Issue 8 Highlights

Issue 8 of Superstition Review is packed with talented artists and writers. Here are a few highlights:

Art
New England artist Paul Chojnowski creates vivid images not with pencil or paint, but with fire. His “fire drawings” are detailed images made by burning, scorching and sanding the surface of paper or wood. Take a look at “After the Deluge” to see how Chojnowski burned and scorched a piece of maple veneer into a beautiful image.

Ready to let your imagination go to work? Check out the work of Rafael Francisco Salas. Salas’ bio states that he uses “landscape along with narrative and symbolic elements [to] create artworks that investigate the nature of nostalgia, memory and dreams.” In Untitled (Funeral), we see a funeral scene, but the casket is obscured by . . . something. This is where your imagination comes in. What does your brain interpret the something to be—a ghost, a dream, a memory?

Fiction
How’s this for a first sentence – “My son was born under the carob tree, and all three fathers were there to greet him.” Three fathers? You’re interested, aren’t you? Read Eric Maroney’s “Grow, Grow” and you will not only learn how this first sentence is possible, you’ll realize this is a beautiful story of hope.

If all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players, then we’re all stars of our own reality show or prime time TV drama. Eugenio Volpe explores this theme in his short story “Low Lives.”

Interviews
A peek into a writer’s brain can be just as entertaining and enlightening as reading their work. SR interviewed many fascinating writers this fall, including Darrin Doyle and Madison Smartt Bell.

In his interview, Doyle discusses how he creates the vivid images in his stories and talks about the difference between writing a short story and a novel (teaser – it has something to do with pregnancy).

Bell shares where he gets his inspiration (daemons: just read the interview) and what he is currently working on; a biography of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, first Emperor of Haiti, a romance, and a story about zombies. Real ones, though, not the movie kind.

Nonfiction
“Walking Sophie” is about kinderwagons, pollution, and Winston Churchill. How do these all fit together? Follow James Valvis on his daily trek with his infant daughter to the mailbox and the park and even further through the many emotions of rejection, endurance and what it means to be a father.

“I’ve never seen the top of my head.” How would you respond to the statement? Patrick Madden muses over this pronouncement from his daughter and other subjects in his set of essays “Contradiction: Poetry,” “Contradiction: Insanity,” and “Contradiction: Memory.”

Poetry
Ever lose part of a savannah? Misplaced a volcano? Read Karen Skolfield’s “Lost Mountain” to see if maybe you have.

“I Sit in on a Special Education Lesson” by Yu Shibuya shows how poetry can take an everyday occurrence and find the complexity of emotions that exist under the surface. Read this poem. You will not be disappointed.

Nor will you be disappointed with any of our other talented contributors to Superstition Review Issue 8. Now, go—look, read, repeat.

Issue 8: We’re Big in Japan

Issue 8: We’re Big in Japan

Now that Issue 8 has launched, we’ve started looking at our Google Analytics to learn more about our readers. Already this has revealed some surprising facts about who visits our site and how they find it. For example, between November 6th and December 6th, 2011, 67% of our viewers visited Superstition Review for the first time. It’s great to know that we’re attracting so many newcomers.

In that same span of time, there were 4,279 unique visits to our site for a total of 13,230 page views. Our readers visited an average of 3 pages per visit, and our most popular section this month was poetry, with a total of 677 views.

41% of viewers visiting our site found us through referring websites, while only 31% found us using a search engine. This statistic shows that we are increasing our affiliations with other like-minded organizations. Not surprisingly, our traffic skyrocketed on December 1st, the day of our launch, with a total of 1,157 unique visitors to our page on that day alone.

Our most frequently viewed contributors from Issue 8 were: Ashley Caveda with 405 views, Eugenio Volpe with 185 views, Nelly Rosario with 166 views, and Steve Yarbrough with 157 views.

We got the most visits from the United States. In the last month, the top 10 cities to view SR were: Phoenix, Tempe, New York, Columbus, Chandler, Scottsdale, Chicago, Ithaca, Indianapolis, and Gilbert.

Google Analytics shows that we are growing internationally as well. Our visitors came from 75 different countries, with the second highest number of hits coming from Japan. Superstition Review was viewed in 34 languages, with the three most popular being American English, British English, and Japanese.

We had a few visitors from some unexpected places. Google Analytics shows that between November 6th and December 6th, we had visitors from Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Latvia, Lithuania, Haiti, Laos, Kuwait, Thailand, and Iceland.

These statistics help us get a sense of who is reading Superstition Review, what sections of our site are most popular, and how our readers find their way to our magazine. It really is exciting to see the data behind our growth as a publication. Thanks to all of our readers for visiting.