring naturalist and fantasy writer.  She has participated in NaNoWriMo since she was twelve years old and has successfully completed three novels.  She also writes short stories, articles, and story serials.  She lives in a corner of southeastern Utah with her family, her carnivorous plants and her two cats. She has previously published in Moab Poets and Writers’ Desert Voices and also on WIZ.  Besides writing, her hobbies include drawing, biking, weaving, hiking, catching snakes, rescuing helpless creatures from her cats, and beadwork.  She is a voracious reader.  Welcome, Val K.!

More WIZ announcements, perhaps of interest

Fire in the Pasture from Peculiar Pages Press

Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-first Century Mormon Poetry, edited by frequent WIZ contributor Tyler Chadwick, made its debut at 2011 end in impressive style. Tyler reports that Fire in the Pasture has “risen as high as #2 in both Hot New Anthologies and Hot New Inspirational & Religious and #12 in Hot New Poetry.”  The Kindle edition “slipped into the Kindle Store’s top 100 Best Sellers in 20th Century American Poetry.”  Congratulations, Tyler and Th.!  For WIZ readers’ information, several WIZ contributors, including Sarah Dunster, Jon Ogden, WIZ’s new contributing editor Jonathon Penny, Steve Peck, Sarah Page, and myself have work included in its pages.  Ángel Chaparro Sainz, another frequent WIZ contributor, wrote the anthology’s afterword.  It’s a pleasure to see that so many WIZ folk threw kindling into Fire in the Pasture’s multi-colored flames.  A poem by Elizabeth Pinborough, another poet published in Fire in the Pasture, will appear on WIZ in February.

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Karen Kelsay, a fine formalist poet and constant lyrical presence here at WIZ, has begun a publishing company, White Violet Press. You can reach the press’s accompanying blog with submission guidelines by clicking on the image to the left.  While most publications are by invitation only, WVP will look at unsolicited manuscripts year round. White Violet Press is now open for submissions, so WIZ writers–especially WIZ writers of a formalist persuasion–please go have a look and support Karen in her new creative venture.

Torrey House Press3

In November 2011, my essay, “Plato’s Alcove,” was awarded finalist status and an honorable mention in Torrey House Press’s creative nonfiction competition.  The essay tells about my first trip to the desert.  An earlier version won 1st place in the 2003 Utah’s Original Writers Competition.  The version I sent to Torrey House is a more highly stylized, mixed-genre experiment. Want to read “Plato’s Alcove” at Torrey House’s website?  Go here.

Vintage3

Profound apologies for the lateness of this next announcement, but Fortunate Childe Publications published its autumn anthology, Vintage, in October 2011.  WIZ contributors Karen Kelsay and Carla Martin-Wood also have verse published therein (search on their names in the search bar to the left to read their poetry published on WIZ).  Also featured in Vintage: four of my poems, including “Deer in the City,” “Closing Time,” and two poems not on WIZ.  Leslie Ellison, publisher of Fortunate Childe, nominated my poem “Deer in the City,” which also appears at WIZ, for a Pushcart Prize.  This is my second Pushcart Prize nomination. Thank you, Fortunate Childe!  To find information about Vintage or purchase copies of this lovely seasonal anthology, click on the picture to the left.  I will soon be buying a few for myself. Several poets included in the anthology recorded readings of their work that you listen to here.

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WIZ will be running its popular Love of Nature Nature of Love event again in February.  To celebrate Valentine’s Day, all month long we’ll publish poetry, essays, blocks of fiction, art, music (mp3s), video or other media that address the subject of love while making references to nature.  Or it could go the other way around: We’ll publish work about nature that also happens to give a nod to love.  We’re seeking submissions of original work or you can also send favorite works by others that have entered public domain.  So if you have a sonnet you’ve written to someone dear to your heart–even and perhaps especially your pet hamster Roley Poley or faithful horse Old Paint–or perhaps a video Valentine or an essay avowing your love for a natural space dear to your heart–please consider sending it to WIZ.  See the submissions page in the navigation bar above for submissions guidelines.

WIZ announcements and link bric-a-brac

Frequent WIZ contributor Karen Kelsay’s new book of poetry, Lavender Song, is out and available for sale here.   Karen’s formalist poetry is a well-kept garden of lovely sensibilities.  For samples of her work published on WIZ, go here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Writers: The deadline for Torrey House Press’s creative non-fiction contest is coming faster than you might think: September 30th.  Entries can run pretty long, 2,000 to 10,000 words, and first place prize is $1,000.  An entry fee of $25 is required, but that’s a standard amount for this kind of competition.

Over at Our Mother’s Keeper, Jason Brown has a wonderful piece on the Sacred Grove that I think qualifies as recommended reading.  Jason’s  writing demonstrates depth of perception.  But more than that, he seems to have a sense for the dynamism and sensitivity of language’s teeming environment and engages well in it.  I appreciate the care his words show.

This story is just so cool I had to link to it.  I have a (very very) soft spot in my heart for chelonians.

A fascinating and thought-provoking story out of India with stunning photos of an enraged leopard waging war against a village.   I hope more information comes out about this incident.  I’m sure there’s more to the story than shows through in print.

New kid on the green: Our Mother’s Keeper

If you look at WIZ’s short blogroll, you’ll see I added a link to a new site: Our Mother’s Keeper, “a LDS group blog dedicated to environmentalism, ecofeminsim and environmental justice issues that result from the changes the planet is currently undergoing.”  To read more about Our Mother’s Keeper, click here.

Sorry it took so long for me to find you, OMK.  Best wishes for a sustainable presence in the Web.

Dialogue Summer 2011 issue has some WIZards

Coming soon to a mailbox (or computer) near you: Dialogue’s environmental issue.  Several Wilderness Interface Zone contributors are included therein–congratulations, friends! Frequent WIZ contributor Steven Peck guest edited this issue.

Table of contents:

Page     Author     Title
Mary Toscano     Front Cover
Inside Cover, Title Page
v     Edwin Firmage, Jr.     Letters
1     Steven L. Peck     Why Nature Matters: A Special Issue of Dialogue on Mormonism and the Environment
6     George B. Handley     Faith and the Ethics of Climate Change
36     Craig D. Galli     Enoch’s Vision and Gaia: An LDS Perspective on Environmental Stewardship
57     Bryan V. Wallis     Flexibility in the Ecology of Ideas: Revelatory Religion and the Environment
67     Jason M. Brown     Whither Environmental Theology
87     Bart H. Welling     “The Blood of Every Beast”: Mormonism and the Question of the Animal
118     Mary Toscano     A Perch, A Foothold, A Float
119     Patricia Gunter Karamesines     Why Joseph Went to the Woods: Rootstock for LDS Literary Nature Writers
134     Adam S. Miller     Recompense
143     Ron Madson     Grandpa’s Hat
148     Sarah Dunster     Gaius
150     Harlow Soderborg Clark     Easter Sermons
152     Jon Ogden     Seasonal Ritual
153     Jonathon Penny     Winterscape: Prairie
154     Karen Kelsay     Mother Willow
155     Sandra Skouson     Girl Without a Mother to Her Big Brother
156     Mary Toscano     The Tightrope Walker
157     Hugo Olaiz     The Birth of Tragedy
161     David G. Pace     American Trinity
177     Benjamin E. Park     Image and Reality in the Utah Zion
180     Polly Aird     Not Just Buchanan’s Blunder
190     Rob Fergus     Scry Me a River
196     Mary Toscano     Wherever He May Go
197     Peter L. McMurray     This Little Light of Ours: Ecologies of Revelation

Can’t wait to get my copy.   I’m very happy to see so many WIZards’ work appearing in the issue, including poems from WIZ’s 2010 Spring Poetry Runoff.

Only complaint: The cover girl or boy polar bear is cute, but I would have put hummingbirds up front.

Just sayin’.