The Invisibles, by Hugh Sheehy : Reviewed by Andrew C. Gottlieb
As an author, he’s crafting tales with details that overlap and deepen as the what-next unfolds. It’s clear why Sheehy’s story, The Invisibles, appeared in the Best American Mystery Stories 2008. It’s a complicated, character-based tale, much more than a simple whodunit.
The editors of Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments are pleased to announce our nominations for the 2014 Pushcart Prize, the prize chosen by Pushcart Press that anthologizes the best of the small presses publishing in the last year. Terrain.org continues to publish a rich mix of literary work, including these lovelies by Martha Silano, Andrea Cohen, Priscilla Long, Langdon Cook, Courtney Amber Kilian, and Anya Groner.
We are pleased to announce the launch of Terrain.org’s 34th issue: Elemental. Issue 34 — Fall 2013 — includes a wonderful mix of literature, including the winners and finalists of our 4th Annual Contests in Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction. With a guest editorial by Priscilla Long, an interview with earth scientist Fred Swanson, poetry by a dozen leading poets (including our first video poems), searing nonfiction and fiction, outstanding photography, and well-traveled columns, you’ll want to dive right in.
As the third in a series of cross-posts with the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment’s Proximities, Terrain.org features a conversation between environmental writers and Terrain.org contributors Paul Bogard and Christopher Cokinos.
Paul: I remember I was up in Quebec at the Mont Megantic National Park, and one of the folks there said to me that closing off our view of the universe isn’t the worst thing we’re doing environmentally, but it is symbolic of the worst things we’re doing. I think he’s right—we are losing or have lost our connection to the surrounding universe by polluting the sky with wasted light. And this disconnection from the rest of creation reflects the disconnected way we live these days. And when we live disconnected from the universe, from the rest of creation, from the environment, why would we care about it? That’s one issue. The other is that we are tempted to imagine that we are the most important game in town. That human beings—and maybe especially human beings like us—are the most important concern. That the world revolves around us. When you’re standing under a naturally dark night sky, with the Milky Way bending from one horizon to the other, those kinds of misconceptions have an opportunity to fade away.
Chris: I agree, Paul. It’s always amazing to be in the company of pure urbanites who haven’t seen or have forgotten their childhood views of a dark night sky. They’re rightly astonished. I wonder sometimes if there isn’t something going on that has to do with our evolving as a species that had to spend a lot of time looking at the ground to get food—small game, seeds, nuts, fruit. Then at night all those seeds of light up there, like some sort of sustenance for the psyche. A real night sky—a dark one—must activate endorphins or some other lovely brain chemistry… more so than computer-generated CGI stars…[hr_padding]
By Dante Archangeli
Hong Kong housing prices decreased 70% over six years. Does that remind you of anything?
In 1981 mortgage interest rates were around 13% and we bought our first house in a gritty Cambridge, Massachusetts neighborhood for about $80,000. Our neighbor Charlie (a.k.a. Charlie Bad Teeth for obvious reasons when he smiled) frequently bragged about the pistol he had in case of burglars. Across the street an upright claw-foot bathtub half buried in the front yard framed the Virgin Mary. Our “new” house had no bathroom sinks when we moved in and we found a milk bottle from the 1800′s in a wall cavity.
The Wolf Yearling, by Jeffrey C. Alfier : Review by Sheryl Luna
Alfier’s gift lies in capturing these harsh landscapes in linguistic elegance. He finds and expresses beauty in the desert and its people…characters of the region…include: a parolee, an alcoholic, a middle-aged waitress at a truck stop, a Union Pacific engineer, a migrant worker, seasonal workers, and farmers.
By Dante Archangeli
Recent photos from the mainland China city of Harbin show visibility reduced to 10 meters because of air pollution. The airport and schools had to be closed. The images make Mordor look good and Hong Kong air seem almost pristine by comparison. The vice director of China’s Environmental Protection Agency stated “The heavy pollution of Harbin is due to weather conditions”.
From the Project for Public Spaces
When the foundational work for what we call Placemaking today was taking place back in the 1960s, pioneers like Holly Whyte and Jane Jacobs were on the outside of the castle walls shouting to be heard. Today, though, Placemaking is being recognized, through the release of a groundbreaking new report, by no less than the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the world’s foremost educational institution for urban planning and design.
Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments is pleased to announce the winners and finalists of our 4th Annual Contests in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction. The winning and finalist entries will appear in our forthcoming issue, No. 34, with the theme of “Elemental”. The issue will launch on October 31st.
The winners and finalists are:
Poetry, judged by John Daniel
- Rob Carney, winner
- Janie Miller, finalist
- Mark McCaig, finalist
- Cal Freeman, finalist
Fiction, judged by Teague Bohlen
- Eloise Schultz, winner
- JoeAnn Hart, finalist
Nonfiction, judged by Kathryn Miles
- Nancy Geyer, winner
- Emily Wurtman-Wunder, finalist
- Jennifer Hirt, finalist
- Melissa Matthewson, finalist
By Dante Archangeli
The cashier asked, “Do you need a bag?”
Standing in International’s much longer than normal checkout line a fellow shopper and I were chatting. Our paths had crossed a few minutes before when he’d excused himself saying he’d left his glasses at home and couldn’t read a label. Were the oranges from China? He wasn’t supposed to buy produce from China. Normally he didn’t do the shopping. But wanting to stock up on provisions with Typhoon Usagi on the way he’d been pressed into service.
By Emma Copley Eisenberg
I slept alone in the truck for nearly ninety nights – except for the eleven I slept next to a cowboy made of metal and wire, who held a pistol in each hand, and who I bought on the side of the road outside Amarillo to give my parents for Christmas. I loved the way the bench seat in the cab of the truck slid forward so I could stuff the extras behind my back as I drove. My cowboy boots. My cute jeans. Then, it was more important to me that I be pretty. In a 13,000 square-foot Wrangler store in Cheyenne Wyoming, I bought brown Carhartt work pants in the men’s section. I wore them and I wore light brown aviator sunglasses like Connie Britton’s character on Friday Night Lights. I had the costume. Now, to become the person. To become the person, I drove that 1997 Toyota Tacoma more than ten thousand miles through thirty-two states.
By Dante Archangeli
Like Alice’s, my world is getting “curiouser and curiouser”.
We took off from Tucson at 7:00 Monday morning and landed in Hong Kong at 9:00 Tuesday evening for the start of a three-year adventure. The flight was timeless hours of shutout sunlight and psychedelic video overdose. There was a futuristic forest planet inhabited by Will Smith as a space general and computer-created sort-of-familiar giant animals, nature-created but stranger-than-fiction Birds of Paradise in a National Geographic documentary, a Hollywood created Jackie Robinson helping to pave the way for Will’s fictional career, Jay Gatsby in a fantastical New York, and Ironman keeping the world safe for all of them. Somewhere in all that resonant mess (given my new home) of strange but familiar and unusual but ordinary there was even a reference to James Boswell.
By Jody Gladding
Issue 33 of Terrain.org features a series of image poems by Jody Gladding. Here, Gladding shares a few of the books that have influenced her work.
Friends, peers, writers, artists, rabble-rousers, hooligans, good folk, and everyone else: the deadline for the Terrain.org 4th Annual Contest in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry is Sunday, September 1. Get your submissions in now! Follow the link for full details…
By Steve Edwards
Steve Edwards’ story, “Drifting,” appears in Issue 32 of Terrain.org. Here, Edwards shares a few of the books that have influenced his work.