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Anna Lena Phillips Bell

Anna Lena Phillips Bell is the author of Ornament, winner of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, and the chapbook Smaller Songs, from St Brigid Press. Her artist’s books include A Pocket Book of Forms, a travel-sized prosody guide, and her poems and essays appear in magazines including the Southern Review, Electric Literature, Poetry Northwest, and the Sewanee Review. Formerly a senior editor at American Scientist, since 2013 she has served as the editor of Ecotone and an editor of the magazine’s sister imprint, Lookout Books. During her time as editor of Ecotone, the magazine has received the Firecracker Award for Magazines/General Excellence, the AWP Small Press Publisher Award, and Best Original Fiction in the Stack Magazine Awards, as well as six grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; work from its pages 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. In addition, Ecotone was a 2021 finalist for the Whiting Literary Magazine Prize and the ASME Award for Fiction. An assistant professor of creative writing in UNC Wilmington’s MFA and BFA programs, Bell lives with her family near what is now called the Cape Fear River, and calls ungendered Appalachian square dances in North Carolina and beyond. Find her online at annalenaphillipsbell.net.

Overdue Thanks

This week associate editor Michelle Donahue and I took a break from talking about submissions and went in search of lunch. We landed at Salt Works, the venerable breakfast-and-lunch place across from Wilmington’s arboretum.

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.