Meet the Interns: Haley Coles, Poetry Editor

Haley Coles is a junior English major with a Creative Writing concentration.

Superstition Review: What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?

Haley Coles: I am one of two poetry editors. I review submitted poetry for consideration in Superstition Review. At the beginning of the semester I created a list of 20 previously published poets from whom to solicit work from. It is my job to decide which poems, solicited and not, will be published in the journal.

SR: How did you hear about Superstition Review and what made you decide to get involved?

HC: I received an e-mail from one of the English advisors about the internship. For the past few years I have had a desire to work on a literary journal, and once the opportunity came I jumped on it!

SR: What are you hoping to take away from your Superstition Review experience?

HC: I’d like to leave SR with two new awareness. The first is, as a poet, to understand how work is selected for publication in journals so I might be more conscious about how I format my own submitted work. With the huge amount of submissions I am reading as an editor, I have more empathy for editors of larger journals and know that the rejections sent are truly not about the poet as a person. Secondly, I hope that my experience with SR will qualify me for future work in other journals. And I suppose I have a third expectation: reading a TON of poetry!!

SR: Describe one of your favorite literary or artistic works.

HC: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce has been one of the most influential works I’ve read in my literary career. I read it for a British Literature class last semester, and it completely changed my artistic life. The book helped me to make the transformation from a woman who is good at writing and enjoys doing so to living my life as a committed poet. Though I don’t have much in common with early-twentieth century Irish Stephen Daedalus, I found myself enraptured by his complex yet persistent desire to freely create and live in his art. I have been truly inspired by his journey.

SR: What are you currently reading?

HC: I just finished House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I’m about to start on either Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke or The Plague by Albert Camus.

SR: Who would be the Superstition Review contributor of your dreams?

HC: Sylvia Plath–nobody said they had to be alive! Sylvia Plath was the first poet whose work moved me, and as a result inspired me to be a poet. In almost every poem I write there is a nod to her extraordinary language.

SR: Do you prefer reading literary magazines online or in print?

HC: I definitely prefer reading journals in print. There is something substantial and comforting about being able to hold a journal in my hands, to rest it on my chest while I lay on the couch, to circle passages that intrigue me, and to fold down pages to return to.

SR: Do you write or create art? What are you currently working on?

HC: I write poetry. I am taking a forms class, so I’m consistently writing for that class. Right now, today, I am working on reading rather than writing. I just finished a poem that exhausted me and am giving it a week or so to come back to it for a revision. So until then, I am rebuilding my aesthetic by reading submissions coming into Superstition Review and various other literary journals, particularly MAR and Rattle.

SR: Besides interning for Superstition Review, how do you spend your time?

HC: I attend ASU full time. When I’m not in class or studying (which is a huge chunk of my life), I like to cook, read, play Risk, ride bikes, and make fun of my cats.

SR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

HC: In 10 years I will be 30. By this time I will have my MFA in Poetry and could be working on or have already received my PhD. I will be teaching either high school Literature or college Poetry. I will have a part in a vegan community-oriented restaurant cooperative. I will be gardening and writing a lot and will have at least one book of poems published. I might be in Berlin or on the East Coast.

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