Where Are They Now?: Haley Larson

Haley Larson, Poetry Editor for Issue 3, received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology and with a minor in Music from the University of Nebraska. I took some time to catch up with her about her experience and how Superstition Review has helped shaped her future.

 

Superstition Review: Which issue did you work on with Superstition Review and what was your position?

Haley Larson: I worked on Issue 3 of Superstition Review. I was one of two poetry editors that year, and it was quite an opportunity. I had the chance to correspond with some esteemed poets, many of whom I’d admired for some time.

SR: What skills did you take away from the experience?

HL: I owe a lot of my confidence and tenacity to the Superstition Review internship. A huge part of the internship is learning to not only embody but also balance professionalism and confidence. I think such professionalism encompasses a whole mess of other skills: organization, prioritizing, meeting deadlines, even–can I say–eloquence in emails. The confidence translates into so many other outlets, whether this includes applying for graduate programs or submitting one’s own work to a literary journal. Trish was kind enough to grant me a wonderful opportunity to flex these skills at AWP’s most recent conference. I had the chance to be a part of a presenting panel with her and representatives from two other undergraduate literary magazines. She was (is!) a fantastic, generous mentor. The experience continues.

SR: Creatively, what are you currently working on?

HL: I am working on a few different projects, most obsessively, a couple of different series of poetry. I’m trying to explore/exploit some of my background in music and psychology through this, allowing music, sound/silence, communication, and disorder to talk and tangle in my work.

SR: What are some of your career highlights after leaving SR?

HL: I am currently pursuing my MFA degree in poetry at Colorado State University. I’ve had opportunities to teach at CSU, intern with the Colorado Review, and co-curate a student reading series. A few journals have been kind enough to publish a poem or two, even a couple of my reviews. A few colleagues and I are working to start a non-profit organization, The Strophe Project, aimed at forming and facilitating writing communities in underserved populations of Fort Collins. You can learn more at www.thestropheproject.wordpress.com.

Meet The Interns: Jason Wright

Jason Wright is an ASU senior majoring in Creative Writing with a focus on Poetry, and an Arizona native. He has studied under such poets as Sally Ball and Norman Dubie, and is currently examining the effects of poetic form under the guidance of Terry Hummer. Having grown up around computers, he is also very tech and internet savvy, and currently boasts a day-job doing web design and development for a small business in Glendale, AZ.

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

Jason Wright: I am a Poetry Editor and I am responsible for working with my co-editor to solicit poets for publication with the magazine this issue, in addition to researching their work and negotiating with said poets. I will also be responsible for voting for my favorite works to be published within the magazine.

SR: Why did you decide to get involved with Superstition Review?

JW: I decided to get involved with the magazine because I wanted to have a taste of editorship within a magazine–both for experience, and to see if it is something I may be interested in.

SR: Besides interning for Superstition Review, how do you spend your time?

JW: Besides interning for SR, I spend my time teaching myself various web development techniques, studying poetry, writing poetry, writing music, playing guitar, and working for a small business.

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

JW: I would be willing to try out the photoshop editor and the web design position in upcoming issues.

SR: Describe one of your favorite literary works.

JW: One of my favorite literary works is The Illiad, because I think Homer does a fantastic job weaving the depiction of battle into his epic poetry.

SR: What are you currently reading?

JW: I am currently reading Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and Charlaine Harris’ Definitely Dead.

SR: Creatively, what are you currently working on?

JW: Creatively, I’m working on building, from scratch, a linux-based media storage server for my apartment, and am also working on building a story for a contemporary-styled epic poem about Greece’s birth.

SR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

JW: In 10 years, I will hopefully have written a few books of poetry, will have a steady job involving web development, will have learned Java and will be able to write applications for Android phones, and will have written, produced and released at least one album of music. Or, at the very least, two of these things.

Meet the Interns: Haley Coles, Poetry Editor

Haley Coles is a junior English major with a Creative Writing concentration.

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

Haley Coles: I am one of two poetry editors. I review submitted poetry for consideration in Superstition Review. At the beginning of the semester I created a list of 20 previously published poets from whom to solicit work from. It is my job to decide which poems, solicited and not, will be published in the journal.

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

HC: I received an e-mail from one of the English advisors about the internship. For the past few years I have had a desire to work on a literary journal, and once the opportunity came I jumped on it!

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

HC: I’d like to leave SR with two new awareness. The first is, as a poet, to understand how work is selected for publication in journals so I might be more conscious about how I format my own submitted work. With the huge amount of submissions I am reading as an editor, I have more empathy for editors of larger journals and know that the rejections sent are truly not about the poet as a person. Secondly, I hope that my experience with SR will qualify me for future work in other journals. And I suppose I have a third expectation: reading a TON of poetry!!

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

HC: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce has been one of the most influential works I’ve read in my literary career. I read it for a British Literature class last semester, and it completely changed my artistic life. The book helped me to make the transformation from a woman who is good at writing and enjoys doing so to living my life as a committed poet. Though I don’t have much in common with early-twentieth century Irish Stephen Daedalus, I found myself enraptured by his complex yet persistent desire to freely create and live in his art. I have been truly inspired by his journey.

SR: What are you currently reading?

HC: I just finished House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I’m about to start on either Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke or The Plague by Albert Camus.

SR: Who would be the Superstition Review contributor of your dreams?

HC: Sylvia Plath–nobody said they had to be alive! Sylvia Plath was the first poet whose work moved me, and as a result inspired me to be a poet. In almost every poem I write there is a nod to her extraordinary language.

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

HC: I definitely prefer reading journals in print. There is something substantial and comforting about being able to hold a journal in my hands, to rest it on my chest while I lay on the couch, to circle passages that intrigue me, and to fold down pages to return to.

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

HC: I write poetry. I am taking a forms class, so I’m consistently writing for that class. Right now, today, I am working on reading rather than writing. I just finished a poem that exhausted me and am giving it a week or so to come back to it for a revision. So until then, I am rebuilding my aesthetic by reading submissions coming into Superstition Review and various other literary journals, particularly MAR and Rattle.

SR: Besides interning for Superstition Review, how do you spend your time?

HC: I attend ASU full time. When I’m not in class or studying (which is a huge chunk of my life), I like to cook, read, play Risk, ride bikes, and make fun of my cats.

SR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

HC: In 10 years I will be 30. By this time I will have my MFA in Poetry and could be working on or have already received my PhD. I will be teaching either high school Literature or college Poetry. I will have a part in a vegan community-oriented restaurant cooperative. I will be gardening and writing a lot and will have at least one book of poems published. I might be in Berlin or on the East Coast.

Meet the Interns: Amber Mosure, Poetry Editor

ambermosure_0_0Amber Mosure is serving on the Poetry and Art Team as one of our two Poetry Editors. She is a senior this semester, and is a student of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, majoring in English Literature.

Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?

Amber Mosure: I send out solicitations for poetry contributors to SR. I read submissions and make a decision on who will be published in the poetry section of the magazine. I send out acceptance and rejection emails. I write interview questions to ask potential interviewees.

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

AM: I am a returning staff member. Last semester was my first issue with SR. It was the 3rd issue. I did funding and development last semester. I heard about the opportunity to come back on board as poetry editor. I thought that would be fun and exciting, so I accepted.

SR: What is your favorite section of SR?

AM: I like poetry. It’s mainly what I write so I’m partial to it.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal?

AM: It’s a tie between Lydia Lunch and musician/writer/songwriter, Nick Cave, but I’d have to say Lydia. She is a musician, actress, writer, photographer, performance artist. She is internationally known. She’s released numerous musical, as well as, spoken word albums. I love the art of spoken word and she is very candid, captivating, and intense with it. She’s well-known in the underground. She got her career start as lead singer for the late 1970s nu-wave band Teenage Jesus and The Jerks.

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

AM: Art Editor.

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

AM: Picking contributors.

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

AM: Kathy Acker. Her writing is very post-modern in style, almost poetically schizophrenic but eerily makes sense when directly applied to one’s own personal experiences with people and the world. I have connected with her works in the last couple years. Of her works, I’ve read: Don Quixote, Empire of the Senseless, In Memoriam to Identity, Great Expectations, and Pussy King of the Pirates.

SR: What are some of your favorite websites to waste time on or distract you from homework?

AM: Facebook, band websites.

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

AM: John Waters: A Study in the Art of Bad Taste. It would cover his life, his art, his movies, his writings. It would include other notables in the art of bad taste.

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

AM: I am in the process of pitching a synopsis for a co-authored screenplay entitled “Celebrity Matters.” It’s pretty raunchy, but looking at the films being released by major production companies gives me great hope.

 

Get to know more staff next week!

Spotlight on Haley Larson, by Sarah Dillard

haleylarson_0_0Intern Sarah Dillard, interviews Haley Larson about her experience as a poetry editor for Superstition Review.

Haley Larson is one of the two poetry editors that is interning with Superstition Review this semester. Her background is unique, as she received her Bachelor Degree in Psychology and with a minor in Music from the University of Nebraska. She is currently working on her second bachelor degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis. Next fall, Haley will be headed to Graduate School to work on her Master’s in Poetry.

With the launch of Issue 3 right around the corner, interns have been busy finishing up tasks and projects. Haley was gracious enough to take time out of her busy schedule to share what her experience has been like with Superstition Review thus far.

Sarah Dillard: What led you to pursue a position with Superstition Review?

Haley Larson: I had ENG 411 with Trish, and she encouraged me to consider it. Having never done anything like this before, I wasn’t originally planning to apply–I didn’t think I’d have the time or experience necessary. It has turned out to be a highlight of my undergrad work. The hands-on experience is invaluable.

SD: What are some of your favorite poets and how do they impact you?

HL: A few poets who I obsessed over at the beginning of my poetry interests include Neruda, e.e. cummings, and Sylvia Plath. Since then, I have had some phenomenal instructors who introduced me to an endless world of great poets: Larry Levis, Mary Oliver, Paul Guest, Kay Ryan, Arthur Sze, Bob Hicok. I think most of these poets impact me by challenging me. Their work urges me to reevaluate what I think poetry is and consider the infinite possibilities of what it can be. Whether they create a form, transform an intangible idea into an image, or turn written language to a musical serenade, they all make me jealous enough to try a little harder.

SD: How would you describe your experience so far with Superstition Review?

HL: This has been an absolute whirlwind! However, I can’t think of a better learning experience for a young writer. Not only do I get to see the up-close and inner workings of the publishing world and its processes, I get to be a part of them. There is an unmatchable sense of accomplishment in having my input considered and progressing toward the launch of what is sure to be a stellar third issue. I have improvised through a few moments, but that’s the unique feature of this applied learning environment–it’s encouraged that we “do” rather than “be told.” I’ve learned to take initiative and scramble when necessary. And I will admit, I’m still the poetry equivalent of star-struck when I get to email back and forth with poets I admire.

SD: What are your responsibilities as one of the Poetry Editors of Superstition Review?

HL: My responsibilities include communicating with our solicited poets, reading and considering submissions that come in, sending acceptance and rejection emails, and a variety of other tasks that present themselves. More generally, I must meet deadlines, keep some sense of organization, and be flexible. I’m looking forward to interviewing Barbara Hamby and David Baker in the coming week. Researching their work and letting my curiosity run a bit is a great opportunity disguised as responsibility.

SD: What do you look for when deciding which poetry submissions to publish? Do you try to stay open minded throughout the process or do your own personal preferences play a role?

HL: Some key things I look for are attention to rhythm and musicality, sentient imagery, and fresh interpretations of language. The capacity to elicit emotion is an obvious element, I think. I look for the ability to experience the poem without having it forced upon me. I definitely try to stay open-minded, but I’m sure that I carry a bit of my own aesthetic into the role. In fact, I hope that my aesthetic continues to evolve throughout this internship. One of the most important things I’ve learned in this position–being part of a publication–is that it’s important to keep our readers in mind.

SD: What are your plans after this semester?

HL: I plan to attend an MFA program in poetry.

SD: What is the most useful piece of advice you would give to future Superstition Review interns?

HL: Jump in and get your hands dirty! Ask questions (I have asked a few hundred since January) but also trust yourself a little. It can be nerve-wracking jumping into a world that you’ve only read about, but everyone is so helpful and supportive.

SD: What do you hope to take away from your experience with Superstition Review?

HL: I hope to take away valuable skills suited to publishing, a more evolved aesthetic, and a sense of confidence and accomplishment. I can’t think of a better way to prepare myself for my professional pursuits in the poetry world.

Intern Highlights: Alex Linden

superstision 1Superstition Review is unique as an online literary and arts journal, being primarily produced by student interns from Arizona State University. There are two of each genre editor–one of which, Poetry Editor,

Alex Linden was kind and generous enough to provide us with a little time and insight into what she does for SR and what she likes to do. Look forward to more information about your editors in upcoming blogs, newsletters, and the website.

Superstition Review: What inspired you to start working with SR?

Alex Linden: I thought it would be a really great experience. I had Managing Editor Patricia Murphy for a couple of online classes and she mentioned that she was starting an online literary journal with student editors. It sounded innovative and fun.

SR: What do you enjoy most about SR?

AL: I just really love reading poetry. Comparing my opinions with fellow editors is interesting. People tend to point out things I might not notice about a particular piece.

SR: What kinds of things do you have to do as a Poetry Editor?

AL: First of all, solicit authors who we would like to see published. It was really exciting to be able to send emails to writers I respect deeply, and have some of them respond with submissions. Then, of course, read all of the submissions that come in and decide which to choose. We also did online interviews—which were great because due to the online format we had time to craft some really thoughtful and precise questions.

SR: What are your own personal tastes and preferences in poetry, and how do they affect what you select, both positively and negatively?

AL: Like most people, I like poetry that makes me feel something. Even a poem that annoys me or baffles me is better than one that is boring. I tend to like poetry that is more on the confessional side, and poetry that is a little shocking. Sharon Olds is my favorite poet.

I would try to not let this affect what poems I select because I think it is important to think outside of the box. At the same time, being completely objective isn’t possible. This is why it is important to have two poetry editors—we try to balance each other out. There were poems I would never select at first, but when encouraged to take a second look at, I definitely appreciated more.

SR: What are your plans for next semester?

AL: To graduate college! And hopefully get into graduate school.

SR: What do you do and enjoy most outside of SR?

AL: I love music, to go to concerts. I read a lot and write whenever possible.

SR: What do you feel you’ve learned from this internship?

AL: The whole process of how an online journal works. It takes a lot of patience and persistence. I am really impressed by everyone—especially those who started the magazine.

SR: What would you say about your own personality is your best working asset?

AL: I don’t procrastinate! Usually 🙂

Thanks so much to Alex Linden and all of our editors for your time and dedication to issue 2! You know I am looking forward to the release! I have faith that you have all done an amazing job. If you would like to be featured in a blog for Superstition Review, please comment and I’ll get in touch with you!