Contributor Update: Hannah Lee Jones

Hey there, folks! We’re proud as all get out to announce that past contributor Hannah Lee Jones was recently featured on Copper Canyon Press’ Official Facebook Page as part of their #MeetTheInternMonday segment. The whole Q&A can be viewed here. Hannah Lee Jones’ work was featured in the Poetry section of our 16th issue, and can be read here. Jones is also responsible for the blog Primalschool.org, a wonderful community resource for poets and writers pursuing their craft outside of the MFA system. Check out her work and her website as well, and drop us a line in the comments section below!

Hannah Lee Jones

Past contributor Hannah Lee Jones, who was recently featured in Copper Canyon’s #MeetTheInternMonday segment, is also responsible for Primalschool.org.

Intern Spotlights: Week 2, Wrap-Up

Where are they now?

We are so proud of our past and present staff here at Superstition Review, and we’ve decided to celebrate the accomplishments of our past interns throughout the month of April. Each day, we will feature an intern on social media and share what they’re up to now. Then, at the end of each week, we will share a wrap-up post of all our featured interns from that week. So, without further ado…

1. Elijah Tubbs: Poetry Editor, Issue 16 (Fall 2015) and Issue 17 (Spring 2016)

April 9: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Elijah on LinkedIn

Elijah TubbsMore details: Eli shares, “After editing poetry for SR issues 16 & 17 and graduating from ASU I went on to my current job as an on-line content coordinator for BPG Technologies/Designs. Sister companies that specializes in Fiber Optics, telecommunication, GIS mapping, construction and design. Being able to write in some facet as a career path is wonderful and SR gave me some really essential skill sets for that. More importantly, Trish and SR showed me how to run a literary magazine well and now with my girlfriend, we too run a literary magazine: ELKE “a little journal”.”

2. Erin Regan: Student Editor-in-Chief, Issue 13 (Spring 2014)

April 10: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Erin on LinkedIn

Erin ReganMore details: Erin is currently a Digital Production Specialist at Make-A-Wish America, a nonprofit that serves children with critical illnesses. She shares, “Since serving as the student editor-in-chief of Superstition Review in 2014 and graduating from ASU, I’ve been managing the email marketing program and supporting other digital campaigns at Make-A-Wish. Every day I’m doing something a little different – whether it’s planning content for an upcoming campaign, writing copy, or designing an email – which gives me so many opportunities to use the skills I gained in school and at Superstition Review. Plus, I’m learning a lot about the nonprofit world and direct response marketing! It’s exciting being able to apply my experience in school and from internships to serve a unique mission.”

3. Cara Pencak: Advertising Coordinator, Issue 15 (Spring 2015)

April 11: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Cara on LinkedIn

Cara PencakMore details: Cara is currently the editorial assistant at Phoenix New Times. She shares, “I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed writing until I started at ASU. My academic advisor had mentioned the internship with Superstition Review and I’m so glad I took the opportunity! The work I did with the magazine gave me a chance to explore what it takes to put together a publication—the ins and outs, so to speak. In my current role as the editorial assistant at Phoenix New Times, I find myself applying that knowledge daily and I’m really enjoying it! I’m also interested in medicine, which led me to pursue a career in speech-language pathology. I’m excited to start as a grad student this fall at U of A!”

4. Jessica Fletcher: Fiction Editor, Issue 16 (Fall 2015) and Student Editor-in-Chief, Issue 17 (Spring 2016)

April 12: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Jessica on LinkedIn

Jessica FletcherMore details: Jessica is currently a Counseling Graduate Student and Director of Events in ASU’s Graduate Professional Student Association. She shares, “I am currently studying in the Master of Counseling program at ASU. In addition, I serve as Director of Events in the Graduate Professional Student Association. Using the nifty skills I learned in s[r] roles (SEC, fiction editor, and blogger), I plan social events for graduate students as well as lead advocacy projects for state prisons. Even though I am working in mental health, I continue to use literature and art to reach others. I am volunteering in Florence State Prison as a creative writing teacher and I am also a fiction editor for Iron City Magazine, which is a print and online journal devoted entirely to writing and art from the prison world. The best part — I get to use all my experience to make a difference in the community and touch the lives of others.”

5. Michael Wise: Content Coordinator, Issue 14 (Fall 2014) and Social Networker, Issue 15 (Spring 2015)

April 13: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Michael on LinkedIn

Michael WiseMore details: Michael Wise is a testing technician in the enrollment services at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. He shares, “I used to be one of the content coordinators for Superstition Review, and it was such a fun and invaluable experience! The work I did there helped me get through my BA of English at ASU and to land a job at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. My job is pretty straight-forward, I am the person who students dread seeing because I’m the one who hands out their midterms and finals. I decided to try and soften my image a bit and not be solely associated with stressful exams by becoming more engaged on campus. I am a club advisor for the Male Empowerment Network (M.E.N.) where I work with male minority students to help them complete their degrees and/or transfer onto a university. As the adviser I have utilized my work experience and writing background to hold scholarship writing and resume building workshops. I am also a member of CGCC’s Creative Writing & Arts Council where we are working to build a larger and stronger community of artists and writers on campus. As for my writing, I have been working on a few short stories to get accepted into a creative writing MFA program and for eventual publication.”

6. Megan Kizer: Social Networker, Issue 14 (Fall 2014)

April 14: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Megan on LinkedIn

Megan KizerMore details: Megan currently works at a global integrated marketing agency called PMX Agency as their very first in-house SEO Content Writer. She shares, “This essentially means that I have the fun opportunity to write page optimization copy, net-new copy, blog posts, and eBooks for leading clients across several industries. Along with actively contributing to my own company’s blog, I’m also beginning to take on more of an editorial role as our team expands. Overall, my job is to tell the client’s story in a way their customers will understand and appreciate, whether that means cranking out retail-specific verbiage, explaining the careful behind-the-scenes details of a national cleaning company, or even helping adults find a college program that they’re passionate about. I love that I get to wear a different hat every day and practice my writing skills in vastly diverse fields. My absolute favorite part of my job is to go onto a major client’s website or blog and think, ‘Hey! I wrote that!’ I also love that I’m able to communicate with coworkers across the nation to implement new ideas and processes that will help move our company forward. We’re all about improving ourselves, our teams, and our company, and it’s truly an incredible experience to feel that support in my career. I’m so grateful to sit across such intelligent people and learn about everything it takes to build a brand and keep it growing, from content to social media to email marketing, and everything in between!”

7. Amanda Strusienski: Social Networker, Issue 11 (Spring 2013)

April 15: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Amanda on LinkedIn

Amanda StrusienskiMore details: Amanda is currently a Curriculum Coordinator for University of Phoenix. She shares, “Since graduating from ASU in 2013 with my BA in English I have found my passion in education. My first career job was a school librarian where I instructed grades K-6th. That was an amazing experience where I had the opportunity to impact student lives, and hopefully give them a deeper understanding of literature. Presently, I am entering my third year with the University of Phoenix as a Curriculum Coordinator for the College of Education. I like to say my job is 2% administration and 98% all other duties as assigned. I get the opportunity to research, support, design, and revise college courses and programs for adult learners. It is a challenging and rewarding position.  I love knowing that I’m part of a process that helps adult learners find new careers or seek advancement in their field. I am also two classes away from completing my masters in Adult Education and Training. My hope is to move into a career as an instructional designer for higher education programs or work as a facilitator for adult education (maybe even both).”

Thank you so much to these interns for their service with us; you are all doing such amazing things, and we’re so proud!

#ArtLitPhx: Limited Engagement featuring Sally K. Lehman and Jessica Standifird

Limited Engagement is a monthly performance and interview series that takes place on the third Friday of every month. This month’s edition of Limited Engagement features a conversation with Sally K. Lehman and Jessica Standifird, authors of In the Fat and Notes From A House Where Silence Is Failing.

Host Jared Duran will discuss life, the universe, and everything with Standifird and Lehman, who are on their spring southwest tour.

For more details please visit the Facebook Event Page.  For more information on the authors, visit Lehman’s webpage or Standifird’s webpage.

This event takes place on Friday, April 21st at 7 p.m. at HUB Patio (4610 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013). Check out the Facebook event for more information.

Guest post, Sara Schaff: The Age of Success

My first book came out in the fall, which still feels miraculous to me. The stories took years to write and years to find a home for. Holding the actual book in my hands for the first time, I felt moved by the lovely cover and by the physical presence of words I had labored over in my thirties—which, by then, were almost over.

Next month I’m turning 40, a number that used to seem distant and possible to avoid. As my stepfather likes to remind me, when he turned 40, I made a giant banner that read “Over the Hill” and hung it on the wall as a snide happy birthday greeting. (I was thirteen at the time and probably more concerned with the fact that he was my stepfather than I was with his age, but whatever, he’s right: 40 looked ancient.) Alice Munro was 37 when she published her first book. Toni Morrison was 39. George Eliot 40. As a beginning writer I’d read the bios of brilliant, “late-blooming” writers and feel inspired. But also terrified: I couldn’t imagine waiting that long to find literary success.

When I began graduate school in creative writing almost a decade ago, I considered it reasonable to assume that my two years there would soon lead to the vision I had of “success”, which included not just a published book but tenure-track job and “a viable writing career.” To some of the twenty-somethings in my program, I probably already seemed old at thirty, but forty still seemed so far away. Of course I would publish a book before I was anywhere near forty!

One thing I couldn’t have known is how in my thirties the whole nature of time would change. Days and years used to feel full and incremental and possible to keep track of. Starting in grad school everything began to hurtle past.

Yet somehow the writing continued slowly. Mostly while I was working full time. And though sometimes the slow writing was painful, often it was the opposite: every word I made time for reinforced for me the joy of making art. Every sentence contained the promise of a magic trick—plucking something from my head and making it live on the page.

I’d like to believe that writing while working made me a better writer—or at least a writer who can usually find a few minutes to write, because sometimes that’s all there is. In grad school, I adored listening to professional writers talk about their schedules: the coffee in the hand, the butt in the chair for the hours of 8-to 5, or 9-2 while the kids are at school. It felt like a dreamy formula: caffeine + hours + story = bestselling/award-winning novel. For the majority of us who are working office jobs, or teaching, or taking care of tiny children, that kind of schedule is a luxury, not a mathematical proof.

Sometimes you have to write at work in secret. (I did some of my happiest writing in an office cubicle.) Sometimes you write only while the kid is sleeping or doesn’t realize you’ve slipped upstairs for some writing time but is about to realize it, so better write that sentence real damn quick. Sometimes you have to write late at night when the house is a mess. Sometimes early in the morning. (But never at 4am. Writers who get up that early are masochists and no wonder: they’re totally sleep-deprived!) If you want be a successful writer and you’re neither independently wealthy nor supported by a large advance for your Great American Novel, be flexible. Be kind to yourself. But don’t forget to write.

For me, the idea of success continues to be a moving target. I’ll never win any award for youthful brilliance. Probably not even for brilliance of the “over the hill” variety. My forties might slip by faster even than my thirties. But throughout the next decade I’ll be writing—ten minutes here, an hour there. My second book will come together slowly, and sometimes I will doubt whether it will come together at all. Every minute and every word along the way will be a small gift to myself. And, eventually, I hope to someone else.

#ArtLitPhx: Meet 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner Viet Thanh Nguyen

Co-presented by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Changing Hands Bookstore brings author of The Sympathizer 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen to Phoenix. Nguyen will talk about his new short story collection The Refugees at Changing Hands Bookstore’s Phoenix location (300 W. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013)  on Thursday, April 20th, 2017 at 7 p.m.

The Refugees is a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration. It is a collection of  stories written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family.

There will be a book signing following the talk. This is a free event. Please RSVP on the Facebook Event page.

For more details please visit Changing Hands Bookstore’s webpage.

Authors Talk: Roy Guzmán

Today we are pleased to feature Roy Guzmán as our Authors Talk series contributor. In his podcast, Roy discusses community, culture, and struggle with Christina Collins from Lockjaw. Specifically, the pair discusses these ideas in the context of Roy’s piece, “Payday Loan Phenomenology,” which was published in Issue 18. They share how they first met on Twitter and then how they both ended up living in Minneapolis, which brings them to a discussion on displacement.

When discussing his piece in Issue 18, Roy notes, “it’s me trying to work with memory…if I’m looking at my past and I do not want it to depress me and I want it to sort of propel me, I need to create some kind of beauty.” Later, Christina tells Roy, “your work is so rooted in culture and it’s so rooted in your experience of being…an outsider to this monolithic American culture,” which leads to a discussion on the importance of culture and sharing the experiences of those who are disadvantaged.

It’s impossible to list all of Roy and Christina’s comments and insights here, so you’ll just have to listen for yourself! You can access Roy’s poem in Issue 18 of Superstition Review, and you can stay updated with his website as well.

#ArtLitPhx: Rain is the Hourglass of Memory by Jack Evans – A Four Chambers Publication

Four Chambers Press presents poet Jack Evans for the release of their latest poetry collection, Rain is the Hourglass of Memory. The debut will take place at Practical Art (5070 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ, 85012) on Saturday April 15th, at 5 p.m.

Evans was born on the banks of the Hudson. He is a music  enthusiast of all types and enjoys both reading and writing poetry. Evans works have appeared in numerous publications and he has also preformed all over Arizona as well as the rest of the country. Evans is a co-director of the Caffeine Corridor series in downtown Phoenix.

See the Facebook Event page for more details. To order digital and print editions of the book, visit Four Chambers Press website. Online PDF versions cost $5 and  and print editions are $18.