Authors Talk: Johannah Racz Knudson

Johannah Racz KnudsonToday we are pleased to feature poet Johannah Racz Knudson as our Authors Talk series contributor.

Johannah speaks about her poem, “Cosmology: Four Score,” and her current main creative project titled Transylvania Blue. She discusses Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and how the voice of authority of the speech has benefited her poem. After discussing the background of the poem, Johannah moves on to her current project, a biography centered around the life of her great uncle who escaped from the Nazis and eventually immigrated to Canada. She concludes her podcast by emphasizing the importance of sharing his story, which is her own rich yet painful inheritance.

To know more about Transylvania Blue visit Johannah’s blog here.

Cosmology: Four Score” can be read in Issue 20 of Superstition Review.

Authors Talk: Mary Morris

Mary MorrisToday we are pleased to feature poet Mary Morris as our Authors Talk series contributor. Mary discusses her writing process involving the current manuscript she is working on, which relates to her ninety-five year-old mother, and reads her poem, “Deduction.”

“Crone” and “Deduction” by Mary Morris can be read on Issue 19 of Superstition Review here

If you want to know more about poet Mary Morris you can visit her website or LinkedIn.

Contributor Update: Alberto Rios and Nogales Gallery receive Arts awards

Hilltop LogoNogales, AZ has once again returned to the state’s artistic spotlight. On the weekend of Feb 13th, its Hilltop Gallery was announced as a finalist in the 2018 Governor’s Arts Awards. These awards are presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts in partnership with the office of the Governor. They are based on the significance of the nominee’s achievements and contributions, the range of individuals and groups served by these contributions, and the degree of dedication that the nominee has to the arts. Since 1981, upwards of 200 awards have been presented to various artists and other individuals, cultural groups and organizations, and businesses.

The Hilltop Gallery is one of three finalists in the Arts in Education (Organization or School) category. These and other honorees were announced at a reception on Feb 6th, and on March 22nd in Phoenix, at the 37th annual Governor’s Arts Awards dinner and celebration, the winners will be announced.

The Hilltop Gallery, founded in 1968, is the region’s only permanent art collection. Its exhibits and education galleries focus on the variety of cultures from both the U.S and Mexico. The Gallery often collaborates on events with other local institutions and centers, such as the Consulate of Mexico. It also organizes art classes for the community, in addition to special corporate art shows for local business sponsors from June to August. One of its upcoming exhibits (March 5), is titled Faith Posey & friends- International Day of the Woman (mixed). If you are interested in becoming a Gallery Member, call 520-287-5515 for more information.

At this same March 22nd event, Alberto Alvaro Rios, also from Nogales, will be presented with the 2018 Shelley Award. This award, in honor of former Arizona Commission on the Arts Executive Shelley Cohn, is presented to an individual who, through innovative effort to create or support beneficial public policy, has advanced the arts in Arizona. Past award winners include Terry Goddard, past Phoenix mayor; Shirley Estes, builder of the Ventana Canyon Resort and community leader; and Katie Dusenberry, previous board chair of the Arizona Theater Company.

Rios is Arizona’s first poet laureate, and artistic director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. He received his BFA in 1974 and his MFA in creative writing in 1979, both from the University of Arizona. His many volumes of poetry include A Small Story About the Sky (Copper Canyon Press, 2015), The Dangerous Shirt (Copper Canyon Press, 2009), and The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body (Copper Canyon Press, 2002), which was nominated for the National Book Award. Some of his other works include Capirotada: A Nogales Memoir (University of New Mexico Press, 1999), The Curtain of Trees: Stories (University of New Mexico Press, 1999), and The Iguana Killer: Twelve Stories of the Heart (Blue Moon and Conference Press, 1984), which won the Western States Book Award. His work has made appearances in more than ninety major national and international literary anthologies, like the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry.

Rios also contributed to Issue 6 of Superstition Review where several of his poems and an interview are available to read.

Congratulations, Alberto!

 

Guest Post, Barrett Warner: My Memoir for a Plot

I’m not the first poet to write memoir, but I’m probably the worst. I loved it anyway. There’s no hiking involved, and no drinking in the whole world with a sip. And it saves a lot of time by living each page rather than doing any research.

In poetry, my cat-like imagination tends to run into other rooms for no reason so it was nice not to worry about invention. And while a novel might require heart to write, all I needed for memoir was a walnut desk, and a small bronze sculpture of a nude man to hold the paper down on breezy days.

It took surprisingly long to write and re-write a ten month snap of my Tuberculosis. Like: 45 minute conversation about a 25 minute version of a 5 minute Phish song.

I went to the mirror to look at myself. I’d aged since beginning it. In writing almost exclusively about my body in 2013, I had neglected small details about my current portrait. I no longer resembled the bronzed man sitting so pensively on my desk. Was it true that you could sand blast wrinkles away? My soccer ball didn’t reply.

My publisher had asked for a book of poems. “Beautiful memoir,” he wrote, “But it’s so inscrutable. The problem is that there’s no plot. The narrative of your life is not the same thing as plot. What about a few scenes outside of the hospital? Maybe a train or two?”

I joined a vibration society. The salon had sixteen tables and each one vibrated a different part of your body. It was a caper to crank the timer and start the vibration before settling in, but I eventually grew fond of the slight nausea. Early afternoons were excellent for vertigo, before the after-work crowd came to jiggle. Still, it was nothing like an actual train. Last month, one had derailed about two hours away, in Columbia.

My memoir was full of seductive ache and longing, and horrible mortality, and impossible love, but without any plot—without any hiking into some dark wood—it was just a bar story. The set-up was the climax, which might be OK if I were Li Po drinking the moon.

The nearest passenger train depot was 25 miles outside town. The train passed at one in the morning. In spite of my florid disguise, I was spotted by a fiction writer as I boarded the regional train bound for Norfolk. “Barrett,” Mr. Yoon said. “This train is only for short story writers.”

“How short is short?” I asked, offering him a taste of my subject-verb-direct object sandwich with its plain spoken tomato.

The easy part about poetry is that you don’t have to show character motivation, a definite downer as far as writing prose. You just put a man on a train. He has two packages and he’s wearing eye glasses which he doesn’t really need. You don’t even have to say whether he’s stopping in Norfolk or changing trains to Richmond.

I blushed up each step to the garret studio off Broad Street. “I was sure you had died,” the artist said. I offered him the packages and accepted a drink. I walked around the studio blinking at the works in progress and taking my clothes off as if I were going to change into something else, but I didn’t change into anything. He reached for a stick of charcoal and rattled out a few coughs. I turned. I shifted my arms. I looked past him into wilderness.

Contributor Update: Maria Martin Narrative 30 Below Winner

Maria MartinToday we are happy to congratulate Maria Martin on receiving second place in the 30 Below Contest by Narrative. “Five” and two other poems by Maria are available to read from Narrative’s Winter 2018 Issue.

Maria is a poetry contributor for Superstition Review Issue 19. If you have not yet had the chance to read through her four poems now is a great opportunity.

We also had the pleasure of featuring Maria in our Authors Talk series in January. To hear her discussion on the evolution of her work please visit Authors Talk: Maria Martin here on the blog.

Congratulations, Maria!

Contributor Update: Allison Benis White 2018 UNT Rilke Prize Winner

Allison Benis White

We are pleased to announce that Alison Benis White’s Please Bury Me in This won the UNT (University of North Texas) Rike Prize for 2018.

To learn more about the UNT Rike Prize and events, visit the announcement page here.

Allison and Please Bury Me in This last appeared on the blog in a contributor update back in April of 2017 announcing that selections of her work were featured in the Spring-Summer 2017 edition of American Poets.

Please Bury Me in This is available from both the publisher Four Way Books and Amazon. You can also read, “Everything That Is Not Conversation,” an Interview with Allison Benis White featured in Issue 15 of Superstition Review.

Congratulations, Allison!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1935536834

Contributor Update: Rose Knapp Metempoïesis Poetry Collection

Metempoiesis by Rose KnappWe are excited to announce that past Superstition Review  contributor, Rose Knapp, has a new poetry collection available. Metempoïesis was released at the end of January and can be purchased through Dostoyevsky Wannabe.

Rose was featured in Issue 19. Her three poems are accompanied with sound and can be read, and heard, here. Rose also contributed to the Superstition Review Blog via an Authors Talk. Here she discusses about her poetry, language, and translation.

Congratulations, Rose!