#ArtLitPhx: MFA Reading Series – Sarah Vap, Dexter L. Booth, and Patricia Colleen Murphy

MFA Reading Series - ASUPoets Sarah Vap, Dexter L. Booth, and Patricia Colleen Murphy will read from their recent work at Hayden Library on the Tempe Campus as part of the MFA Alumni Reading Series, presented by ASU’s Creative Writing Program. The event takes place on Thursday, September 22nd. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the reading begins at 7:00 p.m. A book signing and reception with light refreshments will follow the reading.

Sarah Vap received her MFA from Arizona State University. Vap is the author of six collections of poetry. Her most recent book, Viability, was selected by Mary Jo Bang for the National Poetry Series, and was released by Penguin in 2016.

Dexter L. Booth earned an MFA in creative writing from Arizona State University. His collection Scratching the Ghost was selected by Major Jackson for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

Patricia Colleen Murphy, a graduate of ASU’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, founded Superstition Review at Arizona State University, where she teaches creative writing and magazine production. Her collection, Hemming Flames, was selected by Stephen Dunn for the May Swenson Poetry Award.

The event is free of charge and is open to the public. For more information please visit the ASU page and/or the Facebook event.

ASU Book Group: ‘Crossing the Line: A Marriage across Borders’ by Linda Valdez

Crossing the Line book coverThe ASU Book Group is meeting Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016 from 12-1 p.m. at the Piper Writers House (PWH) ASU, Tempe campus. The September 2016 reading selection of the ASU Book Group is “Crossing the Line: A Marriage across Borders” by local writer Linda Valdez. The book group is open to all in the ASU community and meets monthly from noon–1 p.m. in the Piper Writers House on ASU’s Tempe campus. Authors are generally present.

Not a typical immigration story, “Crossing the Line” is told by a middle-class American woman who falls in love with the son of an impoverished family from rural Mexico—a man who crosses the border illegally to be with her. Married in 1988, Linda and Sixto Valdez learn to love each other’s very different families and cultures, raising their child to walk proudly in both worlds. “Crossing the Line” cuts through the fears and preconceptions that fuel the continuing political turmoil over immigration. The book is available at amazon.com.

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2003, Linda Valdez is a columnist and editorial writer at the Arizona Republic/azcentral.com. She has written extensively about immigration and border issues. Her commentary opposing Arizona’s infamous anti-immigration laws earned her the Scripps Howard Walker Stone Award for editorial writing in 2011.

Other ASU Book Group meetings and selections for 2016-2017 include Oct. 26 (Matt Bell: “Scrapper”); Nov. 30 (Betty E. Hammer Joy: “Angela Hutchinson Hammer: Arizona’s Pioneer Newspaperwoman”); Jan. 25 (Michael Smith: “At Home with the Aztecs: An Archaeologist Uncovers Their Daily Life”); Feb. 22 (Tara Ison: “Ball”); Mar. 29 (Martin Beck Matuštík: “Out of Silence: Repair across Generations”); andApr. 26 (Melissa Pritchard: “A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write”). Additional selections TBD.

The ASU Book Group is sponsored as a community outreach initiative by the Department of English and organized in partnership with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

Free of charge and open to the public.

An Interview with Mary Sojourner


Superstition Review
will be hosting Mary Sojourner during our 2011 Fall Reading Series, on Wednesday, November 9 at 7 p.m. on the ASU Tempe Campus in the Pima Auditorium at the Memorial Union Building.

On Thursday, November 10, NPR commentator and novelist Mary Sojourner hosts a writing workshop called The Jump Start Circle “for those,” she says, “who have always wanted to write and somehow haven’t begun; for writers who have blocked; and for writers who want to move to the next level of their work.” The Jump Start Circle is not a lecture workshop—participants write for most of the session. November 10, 6:30-8:30. Cost: $25. Registration and pre-payment at 480.730.0205.

We are incredibly excited to host Mary Sojourner on our campus, and encourage all to come out to see her. Admission is free and anyone can attend.

Superstition Review recently had the opportunity to talk to Sojourner and ask her a few questions, and her answers have us on the edge of our seat, eagerly anticipating more of her insight during her upcoming events in Arizona.

Superstition Review: What got you started as a writer? How did you decide to take that (career) path?

Mary Sojourner: I wrote in my memoir, Solace: Rituals of Loss and Desire, about growing up in a frightening childhood. My mother was a brilliant and gifted bi-polar psychotic. Every two years, she would descend toward a suicide attempt and be taken away to the grim shelter of the State Mental Hospital. My dad was terrified and helpless in the face of her illness. I learned fast to disappear into books – and into the safety of the outdoors. That was the beginning. I knew from the time I was 8 years old that I wanted to be a writer – only a little more than I wanted to be a cowboy on the Western plains.

The writing path took me. It is not a career, especially now in these mean days of contemporary publishing. I teach in order to earn my living. Writing is a possession, a torment and the most compelling love I’ve ever known.

SR: What is the most rewarding thing you’ve taken from your career? Is it teaching? Participating in public readings?

MS: Every day I take the knowledge that writing has chosen me. Only a little less, I take the knowledge that teaching other writers also owns me. And, of course, there are those moments when lightning arcs through me and onto the page.

SR: What advice would you offer aspiring writers and artists currently attending undergraduate universities?

MS: Either drop out of school right now or plan to do so once you graduate. Resist the pressure and impulse to get an advanced degree. Apprentice yourself to your creativity. Let it map your route. You – unless you have a trust fund – can plan on being poor, scared, frustrated. You might, if you’re lucky, find yourself walking the blade of an obsidian knife. Howling. Laughing. Being grateful for every breath you take.

She added:

“Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.” — Albert Einstein. Make beauty. Make change. Make trouble for the settled and secure.

Mary Sojourner’s personal blog can be found here: marysojourner.com

 

An Evening with Mary Sojourner

Superstition Review will host its 2011 Fall Reading with special guest author Mary Sojourner.

Mary Sojourner is the author of the essay collection Bonelight: Ruin and Grace in the New Southwest, as well as novels, memoirs and short story collections. She is an NPR commentator and has taught writing throughout the West for 20 years. Please follow this link to read more about Mary Sojourner at: marysojourner.com

Who:     Superstition Review Literary Magazine presents Mary Sojourner

What:    Fall Reading Series

When:   Wednesday, November 9, 2011, 7 p.m.

Where:  ASU Tempe Campus, Pima Auditorium at Memorial Union

Admission:  Free

On Thursday, November 10 Mary will be offering a workshop at Changing Hands Bookstore.

Jump Start with Mary Sojourner: a writing circle to charge your writing.
The Jump Start circle is for those of you who have always wanted to write and somehow haven’t begun; for writers who have blocked; and for writers who want to move to the next level of their work. Mary Sojourner is a national author and NPR commentator. She has taught writing circles for universities, writing conferences (Desert Nights, Rising Stars, Hassyampa) and in private circles nationally. This is not a lecture workshop – you will write for most of the session. November 10, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, Az., 6:30-8:30. fee: $25. Register and pay through Changing Hands.

Mary Sojourner is the author of two novels, Sisters of the Dream (1989) and Going Through Ghosts; the short story collection, Delicate; essay collection, Bonelight: ruin and grace in the New Southwest; memoirs, Solace: rituals of loss and desire and She Bets Her Life. She is an intermittent NPR commentator and the author of countless essays, columns and op eds for High Country News, Writers on the Range and dozens of other publications. She teaches writing, in private circles, one-on-one, at colleges and universities, writing conferences and book festivals. She believes in both the limitations and possibilities of healing. Writing is the most powerful tool she has found for doing what is necessary to mend.

Psychology Today blog, She Bets Her Life:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/she-bets-her-life

Out of Silence: Readings from the Afghan Women’s Writing Project

A week from today at 7 p.m., Arizona State University’s Project Humanities will be hosting a reading from the Afghan Women’s Writing Program (AWWP). Readings will be a selection of poems, essays, and stories written by Afghan women who, for security reasons, use only their first names or remain anonymous. These selections will be read by Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing students.

The Afghan Women’s Writing Program is a volunteer based organization that works to allow Afghan women to write and let their stories be heard by the world. The AWWP was founded in 2009 by international journalist and novelist Masha Hamilton. These women are mentored by American women writers, and the Afghan women’s writings are posted regularly on AWWP’s website, which can be found here http://www.awwproject.org. Check out the site to read more about the AWWP and to read writings from these women. Also, take the time to leave a comment and let these women know their voices are being heard.

The reading will be held on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, Tuesday May 3, in Neeb Hall (NEEB) room 105. Admission is free and open to the public and there will be a reception following the reading. Project Humanities and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project will be accepting donations for the AWWP in the hopes of being able to purchase laptops, internet and additional library materials for the women’s safe writing house that has been established in Kabul. So, stop by campus next Tuesday and listen to stories and poems from women writers half a world away.

Alison Hawthorne Deming Reading Wrap-Up: Myths, Rope and Dog Tags

Deming reading from her manuscript ZOOLOGIES.

Last Wednesday at ASU’s Tempe campus, Superstition Review held the latest event in its reading series with poet, author and educator, Alison Hawthorne Deming. She read a selection of poems from her latest book Rope. She also read a few short prose pieces from her manuscript ZOOLOGIES.

Students, colleagues and friends gathered in the Education Lecture Hall and after a few words from Superstition Review founding editor Patricia Murphy, and a brief introduction from Professor Joni Adamson, Deming took the podium and she read from her writings about the importance of dog tags, modern day Greek myths and finding salty, sea soaked rope on the coast. After the reading and applause she took time to sign copies of her books and speak to colleagues and friends.

Superstition Review staff and interns would like to thank everyone who attended the reading and we would like to extend a special thanks to Alison Hawthorne Deming for coming in to town and sharing her wonderful work with us.

Patricia Murphy discuss the upcoming launch of Issue 7.

Alison signs books.

Local Favorites to Check Out Before the Alison Hawthorne Deming Reading Tomorrow

For a literary mind there’s not much that can top good reads, except maybe good eats, and if you’re going to be in town for tomorrow’s Alison Hawthorne Deming reading you’re probably going to want a little of both. We’ve put together the short, short list of local favorites around ASU for you to check out while you’re in Tempe.

Four Peaks Brewery is less than a mile from campus and boasts great craft brews and really good food. Originally built in 1892, the building that Four Peaks occupies used to be Pacific Creamery and then later Bordens Creamery. Despite the fact that cows used to live there, the exposed red brick, wooden beams and a thirty five foot high glass clerestory is a very appealing place to hang out with friends. Try the Italian Beef Beer Bread or the Salmon BLT, both local favorites. Map here.

1340 East 8th Street #104, Tempe, AZ 85281, (480) 303-9967 ‎

 

photo by metromix.com

The Cartel Coffee Lab is a favorite local hangout for ASU students. Located just a half mile West of ASU’s Tempe campus, you can sometimes smell the aroma of roasting coffee, roasted in house, wafting down the streets. Cartel offers a great cup of coffee or a light snack, if you’re not hungry enough for a full meal. It can be a little bit hard to find though. It’s on the Southwest side of Ash Ave behind Buffalo Exchange. Don’t worry if you can’t find it at first, just follow your nose. Map here.

225 West University Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281, (480) 225-3899

House of Tricks is just a block away from campus. In fact, you can sit on their spacious

photo by domesticbliss

patio and watch ASU students come and go. They have a great lunch and dinner menu that you can enjoy from one of the two converted houses on the property, or on their comfortably shaded patio, the highlight being the bar constructed around an old tree between the houses . And when you’re done with you’re meal you’ll only have to walk about a block to campus. Map here.

114 East 7th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281-3711, (480) 968-1114

 

If none of these places entice you there is always Mill Ave just two blocks from campus. Mill is home to numerous restaurants and eateries, such as RA Sushi, Corleone’s for Philly Cheesesteaks, Irish pub Rula Bula, Gordon Biersch, La Boca pizzeria, My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, P.F. Chang’s, Z-Tejas Southwestern Grill and Robbie Fox’s Public House. Map them all here.

Don’t forget to check out the Facebook page for the Alison Hawthorne Deming reading tomorrow on the Tempe campus at 7 p.m.