s[r] Goodreads #FridayReads

This week on Goodreads.com, Superstition Review‘s Poetry Editor, Abner Porzio, reviewed two of his latest reads.

Or ConsequenceOr Consequence, by Cynthia Hogue.

Of utmost brilliance, Hogue’s collection of poems compels readers to journey forth and contemplate histories, causation, and unanswerable questions. Life’s grounding complexities and the boundaries of conscience are sewn together by the delicate and strong mindful poet. The mastery over focal points, techniques of blurring and redefining panoramas of place and time, string both universal and modern truths to the humanity that has been reconnected or what has been left naturally incomplete. Tragedies are shown as temporal, and yet, they are devastating events to be acknowledged collectively as part of the human experience. Pain is the human denominator. Suffering gets transmuted through hearable voices. Governing dynamics test the limits of the spirit when unanswerable histories and body experiences are questioned for their causation. Struggle for understanding exists in being stuck contemplating in-between past and present, causes and effects.

The poetry asks readers to be reminded of the constraint of the ‘element being’ grounded in a body. Hogue’s poems have exquisite profound gifts of sounds, which add elegant depths of resonance. Hogue’s sensitivity to how semantics and pragmatics choose the idiosyncratic communications simply honors natural languages as persistent and being capable of uncovering the inexistent. The acute articulation of linguistic expressions ranges beyond the comprised syntax with powerful erasures and silencing strikethroughs. Genius at metaphor, actions are of most significance.

Some lines that I enjoyed:

“I go in circles circles circles/ the first says, though I wish/ to cut the water like wings slice air.”

“Who can say no to such mayhem?”

“Looking could not make meaning.”

 

Some Nights No Cars at AllSome Nights No Cars at All, by Josh Rathkamp.

An immediate must read. Rathkamp’s collection of poems travel the mind inward to the perplex phenomenon of the familiar place, while travelling alongside each of the speakers’ trusty precise observances. These locations are where mere destinations only get furthered for the better; for they allow readers to arrive at their own active insightfulness and rediscoveries. Over and over again, his invaluable poetics carry each read to real heights of ambivalence. Truths, majestic assumptions, and understandings of what it means to be human are of interest. Physical and emotional manifestations of human imperfections have literal transparencies. The absence, loss, and the theme of emptiness countered the implications of the refilling notions of transient place.

Rathkamp’s verses are saturated with specific visual details. These inquiries of the present, past, and future moments, which are grounded in place, show ambivalence in all its nuances. All the ambiguities of separation, the humanistic postured reinterpretation of ambivalence explore the thought processes of being caught between making it work and giving up on the union. Struggle coincides with the flutter of melding conclusions, which hold the blueprints of these possibilities for an anxiety-free existence intact. Holistically, the poetic viewpoint renders points of transpiration life before these moments further change.

Some lines that I enjoyed:

“And again I am finding ways/ to clean the mess I made,/ rationalizing their nest to fallen twigs/ wound with mud and fishing line,/ the simple possibility of making another.”

“We were what we wanted.”

“We grew into speaking without words.”

“Sometimes what we think is soaring is actually/ a hell of a lot of work.”

Summer Interns, Fall Trainees

Superstition ReviewCall for Summer Interns and Fall Trainees, Superstition Review 

Are you interested in the field of publishing? Do you wish you could get marketable job skills while earning college credit? Do you like to have a little fun while you learn? Then an internship with Superstition Review is right for you. We are currently accepting applications for Interns in Summer Session A and Summer Session B, and Trainees for Fall Session C. All work is done completely online through Blackboard, Google Docs, Skype, and email. I welcome interns from all fields, but especially from creative writing, literature, web design, art, music, film, and business.

Superstition Review has published 10 issues featuring over 500 contributors from around the country. Each spring and fall we take submissions from established and emerging writers and produce an issue full of dynamic Art, Fiction, Interviews, Nonfiction, and Poetry.

Summer 2013 Internship

Students will register for a 3 credit ENG 484 course in Summer 2013 (there are two sessions: A=May & June and B=July & August). Students will gain experience with the processes and practices of a national literary publication. While we don’t produce an issue in the summer, we do maintain an active presence on our Blog, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, iTunes, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter accounts.

Application for Summer Interns.

Fall 2013 Trainees

I am seeking trainees for the online literary magazine Superstition Review. Trainees will register for a 3 credit hour ENG 394 course in Fall 2013. The course will offer a study of the field of literary magazines; it will introduce students to the processes and practices of a national literary publication, and it will include review and reading of contemporary art and literature. Students will be encouraged to create their own literary brand that will help make them more marketable for publishing jobs. Upon successful completion of ENG 394, trainees will enroll in ENG 484 in Spring 2014 and become active interns with the magazine.

Application for Fall Trainees.

What Former Interns Say:

  • Trish provided valuable experience in my field of interest that is not offered anywhere else. This class has been a huge eye-opener for me and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work in the publishing and editing industry before graduating. The skills I learned have given me a huge amount of confidence as I begin my search for a job, and I’m so glad this course was available. Trish is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and very trusting of her students. Although all the work for SR goes through her, she allows for students to take some control and engage in the work fully. Thanks for the wonderful experience!
  • I really enjoyed this course and found it to be one of my favorites taken so far at ASU. I feel like the instructor taught me a lot and really challenged me. The class was well structured and I always felt as though I knew what was expected of me, but what I like was that within the structured assignments there was a lot of room for me to work independently and complete assignments in my own way. I would recommend this course and others by this instructor to friends.
  • Trish is extremely personable and is great at making people feel welcomed and she listens very well to her students.
  • Trish is extremely accessible and welcoming. I felt very comfortable coming to her with questions, even if they seem stupid. I feel I got a great internship experience that will help me post graduation.
  • Very organized, and even though it was an online class, the instructor was always willing and available and kept in contact through email.
  • I was able to learn so much about publishing, editing, and running a magazine. There were always tasks that could be completed that were never regarded as busywork. Patricia is very knowledgeable, friendly, respectful, and encouraging. She truly values the work of her students and her students themselves just as much, if not more, as we value her teaching and her.
  • Very personable and involved with the students as to what is going on in their academic and personal lives.
  • Trish is very knowledgeable in what she does. She’s technologically savvy, and very educated in literature and the arts, as well as aware of current happenings in the modern literature and art world.

Applications are open January 31 and will be accepted until positions are filled.

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Guest Blog Post, Rikki Lux: New Superstition Review Goodreads Account

GoodreadsAs an English Literature major, I’ve studied Hemingway, Nabokov, Bronte, Chaucer, Shakespeare…and the list goes on. There’s something all of these writers have in common: they aren’t living. Their voices are frozen in the past.

Can you think of any living authors that you love to read? There was a time when I couldn’t list many. On the Superstition Review intern application, our editor Patricia Murphy asks for three of your favorite living authors. When I saw that I thought, “Living? Why? All the good ones are dead!” Looking back, I can’t believe all of the authors I was missing out on reading. If you browse through the contemporary authors in Superstition Review’s Goodreads bookshelves, you’ll see these authors are writing lots of books and they are all a part of a thriving literary community. If only we would put down Faulkner, Fitzgerald, or Frost, pick up one of their books, and join the conversation. When I began to use Goodreads, the social networking site for readers, I found that Margaret Atwood, along with some of my other favorite authors, has an account there as well.

Contemporary authors are not only writing books: they’re tweeting, collaborating with a publisher on a Q & A session, or speaking to college students. Simon J. Ortiz is speaking to my Literature of Immigration and Diaspora class this semester. Michael Ondaatje came to ASU’s Tempe campus to hold a public discussion. Margaret Atwood is an activist of environmental preservation in Canada, and she uses Twitter and Goodreads to connect with her fans and promote environmental awareness. Alice Munro is the literary voice of the Canadian middle class – she is referred to as “the Canadian Chekhov” – and her new collection of stories was just published. Dickens or Dickinson can’t fulfill that kind of presence.

When I joined Twitter, I was delighted by the presence of authors, literary magazines, and book presses. It was like browsing through a virtual bookstore: I followed Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Ondaatje, Salman Rushdie, Anne Lamott, Sherman Alexie, Roxane Gay…and that’s just the writers. Almost every university literary review is on Twitter, plus Tin House, Willow Springs, McSweeney’s, and The Paris Review. I followed The Penguin Press, Red Hen Press, Random House, and Graywolf Press. Authors, magazines, and presses are tweeting like they aren’t worried about censoring themselves or fulfilling an image of distant formality. They talk; their followers talk back.

Every time the little blue mark pops up on the bottom of my Twitter feed, it means I have connected with someone. One time, that blue mark appeared because Margaret Atwood had retweeted my tweet. It was incredible – an accomplished, famous writer who has over 300,000 Twitter followers took the time to retweet my tweet. I took a screenshot of my tweet on her profile, uploaded it to Instagram, and updated my Facebook status (it read: One of my tweets was retweeted by Margaret Atwood, one of my favorite authors. No big deal…just kidding, it is!). In my 15 minutes of Twitter fame (at least, it felt like fame to be on Margaret Atwood’s profile for, literally, 15 minutes before I was lost in her sea of tweets) I experienced how literary culture powered by social media makes writers and literary organizations accessible.

One of my projects this semester was to add to our SR Goodreads bookshelves all of the books by SR Contributors from all of our nine issues. I created bookshelves that hold fiction, nonfiction, and poetry written by Superstition Review contributors. With nine issues of Superstition Review released to date, the number of books quickly rose to well over 1,000. I became better acquainted with so many contemporary authors.

Some Superstition Review contributors have a vast list of published works, such as Sherman Alexie, T.C. Boyle, Adrian C. Louis, and Madison Smartt Bell. Other contributors have a smaller list of works on Goodreads, but their readership is growing as they use Goodreads and other social networking sites to create an online presence. The SR Goodreads account is a great way to follow their careers.

As I worked on a Goodreads project for Superstition Review, I noticed that literary magazines and presses are also using Goodreads, like other social networking sites, to extend their online presence. Goodreads’ target audience is passionate readers, so the site can be used to showcase works that magazines and presses have published while making connections with readers and other literary organizations.

Willow Springs and Featherproof Books have bookshelves titled “we published it,” The Paris Review has their blog connected to their Goodreads account, and Superstition Review includes all of their various social networking links on their Goodreads profile. The Goodreads literary community shares the goal of extending readership of their magazine, blog, and the authors they have published, while increasing traffic to their other social networking sites.

With the emergence of Goodreads, the options for following and connecting with authors, literary magazines, and presses is vast. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and Goodreads are all channels of communication within the literary community: which do you prefer and how do you use them?

You can visit our social networks here:

Blog: http://superstitionreview.asu.edu/blog/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/superstitionreview
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/SuperstitionRev
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111992497499045277021
iTunes U: https://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/superstition-review/id552593273
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Superstition-Review-4195480
Tumblr: http://superstitionrev.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuperstitionRev

Goodreads

Writing is a lot of work. Even when they’re not actively writing, writers are often thinking – even obsessing — about what they’re writing. One of the best ways to give your brain a break without the guilt of straying too far from work is to think about what other people have been writing. The site www.goodreads.com is the perfect way to relax between chapters. It’s like a Facebook for bookworms, where you can rate and discuss the books you’ve read with your friends and see what they think of the books they’ve been reading. You can rate books anywhere from one to five stars, and then you can write your own New York Times-style review to accompany your rating. But don’t forget to include a spoiler alert if you’re going to write about how it ends.

Goodreads also has digital book clubs you can join and offers recommendations based on the books you’ve read and rated highly. They also sometimes put on special events, such as live video chats with authors. In August they interviewed Jennifer Egan, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, and the moderator pulled many of his questions from the Goodreads users participating in the live chat forum. It was a great way for readers to get insight on Egan’s writing process. They also have contest for free advance copy giveaways so a select few readers can review new releases for the Goodreads community. It’s an excellent website for bibliophiles of all kinds.