#ArtLitPhx: MFA Student Reading Series: Kalani Pickhart, Elliot Winter, Tucker Leighty-Philips

artlitphx

Date: February 7, 2019
Time: 8:00 p.m., come early to grab a drink or snack and mingle!
Location: The Social Hall (715 S McClintock Dr) Tempe, AZ

Event Description:
Calling all lovers of poetry and prose! Join English’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program for the first semester of a special 8-part reading series featuring brand new work from ASU graduate students. Each reading will highlight two to three students at The Social Hall, a new destination bar and restaurant in Tempe. Do yourself a favor and support the arts by taking a night off to enjoy some of the best work our community is producing.

Featured Readers for this Date:
Kalani Pickhart, fiction
Elliot Winter, poetry
Tucker Leighty-Philips, fiction

Contributor Update: Alison Hawthorne Deming

Hello everybody! Today, we here at Superstition Review are thrilled to announce that past contributor Alison Hawthorne Deming, who read for us back in April of 2011, has just been named Regents’ Professor at the University of Arizona, by the Arizona Board of Regents. To be named a Regents’ Professor is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a faculty member in the university system, and we can think of none more deserving than Alison Hawthorne Deming. You can read the full press release here, and if you’re interested in Alison’s work, check out her most recent publications: a new book of poetry titled”Stairway to Heaven,” out now from Penguin (found here), and her collaboration with photographer Stephen Strom, titled “Death Valley: Painted Light” (found here). Congratulations to Alison and the University of Arizona!

Congratulations!
Past contributor for Superstition Review and newly named Regents’ Professor Alison Hawthorne Deming.

#ArtLitPhx: Caffeine Corridor Poetry feat. Matt Hart & Jeff Sirkin

CaffeineCorridor-MattHart-JeffSirkin

 

The Caffeine Corridor Poetry Series featuring poets Matt Hart and Jeff Sirkin, takes place on Friday, November 11, at {9} The Gallery. This event is hosted by Bill Campana, Jack Evans, and Shawnee Orion in partnership with Four Chambers Press. {9} The Gallery is located on 1229 Grand Ave. Phoenix AZ, 85007. The event is free and open to the public.

Matt Hart is the author of several books of poems, including Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012), Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013), and Radiant Action (H_NGM_N Books, 2016). Hart’s poems, reviews, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous print and online journals, including The Academy of American Poets online, Big Bell, Cincinnati Review, Coldfront, Columbia Poetry Review, H_NGM_N, Harvard Review, Jam Tarts Magazine, jubilat, Kenyon Review online, Lungfull!, and POETRY, among others. His awards include a Pushcart Prize, a 2013 individual artist grant from The Shifting Foundation, and fellowships from both the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. A co-founder and the editor-in- chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he is Associate Professor in Creative Writing and the Chair of Liberal Arts at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He plays guitar and shouts in the bands TRAVEL and THE LOUDEST SOUNDER.

Jeff Sirkin grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and he is the author of the poetry collection Travelers Aid Society (Veliz Books 2016). In addition to poetry, he writes on popular music and literature. His work has appeared in Mandorla; Forklift, Ohio; Puerto del Sol, the Volta and elsewhere. Co-editor of the web journal A DOZEN NOTHING, he currently teaches in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Texas, El Paso, where he also co-curates the Dishonest Mailman Reading Series.

For more information, please visit the Facebook event.

#ArtLitPhx: Caffeine Corridor Poetry Series feat. John Spaulding

Corridor Series-John

The Caffeine Corridor Poetry Series featuring poet John Spaulding takes place on Friday, October 14, at 9 The Gallery. Open mic starts at 7 p.m. and sign up starts at 6:45 p.m. This event is hosted by Bill Campana, Jack Evans, and Shawnte Orion. 9 The Gallery is located on 1229 Grand Ave. Phoenix AZ, 85007. The event is free.

John Spaulding’s work has appeared in nearly fifty periodicals, including The Atlantic, Rattle, Nimrod, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, APR, The Iowa Review, The Canadian Forum, Boston Review, The Southern Review, Hunger Mountain, Alaska Quarterly Review, and other places. His four published poetry titles include The White Train (Louisiana State University Press), The Roses of Starvation (Riverstone), Hospital (Finishing Line Press) and Walking in Stone Wesleyan). He was awarded the first Norma Millay Fellowship, and has been a Walt Whitman Award finalist, as well as a winner of the National Poetry Series. His book Hospital was selected by the Arizona Daily Star as one of the best books of 2012 by a southwestern author. John’s articles, “Poetry and the Media” and “The Popularity of Poetry,” appeared in the Journal of Popular Culture and Popular Culture Review, respectively. John is also the editor of a culinary history, Civil War Recipes, published by the University Press of Kentucky. After serving as a psychologist with the Indian Health Service for twenty years, he is now teaching writing at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona.

For more information you can visit the Facebook event.

#ArtLitPhx: Anne Heintz at the Uptown PEN

Anne-Heintz-Uptown

The Uptown PEN is a monthly open mic and reading series hosted by Four Chambers. The series aims to showcase the work of local authors and it also brings a monthly featured author. Local authors can bring poetry, flash fiction, or any other pieces. The open mic lasts around an hour (first come, first serve) and with a half hour for the featured author. To be featured, please e-mail: fourchamberspress@gmail.com.

Anne Heintz is a native Arizonan who likes to write about teaching and teach about writing. She represented the US at an international playwriting festival for young artists called Interplay, held in Townsville, Australia. Her most recent academic scholarship may be found in the Springer Handbook for Digital Learning in K-12 Schools. She is the co-author of two practitioner volumes for teachers, published by Guilford Press and Teachers College Press. Her fiction piece, Not Exacta, was featured at Spillers, a performance art event showcasing Arizona writers. She has short fiction appearing in Four Chambers 04. She is currently working on a musical about teachers.

The event takes place Tuesday, October 11th, 2016, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Practical Art. 5070 N Central Ave, 85012 Phoenix. For more information, visit the Facebook event.

#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.

s[r] Goodreads #FridayReads

This week on Goodreads.com, Superstition Review‘s Poetry Editor, Abner Porzio, reviewed two of his latest reads.

Or ConsequenceOr Consequence, by Cynthia Hogue.

Of utmost brilliance, Hogue’s collection of poems compels readers to journey forth and contemplate histories, causation, and unanswerable questions. Life’s grounding complexities and the boundaries of conscience are sewn together by the delicate and strong mindful poet. The mastery over focal points, techniques of blurring and redefining panoramas of place and time, string both universal and modern truths to the humanity that has been reconnected or what has been left naturally incomplete. Tragedies are shown as temporal, and yet, they are devastating events to be acknowledged collectively as part of the human experience. Pain is the human denominator. Suffering gets transmuted through hearable voices. Governing dynamics test the limits of the spirit when unanswerable histories and body experiences are questioned for their causation. Struggle for understanding exists in being stuck contemplating in-between past and present, causes and effects.

The poetry asks readers to be reminded of the constraint of the ‘element being’ grounded in a body. Hogue’s poems have exquisite profound gifts of sounds, which add elegant depths of resonance. Hogue’s sensitivity to how semantics and pragmatics choose the idiosyncratic communications simply honors natural languages as persistent and being capable of uncovering the inexistent. The acute articulation of linguistic expressions ranges beyond the comprised syntax with powerful erasures and silencing strikethroughs. Genius at metaphor, actions are of most significance.

Some lines that I enjoyed:

“I go in circles circles circles/ the first says, though I wish/ to cut the water like wings slice air.”

“Who can say no to such mayhem?”

“Looking could not make meaning.”

 

Some Nights No Cars at AllSome Nights No Cars at All, by Josh Rathkamp.

An immediate must read. Rathkamp’s collection of poems travel the mind inward to the perplex phenomenon of the familiar place, while travelling alongside each of the speakers’ trusty precise observances. These locations are where mere destinations only get furthered for the better; for they allow readers to arrive at their own active insightfulness and rediscoveries. Over and over again, his invaluable poetics carry each read to real heights of ambivalence. Truths, majestic assumptions, and understandings of what it means to be human are of interest. Physical and emotional manifestations of human imperfections have literal transparencies. The absence, loss, and the theme of emptiness countered the implications of the refilling notions of transient place.

Rathkamp’s verses are saturated with specific visual details. These inquiries of the present, past, and future moments, which are grounded in place, show ambivalence in all its nuances. All the ambiguities of separation, the humanistic postured reinterpretation of ambivalence explore the thought processes of being caught between making it work and giving up on the union. Struggle coincides with the flutter of melding conclusions, which hold the blueprints of these possibilities for an anxiety-free existence intact. Holistically, the poetic viewpoint renders points of transpiration life before these moments further change.

Some lines that I enjoyed:

“And again I am finding ways/ to clean the mess I made,/ rationalizing their nest to fallen twigs/ wound with mud and fishing line,/ the simple possibility of making another.”

“We were what we wanted.”

“We grew into speaking without words.”

“Sometimes what we think is soaring is actually/ a hell of a lot of work.”

Alison Hawthorne Deming Reading Wrap-Up: Myths, Rope and Dog Tags

Deming reading from her manuscript ZOOLOGIES.

Last Wednesday at ASU’s Tempe campus, Superstition Review held the latest event in its reading series with poet, author and educator, Alison Hawthorne Deming. She read a selection of poems from her latest book Rope. She also read a few short prose pieces from her manuscript ZOOLOGIES.

Students, colleagues and friends gathered in the Education Lecture Hall and after a few words from Superstition Review founding editor Patricia Murphy, and a brief introduction from Professor Joni Adamson, Deming took the podium and she read from her writings about the importance of dog tags, modern day Greek myths and finding salty, sea soaked rope on the coast. After the reading and applause she took time to sign copies of her books and speak to colleagues and friends.

Superstition Review staff and interns would like to thank everyone who attended the reading and we would like to extend a special thanks to Alison Hawthorne Deming for coming in to town and sharing her wonderful work with us.

Patricia Murphy discuss the upcoming launch of Issue 7.
Alison signs books.

Melissa Pritchard reads from “Echorché, Flayed Man”

On November 8 the Superstition Review reading series was pleased to feature Melissa Pritchard. The intimate atmosphere of the reading allowed for a personal view of her story Echorché, Flayed Man. Music from an Italian composer, the pungent scent of incense and a few words from Patricia Murphy and Reading Series Coordinator Mary Richardson provided the perfect introduction. While a large group of friends, colleagues and admirers filled the Pima Auditorium in the Memorial Union at ASU, her voice was quiet and seemed to engage us individually as she read. As Melissa stood against a backdrop lit with magenta bulbs, the audience silently absorbed each emotion-filled sentence.

After the applause from eager listeners Melissa answered several questions. She touched on working with A Public Space and the technicalities of writing a story that is both fiction, and also the true story of certain individuals from La Specula, the museum in Italy upon which the story takes place. Echorché, Flayed Man has been published in Issue 11 of A Public Space and will also appear in her latest book The Odditorium, to be released in January 2011.

 

Melissa Pritchard discusses Superstition Review reading and other works

On November 8th the Superstition Review Reading Series will feature Melissa Pritchard at Arizona State University’s Tempe Campus. Her reading will take place at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Pima Auditorium. Pritchard has published several books such as Phoenix: A Novel, Late Bloomer and Devotedly, Virginia: The Life of Virginia Galvin Piper. She has also published her essays Finding Ashton and A Woman’s Garden, Sown in Blood in O, The Oprah Magazine, and The Collagist 4, respectively. I had the opportunity to discuss the upcoming reading and Pritchard’s latest novel The Odditorium.

Superstition Review: How is The Odditorium different from your other works?

Melissa Pritchard: The Odditorium is a collection of seven stories and a novella. Most are based on unusual or enigmatic historical figures, all look at the ways architecture exerts subtle or unsubtle pressures on human consciousness. So they are different in those ways from most of my previous stories. More than half of them do not approach narrative in a traditional or conventional way. I experiment in one story, “Watanya Cicilia,” with a pastiche of historical documents, songs, research and fiction, contrasting the Wild West Show and the real, genocidal story of the West. “The Hauser Variations,” based on the life of Kaspar Hauser, a German boy kept in an underground dungeon throughout his childhood and then mysteriously released into a second tragic fate, is based, in terms of narrative strategy, on Bach’s Goldberg Variations. In another story, “Patricide,” two sisters meet in a haunted hotel in Richmond, Virginia, its courtyard said to be a place where Edgar Allen Poe once played as a child. In this hotel, one of the sisters goes mad. So I was less interested in the traditional structure of plot and expected emotional release than in ethics, history, architecture and the effects of these upon both historically based and purely imagined characters.

SR: What has in been like working with Bellevue Literary Press?

MP: We are in the earliest phases; I accepted their offer to publish The Odditorium in January, 2012, and had a lengthy phone conversation with the publisher, Erika Goldman. I was so impressed with her aesthetic understanding of the collection, her excitement over the departures I had taken in terms of subject and form, I became convinced this was the proper home for these pieces. The BLP website is terrific, too, as is their history with Bellevue Hospital and New York University’s Medical Center. They publish elegant books at the nexus of art, science and medicine, and only publish two fiction titles a year. One of this year’s fiction titles, Tinkers, by Paul Harding, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, resulting in a flurry of attention for the press, with articles and interviews in The New York Times, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and other media venues. It’s a tiny press operating out of Bellevue Hospital, and they do terrific work. I come from a family of surgeons, doctors and nurses, and have always been fascinated by science, medicine and the history of medicine, so this could not be a better place for this book, as a number of the stories deal with medical histories, issues and questions.

SR: How has your time at ASU influenced your writing?

MP: Because my time to write is limited, I have to be disciplined. Sometimes I find it quite difficult, having time and energy to both write and teach. A fragile balance at best. On the other hand, teaching keeps me awake to current trends in literature, to remaining relevant to students year after year, and I am blessed to work with some incredibly gifted students, both graduates and undergraduates. I always say my students teach me in equal proportion to what I teach them. At least I feel that. Also, ASU has always been tremendously supportive of my outside work–traveling for research, traveling to conferences, traveling for reportage or for humanitarian work, which I also do. I am extremely grateful for the university’s support.

SR: What are you most looking forward to as the Superstition Review reading draws near?

MP: I have a background in theater, in acting, so I always love reading my work aloud in a public setting…for me, it is as close to performance as I come these days. I love an audience and I love hearing the piece I’ve chosen come alive in the room, seeing the reactions of the listeners, answering questions afterwards. It is truly a wonderful exchange. This past summer at The Glen, a writing workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, part of Seattle Pacific University’s MFA Program, I read my collection’s title story, “The Odditorium,” to a full house. It is a comic piece about Robert Ripley of Believe It or Not fame, and other audiences have responded with laughter and lively commentary afterwards. This audience was dead silent. The room was dark, I couldn’t see anyone. I kept reading, on and on, by the little glow from the podium light. Afterwards, no one even asked questions! I was horrified, sure I had failed, sure the story had been a failure…I wanted to crawl under a carpet had there been one. What I found out later, was that the story had gone over so well, people couldn’t react, they went silent–stunned. I won’t repeat the praises I later heard, but then I became overwhelmed the other direction–was my story really that good? So one never knows, and one always doubts. Also, I’m always a little nervous before a reading, hoping it goes well, that I don’t disappoint people who made the time and effort to come to my reading when there are dozens of other things for them to do….I am also always scared no one will show up, and thrilled to pieces when they do. Finally, I’m looking forward to meeting all the staff and interns at Superstition Review. They’ve even managed to arrange to have copies of A Public Space #11 mailed from New York to be available for sale on the night of the reading. (I’ll be reading a story, “Ecorche, The Flayed Man,” from that issue.)

SR: What are you currently working on creatively?

MP: I’m in between three pieces right now…a non-fiction piece about my miniature dachshund, Simon, a speech about Sr. Airman Ashton Goodman and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project that I will be giving at the Air Force Institute of Technology in December, and a novella set in 19th century Florence, Italy.

SR: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

MP: Read voraciously. Read the best work you can find. Read what interests you. Be observant. Practice empathy and compassion. Know that what you write ultimately reflects who you are. Write every day, even if only for an hour and be humble in your practice while aspiring to greatness. Be gentle with yourself, and always reward yourself in some small way after a writing session. Leave the writing at a place where you are eager to return the next day.