Intern Spotlights: Week 4, Wrap-Up

Where are they now?

We are so proud of our past and present staff here at Superstition Review, and we’ve decided to celebrate the accomplishments of our past interns throughout the month of April. Each day, we will feature an intern on social media and share what they’re up to now. Then, at the end of each week, we will share a wrap-up post of all our featured interns from that week. So, without further ado, we present our last week of intern spotlights:

1. Leah Newsom: Interview Editor, Issue 15 (Spring 2015) and Issue 16 (Fall 2015)

April 24: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Leah on LinkedIn

Leah NewsomMore details: Leah shares, “Since graduating with my BA in Creative Writing, I got an amazing job working as a content developer for a boutique design group called Monomyth Studio. I also returned to ASU as an MFA candidate in fiction (and am just now rounding out my first year). I still run Spilled Milk Magazine, an online literary magazine featuring brief prose and poetry. It’s great to continue engaging with my literary community outside of the university, and to work with friends (now across the country!) on such an ambitious project. It’s hard to say what it is I love about what I do. I obviously feel very compelled to write and to read and to talk about writing and reading, but I am still figuring out why. I probably will always be figuring it out. I think, in a way, this curiosity—this ignorance—is a necessary thing. I need the surprise of a beautiful sentence, the wonder of a unique image. I probably wouldn’t be writing, otherwise.”

2. Brianna Perkins: Social Networker, Issue 9 (Spring 2012)

April 25: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Bri on LinkedIn

Bri PerkinsMore details: Bri shares, “My life has deviated quite a bit from that ‘master life plan’ that I created back in 2012, and to be honest, I’m glad it did. I found it is far more exciting to sit back and enjoy the twists and turns in the road than try to make it fit this unrealistic image my crazy 20-year-old brain had concocted. I packed my bags, said goodbye to the Arizona desert, and moved to Massachusetts. In the years since, I’ve traveled through Europe with just a pair of worn out sneakers and a backpack, bought a house, knocked down a few walls, and met some amazing people.  Not long after my big move, I started at Springfield College in a position that was the college’s response to the wild growth of an unpredictable monster: technology. As we all know, technology changes faster than that banana on your kitchen counter turns brown. In this role, it is my job to stay ahead of the curve as best as I can. It is one part fortune teller, one part inventor, and one part translator. I create new ways to integrate engaging and immersive technologies in a way that not only makes sense, but is meaningful. I learned quickly how to translate from Techie to actual English. It has made me every relative’s favorite person and I’m sure I’m on the speed dial for more than a handful of grandparents (none of which are my own). I started doing outreach and communications for IT. I launched a YouTube channel for training and development. I started doing workshops for faculty, staff, and students. The role has grown exponentially. Springfield College recognized that there is this emerging need for creating technology literacy and as of May 1st, I’ll be pioneering yet another new position: Learning and Development Coordinator. This position will give me the time I need to provide development and training opportunities to staff, faculty, and students in a language that makes sense to them and in a way that makes technology seem a little less intimidating (and dare I say it fun).

“In my spare time, I do quite a bit of consulting. I’m currently on a one-year contract with Springfield Technical Community College as an Outreach and Technology Coordinator where I’m working with their Supplemental Instruction team to launch their own YouTube channel and outreach programs. I’ve designed catering menus for local restaurants, logos for new initiatives, and even jumpstarted a few marketing campaigns and social networking strategies. Even Arizona State University couldn’t get rid of me; from time to time I work as a voice actor for some of their systems. Fun fact: if you call any phone line at Arizona State with an automated phone menu, it is my voice you’re hearing.  I’d tell you my future plans, but as I’ve learned, I can plan all I want, but life has its own trajectory. All I know is that the time I spent has Superstition Review has been absolutely vital in getting me where I am and I am so thankful for the opportunity I had while there. I’m so proud to see how far it has come and I can’t wait to see what is next for the SR family.”

3. Katie McCoach: Fiction Editor, Issue 6 (Fall 2010)

April 26: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Katie on LinkedIn

Katie McCoachMore details: Katie shares, “When I finally realized that I could be my own boss and do story editing (not even copy editing!) all day long, I knew that nothing else would be as fulfilling. I opened KM Editorial, LLC in 2012 with not a client to my name. But since then I’ve grown my business to be a stopping ground for many authors in need of all levels of editing. I have a whole team behind me now. I love what I do. It’s funny sometimes when I consider the fact that I dole out criticism for a living. But it’s so rewarding. I get to work with authors all day long and help them create fabulous stories. I see them grow as writers. It’s amazing to see my collection of clients’ books fill my bookshelf. But honestly, even better than that is when I get that email from an author saying, ‘I’m so excited to dive into revisions!'”

4. Cassie Tolman: Poetry Editor, Issue 1 (Spring 2008)

April 27: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Cassie on LinkedIn

Cassie TolmanMore details: Cassie is a creative entrepreneur who owns Pomegranate Cafe (vegan/vegetarian, organic, locally sourced, crafted with love) in Phoenix, AZ. She shares, “There are so many opportunities to express myself and share ideas through writing as a business owner.  I am currently creating an Indie Gogo campaign to help fund our expansion, and being able to write with authenticity and heart is essential to sharing our mission and creating community.  I also use freestyle writing/journaling as a daily practice to connect with my dreams and the quiet world around me.  I see words like imaginary seeds we plant that can grow off the page into wild and beautiful gardens with a life of their own.  Being part of the Superstition Review when it first began was an exciting, new experience for me.  I feel really fortunate to have been a small part of the beginning of a dream that has now taken shape and enriched the lives of so many people!”

5. Caitlin Keniston: Nonfiction Editor, Issue 9 (Spring 2012)

April 28: Twitter and Facebook announcements, find Caitlin on LinkedIn

Caitlin KenistonMore details: Caitlin shares, “After graduating from ASU, I applied to every publication company I could find in the Phoenix area. I was lucky to be hired by Target Market Media Publications, a national publisher of trade magazines. As the editor, I work with our clients, writers and proofreaders to get each of our magazines ready for publication. I learned a lot in college, but it does not compare to the experience of working in the field. I feel blessed to have found a career in writing and editing. While it’s partly luck and good timing, I also think you need to have a certain drive to make it actually work.”

6. Dominique Brigham: Art Editor, Issue 11 (Spring 2013)

April 30: Facebook announcement, find Dominique on LinkedIn

Dominique BrighamMore details: Dominique is a graduate student at the University of Amsterdam in the Cultural Analysis research MA program. She shares, “As the student Art Editor of Superstition Review, I had the wonderful opportunity of putting all my time spent learning about art in Florence to good use! While I did my BA in English literature, I loved being able to branch out into a different discipline, and Superstition Review gave me that opportunity. Currently, I am writing my thesis for my Master’s in Cultural Analysis at the Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where I’ve enjoyed a fantastic and interdisciplinary program with fellow international students. My research deals with adaptation and translation theory, centered around the Pokémon franchise and Pokémon: The First Movie in particular, and I hope to pursue a PhD on how transmedia storytelling has impacted the way popular franchises are built now and for the future. In time not spent on academic work, however, I am a volunteer proofreader for WordFire Inc. and a freelance copyeditor, though I would like to turn this into a more permanent career. I am also co-authoring a four book fantasy series, which will hopefully see its first query letters being sent to various publishing companies in the near future!”

Thank you so much to these interns for their service with us; you are all doing such amazing things, and we’re so proud!

Culinary Magic at Pomegranate Cafe

Poetry and culinary magic unite at Pomegranate Café, an Ahwatukee restaurant that focuses on a new way of eating. By “utilizing fresh organic ingredients” to “tempt the palate and create wellbeing,” Pomegranate Café’s ever-expanding menu defies the idea that healthy foods must lack flavor. My experiences at Pomegranate Café have confirmed that health foods are true indulgences, delivering tastes of wondrous vibrancy in every bite. Pomegranate Café is owned by mother-and-daughter pair Cassie Tolman, a former Superstition Review intern, and her mother Marlene Tolman.

Delicious hummus & veggies courtesy of The Pomegranate Cafe.

Pomegranate Café has a diverse menu, full of wholesome vegan, gluten-free, and raw items. During my dinner there, I had a yummy potato-leek soup with a generous slice of gluten-free pomegranate-chocolate cake. I asked Cassie Tolman about how she conceptualized Pomegranate Café. I asked her if preparing a meal and writing poetry involve a similar process. A meal, she writes, “can be devoured”—perhaps like a poem. While poetry involves rhyme, meter, words, and sounds, the magic in food comes alive when “ordinary things—a bunch of beets, some garlic, a drop of oil, a handful of herbs—all begin to work together with elements like time and heat.” The work of a cook is similar to the work of a poet: the casting of ordinary objects into something that nourishes the soul. Cassie finds ingredients for nourishment in seasonal fruits and vegetables, supporting local farmers, and creates a beautiful meal.

Delicious vegan rolls courtesy of The Pomegranate Cafe.

True to form, Pomegranate Café’s chocolate cake was the richest cake I’ve ever had. The pomegranate seeds that top the cake add a bright note of citrus and remind me just how deliciously smooth the cake is—even though it is completely egg and dairy free.

Pomegranate Café truly values food. It’s evident that Cassie and her mother have worked hard to extract wholesome delights out of ordinary ingredients. In a culture of processed foods, where ingredient lists seem endless, the ingredients of Pomegranate’s meals are proudly simple. I am inspired by Cassie’s belief in the transformative power of food. She loves to “create raw vegan dishes because the colors, textures, and flavors remain crisp, bold and beautiful.” I am so excited that she catered Superstition Review’s launch party. Cassie’s love of food is evidenced by Pomegranate Café. It inspires me to experiment in my own kitchen, testing different flavors and textures together—as I’d experiment with different sounds and words as a writer—to craft something delicious, wholesome, and nourishing.

Interview with Cassie Tolman from Pomegranate Cafe

Vegan Rolls from Pomegranate Cafe

Cassie Tolman and her mother Marlene Tolman created Pomegranate Cafe as a space to combine flavor and nutrition in an earth-conscious manner. Opened in 2009, Pomegranate Cafe become a Phoenix hit. Cassie Tolman is a former Superstition Review intern and a graduate of The Natural Gourmet Cookery School. Her mother, Marlene, is a graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute’s Cordon Bleu. You can find out more about Pomegranate Cafe on their website or on their Facebook page. This interview was conducted by current intern Christine Truong.

Superstition Review: What inspired you and your mom to open Pomegranate Cafe?

Cassie Tolman: My mom and I were inspired to open Pomegranate Cafe because we wanted to do something creative and authentic. We also wanted to get to know and nurture our local community. We are both passionate about healthy, organic vegetarian food and recognized that there were not many places in the neighborhood that serve fresh, wholesome food and drinks. My mom had some money that was passed on to her by her grandfather, and she decided that with the instability of the economy, investing in this dream was just as sensible as putting her money into retirement savings or any other investments.  My 90-year-old grandmother (we call her the original health nut) also invested in Pomegranate Cafe. Two and a half years ago, we both quit our jobs, took a risk and opened Pomegranate Cafe in Ahwatukee.

SR: How has your interest in poetry and literature translated over to the conceptualizing of the restaurant?

CT: My interest in poetry and literature helped me conceptualize Pomegranate Cafe by supporting the idea that ordinary, everyday work can lead to magic. Opening Pomegranate Cafe has been transformative. Through lots of hard work and practice, what was once an empty, abandoned wine bar in a strip mall is now a bustling, thriving, vibrant cafe!

SR: What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare and why do you prepare them?

CT: I do not have a single favorite dish to prepare. Rather, I prefer to experiment and almost never cook the same thing twice. My favorite way of preparing a meal is to start with fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. From here I am inspired by the people I am cooking for and the ingredients I have in my kitchen. I love to create raw vegan dishes because the colors, textures and flavors remain crisp, bold and beautiful.

SR: Do you think that preparing food and writing poetry involve, in some ways, a similar process?

CT: Preparing a meal and writing poetry do involve similar processes. The cook and the poet are both resourceful. We use what we have on hand, what happens to be in the cupboard or fresh from the garden today. With our hands, practiced technique, a few tools and a little magic, we create a meal (or a poem) that can be devoured. The magic comes into play when ordinary things – a bunch of beets, some garlic, a drop of oil, a handful of herbs / a single image, a memory, a string of words – all begin to work together with elements like time and heat. And somewhere in the process of hand and cutting board, stove and knife, pencil and paper, washing, chopping and mixing – a transformation occurs. The ingredients that were there in the cupboards, or the words that were under your pillow while you slept, are now coming together in the pot or on the page to form something new. Hopefully something to be eaten, savored, read, remembered.

SR: What are some things you like to do in your spare time?

CT: Spare time is almost non-existent since opening the cafe! Whenever I can steal a moment, I do still love to read…

Some of my current favorites:

Gabrielle Hamilton’s book Blood, Bones & Butter

Poetry by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Tamar Adler An Everlasting Meal

Issue 9 Launch Party [Recap]

We would like to thank all of our staff, interns, contributors, readers, Art Intersection, Mind Over Batter, and Pomegranate Cafe for making the launch of Issue 9 a success. On launch day alone, we had over 460 visitors, half of which were new to Superstition Review. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Check out some of the photos from our Issue 9 launch party.

Cake pops courtesy of Mind Over Batter.

Poet Gregory Castle reads his work. Editor Jennie Ricks presents her favorite work from Issue 9.

Editor Caitlin Demo presents her favorite work from Issue 9.

Friends of Superstition Review

Artist Carolyn Lavender discusses her work.

Editor Sarah Murray presents her favorite work from Issue 9.

 

Some of our talented SR Interns. Friends of SR including Faculty Advisor Melanie Pitts, Professor Duane Roen, and Hannah Roen, who was an editor for Issue 1 of SR.

Artist Monica Martinez discusses her work.

Editor Corinne Randall presents her favorite work from Issue 9.

 

Editor Christine Peters presents her favorite work from Issue 9.

 

Delicious vegan rolls courtesy of The Pomegranate Cafe.

 

Contributors and staff mingling before the presentation.

 

 

 

 

Delicious hummus & veggies courtesy of The Pomegranate Cafe.

Editor Christine Truong presents her favorite piece from Issue 9