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?

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:

Blog: http://blog.superstitionreview.asu.edu
Facebook: http://facebook.com/superstitionreview
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/SuperstitionRev 
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+SuperstitionReview
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/superstitionreview/
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/superstition-review
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/superstitionrev
Tumblr: http://superstitionrev.tumblr.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuperstitionRev
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SuperstititionRevew 

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.)


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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Guest Post, Josef Kuhn: A Retrospective Review of The Moviegoer

Love and Existentialism in New Orleans: A Retrospective Review of The Moviegoer

“On this my thirtieth birthday, I know nothing and there is nothing to do but fall prey to desire.” So says Binx Bolling, the ironical hero of Walker Percy’s novel The Moviegoer. At one time, Walker Percy was a literary superstar. The Moviegoer, his first book, was published in 1961 to glowing reviews, and it won the National Book Award that year, establishing Percy as one of the foremost voices of Southern literature. Since then, the novel has been included on numerous “best novels of the century”-type lists. Yet whenever I mention Percy’s name to friends today, nobody seems to have heard of him (except those in Catholic literary circles, for reasons that will perhaps become clearer below). I’m here to say that this is a crying shame.

The Moviegoer fuses the philosophical complexity and spiritual intensity of a Russian novel with the Southern tradition of the “familial decline” plot. Think Dostoyevsky meets Faulkner. Binx Bolling is a boyish thirty-year-old from a genteel New Orleans family who could do virtually anything that he wants with his life—and yet, faced with such freedom, he chooses to live in a featureless suburb, selling stocks and frittering his time away with pretty secretaries. His step-cousin Kate is similarly aimless, caught in a dialectic of mania and depression caused in part by her overbearing mother, Binx’s aunt. When this aunt puts pressure on Binx to make something more of his life, it forces a crisis that sends him and Kate careening on an ill-advised Mardi Gras journey.

For one thing, Percy’s prose is scintillating, some of the most finely tuned I have ever had the pleasure to read. He depicts the subtleties of landscapes and scenery with a painterly attention to detail: “A mare’s tail of cirrus cloud stands in high from the Gulf. High above the Lake a broken vee of ibises points for the marshes; they go suddenly white as they fly into the tilting salient of sunlight.” (Given Percy’s frequent attention to the qualities of light and atmosphere as well as his spiritual themes, it’s not a surprise that filmmaker Terrence Malick almost made a screen adaptation of The Moviegoer.) Percy has a talent for finding the exact metaphor or simile that, when you read it, convinces you that no other metaphor or simile would possibly do, as in “The blue boat rides up and down the bayou, opening the water like a knife.”

Physical description may be the lowest rung of mastery for a writer, but Percy brings the same level of acuity and subtlety to his observations of human character. For instance, Binx observes about his cousin’s fiancée: “What is funny is that Walter always starts out in the best brilliant-young-lawyer style of humoring an old lady by letting her get the better of him, whereas she really does get the better of him.” In a dinner-table scene involving Binx’s family, every gesture and line of dialogue seems to reveal some new element of the intricate subtext. Even in the briefest sketches, the most minor characters stand out as fully realized and lifelike:

As he talks, he slaps a folded newspaper against his pants leg and his eye watches me and at the same time sweeps the terrain behind me, taking note of the slightest movement. A green truck turns down Bourbon Street; the eye sizes it up, flags it down, demands credentials, waves it on. A businessman turns in at the Maison Blanche building; the eye knows him, even knows what he is up to. And all the while he talks very well. His lips move muscularly, molding words into pleasing shapes, marshalling arguments, and during the slight pauses are held poised, attractively everted in a Charles-Boyer pout—while a little web of saliva gathers in a corner like the clear oil of a good machine. Now he jingles the coins deep in his pocket. No mystery here!—he is as cogent as a bird dog quartering a field. He understands everything out there and everything out there is something to be understood.

But even more than Percy’s technical virtuosity, what I find most remarkable about him as a writer is his existential audacity, the boldness and originality of his intellectual vision. He is ever attentive to the particularities of history and geography, yet in The Moviegoer, he also dares to stride right past such temporal concerns to grapple with perhaps the most fundamental question faced by conscious being: How does one deal with the freedom of one’s own existence? This, in fact, seems to be the whole point of “the search,” an idea that recurs to Binx throughout the novel. Binx has a whole private lexicon of terms that seem ripped right out of Kierkegaard (e.g. “repetition,” “the malaise”) to describe his little phenomenological “researches.” Both he and Kate are acutely aware of the flimsiness of the solutions that modern society offers them—Binx claims his “only talent” is “a good nose for merde, for every species of shit that flies,” and Kate pokes fun at the shallow pedantry of her therapist, whose name, Merle, is suspiciously close to merde. What they’re dealing with is an emotional-intellectual problem that, as Kate describes it, is beyond the pale of 1960s psychotherapy:

[Merle] got interested and suggested we look at the reasons. I said, Merle, how I wish you were right. How good to think that there are reasons and that if I am silent, it means I am hiding something. How happy I would be to be hiding something. And how proud I am when I do find secret reasons for you, your own favorite reasons. But what if there is nothing? That is what I’ve been afraid of until now—being found out to be concealing nothing at all.

Percy is an ironist and a contrarian who takes pleasure in puncturing the banal pieties of his day, especially those of educated society. In one of the most hilarious passages, Binx lampoons a radio program called This I Believe in which high-minded celebrities state their personal credos. “If I had to name a single trait that all these people shared,” Binx says, “it is their niceness. Their lives are triumphs of niceness. … Everyone on This I Believe believes in the uniqueness and dignity of the individual. I have noticed, however, that the believers are far from unique themselves, are in fact alike as peas in a pod.” By the end of The Moviegoer, it becomes clear that Percy’s primary satirical target is a kind of shallow, toothless scientific humanism that is replacing people’s ability to independently contemplate the meaning and purpose of their own lives. It is a brave new vision of the world in which “needs are satisfied, everyone becomes an anyone, a warm and creative person, and prospers like a dung beetle, and one hundred percent of people are humanists and ninety-eight percent believe in God, and men are dead, dead, dead.”

Percy converted to Catholicism when he was about 30 years old, and Catholicism is present in a muted fashion throughout the book. But the novel rarely comes across as preachy, at least not in a religiously sectarian sense. I first read The Moviegoer when I was still nominally Catholic but teetering on the edge; the second time I read it, I was a non-religious agnostic. But if anything, I liked the novel even better the second time around. If the foregoing rant against scientific humanism sounds a tad reactionary, it’s worth noting that Binx is just as alienated from the thoughtless, conventional Catholic piety of his mother’s family as from the lofty universalist sentiments of his father’s. Percy never clearly comes down in support of any particular creed; Catholicism is just one more phenomenon that Binx is trying to make sense of as part of his existential search.

The book does, however, have a tendency to wax philosophical; if you don’t like your fiction with large doses of existential musing, then The Moviegoer is probably not for you. Reportedly, Percy’s later novels became increasingly dark and didactic (though probably no more so than, say, Sartre’s or Dostoyevsky’s). Perhaps this later didactism accounts for his relative obscurity today. I cannot vouch for the later work, but I can attest that The Moviegoer, at least, is a masterpiece of American literature that feels every bit as relevant in today’s fragmented, decentered social world as it must have in 1961. For any craft-conscious writer, or for any reader who enjoys dwelling on existential themes, this book is not to be missed.

#ArtLitPhx: JAZZ meets POETRY: Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron

This month’s JAZZ meets POETRY event is a Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron, and will be held at The Nash (110 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, Arizona 85004) on April 26 from 7:00-10:00 pm.

JAZZ meets POETRY is a new series at The Nash for 2017-2018 that places poets and jazz musicians center stage to make art that is expressive, interactive and captivating.

Part theatre part concert, this performance tributes Gil Scott-Heron — considered to be “one of the most important progenitors of rap music” (AllMusic’s John Bush) — with original poetry, spoken word and musical accompaniment provided by The Nash Music by The Geibral Elisha Movement.

SPECIAL GUEST: Brooklyn, NY-based artist Tai Allen, who released a book and soundtrack project — No Jewels — in 2017. In 2010, his album “Easy Readin’” was awarded Album of the Year by the National Poetry Awards. He is a member of the National Black Writers Conference Steering Committee and has also served as the Conference’s Poetry Cafe host. Allen also is creative director for Arts+Crafts, where he curates an annual Tap+Cork Brooklyn Beer & Wine Fest, and creates performance opportunities for emerging artists, djs and poets.

Advance tickets: $15, $8 Students (25 & under with ID). At the door: $20, $10 Students (25 & under with ID).

Guest Post: William Cordeiro: Once More, with Feeling

Feel? Let the reader feel!
—Fernando Pessoa

James Merrill, Richard Wilbur, David Kalstone, and a couple others were once at Merrill’s house in Key West when they each decided to write a poem that morning. When Merrill came downstairs to show his work, Wilbur said, “Well, Jimmy, it’s very fine—very formally sound, it’s just… missing something.”

“Oh right,” Merrill said, “I forgot to put in the feelings!” He raced upstairs, and, in another hour or so, doctored his poem. He then read the new version to the delight of all.

I remembered this anecdote while down in Tucson a few weeks ago, attending the UA Poetry Center’s Bagley Wright Lecture Series. Timothy Donnelly made a comment that’s stuck with me; he claimed he was more of a “constructivist” poet, as opposed to an “expressivist” poet, meaning that he often didn’t have anything particular to say—he just liked building things, tinkering, working with the materials of his chosen medium. Constructivists, like Merrill and Donnelly, can sometimes forget to put in the feelings.

The impulse of a constructivist is to make patterns. Three rocks scattered in the woods might not seem significant, Donnelly said, but three rocks stacked in a cairn do. We observe the imposition of human consciousness. However, we don’t necessarily know what such patterns signify—turn left, straight ahead, or look out for the poison oak. Likewise, in poetry, patterns create music and architecture, arrangements which suggest mood and sensibility: penumbras inflecting and leaching out into the tone, the heft, the configuration of a poem beyond its ostensible content.

Expressivists, on the other hand, tend to have something specific to convey. Language acts as a medium of communication by means of which the author’s ideas, experience, or emotions can be transferred to the reader. An expressivist poem is thus a more chiseled version of the way we use language in everyday life. In some cases, it strives for a message, a moral, and it has designs to incite political action.

Every poet, perhaps every poem, must figure out how to reconcile these divergent motives. The results of this balancing act contribute to one’s style. Although there are limitations to this (or any) binary, Donnelly’s distinction proves useful in observing a trend and unpacking the forces behind it: American poetry is having an expressivist moment.

In the ’90s and 2000s, the pendulum swung away from the Confessional poets. New Formalists and LANGUAGE poets, New York Schoolers and Ellipticals alike could be deemed constructivists while Slam poetry, as an example of expressivist work of that era, infrequently saw the pages of literary journals. One might argue, too, that the immediacy of Slam poetry is suited for the voice and stage, rather than the drier archival pages of journals anyway.

Today’s poetry scene, with journals now mostly online and many hosting video content, values immediacy. Expressivist poems appear urgent, direct, sincere, visceral, approachable, and woke. They’re bone spurs and gut-punches, shivers and fist bumps. Constructivists poems, by contrast, will always have critics who accuse them of being empty, academic, confusing, oblique, or baroque. Constructivist poems can be ponderous, requiring interpretation and repeated readings, though a handful of constructivists have developed enough panache or sprezzatura to avoid this fate. A certain elitism prevails among constructivist poets, since their work, whether harnessing traditional modes or disrupting them, appeals to what Milton called a “fit audience… though few.” They require the reader to pick among the stones they’ve set and wander in the runes, as it were. The reader must construct and deconstruct along with them.

That said, the expressivist poem, so popular currently, faces the dangers of being obvious, too literal, a tad boring, blunt and underwritten, and ultimately little more than dressed-up journalism. Expressivists foreground the author over the work. Thus, expressivists can develop hang-ups about authenticity. An expressivist poet may fall to repeating herself, boxed in by her own voice, the work shrinking to the size of a single viewpoint instead of expanding to encompass the multiplicities of the imagination.

The trend toward expressivists might, of course, result from a political climate in which readers are spoiling for poems that give voice to their anger and disorientation, as well as greater institutional awareness and efforts to expand the variety of perspectives represented at all levels of publication. Also, poems that spill their guts might rise to the top of slush piles: blood floats on ink. Busy editors sometimes just don’t have time to re-read and interpret delicate, challenging, or more subtly structured work before casting it aside in today’s clamorous marketplace.

A counterargument to my own analysis above, however, is the state of creative nonfiction (CNF) today. CNF has been trending more constructivist lately. The heyday of the echt memoir was the 90s and early 2000s—think Mary Karr, Frank McCourt, James Frey. As opposed to straight narrative, today’s CNF is lyrical, collaged, broken, braided, collated, curated, speculative, or anagogical: it emphasizes its structure and shifting registers and embedded texts; it’s by turns hermetic and punchy, colloquial and precious, erudite and rude. Given this newfound stress on form, and the play that form affords, essays are increasingly like poems—at least, poems with a constructivist bent—and it’s no accident that many of our major essayists are bona fide poets: Maggie Nelson, Ander Monson, Anne Carson, John D’Agata, Kevin Young, Lia Purpura, Nick Flynn, and Claudia Rankine, to name just a few.

This tendentious bifurcation between “constructivists” and “expressivists” aside, as writers we should perhaps recognize that all expression must be constructed; all construction yields some expression. So, writers whose temperament is mushy might benefit from thinking how to give shape and definition to their sentiment through more attention to structures, logics, forms, and outward facts. And those, like myself, who tend to dawdle over form for form’s sake, need to circle back to ask: What am I bothering to say? Does it matter? And, importantly, am I giving my reader the feels?

Contributor Update: Laura Esther Wolfson’s Essay Collection Release

Laura Esther Wolfson Book CoverToday we are happy to announce Laura Esther Wolfson’s essay collection, For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors, is set to debut June 1st, 2018. The collection is being published by University of Iowa Press and is available for pre-order.

For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors is also the recipient of the 2017 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction.

Laura participated in Superstition Review’s Issue 14 Nonfiction section with an essay titled the same as her forthcoming collection, “For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors”. AdditionallyLaura has participated on the blog multiple times via Guest Posts and Authors Talks.

Congratulations Laura!

#ArtLitPhx: Fantastic Planet Kickoff Celebration

Join Mesa Arts Center in celebrating the beginning of the Fantastic Planet installation with performances by musician Elise Trouw at 7 and 8 pm; dance performances choreographed by Liliana Gomez at 6:30 pm, 7:45 pm, and 8:45 pm; and Vessel Project’s Transfix performed throughout the evening and more.

Fantastic Planet is an installation of six, gigantic inflatable humanoid figures by Australian artist Amanda Parer, and will have its United States premiere in downtown Mesa. The massive sculptures will be lit from the inside at night, and will be on view at Mesa Arts Center, i.d.e.a. Museum, at the Federal building across the street from Arizona Museum of Natural History and over Milano’s music in downtown Mesa from May 4 through 13. Fantastic Planet is inspired by the 1973 Czech/French film of the same name.

 

Contributor Update: Robin Behn’s Quarry Cross

Robin Behn Quarry Cross CoverToday we are pleased to share Quarry Cross by Robin Behn. The poetry collection was released March 1, 2018 by Plume Editions in conjunction with MadHat Press.

Robin’s Fiddle Tune Poems, in both text and sound, along with an interview about them, will be featured on Plumepoetry.com May edition. The tunes are also available to read and listen to at robinbehn.com

Robin’s contribution, “The Star Above the Garter“, can be read in Superstition Review Issue 6. It is also included in Quarry Cross.

Congratulations Robin!

Authors Talk: Jo Scott-Coe

Jo Scott-CoeToday we are excited to feature author Jo Scott-Coe as our Authors Talk series contributor.

Jo discusses how her essay, “The Other Spencer Girl,” led her to write her recently published book, MASS: A Sniper, a Father, and a Priest. About, “The Other Spencer Girl,” she notes on the visual contrasts between the lives of Cleveland Elementary School shooter, Brenda Spencer, and Princess of Wales, Diana Spencer. Jo ends her talk by illuminating the question that arises from both of her mentioned works: “What if there is something we need to learn, something really awful that is hiding in plain sight, in ourselves, in the places we think we are safe, in the places we are comfortable and self-satisfied either collectively or alone?”

The Other Spencer Girl” can be read in Issue 14 of Superstition Review. MASS: A Sniper, a Father, and a Priest can be purchased from Pelekinesis now.