Issue 4 of Superstition Review

We apologize for not announcing it on the blog sooner, but Issue 4 of Superstition Review is up and running!

Brought to you by Fall 2009’s 23 student interns through the B.A. program in Literature, Writing, and Film at the ASU Polytechnic campus, Superstition Review‘s fourth issue features excellent new work from established and emerging artists and writers.

In our Art section, we present work from Christopher Jagmin, Eric Penington, and José Bechara.

For Fiction, we have stories from Allen Kopp, Cary Holladay, Charlotte Holmes, Jen Knox, Juli Henshaw, Karen Brown, Kate Kostelnik, Leslie Epstein, Sherril Jaffe, Sudha Balagopal, and Vytatuas Malesh.

In Interviews, our interns speak with Carol Ann Bassett, Judith Halberstam, Leslie Epstein, Michael Martone, Robert Ekiss, Robin Hemley, Tania Katan, and Wanda Coleman.

We present Nonfiction essays from Anna Viadero, Carol Ann Bassett, Christine Steele, Jo Scott-Coe, Joseph Lombo, Rachel Yoder, Rick Steigelman, and Tania Katan.

Our Poetry section features poems from Aaron Fagan, Barbara Kingsolver, Billy Collins, Deborah Bogen, Emily Ferrara, James Kimbrell, Katherine Soniat, Kathleen Hellen, Keith Ekiss, Kelli Russell Agodon, Richard Bronson, Sarah J. Wangler, Stefanie Silva, and Timothy Liu.

Check it out and enjoy!

Meet the Interns: Derrick Laux, Administrative Team Manager

derricklaux_0Derrick Laux is a student of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences majoring in English Literature. He is Superstition Review’s Administrative Team Manager, head of the Administrative Team. This semester he is a senior.

Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?

Derrick Laux: I manage four interns in areas of administrative duties including advertising, reading series, funding & development, and contests. My job is to create workflows, manage deadlines and be available to answer any questions and assist with the workload in each of these four areas.

SR: How did you hear about or get involved with Superstition Review?

DL: I contacted Trish Murphy, our Editor-in-Chief, with questions about a couple of specific fall and summer courses and told her that I was looking for an opportunity, like an internship, that would help prepare me with some marketable skills and resume building attributes. She said she needed some help managing the workload for Superstition Review and it seemed like a perfect fit at the perfect time. I was afraid that my schedule would not allow me the freedom to partake in an internship that required a lot of physical presence on campus, so when she informed me that the majority of the work was done online, I saw something that could potentially work.

SR: What is your favorite section of SR?

DL: Personally, I like the interviews. I love knowing background information about authors and artists and the opportunity to get to know them on a personal level. Their writing affects and influences so many people that I just think it’s really neat to humanize them for a brief instant and see what makes them tick, what they do in their everyday lives, and what inspires them.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal?

DL: Most of the time, I don’t feel qualified enough to answer a question like this or make any kind of literary assessments due to the limited nature of my reading. In comparison to others, I feel like I’m very under-read, but if I could pick anyone right now, it would be a writer from the American Southwest, namely Leslie Marmon Silko. I’ve not read a lot of her work, but I’m absolutely infatuated with Ceremony and the spiritual healing that characterizes that book. It’s beautiful. Anyone that can write something like that, I’d like to see more of their work, especially something exclusive to Superstition Review. I’m falling in love with the Southwest and really feel like it’s neat if we can publish local authors representative of the region that we represent as a literary magazine. Rudolfo Anaya, Barbara Kingsolver, and other contemporary Southwestern writers would be my ideal contributors.

SR: What job, other than your own, would you like to try out in the journal?

DL: I think I’d love to be either the Web Design Editor or the Interview Coordinator. I’m infatuated with logos, graphics, and the overall visual appearance of things. I feel like you only get one chance to make a first impression, and the design of a page usually either clicks the interest switch on or off in a person’s head. Great design is an attention grabber and sets an immediate successful tone while poor design shuts people off in an instant. Their minds are already tainted with bad thoughts if the design isn’t up-to-par. I think being the interview coordinator might be just as fun and rewarding because as I stated before, I love getting to know people on a personal level to see what makes them tick and inspires them to write the things that influence and move our everyday lives.

SR: What are you most excited for in the upcoming issue?

DL: The new design of the webpage and the reading series. I feel like there’s so much potential for both to help establish Superstition Review’s name and get the word out about our publication. Never before have I had the access to deal with such established and talented writers. The chance to meet some of them and even host them at one of our readings is a big goal of mine that really excites me.

SR: What are you currently reading?

DL: I’m currently reading whatever is assigned for my classes. Luckily, the books have been interesting. Recently, I just finished Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote and Double Indemnity by James M. Cain. I thought Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a great book, far better than the film.

SR: What are some of your favorite websites to waste time on or distract you from homework?

DL: Nfl.com and as of late, Craigslist. I’m trying to get set-up in my new place and Craigslist is a life-saver. There’s a lot of good stuff on there whether you’re poor or not.

SR: What would be your dream class to take at ASU? What would the title be and what would it cover?

DL: It would be a class called either “NFL Football” or “American Microbrews.” Beer has become such a hobby of mine and I love spending my free time finding out more about new beers and breweries. It’s the new wine tasting in this country because there are so many good microbreweries out there. Football is self-explanatory. If you don’t like football, there’s something wrong with you; I don’t care how nice you are.

SR: What are your feelings on digital medium?

DL: I like the easy access that technology provides, but it really does leave me feeling jaded and detached at times. I can’t argue with the convenience that new developments like Kindle provide, but most times I see someone using a device like that and think, “Man, I really miss the simplicity of a paperback book.” There’s a lot of quality stuff to be said in blogs out there, but I just don’t like the feeling of sitting behind a screen all day long. It does things to people and its very dehumanizing, especially when I catch myself being mesmerized by the computer.

Approaching Release Date & Newsletter!

Our genre editors are coming out with final picks for the second issue of Superstition Review, which should be web-ready and published within the next few weeks. At the moment, the non-genre design editors (such as myself and Connie Hackathorn) are presently toiling away editing photographs and non-content pages–materials such as headshots and biographies for this release of our magazine.

Among the most interesting things I’ve learned over the course of my study of writing and publishing, through this internship and in general in this literary year of my life, is that writers are largely self made and self advertised. My best friend is an actor–upcoming, and thus stuck at the whims of agencies and directors. An actor, for the most part, has to work to fit up to a certain look and keep presence at particular appearances. Performing professions are paid to have a look. For writers, it’s a privilege and a perk, if not sometimes a burden.

From what I’ve learned of the writing world, a publisher will often distribute and do some advertising for your book, but for YOU, as the writer, you’re responsible for being witty on your own book tours, setting up your own signings, and proving–without agency assistance, that you are completely awesome.

This is an example of writers being awesome in public.

This is an example of writers being awesome in public.

And face it, you are. This photograph illustrates famous writers Greil Marcus, Josh Kelly, Robert Fulghum, Roy Blount, Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, Dave Marsh, Jerry Peterson, Stephen King, Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Joel Selvin, Matt Groening, Tad Bartimus, Amy Tan, and Kathi Goldmark–courtesy of photographer Tabitha King–showing off their attitude and charm. This collective of writers is known as the Rock Bottom Remainders and they perform as a rock band when they’re not churning out incredible, insightful, and exciting written word.

As a writer, some of the most important advice I’ve gotten, namely from G. Lynn Nelson at Arizona State University, is simply to “write real.” Be yourself. Be authentic. Even if something never happened, don’t act as if it isn’t true. As writers, it is our job to make our fantasies and memories true and engaging. Hopefully, if you are a writer, like myself, you enjoy this process of creation as well.

We here at Superstition Review enjoy sharing this experience with you.

In addition to our published magazine coming out, we are also releasing two issues of a newsletter detailing what it is we do here and who we work with–artists and interns alike.  We hope you can join us in receiving these updates to your e-mail inbox. Please sign up at the main Superstition Review website or leave a comment here for more information.