SR Pod/Vod Series: Writer Daisy Hernandez

Today we’re proud to feature Daisy Hernandez as our eleventh Authors Talk series contributor.

This interview with Daisy Hernandez was conducted in person at the Nonfiction Now conference in Flagstaff, Arizona by Interview Editor Leah Newsom. Of the process she said, “Daisy’s memoir, A Cup of Water Under My Bed is engaging and intelligent. I am so fortunate to have had to opportunity to talk to her about it, as it is a very necessary piece of writing.” In this interview, Daisy talks about the role of memory in nonfiction, the role of sharing stories via social media, and the potential concern of writing about other people.

You can download the video on our iTunes Channel.

You can read Daisy Hernandez’s interview in Superstition Review, Issue 16.

 

More About the Author:

Daisy Hernández is the author of A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir and coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. She has written for The Atlantic, ColorLines, The New York Times, and NPR’s All Things Considered and CodeSwitch, and her essays have been published in the Bellingham Review, Dogwood, Fourth Genre, Gulf Coast, and Hunger Mountain. She teaches creative writing at Miami University in Ohio. To see more of her work, visit www.daisyhernandez.com.

About the Authors Talk series:

For several years, we have featured audio or video of Superstition Review contributors reading their work. We’re now establishing a new series of podcasts called Authors Talk. The podcasts in this series take a broader scope and feature SR contributors discussing their own thoughts on writing, the creative process, and anything else they may want to share with listeners.

SR Pod/Vod Series: Writer Sarah Einstein

Today we’re proud to feature Sarah Einstein as our eleventh Authors Talk series contributor.

This interview with Sarah Einstein was conducted in person at the NonfictionNow conference in Flagstaff, Arizona by Interview Editor Leah Newsom. Of the process she said, “though my memory of NonfictionNow is hazy with exhaustion, it was such a pleasure to meet with Sarah. Her writing is so honest and reveals the nature of complicated friendships. I appreciate how warm, how funny, and how kind she was, especially to take time out of the conference to meet with me.” In this interview, Sarah lends insight to the process of writing nonfiction, the ethics of writing about another person, the dangers of writing with an agenda, and the unique way she elicits memory to write memoir.

You can download the video on our iTunes Channel.

You can read Sarah Einstein’s interview in Superstition Review, Issue 16.

 

More About the Author:

Sarah Einstein is the author of Mot: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press 2015), Remnants of Passion (Shebooks 2014), and numerous essays and short stories. Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Best of the Net, and the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

About the Authors Talk series:

For several years, we have featured audio or video of Superstition Review contributors reading their work. We’re now establishing a new series of podcasts called Authors Talk. The podcasts in this series take a broader scope and feature SR contributors discussing their own thoughts on writing, the creative process, and anything else they may want to share with listeners.

SR Pod/Vod Series: Writer Maggie Nelson

Today we’re proud to feature Maggie Nelson as our tenth Authors Talk series contributor.

This interview with Maggie Nelson was conducted in person at the NonfictionNow conference in Flagstaff, Arizona by Interview Editor Leah Newsom. Of the process she said, “It was such an incredible privilege to interview Maggie Nelson. For days after, pieces of our conversation were swimming around in my mind, resurfacing at unexpected moments. Every time I watched the recording while transcribing, I discovered some new train of thought I hadn’t sat with previously, and I would have to stop and take a note. This was the same reaction I had to reading The Argonauts, so I shouldn’t have expected anything different.” In this interview, Maggie discusses the role of other people in her writing, the need to make space, and what it means to burn out a problem.

You can read Maggie Nelson’s interview in Superstition Review, Issue 16.

 

More About the Author:

Maggie Nelson is an American poet, art critic, lyric essayist and nonfiction author of the books Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions,The Red Parts: A Memoir, The Art of Cruelty, Something Bright, The Argonauts, The Latest Winter, Shiner, and Bluets.

About the Authors Talk series:

For several years, we have featured audio or video of Superstition Review contributors reading their work. We’re now establishing a new series of podcasts called Authors Talk. The podcasts in this series take a broader scope and feature SR contributors discussing their own thoughts on writing, the creative process, and anything else they may want to share with listeners.

Intern Post, Leah Newsom: Epiphany Plotting

The floors creaked in the attic I rented. For three nights I tiptoed around ancient furniture resting on old Persian carpets, the hard wood floors beneath wailing with each imposition of my weight. It had all of the makings of what I imagined an attic to be: fake tiffany’s glass lamps, an old radio, a dusty vanity, and a porcelain doll in the corner staring at the twin sized bed made up for me. In Arizona, we don’t have attics. Or if we do, not ones like this.

minneapolisI was in Minneapolis for AWP, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference, but instead of staying in the conference hotel like the more foresighted and experienced attendees, I rented an attic from Airbnb. Connie, my temporary landlord, made me carrot cake muffins to bring with me to the conference, so, with my muffins wrapped in tin foil, and my backpack thrown over my shoulder, I called an Uber to take me to the conference.

In the car, Ashraf, my driver, asked if I was a writer, if I was going to the big writing conference, if I had written a novel, if I was going to meet anyone famous, if all the writers were going to be out tonight drinking. I don’t know. Yes. No. Maybe, but hopefully not. Definitely.

I suppose I could tell you about the overwhelming atmosphere of the book fair. I could tell you that I was too scared to talk to the people at The Paris Review, because if I said something stupid, like I usually do, they would remember me forever and never publish my work. I could tell you that I walked up to a total of five booths because I was anxious. Because, maybe, I didn’t belong.

I am not in or graduated from an MFA program. I don’t have a finished manuscript. I have one published short story. I’m writing a novel but I don’t want to talk about it because then it’s something people expect me to finish.

However, in the first panel I went to, the anxiety was washed away. Once I was sitting amongst other people, all with notebooks and pens, I felt at home in the role of student. I wondered about the difference between those of us in the chairs with the notebooks, and the five people at the front with microphones. If there is 12,000 of us in Minneapolis trying to learn something, trying to find the secret to this whole writing thing, when do we actually get to be a writer?

At the end of the first panel, I reentered the book fair, ate a convention center taco salad at a standing table, and watched the people wandering through the aisles. I wondered which ones were successful, and what that meant. One book? Two? An advance? A National Book Award? No one looked particularly famous, the way that you imagine fame to look, with perfect wind-blown hair and designer couture. Everyone had the same tote bag, similar business-casual outfits.

After eating, I walked down one of the front aisles and saw one of the panelists that I had just heard speak the previous hour. He was sitting at a booth, looking uncomfortable, trying to talk to people about a magazine.

I told him I loved his chart on the plotting of epiphany stories, that I was in his panel. He shook my hand and thanked me, in a genuine, non-fame kind of way, but in a very ordinary kind of way. His palm was clammy, and I was glad to see his nails were not perfectly manicured. We talked for maybe ten minutes about writing stories and the workshop environment.

He is a writer. And I might be a writer. Though I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to say that word comfortably without cringing, or feeling some sort of doubt, like someone will call me out as a fraud. He attends workshops just like I do. He sits in panels and writes down charts like I do.The only difference between a writer and a not-writer that I can think of is in the act of writing.

By the end of the weekend, I met more people like that panelist, people who embraced me in their community. People who invited me out with them. People who asked me about my work, what I’m reading, or what I think about a certain book. People who made me realize that studentand writer are not mutually exclusive, but are in fact different words for the same thing.

On Saturday, I returned to the desert, thankfully out of the snow, back into sandals and tank tops with the Sonoran sun beating down on my shoulders. In my workshop, the first day back from AWP, my responses to everyone’s stories changed. All of a sudden, I had a new perspective, new feedback to give. I taught my fellow classmates the epiphany chart I learned in that first panel, and though the vast majority of them stared at me blankly, like it was something they all knew and I was full of hubris for trying to show them something I learned, one or two of my classmates wrote it down. A few of them got it, and I felt like we were developing a community of writers on our own: people who want to learn, and people who want to write.