Today we are pleased to feature author Shawna Ervin as our 35th Authors Talk series contributor. Shawna discusses her writing process, which she says is defined by what it is not. It is not a formula and it is not easy. Though she doesn’t have the answer on how to have a successful writing process, she knows things to avoid.
She notes that “the problem with aiming for perfection is that failure looms around every corner.” She values freedom when writing, the ability to take time off and write when and how she wants. This can even be something like taking notes on her phone while grocery shopping. She finds it difficult to write “when I believe that only by my merit does an essay have merit,” and the piece “quickly falls apart.” Sometimes she finds it easiest to start with a blank page if she is really struggling on a piece. Though she doesn’t have the answer of how to have a successful writing process, she calls upon James Baldwin urging you to “go and question and make art.”
You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes channel, podcast #229.
You can read Shawna’s essay in Superstition Review Issue 17, and hear her read it aloud in last week’s podcast, #228.
This Tuesday, we are proud to feature a podcast of SR contributor Shawna Ervin reading her essay from Issue 17.
You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes channel, podcast #228.
You can follow along with Shawna’s essay in Superstition Review, Issue 17.
More about the author:
Shawna is a Pushcart nominee and has taught writing workshops for both adults and children. She is a member of Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, where she recently graduated from the Book Project, a two-year intensive mentoring program. She is working on a memoir about her experience in foster care and adopting two kids from South Korea. Recent publications include poetry in Forge, and prose in Moon City Review, Willow Review, Existere, The Delmarva Review, The Diverse Arts Project, and Sliver of Stone.
This Tuesday, we are proud to feature a podcast of SR contributor Jonathan Louis Duckworth reading his nonfiction essay from Issue 17.
You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes channel, podcast #226.
You can follow along with Jonathan’s nonfiction essay in Superstition Review, Issue 17.
More about the author:
Jonathan Louis Duckworth is an MFA student at Florida International University, where he serves as a reader and copy-editor for the Gulf Stream Magazine. His fiction, poetry, and non-fiction appears in or is forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Fourteen Hills, Literary Orphans, Cha, Off the Coast, Superstition, and elsewhere. He is a dual-citizen with American and Belgian citizenship. Apart from his love of the written word, he also loves to cook, and hopes to start a cooking blog one day.
Today we are pleased to feature poet Patricia Clark as our thirty third Authors Talk series contributor. Patricia titles her Authors Talk “Lessons in Composition and Freedom.” She has five points which she hopes will serve as pieces of advice to writers. Three points relate directly to her three poems in issue 17.
Her first point is that there is more than one way to write a poem; be open to new ways of preceding. Her second piece of advice is to not think too much, or don’t plan out the poem; she used this method when she composed her poem, “Treatise on the Double Self.” Thirdly, Patricia suggests trying new things, something you haven’t used before, perhaps rhyme. This relates to “Rowing American Lake,” where she used rhyme in the terza rima form. Trying new forms is Patricia’s fourth point. She recommends trying poetic forms as exercises, such as the ghazal form for her poem “Infidelities.” Lastly, she recommends to “write often, read even more.”
You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes channel, podcast #225.
You can read Patricia’s poems in Superstition Review Issue 17, and hear her read them aloud in last week’s podcast, #224.
This Tuesday, we are proud to feature a podcast of SR contributor Patricia Clark reading her poems from Issue 17.
You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes channel, podcast #224.
You can follow along with Patricia’s poems in Superstition Review, Issue 17.
More about the author:
Patricia Clark is Poet-in-Residence and Professor in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University. Author of four volumes of poetry, Patricia’s latest book is Sunday Rising. Her work has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, also appearing in The Atlantic, Gettysburg Review, Poetry, Slate, and Stand. Recent work appears (or is forthcoming) in Kenyon Review, New England Review, Southern Humanities Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Coal Hill Review, Plume, and elsewhere. Her new manuscript of poems is called Goodbye to the Poetry of Marble.
Today we are pleased to feature poet Hannah Lee Jones as our thirty first Authors Talk series contributor.
Hannah discusses her poems in Issue 16 and the role of intuition in her writing; the goal that all her poems should surprise in some way. She defines the poem as an entity far more powerful than the reasoning mind, and which demands that the writer surrender to whatever larger thing the poem wants to become. The persistent hazard then in writing, she says, is to search for clarity or to pin a poem down into meaning something instead of regarding it as a creature separate from the self, with “a will of its own.” Drawing on Keats’ negative capability and Robert Bly’s “black side of the intelligence,” she embraces the innate hiddenness of a poem’s making, adding that what matters most to her is not how authors write, but why. She shares her own reasons – pain and love – universal emotions she tries to approach from “a space just beyond this world,” to offer the reader a bridge from the physical world to the unconscious.
You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes channel, podcast #222.
You can read Hannah’s poems in Superstition Review Issue 16, and hear her read them aloud in podcast #213.
Today we are pleased to feature author Megan Harlan as our thirtieth Authors Talk series contributor. Megan discusses the difference between creative nonfiction and fiction, and why she is drawn to writing creative nonfiction – despite it being a “poorly named genre.”
Creative nonfiction is narrative writing based on reality, on facts. Due to the genre’s name, it seems that the creative part might be lying. This isn’t the case, Megan argues, as she says “With creative nonfiction, once you get past your own personal fact checking department, the truth becomes the grounding element for any structure you want to build.” The process of building a structure from the truth is the creative part.
Fiction, on the other hand, is often largely built around a made-up hero’s journey. Creative nonfiction doesn’t have to be causal, based on a hero, or have an arc – unlike classically structured fiction. Calling to mind Oscar Wilde, “the truth is rarely pure and never simple.” Like reality, creative nonfiction is not simple or straightforward, but filled with the challenges and possibilities of expressing the truth as we experience it.
You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes channel, podcast #221.
You can read Megan’s nonfiction essay in Superstition Review Issue 17, and hear her read it aloud in last week’s podcast, #220.