Event: AZ Humanities

AUTHORS NIGHT WITH ROBERT ISENBERG EXPLORES TRAVEL WRITING, AND LIVING IN COSTA RICA

Kick off your summer with stories of travel inspiration June 7th in downtown Phoenix

Phoenix, AZ – The public is invited to join Arizona Humanities for a talk with local author Robert Isenberg. Isenberg will kick off your summer travels with stories and inspiration from his works, including his newest book, The Green Season about his life as a journalist in Costa Rica. The Authors Night takes place at the historic Ellis-Shackelford House in downtown Phoenix (1242 N. Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85004) on Tuesday, June 7th from 6:00-8:00pm. The program is free and light refreshments are included.

Isenberg describes his many years as a travel writer and journalist, scouring the globe for provocative stories. Hear about his rustic New England origins, life as a freelancer, and the evolving nature of long-form nonfiction. Considering a trip to Costa Rica? Ask him anything. This author night promises lively discussion about adventure in the age of the smartphone.

Seating is limited and guests are encouraged to RSVP at https://robertisenbergauthorsnight.eventbrite.com or call 602-257-0335.

Grean Season CoverAbout The Green Season: “A dynamic collection of essays and reportage, The Green Season illustrates daily life in Costa Rica, a tiny Central American nation dedicated to peace and teeming with tropical life. With his trademark humor and observation, Robert Isenberg describes the people, culture, and biodiversity that make Costa Rica so unique—from a centuries-old indigenous ceremony to a remote jungle crisscrossed by crocodile-filled canals. Isenberg explores the country head-on, fighting his way through San José traffic, mingling with venomous snakes, and even making a cameo in an epic soccer film at the height of World Cup fever. Richly detailed and tenderly written, The Green Season is one expat’s love letter to his adoptive homeland.”

Robert IsenbergAbout Robert Isenberg is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and stage performer. Most recently, he is the author of The Green Season, about his life as a journalist in Costa Rica. His work includes five books, 17 produced plays, dozens of short documentaries, and hundreds of articles for various magazines and newspapers. He created two one-man shows, The Archipelago (about his travels in postwar Bosnia) and One Million Elephants (about the Secret War in Laos). Isenberg is a past Whitford Fellow, Brackenridge Fellow, and recipient of two Golden Quill Awards, as well as a Pushcart Prize nominee. Visit him at robertisenberg.net.

SR Pod/Vod Series – Authors Talk: Author Jon Pearson

Jon PearsonToday we’re proud to feature Jon Pearson as our seventeenth Authors Talk series contributor, sharing his thoughts on harnessing creativity in his podcast, “Our Minds All Have Giant Backyards.”

Nothing kills creativity more than the desire to do well, Jon says in his Authors Talk podcast, adding “talent wants to know what the rules are so it can succeed. Genius wants to know what the rules are so it can break them and shoot for the stars.” But his advice is more complex than ‘throw all the rules away and start over:’ he’s fond of imagery in particular, and encourages writers to be polishers rather than editors.

The repeated idea of an “eternal Saturday that is at the heart of powerful writing” conjures up a number of situations common to artists of any medium. It’s representative of an Authors Talk that examines what it means to be a creative person, and the mindset in which art flourishes.

You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes Channel, #196.

You can read Jon’s story “Saturday” in Superstition Review Issue 16, and listen to him read it aloud in SR podcast #195.

 

More About the Author:

Jon Pearson is a writer, speaker, artist, and creative thinking consultant. He was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize and a 2014 Million Writers Award and his work has appeared in Barely South Review, Barnstorm, Carve, The Citron Review, Crack the Spine, Critical Pass Review, Cultural Weekly, Existere, Faultline, Fiction Fix, Lake Effect, Penmen Review, Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Reed Magazine, Shark Reef, Sou’wester, Tower Journal, West Wind Review, and Wild Violet. Jon writes now for the same reason he played with his food as a kid: to make the world a better place. Feel free to contact Jon at jonstuartpearson@gmail.com

 

About the Authors Talk series:

For several years, we have featured audio or video of Superstition Review contributors reading their work. We’ve now established a new series of podcasts called Authors Talk. The podcasts in this series take a broader scope and feature SR contributors discussing their own thoughts on writing, the creative process, and anything else they may want to share with listeners.

SR Pod/Vod Series – Recording: Author Jon Pearson

Jon PearsonThis Tuesday, we’re proud to feature SR contributor Jon Pearson reading his story “Saturday” on our podcast.

You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes Channel.

You can follow along with “Saturday” in Superstition Review Issue 16.

Also check out Jon Pearson’s Authors Talk podcast, posted Friday February 16th.

More About the Author:
Jon Pearson is a writer, speaker, artist, and creative thinking consultant. He was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize and a 2014 Million Writers Award and his work has appeared in Barely South Review, Barnstorm, Carve, The Citron Review, Crack the Spine, Critical Pass Review, Cultural Weekly, Existere, Faultline, Fiction Fix, Lake Effect, Penmen Review, Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Reed Magazine, Shark Reef, Sou’wester, Tower Journal, West Wind Review, and Wild Violet. Jon writes now for the same reason he played with his food as a kid: to make the world a better place.

 

 

SR Pod/Vod Series: Author Lori Jakiela

Lori JakielaToday we’re proud to feature Lori Jakiela as our fourteenth Authors Talk series contributor, reading her essay “Vox Humana” for her podcast episode entitled, “No Such Thing as an Ordinary Life: What Studs Terkel Taught Me About Being a Writer.”

“I believed that my life was too ordinary, too small to be worthy of art,” Lori explains in reference to an eighteen-year-old self and much-younger worldview. It would soon be challenged by an encounter with the famous historian Studs Terkel, whose abilities as a writer Lori seamlessly links to his genuine interest in people’s lives. Listening to her speak about the influence Studs had on her development – both as a writer and as a person – brings to mind the importance of having mentors and idols, and of allowing them to change you. Perhaps most importantly, it reminds us of the importance of having curiosity about all people, and appreciating their varied roles in art.

You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes Channel.

You can read Lori Jakiela’s work in Superstition Review, Issue 12 and Issue 6.

 

More About the Author:

Lori Jakiela is the author of the memoirs Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe (Atticus Books), Miss New York Has Everything (Hatchette) and The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious (C&R Press), as well as the poetry collection Spot the Terrorist (Turning Point) and several limited-edition poetry chapbooks. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Rumpus, Brevity, Superstition Review and more. Her essays have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize many times, and she received the 2015 City of Asylum Pittsburgh Prize, which sent her to Brussels, Belgium on a month-long writing residency. She has also received a Golden Quill Award from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, was a working-scholar at The Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and was the winner of the first-ever Pittsburgh Literary Death Match.

She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, the writer Dave Newman, and their children. A former flight attendant and journalist, she now teaches in the writing programs at The University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg and Chatham University, and is a co-director of Chautauqua Institution’s Summer Writing Festival. Her author website is http://lorijakiela.net.

About the Authors Talk series:

For several years, we have featured audio or video of Superstition Review contributors reading their work. We’ve now established a new series of podcasts called Authors Talk. The podcasts in this series take a broader scope and feature SR contributors discussing their own thoughts on writing, the creative process, and anything else they may want to share with listeners.

Berkeley Fiction Review

The Berkeley Fiction Review is a UC Berkeley undergraduate, student-run publication. We look for innovative short fiction that plays with form and content, as well as traditionally constructed stories with fresh voices and original ideas. Ultimately, we seek to contribute to literature’s on-going evolution.

We invite submissions of previously unpublished short stories year round and publish annually. Submissions are free. Contributors whose stories are published receive one free copy of the issue their story appears in. We also host fiction contests and nominate to O. Henry, Best American Short Stories, and Pushcart prizes. Click the link to learn more about the submission guidelines: http://berkeleyfictionreview.com/submit/

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#SRIssue16 Launch: An Interview with Sarah Einstein

sarah-einsteinThe 16th Issue of Superstition Review will Launch on December 1st. Featured in the issue, will be an interview with Sarah Einstein. Sarah Einstein is the author of Mot: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press 2015), Remnants of Passion (Shebooks 2014), and numerous essays and short stories. Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Best of the Net, and the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Guest Post, Kate Fetherston: Getting Off My Game

mind-the-gap-1484157Recently I had the good fortune to read some of Pamela Stewart’s new and as yet unpublished prose poems.  She’s creating a mosaic of small, luminous pieces with a variety of characters, voices, and circumstances—and the project is still in process.  I was struck by the abruptness of the endings and an absence of correlation in relationship between pieces. Struck in a good way—as in, I was mesmerized by a sense of incompleteness that opened up something compelling and strange:  a feeling of being lost. I find I long for that feeling even more than for meaning.  It’s in those spaces where there’s a lack of overt connection that the reader’s imagination and experience finds room to fill in the gaps.  Wow, I’m in.

But, as I struggle with a second book (and, frankly, find myself painting partly to avoid writing), I look at the pile of paper on my desk and wonder what I’m going to do with it all.  It’s the kind of dumb question that garners a lot of good advice that doesn’t help in the least.  “You’re going to have to connect these with some arc.”  Or: “What theme are you working with?” Or: “ Pay attention to the voice.” Naturally, I got all tangled up thinking about ideas, narrative arc, theme, architecture. And all that noise started harassing my little poems, strapping them into broken chairs under the single swaying bulb in a dank Jersey warehouse.  Like smart wiseguys, the poems clammed up.

ggLast week I was a participant at VCFA’s post-graduate writers conference and worked with the Detroit poet Jamaal May who talks faster than possibly anyone else worth listening to on the planet.  His debut collection, Hum, (Alice James Books, 2013) sizzles off the page with an energy that connects an unflinching eye with passionate heart. And he’s an attentive, intuitive and smart teacher. Perhaps the thing he said that I most needed to hear was a quote from the poet Rigoberto Gonzalez that, “It’s good for a poet to be in trouble.”  Yes, taking risks is good—but being in trouble is more than that:  it’s good to be really scared.

I’m not praising the idea that poets need to be morbidly depressed, in acute pain, anxious out of our minds, or miserable. There’s enough pain in everyone’s real life. And I think creativity is fostered by the full range of human experience—including joy.  But, I suddenly realized that somewhere I’ve been under the illusion that, given enough time and attention to craft, I wouldn’t have that lump in my throat.  I wouldn’t have to choke on the raw sob I keep under wraps in my day job, in taking care of laundry, my husband, the bills.  In all that left-brain activity, I’ve worked hard to have places in my life where I actually feel competent and I thought making poems could be one of them.  Now—and here’s my gift to you, reader—I realize that, if the poems have life in them, I can feel good about that. Later—maybe much later.  But the making itself requires my willingness to be undone, afraid, alone, fragile, fucked up.  So I can shift focus, be lost, be a little off my game.  Oh, shit. Thank heavens. Oh, shit. Amen.

A lot of scintillating things were said at this conference—it’s simply the best conference ever—and I’ve got a notebook filled with semi-legible scrawl to prove it What I hope will help my poems, is this: no matter where you and I are in the process of making a poem—or a book—along with attention to craft, theme, arc—there needs to be breathing room. Some gaps perhaps, some unfinishedness, the strangeness that feels alive.  A roominess that allows things not fitting together until or unless they do.  I love being lost as a reader. I love allowing meaning to come to me. I love not being hit over the head with what Roger Weingarten calls, “a poem as a life support system for an idea.”  I forgot that I love—and need—being lost as a writer.  And how much I need that trouble.  Oh, shit. Thank heavens. Oh, shit. Amen.