Authors Talk: Daniel Aristi

Daniel Aristi

Today we are pleased to feature Daniel Aristi as our Authors Talk series contributor. In this podcast, structured as an interview, Daniel reflects on how his nomadic lifestyle has influenced his writing, as well as how different languages (his native Spanish and French, as well as his acquired English) interact during his writing process.

Daniel also comments on the inspiration behind his poems in Issue 18 and discusses his unconscious tendency to gravitate toward father-son relationships and the aging process in his writing. He then reveals that he “believes that anything can trigger a poem at any point in time.” Finally, Daniel touches on his success with flash fiction, his experience with rejection, the poets who inspire him, and his future writing projects.

You can access Daniel’s pieces in Issue 18 of Superstition Review.

Authors Talk: J Malcolm Garcia

J Malcolm GarciaToday we are pleased to feature author J. Malcolm Garcia as our Authors Talk series contributor. J Malcolm discusses how he finds inspiration for his writing from the people he encounters during his travels.

Like his nonfiction work, “Security District 4,” J Malcolm reflects that much of his writing is about the people he meets. An individual will say something and he will “write it down.”

He reminds us that inspiration can be found anywhere and that the moments that change a person’s life are worth telling even when their life is no longer news-worthy.

You can read J Malcolm’s nonfiction story in Superstition Review Issue 9. You can also visit his website to learn more about him and his writing.

J. Malcolm Garcia is a freelance writer and author of The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul and What Wars Leave Behind: The Faceless and the Forgotten. He is a recipient of the Studs Terkel Prize for writing about the working classes and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in journalism. His work has been anthologized in Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing and Best American Nonrequired Reading.

Guest Post, Geoffrey Miller: Flash Fiction is the Belle of the Ball

Flash fiction is the belle of the ball, the flavor of the moment, the soup of the day and apparently well on its way to mainstream acceptance as a separate and unique form of writing. Recent articles in mainstream publications like O Magazine and MacLean’s had articles and pieces of flash as well, most literary journals now have separate submission categories for flash submissions and there are more and more flash only journals out there now. You can even earn a PhD in flash from the University of Chester in the UK. I mean Flash Fiction now even has its own day – just in case you missed it – June 22 demands a red circle on your calendar in 2014. What exactly one is supposed to do on this day I’m not sure, maybe read a piece of flash?

With so much attention coming flash fiction’s way, it made me think – did Juliette hit it on the head when she said what she said about roses or does that only apply to flowers? Huh? Well what is it that you are submitting – flash fiction, postcard fiction, sudden fiction, short-short fiction, micro fiction, palm of the hand story, vignette, or a I was going to say prose poem but then things would get really out of control. Vignette is often used as an example of a piece of flash fiction done wrong so we can knock that off the list as well; leave it for the playwrights. However, that still leaves about half a dozen names in a writer’s jargon. Who cares? If everyone is talking about the same type of writing then does it really matter if we call it something different as long as we are talking about the same thing? I guess Juliette was right after all.

Or was she? For example, when someone passes me a piece of short-short fiction I expect it to have the same basic structural components as a longer piece of fiction, exposition, conflict and resolution, but there will be a greater need for me to assume or hypothesize in order to build the narrative arch into a whole in my mind. Calling that short-short fiction makes sense after all it is a short story condensed into a shorter form, which asks for a little presuming, by the reader.

But I don’t see the flash. The piece is asking me to do something but I don’t have to; there isn’t an uncontrolled neuron flash in my mind if I don’t put my mind to it. TJFKhis is what flash fiction should do, it should present text based on previously constructed mental associations in the reader’s mind in order to create a gestalt piece of writing which comes alive inside of the reader’s mind.

For example,

An inattentive, transient license – “Check it” – high-pitched, estrogenic sound awkwardly steamed from thick, too-big lips covering whimsical precarious tan teeth. Mirrored sunglasses sterilize eyes, plunging transgressor back to fatigued, faded skin, unkempt hair – a mind of questions, comments, demands, justifications – stayed verbally, exposed physically – “Is there a problem?” Pigments, parchments, binding, images relapse then release ribbed steel, scuffed plastic, relabeled boxes reskinned with tape, twine, and plastic that meld into a horizontal borough in motion, eclectic and naïve to the pigment of deities.

That’s how a piece of flash fiction about flying into JFK for the first time would look to me. Yes, now we’ve gotten personal and now you know why I don’t want to let short-short fiction get all the good names, regardless of Juliette and her rose.

Meet the Review Crew: Caitlin Demo

Each week we will be featuring one of our many talented interns here at Superstition Review.

Caitlin Demo is a Nonfiction editor at Superstition Review and a senior at Arizona State University. She will be graduating in May with a major in Creative Writing (with a specialization in Fiction) and two minors in French and Political Science. She is hoping to be accepted into the MFA program at Arizona State and then to escape the heat of Arizona summers.

Caitlin has lived most of her life in Arizona, but the allure of big city life has been calling her name. Living in the beautiful San Francisco bay or the bustling streets of New York City has been a constant dream of hers. After school, Caitlin is packing her bags and plans to become a well-seasoned traveler, especially abroad.

Caitlin’s intimacy with literary magazines and the world of short fiction has been instructed both at Arizona State and particularly at Superstition Review. She has limited knowledge about individual magazines, but through these two avenues she has come to realize that it is a wide and ever-expanding field. Her interest in writing is mainly focused around prose, but in reading she is drawn to flash fiction and poetry.

If she had to live the rest of her life with only a handful of books, she would need Augusten Burroughs’ memoirs, Jane Austen’s collected works, Hemingway’s short stories, Fitzgerald’s novels and Allen Ginsberg’s poetry.

This is her first semester with Superstition Review, but she looks forward to plunging further into the literary publishing world. She’ll be the girl in high heels.