#ArtLitPhx: Spillers Podcast now available

Spillers logoLocal Phoenix’s premiere reading event Spillers has announced their new podcast series. The new series will have a short story read by the featured author, followed by an interview with the author. You can find out more and listen here. Their full press release is below:

Spillers, Phoenix’s premier short fiction ensemble reading event since 2015, is now also a podcast, produced and hosted by local award-winning writer and podcaster Robert Hoekman Jr.

While Spillers After Show has earned a stellar reputation as winner of Best Podcast 2016 by the Phoenix New Times, the now-live Spillers podcast brings new and exciting depth and intimacy, and will juxtapose national writers with locals, and award-winners with up-andcomers, to build an audience that extends well beyond Arizona’s borders.

Episodes each feature one short fiction story and an exclusive interview on the story of the story as told by the writer who wrote it. Every episode is 30 minutes or less so that it fits comfortably into a listener’s life, and has a Song Exploder-esque format and style.

With several interviews in the bag, Hoekman says, “These interviews are intimate and revealing. The writers so far have all been ready and willing to get personal and to talk about the circumstances and struggles that compel them to create the art they give us.”

Episodes are even recorded on-location—in places relevant either to the writer or to the story. One interview took place during a drive to a uranium mine south of the Grand Canyon. Another was held inside of a planetarium while staring up at a black hole. A third found the host and guest discussing bipolar disorder while sitting in a Circle K parking lot. These settings add dimension to the interviews that no reading event could otherwise achieve.

Venita Blackburn recording for the podcast

Venita Blackburn recording for Spillers podcast

The debut episode features ASU alum Venita Blackburn. On the show, she discusses the lifelong challenges for writers of color following her workshop on the subject, and reads her story, “Chew,” which appears in her upcoming collection Black Jesus and Other Superhero Stories (University of Nebraska Press).

Spillers has previously presented seven live events, held quarterly at the Crescent Ballroom. While autobiographical storytelling events abound, Spillers was the first and is still the only event to offer a night of Arizona’s best fiction in a setting designed to turn writers into rock stars and make literature worthy of date night. Spillers events have featured major novelists, Hudson Prize and GQ Book of the Year winners, Pushcart Prize winners, and contributors to Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, Ploughshares, and McSweeney’s Quarterly, among other prestigious publications.

More live Spillers events will follow as the podcast develops its audience. For podcast subscription options and to apply to become a “spiller,” visit www.Spillers.net.

Local Event: Arizona English Teachers Association Annual Statewide Conference

It’s only one month until the Arizona English Teacher Association holds their annual statewide conference at ASU Polytechnic Campus, hosted by ASU’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The AETA is the local branch of the National Council of Teachers of English, but because its focus is regional, caters to interests of not only English teachers, but by natural extension, students and readers in our state.

You may be wondering why this conference is of interest to you, and I’ll tell you now–the guests expected to go to this year’s conference are phenomenal. Just to name a few, authors PJ Haarsma and Frank Beddor, and keynote speaker Professor Beverly Chin, will all be attendance. This is an exciting opportunity to listen to these authors discuss their works, interact with them, and get more insight into their craft. Not only that, but it’s an opportunity to hear emerging authors read their work and, if you’re involved in education, to gain new teaching models and theories used in the classroom.

Former attendees include Superstition Review-featured author and poet Sherman Alexie, so their guests are generally of interest to our readership. They look for the freshest, most interesting faces available in new literature particularly of interest to teachers and educators in the state.

Ticket prices vary, but there are discounts for students, and admission is not limited to those involved with the organization–anyone can attend the conference with paid admission. The conference dates are October 16 & 17 with open enrollment until the date of the event.

AETA’s Official Website (conference link on the left side)

Conference registration form

PJ Haarsma’s Official Website

Frank Beddor’s Official Homepage

Beverly Chin’s Educational Profile

Ray Gonzalez featured in Superstition Review

Haley Larson, a Superstition Review poetry editor, comments on her experience with Ray Gonzalez’s poetry.

When new work from Ray Gonzalez landed in the hands of the poetry editors, we were beyond eager to feature four of his new poems in Issue 3. Gonzalez, a professor in the MFA Creative Writing programs at the University of Minnesota and Pine Manor College, is the author of numerous collections of poems, essays, and short stories. For more of his bio and impressive achievements, join us for the launch of Issue 3 on April 20th!

Among his new work, we’ll have the opportunity to experience the subtle and tumbling momentum of Gonzalez’s gift with prose poetry. We will lose ourselves among snow storms, beards, chest hair, starry plains–all in the crisp language that shapes Gonzalez’s imagery and often sorrowing metaphors. From “Three Snow Storms” we get a taste of this collective craft:

because ground is

marked only once

for men with

white hair.

 *

The white storm

pushes me into

the canyon where

the poetry of shadows

Age, art, their entangled rapport–we are fortunate captives riding out the three storms of this poem.

One more teaser before your return on April 20th, we present to you a small excerpt from “Photo of Pablo Picasso with His Shirt Off.” Poets and artists take note, “The hairy look of genius gets in the way.”  We invite you to join us for more from Ray Gonzalez!

Spring 2009 Reading Series

Reading

Superstition Review hosted its first of two readings for its Spring 2009 Reading Series. The Reading Series began in 2008 with a goal to “form a writing community where students can interact with published authors, and where students can also share their own work,” according to Patricia Murphy, Managing Editor of Superstition Review. On March 16th, authors Cynthia Hogue and Peter Turchi dazzled the audience at ASU’s Polytechnic campus with their poetry and short fiction. Hogue read a group of elegant poems that the audience could relate to well, and Turchi read a comical short story that entertained, as well as enlightened, the audience. Those who missed the reading will be able to enjoy an audio podcast of the event here later this month.

Cynthia Hogue
The last reading in the Spring 2009 Reading Series will be held on April 20th at 7:30 p.m. in the Cooley Ballroom of ASU’s Polytechnic campus and will feature student writers from ASU. Students interested in reading their work should e-mail superstitionreview@asu.edu, title it “Student Reading Series,” provide reliable contact information, and paste the work they plan to read in the body of the e-mail. The deadline to submit is April 10th.
The final reading will also be a launch party for the new issue, so be sure to attend.

Peter Turchi

Spring Reading Series

Monday, March 16th Superstition Review will be hosting the first reading of its Spring Reading Series. Arizona State University Creative Writers Cynthia Hogue and Peter Turchi will share their poetry and fiction. The reading will be held in the Cooley Ballroom at the ASU Polytechnic Campus at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The reading is generously sponsored by the Student Affairs organization at the Polytechnic Campus and is catered with organic food shares donated by the CSA. Our menu includes:

Swiss Chard Boules Stuffed w/ Chili Pepper Risotto
Roasted Vegetable Dumplings w/ Dipping Sauce
Local Orange Pico de Gallo w/ Tortilla Chips

Cynthia Hogue has published nine books, including an electronic chapbook, Under Erasure, in thedrunkenboat.com (December 2007), The Incognito Body (2006), and two co-edited editions, Innovative Women Poets: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and Interviews (2006), and the first edition of H.D.’s The Sword Went Out to Sea, by Delia Alton (2007). Among her honors are an Arizona Commission on the Arts Project Grant and a MacDowell Colony Residency Fellowship, both in 2008. Professor Hogue taught in the M.F.A. program at the University of New Orleans before moving to Pennsylvania, where she directed the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University for eight years. While in Pennsylvania, she trained in conflict resolution with the Mennonites and became a trained mediator specializing in diversity issues in education. In 2003, she joined the Department of English at ASU as the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry.

Peter Turchi is the author of five books: a novel, The Girls Next Door; a collection of stories, Magician; a non-fiction account of the exploits of treasure hunter Barry Clifford, co-written with the subject; an artist’s exhibit catalog, Suburban Journals: The Sketchbooks, Drawings, and Prints of Charles Ritchie; and Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer. He has also co-edited, with Charles Baxter, Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life, and, with Andrea Barrett, The Story Behind the Story: Twenty-Six Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He has taught at Northwestern University, Appalachian State, and the University of Houston, and for 15 years he directed and taught in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. He now teaches and is Director of Creative Writing and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University.

Join us Monday, March 16th to see these talented writers present their original work. I personally have found the readings not only enjoyable and enlightening, but inspirational to my own work as a writer. I have found few experiences to be as motivational as attending a live reading with contemporary authors. The readings have grown increasingly popular over the past year since the magazine first began the series, and our upcoming reading looks to be our most popular to date. We here at Superstition Review are excited to have such respected authors representing the magazine. We look forward to seeing you all there.

written by Alisha Allston

Five Tips For Writing and Living.

Amy Tan photo

Amy Tan, Chinese-American writer–best known for her novel The Joy Luck Club, released a collection of letters and personal essays entitled The Opposite of Fate. As Tan is known as a primarily fiction writer, it is remarkable to get this very real and identifying insight into the mind of this author, her life, her real family, and her writing process.

If having a film made off her bestselling first novel is not enough to make Amy Tan a remarkable and important American writer, in addition, as of the beginning of this month (October 2008), an opera based off Tan’s novel, The Bonesetter’s Daughter has just completed its first run.

As a young, high-school aged writer, I myself received a signed copy of The Opposite of Fate as an inspiring present from my mother, and since then, the works of Amy Tan have held particular significance to me. As a student at Arizona State University, studying Creative Writing, as well as an intern at Superstition Review, I have found that Tan’s works have endured to hold valuable advice in my writing and advice.  With great joy, keep reading for an excerpt of Tan’s words to writers…

Read more

Making it Big — Big Screen?

It seems like everything gets made into a movie these days. This is a visual, media-fueled era we are living in.

The current collegiate generation, for example, has grown up with J.K Rowling’s hit Harry Potter series in both book and movie form. Not to mention all supplementary video games and fan-made materials.

Before us, George Lucas’ Star Wars took the screen–did you know the film was originally intended to help promote sales of Lucas’ book of the same name? Instead, the film madly outshone the books and made a great impact in how we view movies today.

Today’s tweens are anticipating Arizona’s own homegrown Stephanie Meyer’s hit novel series Twilight to be released in movie form. Love it or hate it, Meyers has made an impact on American youth culture.

Clearly, an excellent way for an author to gain a following and visibility is through the film industry. Among the headliners in today’s contemporary literature circles is Chuck Palahniuk–author of Fight Club, a book and a cinematic cult success. Accordingly, another one of his novels, Choke, has also been made into a film.

Among writing manuals and guides, the hardest step for many writers is the first–actually sitting down and writing or typing out your ideas. Having the determination to sit it through and devote the necessary time and focus into getting those ideas down onto paper or a file. This step is the most important step that the aforementioned authors took into making it big time. As a strategy for finding this focus, Chuck Palahniuk suggests an “egg timer” trick.

“Two years ago, when I wrote the first of these essays it was about my “egg timer method” of writing. You never saw that essay, but here’s the method: When you don’t want to write, set an egg timer for one hour (or half hour) and sit down to write until the timer rings. If you still hate writing, you’re free in an hour. But usually, by the time that alarm rings, you’ll be so involved in your work, enjoying it so much, you’ll keep going. Instead of an egg timer, you can put a load of clothes in the washer or dryer and use them to time your work. Alternating the thoughtful task of writing with the mindless work of laundry or dish washing will give you the breaks you need for new ideas and insights to occur. If you don’t know what comes next in the story…clean your toilet. Change the bed sheets. For Christ sakes, dust the computer. A better idea will come.”

This tip, and more, are featured on Palahniuk’s website. Keep a look out for more writing tips and updates on our next news blog.