Reminder: Alison Hawthorne Deming Reading This Wednesday

This coming Wednesday ASU will be hosting a reading by author, poet and professor of Creative Writing at the University of Arizona, Alison Hawthorne Deming. The reading will take place at Arizona State University on the Tempe Campus in the Education Lecture Hall EDC Room 117 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Check out the Superstition Review Facebook page for full details.

Alison Hawthorne Deming is author of four poetry books, most recently Rope (Penguin Poets, 2009). This was preceded by Science and Other Poems, which won the Walt Whitman Award, The Monarchs: A Poem Sequence, and Genius Loci. She has published three nonfiction books, Temporary Homelands, The Edges of the Civilized World, and Writing the Sacred Into the Real. Among her awards are two NEA Fellowships, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship, Bayer Award in Science Writing from Creative Nonfiction, Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod, and the Best Essay Gold GAMMA Award from the Magazine Association of the Southeast. She is Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona.

 

Alison Hawthorne Deming Reading

This coming Wednesday, April 13, ASU will be hosting a reading by Alison Hawthorne Deming. She will be reading a selection of poems and short prose pieces from her new manuscript, ZOOLOGIES. The reading will take place at Arizona State University on the Tempe Campus in the Education Lecture Hall EDC Room 117. It will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Check out the Superstition Review Facebook page for full details.

Alison Hawthorne Deming is author of four poetry books, most recently Rope (Penguin Poets, 2009). This was preceded by Science and Other Poems, which won the Walt Whitman Award, The Monarchs: A Poem Sequence, and Genius Loci. She has published three nonfiction books, Temporary Homelands, The Edges of the Civilized World, and Writing the Sacred Into the Real. She co-edited with Lauret Savoy The Colors of Nature: Essays on Culture, Identity, and the Natural World, just out in a new expanded edition. Her work has been widely published and anthologized, including in The Norton Book of Nature Writing and Best American Science and Nature Writing. Among her awards are two NEA Fellowships, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship, Bayer Award in Science Writing from Creative Nonfiction, Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod, and the Best Essay Gold GAMMA Award from the Magazine Association of the Southeast. She is Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona.

 

Meet the Interns: Stacie Fraser

Interview Editor Stacie Fraser is in her senior year at Arizona State University. She is studying English Literature and will be graduating in May. All of the years spent attending classes at ASU she has also been working for Sparky’s Stadium Shop located on the Tempe Campus. After graduating, she hopes to apply her skills learned throughout college and her time at Superstition Review, to a career in editing and publishing. This is her first semester working with Superstition Review.

1. What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?

I am an Interview Editor at Superstition Review. I am responsible for selecting authors to interview for our page. My position has me selecting authors, emailing them and asking them if they would be willing to be interviewed for our magazine. I then create a list of interview questions specifically for that author.

2. Why did you decide to get involved with Superstition Review?

I applied to Superstition Review because it is a great learning opportunity. It also allows me to become more familiar with lesser known authors.

3. How do you like to spend your free time?

I love spending my free time outside in Arizona’s beautiful sunshine, running and swimming. I also love going to the movies with friends and reading novels.

4. What other position(s) for Superstition Review would you like to try out?

I would also like to experience everything that the fiction section editor’s have to do at Superstition Review. I am very interested in editing novels for a career.

5. Describe one of your favorite literary works.

I am a huge fan of Salman Rushdie. His novel The Moor’s Last Sigh is one of his best works. Moraes Zogoiby, also called Moor, is the narrator who ages twice as fast as normal humans. The novel is full of magical realism, hybridity and allegory.

6. What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Blood on the Forge, by William Attaway, for a Protest Literature course. When school is not in session, I enjoy reading books by Janet Evanovich. Her works are much lighter and easier to read than most of the novels recommended for my college courses. Even though I am an English Literature major, I have not read some great classics. Once I graduate I plan to start at the top of my list and read many famous authors like Emily Dickens and J. D. Salinger.

7. Creatively, what are you currently working on?

I am currently toying with the idea of writing fiction short stories. In the past I have written poetry, but all of my writing has been for personal accomplishments, not publication, and will most likely continue that way for a while longer.

8. What inspires you?

My personal drive for success and happiness is my biggest inspiration. I want to be able to handle whatever life throws at me.

9. What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my college education. Graduation in May will be the best achievement I have accomplished so far. I cannot wait to continue with life and hope to be on a successful career path.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I hope to be working in San Francisco, or some west coast city, for a publishing company as an editor.

Progress Report: Artist Sara Newton confirmed

With three weeks left in our publication process, the upcoming launch of Issue 6 has everyone working diligently. Superstition Review’s submissions period came to an end last week, leaving section editors busy reading and sorting submissions. In the weeks to come, our web designer will publish content to the Superstition Review webpage for the launch in December.

Our Art Editors have confirmed dance choreographer turned artist Sara Newton for Issue 6. Her pieces Swimmer, Pink Pants and Red Boot will be featured.

The Superstition Review Reading Series is pleased to be featuring Melissa Pritchard. The reading will take place on Monday, November 8 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pima Auditorium on the Tempe campus.

Progress Update: Issue 6 Prepares for Launch

Superstition Review staff are preparing for the launch of Issue 6. With just 4 weeks left in our publication process, Section Editors will finish reading submissions, and our web designer will publish the content on the magazine’s webpage. We are still accepting submissions at http://superstitionreview.submishmash.com/Submit until October 31.

Our Nonfiction Editors have confirmed works from Paul Lisicky, Madeleine Blais and Ira Sukrungruang. Paul Lisicky has been published in Five Points, The Seattle Review and Brevity. His pieces Lighten Up, It’s Summer and The Queen of It will be published in Issue 6. Madeleine Blais worked for the Miami Herald from 1979-1987 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. Her nonfiction essay entitled Another Martini, Another Lobster will be featured in our upcoming issue. Ira Sukrungruang is the author of Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy; his nonfiction essay The Wide Open Mouth will be published in Issue 6 of Superstition Review.

As a reminder, the Superstition Review Reading Series is featuring Melissa Pritchard. The reading is on Monday, November 8 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pima Auditorium on the Tempe campus.

Progress Update: Poetry Editors confirm poets Demske, Gross and McClure for Issue 6

We are accepting submissions of Art, Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry until October 31st at http://superstitionreview.submishmash.com/Submit.

Our Poetry Editors have added poets Philip Gross, Nick Demske, and Meghan McClure to the list of authors to appear in Issue 6. Philip Gross was awarded the 2009 T.S. Eliot Prize for The Water Table and is well known for his children’s poetry titles The All-Nite Café and Off Road To Everywhere. Nick Demske’s self-titled manuscript won the 2010 Fence Modern Poets Series Prize and will be published in November. Meghan McClure will have three poems in Issue 6 of Superstition Review including “Stars on Their Way Down,” “Potential Energy,” and “Refractions.”

In the coming weeks Superstition Review staff are looking forward to the Melissa Pritchard reading on the Arizona State University Tempe Campus on November 8th at 7 p.m. Also expect an in-depth interview with Superstition Review contributor Claire McQuerry regarding her work at The Missouri Review and her new book Lacemakers.

 

Melissa Pritchard discusses Superstition Review reading and other works

On November 8th the Superstition Review Reading Series will feature Melissa Pritchard at Arizona State University’s Tempe Campus. Her reading will take place at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Pima Auditorium. Pritchard has published several books such as Phoenix: A Novel, Late Bloomer and Devotedly, Virginia: The Life of Virginia Galvin Piper. She has also published her essays Finding Ashton and A Woman’s Garden, Sown in Blood in O, The Oprah Magazine, and The Collagist 4, respectively. I had the opportunity to discuss the upcoming reading and Pritchard’s latest novel The Odditorium.

Superstition Review: How is The Odditorium different from your other works?

Melissa Pritchard: The Odditorium is a collection of seven stories and a novella. Most are based on unusual or enigmatic historical figures, all look at the ways architecture exerts subtle or unsubtle pressures on human consciousness. So they are different in those ways from most of my previous stories. More than half of them do not approach narrative in a traditional or conventional way. I experiment in one story, “Watanya Cicilia,” with a pastiche of historical documents, songs, research and fiction, contrasting the Wild West Show and the real, genocidal story of the West. “The Hauser Variations,” based on the life of Kaspar Hauser, a German boy kept in an underground dungeon throughout his childhood and then mysteriously released into a second tragic fate, is based, in terms of narrative strategy, on Bach’s Goldberg Variations. In another story, “Patricide,” two sisters meet in a haunted hotel in Richmond, Virginia, its courtyard said to be a place where Edgar Allen Poe once played as a child. In this hotel, one of the sisters goes mad. So I was less interested in the traditional structure of plot and expected emotional release than in ethics, history, architecture and the effects of these upon both historically based and purely imagined characters.

SR: What has in been like working with Bellevue Literary Press?

MP: We are in the earliest phases; I accepted their offer to publish The Odditorium in January, 2012, and had a lengthy phone conversation with the publisher, Erika Goldman. I was so impressed with her aesthetic understanding of the collection, her excitement over the departures I had taken in terms of subject and form, I became convinced this was the proper home for these pieces. The BLP website is terrific, too, as is their history with Bellevue Hospital and New York University’s Medical Center. They publish elegant books at the nexus of art, science and medicine, and only publish two fiction titles a year. One of this year’s fiction titles, Tinkers, by Paul Harding, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, resulting in a flurry of attention for the press, with articles and interviews in The New York Times, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and other media venues. It’s a tiny press operating out of Bellevue Hospital, and they do terrific work. I come from a family of surgeons, doctors and nurses, and have always been fascinated by science, medicine and the history of medicine, so this could not be a better place for this book, as a number of the stories deal with medical histories, issues and questions.

SR: How has your time at ASU influenced your writing?

MP: Because my time to write is limited, I have to be disciplined. Sometimes I find it quite difficult, having time and energy to both write and teach. A fragile balance at best. On the other hand, teaching keeps me awake to current trends in literature, to remaining relevant to students year after year, and I am blessed to work with some incredibly gifted students, both graduates and undergraduates. I always say my students teach me in equal proportion to what I teach them. At least I feel that. Also, ASU has always been tremendously supportive of my outside work–traveling for research, traveling to conferences, traveling for reportage or for humanitarian work, which I also do. I am extremely grateful for the university’s support.

SR: What are you most looking forward to as the Superstition Review reading draws near?

MP: I have a background in theater, in acting, so I always love reading my work aloud in a public setting…for me, it is as close to performance as I come these days. I love an audience and I love hearing the piece I’ve chosen come alive in the room, seeing the reactions of the listeners, answering questions afterwards. It is truly a wonderful exchange. This past summer at The Glen, a writing workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, part of Seattle Pacific University’s MFA Program, I read my collection’s title story, “The Odditorium,” to a full house. It is a comic piece about Robert Ripley of Believe It or Not fame, and other audiences have responded with laughter and lively commentary afterwards. This audience was dead silent. The room was dark, I couldn’t see anyone. I kept reading, on and on, by the little glow from the podium light. Afterwards, no one even asked questions! I was horrified, sure I had failed, sure the story had been a failure…I wanted to crawl under a carpet had there been one. What I found out later, was that the story had gone over so well, people couldn’t react, they went silent–stunned. I won’t repeat the praises I later heard, but then I became overwhelmed the other direction–was my story really that good? So one never knows, and one always doubts. Also, I’m always a little nervous before a reading, hoping it goes well, that I don’t disappoint people who made the time and effort to come to my reading when there are dozens of other things for them to do….I am also always scared no one will show up, and thrilled to pieces when they do. Finally, I’m looking forward to meeting all the staff and interns at Superstition Review. They’ve even managed to arrange to have copies of A Public Space #11 mailed from New York to be available for sale on the night of the reading. (I’ll be reading a story, “Ecorche, The Flayed Man,” from that issue.)

SR: What are you currently working on creatively?

MP: I’m in between three pieces right now…a non-fiction piece about my miniature dachshund, Simon, a speech about Sr. Airman Ashton Goodman and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project that I will be giving at the Air Force Institute of Technology in December, and a novella set in 19th century Florence, Italy.

SR: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

MP: Read voraciously. Read the best work you can find. Read what interests you. Be observant. Practice empathy and compassion. Know that what you write ultimately reflects who you are. Write every day, even if only for an hour and be humble in your practice while aspiring to greatness. Be gentle with yourself, and always reward yourself in some small way after a writing session. Leave the writing at a place where you are eager to return the next day.