Contributor Update, Les Kay: New Collection of Poetry

Have you heard? Les Kay has written his first full-length collection of poetry, At Whatever Front. The poems are “lively, moving, rhythmically tight, and often sweeping, with a kind of lyrical activism” according to John Philip Drury, author of Sea Level Rising.

To pre-order At Whatever Front, click here.

To read Les Kay’s poetry that was featured in Issue 15 of our magazine, click here.

Contributor Update, Laurie Stone: New Book

Laurie Stone has a new book called My Life as an Animal coming out on October 15.

To pre-order this book that’s described by Jerry Stahl (author of Permanent Midnight) as “fierce, frenetic, and drop-dead witty,” click here.

We were  honored to feature Stone’s essays in issue 1 and issue 10 of our magazine.

My Life as an Animal

Contributor Update: Brad Aaron Modlin’s Debut Book

Modlin's Debut Book

Modlin’s Debut Book

Are you ready for 88 pages of poetry that, according to Larissa Szporluk (author of Traffic with Macbeth), captures the “darkest and lightest aspects of being alive”?

Well ready or not, here it comes. In the fall of 2016, Modlin’s debut book Everyone at This Party Has Two Names will be available. His work has made him the Cowles Poetry Prize Winner. His previous works of writing have been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes.

You can read Modlin’s poetry that was published in Issue 8 of Superstition Review by clicking here.

You can preorder Modlin’s book here.

Contributor Update: Robert Wrigley’s New Book

SR box robert wrigleyHere’s some exciting news for all you poetry fans out there. Robert Wrigley, SR contributor from Issue 7, has a new book called Box coming out in March 2017. This will be the tenth published collection of poems from the acclaimed, award-winning poet.

To purchase or read more information about Boxclick here.

To read Robert’s poems that were published in Superstition Review, click here.

Guest Post, Benjamin Vogt: Writing About Family Boldly and With Personal Truth Guiding the Way

Benjamin VogtIn 2009 I finished my first memoir. I’d worked on it for a few years, performing copious amounts of research on international garden design, horticulture, psychology, landscape theory, as well as interviewing a few family members. Well, I actually only interviewed my mom, and that was a two hour heart-wrenching session where for the first time in my life I got to know her as a person more terrifyingly real than I ever imagined.

During a visit home I was anxious. I didn’t want to broach the interview we both knew I wanted to do (and that would be the key to my memoir), but as the visit was ending she finally asked when I was going to get around to it. She often asked this of me as kid when I had the stomach flu – I held in my vomit until the very last minute, resulting in a big mess nowhere near the bathroom. Sorry. Too much info. I am a memoirist you know.

I felt awkward during our interview. I shook. I felt sweaty and cold. It was strange. I wasn’t ready for this kind of memoir – the one where you speak the deep truth by having confronted it in your lived life. A few weeks later my mom emailed me the deeper, deeper truth, saying she’d never speak it in person to me. It was the story of her siblings being beaten and molested, of her stepfather spiking her vanilla malt and trying, unsuccessfully, to molest her, too. I learned that for my family the garden was an escape, a place to center and come to grips with life.

I edited that memoir, Morning Glory, in 2010 because I knew it lacked structure, and a big part of the reason it lacked structure was because I was afraid to dig as far I needed to. It still lacks structure, and has sat idly in an external hard drive ever since. But my new memoir, which I began working on in 2009, is risking more. It’s bolder. It’s asking big questions. It’s taking a stand. All because I’m putting more of myself on the page.

I’ve taken four trips to Oklahoma to interview family and experts about state history, about homesteading stories from 1894 to the 1940s, about prairie ecology, about Mennonites and Cheyenne beliefs. Exploring my love / hate relationship with my birth state has helped me find the pain that Oklahoma represents for many cultures, human and plant and animal. As an accelerated microcosm of manifest destiny, my family helped destroy the prairie — I want to right that wrong I’ve felt in my bones longer than I’ve known how to name it.

But I’m terribly afraid that in saying the above, I’ll alienate the older members of my family who see the Plains in rose colored glasses, or that I’ll be accused of not honoring the sacrifice of my immigrant family who spoke only German. But the more I read, the more I travel, the more I remember my childhood in the hot, red dirt, I know what my truth is and that I have to speak it loudly – so loudly it hurts people’s ears and hearts. If I can’t risk my life here, on the page, alone in my office, how can I ever risk it out there? How can I live with myself if my inner and outer selves don’t merge? These questions have become my second memoir’s structure. Through a failed first book and much more active research than I ever did in nine years of grad school combined, I’ve come to gain confidence and faith in my writing and my life. At 37, it’s taken me many failures to write boldly, to write and trust my truth – and if Turkey Red is ever read by family, I will surely fail again. But I will have profoundly succeeded, too.

2012 National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors Has Been Announced

Critical Mass, the blog for the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors, has just announced the 2012 Board Election Results. From 28 candidates, eight board members were elected to serve a three year term at the NBCC.

SR is proud to congratulate Issue 1 contributor Rigoberto González, who has been elected to the board. Rigoberto is an award-winning author known for his reviews at the El Paso Times and LA Review of Books.

The other seven members include Steven G. Kellman (author of Redemption: The Life of Henry Roth), Karen R. Long (book editor at The Plain Dealer), Michael Miller (editor at Bookforum), Laurie Muchnick (editor at Bloomberg News), Megan O’Grady (Contributing Editor at Vogue), John Reed (author of Snowball’s Chance), and Parul Sehgal (Books Editor of NPR.org).

Congratulations to the new 2012 NBCC board.