Newsletter 3/24

“Superstition

3.24.17


Contest: Show Us Your Workspace

Workspace Contest

At the end of every author interview, we ask the same question: What does your writing space look like? Now, we’re asking you!

We’re accepting entries on Twitter: Tag us in a pic, use , &  you could win a Starbucks gift card! Contest ends March 31.


Ocean Vuong and Camille Rankine Reading at Phoenix Art Museum

Poets Ocean Vuong and Camille Rankine will be reading from their work at Phoenix Art Museum (1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) on April 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is hosted by the University of Arizona Poetry Center, the Phoenix Art Museum, Literary & Prologue Society of the Southwest, ASU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Superstition Review, ASU’s Virginia G. Piper Center For Creative Writing, and ASU Performance in the Border/Lands. After the reading, there will be a short Q&A and a book signing.

Ocean Vuong is the author of Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press, 2016). His writings have been featured in the Kenyon Review, GRANTA, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in New York City.

Camille Rankine’s first book of poetry, Incorrect Merciful Impulses, was published in January by Copper Canyon Press. Her poetry has appeared in Atlas Review, American Poet, The Baffler, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Octopus Magazine, Paper Darts, Phantom Books, A Public Space, Tin House, and elsewhere. She serves on the Executive Committee of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and lives in New York City.


The Book Nerd’s Guide to Non-Readers

For bibliophiles, it can be frustrating to explain the love for the written word, especially when the response is sometimes, “People still read books?”

But the Book Nerd over at Barnes and Noble Reads has compiled a guide to non-readers that any book lover can get behind.

See the article by Barnes and Noble here.


Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Writing Playlist

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mind behind Hamilton and the Moana soundtrack, shared on Twitter a 19-track playlist called “Write Your Way Out,” a collection of songs “about writing, songs that feature great writing, and everything in between.”

From Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan to Saul Williams and Nas, this playlist’s a great way to punch through that next bout of writer’s block.

See the full list here.


Featured Partner: Prick of the Spindle

Prick of the Spindle is a nonprofit journal of the literary arts, founded in 2007. We are always seeking critics to review the titles listed on our review shelf at http://prickofthespindle.org/reviewer-guidelines/. We are also seeking short film and visual artists for our online galleries, as well as satire for the new online section, The Corner. Submit your fiction, poetry, nonfiction, humorous pieces, reviews, interviews, artwork, and drama for the biannual print edition at https://posprint.submittable.com/submit. To purchase copies of the biannual print edition, visit http://prickofthespindle.org/shop/

 

Editorial Preferences in Poetry: Mary Lee

My definition of a “good poem” is expanding and shifting every day. As I continue to read, write, and learn poetry, I find that my understanding and appreciation for the art also continues to grow exponentially.

 

I believe that the poem, at its very best, is a discovery. I find that the best poems are invitations to see an object, an idea, the self, the very world, in a different light. Gaston Bachelard describes poets as individuals who are unafraid to take even the corners of a house and bring them to life. I am interested in the corners, in the ordinary that is explored and made meaningful through poetry. The unexpected image, the lyrical line, the compelling thought, the voice that flows familiar—these are all ways in which I am immediately drawn into a poem. I leave the poem not quite the same as when I entered it, and the poem still never quite leaves me.

 

I also believe the poem is an intellectual pursuit. I believe that art is meant to be constantly challenged within its own forms and notions—Dean Young says that we must “disrupt the habitations of use”. There is incredible importance in this, but ultimately, it should still be done well. As writers, we are always faced with this question in the revision process: did I say this well? Is this worthy of the page? Whether it is the utilization of form and technique, or the challenge of such through the experimental, our choices on the page should reflect our investment in the craft. I am interested in poems that are well-crafted and conscious of technique, but more importantly I am interested in poems that are meaningful enough to make the technique worthy. To quote Mary Ruefle, “It is not what a poem says with its mouth, it’s what a poem does with its eyes.”

 

Ultimately, I am always drawn to the honesty of a poem. The poem that is unafraid to explore simultaneous vulnerability and strength, authority and hesitancy, directness and tenderness. As Dorianne Laux writes in her poem “Tonight I Am in Love”: “I am wounded with tenderness for all who labored / in dim rooms with their handful of words / battering their full hearts against the moon.” Like Laux, I too appreciate poets and their ability to constantly bare themselves open through words.

Bio:

Our poetry editor for Issue 19, Mary Lee.

Our poetry editor for Issue 19, Mary Lee.

Mary Lee is completing her Bachelor’s degree in English at Arizona State University. She is in Barrett, The Honors College and is currently the poetry editor for Superstition Review.