Contributor Update, Colleen Abel: Get Liberated with “deviants”

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.”

Read this chapbook!

The cover for Colleen Abel’s “Deviants.”

 

#ArtLitPhx: MFA Reading Series – Sarah Vap, Dexter L. Booth, and Patricia Colleen Murphy

MFA Reading Series - ASUPoets 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.

The event is free of charge and is open to the public. For more information please visit the ASU page and/or the Facebook event.

Guest Post, Barbara Crooker: A Room of My Own

Barbara's RoomFirst, let me tell you about the room I don’t have, the one at home. I’m the mother of a son with autism, now 32, and my work space is a corner of the dining room, where I can be at the computer and still see the short bus when it arrives. My “desk” is a book bag, highly portable. My actual books are in book cases scattered throughout the house. And my work day is fragmented, too—we have to provide transportation for him now that he’s out of school, plus there are household tasks, doctor appointments, trips to the gym. . . .I’ve got a yard full of perennials and a vegetable garden which need my attention. My work day is also rife with interruptions—the doorbell, the phone, my beloved husband wandering in to read me items from the newspaper (which I’ve already read). And there are the other parts of caregiving: making up med sets, running a behavior modification program, cooking gluten and dairy-free meals; in general, I “run” things— But I also try to engage in the written word, even if it’s just reading, every day. I find it a small miracle that I’ve actually written anything at all, even though at this point I’ve published close to 900 poems. . . .

 

So, every eighteen months, I try to go away to a colony, specifically The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts http://www.vcca.com/main/index.php, in Amherst, VA. It’s competitive; I don’t always get in, plus sometimes there are things “in real life” that make getting away impossible. But right now, here I am, in sweet Virginia, on a May morning; paradise restored. It’s nothing fancy; the studios are basic, austere, even, in a repurposed dairy farm. I believe my room formerly housed cows. The outside is cinder block; the floors are poured cement. But there’s a twin bed (you can sleep in your studio, but I prefer to walk back to the residence at night); a “distressed” (many writers have put butt to chair here) but comfortable leather arm chair and ottoman; a large desk, big enough to hold my printer, laptop, slant desk, and then some; two small tables; a book case; and two lamps. And four big windows with a view of the hedgerow, the dirt road that winds through the campus, a meadow of wild grasses and daisies, and the Blue Ridge Mountains stretching beyond.

 

Lately, I’ve been reading blogs about “how to keep going after the MFA,” which leave me puzzled. We’re writers; writers write. Or they construct manuscripts, which is going to be my primary task here, to put, not as Coleridge said, “Best words, best order” (his definition of a poem), but “best poem, best order” for two book length manuscripts. If I finish these projects, I plan to take a look at where the poems that don’t fit in either of these manuscripts are going, what the themes are, etc., with an eye to another book down the road. And I’d like to write some new poems, as well.

 

All these days, stretching out before me. It’s amazing, when you take food prep (planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning up afterward) out of the equation how many hours there are in a day. I could hardly wait to get here. I roll up my sleeves and begin.

 

Here’s a poem I wrote after a previous residency:

 

WRITERS’ COLONY

 

Wrapping up a residency, new work done,

car packed with poems, computer, books.

There’s a bluebird on the tree limb over my head,

white belly, orange throat, blue back.

His only job is to be beautiful.

For weeks here, there’s been nothing but work,

no jobs or families or domestic duties, not a pan

to wash or a meal to prepare. We have reverted

to childhood, trade items from our lunchboxes.

Play Truth or Dare at night. Put on plays,

read each other stories. On warm days,

we sit in the sun and drink lemonade.

No one tells us to clean up our rooms or our prose.

We write more and more. Whole forests have died

for our work. Each day, we are closer to capturing

beauty, though it flies out of reach.

I’d like to sit here forever, on the Pasternak bench,

and try to decide which is lovelier, the pink

dogwood or the white, write a few

more lines, watch the high white clouds scroll

on a brilliant blue sky, stay until

the sticky little leaves unfurl

to an audience of waving hands.

I’d like to sit here,

until the cows come home,

or Mother calls us in.

published in New Works Review, 2004

#ArtLitPhx: Night of the Open Door on Polytechnic Campus

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#ArtLitPhx: Night of the Open Door – Trajectories

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Trajectories: an open talk about the many paths to becoming a writer.

trajectoriesCome listen to a panel discussion about some of the career trajectories that are available for English graduates on Friday, February 19th at ASU’s Polytechnic Campus Night of the Open Door. Superstition Review will be hosting this event in partnership with Four Chambers, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Mesa Community College, and Combs High School.
The panel will be free and open to the public in the UNION, Cooley Ball Room at Polytechnic Campus from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Q & A will be welcome.
Meet the panel:

IMG_3217 (2)Gary Joshua Garrison is a prose editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and appeared in or is forthcoming from Southwest ReviewMoon City ReviewThe McNeese ReviewWord RiotGigantic Sequins, and others. He lives in Arizona with his wife and their two torpid cats.

Jess Burnquist received her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Arizona State University. Her wunnamedork has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry ReviewPersonaThe Washington Post, Salon, Jezebel, GOOD Magazine, Education Weekly, Time and various online journals. She is a recipient of the Joan Frazier Memorial Award for the Arts at ASU. Jess currently teaches English and Creative Writing in San Tan Valley and has been honored with a Sylvan Silver Apple Award for teaching. She resides in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area with her husband, son, and daughter. Links to her most recent work are available at www.jessburnquist.com.

image (1)Patrick Michael Finn is the author of the novella A Martyr for Suzy Kosasovich and the short story collection From the Darkness Right Under Our Feet.  He teaches writing at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

 Jake Friedman is the Founder and Editor iKaren Loschiavo 02n Chief of an independent community literary journal and small press based in Phoenix, AZ called Four Chambers. He is also; drinking coffee (as the picture would indicate); a waiter and sometimes bartender at an unnamed casual-upscale restaurant (the restaurant being unnamed to protect it’s identity, not actually unnamed); working on a long-form experimental prose manuscript titled The Waiter Explains (no coincidence with his current profession, he swears; long-form experimental prose being a pretentious way of saying novel, even though he has legitimate reasons for doing so involving narrative perspective and deep structure he still feels pretentious). http://fourchamberspress.com.

color headshotJessica Marie Fletcher serves as the current Superstition Review Student Editor-in-Chief and was fiction editor for issue 16. She studies creative writing, psychology, and family and human development in the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. She has worked as an Opinion Columnist for The State Press, and one of her short stories has been featured in LUX Undergraduate Creative Review.

#ArtLitPhx: Kim Kyung Ju at Valley Bar

2016-02-02 Author Photo Kim Kyung JuFour Chambers is extremely excited to announce the English-speaking debut of internationally acclaimed South Korean poet Kim Kyung Ju with his best-selling collection, I am A Season that Does Not Exist in the World  (with translator and poet Jake Levine).

Tuesday, February 2nd at 6:30 pm
Valley Bar (130 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004)
21+ | Free

“Both a blessing and a curse to Korean Literature,” Kim Kyung Ju is considered to be one of the strongest voices of his generation, and I am A Season that Does Not Exist in the World  is his hallmark work. In haunting, anti-lyrical verse, Kim explores the transcendental homelessness borne from the apocalyptic narrative of impending ecological extinction while, at the same time, celebrating it’s banal, messianic ecstasies. I am A Season that Does Not Exist in the World  perfectly capures the emotional sensibility of a generation born into an age where emotional sensibility was said to not eixst. While the futures of the past may already have failed, Kim carries them into the present and offers them redemption. When the seasons of the world become so unpredictable that the only predictable thing left is their increasing unpredictability, a season that does not exist in the world might be anyother way to say utopia. It might be another way to say hope.

2016-02-02 Author Photo Jake Levine (1)Reading with Kim is poet and translator Jake Levine, who received his MFA from the University of Arizona, serves as Poetry Editor for Spork Press, and is currently completing his PhD in Comparative Literature at Seoul National University.

I am A Season that Does Not Exist in the World  will be available as general volume from Black Ocean Press and a special, handbound edition from Spork Press.

For more information please visit http://fourchamberspress.com/kkj