Event: AZ Humanities

AUTHORS NIGHT WITH ROBERT ISENBERG EXPLORES TRAVEL WRITING, AND LIVING IN COSTA RICA

Kick off your summer with stories of travel inspiration June 7th in downtown Phoenix

Phoenix, AZ – The public is invited to join Arizona Humanities for a talk with local author Robert Isenberg. Isenberg will kick off your summer travels with stories and inspiration from his works, including his newest book, The Green Season about his life as a journalist in Costa Rica. The Authors Night takes place at the historic Ellis-Shackelford House in downtown Phoenix (1242 N. Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85004) on Tuesday, June 7th from 6:00-8:00pm. The program is free and light refreshments are included.

Isenberg describes his many years as a travel writer and journalist, scouring the globe for provocative stories. Hear about his rustic New England origins, life as a freelancer, and the evolving nature of long-form nonfiction. Considering a trip to Costa Rica? Ask him anything. This author night promises lively discussion about adventure in the age of the smartphone.

Seating is limited and guests are encouraged to RSVP at https://robertisenbergauthorsnight.eventbrite.com or call 602-257-0335.

Grean Season CoverAbout The Green Season: “A dynamic collection of essays and reportage, The Green Season illustrates daily life in Costa Rica, a tiny Central American nation dedicated to peace and teeming with tropical life. With his trademark humor and observation, Robert Isenberg describes the people, culture, and biodiversity that make Costa Rica so unique—from a centuries-old indigenous ceremony to a remote jungle crisscrossed by crocodile-filled canals. Isenberg explores the country head-on, fighting his way through San José traffic, mingling with venomous snakes, and even making a cameo in an epic soccer film at the height of World Cup fever. Richly detailed and tenderly written, The Green Season is one expat’s love letter to his adoptive homeland.”

Robert IsenbergAbout Robert Isenberg is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and stage performer. Most recently, he is the author of The Green Season, about his life as a journalist in Costa Rica. His work includes five books, 17 produced plays, dozens of short documentaries, and hundreds of articles for various magazines and newspapers. He created two one-man shows, The Archipelago (about his travels in postwar Bosnia) and One Million Elephants (about the Secret War in Laos). Isenberg is a past Whitford Fellow, Brackenridge Fellow, and recipient of two Golden Quill Awards, as well as a Pushcart Prize nominee. Visit him at robertisenberg.net.

Meet the Review Crew: Daniel Redding

Each week we feature one of our many talented interns here at Superstition Review.

Finally completing a journey that began in January of 2008, Daniel Redding will be graduating this May with a B.A. in English from Arizona State University. Upon graduating, Daniel will pursue a Master’s Degree in English with an emphasis that will be determined by the location of his future graduate school.

A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Daniel is 26 years old and has been married for over three years to his wife, Leanne. They recently welcomed their baby daughter, Emma Jane, into the world on November 9, 2011. While in the Marine Corps, Daniel served as a combat correspondent, with responsibilities ranging from journalism, photography, videography, layout and design editing, media relations, and much more. In 2006, Daniel deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served as head Marine layout and design editor for the Camp Pendleton Scout Newspaper on two separate occasions.

Daniel currently serves as Advertising Coordinator with Superstition Review. Working with SR has been an invaluable experience for him; combined with his military background, his understanding of how newspapers and literary magazines similarly work has grown.

Daniel is serving as an English tutor at the ASU affiliate, Metro Tech High School Writing Center, which is helping prepare him for what he will experience when he begins his career as an English professor.

A native of San Diego, California, Daniel is an avid sports fan. He stubbornly wears his San Diego Padres baseball cap regardless of what enemy territory he is in. As a diehard follower of David Sedaris, Daniel will laugh out loud when reading a good piece of satirical lampooning.

Meet the Interns: April Stolarz

Poetry Editor April Stolarz is a senior at ASU pursuing concurrent degrees in Print/Online Journalism and Creative Writing with a focus on Poetry. Along with her Superstition Review internship April also writes for ASU’s Media Relations Office and freelances for a variety of publications. She has studied poetry under Norman Dubie and Terry Hummer and is currently studying under Sally Ball. She maintains a blog about local music, Dose of Rock, and hopes to work for a music publication someday. This is April’s first experience with Superstition Review.

 

1. What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?

I am one of the poetry editors for Superstition Review’s Spring 2011 issue. I am responsible for reviewing poetry submissions and voting for certain poems to be published. Once those poems are given the go ahead I contact the authors and send them final proofs to be featured in the magazine.

2. Why did you decide to get involved with Superstition Review?

I’ve always loved words and any form of expression, especially written expression. In high school I was the editor of my literary magazine and absolutely loved being a part of that process. I wanted to expand my knowledge and be a part of the next step in order to gain more professional experience.

3. How do you like to spend your free time?

My life is a balancing act of 18 credits and multiple jobs. Most of my free time is swallowed up by writing; I freelance for various publications. My absolute favorite thing to do is see live music. I try to spend as much time as possible at concerts and music festivals. Other than that I love reading, being outside and doing anything outdoorsy.

4. What other position(s) for Superstition Review would you like to try out?

I’d like to be the non fiction editor, interview editor and web design editor. I think they’d all be a great learning experience and equally as interesting and fun.

5. Describe one of your favorite literary works.

A simple story about a girl with extremely large thumbs that manages to encompass wide-ranging and heart-aching themes such as religion, sexuality, marriage, freedom, traveling, magic and everything in between. This book, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins, is a journey through the human experience with rainbow colored sprinkles, whipped cream, hot fudge and a cherry on top. Tom Robbins is the master of metaphor, and he’s not afraid to show it.

6. What are you currently reading?

Every chance I get (which isn’t as often as I’d like) I reach for one of the books on my shelf. I’m currently thumbing through and trying to digest: Skinny Legs And All by Tom Robbins, Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen and Transformations of Myth Through Time by Joseph Campbell.

7. Creatively, what are you currently working on?

As a poetry senior in the capstone writing class I’m working on a new poem every week and a new revision as much as possible. For one of my jobs I’m writing a feature story about a professor for ASU’s website. I blog about local music a few times a month and am working on updating my personal website.

8. What inspires you?

Inspiration is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Discovering new things, reading a certain word, being outside, spontaneity, vibrancy, color, conversation, cities, people who aren’t afraid to say what they think and do what they want, trees, the sky, free spirits, people who take the different path, who aren’t afraid to travel and explore.

9. What are you most proud of?

This is a weird question for me. While I’ve always prided myself on doing very well in school while simultaneously being involved in other things, what’s given me the most internal pride and satisfaction has been helping my friends realize their dreams.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I don’t think about the future; it comes soon enough. But I hope I’m living in a beautiful place, maybe an island somewhere, maybe another continent, surrounded by a strong community of friends, music and love. By then I hope I’ll be working in some form of music business whether it be for a music magazine such as Spin or for some other music company. I hope my life is filled with laughter.

Meet the Interns: Christelle Hobby, Web Designer

Christelle Hobby is an ASU senior pursuing concurrent degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Creative Writing.

Superstition Review: What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?

Christelle Hobby: I am one of two Web Designers, and we are basically responsible for creating, uploading, and organizing all elements necessary for getting the website up and running.

SR: How did you hear about Superstition Review and what made you decide to get involved?

CH: I received an email telling me about internship opportunities at SR and I immediately went onto the website and knew it was something I had to get involved in. It has all of the subjects I am studying, as well as the areas I hope to find myself working in some day.

SR: What are you hoping to take away from your Superstition Review experience?

CH: I am hoping to improve my skills as a web designer, and I would also like to really understand all of the elements that go into publishing. It is the career I hope to find myself in one day and I just feel like this semester with SR will put me closer to that dream.

SR: Describe one of your favorite literary or artistic works.

CH: My favorite book ever is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I have read it quite a few times and I never get sick of it. It is brutal and romantic at the same time and you find a reason to hate every character as much as you love them. It is a classic that transcends time.

SR: What are you currently reading?

CH: I am currently reading The Shack by William Paul Young. It is a fairly religious piece, which is not a style I typically read, so I am still trying to get accustomed to the prose and the somewhat predictably perfect plot.

SR: What is your favorite Superstition Review section, and why?

CH: I am a Creative Writing Fiction major, so fiction always takes the cake. I never get sick of reading a new story and the writers who have contributed to SR in the past have shown that we can only expect good things from the writers in this edition.

SR: What other position(s) for Superstition Review would you like to try out?

CH: I would absolutely love to be one of the Fiction Editors. While I am excited by the idea of putting together the whole site, like I said, I love my fiction.

SR: Do you prefer reading literary magazines online or in print?

CH: I typically visit literary magazines online, however I don’t think it ever really compares to print. There is just something traditional and wonderful about holding the pages in your hands.

SR: Do you write or create art? What are you currently working on?

CH: I am a writer, and I am currently working to improve my skills by inundating myself with the written word. While I try to continuously produce short stories I am focusing primarily on reading and studying a variety of modern day writers.

SR: What is your favorite mode of relaxation?

CH: It may sound cliché, but a glass of wine, a good book, and fuzzy slippers put me in my favorite state of relaxation.

SR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

CH: In 10 years I hope to be working for a publishing company and have my own writing be an ever-present side project.

Catching Up with Past Interns

I am happy to bring you an exciting post this week that has been in the works for a while– an interview with Superstition Review interns from previous semesters. Here’s what they had to say about what they’re up to now, how SR helped them get there, and what they wish they had known when they were interns. Enjoy!

Superstition Review: What have you been doing since your internship with Superstition Review?

Sara Scoville: After graduating from ASU in May ’09, I have continued to conduct research for a collection of essays I’ve been working on since my last semester. The topic focuses on interaction and the relationships that form in the online gaming community amongst alpha males. I also work full time as a supervisor at a direct marketing company.

Melissa Silva: I’m now applying to work as an intern for Nordstrom. As a Capital Scholar, I’m applying to work for NPR and other media outlets in DC this summer.

Riki Meier: I’ve been working full-time at ASU during the day, and also taking a few independent study courses. Late last fall, I completed several graduate school applications, and I’m excited to say I was just accepted into the English PhD program at Tufts University! They are offering me full funding for five years. I’m absolutely thrilled as I know Tufts has an excellent program and I also love the Boston area!

Carter Nacke: Since working at Superstition Review, I have turned my focus to graduating. I’m pleased to say that I’ll be graduating in May with a degree in Print Journalism from the Cronkite School.

Alex Linden: Since my internship with Superstition Review, I finished my last year at Arizona State and applied to MFA programs for Poetry. I now attend Oklahoma State University and this semester will finish the first year of my MFA.

SR: Do you think your experience with Superstition Review has helped with what you’re doing now? How?

SS: I believe it most certainly has. I’ve worked for the same company for 12 years, so it was definitely nice to do something different. Trish is an amazing person and I absolutely loved learning from her! One thing that I appreciated most about her is the amount of trust and faith she had in me. It’s because of her belief in my abilities that I have a stronger sense of confidence in both my writing and professional life.

MS: Experience with publishing and Excel I think has helped reassure companies that I’m qualified to work for them.

RM: I do think that my work at Superstition Review helped my admission chances at Tufts, as Tufts has a reputation for wanting well-rounded (and diversified) applicants. Although I am going for a research degree, I think the fact I worked as an editor at a national literary magazine demonstrated that I don’t have only an analytical mind; I have a strong creative inclination as well.

CN: I think my experience did help. While I was in charge of financing and fundraising (which I’d never done before), SR helped me learn to balance work and school. I also saw first-hand how magazines are produced, which is extremely helpful for my magazine writing class.

AL: My experience with SR has definitely helped with what I do now. I believe my chances of getting into MFA programs would have been much less had I not done the internship. More importantly, I was exposed to the literary world and inspired to pursue similar work in the future. I now read for the Cimarron Review.

SR: Is there any advice you’d like to give current Superstition Review interns?

SS: Have respect for everyone involved throughout the entire process. Ask for help if you need it, and be willing to help if someone needs you. The success of the issue is dependent upon every single intern, so open lines of communication are of the utmost importance. Also, be proud of and enjoy what you’re contributing to the literary community.

MS: Work hard and try to learn as much as you can. I learned a lot about communicating professionally online and using Excel.

RM: For the current editors soliciting work from writers, I would say that one should approach soliciting writers like they should approach applying to graduate schools. One should have a number of “long-shots” writers on the list that one dreams of publishing, but the chances of publishing that person may be slim. Soliciting someone like Toni Morrison or Salman Rushdie may be analogous to applying to graduate school at Princeton or Harvard. If you diversify your solicitation list, you have far greater chances of getting lots of great literary pieces for review!

CN: Current interns: Get your stuff done early. Take it from someone who knows, assignments and work can pile up on you before you know what’s going on!

AL: Take advantage of every opportunity your internship provides. Research other literary journals, contact the writers you admire, and don’t read all of the submissions at once. 🙂

Meet the Interns: Heidi Nielson, Fiction Editor

heidinielson_0Heidi Nielson is pursuing concurrent degrees in English (Creative Writing) and Journalism (Digital Journalism), as well as a minor in Music.

Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?

Heidi Nielson: As a fiction editor, I send solicitations to authors for work, as well as for interviews, read, discuss, and decide on submissions along with Riki, and conduct at least one interview with an author.

SR: How did you hear about SR?

HN: I first heard about the internship while I was interning at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, working with Hayden’s Ferry Review. Shortly thereafter, I volunteered at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers’ Conference at ASU and was able to attend a class on literary journals that Patricia Murphy was teaching, and met with her after the class ended. During the last issue, I helped with the blog, though I wasn’t officially an intern. I’m very excited to be an intern this semester.

SR: What is your favorite section of SR and why?

HN: As a fiction writer, I tend to gravitate toward the fiction section of any journal first. I am an avid reader, as well as a writer. I feel like I learn the most about writing fiction from reading the work of more experienced and talented writers, like those in Superstition Review.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal?

HN: My dream contributor would probably be Jhumpa Lahiri. Her prose is beautiful, and I admire the way that she is able to immerse her readers in Bengali culture.

SR: What job would you like to try out?

HN: Probably blogger. I really enjoy social media and had a lot of fun when I helped with the blog during the last issue.

SR: What are you most excited for?

HN: I would say that I am most excited to just read submissions. We are writing to so many amazing writers this semester to request work.

SR: What is the first book you remember falling in love with?

HN: I think the first book I fell in love with was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. What made that book so compelling to me as a child, I think, was that their family felt so similar to my own. I come from a family of six girls, and one boy, and the personalities of myself and the three sisters closest to me in age, always seemed so similar to the four sisters in Little Women.

SR: What are you currently reading?

HN: I’m currently reading a compilation of T.C. Boyle’s short stories, entitled simply, Stories.

SR: What are your favorite websites to distract you from homework?

HN: I noticed that most people were saying Facebook, and I can’t deny that I do check it more than once a day, but I think the website that usually distracts me from homework the most is etsy.com. It’s a website of handmade or vintage items, and I can just spend hours browsing through the thousands of items. I also get distracted by my Google Reader. I subscribe to about 50 blogs, and so I’m almost constantly reading posts.

SR: Do you write? Tell us about a project you are working on.

HN: I write fiction, mainly short stories. I have been working on revisions of two stories I wrote for my fiction class last year since the last ended, and I’m on my sixth drafts of both.

Meet the Interns: Sean Carstensen, Prose Team Manager

seancarstensen_0Senior English Literature Major Sean Carstensen is the Prose Team Manager for Superstition Review.

Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?

Sean Carstensen: It’s my responsibility to function as a liaison between the prose editors and management of SR. The Prose team as a whole is responsible for selecting the works to be published in the upcoming issue; my role in the team is to keep sight of the larger picture and assist the prose editors in any way I can while simultaneously working to streamline communication within the SR team.

SR: How did you hear about or get involved with Superstition Review?

SC: I found out about Superstition Review through an English Department email encouraging students to apply for the internship. It sounded like something I would be interested in, so I applied and decided to take a summer course which would prepare me for a management position in the Fall 2009 issue. Being involved in publishing a literary journal was more appealing to me than the traditional types of internships.

SR: What is your favorite section of SR? Why?

SC: My favorite section of SR would have to be the poetry. The density of meaning and ambiguity of the poems is what separates them from prose: I can read a fiction/nonfiction piece once through and feel as though I have a solid idea of the message; poems are completely different. The first read through a poem familiarizes me with the meter and structure, but the meaning often remains uncertain and ambiguous even after several reads.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal? Talk about him/her.

SC: I feel like Stephen King would be an extremely interesting interview. After reading previous interviews, I would want to ask him about his writing process because it sounds different from traditional methods which emphasis planning and structure; King incorporates a degree of spontaneity and oftentimes does not know how his main plot conflicts will be resolved.

SR: What job, other than your own, would you like to try out in the journal?

SC: Blogging has always been something I’d like to try out and I think that it would be exciting to be responsible for an ongoing blog about Superstition Review. I think that a lot of potential readers will first find out about SR through the blog, and I believe that maintaining the page would be an intriguing combination of journalism and marketing.

SR: What are you most excited for in the upcoming issue?

SC: I’m really hoping to discover some new writers through the open submissions. I know that we’ll receive quality work from the solicited submissions, but I would be thrilled to see some unsolicited work make its way into the final issue as well.

SR: What was the first book you remember falling in love with and what made it so special?

SC: One day my fourth grade teacher started reading us a book called The Phantom Tollbooth and I was absolutely transfixed. Later that day I happened to see the same book in my older brother’s room, so I stole it and proceeded to finish the entire thing. The mash up of wordplay, riddles and rhymes in the story of a boy named Milo were completely overwhelming and unlike anything I had seen before.

SR: What artist have you really connected with, either in subject matter, work, or motto?

SC: I would have to say Oscar Wilde. The Picture of Dorian Gray was an eye opening read, but it’s really Wilde’s criticism that I connect with: the notion that an observer deduces meaning from art by contributing part of their self to the work was new to me.

SR: What would be your dream class to take at ASU? What would the title be and what would it cover?

SC: A class on Aleister Crowley–I’ve read some less than complementary things about him, but have never actually read any of his work. I believe someone once called him “the wickedest man in the world” and I would be interested to see what a writer has to say to earn such harsh criticism.

SR: Do you write? Tell us about a project you’re working on.

SC: I have recently reconnected with three of my old friends from high school and we’re trying to start mailing a journal between the four of us; we’ll be able to reflect on how much has changed in four years while staying touch with one another in a unique fashion.