Intern Update, Sean O’Day: Voyage Phoenix Interview

Sean O'DayToday we are excited to announce that our former art editor, Sean O’Day, was recently interviewed by Voyage Phoenix. In the interview, Sean, who goes by the artist name Zanereti, walks us through his unique story and talks about the challenges artists face today. Read the interview here.

Congratulations, Sean!

 

 

Guest Blog Post, Todd Robinson: Think Think Think

Guest Blog PostThink Think Think

I write most of my poems from a little room on the second floor of a crumbling Spanish colonial in an old neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska. Two wide windows face west, sky and tree-tops staring me down day after night after day after night. Powerlines and rooftops, rain and robins, and, once—though I was so high I doubted my bleary eyes—a showdown between thirty cardinals and three bluejays, which ended with a jay’s Stuka-dive calamitous slam three feet from my face. Sky must be reflected on the glass, because birds wham into it all the time. I notice with a start, then peer down to see a small, still form on a little sun-room roof one story below. If I look away, they disappear.

For all this weirdness and wonder, the swath of this vista usually bores me. I was very bored the January morning I wrote “Hard-Headed Mantra” (Superstition #20), leafless dark trees throwing up their hands to the wintry whiteout that swaddles Omaha four months of the year, my cold bones wrapped in flannel, brain ricocheting with restless cravings for something to do and to be. For years upon years I had filled those empty hours with intoxicants, churring through the lonely hours like a June-bug, sickly as a summer cold in any weather. But those draughts were done the day I wrote the poem. What to do, then?

My AA sponsor has always said if you have nothing to write about, write about nothing. He says Samuel Beckett won a Nobel Prize for writing about nothing, so I might as well write about nothing, too. So there I was, restless and moody as any addict, with no salve for my jangled nerves. A poem, then.

Ted Kooser once told me he always reads a poem before he attempts to write, as a kind of mental calisthenics, so ever the dutiful acolyte, I soon found myself appraising C. Dale Young’s “Between the Dragon and the Phoenix”, which opens “Fire in the heart, fire in the sky, the sun just / a smallish smudge resting on the horizon / out beyond the reef that breaks the waves” before delving into memories of father and son and the ambiguities therein. I loved his roiling rhythm, his painterly images, the high-tension wire between generations thrumming, and thought I might launch out from his reef into my own, more wintry, reverie.

And so I did, conjuring the not-much around and within me that January of 2017 before leaping into the fraught past I share with a man I once hated but have come somewhat begrudgingly to love. The poem tells the story, so there’s not much need to elaborate, but in my emotion recollected in boredom I did make an epiphanic leap between the casual cruelties he larded upon my youthful head and the dazed drunk I eventually became. I mean to imply no causality, but surely the seeds of my later ruin were planted not by his hard hand, but by the lazing, mazing, dozing days of my youth, when I filled the idle hours with daydreams and space operas, comic books and candy. He seemed to find me and my methods contemptible, and perhaps, I now realize, I protested—to myself only, for he brooked no opposition—too much. I always thought I was unique, especially gifted, golden…but it turned out I was just a drifting boy who became a man adrift.

I haven’t dosed since September 30th, 2014, but still I struggle to incite myself into productive action, and find myself staring out that window at a world built for the whims of others. And eight miles to the west, my father does the very same nothing.

Contributor Update, Ramona Reeves: Winner of the Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize for fiction

Contributor UpdateWe are proud to announce that past contributor Ramona Reeves from Issue 20 has recently won the Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize for fiction sponsored by Jabberwock Review  at Mississippi State University! The story will be published in September in Jabberwock Review’s fall issue. Congratulations Ramona!

Please visit her website: https://ramonareeves.com/

Contributor Updates: Leah Oates

Lily Strip 2 Leah Oates

Lily Strip 2

Today we are happy to share the work of Leah Oates, Transitory Space, which appears in Cargo Literary Issue 12. Multiple images create the series which Leah describes, in part, as “endlessly interesting, alive places where there is a great deal of beauty and fragility.”

Leah is a contributor to Superstition Review Issue 20 featuring three pieces: Lily Strip 1, Lily Strip 2, and Lily Strip 3.

To see more of Leah’s works and accomplishments you can visit her website; www.leahoates.com.

Congratulations Leah!

 

Authors Talk: Jonathan Duckworth

Jonathan DuckworthToday we are pleased to feature Jonathan Duckworth as our Authors Talk series contributor. In this interview by fellow writer Jaimie Eubanks, Jonathan discusses his story, “On Clear Days I Can See Your Aura.”

Jonathan tells us how he decides what a story is about and how his spontaneous writing process is guided mostly by what a story calls for. Though his approach to writing is without “method,” Jonathan finds that a short story assembles itself. He concludes the podcast by discussing the differences between writing a novel and a short story.

On Clear Days I Can See Your Aura” can be read in Issue 20 of Superstition Review.

Authors Talk: Johannah Racz Knudson

Johannah Racz KnudsonToday we are pleased to feature poet Johannah Racz Knudson as our Authors Talk series contributor.

Johannah speaks about her poem, “Cosmology: Four Score,” and her current main creative project titled Transylvania Blue. She discusses Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and how the voice of authority of the speech has benefited her poem. After discussing the background of the poem, Johannah moves on to her current project, a biography centered around the life of her great uncle who escaped from the Nazis and eventually immigrated to Canada. She concludes her podcast by emphasizing the importance of sharing his story, which is her own rich yet painful inheritance.

To know more about Transylvania Blue visit Johannah’s blog here.

Cosmology: Four Score” can be read in Issue 20 of Superstition Review.