Authors Talk: Maggie Kast

Today we are pleased to feature author Maggie Kast as our Authors Talk series contributor. Maggie asks what imagination is and how it plays its “particular and equal role in the project of gaining knowledge.”

She quotes Michael Chabon’s author’s note to his novel Moonglow, a work based on facts except where they “they refused to conform with memory [or] narrative purpose.” While not displacing critical thought, narrative imagination can “make the familiar strange” and thus reach new vision.

You can read and listen to Maggie’s essay “The House Will Burn” in Superstition Review, Issue 19.

Authors Talk: Charlotte Holmes

Today we are pleased to feature author Charlotte Holmes as our Authors Talk series contributor. In her talk, quick and simple at first glance, she explores how we negotiate space as humans and as writers.

Charlotte begins by talking about the space that is the subject of her essay, “Open House:” a large home that once hosted a monastery. She imagines all the ways someone might use so much space. There would be room to take up modern dance, have multiple writing rooms, or to host all of your relatives. If one doesn’t want it at the moment though, “just close the doors.” She relates this to the negotiation of space on the page and tells us how “Open House” uses white space.

You can read and listen to “Open House” in Superstition Review, Issue 19.

Authors Talk: Jacqueline Doyle

Today we are pleased to feature author Jacqueline Doyle as our Authors Talk series contributor.

Jacqueline touches on her essay “Fireflies,” her brand new flash chapbook from Black Lawrence Press, creative nonfiction vs. fiction, and (also brand new) award from the 2017 Flash Prose and Poetry contest at Midway Journal. Jacqueline weaves together different strands of her work to ask how much of herself can be found in her nonfiction, what truth can be found in her fiction, and how both of these forms differ from her academic work.

You can read and listen to “Fireflies” in Superstition Review Issue 19.

Authors Talk: Alaina Symanovich

Today we are pleased to feature author Alaina Symanovich as our Authors Talk series contributor. Alaina reflects on a question posed to her by one of her students: how can one’s writing be gloomy and melancholy while they’re usually the happiest person in a room?

By considering this question—along with “Out of the Box” and another essay, “Holy Ground,” published in storySouth— she muses on the importance of creative nonfiction. Alaina explains that creative nonfiction can be an entry point into somebody’s feelings and by extension, an opportunity to feel less alone. So while this talk is “rambling about [Alaina’s] high school students and their forlorn love lives” in a way, it is also a candid, funny, and thought-provoking look at the work that creative nonfiction does.

You can read and listen to “Out of the Box” by Alaina Symanovich in Superstition Review, Issue 19.

Authors Talk: Kalani Pickhart

Today we are pleased to to feature author Kalani Pickhart as our Authors Talk series contributor. Kalani discusses the process and personal significance of “Little Mouse.” She concludes by offering a piece of advice for other young writers.

Kalani explains that “Little Mouse” is her first story that “did a lot with very, very little.” She explains her immediate affinity for this method because it allows the characters’ voices to be communicated more directly. Characters revealing themselves and being heard on their own terms and in their own tone is Kalani’s first priority. This is clear from her language throughout the talk.

You can read and listen to “Little Mouse” in Superstition Review, Issue 19.

Authors Talk: Douglas Manuel

Today we are pleased to feature poet Douglas Manuel as our Authors Talk series contributor. His talk is a reading of the lyrical essay that he wrote reflecting on his poem, “Who’s Little Boy Are You?”

The poem’s title comes from a question in James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, that points at belonging and ‘fissures between the messages of the uplifting Black church and street survival tactics’ that are “crucial to understanding the Black experience in America.” What follows is a deeply personal rumination from Douglas about his father and who belongs to whom, if anyone ever really does. Finally, Douglas reflects on the way that he represents his father in other poems including “Little Fires Left by Travelers.”

You can read and listen to both of Douglas’s aforementioned poems in Superstition Review Issue 19.

Authors Talk: Emily Townsend

Today we are pleased to feature author Emily Townsend as our Authors Talk series contributor. Emily speaks about finding her place in creative nonfiction, her “arbitrary” research process, and her complicated relationship with honeybees.

Emily captures the beauty of nonfiction writing concisely by noting its unique ability to allow writers to “untangling facts that [are] often left undiscovered.” Her podcast ranges from eloquent tidbits to candidly pointing out personal weaknesses in a way that makes the recording just as engaging and thought-provoking as her essay.

You can read Emily’s essay and hear her read it aloud in Superstition Review Issue 17.