HCN subscribers and writers meet in New Zealand

  • Left to right: Michael Kirst, Cindy Payne, Marian Lyman Kirst, Barb Croissant, Dan Payne, Lee Croissant

    Marian Lyman Kirst

It's a small, small world. While honeymooning in New Zealand last month, HCN editorial fellow Marian Lyman Kirst and her husband, Michael Kirst, ran into longtime subscribers Barb and Lee Croissant. The Kirsts met the Croissants, retired Parker, Colo., residents, and their daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Dan Payne, during a guided wildlife walk on Ulva Island, a tiny predator-free islet. The family was celebrating Barb and Lee's 50th wedding anniversary and went to Ulva Island to photograph birds. "What are the odds that we would meet HCN subscribers on a tiny little island in New Zealand!?" says Marian. Greater than you'd think, apparently.

Former HCN intern Emily Jeanne Miller's (spring '97) first novel is due out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in June. Brand New Human Being examines the sometimes-conflicting ideals of economic growth and environmental conservation, through a real-life story about mining in Montana. Emily enclosed a note with the copy she sent: "I think about my time at HCN almost every day, and am so glad it's where I began my writing life. I'm a little nervous, honestly, imagining Betsy Marston (editor of HCN for 19 years, until 2001) reading this book with pen in hand!)." The thought of Betsy's red pen still makes us tremble, too.

Betsy and Ed Marston and HCN also got credit for helping to shape another recent book, this one from longtime contributor David Feela. How Delicate These Arches: Footnotes from the Four Corners (Ravens Eye Press) is an offbeat travel guide to this stunning part of the West, told with David's usual wit and humor. Chapter titles include: "The gift of the magpie," "Killing trees with Dad," "John Muir, go home" and "The irrational forest."

Another longtime contributor, Louise Wagenknecht, has a new memoir out. Light on the Devils: Coming of Age on the Klamath (Oregon State University Press) describes her teenage years in a logging town in 1960s California. Louise explores industrial forestry, family history, being female in such a rough-and-tumble place, and the Klamath country's beauty. "The essays that HCN published for me back in 1990s got me started in this direction," she told us in a note.

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