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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Authors Talk: Laura Esther Wolfson

Laura WolfsonToday we are pleased to feature author Laura Esther Wolfson as our Authors Talk series contributor. In “Notes for My Swedish Translator,” Laura discusses her piece, “For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors,” published in issue 14, with a focus on her communications with her Swedish translator. “For Single Mothers” is being translated for an anthology of literary travel writing coming out from Sandnejlika Förlag, a publisher based in Stockholm.

Herself a translator (though not of Swedish), and therefore familiar with the very close reading that translation requires, Laura notes some of the conscious literary choices she made in this piece, as well as her request that the translator maintain these same devices in the Swedish version, to the extent possible.  Laura depicts the exchange as beneficial to both author and translator.

You can read Laura’s essay in Superstition Review Issue 14. You can also visit her website.

(Laura apologizes for the scratchy, breathy vocal quality of this podcast. It is caused by a chronic lung disease.)

Guest Post, Kate Fetherston: Finding the Gorge

Picture of Kate Fetherston

A passage in Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales has been rattling around in my brain this past month.  The house next door  (“at the bottom of the garden”) catches fire, and the bored children joyously race into the smoke armed with snowballs until the fire brigade shows up to put the fire out.

“And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim’s aunt, Miss Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would say to them.  She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall fireman in their shining helmets, standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, ‘Would you like anything to read?’”

Miss Prothero, blinking through the noise and mess, offered to make order of the crazy world.  And it’s funny because human beings are absurd.  But aren’t readers and writers order-makers of this ridiculous, unfathomable world?

November 9th dawned bitter cold here in Central Vermont’s stick season: a world of bare black-limbed trees, smoke gray skies, stubble fields. I walked downtown to have breakfast with a friend through streets the quiet of deep mourning. The restaurant was closed; my friend told me later the owner couldn’t open because her kitchen staff is all from other countries, and they were too panicked to work. She’d spent the day with them, listening, promising advocacy, reassuring.

I spent the rest of the day wrapping my trees and bushes for winter. Pounding garden staples into already hardened ground, a leaden sky reminded me that bad things happen all of the time.  People get shot, people have been hung, people are herded into camps or prison under bright skies, under gray, on sweet spring days, and in blinding winter storms.  Bad things happen and then the sun rips a hole in the clouds, as it did that afternoon.  A fat blue hole rimmed with brilliant cloud. My fingers were frozen by that time, I’d used up all the staples and burlap, and had nothing left I could do to protect my tender garden.  So, I leaned on a dirty shovel and watched the sky for awhile. I didn’t forget the election results, but for a moment, I forget my anger and my dread. Bad things happen and then something good happens and gives the courage to go on.

In college, I took logic, hoping, wrongly as it turned out, that it would meet the math requirement. Professor MacEwan made it abundantly clear we were lucky to be in his class and, if we got something out of it, that was on us.  A dried up Scot who favored tweed sports jackets and starched shirts through all weather, he spent several weeks forcibly dragging us through syllogisms:  “If P, then Q. . . and therefore . . .”  He wrote each equation on the blackboard in squeaky chalk while we mostly lolled in our seats, drinking coffee or sleeping, this being well before the age of devices.

But, one day, he lit up like a prizefighter, and all but shouted at us, “I want someone to prove to me there is water in the gorge.”  What gorge?  What was he talking about?  But suddenly, several of the lumpy guys who’d been slouching in their seats like corpses all semester, removed a couple of layers of sweatshirts and actually spoke, “There’s no water in the gorge!” cried one of the lumps, lifting a fist heavenward.  Another lump shouted back, “I say there is!”  And, with that, the fight was on.  As the only woman in the class, I picked my battles in that male dominated world.  This, I decided, was not my fight. I sat back, sipped my bad coffee, and watched the melee unfold.

The guys took sides and took them seriously.  T-shirts cropped up all over campus emblazoned with either “There is no water in the gorge,” or “There is water in the gorge.” In class, Professor MacEwan, smiling his thin smile, whipped the arguments on each side into lathers of frenzied belief that teetered on rickety architectures of proof. Winter ebbed into spring and still there was no conclusion.  When May came, we got our grades, and the arguments dissipated into the Sacramento heat, unresolved, irresolvable.

This fall, during and after the election, I thought back to that class, wondering about the problem of debating something largely imaginary. Of course, most of what we believe is based more on emotional logic than anything else.  And that, perhaps, was Professor MacEwan’s point.  At our core, the philosopher Iris Murdock wrote, “human beings are anxious, squirrelly creatures.”  We’re a bundle of need with an ability to make swords out of what we pay attention to. The confluence of attention and desire creates the aperture for belief. And then we go about hurting each other with those swords made of words.

So what about the job of writers? Advocacy, a call I do embrace, is more than merely taking sides. Our charge, I think, is to speak about the world and our experience of it, at a deeper level of truth-telling. As our country, so torn right now by warring beliefs, struggles to make sense of, or find hope in, the results of this most contentious political year, where is our common humanity?

As a young person, I dreamed of that common language Adrienne Rich spoke of as something that might heal the world.  I dreamed it could heal me.  I dreamed, just as Professor MacEwan posited that gorge, because I needed to.  I needed to imagine that, through evil, through grief, there is a ground of meaning. That the cracks, as Leonard Cohen wrote, let in the light.

Whatever the common language is, art is its voice. And it’s not about being saved or cheered up or things working out.  If there is a gorge, sometimes there is water, and sometimes not. If we are all human beings, we need each other and we need art.  Barry Lopez wrote, “sometimes we need a story, more than food and drink, to stay alive.”  (from Crow and Weasel.)  The story I want to tell invites the imperfect, the vulnerable, the tender, and the absurd.

For that reason, of Thomas’ unforgettably quirky characters, I think I would choose to be Aunt Hannah who shows up at the end of A Child’s Christmas, and who “got on to the parsnip wine and sang a song about Bleeding Hearts and Death, and then another in which she said her heart was like a Bird’s Nest; and then everybody laughed again.”  And then the author goes to bed.

We do the best we can to speak from our hearts and hope we’re received without acrimony, with some measure of forbearance, or kindness, or even love.  So, let’s you and I read and read, and write and write.  You let me know when you’re ready to speak. I’m listening.

Authors Talk: Patricia Colleen Murphy

Patricia Colleen Murphy

Today we are pleased to feature author and founding editor of Superstition Review, Patricia Colleen Murphy as our Authors Talk series contributor. In an interview with Cass Murphy (previous interview editor and podcast blogger for Superstition Review), Patricia discusses her recent publication of her collection of poems in Hemming Flames.

She discusses the value of informing the audience of “both process and person” during poetry readings to help put the “poems in perspective.”

Although one review described her poems as “mean,” she expresses that her goal while writing this collection was “to be honest, to be true, and to be kind” even in the face of evidence that would prompt otherwise. We learn about the personal choices she made to create this brutally honest collection of poems in Hemming Flames. 

Guest Post, Erin Adair-Hodges: Greater Than or Equal To

Greater Than or Equal To: What We Lose When Poetry Celebrates Youth


Picture of Erin Adair-HodgesWhen I was 32, I worked three jobs in two cities. A typical day had me awake at 5:45 a.m. to drive an hour north to teach developmental English classes at a community college, drive back south to work several hours as a copy editor at the local weekly newspaper, then finally zip across the city to teach at a second community college. Other days reversed the schedule, with me teaching in a different city late at night and returning home to get just six hours of sleep before the next packed day began. I had a recent master’s degree in poetry and no time to write poetry, but I was too harried to worry, figuring I had plenty of time to refocus once my life wasn’t so chaotic, so unformed. Yet, at 32, I had already aged out of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. I hadn’t even really started and it was already too late.

At 40, I am now also not eligible for the Stanley Kunitz prize from American Poetry Review, years past dreaming of being one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35. I also would have been too old for the Yale Younger Poets Prize, which until this year required its winners to be under 40—it’s notable that the 2016 winner is just over 40, which should tell us a lot about the limited scope these kinds of age restrictions create.

This may start to sound like a wine that’s turned—sour grapes and all that. It’s not this at all, or at least, it’s not only this. I recommitted to writing again at 38, and in just over two years have published over two dozen pieces; my first book is coming out next year as the winner of a great (and as yet unannounced) prize, which is to say I’m good. I begrudge none of these younger writers their support and success, but that they earned their accolades does not take away from the fact that poetry has an age problem.

I discovered the extent of this while seeking support as an emerging writer over the past two years. So many kind friends have forwarded me prize or fellowship opportunities that, because of my age or too many years having passed since earning my MFA (such as the Emory University or Kenyon Review fellowships, which require the degree to be no longer than five years old), I don’t qualify for. Why is this a problem for anyone but me? The reasons, as I’ve laid out in multiple shower and car ride monologues on this topic, are:

  1. These limits on age and time spent out of school are classist. They are remnants from an antiquated system where poets (usually white men of some means) are exposed to poetry early, decide to pursue it in college, find mentorship and support and begin publishing soon after matriculating. This apparently still happens for some, but this trajectory is almost impossible to replicate if you are poor; if you come from a rural place with little to no artistic community; if your passions and talents have to be put aside so you can work a lot to live. These constrictions validate and enforce a system that keeps many voices out—they say that if you have not made it by a certain age, it’s because you were not good enough. If anything, those who count themselves as older emerging writers should be celebrated for pushing on when all messages indicate to do otherwise.
  1. These limits are sexist. Misogyny is humankind’s oldest song, and even the throats of poets open up to sing it. While things may be shifting for millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomer women came up when their male peers were more likely to be singled out and supported by professors and editors. To penalize them for society’s slow (and ever-halting) shift out of this bias is to perpetuate the problem. Moreover, women are more likely to put their careers, artistic and otherwise, on hold for caregiving. The median age for women who hold master’s degrees or higher to have a first child is 30. Five years after my MFA, at the end of my eligibility for a host of fellowships, I had a newborn child and could not pursue such opportunities—the idea that there is a clock on not only our bodies but our creative lives as well is demoralizing. The message to many mothers who write is: get your success early or not at all, as the time you take to care for a family will be counted against you. That’s not unlike the rest of American society, of course, but the poetry community should acknowledge that in its pursuit of challenging injustice and bias, it continues to uphold structures that marginalize the voices of many women.
  1. Such restrictions impoverish us all. I keep thinking back to my dear friend who won Yale’s contest which, just the year before, she would have been ineligible for because of the year of her birth. How much longer would it have taken to get to fully embrace this voice, fully formed and with so much to say? How many poets and poems have we missed because there weren’t enough opportunities for older emerging writers? How many talented people struggled for years to balance family and jobs with finding time to write, only to decide the sacrifice of time away from other obligations could no longer be justified? If we, as poets, are truly concerned with issues of representation, limits on age and even time spent out of a degree program cannot be supported.

Of course I have skin in this game. I wrote a book in two years while raising a preschooler and teaching five classes a semester at a community college. That is, to use the parlance of my culture, freakin’ loco, and frankly unsustainable. If something about my circumstances doesn’t change, I don’t know that I can do it again. Even writing this blog has required that I ignore my child for hours on a day when we usually spend time together making crafts he then tapes all over the wall, messy with handprints, a jungle of art projects past and present.

But I’m not writing this for me, or at least, I don’t think I am. Like I said, things are working out alright — they’re beginning to take shape, an event which required me ignoring nearly every message I’d received about my writing or worth for a decade. I’m posting this because the first time I shared my story about returning to poetry while as a full-time instructor and almost 40-year-old mother, the feedback was overwhelming. A short interview on my institution’s website done after I won The Georgia Review’s Loraine Williams Poetry Prize led to so many people, nearly all women, reaching out to me to say—me too. Women I’d never met emailed me to say they’d stopped trying to write or publish, that they felt the time for their creative work had passed. That’s the message we’ve been given, and it’s bullshit.

I know there are other emerging writers contests in journals and nearly a score of first-book poetry contests that do not have maximum age requirements. These are necessary because they invite new voices into the conversation, broadening and expanding it. I have myself have benefitted from these, allowing me to make the slow and fitful transition into having “emerged,” but I almost didn’t make it that far. Our celebration of youth is dangerous because it is necessarily also a denigration of age, and for those struggling to find even a spare fifteen minutes to write, these messages can stifle and snuff such voices entirely.

We should continue to support the work of emerging voices from all kinds of backgrounds and perspectives, but we must no longer equate emerging with young. Finding a hot, young writer with loads of talent makes for a great story, but the older writer working despite all of the odds may have more of a story to tell.

Newsletter 12/2



Issue 18 Launch

Issue 18

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our 18th Issue. We’re especially proud of our new special feature: audio recordings on all of our fiction, nonfiction, and poetry pages! Check in to hear/read work by a long, impressive list of contributors.

Submissions for Issue 19

Superstition Review Logo

We’ll be reading subs for Issue 19 of SR in January and February. Sign in to Submittable to send us your work.

10 Books That Will Start Interesting Conversations

Friends Making a Toast

Sometimes the holiday wine flows easier than the conversation. Luckily, Barnes and Noble has compiled a list of books that will be sure to get the conversation going. From the election, to the Barefoot Contessa, to Fixer Upper, a lot of the big 2016 talking points are covered. There’s definitely something for everyone.

Read more here.

10 New Books We Recommend This Week


The New York Times Book Review just released a list, including Michael Chabon’s new book. It’s a great way to start off December when you’re not busy reading Issue 18 of SR.

Read more here.

Guest Post, Gregory Wolos: Rosebudding

Be warned: if you haven’t seen Orson Welles’ classic 1941 film Citizen Kane, spoilers follow! This post takes for granted knowledge of the mystery at the heart of the film, the “last word” that gives Citizen Kane its narrative drive, a mystery revealed only in its final frames. If you haven’t seen the film, leave now and come back after viewing, or read on and take your chances.

Rosebud still“Rosebud”: Charles Foster Kane’s last word; discovering its meaning is the film’s putative objective. Not until the movie’s final shot do we discover that “Rosebud” is the name printed on Kane’s childhood sled—it’s tossed into a furnace as workmen in a vast storeroom sort through the thousands of material possessions the great man accumulated during his lifetime. Just a sled— but important enough as a symbol of lost innocence to be the final, private word an important public figure leaves behind. The sled burns in a furnace, the irony dramatic as the audience learns what the seekers in the film never do. A close-up on the sled, “Rosebud”: its lacquer bubbles, it blackens, it’s gone, nothing more than smoke pouring from a chimney into the night sky. If we can’t know this great, public figure, who can we know? Who will know us?

In a culture consumed by the new, we too often consider nostalgia to be an indulgence, but don’t we all depend on our own “Rosebuds”? As a writer willing to go to virtually any length to unmask myself to myself, I find that I return again and again to a practice I call “Rosebudding.” Rosebudding is an active process of physical or mental investigation: its elements are rediscovery, intense reflection, recovery, and, ultimately, reconfiguration—the creation of something new out of something old. Through Rosebudding we can work from a physical item or an experience and its associations, eventually loosening the object or memory from itself to get to its essence, which is the living breathing, malleable core of inspiration all writers seek.

Moving—sorting through junk—the detritus of an actual attic or one of the mind: “Rosebud,” again and again. A memory of a moment or a new insight, or Rosebuds in juxtaposition: flint and steel, a spark—a flame rises, and we toss an old sled into the fire. But maybe as we watch the sled burn, we find something new.

A while back, my wife framed my father’s WWII medals with a photograph of him in uniform. This tribute had actually been displayed for a few years before I noticed that mixed in with my father’s purple hearts, campaign ribbons and service medals was an odd pin that portrayed a musical note: somehow included in this honor to my father’s service was a badge awarded to either my son or my daughter for exceptional performance at a New York State Music Association competition—approximately sixty years after the end of WWII. Rosebud on my father’s purple heart—the grenade that exploded behind him in a French foxhole leaving him flat on his belly in a hospital in Europe for half a year, a chunk of shrapnel fused to his backbone; Rosebud on the scar from this wound, freshly exposed every summer to my brothers and me and the rest of the world on crowded Long Island beaches; Rosebud on the letters my parents shared while my father recuperated in Europe and the picture of my mother he tucked into his helmet; Rosebud on my daughter’s trombone playing and my son’s oboe playing and the way their hours of lessons, rehearsals, concerts and competitions helped shape our family’s weekly life for a decade and a half.

Rosebud on Purple Hearts and high school music awards being pinned to the same piece of felt within the same wooden frame under the same pane of glass. Finally, Rosebud on the storage unit where the display sits in a box because there’s no room for it in our present apartment.

Rosebudding. Writers are miners—we pry the ore from deep underground, and process out the precious metals, ever mindful that the dross may be of equal or greater value. Rosebud.

Contributor Update, Christopher Jagmin: Studio Art Sale and Solo Exhibit

Christopher Jagmin is a skilled artist whose work was featured in both Issue 4 and Issue 10 of our magazine. His work also forms the basis of the SR logo and banner.

Jagmin, along with several other talented artists, will be having a studio art sale on December 4th from 10:00 am-5:00 pm at 2631 E. Cortez Street, Phoenix, AZ.

He also has a solo exhibit that will be open from January 20-February 12, 2017. Openings will be on the third Fridays of the month, First Fridays, and by special appointment at 419 East Roosevelt Street Phoenix, AZ.