#ArtLitPhx: Poet/Critic Rigoberto González: “A Life of Labor”

ALifeofLabor-Rigoberto

 

 

Award-winning poet Rigoberto González talk “A Life of Labor” takes place on Tuesday, November 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the Fulton Center room 2490. ASU Tempe Campus.  His talk will focus on his writing career.

Rigoberto González is the author four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His ten books of prose include two bilingual children’s books, the three young adult novels in the Mariposa Club series, the novel Crossing Vines, the story collection Men Without Bliss, and three books of nonfiction, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He also edited Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing and Alurista’s new and selected volume Xicano Duende: A Select Anthology. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the Los Angeles Times and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). He earned graduate degrees from the University of California, Davis, and Arizona State University in Tempe.

This event is hosted by  the ASU Department of English and its Creative Writing Program, along with the Humanities Division of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information, please visit the event page and/or the Facebook event.

#ArtLitPhx: A Poetry Reading by Rigoberto González

 

RigobertoGonzalesMondayAward-winning poet Rigoberto González will be reading on Monday, November 7 at 7 p.m. at Arizona State University, Tempe Campus. This event is free and open to the public. Memorial Union’s Pima Auditorium will open its doors at 6:30 p.m.

Rigoberto González is the author four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His ten books of prose include two bilingual children’s books, the three young adult novels in the Mariposa Club series, the novel Crossing Vines, the story collection Men Without Bliss, and three books of nonfiction, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He also edited Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing and Alurista’s new and selected volume Xicano Duende: A Select Anthology. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the Los Angeles Times and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). He earned graduate degrees from the University of California, Davis, and Arizona State University in Tempe.

This event is hosted by  the ASU Department of English and its Creative Writing Program, along with the Humanities Division of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information, please visit the event page and/or the Facebook event.

Newsletter 11/4

“Superstition

11.4.16


Rigoberto Gonzalez Poetry Reading on ASU Tempe Campus

Rigoberto GonzalezRigoberto Gonzalez, acclaimed poet and Superstition Review contributor, will be reading from his work in the Memorial Union Pima Auditorium (MU 230), on ASU’s Tempe campus, Monday Nov. 7th at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. A book signing will follow.

Gonzalez is the author four books of poetry. Unpeopled Eden, his most recent, was awarded the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. He is the recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award. Currently he is a professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey, and has earned graduate degrees from the University of California, Davis, and Arizona State University.

The event will be hosted by the Department of English and Creative Writing Program at ASU, along with the Humanities Division of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

 

 

 


13 Famous Writers on Overcoming Writer’s Block

HemingwayWith National Novel Writing Month in full swing, it’s a good time to reflect on the writing process, whether you plan to pen a novel in 30 days or not. Famous authors, from Hemingway to Angelou, give their tips on how to avoid the dreaded writer’s block and keep on writing.

From walking, to having a good shave, to just stopping when you really get going, writers will always have a creative way to increase productivity and get words on the page.

Read all 13 authors’ advice here.

 

 

 

 

 


25 Books to Help You Understand America in 2016

James Baldwin2016 has been a year replete with anxiety and trepidations about the future. In a political climate and society thriving off so much division, books can provide a way to understand and work through important issues.

Penguin Random House lists 25 books to help readers to be better and more informed people in 2016. From classics works of literature from James Baldwin and Raymond Carver, to excellent works of non-fiction on issues such as climate, democracy, and liberty, there’s a lot for readers to take in.

In tumultuous times, it’s helpful to remember that F. Scott Fitzgerald quote, “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”

See all 25 books here.

 

 

 


The Book Nerd’s Guide to Prioritizing Your To-Read List

Book NerdFor many readers, the realization that there are so many good books and not enough time to read them can be a daunting one. Piles of books take over nightstands and coffee tables, and soon the to-read list grows so long it feels hopeless. Luckily the Book Nerd over at Barnes and Noble has a few tips on better prioritizing the books you want to read.

What are your reading goals this year? What are your reading commitments, book clubs, etc.? How are you feeling, do you need a good laugh? Will the newest season of your favorite show be up on Netflix before you’ve gotten to that point in the book series? These are all questions that help whittle down your reading list so you can spend less time deciding and more time reading.

See all the tips here.


Featured Partner: The Florida Review

The Florida Review

The Florida Review is seeking submissions to the 2017 Jeanne L. Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award. The deadline for all submissions is December 30, 2016.

The Jeanne L. Leiby Award is given to the single best prose manuscript entry in Fiction, Essay, or Graphic Narrative. In addition to publication, the winner will also receive $1000. Second place will receive tuition at Sanibel Island Writers Conference and a selection of the entry considered for publication in The Florida Review.

Visit our submissions guidelines for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Featured Partner: Nimrod Journal 

NimrodNimrod International Journal announces the 39th Annual Nimrod Literary Awards: The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. The Awards offer first prizes of $2,000 and publication, and second prizes of $1,000 and publication.

For poetry, submit 3-10 pages (one long poem or several short poems); for fiction, one short story, 7,500 words maximum. Include a cover sheet with titles of the works and the author’s name, address, phone, and email. The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. Entry fee: $20 (includes a one-year subscription). Postmark deadline: April 30th. Complete rules: https://nimrod.utulsa.edu/awards.html.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Featured Partner: The Los Angeles Review

Amy HassingerNew! from Red Hen Press

After the Dam – Amy Hassinger

Available where books are sold

“This book does what my favorite books always do: grab the reader with tautness and fierce intelligence, so that even the quiet drama of it gets pulled into the page-turning qualities of the narrative. I could say, Read this book. Instead I’ll say, Start this book. You won’t stop reading until its terrific ending.”

—Leigh Allison Wilson, author of Wind and From the Bottom Up

“Forces of nature—big water and big love—come together in this unforgettable literary page-turner. Amy Hassinger has woven a tale out of the very earth where the Ojibwe live. Her protagonist—Rachel—is a lover, mother, and activist, a woman of our time on a hero’s journey toward wholeness.”

—Patricia Henley, author of Hummingbird House, finalist for the National Book Award

 

 

 

 

 


Featured Partner: Post Road

Post Road

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.

Guest Blog Post, Amanda Auchter: The Creativity of Not Writing

Amanda AuchterI haven’t written anything of substance in a year and I’ll admit it: when I see my writer friends boast on Facebook of how they’ve dashed off four or five poems in a single week, I’m a bit envious. I could offer a litany of reasons why I haven’t written a single poem or line of prose for my memoir since July 2012, and yes, there are good excuses in the bunch: major surgery, family illness, traveling, teaching three comp-lit-creative writing courses per semester, etc. The truth is, I needed a break from the way of thinking that comes with writing. I’m a bit worn out.

It’s a little taboo, it seems, in the writing community to admit publicly that you are—gasp!—not writing and are—double gasp!—okay with that. But I am. I think, in fact, that it may be healthy to take breaks from writing altogether from time to time to regroup, especially when you’ve been so deep in the bubble of the writing life.  It’s important to breathe, to enjoy a non-writing hobby, to look at the world from an angle different than the one of words.

In the past year, I’ve done just that: stepped outside the writing box.  I don’t feel that my creativity has suffered in the least, and in fact, I think that I’ve been able to not only maintain this creativity, but explore it through different avenues.  I’ve spent the past year baking and cooking and exploring creativity through the gastronomic senses.  I’ve started collecting vintage cookbooks from the mid-century and reading through them with joy, horror (meat and Jell-O?), and amusement.  My fascination with mid-century cooking has spilled over to other mid-century discoveries as well: I recently read Wife Dressing: The Fine Art of Being a Well-Dressed Wife by acclaimed 1950s fashion designer Anne Fogarty and was horrified/excited to take a peek into a “recommended” 50s housewife’s closet.  Girdles, stockings, white gloves, hats were all essentials for the Everywoman closet, Fogarty states.  I love pouring over the images in these books and advertisements and laughing at myself as I attempt to recreate the sorry excuse for gourmet in Poppy Cannon’s 1950s tome, The Can-Opener Cookbook (don’t try this at home, folks).  These books are a time-machine to a time almost 30 years before I was born.

These books, I’ve also discovered, are a time machine back to my mother, a mid-century housewife herself.  My parents had the first part of their family in the late 50s/early 60s and I didn’t come along until 1977, when they adopted me in their forties, and as a result, I never knew my mother in her new wife-mother years.  Reading through these books and asking her questions about them have made me closer to her in a way I never expected.

They have also made me closer to my own inspiration and creativity.  I like to think of this long break from writing as a germination process—a period of living, self-discovery, and anthropology.  I think these tools are just as essential—if not more so—than sitting down to a blank page every morning.  This is the psychological pleasure of writing, the ultimate trigger. I feel rejuvenated when I’m discovering and know that when I do return to working on a new book of poems or my memoir, that my own work will have a richness that it might not otherwise have had.

I sometimes worry, as Rigoberto González once put it to a group of students at Austin Peay State University that we were giving a craft talk to, that “writers sometimes have only one or two stories to tell.  They write those stories and then they are done.”  In the few months after my second book came out and I hadn’t written a thing, I worried that I was done.  As I sit here now, however, fingers furious over the keyboard, I realize that I’m not.  I still have my notes and ideas strewn across my desk and in little Moleskines.  I still have outlines and 100 pages of my memoir to come back to. I still have that lemon bundt cake to make.

AWP 2013 Self-Interview by Amanda Auchter

We hope that you’ll enjoy Amanda’s self-interview so much you’ll submit your own.

Email your answers to superstition.review@gmail.com

AWP Bookfair1. What did you hope to get out of AWP? Did you get it?

I wanted to be energized by being surrounded by other poets and writers, all of those books at the book fair, the hullabaloo of AWP for three days. I wanted to come back with the desire to return to writing poetry after a near-year hiatus and thankfully, I did get what I so eagerly wanted. Even before I left for the airport, ideas for poems and poem titles danced in my head. I couldn’t wait to get home and begin anew.

2. Was this your first AWP? If not, how does this year’s AWP rate among the ones you’ve attended?

This was my sixth AWP and I think that this year’s was my favorite by far, even though I actually saw little of it (panels and book fair) compared to other years (such as in New York, where I literally ran from one panel to the next) because of AWP-related obligations. I felt that the energy at this year’s AWP was different in a positive way and everyone I met, even if they were exhausted, seemed to be having a great time.

3. Favorite AWP 2013 moment?

I have two favorite AWP 2013 moments actually. The first was being able to read with so many amazing poets and writers at the Zone 3 Press/University of Wisconsin Press reading on Friday night. It was truly a humbling experience to be able to read with the likes of Richard Blanco, Timothy Liu, James Allen Hall, Paul Lisicky, Charles Rice-González, Andrew Kozma, Kate Gleason, John Pursley III, and Karen Skolfied.

My second favorite moment was actually more personal and really not AWP-related at all.  I was blessed to meet my biological cousin (I’m adopted), Hope, for the first time at the aforementioned reading on Friday night. We planned this for a while and have chatted a bit over the past couple of years, but meeting her was beyond exciting. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience to coincide with AWP. Who says poetry can’t bring people together?

4. Favorite panels?

I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t go to any other panels (other than the one I was on with Bellevue Literary Review) because I had quite a lot of obligations (AWP-related and otherwise). I really wished I had. There were so many that looked amazing that I wanted to attend, but couldn’t, such as the one on Post-Genre Lit, Essaying the Essay, A Reading by Four Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Authors, Options of the I: The Post-Memoir Memoir, 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books, A Tribute to Adrienne Rich, the VIDA panel, and the Copper Canyon Press 40th Anniversary Reading.  Next year I am going to come in on Wednesday instead of Thursday late afternoon and try to get my schedule better organized because I’m kicking myself that I couldn’t get it together this year!

5. Most embarrassing AWP 2013 moment?

I have one big embarrassing AWP 2013 moment, which took place on Friday afternoon in the book fair. I ran into Rigoberto González, who I dearly love and who chose (and wrote the introduction for) my first book, The Glass Crib. We were chatting and he mentioned that Eduardo Corral was around (who we both know) and minutes after that, I called Rigoberto Eduardo no less than three times in the space of a five minute conversation. I am still mortified. He must think I’m completely daffy.

6. Fangirl/fanboy moment?

I’m not going to lie: I had the biggest fangirl moment when I discovered that I was reading with Richard Blanco. I about died. I’m really glad that I didn’t know that I was going to be reading with him because I probably would have passed out, wet my pants, or acted like a giddy 10-year-old. Luckily, I held it together long enough to do the reading.

The next day, my husband, Jeff, came over to me at the Perugia Press table (where I was signing copies of my book) and told me that Blanco was also signing books down the aisle. I told my editor, Susan Kan, that I would be right back and weaved in and out of the throng of people on the L aisle to get to where Blanco was calmly seated, pen in hand. I quickly snapped up a copy of his book and the chapbook of his inaugural poem and had him sign both. It was such a high to not only have read with him the night before, but to actually have a few minutes of face time with such a meaningful poet. I felt like the dorky creative writing undergrad that I once was chasing down poets in AWP to get them to sign copies of their books. It was awesome.

7. Did you participate in any AWP-related activities?

I participated in three AWP-related activities: the 10th Anniversary of the Bellevue Literary Review panel reading that took place on Friday morning, the Zone 3 Press/University of Wisconsin Press reading on Friday night, and I had a book signing for my recently-released second book, The Wishing Tomb, at the Perugia Press table on Saturday afternoon. I was a busy girl. I was also originally slated to do the Perugia Press 16th anniversary panel reading, but wasn’t able to in the end because of my flight schedule.

8. How was the infamous book fair at this year’s AWP?

I unfortunately didn’t spend much time at this year’s book fair (maybe a total of two hours) because I had so many obligations. I also didn’t find out there was a second floor to the book fair until Saturday (thankfully, for my wallet)! There are some years where I practically live in the book fair and come home with loads of books, journals, buttons, pens, matchbooks covers, and the like, but this didn’t turn out to be one of those years. What I did see of the book fair, however, looked amazing and I’m so upset that I didn’t at least get to have a peek at the second story! Who was up there?

9. What was included in your AWP book fair haul?

Even though I wasn’t able to spend much time at the book fair, I did manage to score some great things! I got: free copies of Poets & Writers, Looking for the Gulf Motel by Richard Blanco, One Today by Richard Blanco (the limited-edition chapbook of Blanco’s Inaugural poem), free copies of The Southeast Review, Predatory by Glenn Shaheen, Charms for Finding by Rebecca Kinzie Bastian, Bright Power, Dark Peace by Traci Brimhall and Brynn Saito, a copy of The American Poetry Review, a cool little notebook/pen set and nylon drawstring book bag from Zone 3 Press, a diode button, two bookmarks from Boxcar Poetry Review, and two of the coolest-designed books I’ve ever seen from idiot books (a new-to-me press): After Everafter and Ten Thousand Stories. I do wish I’d gotten more swag, but I’m pretty sure my suitcase (and my shoulders) doesn’t!

10. What is one bit of advice you could give to someone who’s never been to AWP and is thinking about going next year?

1. Wear comfortable shoes. Those girls who wear stilettos at AWP? They’re kidding themselves. 2. Take your gummy vitamins and Emergen-C as AWP is a cesspool of flus and colds. 3. You will not make every panel. 4. Budget your money wisely because it runs out faster than you’d think. 5. You will run into your frenemies. 6. The hotel bar is overrated and expensive. Go for the free wine and beer at the dance party instead. 7. You will fall down at least once. 8.That famous poet really doesn’t want to read your manuscript or blurb your book. 9. You will not have time to have meaningful conversations, unless you count a meaningful conversation as three minutes of hellos and one awkward photo taken on a camera phone. 10. It’s the best time ever.