Anna Lena Phillips Bell

Anna Lena Phillips Bell is the author of Ornament, winner of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry; A Pocket Book of Forms; and the chapbook Smaller Songs, from St. Brigid Press. Formerly a senior editor at American Scientist, covering botany, ecology, and art-science connections, since 2013 she has served as editor of Ecotone and the magazine’s sister imprint, Lookout Books. During her time as editor, work from Ecotone has been reprinted in anthologies including Best American Poetry, Best American Science and Nature Writing, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best American Short Stories, and the Pushcart Prize anthology; has received Best Original Fiction in the Stack Magazine Awards; and has been a finalist for the ASME Award for Fiction, CLMP’s Firecracker Awards, and the Whiting Literary Magazine Prize. An assistant professor of creative writing in UNC Wilmington’s MFA and BFA programs, she lives with her family near what is now called the Cape Fear River, and calls ungendered Appalachian square dances in North Carolina and beyond.


Bad News in a Kind Voice

This fall I invited Adam Terando, a research ecologist with the U. S. Geological Survey, to visit with Ecotone’s editorial staff, to help us get a better collective sense of what the climate crisis means.

The Work of Love

Love—word we fill up with our desires and fears, utter with sincerity, toss around carelessly—when we were deciding on the theme for this issue, it seemed perhaps a foolhardy choice. But Ecotone was entering its fourteenth-anniversary year—the number for sonnets, valentines. And we are sometimes foolhardy.

Venerable Instructions

What should a literary magazine look like? What form should a magazine of place take in the physical world? These were the questions faced, some eight years back, by Ecotone’s longtime art director, Emily Louise Smith.   In answer,…

Material Life

Oh, plastic, scourge of the Anthropocene, shaped into adorable shapes and dyed multifarious colors; plastic, who will be with us forever: it’s easy to forget about you, but when I remember you’re here, I’m annoyed and freaked out all at once.


Letters to a Friend

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the U. S. Postal Service. Sending and receiving letters is one of the things I love most. Here at Ecotone we’re about to have one more reason for writing letters,