“Homo narans: that hominid who not only has succeeded in negotiating the world of nature, finding enough food and shelter to survive, but also has learned to inhabit mental worlds that pertain to times that are not present and places that are the stuff of dreams. It is through such symbolic mental activities that people have gained the ability to create themselves as human beings and thereby transform the world of nature into shapes not known before.” –John D. Stiles, Homo Narans: The Poetics and Anthropology of Oral Literature
Since Wilderness Interface Zone’s birth in 2009, it has sought to foster the development of a community of nature writers in the Mormon culture, encouraging Mormon nature writers to display their work. As a corollary, it has offered publishing opportunities for nature writers of all ages, faiths, persuasions, and experience levels.
In October of 2012, WIZ added a new layer of purpose and passion: To advocate for better behavior in the teeming yet at-risk environment of human language.
Combine these two goals, and you get our latest evolutionary stage: Wilderness Interface Zone: A literary site providing grounds for the greening of human language.
We’ll continue to publish lively work by Mormon and not-Mormon writers celebrating their relationships with nature. But we’re especially interested in writing that shows awareness of how language exerts influence upon the human condition, especially as human expression intertwines into the worlds of other species. We want writing that displays qualities of “green language”–language that, through use of tropes like metaphor and irony, shows of sensory alertness, and the application of fine reasoning opens possibilities to its readers for seeing something Other. Do you have writing that taps into language’s wilderness of teeming potentialities? Is it “green,” or an imaginative and revitalizing, transforming “the world of nature into shapes not known before”? We definitely want to see it.
WHAT TO SUBMIT
WIZ is about the human-nature and human-language story. If you are a Mormon nature writer, or even someone who writes nature-themed literature from time to time, consider submitting your nature-themed short creative nonfiction essay, criticism essay, lyrical science essay, novel or long poem excerpt, poem of 50 lines or less in length, hybrid literary form, review, commentary, etc. to WIZ. If you have writing in any of these genres that explores the topic of language as an environment, we’re especially interested in seeing your work. All submissions remain the exclusive copyright and intellectual property of the contributors.
We also welcome submissions from nature writers who are not Mormon but feel comfortable interfacing with Mormons in this environment.
HOW TO SUBMIT
POETRY: If you’re submitting poetry, please address your submission to WIZ’s poetry editor Jonathon Penny at WIZpoetryeditor@motleyvision.org.
PROSE, etc.: If you’re submitting prose pieces, visual images, mp3s or other media, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or address them to Patricia at email@example.com. Include the words “Submission to WIZ” in the subject line. In general, submissions should be sent as attachments in standard media formats. For documents, we accept Microsoft word format .doc and .docx, and rich text format (.rtf). For static visual images, we accept jpeg and png. If you wish to submit audio pieces, please send them as mp3s.
Editing: If needed, WIZ editors will work with authors prior to publication to improve their submissions. Not all works will be published, but because we want to encourage submissions and develop a community of nature writers and artists, we will generally publish a work requiring editing once it meets minimum standards. Authors/artists should be open to reader/audience response.
Content: The content of all works published on Wilderness Interface Zone should be appropriate for a Mormon audience. Of course, Mormons vary widely in their ideas of what’s appropriate, but generally speaking, works should neither be didactic nor offensive.
Guest bloggers: WIZ invites guests to its campfire. If you would like to guest post at WIZ, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.