Join Superstition Review in congratulating one of our past contributors, George Saunders, on his new book, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, out now. “For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this [New York Times Bestseller] are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times… A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.”
“One of the most accurate and beautiful depictions of what it is like to be inside the mind of a writer that I’ve ever read.”
Parul Sehgal, The New York Times
Click here to order your copy of A Swim in a Pond in the Rain. Be sure to also check out George’s website and Twitter, as well as, our interview with him in Issue 12.
Join Superstition Review in reading our favorite books. Below is a list of recommendations from Superstition Review’s trainees and interns.
I recommend On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Written in letter format, Vuong’s story of his life as an immigrant is told with vulnerability and grace. He remembers his childhood in the US along with the stories that his mother and grandmother told him from their lives in Vietnam. Throughout the novel, Vuong realizes truths about himself and his family. I was immersed by the lyrical style and was impressed by how Vuong’s imagery stood out- this truly is a unique novel.
Madeline Lewis, Content Coordinator
I’d like to recommend Jay Heinrichs’ Thank You for Arguing because I have found it to be a very useful guide in learning the art of persuasion and the power of compromise through agreement. It’s a fun read with the author’s humor and difficult concepts are simplified for the average reader. I would highly encourage people to give it a read since it’s an entertaining and informative book.
Kayla Morales, Advertising Coordinator
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah. This book is an autobiography about Noah’s childhood in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. Being mixed-race, Noah was literally a crime, and couldn’t be seen in public with neither of his parents. It’s a hilarious and mind-opening story about race, identity, and family.
Khanh Nguyen, Trainee
My book recommendation is Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo. It is a memoir and it is absolutely heart wrenching, captivating, and beautiful. Although it is a memoir, its form becomes poetry and then prose and then narrative and it is so intelligent! It is also great to learn about immigration issues in the United States and it is so relatable for Latinx immigrants in the United States. I found a home in this book.
Carolina Quintero, Poetry Editor
Welcome to Night Vale by Joesph Fink and Jefferey Cranor. I chose this book because I absolutely love the podcast that led to this book. The characters are compelling, as is the world that the two authors have created. But, most of all, I love the writing style of the Welcome to Night Vale series. The unorthodox descriptions and the ways that the authors play with tropes are so interesting to me, and I love to read interesting stories about interesting people.
Charlie Saifi, Social Media Manager
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Middlesex explores gender identity and the problem space of societal norms and expectations of gender roles. The novel follows a Greek family, particularly an intersex individual named Cal, as they hide, ignore, understand and accept that their gender identities don’t match those shown in and perpetuated by popular culture. A beautifully-written, page-turning story, it’s no surprise it won a Pulitzer Prize. I love this book because it challenges gender stereotypes and investigates the complexities of defining people.
Sara Walker, Trainee
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker. This book is about a small college town that is plagued by a sleeping sickness. The difficulties faced by Walker’s characters mirror some of the current challenges we are all facing during the global pandemic. Reading this novel inspired me to consider how important it is to take care of one’s community in trying and uncertain times. Compassion and empathy can get us through any hardship.
Join Superstition Review in congratulating one of our past contributors, Caitlin Horrocks, on her new book, Life Among the Terranauts, out now. Named a Best Book of January 2021 by Entertainment Weekly and Apple Books, this collection of short stories “demonstrates all the inventiveness that won admirers for Horrocks’s first collection. In “The Sleep,” reprinted in Best American Short Stories, residents of a town in the frigid Midwest decide to hibernate through the bitter winters. In the title story, half a dozen people move into an experimental biodome for a shot at a million dollars, if they can survive two years. And in “Sun City,” published in The New Yorker, a young woman meets her grandmother’s roommate in the wake of her death and attempts to solve the mystery of whether the two women were lovers.”
“Vigorous and supremely crafted, Horrocks’s second collection explores human frailties, desires, and mechanisms for survival… Horrocks’s linguistic finesse and narrative range is impressive, and she brings incisive humor, pathos, and wit to her characters and their predicaments. The result is an immersive and engaging work that astutely captures the complexities of the human condition.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Click here to order your copy of Life Among the Terranauts. Be sure to also check out Caitlin’s website and Twitter, as well as, our interview with her in Issue 9.
Join Superstition Review in congratulating one of our past contributors, Claire Fuller, on her forthcoming book, Unsettled Ground, out May 18th. The novel follows “an unusual family held together by a string of lies, a small town with too many questions, and a sudden death that threatens to undo them all.” Through this tale, Claire “masterfully builds a [story] of sacrifice and hope, of homelessness and hardship, of love and survival, in which two marginalized and remarkable people uncover long-held family secrets and, in their own way, repair, recover, and begin again.”
“Unsettled Ground is a gorgeously written celebration of the natural world as well as a moving portrait of a family struggling against time. Through buried secrets and private longings, the Seeders emerge as multi-layered characters living at the fringes of society. This book is ultimately about redemption—about the unexpected importance of neighbors, lovers, and friends, and the ways in which we can re-envision our lives for the better, even after the unimaginable has occurred.”
Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised
A US launch event for the book will be held on publication date, May 18th, online via McNally Jackson. For more details on the event as well as more about Claire’s US book tour, please visit her website.
Click here to pre-order your copy of Unsettled Ground. Be sure to also check out Claire’s Twitter and our interview with her in Issue 21.
Join Superstition Review in congratulating past intern Ljubo Popovich on his forthcoming novel, The Arden, out April 8th. Together, Ljubo and his wife wrote this science fiction, horror, comedy under the pen name L.S. Popovich. The story follows Kaneda, a homeless hacker, who, finding a portal, visits the future with his band mates and must “discover how an ecological disaster turned Earth into a man-eating forest to prevent the apocalypse”. With this as its plot, the novel explores ideas of both environmentalism and anti-environmentalism.
“This dark, environmental fable is a thought-provoking strange trip that I didn’t want to end.”
David David Katzman, award-winning author of A Greater Monster
To order your copy of The Arden click here. Also be sure to check out Ljubo’s website, as well as, his past work with Issue 8.
Join the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts for their Humanities Lecture Series for spring 2021.
The Humanities Lecture Series is organized in order to provide “us with opportunities to analyze, discuss, and interpret current research and events. We look forward to public discussions that help us understand and appreciate various points of view on political, social, and cultural issues.”
The first lecture, next Wednesday evening, features CISA instructor Mike Pfister and Leah Marche, co-founders of JazzMEETSPoetry, who will discuss “Policing Art: The Arts and Humanities during Times of Unrest.”
To learn more about the Humanities Lecture Series click here.
Join us in congratulating past Superstition Review contributor Luiza Flynn-Goodlett on the release of her upcoming book, Look Alive. This poetry collection explores the development of the femme queer self and assesses queerness by placing the narrator at the brunt end of societal and personal violence. The book will take its readers through a journey of queer self-discovery that involves taking to the gentle and accepting queerness of nature. Look Alive is already receiving accolades as a finalist for numerous awards, including The National Poetry Series, and winner of the 2019 Cowles Poetry Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University Press.
“Luiza Flynn-Goodlett’s smart, sensual, agile collection takes you to the prairie, to the creek, to the kitchen counter, to bed—muddies you, then scrubs you clean. With a speaker who keeps your secrets and shouts your glories, Look Alive reveals the enduring territory of embodied queer womanhood—efflorescent and as susceptible to pleasure as it is to harm. Flynn-Goodlett quilts together rural origins and distance traveled, along with rich image and hardwearing language, into an impressive debut with the weight of an heirloom. If you let it, Look Alive can be the guardian inoculation that pierces you with a little taste of the big grief and the big joy so you can survive them when they come.”
Alicia Mountain, author of High Ground Coward
Additionally, there will be a virtual launch party for the book on March 4th hosted by Booksmith and The Bindery, in which Luiza will be joined by K-Ming Chang, Alicia Mountain, Arhm Choi Wild and Meg Day for a group reading. The event is free and for all ages. To RSVP click here.
Click here to pre-order your own copy of Look Alive. Also, be sure to check of Luiza’s website and Twitter, as well as, her poetry featured in Issue 17.
Join Superstition Review in congratulating past contributor Laura Wetherington on the publication of her poetry collection, Parallel Resting Places. As the winner of the New Measure Poetry Prize, Laura’s collection explores the world of translation. More specifically, Parallel Resting Places navigates, “What happens when a poet tries to filter the untranslatable from another language? The rush of unknowing, decoding the wind, the body becomes an antenna. Following behind Jack Spicer’s After Lorca and swinging its ovaries, Laura Wetherington’s second book uses the concept of translation to create original poems from the work of writers like Liliane Giraudon, Marie Étienne, Dominique Fourcade, and Jean-Marie Gleize. These poems run through a liminal linguistic space where meaning, mishearing, and dreams collide, sometimes midsentence, where they hinge into song… Interstitial love letters to queer writers process a miscarriage, the most recent election, and queer puppy love. This is a book of yearning-for a foreign tongue, for a body growing inside the body, and for a form of communication that can capture feeling.”
There is a constant textual drama in the address and voice of Laura Wetherington’s heady poems; a mirror staged. With monologues, letters, lyrics, and prose she performs a writing through to a new ground of sensation and thinking. Call it the present. The music is gorgeous and the sound is captivating. Parallel Resting Places is a wonderful book and a welcome addition to a tradition that troubles tradition.
Peter Gizzi, author of Archeophonics
Click here to order your copy of Parallel Resting Places. Also, be sure to check out Laura’s Twitter and Website, as well as, her poetry in our Issue 19.
Join Sonoma State University in their submissions period for their literary magazine, ZAUMS’s, 25th issue. ZAUM is both edited and designed by students, as well as, accepts submissions from any student, whether they attend SSU or any other university. The magazine is distributed across the Bay Area and is overseen by faculty advisor, Professor, and Poet-in-Residence Gillian Conoley. “Each issue publishes over 100 pages a year of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or visual art…”
ZAUM has been publishing for over 20 years, and the magazine has received “several national student awards from the Associated Writing Programs: for editorial vision (1996), and for graphic design (1998).” Additionally, “student work from issue # 6 and # 7 were nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, a national prize open to any writer in the country.”
ZAUM is currently accepting submissions, with their priority deadline as February 20th and their final deadline as February 28th.
To learn more about ZAUM and their submissions process click here. Also, be sure to follow ZAUM on Twitter.
Join Superstition Review in congratulating one of our past faculty advisors, Sara Sams, on her forthcoming book, Atom City, out May 14th. Atom City is a collection of poems exploring the topic of the atomic bomb and The Manhattan Project’s creation of the city Oak Ridge. Inspired by historian Peter Bacon Hales’ Atomic Spaces, Sara’s work takes the perspective of an observer contemplating and witnessing such concepts as, “the rhetoric of the Manhattan Engineering District, the militarization of scientific conversations, the mythologized stories of the local residents of Oak Ridge Valley before it was condemned, the use of such myths to underscore the morality of the bomb, current exhibits at the American Museum of Science and Energy, [her] own family’s participation in the Project and the stories they’ve hot-potato’d since, the atomification of so much of [her] hometown (including [her] high school’s logo), and so on.”
“Sara Sams’ Atom City shows us what violence and invisible interiority and tenderness is at the core of the American Hometown.
Sarah Vap, author of Viability
Click here to pre-order Atom City. Be sure to also check out Sara’s website and Twitter, as well as, Issue 22, in which she helped create and advised on.