Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Like, woah...

2010 Open Reading Winners & Finalists

We’re thrilled to announce that we have chosen Amber Nelson and Harold Abramowitz for publication in the upcoming year. Nelson’s Diary of When Being With Friends Feels Like Watching TV and Aramowitz’s A House on a Hill  will appear in late 2010 or early 2011 much to our delight.

We’d also like to congratulate our finalists whose work we read with great excitement and debate: 

  • The Hawk You See May Be Your Own by Temple Cone
  • A Practical Guide to Contemporary Economics by Joshua Ware
  • Late Sermons of the Ego by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado
  • Grimm Realities by Ellen LaFleche
  • Midnight’s Marsupium by Michael Leong
  • Folding In by Renee Emerson
  • (aviary) by Genevieve Kaplan
  • A Portable Model of How Memory Works by Joseph Mains
  • Seven Pictures by Ben Berman
  • Heaven as Nothing but Distance by Joshua Robbins
  • Sham City by Evan Harrison
  • :Odyssey & Oracle:by Jenn McCreary

Thanks to everyone who submitted a manuscript for consideration. Without the range of wonderful work to choose from, there would be no press and no one to wow our socks off. The following titles are the finalist manuscripts. Unfortunately, we had to pass on many good manuscripts.   But please, as always, consider sending a new or revised manuscript during our next reading period in 2011.


Slash Pine Editors


Monday, August 23, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I keep trying. Mostly, I think, because I find them aesthetically pleasing. Their purple bulbous body, their plasticine skin. And I continue to order them in restaraunts—eggplant sandwiches, stuffed parmesean, etc. Most recently I bought some from the Puyallup farmer’s market. They were shiny and new, one had a nose growing from its side. Organic… except the farm was too small to carry such a label. Spray Free eggplants. I had decided I was going to make stuffed eggplants. So I bought some. I bought squash, and fresh fleshy juicy red seasonal tomatoes. I went home and scooped the innards of all my vegetables… sautéed garlic and onions. Included all of these vegetables and spices. The filling was masterful. I then filled my eggplants and covered them with olive oil and put them in the oven to bake. When they were cooked through, gave them a healthy dose of mozzarella to top ‘em off. Baked some more.

I tried. I really did. But the eggplant… just doesn’t taste good. Honestly, I don’t understand the appeal. And I feel guilty. I dumped the eggplant. Saved the insides as a healthy veggie marinara, and served them with whole wheat noodles sautéed in ever more garlic and olive oil.

I’ve decided to give it one more go. If you have an eggplant recipe that you think will blow my mind, please feel free to post it or email it or link it. Otherwise, I think I’m off the market for that big purple vegetable.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cradle to Cradle to Cradle

Right now I’m reading a book called Cradle to Cradle. The general premise is that right now, from an environmental and ecological perspective, our goals are only to be less bad and that’s no good. We aren’t considering natural design. With a focus on efficiency, we’re creating single-minded solutions for one time problems. Treating the symptoms rather than the cure. They claim our problems are not a problem of excesses, but a problem of design.


This book is sort of changing the way I think about environmentalism. A process, I suppose, that has been going on for the last couple of years, most especially in the last few months as I’ve been reading more and more about agricultural practices, ecology, food, the planet, etc. What I like about these guys (though I do still have some reservations) is that, unlike Wendell Berry and Barbara Kingsolver (both who I enjoyed) they lack some sort of sentimental naivete. And unlike Pollan, they lack the sort of pragmatic pessimism. In this book lies a pure and complete awareness of the problems, down to what sorts of off gasses and toxins exist in our clothing, our books, the pages, and a genuine seeking and call to seek out a different way of considering the issue. Going all the way back. They make their book an example of their intention. Created on polymers designed to be recycled, so that when the book is recycled, it can actually be “upcycled” so as not to lose its structural integrity/quality, or to release more toxins into the air (and thus our lungs, etc). They give examples of all the ways things we do to be ‘less bad’ may actually be just as bad. Toxins that are released when recycling. The way “energy efficient” buildings are often hazardous to a person’s health, or downright depressing/stifling.


But a lot of this is stuff I already thought about. What’s changing, sort of, is that they are proponents of excess. Using an example of a cherry tree, who produces more blossoms than it needs to reproduce, but none of these blossoms are wasted. They feed their local ecology: birds, insects, the soil. So they say industrial design should be: rather than over produce by including unnecessary filler which turns to ‘waste’ (that goes away but not really away, instead to a toxic landfill, or seeping into the soil, or what have you), we design industry like the cherry tree… overflow that feeds the local environment rather than poisons.


When I summarize it, it doesn’t seem all that ground breaking really. It seems obvious. But it’s not.  My favorite example so far (I’m only half through), is the examples of roofing. Right now they absorb and reproduce and overheat within their community (black soaking in heat and then re-emitting it). But they aren’t particularly effective from a heating/cooling energy standpoint. Cradle to Cradle suggests using a soil/plant life roof. Like grasses. These would naturally help maintain a home temperature that was cooler during the summer, and warmer during the winter. They would also help with water run off and produce a natural ecology for wildlife (birds, squirrels, insects, etc). Plus… pretty! Of course, other countries do this sort of thing already, they tell us. This sort of design exists all over Europe (and probably Africa and South America and hell… even probably Canada.).


The problem comes when these guys present it as if people won’t have to give anything up. But people won’t see it this way. Here in America, people don’t want to give up anything—including what they “want.” And rarely do I see people consider their neighbors (human or non human) in these situations. Take, for example, my parents. They are getting to re-pave their driveway. Why? Because a weed broke through the pavement, cracking it about 20 feet in any given direction. Right in the middle of their driveway, a giant weed. I took a picture. It’s rather pretty—what nature can do. Remarkable to see it fight back.


But according to Cradle to Cradle that weed fighting through the concrete is just a sign of unintelligent design. And a lack of imagination on the part of the designers. And I am tending to agree.  

Friday, August 6, 2010

an international district

There was a time when I was considered an honorary asian. A lot of factors came together to allow this hallowed claim, but most of them are gone now. But whether I have such an elevated position, one thing remains true: I love the cuisine. Since I’ve been back I haven’t had sushi (a shame), but I have had curries, pho, and most recently I’ve discovered that the bus drops me off right next to Uwajimaya, the city block asian market, with about half an hour to spare before I take the train the rest of the way home. That much time, daily, in an asian store is one of the most simultaneously awesome and detrimental experiences of my young life. The problem isn’t so much the market as it is the food court. I mean, we’re talking about a tiny strip mall with an asian deli (including whole, cooked, duck), a Korean BBQ joint, a little Vietnamese place with really awesome Pho, a place exclusively for cream puffs, and a little bakery with these amazing chestnut cakes. I’m trying really, really hard not to eat these things every day, despite my ravenous end of the working day state. Instead, I peruse the shelves for fresh produce (delicious mangoes, rainier cherries, red and black plums). But one thing I have allowed myself, guilt free, is Kimchi. Oh god… kimchi. Who knew that sauerkraut, which I find almost completely intolerable, could be so delicious when prepared with in the Korean style. Good lord, talk about an understanding of eating. (I guess I feel the same way about horseradish and the Japanese version of horseradish: wasabi.) So this week I had Kimchi and rice. Oh lordy how I missed it.

Upcoming culinary goals in the international district: dim sum and hom bao. I don’t know when I’ll gobble them up, but I promise I will.

At some point I’ll include the requested photographic evidence of my culinary adventures. But not until my own computer is hooked up to the internet instead of using my parents or my office computer.