Internship Opportunities for ASU Undergraduates

Superstition ReviewInternship Opportunities with Superstition Review 

Are you an ASU student interested in the fields of creative writing, publishing, marketing, social networking, blogging, and advertising? Do you wish you could get marketable job skills while earning college credit? Do you like to have a little fun while you learn? Do you want to join a network of over 250 students who have interned with the magazine, then gone on to MFA and PhD programs as well as jobs in the publishing industry?

Then an internship with Superstition Review is right for you. All work is done completely online through Blackboard, Google Docs, Google Hangouts, and email. We welcome interns from all fields, but especially from creative writing, literature, web design, art, music, film, and business.

About Superstition Review

Superstition Review was recently featured by the ASU Academic Senate as an example of academic excellence. Here is a video highlighting one program from each of the four ASU campuses. SR is housed on Polytechnic, which appears at the 5:45 mark.

Superstition Review is the online literary magazine produced by creative writing and web design students at Arizona State University. Founded by Patricia Murphy in 2008, the mission of the journal is to promote contemporary art and literature by providing a free, easy-to-navigate, high quality online publication that features work by established and emerging artists and authors from all over the world. We publish two issues a year with art, fiction, interviews, nonfiction and poetry. We also enjoy honoring all members of our Superstition Review family by maintaining a strong year-round community of editors, submitters, contributors, and readers through our social networks:

iTunes U:

2017 Trainees

Trainees will register for a 3 credit hour ENG 394 course. The course will offer a study of the field of literary magazines, it will introduce students to the processes and practices of a national literary publication, and it will include review and reading of contemporary art and literature. Students will be encouraged to create their own literary brand that will help make them more marketable for publishing jobs. ENG 394 students are paired with current interns and are encouraged to participate in #ArtLitPhx, our support of Arts and Literary events in the Phoenix area.

Upon successful completion of ENG 394, trainees will enroll in ENG 484 and become active interns with the magazine. (The internship is not available for First-Year students or ASU Online students.)

Application Deadline: Rolling.

What Former Interns Say:

  • Trish provided valuable experience in my field of interest that is not offered anywhere else. This class has been a huge eye-opener for me and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work in the publishing and editing industry before graduating. The skills I learned have given me a huge amount of confidence as I begin my search for a job, and I’m so glad this course was available. Trish is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and very trusting of her students. Although all the work for SR goes through her, she allows for students to take some control and engage in the work fully. Thanks for the wonderful experience!
  • I really enjoyed this course and found it to be one of my favorites taken so far at ASU. I feel like the instructor taught me a lot and really challenged me. The class was well structured and I always felt as though I knew what was expected of me, but what I like was that within the structured assignments there was a lot of room for me to work independently and complete assignments in my own way. I would recommend this course and others by this instructor to friends.
  • Trish is extremely personable and is great at making people feel welcomed and she listens very well to her students.
  • Trish is extremely accessible and welcoming. I felt very comfortable coming to her with questions, even if they seem stupid. I feel I got a great internship experience that will help me post graduation.
  • Very organized, and even though it was an online class, the instructor was always willing and available and kept in contact through email.
  • I was able to learn so much about publishing, editing, and running a magazine. There were always tasks that could be completed that were never regarded as busywork. Patricia is very knowledgeable, friendly, respectful, and encouraging. She truly values the work of her students and her students themselves just as much, if not more, as we value her teaching and her.
  • Very personable and involved with the students as to what is going on in their academic and personal lives.
  • Trish is very knowledgeable in what she does. She’s technologically savvy, and very educated in literature and the arts, as well as aware of current happenings in the modern literature and art world.

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Contributor Update, Terese Svoboda: New Poetry Collection

Terese Svoboda’s 7th collection of poetry, Professor Harriman’s Steam Air-Ship, is now available here. A powerful and versatile writer of both fiction and poetry, Svoboda has been featured in our magazine twice. Her fiction was published in Issue 7 and we interviewed her in Issue 5.


Guest Post, Heather Altfeld: Assigning Solitude

Heather AltfeldAnother tiresome story in the news this morning about a mother who let her child play out in the family’s backyard and was subsequently reported to both the local police and to Child Protective Services.  For those of you not on the parenting circuit, this is an extreme example of a now-common phenomenon—the expectation that children ought to be treated much like the tiny priceless bell your grandmother brought over from the Old Country, kept close to the nest and dusted off for company.  The danger of a child accidentally strangling themselves with dental floss in the bathroom seems more present than the worry they will skin a knee or break a leg.  For those of you currently embroiled in the household care of small charges, be forewarned—your greatest enemy may not be the random kidnapper (accounting for, incidentally, about 100 children a year, half of whom come home, compared to a whopping 1,100 children a year killed in motor vehicle accidents, usually when you, the parent, are driving) but the proverbial Monsters on Maple Street who police your every move, making sure you haul your kid in the aforementioned car six blocks to soccer practice rather than let them hike it on their own.  So the current prevailing parenting wisdom is this: Do not let your little tadpole out of arm’s reach until they are old enough to rent a car.

Much has been written about the generation of helicopter parents and children of late, centered often around the importance of play, even exposure to nature—several very wonderful books and a few recent articles on Aeon’s website have attested to the value of doing less, of play, the significance of the outdoors, even the importance of boredom.  But these ideas, a reaction to the stubborn impulse to shelter children beyond all experience, remain largely on the fringe for the time being. There is little discussion in parenting literature about the value of solitude.  We love, as a society, to lament the nation’s youth as a veritable wasteland of social media, but we provide little in the way of experiential lone-someness. Solitude, if anything, seems an enemy, something to be avoided, if possible, a harbinger of anxiety and depression.

What does this have to do with writing?

Solitude—the good kind, borne of the quiet pleasantry of one’s own company, not the painful variety, borne of sheer loneliness—seems endangered, a victim of the digital age and the culture of fear.  As does silence, which, Galway Kinnell writes, is the mother of poetry. This is of particular interest to me both as a writer and as a college teacher.  Hailed as supreme in the classroom, collaborative work, so often at the heartbeat of current pedagogy, has its limitations in scope.  The intimacies of writing, the intricate sound of one’s own rhythm, one’s pulse, one’s story, is hard to hear unless you invest in quiet.  For the last decade or so, I have been experimenting with assigning solitude as homework for writing students.  At first the assignment rotated around a social justice curriculum I taught for Academic Writing.  We read, among other works, Atul Gawande’s sharp and timely article called “Hellhole” about the harrowing reality of solitary confinement.  He opens the article by talking about Harry Harlow’s famous experiment with the cloth monkeys, and progresses into a discussion of hostages and the current prison system, in which a staggering 80,000 + people are held in solitary confinement in the United States alone.  It seemed like an interesting idea to have students write essays responding to questions of social justice while experiencing for 1.5 hours a self-imposed version of the confines of quiet, set up in a “cell” of sorts, usually a bathroom, meant to approximate the size of the enclosure of the modern inmate. The conversations afterward—and the writing—were more intense and more engaged than at any other time during the semester.  “The mind,” wrote one student, “is much, much darker when you are alone.”

To provide a counterpoint to this experience, we talk a bit about epiphany, about catharsis.  I can remember my own first experiences with great immediacy; walking to school alone, three miles each way, listening to Cat Stevens on my Walkman, the engine of the universe stopping me to look at new lupine, at the thunderous sky.  I can remember reading James Joyce’s The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in eleventh grade and feeling a deep desire—something like hunger—to experience a fragment of life as Stephen Dedalus did, for the caught glimpse of an ankle at the seaside to be a portal to an entirely different world.  While some students are familiar with the experience of awe, many—by their own admission—have been kept so busy for so much of their lives that they have had little time to experience the shock of the self.  Again, the links between epiphany and solitude—a connection with the most ragged, most divine experiences—seems limited, haunted by the preferential treatment of safety, of the known.  As part of this segment of the semester, we read Bill McKibben’s gorgeous introduction to Thoreau’s Walden.  Here is an excerpt of the part I love most:

The idea that we know what we want is palpably false.  We’ve been suckled since birth on an endless elaboration of consumer fantasies, so that it is nearly hopeless for us to figure out what is our and what is the enchanter’s suggestion.  And we keep that spell alive every time we turn on the radio or the television or the net.  Because when someone is whispering in your ear, there’s no way to think your own thoughts or feel your own responses.  The signals that your heart sends you are constant, perhaps, but they’re also low and rumbling and easily jammed by the noise and static of the civilization we’ve lately built.

McKibben goes on to say,

Without silence, solitude, darkness, how can we come to any sense of our true size, our actual relationship with the rest of the world?…What nature provides is scale and context, ways to figure out who and how big we are and what we want.  It provides silence, solitude, darkness: the rarest commodities we know.

To this end, students would spend a (yes, I’ll confess to it, mandated) two hours in the outdoors.  Alone.  We are lucky, I realize, to live in rural Northern California, where a rather safe municipal park, much of it wild, stretches from campus fourteen miles into the foothills of the Sierra.  I cannot substantiate whether or not individuals in fact took their phones or traveled in packs or pairs, but I take it on good faith that, for the time, they were sufficiently intrigued by the prospect of epiphany that most were willing to at least attempt this.  Again, an excerpt:

It was the squirrels and the trees that seemed, for the time being, to be my friends.  I was able to forget my planner, the constant updates of my friends and enjoy the peace of being myself.  I felt entirely free.

I do not know, for certain, if these moments in the outdoors, alone, hold for longer than a day, or a week, the time it takes to finish a semester—or if they intrigued the recipient of solitude sufficiently to invite more.  I do not know if the small joys of silence can ultimately transcend the fear of quiet, if attempting to learn, as McKibben says, a sense of our own true size, will ever be anything but intensely intimidating. I do know that while not every bit of writing, not each poem, must itself contain an epiphany, the experience of composition is about hearing one’s own thoughts above the din, trying to make sense, and even noise of them.

Indiana Review

Aimee BenderIndiana Review’s 2016 Fiction Prize is now open for submissions. Entry fee is $20 which includes a one year subscription to the magazine. Winners will receive $1,000 and publication in IR 39.1.

The final judge is the wonderful Aimee Bender, author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Her short fiction has also appeared in Granta, Harper’s, The Paris Review, Tin House, and more!

Please send in your amazing works by the deadline, October 31st at Midnight. More information can be found at

SR Pod/Vod Series, Recording Marcela Sulak

Marcela SulakThis Friday, we are proud to feature a podcast of SR contributor Marcela Sulak. 

You can follow along with Marcela’s poem in Superstition Review, Issue 17.

Marcela Sulak’s most recent collection of poetry is Decency (Black Lawrence Press, 2015). Her nonfiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Rattle. She’s translated four collections of poetry from the Czech, French and Hebrew, and is the co-editor for the 2015 Rose Metal Press title Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Genres. Sulak hosts the TLV.1 Radio podcast “Israel in Translation,” edits The Ilanot Review and directs the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University.

#ArtLitPhx: C@tharsis: Regan Henley. Opening Reception



Regan Henley’s solo exhibition explores how social media, satellite technology, and digitized mourning aides have affected the way we perform rituals of grieving, preserve and store memories, and negotiate our own mortality through the lens of digital media. The show runs from October 13-22, 2016.

The opening reception takes place on Friday, October 21 from 6-9 p.m. at ASU Step Gallery. 605. East Grant Street, Phoenix, Az. 85004.

Regan Henley is a photographer and artist. She was the Art Editor for Superstition Review for several issues. Her works are often concerned with issues of gender, sexuality, and representation. She is constantly seeking out means to keep what she produces relevant and poignant on a large scope.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information please visit the Facebook event.

Guest Post, Jacob M. Appel: Transcending the Particular

Transcending the Particular: Why All Stores Do not Matter Equally


Jacob AppelShakespeare and I have far less in common than meets the eye.

On the surface, we’re both Caucasian, male, reasonably well-off for our times, and, in the eyes of my students, roughly the same age. And, as it happens, we also write plays—although his have received a somewhat more enthusiastic reception. For the time being, at least.

That’s roughly where the commonality stops. Shakespeare was English, and left countless artifacts to prove it, as every huckster in Stratford-upon-Avon will assure you. Meanwhile, in Shakespeare’s day, my forebears, a motely crew of impoverished fishermen, brick layers and subsistence farmers, struggled to survive the brutality of the Russian Pale. They practiced a rigid breed of Orthodox Judaism, spoke Yiddish, and suffered the brutality of Cossacks. Novels and plays were likely as alien to them as the church bells of London. Later, those relatives who survived the Pogroms found their way to the gas chambers of Poland. To describe Shakespeare’s drama as my cultural heritage, merely because of the demographic characteristics enumerated above, would reflect the worst of whiggish anachronism.

I emphasize this context, because I want to explore an argument advanced by a Sacramento high school English teacher, Dana Dusbiber, in a Washington Post op-ed last summer, in which she argued against assigning Shakespeare to her inner city students, a majority of whom are low-income kids from minority backgrounds. She wrote:

“….I enjoy reading a wide range of literature written by a wide range of ethnically-diverse writers who tell stories about the human experience as it is experienced today. Shakespeare lived in a pretty small world. It might now be appropriate for us to acknowledge him as chronicler of life as he saw it 450 years ago and leave it at that.”

I do not mean to dismiss the entirety of Dusbiber’s argument: Certainly, students should be able to relate to the literature that they read and a strong case can be made for allowing young people a say in designing their own curricula. Having exposure to literary role models with whom they can connect is essential if we are to welcome a diverse generations of future writers. My concern with Dusbiber’s column is that it does not just dismiss Shakespeare, but embraces a philosophy, increasingly present in literary circles, that writing does not transcend context. One might as easily argue—and I think this would prove a grievous error—that Frederick Douglass lived in a remote antebellum world of chattel bondage, so why read a slave narrative? Or dismiss the distinct rural feminism of Willa Cather, because nobody dwells in sod houses any longer. What makes great literature, as I see it, is precisely the opposite: The ability to capture your own “pretty small world” in a way that speaks to people nothing like yourself.

One need not be African-American to be moved by Richard Wright’s Native Son or Jewish to connect with Bernard Malamud’s The Fixer—or, I’d like to hope, to see the commonality of experience endured by Bigger Thomas and Yakov Bok. The joy of reading lies in recognizing the universality of human experience lurking within the particulars: seeing your own tedious cousin in Jane Austen’s William Collins or an ex-girlfriend in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jordan Baker, or, I have no reason to doubt, a friend or acquaintance lurking in the great oral narratives of Latin America or Southeast Asia—even though one has not grown up in 19th century Britain or Jazz Age Long Island, has never stepped foot in the Andes or the Mekong Delta. When in Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, she describes the “long littleness of life,” I understand instantly, even though my politics and lived experience might prove closer to Shakespeare’s than to hers. Whitman’s “multitudes” may be vaster than my own, but the moments of overlap leave me breathless. Growing up as a Dumbo-eared, funny-looking child with a lisp, I remember discovering Pecola Breedlove in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and feeling a deep kinship with her—not to suggest, obviously, that my suffering was anywhere as severe as hers, but I cannot emphasize enough the solidarity, and solace, I found in our parallel fantasies.

Great stories look outward. What is the point, after all, of speaking to people who share your own values and experiences and sensibilities? I wish to emphasize very strongly that this observation is not directed only or primarily at minority writers. Quite the opposite. Far too many of today’s celebrated A-list literary figures are upper-middle class white men who write specifically for people precisely like themselves. (Brooklyn Heights, I hear, crawls with them.) They are often enabled by a publishing industry populated by editors who share similar lived experiences. That is not to say that one cannot cull worthwhile, transcendent truths from Sutton Place or Westchester County—as, for example, does John Cheever—but that many authors no longer seem to be trying. Similarly, a resistance exists to reading about people different from ourselves, or to do so primarily to witness their differences, in lurid exoticism disguised as open-mindedness, rather than to enjoy our similarities. So much of publishing has become inward looking—about marketing to specific audiences, branding, and targeting insular literary communities. I want my students to write for people as unlike themselves as possible. The stories that matter most, at least to me, are not those that merely capture an unknown world—but those that bring me a world I do not know and teach me how it reflects or connects to my own.

With increasing frequency, when I speak at conferences or on panels, audience members ask some variation of the question: Can I write effectively about people whose backgrounds and lived experiences are fundamentally different from mine? (It is worth noting that the questioners tend to by an extremely diverse lot—far more so than the audiences at these events.) To my surprise, and dismay, authors I admire are increasingly answering “No.” I think this approach is misguided, but also tragic. Needless to say, it is much harder to write about cultures and experiences distant from one’s own—and the room for error is significantly greater. Exploration is not an excuse for carelessness or stereotype. But do we really want to create a literary world where the next Tennessee Williams or Edward Albee can’t write about heterosexual couples? Or in which William Styron, whose Sophie’s Choice rivals The Diary of Ann Frank as the most compelling of Holocaust narratives, confines his intentions to Tidewater Virginia? I believe we should be encouraging our students to write about people far different from themselves—to hope for empathy rather than to fear appropriation. (This is a distinct issue, I believe, from the serious problem of the chronic underrepresentation of certain stories and groups in mainstream publishing, but the two matters are often—and, in my opinion regrettably—conflated.) I dream, maybe naively, of a world where we tell each other’s stories, and do so with such insight and identification, that they truly become our own.

So back to Shakespeare.

A host of plausible reasons exist for reading less Shakespeare. But I’d hate to believe that one of them is that he doesn’t speak to low-income minority students. To me, that sells those students short. I’d hope that their teachers can find a way to show the relevance of Hamlet’s doubt or Macbeth’s ambition to their own lived experiences, much as my teachers were able to do for me. Obviously, students of all backgrounds should also be introduced to the universal human experience found in writers who “look” nothing like Shakespeare. But there’s a magic to discovering that someone very much unlike oneself—let’s say a playwright who lived on a distant island more than four centuries ago—shared recognizable fears and longings.

If literature cannot bring us together, what can?

#ArtLitPhx: Indigenous Lecture by Debbie Reese, Activist, Scholar and Critic


Debbie Reese is the featured speaker in the fall 2016 Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community. Reese will present “Some Truths, but Lots of Lies: Indigenous Peoples in Children’s Literature.” The event takes place on Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m. at Heard Museum, Steele Auditorium. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public.

Debbie Reese is a scholar, critic, and publisher of the blog American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL). She was a professor in the American Indian Studies program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Reese was born at the Indian Hospital in Santa Fe and grew up on the Nambé Pueblo reservation, learning tribal dances and ceremonies from family members and elders. She earned a teaching degree from the University of New Mexico and taught elementary school in Albuquerque before moving to Oklahoma to work on a Master’s degree in school administration.

Later, while completing her doctorate in education at the University of Illinois In the early 1990s, Reese worked alongside Native students and allies to establish a Native American House at the university. Soon after that, she helped launch an American Indian Studies program there.

Reese has written for publications such as Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal, and Language Arts, the latter published by the National Council for Teachers of English. She is regularly invited to give lectures and workshops around the U.S. and has recently begun using technology to work with libraries and colleagues in Canada.

For more information please visit the Facebook event or the event website.