Authors Talk: Stephen Gibson

Today we are pleased to feature author Stephen Gibson as our Authors Talk series contributor. In the podcast, Stephen discusses the inspiration behind three of his interrelated poems: “At the Grave of Abigail Smith, Aged 6, at Copp’s Hill Burying Ground in Boston”, “Gravestone Carving at Copp’s Hill Burying Ground in Boston,” and “Gravestone Rubbing at Copp’s Hill Burying Ground in Boston.”

Gibson states that he drew his inspiration for the poems from the headstones he saw at Copp’s Hill “not only as art, but in the way they reflect two different views of mortality.” He goes on to contrast the remoteness of modern-day society when it comes to the subject of death with the societies who created the headstone carvings, which were not only a reminder of death, but an “acknowledgement, or rather, a belief in something after.” He also comments on the modern-day industry of gravestone rubbings, and how, through its focus on preserving headstones as historical artifacts,  it emphasizes contemporary society’s “disassociation from death.”

You can read Stephen’s three poems in Issue 20 of Superstition Review.

 

 

Authors Talk: Kaylee Sue Duff

Today we are pleased to feature author Kaylee Sue Duff as our Authors Talk series contributor. In the podcast, Kaylee discusses the creative process behind two of her flash fiction pieces, “Nothing” and “The Deer,” and the intertwined nature of the stories themselves.

Kaylee states that “Nothing” is one of her favorite pieces that she has written, for it “takes ownership of those feelings that… are terrible and impossible to deal with, and turns them into something that other people can experience as well, something that is really beautiful.” She highlights that the inspiration for “Nothing” stemmed from her own feelings of loneliness and isolation upon moving away to college, which led to her “figuring out a lot about myself and my identity.” She goes on to express that the piece is “more like poetry than I would ever care to admit,” and that, “by writing what… I felt was right, I was able to tap into something that I would never have been able to otherwise.”

You can read Kaylee’s story, “Nothing,” in Issue 20 of Superstition Review.

 

 

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!