Art Works: UNCW Literary Magazine, Initiatives Bolstered by NEA Grant

Friday, January 17, 2020

For the fifth consecutive year, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $10,000 to UNCW's literary magazine Ecotone and in-house imprint Lookout Books. The NEA doled out a total of $27.3 million to organizations in each state to fund arts projects in the fiscal year 2020.

“The NEA’s support over the past five years signals the ongoing vitality of Ecotone and Lookout Books among literary magazines and presses nationally," said Emily Louise Smith, director of The Publishing Laboratory and publisher, Ecotone and Lookout Books. "We’re so grateful for continued funding that allows us to implement new programs and augment our long-standing efforts to welcome new authors and audiences.”

Primary investigator on the grant Anna Lena Phillips Bell, a senior lecturer in the Department of Creative Writing who serves as editor and art director of Ecotone and editor of Lookout Books, said the funds will allow for increased payments to the magazine’s contributors and support the Bradford–Niedermann Broadside Series.

Newly launched, the series honors former Ecotone poetry editor Jason Bradford, who passed away in 2016, and his mother, Shirley Niedermann. Artists are commissioned to create limited-edition broadsides of poems from the magazine and give a campus lecture. 

For Lookout Books, the grant will support a series of community workshops, online features and travel to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in San Antonio to promote Lookout author Cameron Dezen Hammon's memoir This Is My Body, released in fall 2019.

--Caroline Cropp