Good afternoon, everyone! Today, we here at Superstition Review are overjoyed to bring you news regarding not one, but TWO of our past contributors. Allison Benis White and Laura Kasischke (featured, respectively, in the Poetry sections of our 15th and 12th issues) have been highlighted in the Spring-Summer 2017 edition of American Poets. Their work was featured in a segment wherein poet Jennifer Michael Hecht highlights a selection of new books that ought to be on everybody’s shelf. The two books selected were Laura Kasischke’s collection “Where Now,” out from Copper Canyon Press this July and available for pre-order here, as well as Allison Benis White’s “Please Bury Me In This,” our presently from Four Way Books and available for purchase here. Do yourself the immense kindness of buying/pre-ordering these two books and see for yourself what all the hype is about.
Hey there, folks! We’re proud as all get out to announce that past contributor Hannah Lee Jones was recently featured on Copper Canyon Press’ Official Facebook Page as part of their #MeetTheInternMonday segment. The whole Q&A can be viewed here. Hannah Lee Jones’ work was featured in the Poetry section of our 16th issue, and can be read here. Jones is also responsible for the blog Primalschool.org, a wonderful community resource for poets and writers pursuing their craft outside of the MFA system. Check out her work and her website as well, and drop us a line in the comments section below!
Good afternoon, dear readers! Today we’re turning the spotlight to past contributor Micah Dean Hicks, who was recently interviewed by Abbie Lahmers over at Arts & Letters, a national literary journal housed over in Georgia College’s MFA program. The interview covers everything from Micah’s strategies for world-building within fiction to his influences and present reading recommendations: all of this and more can be found here! Micah’s story “The Man With Strange Luck” was featured in the Fiction section of our 13th issue, and can be read here. And if you’re hungry for more of Micah’s work, his collection of stories “Electricity and Other Dreams,” out from New American Press, is available for purchase here. Do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in the rich landscapes of Micah Dean Hicks, and stay posted for details about new work from him, and all of the other immensely talented folks that have contributed to Superstition Review.
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.
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.
Greetings, true believers! We here at Superstition Review have an extra-special announcement: Our dear friends over at diode have released their 10th Anniversary Issue, replete with the profoundly excellent poetic stylings of more than a few past contributors to Superstition Review, including (but not limited to);
- John Gallaher
- Rae Gouirand
- Carolyn Guinzio
- Kathleen Hellen
- Bob Hicok
- Susan Rich
- Lee Ann Roripaugh
- Patricia Colleen Murphy
Do yourself the immense kindness of taking a lil’ poetry break with the 10th Anniversary issue of diode, and to the goodly gaggle over at diode, Superstition Review says congratulations! Here’s to a hundred more years of poetry.
How does the day find you, readers? It finds us supremely excited, as we’ve got some great news for you. The wonderful poet and friend of the Superstition Review, Colleen Abel, recently was crowned the victor of Sundress Publications Chapbook Contest for 2016, and as is often the case with these contests, everybody wins with the release of her upcoming chapbook “Deviants,” which is available FOR FREE over at Sundress Publications’ website, found here.
Regarding “Deviants” Victoria Chang writes:
“Colleen Abel’s wonderful book, Deviant, is mesmerizing—once I began, I couldn’t stop reading. The speaker provides a moving account—sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes wry, and oftentimes both—of what it means to be ‘fat’ in this world. The central piece is called ‘Fat Studies’ with references to sociologists and humorous pieces about Jackie Kennedy. Ultimately, Deviants is a beautiful book by a talented writer on material so many of us can understand and relate to, but oftentimes don’t have the opportunity to read in this form.”
Staci R. Schoenfeld, the judge for the Chapbook Contest, writes:
“In Deviants, ‘The eye alters all that it falls on.’ And the eye is everywhere—in every poem and in the lyric essay, ‘Fat Studies.’ There is no escape, even in the darkness: ‘It’s true I like you better in the dark. / Deep dark. Where I can’t even see your face.’ And the eye is keen in its appraisal. What it sees is what is most often offered up for alteration—the female body. The poems and the lyric essay all deal in issues of body. These bodies are not, however, places of comfort and safety. Instead the body is dangerous: ‘My heart is not a heart, it is a little nest of razorblades. I look soft, but if you touch me, your hands will be instantly pulverized, as if you had slammed them into concrete.’ Or the body becomes something to escape: ‘If it helps, I don’t want to be myself / either—to slip out of this body when / when you enter, to exchange within the puff / of magic smoke my life for another. / Leave me other.’ The body is in turns stark and lush and finally ‘the body / is a planet you tilt / on its axis spinning.’ Deviants left me both spinning and altered. It made me want to say, Thank you for helping me understand.”
Check out the full press release from Sundress Publications here.
Download, read, and be as inspired as we find ourselves by Colleen Abel’s “Deviants.”
Poets Sarah Vap, Dexter L. Booth, and Patricia Colleen Murphy will read from their recent work at Hayden Library on the Tempe Campus as part of the MFA Alumni Reading Series, presented by ASU’s Creative Writing Program. The event takes place on Thursday, September 22nd. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the reading begins at 7:00 p.m. A book signing and reception with light refreshments will follow the reading.
Sarah Vap received her MFA from Arizona State University. Vap is the author of six collections of poetry. Her most recent book, Viability, was selected by Mary Jo Bang for the National Poetry Series, and was released by Penguin in 2016.
Dexter L. Booth earned an MFA in creative writing from Arizona State University. His collection Scratching the Ghost was selected by Major Jackson for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize.
Patricia Colleen Murphy, a graduate of ASU’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, founded Superstition Review at Arizona State University, where she teaches creative writing and magazine production. Her collection, Hemming Flames, was selected by Stephen Dunn for the May Swenson Poetry Award.