The stonecrop family is a group of hardy plants found worldwide. As the name suggests, many plants in this family grow in rocky places. Because of their hardiness and proclivity for rocks, stones, and old walls, the stonecrop seemed like the perfect emblem for a magazine about urban nature.
Urban nature? Is there such a thing? Why, of course! Cities are teeming with nature: trees cracking through the sidewalk, raccoons rummaging through the rubbish, peregrines nesting on the steel and glass cliffs of skyscrapers. You could even go so far as to say the entire city itself is part of nature:
Concrete, glass, steel- / meaning limestone, silica, gypsum, sand, / manganese, sodium, sulfur, ore – / anything unnatural here?
– From ‘Nature Poetry’ by Meg Kearney
Stonecrop Review is a bi-annual magazine of creative non-fiction, fiction, photography, and art that explores nature in cities. It asks questions such as ‘what is nature?’ and ‘what is a city?’, and explores the line between the two. Our writers explore the near at hand: their own backyards, street trees, parks, and abandoned lots.
We seek pieces that explore the ways in which human, non-human animals, and plants have created, adapted to, and thrived in cities. We are particularly keen to publish works that explore nature in cities that have not been as widely represented in the urban nature canon. So, whilst we’ll happily read pieces about New York, Chicago, and London, we’ll be ecstatic to read your submissions from Sheffield, Calgary, Nairobi, and Chennai!
“The wonders of urban nature for too long have been an underappreciated source of curiosity, care, and wonder. The murmurs of dissent are chorusing, like dog-day cicadas in a neighborhood cottonwood tree. With its diverse visual and literary mix of artistry, the Stonecrop Review is a needed fuchsia burst of purple coneflower through the sidewalk. With its lovingly crafted layout and inspired design, it is the bright orange streak of butterfly wing down the alley, beckoning us to follow, calling us to feel our way into the magic of nature nearby, to inhabit cities that breathe and speak in multiple tongues.”
Gavin Van Horn, Center for Humans & Nature and author of The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wild
If you despair about whether nature can survive in these calamitous times, pick up a copy of Stonecrop Review, a new literary journal devoted to exploring nature in cities and urban places around the globe. Like the throaty calls of sandhill cranes migrating through the darkness above city streetlights or the surprise of yellow pond lilies blooming in a roadside ditch, the words and visual art in Stonecrop Review remind us that nature is alive and flourishing all around us, even in the most difficult environments (including on us). And that our capacity to be inspired and enlarged by the wild world beyond our own skin boundary crosses cultures and continents. It may, in fact, be universal to what makes us human.
Susan J. Tweit, author of Walking Nature Home, Pieces of Light, and other books
If you want to know what we like, here’s a short list of books and artworks we’re inspired by:
- Leonard Dubkin’s The Natural History of a Yard
- Rose Macauley’s The World My Wilderness
- Richard Mabey’s The Unofficial Countryside
- Charles Siebert’s Wickerby: An Urban Pastoral
- City Wilds edited by Terrell Dixon
- Melissa Harrison’s Clay
- David Goldstein (photography series “Urban Nature”)
- Jonathan Stenvall (photography series “Urban Wildlife”)
- Jason Logan Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking
- Paul Madonna’s All Over Coffee and other works