Authors Talk: Deborah Bogen

Today we are pleased to feature author Deborah Bogen as our Authors Talk series contributor. The topic of Deborah’s podcast, as she says, is “prose poems: the how and why of writing them.”

She confesses that after writing three books of “mostly lineated poems,” she took a break from poetry, or as she emphasizes “poetry took a break from me.” She describes her struggle to write a poem, saying that she “tried, but could not do it.” After a time spent writing novels, she states that “a strange thing happened: I was filled, and I do mean filled, with the urge to make new poems.” Due to her time writing in a novelistic style, she declares that she “quite naturally… fell into the world of prose poems.” She had previously enjoyed the style, but now, “the joy…was that I had a form, a box into which I could place… what I was noticing in what we call the world.” She closes by urging fellow poets to “have some fun [with prose poems],” and to “write a bunch.”

You can read Deborah’s poem, “This Poem May Be Read In Any Order,” in Issue 21 of Superstition Review.

#ArtLitPhx: Revisiting The Underground Railroad

artlitphx

Date: October 18, 2018

Time: 7pm-8pm

Location: North Ballroom, UA Memorial Union, 1303 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85719

Tickets

Event Description:

Colson Whitehead has established himself as one of the most versatile and innovative writers in contemporary literature.

From the secret lives of elevators to international poker tournaments, Whitehead takes on the marginal, the strange, and the surreal. His newest novel, The Underground Railroad, reimagines pre-Civil War America, exploring an alternate reality in which the underground railroad is no mere metaphor, but an actual subterranean train system delivering slaves to freedom. The novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won both the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

This program is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.

In Partnership with Arizona Humanities

Learn more at humanitiesfestival.arizona.edu

FAQs
Do I need a ticket to attend the event?

Yes. All attendees (including UA students, faculty and staff) will need to present an Eventbrite ticket upon arrival to the event. Seating is based on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Those who arrive without a ticket will be directed to a stand-by line and will be seated, according to availability, starting at 6:50 p.m.

What time do the doors open?

The doors to the North Ballroom will open at 6:30 p.m.

What is the format of Mr. Whitehead’s talk?

Mr. Whitehead will speak for about 45 minutes followed by a 15 minute Q & A session.

Will Mr. Whitehead’s book be available for purchase at the event?

The Underground Railroad and other Whitehead books will be available for purchase prior to and following his talk.

Will Mr. Whitehead be willing to sign my book?

Yes, book signing will take place after the presentation.

Where can I park?

Closest parking is available in the Second Street Garage. For other options, visit https://parking.arizona.edu/parking/garages/visitor-parking/

Editorial Preferences in Fiction: Brynn Kowalski

In the past few months or so my perception on literature has shifted. My reading has become more active and aware, but even with this new-found sight I find it hard to be terse with literary fiction. I empathize easily, become lost in a good story, but I am also aware of the nuances of the genre.

Stories have to take me somewhere, whether it’s from the subway to the ocean or from one dream to the next. Even thoughts flow, and if I am locked within a character’s mind and privy to their hopes and fears then let me see how their nightmare fades in the light of realization, or how their past has come to shape their future. That being said, the theme and plot can be cast aside in the light of a strong character. When the characters feel organic I am their willing audience. They can guide me through their worlds, but we must take that first step.

Every good character needs a stage, and what I look for in a story is its description. When done well it elevates everything in a narrative, creating a rich and vibrant scape that entices the readers to continue to the next page. On that vein, something that I can truly appreciate as a reader are stories that challenge convention, but I admit that it, like all things, comes with a caveat. Stephen King says a writer can play around with any trick of the trade… so long as they do it well. I think the same applies for challenging conventional writing. I love stories that aren’t afraid to try something new and color outside the lines, but it’s a delicate dance to perform. When someone does it well, especially in literary fiction, I am often left sitting at the end of the final sentence turning the story over in my mind, feeling like I just got to experience something entirely new that no one else has witnessed before.

Writing is a balancing act, and an author should take care not to throw in a surprise format or twist the narrative only for shock and awe. Everything in a story should work in tandem, each aspect keeping in tone with the rest until the narrative rings a single note, signaling to the reader that it is time to delve into the story.

 

Brynn Kowalski is a fiction editor for Issue 22. She is pursuing her BA in Creative writing with a minor in French. Passionate about literature of all types, Brynn is working to become an editor and publish YA novels. She is currently an active member of several online writing communities and regularly publishes real-time interactive narratives on her media platform.

Contributor Update, Jessica Mehta: Poem in The Bookends Review

Jessica MehtaToday we are excited to share news of past contributor Jessica Mehta. Jessica’s poem, “Summer in Lorraine,” has been recently featured in The Bookends Review. Click here to read the poem. Congratulations, Jessica!

Jessica’s poem, “Bars and Planets,” can be read in Issue 21 of Superstition Review here.

Editorial Preferences in Nonfiction: Anahí Herrera

Let me be honest here, growing up I greatly disliked nonfiction. My reasoning? Well, I never once thought you could be creative with the real. Reality to me was boring, so utterly mundane. I couldn’t seem to fathom the appeal to it. Fiction, on the other hand, held all the mysteries in the world. But gradually, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that the real is so beautiful and heartbreaking. Becoming the Nonfiction Editor for Superstition Review has truly given me the space to appreciate the craft behind what is real. What is that I want out of nonfiction? Feeling. Make me feel something. The strongest of essays not only open your eyes to new perspectives, but they suspend you in time and bring you right back down to reflect upon your own life. I’m looking for raw connection between the reader and the writer. Like my Advanced Fiction professor states: Tell me your truth. Remind me of something I’ve forgotten, or something I’ve never known. When you write, allow me to enter your space and experience a snippet of your life with you. Tear at my heart with something so deeply personal that I am left breathless and disrupted. I want to see lyricism, musicality, and strong attention to detail. I want all of my senses to be activated. Construct sentences that sing off the page and paint me right into your life. I want stories to linger in my mind for days to come.

Anahi Herrera

Nonfiction Editor Anahí Herrera is a junior majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Film & Media Studies. She is also the current Fiction Editor at Lux Undergraduate Creative Review, a student run literary magazine funded by Barrett, The Honors College. It’s Anahí’s dream to one day write with the same fervor as Ray Bradbury and to pursue a passionate life of writing, book editing, and prose experimentation with film.

Authors Talk: Ephraim Scott Sommers

Today we are pleased to feature poet Ephraim Scott Sommers as our Authors Talk series contributor. In this brief interview, Ephraim discusses his life as a poet and as a singer/songwriter, and how each endeavor creatively informs the other.

While Ephraim grew up in a musical household, he said that he “didn’t really think about being in a band until I turned 18,” when he formed the group known as Siko with other musically inclined friends. He admits that he originally “was way far behind in his musicianship”, but that through years of dedication and hard work, he was able to “create something…from nothing” and craft many memorable experiences.

Speaking on the interrelationship of poetry and music, Ephraim states that “he came to lyricism and to poetry writing through music.” He elaborates that “what really drew me to poetry at first was the sound of words,” and that this inspired him to “try to tell stories in a musical way” through his pieces. In light of this, he expresses his interest in the lyric tradition of people like Dante and Virgil, who are “singing you a story” through their poetic work.

You can read another interview with Ephraim, “The Funeral Pyre of Poetry,” in Issue 19 of Superstition Review.

#ArtLitPhx: Crossfade LAB

#artlitphx

Date: October 22, 2018

Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm

Location: Crescent Ballroom, 308 N 2nd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003

Event Description:

The sixth edition of Crossfade LAB will stage an intimate dialogue between Colombian Canadian musician Lido Pimienta and London-born, Los Angeles-based Colombian artist Carolina Caycedo. Moderated by CALA Crossfade Lab co-curator and MacArthur Fellow Josh Kun, our evening will be an experimental mix of music and movement, exploring themes central to both Pimienta and Caycedo: land and rights, resistance and representation, and performance that challenges the work of power.

Crossfade LAB is organized with generous support from the Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation and in collaboration with Crescent Ballroom and ASU Art Museum.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Lido Pimienta is a Toronto-based, Colombian-born interdisciplinary musician and artist-curator. She has performed, exhibited, and curated around the world since 2002, exploring the politics of gender, race, motherhood, identity and the construct of the Canadian landscape in the Latin American diaspora and vernacular. Lido’s Polaris Music Prize-winning album La Papessa (2016) was written in multiple cultural and geographic settings – the desert of Indigenous Wayuu land and the northern mountains in Colombia, as well as in Canada, in both London and Toronto, Ontario – and the music, in turn, reflects these settings. The sounds on La Papessa take listeners on a musical journey from traditional Afro-Colombian percussion to global bass and darker avant-garde electronic sounds.

Carolina Caycedo was born in London to Colombian parents. She transcends institutional spaces to work in the social realm, where she participates in movements of territorial resistance, solidarity economies, and housing as a human right. Carolina’s artistic practice has a collective dimension to it in which performances, drawings, photographs and videos are not just an end result, but rather part of the artist’s process of research and acting. Through work that investigates relationships of movement, assimilation and resistance, representation and control, she addresses contexts, groups, and communities that are affected by developmental projects, like the constructions of dams, the privatization of water, and its consequences on riverside communities. She has developed publicly engaged projects in major cities across the globe, from Bogota to London, New York to Paris, and San Juan to Tijuana. Her work has been exhibited at several international biennials, and has been the subject of solo shows in galleries from Los Angeles to Berlin.

Josh Kun is an author, academic, curator and music critic. He is the recipient of a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship. His research focuses on the arts and politics of cultural connection, with an emphasis on popular music, the cultures of globalization, the US-Mexico border, Los Angeles and Jewish-American musical history.