#ArtLitPhx: Masculinity in the Mix – Phoenix

Masculinity in the mix Bocafloja“Masculinity in the Mix” presents the artists Mark Gonzales and Bocafloja. The event takes place on Friday, September 30th at 6:00 p.m. at the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency
Project Space at Combine Studios (821 N. 3rd St. #11, Phoenix, AZ 85004)

In partnership with: ASU Art Museum Project Space at Combine Studios, the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, ASU School of Social Transformation.

The event will explore the healing of trauma influenced by social and political contexts through storytelling, poetry, film, and community conversations. For more information visit the Arizona Humanities Facebook event.

Project Humanities’ Hacks for Humanity 2015

Project Humanities invites you to their upcoming event, Hacks for Humanity 2015. Hacks for Humanity is a 36-hour hackathon for the social good, starting at 8am on Saturday, October 3rd, and ending at 8pm on Sunday, October 4th. They invite techies, programmers, developers, humanities, artists, students, educators, and creative visionaries to hack with one mission: to create technology solutions and initiatives that will contribute to the social good and address the needs of humanity using the seven principles of the Humanity 101 Movement: respect, kindness, integrity, forgiveness, empathy, compassion, and self-reflection.

Last year, the winning team went on to win the $10K grand prize from the ASU Changemaker Innovation Challenge last spring for their life-saving mobile application “ARKHumanity.” This team of five determined individuals not only showed their talents in technology, but also their love and dedication to the needs of humanity. Furthermore, they show their everlasting support of our Humanity 101 Movement. You can win Hackathon this year and move on to greater competitions, too! Join for another exciting 36-HOUR event!

Sign up for this event here: www.hacksforhumanity2015.eventbrite.com.

Project Humanities' Hackathon 2015

Guest Blog Post, Brad Modlin: Before I Tell You about the Puppet Parade

Before I tell you about the puppet parade, let me tell you about my past two weeks.

I was stressed, and as I told a friend, “feeling under.” I alternated between 1) accidentally waking an hour before my alarm and then—afraid to waste time—reaching for a stack of papers to grade and 2) sleeping until 8:30 and feeling guilty for it. Each day I needed to accomplish three tasks, but then one of them ate up all my hours until suddenly it was bedtime. I struggled for days to get to the grocery and in the meantime had cereal for dinner. When I finally bought a carton of eggs, I dropped them in the driveway and five cracked.

I know that a month from now, I won’t even remember the frazzle of these two weeks, and I know that other—truly sad—stories have taken place or been written down in the past 14 days.

But yesterday I was concerned with my story. I vented (whined?) to an artist friend over coffee. She, too, had been feeling under. One of the projects that had kept her busy was to paint a puppet. Apparently, while I had been rushing around, a group of artists had recruited dozens of townspeople and together they were recycling old materials into twenty enormous puppets. The next night they’d march them in their own parade.

I was too curious to grade papers, so I left the coffee shop and went to the artists’ studio space. So far they had constructed: a fluorescent orange owl in a dress; a giant red vulture head wearing flowing strips of garbage bags; several six-foot tall “talking” skulls with Christmas ornament eyes and mirror teeth; a gauzy whale; and imaginary animals with VHS tape clothing.

I spoke with one of the leaders as he measured some scraps of wood. He said about 70% of their supplies were leftovers, things other people had trashed. Of course, I thought about writing. A lucky trick writers have is that we can take a crummy, or disappointing, or even heartbreaking real-life experience (or pair of weeks) and use it to make something new. We can—at least in part—redeem it, give it purpose as material for creating. And then some good has come from it.

The project leader went on to say they dumpster-dove for many of their supplies. I asked, “So how do you know what material is valuable when you see it—what’s worth harvesting?”

He said, “Everything is.”

This answer was enough to get me signed up as a volunteer puppeteer for the parade. And so this evening I led a line of fanciful creatures down the main street of our town. I wore a huge praying mantis whose arms and legs moved with mine. Cloth people with balloon hair hopped behind me, the birds flew on poles, the whale swam circles around us, and the metallic lion heads bopped in time with the snare drum.

As we processed through downtown, kids climbed onto their parents’ shoulders to see and college students cheered from their apartment balconies. When people noticed us through coffee shop windows, I waved a mantis hand to them.

I picked up my insect legs, which were made from bamboo shoots and tied to my ankles with old bike inner tubes. In the heavy green body—made from styrofoam swimming pool noodles, PVC pipe, wire tomato cages, and packing cardboard—I shuffled lightly. And my shuffling grew into even sort of a samba step by the time we paraded back to the studio entrance, where the snare drummer played softer and softer as if not wanting to end it, and we all danced in place on the sidewalk, each of us trying to stall before we had to take off our puppet costumes.

Past Intern Updates: Sarah Snyder

Sarah Snyder, from Issues 1 and 2, has traveled to the Far East and back–and discovered a true passion for teaching English as a foreign language. She shares with us her experience:

Grandma always said, “Everything in moderation—even moderation.” As a junior at ASU, taking 18 credits a semester, being the Reading Series Coordinator for Superstition Review, working at the Polytechnic campus Writing Center, serving as the President of ASU’s Devil Dancesport ballroom dancing team, and volunteering as a Peer Advisor for the School of Applied Arts and Sciences, I was no stranger to overextending myself, to going deeper than I could swim back up in time for air.  When I graduated in 2009, I made a strategic career move and took a job in Japan teaching English in two high schools. It was only strategic because I couldn’t even get anything close to a job in the United States. Luckily for me, this job helped me realize what I really wanted to do with my life: create positive cultural exchange and communication. This lesson came to me through all of the artists that I coordinated through SR, the students that I worked with in the Writing Center, as the President of a student organization, as a Peer Advisor and in Japan.

After a year in the Land of the Rising Sun, I moved back home to the Valley of the Sun. My parents were happy to have me home in the flesh instead of pixelated and robotic on Skype. They were perfectly content to keep me there, but I was soon restless. I needed something to keep me happy, healthy and productive, but I experienced the same depression that my father remembered as an adolescent. He told me his story from the 1970s when he was expressing the same feeling of helplessness to his grandfather. To that, Great-Grandpa Krebbs said, “There is always work for those who want it.” To this day, my father doesn’t know whether or not that was a challenge or a jab, but I took it as a challenge. I pulsed all of my networks for careers in academia for months. I applied to everything. I also kept myself busy taking Spanish and Japanese at the local community colleges to keep my morale up. Around month six, I was called for my first interview. It was my chance to vie for my dream job of being an academic advisor! At the age of 24 (my lucky Japanese year of the Rabbit) I was hired as the youngest member of an academic advising team with my mentors from undergrad as my supervisors.

After some serious soul-searching, I had to sacrifice my dream job in favor of the English and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) programs at Northern Arizona University, where I am happily immersed in concurrent graduate programs and teaching freshman composition for native and non-native speakers of English. I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Composition and Linguistics in the near future. This, I believe, will help me bring positive cultural exchange and communication to more people than I could have ever hoped while being one teacher working with just 30 students at a time in a sea of millions. It will be more work that I have probably ever had in my life—but I also have itty-bitty daydreams of being the President of the United States as well, so bring it on.

As I look back now, all I can say is that Grandma was right. “Everything in moderation–even moderation.” If I could go back in time with all of this 20/20 retrospect, I wouldn’t change one thing. Now, I am making sure that I give just as much as I have received, and these last sentences are little karmic presents for anyone who wants them: In order to survive in the world that we live in today, concentration and positive thinking are the keys to getting what the universe thinks you deserve. Nobody gets anywhere anymore by stepping on people. We’re in the age of Google, people! Also, it really DOES matter who you know and how you treat the people around you…No one ever knows who they will be interacting with in the future. Network, network, NETWORK! Oh, and always brush your teeth (another Grandma quote).

Twitter® Handles for Superstition Review Contributors

Here is a list of our known contributors’ Twitter handles. If we missed any or have made any errors, please leave a comment and we will fix it. This is a great opportunity for our readers to follow their favorites.

Alan Cheuse @ahescee
Amanda Auchter @ALAuchter
Amanda Eyre Ward @amandaeyreward
Andrew Galligan @galligan_andrew
Andrew Scott @_AndrewScott
Ashley Caveda @AshleyCaveda
Ben Brooks @ben_brooks
Benjamin Vogt @BRVogt
BJ Hollars @BJHollars
Brenda Miller @BrendaMiller31
Carrie Moniz @Carrie_Moniz
Catherine Pierce @katieppierce
Chase Twichell @chasetwichell
Christopher Jagmin @chrisjagmin
Constance McBride @mcbride_connie
Courtney Mauk @courtneymauk
Dan Chaon @Danchaon
Daniel Elson @daniel_elson
Dara Wier @darawier
Diana Joseph @diana_joseph
Dorianne Laux @doriannelaux
Douglas Light @LightHappening
Duncan Hill @duncanhillphoto
Elena Passarello @elenavox
Eliza Gregory @elizagregory
Elizabeth Searle @StarWrit
Eugenio Volpe @MeBeingBrand
Faye Rapoport DesPres @MassWriter 
Floyd Skloot @fskloot

Frances Lefkewiz @YesFrances
James Valvis @JamesValvis
Jennifer Drucker @jenniferdrucker
Joan Colby @poetjm
John Grogan @JohnGroganbooks
Kazim Ali @KazimAliPoet
Kelle Groom @KelleGroom
Kelli Russell Agodon @kelliagodon
Lee Martin @LeeMartinAuthor
Marie Mockett @MarieMockett
Matthew Brennan @MatthewBrennan7
Matthew Gavin Frank @matthewgfrank
Meg Pokrass @megpokrass
Michael Martone @4foraQuarter
Miguel Murphy @MiguelMurphy
Pam Houston @pam_houston
Patricia Clark @poetclark
Paul Lisicky @Paul_Lisicky
Raina Gentry @RainaGentryArt
Roger Boylan @Killoyler
Ruth Ellen Kocher @ruthellenkocher
Samuel Kolawole @sammylaws1
Sankar Roy @SankarPoet
Shannon Ward @ShannonCamlin
Sherman Alexie @Sherman_Alexie
Sloane Crosley @askanyone
Stella Pope Duarte @StellaPope
Susan Wingate @susanwingate
Suzanne Marie Hopcroft @divinestsense
Terra Brigando @Terranisaur
Theodore Wheeler @theodorewheeler
Tim Flannery @Purple_World
Timothy Liu @arabadjisliu
Vanessa Blakeslee @vmblakeslee
William D. Hicks @wdhicks
Xavier Nuez @Xnuez

Worldwide Day of Occupation: Phoenix

Last Saturday was the Worldwide Day of Occupation, when protests of all sizes occurred in 1500 cities and 82 countries across the globe. Ten thousand people marched in the streets of Madrid. It’s estimated that 20,000 showed up to flood Times Square. And at the height of the protest here in Phoenix, between 1-2 thousand of us came to show our support at Cesar Chavez Plaza downtown.

Since the protests began on Wall Street one month ago, there has been a certain amount of criticism aimed at the people involved. One common charge is that the protestors are just bored college kids who protest for the sake of protesting. What I saw at Occupy Phoenix couldn’t have been further from that accusation. There were plenty of young people airing their frustrations over the lack of opportunity many of us will face once we graduate college. But there were also entire families whose small children proudly waved American flags as we marched as a group towards Martha T. Hance Park. There were a surprising number of older Americans airing the same grievances as the youth, including a stooped elderly couple that made sure to be in the front row of one of the impromptu assemblies at Cesar Chavez Plaza. The husband wore a hearing aide, so the wife made sure to wave his hand in support for him whenever a speaker expressed frustration that our system has failed us, the 99%.

Another criticism has been that the message is too muddled to make a difference. But I disagree. One message was loud and clear: we need peaceful action to show the world we’re listening, that the power must remain in the hands of the people. The myriad of problems the world faces is too large and diverse to fit on a protest sign. But the message that the interests of the many must take precedence over the interests of the few is one that unites the world, from Hong Kong to London to New York to Phoenix.

This weekend made me think about why art of all kinds is so crucial to civilization. Writers and artists are responsible for interpreting our surroundings, encapsulating the world in which we exist in a poem, or a story, or a painting. We make art to communicate and share ideas with the people of today, and to make our voices heard to the people of tomorrow. We are living in turbulent, fascinating times. I can hardly wait to see what art arises out of our struggles.

To see a list of writers who support the Occupy movement, including Dorianne Laux, whose work will be published in Issue 8 of Superstition Review, visit http://occupywriters.com/