Contributor Update: Sloane Crosley

Congratulations to previous contributor Sloane Crosley on her new memoir Grief Is for People. The memoir goes on sale February 27th, 2024 but you can pre-order it from her website here.

Grief Is for People is a deeply moving and surprisingly suspenseful portrait of friendship and a book about loss packed with a verve for life. Sloane Crosley is one of our most renowned observers of contemporary behavior, and now, the pathos that has been ever-present in her trademark wit is on full display. After the pain and confusion of losing her closest friend to suicide, Crosley looks for answers in friends, philosophy, and art, hoping for a framework more useful than the unavoidable stages of grief.

For most of her adult life, Sloane and Russell worked together and played together, as they navigated the corridors of office life, the literary world, and the dramatic cultural shifts in New York City. One day, while Russell is still alive, Sloane’s apartment is broken into. Along with her most prized possessions, the thief makes off with her sense of security, leaving a mystery in its place.

When Russell dies exactly one month later, his suicide propels her on a wild quest to right the unrightable, to explore what constitutes family and possession as the city itself faces the staggering toll brought on by the pandemic.

Crosley’s search for truth is frank, darkly funny, and gilded with a resounding empathy. Upending the “grief memoir,” Grief Is for People is the category-defying story of the struggle to hold on to the past without being consumed by it. A modern elegy, it rises precisely to console and challenge our notions of mourning during these grief-stricken times.

Crosley has received astounding reviews for this piece:

“[An] aching meditation on loss and friendship… Crosley elegantly links the two losses by explaining how her fevered desire to reclaim her burglarized items stood in for her inability to reclaim Russel. Her characteristically whip-smart prose takes on a newly introspective quality as she reinvigorates dusty publishing memoir tropes and captures the minutiae of a complicated friendship with humor and heart. This is a must-read.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Novelist and essayist Crosley is a tightrope writer of devastating wit and plain devastation, a balancing act no doubt requiring even more muscle in this memoir of her grief…Also a story of the shifting sands of the last two decades in book publishing and the author’s and her friend’s changing places within it, this is a searching, impassioned, cathartic, and loving elegy.”

—Booklist

Sloane Crosley is the author of The New York Times bestselling essay collections, I Was Told There’d Be Cake (a 2009 finalist for The Thurber Prize for American Humor) and How Did You Get This Number, as well as Look Alive Out There (a 2019 finalist for The Thurber Prize for American Humor) and the bestselling novels, The Clasp and Cult Classic. She served as editor of The Best American Travel Writing series and is featured in The Library of America’s 50 Funniest American Writers, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Phillip Lopate’s The Contemporary American Essay and others. She was the inaugural columnist for The New York Times Op-Ed “Townies” series, a contributing editor at Interview Magazine, and a columnist for The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, The Independent, Black Book, Departures and The New York Observer.

Superstition Review did an interview with Crosley in issue 7, you can access that here. To learn more about her and her work, visit her website here.

Contributor Update: Lisa Ko

Congratulations to past contributor Lisa Ko, who has a new novel coming out in March! The novel is titled Memory Piece and will be available for purchase March 19th, 2024. Visit Penguin Random House for preorder information.

In the early 1980s, Giselle Chin, Jackie Ong, and Ellen Ng are three teenagers drawn together by their shared sense of alienation and desire for something different. “Allied in the weirdest parts of themselves,” they envision each other as artistic collaborators and embark on a future defined by freedom and creativity.

By the time they are adults, their dreams are murkier. As a performance artist, Giselle must navigate an elite social world she never conceived of. As a coder thrilled by the internet’s early egalitarian promise, Jackie must contend with its more sinister shift toward monetization and surveillance. And as a community activist, Ellen confronts the increasing gentrification and policing overwhelming her New York City neighborhood. Over time their friendship matures and changes, their definitions of success become complicated, and their sense of what matters evolves.

Moving from the predigital 1980s to the art and tech subcultures of the 1990s to a strikingly imagined portrait of the 2040s, Memory Piece is an innovative and audacious story of three lifelong friends as they strive to build satisfying lives in a world that turns out to be radically different from the one they were promised.

This novel has received outstanding reviews:

“A moving, strikingly evocative exploration of New York’s art, tech, and activism scenes across the decades.”

Vogue, Best books of 2024

“Lisa Ko has brought us one of those rare, sumptuous tales of art and friendship that feels both universal and inimitable.”

Elle, Best (and most anticipated) Fiction Books of 2024

“This novel serves as an archive of our past and a vision for what’s to come, hauntingly beautiful in a way that’s both nostalgic and dystopian. In essence Memory Piece is about the power of remembering, especially when it’s painful.”

Booklist

Lisa Ko is the author of the nationally bestselling novel The Leavers, which was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. Ko’s short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and her essays and nonfiction have been published in The New York Times and The Believer.

Superstition Review did an interview with Ko in issue 21, you can view that here. To learn more about Ko and her work visit her website here.

Contributor Update: Barbara Crooker

We at Superstition Review would like to congratulate Barbara Crooker on the release of her new book Slow Wreckage!

The poems in this collection consider the “slow wreckage” that comes with advancing years. As well as considering the travails of an aging individual, Barbara Crooker uses a wider lens to examine the damages inflicted by society and its failings. And through it all, or despite it all, Crooker finds beauty and hope in the physical world. In Slow Wreckage, she writes with candor, irony, and ultimately, love.

This collection has received notable praise:

“Barbara Crooker ushers us seamlessly into each moment, whether it happened last spring or fifty years ago. Though on the surface, Slow Wreckage might seem to be about aging and loss, Crooker brings us back again and again to the physical pleasures of being alive, in spite of surgeries and intense pain, in spite of those ‘delicious burdens’ we must carry each day… Her expansive, honest, and clear-eyed poems are exactly the medicine we need to ‘love in these dangerous times.’,”

—James Crews, author of Unlocking the heart: writing for mindfulness, creativity, and self-compassion

“For years I have been an admirer of Barbara Crooker’s poems, her voice and intelligence, its truth and grounded vision offering such specific attention to the world. Slow Wreckage raises her poetic project to yet higher ground, interrogating irony, wit, humor, and metaphysical cast into the difficulties we all come to in age-the scope and range of this collection is remarkable. These poems take up loss and well as love, yet resonate ultimately with praise and thanks, singing authentically as all the best poetry does.”

—Christopher Buckley, author of One Sky to the Next

Barbara Crooker is the author of twelve chapbooks and nine previous full-length books of poetry. A recent collection, Some Glad Morning, was longlisted for the Julie Suk award from Jacar Press. Her previous collection, The Book of Kellls, won the Best Poetry Book of 2019 Award from Poetry by the Sea. Her other awards include: Grammy Spoken Word Finalist, the WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and three Pennsylvania Council fellowships in literature.

Barbara has three poems featured in Issue 2 of Superstition Review. You can view more of Barbara’s work on her website here, and purchase Slow Wreckage here.

ASU Book Group Meeting

When: Thursday, February 29th 2024 from 12:00-1:00pm

Where: Piper Writers House (PWH) 450 E. Tyler Mall, ASU Tempe Campus OR Online

What: The ASU Book Group’s February 2024 reading selection is To Name the Bigger Lie: A Memoir in Two Stories by Sarah Viren. The book group is open to all in the ASU community and meets monthly from noon–1 p.m. with two different options for attendance: either in-person at the Piper Writers House or virtually on Zoom (registration required for online attendance). In-person attendees are invited to join the author for lunch after at the University Club, no-host.

Haven’t read the book? Come anyway! Authors are always present.

Synopsis of the Book: Past and present collide in this propulsive, one-of-a-kind meditation on truth and conspiracy, based on Viren’s viral essay of the same name. “This all started after the [2016] election,” Viren begins, “when the main narrative I kept hearing was that only uneducated whites believed the lies that were being told.” At first, she set out to write a book about her charismatic high school philosophy teacher, whose instruction sometimes bordered on conspiracy theory, interviewing teachers and classmates from her past to pick at the ways reasonable people can be manipulated to believe far-flung fictions. Then Viren’s wife received an email accusing her of sexual misconduct at the university where both worked, and Viren tapped into her background as an investigative journalist to untangle the accusations and clear her wife’s name.

Sarah Viren is an assistant professor in the Department of English’s creative writing program.

About the book group:

Remaining ASU Book Group meetings and selections for 2023–24 are:

The ASU Book Group is sponsored as a community outreach initiative by the Department of English and organized in partnership with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

For more information about the book group contact Judith Smith at jps@asu.edu and follow the link provided for all the details and to register for the meeting: https://asuevents.asu.edu/event/asu-book-group-name-bigger-lie-sarah-viren

After Dinner Conversation: Technology and Ethics

Congratulations to After Dinner Conversation literary magazine on the recent publication of their first themed short story collection! Technology Ethics is part of a series of nine themed editions the magazine is releasing throughout 2024.

The dawn of AI, transhumanism, and robotics, will rise just like the sun, inexorably, and we are now struggling to imagine that future, to understand what it might mean for humanity when/if something else takes the wheel. There is no doubt now that AI will surpass our abilities in many areas: radiological analysis, data entry, medical diagnosis, paralegal research, and the list expands daily, as does the worry surrounding the disruption to our jobs, and to our lives.

This issue of ADC speaks to the growing unease with respect to our loss of control and our involuntary delegation of decision-making to technology. This powerful and accelerating wave will be transformative.

Deborah Serra – Technology Ethics Edition Editor

You can purchase the Technology Ethics collection on Amazon. Their next collection, Crimes and Punishments is available for preorder and will be released on February 21!

This collection has already received well-deserved praise:

“These collections can offer a spine for such courses, or the individual stories could be added to a course as illustrative material to stimulate discussion; outside of educational contexts, they work nicely to stimulate conversation in families, elder hostels, youth clubs, or book groups.”

Luc Bovens, PhD – Philosophy Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

After Dinner Conversation is an independent, nonprofit, literary magazine that focuses on short story fiction that encourages philosophical and ethical discussions with friends, family, and students.  Each story comes with five suggested discussion questions. You can discover more on their website and social media: f x i.

Internships for ASU Undergrads

Superstition Review

Internship Opportunities with Superstition Review 

Superstition Review is the online literary magazine produced by creative writing and web design students at Arizona State University. Founded in 2008, the mission of the journal is to promote contemporary art and literature by providing a free, easy-to-navigate, high quality online publication that features work by established and emerging artists and authors from all over the world. We publish two issues a year with art, fiction, interviews, nonfiction, and poetry. We also enjoy honoring all members of our Superstition Review family by maintaining a strong year-round community of editors, submitters, contributors, and readers on our blog and social networks.

Trainees

Trainees will register for a 3 credit-hour ENG 394 course. The course will offer a study of the field of literary magazines.

Upon successful completion of ENG 394, trainees will enroll in ENG 484 and become active interns with the magazine.

  • All work is done completely online.
  • We welcome interns from all fields.
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

What Interns Say:

“This class has been a huge eye-opener for me and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work in the publishing and editing industry before graduating.”

“The skills I learned have given me a huge amount of confidence as I begin my search for a job, and I’m so glad this course was available.”

“I feel I got a great internship experience that will help me post graduation.”

K-pop. Literary. Phenomenon. Contributor Update: Christine Ma-Kellams

Congratulations to previous contributor Christine Ma-Kellams on the upcoming publication of her novel, The Band! On April 16th, 2024, readers will be able to purchase her book from Atria Books.

“Talent is a burden for which the only relief is attention.”

(But is it paying attention or giving it?) the footnote asks. The Band is a novel that melds the literary and the self-aware. Five K-pop idols rise to unparalleled fame. One disappears. What is the difference between love and paying attention? And what do we miss regardless of how close we think we are watching? Christine Ma-Kellams’ work is humming with insight and connections. The story itself is supremely aware of its existence within a canonalbeit one that includes the Bible alongside Grand Theft Auto V. Often situating itself to other elements of culture, The Band effortlessly stands apart as one of the most unconventional reads of 2024.

Ma-Kellams’ novel has already received well-deserved praise:

“This could very well be the first great K-Pop literary phenomenon.”

Debutiful, Most Anticipated Books of 2024

“No one else could have written this book.”

—Loan LE, Senior Editor at Atria Books

Ma-Kellams’ short story, “Chazzy,” can be found in Issue 19 of Superstition Review.

Christine Ma-Kellams is a Harvard-trained cultural psychologist, Pushcart-nominated fiction writer, and first-generation American. Her work and writing have appeared in Huffpost, Chicago Tribune, Catapult, Salon, The Wall Street Journal, The Rumpus, and much more. The Band is her first novel. You can find her in person in one of California’s coastal cities or online at ChristineMa-Kellams.com.

Contributor Update: Ananda Lima

Congratulations to Ananda Lima on the upcoming release of her fiction debut, Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil! The novel with be available June 18th from Tor Books and is available for pre-order now.

Craft is a surreal literary linked short story collection revolving around the absurdity of our times, art, and writing, as well as a complex view of the immigrant experience. The stories are written by a writer who meets with the Devil again and again throughout her life, after sleeping with him at a Halloween party in 1999.

The book has already received significant praise:

“Here is a collection of stories that not only delights in its ability to subvert the reader’s expectations but also leaves one haunted.”

—The Kenyon Review

“My only problem with this book is the title, and that’s because I love it so much. Ananda Lima didn’t write these stories for the Devil, she wrote them for me! An absolutely thrilling reminder that short stories can be the best kind of magic, conjuring up not only the devil, but real emotion, real surprise, real strangeness.”

—Kelly Link, author of The Book of Love

Ananda Lima’s poem “Transa” can be found in Issue 20 of s[r]. She can also be found on her website and across her social media accounts: @anandalima: i | t | b | fb | @.

Ananda Lima is a poet, translator, and fiction writer born in Brasília, Brazil, now living in Chicago, ILShe’s the author of the poetry collection Mother/land, winner of the Hudson Prize. Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poets.org, Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, The Common, Witness, and elsewhere. She has been awarded the inaugural WIP Fellowship by Latinx-in-Publishing. She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Rutgers University, Newark.

Contributor Update: Cynthia Marie Hoffman

Congratulations to past contributor Cynthia Marie Hoffman who has a new poetry collection coming out on February 6th entitled Exploding Head.

This collection of prose poems chronicles a woman’s childhood onset and adult journey through obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which manifests in fearful obsessions and counting compulsions that impact her relationship to motherhood, religion, and the larger world. Cynthia Marie Hoffman’s unsettling, image-rich poems chart the interior landscape of the obsessive mind. Along with an angel who haunts the poems’ speaker throughout her life, she navigates her fear of guns and accidents, fears for the safety of her child, and reckons with her own mortality, ultimately finding a path toward peace.

This book has received significant praise:

“Hoffman’s fourth book compresses the relentlessness of fear and obsession into electrifying prose poems, boxes threatening to burst. Hoffman scrutinizes the child self and the mother self with absorbing candor, precision, music, and urgency in this harrowing world where ‘birds bomb through the air like the skulls of galloping horses.’ The impulses that sprint through the mind—‘a shuddering animal hunkered down inside your skull’—come so frightfully alive that I felt I’d been transported into another woman’s extraordinary brain.”—Eugenia Leigh, author of Bianca

View more of Cynthia’s work on her website. Purchase Exploding Head here.

Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of four poetry collections: Exploding Head (Feb, 2024), SightseerPaper Doll Fetus, and Call Me When You Want to Talk about the Tombstones, as well as the chapbook Her Human Costume. Hoffman is the recipient of a Diane Middlebrook Fellowship in Poetry at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board, and a Director’s Guest fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy. Her work has appeared in Smartish Pace, FencediodeThe JournalThe Missouri Review, and elsewhere. Collections have appeared as an intro feature in Pleiades, a featured chapbook in Mid-American Review, and in the annual Introductions Reading Loop online at Blackbird.

View Cynthia Marie Hoffmans’ poems “This Is All True,” “Protection Spell Jar,” and “If You Have Grown Unrecognizable to Yourself” in issue 30 of Superstition Review.