Today we are pleased to feature an interview with Sarah Viren. Sarah is a journalist, writer, and translator working at Arizona State University specializing in the art of the creative nonfiction essay. She is the author of an essay collection entitled MINE.
In this fascinating interview she discusses her experience with writing from her working in journalism to her transition to writing literary essays. During her time as a journalist, she found that she wanted to write about things that “had no place in newspapers” and essay writing provided a new solution. The literary essay presents its own problems as the author is dealing with real people and Sarah explains how she has learned to write ethically about close loved ones from her sister to her children. Literary essays allow the author to “find ways to let those people have their voice be heard” while also showcasing the uniqueness of their own.
Sarah also takes time to explain her writing process from inspiration to research and observation identifying herself as a fan of the idea of “writing something and giving it time.” She uses moments of inspiration and wants to write honestly about herself and others, to share meaningful stories. In memory writing she says “remembering the self I was” can be hard and that in writing of others it is the “people that are outside of our sympathies… those are the people you need to write about.” Her essays are dark and honest and real, and though they are at times difficult to write she remembers “it’s hard work, but good work.”
This interview is a culmination of immersive student work on non-fiction narratives for ENG 509 in the Narrative Studies program in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. In this class, students read longform non-fiction writing and listened to author interviews to theorize writerly practices related to a variety of non-fiction genres. Students’ final reading for the course was Sarah Viren’s essay collection Mine. After a semester of critically engaging with author interviews, they composed their own questions and interviewed Dr. Viren on Tuesday, November 19. Watch the full interview to learn more about her creative process and inspiration and be inspired yourselves by the reflections and advice of a fellow creative mind.
Sarah Viren is a writer, journalist, and literary translator. Her essay collection, Mine, won the River Teeth Book Prize, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and was longlisted for the Pen/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Her translation of the novella Córdoba Skies by the Argentine author Federico Falco was published in 2016 by Ploughshares Solos, and her co-edited anthology of the essay in the Americas, The Great American Essay, is forthcoming from Mad Creek Books. An award-winning newspaper journalist for half a decade in Texas and Florida, Sarah holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and is now an assistant professor at Arizona State University.
Michelle Stuckey is a clinical assistant professor and the writing program administrator for the Writers’ Studio, a fully online first-year composition program in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. Stuckey is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research and teaching are informed by feminist and critical race theories.
Kendall Dawson is a current Narrative Studies Master’s student at Arizona State University. She holds a Bachelor’s in Communication and English Literature from Central Michigan University, enjoys reading, and loves her hometown of Chicago, IL.
Delena Humble is a first year graduate student in the narrative Studies MA program at Arizona State University. At ASU, she also serves as the primary research assistant to New York Times best selling author, Jewell Parker-Rhodes. Delena’s passions include writing and studying Latinx identity negotiation, ethical story representation, and autoethnography. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two cats.
Riley Hess is a second-year graduate student in the Communication Studies Master’s program at ASU’s West Campus. He is working on a short memoir about his trials and tribulations as a student-athlete in high school and college, as well as an applied project using persuasion theory to effectively fill out a general grant application form for nonprofit organizations.
Monique Medina is a second year graduate student. She is in the beginning stages of her Capstone project, which will focus on the relationships between parents and their trans children. This topic hits close to home as she has a trans nonbinary child and it’s been a journey in rediscovering who my child is, while building upon and redefining our relationship.
H. Rae Monk is a graduate student in the Narrative Studies Master of Arts program. She is currently doing grant funded public history research in the rural towns of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. She resides and works in Mesa.
Past SR contributor Kirsten Voris has recently taken part in the creation of the Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Deck for Kids along with Brooklyn Alvarez and David Emerson.
The 50-card deck and the informative booklet are meant for caregivers, therapists, and teachers as a way to encourage agency and embodiment in children who have experienced trauma. The unique yoga deck is perfect for every kind of instruction and specifically informed to help people, offering games and activities to use yoga as a way to heal.
You can buy this yoga deck from the publisher’s website. Read Kirsten’s work featured in Issue 18 of Superstition Review.
Today’s Intern Update features Natalie Volin, a Content Coordinator from Issue 17 of Superstition Review.
With a BS in Technical Communication as well as a minor in Spanish and a certificate in publishing, Natalie was recently promoted to be an Operations Manager at the Baby Bathwater Institute, a network of entrepreneurs.
Natalie was also a co-founder of the Iron City magazine, an online and print journal that publishes work from incarcerated writers and artists to highlight and find value in their stories to pave the way for understanding and transformation.
We are so proud of you Natalie!
If you’d like to learn more, you can visit Natalie’s LinkedIn profile here.
Join us in congratulating past SR nonfiction contributor Julie Marie Wade on the upcoming publication of her newest book, Just An Ordinary Woman Breathing. It will be available from The Ohio State University Press in February of 2020.
The collection of essays deals with her own coming of age as she delves into the idea of history and the body in the contemporary world. This will be her eleventh book.
To learn more about Julie and her work you can visit her website. You can also read her creative essay featured in Issue 18 of Superstition Review.
Today’s Intern Update features Emily Holloway, an intern who worked on Superstition Review’s Pinterest and Tumblr during Issue 17’s run.
With a BA in English, Emily has been working as a copywriter for RevolutionParts Inc. since last year. There, she works with the in-house marketing team to produce content and copy for company’s personal use as needed: case studies, e-Books, blog posts, articles, infographics, etc. in the hopes to generate leads.
Emily has also worked as a Web Content Writer for United Fray, a Phoenix lifestyle blog, and as an editor for Rinky Dink Press, an independent microzine that specializes in publishing collections of micro poetry (45 words or less).
We are so proud of you Emily!
If you’d like, you can learn more by visiting Emily’s LinkedIn here.
Today’s Intern Update features Jessica Fletcher, the Student Editor-in-Chief of Issue 17 of Superstition Review.
With BAs in both English and Psychology as well as a minor in Family and Human Development and even an MA in Mental Health Counseling, Jessica has been working as a Clinical Therapist for Bayless Integrated Healthcare since last year. There, she provides mental health counseling for all ages in community and integrated healthcare settings.
Jessica has also worked as an MC intern for the City of Tempe Counseling Services, providing individual and couples counseling for all sorts of people, from children to adolescents to adults.
We are so proud of you Jessica!
If you’d like to learn more, you can visit Jessica’s LinkedIn profile here.
Join us in congratulating past SR poetry contributor, Sarah Vap, on the recent publication of her newest book, Winter: Effulgences and Devotions, a work of literary nonfiction.
Within the book, Sarah contemplates her work on a single poem over a twelve year period and the obstacles she faced on the creative journey. As the author of seven books, she is an experienced, award-winning writer.
To learn more about Sarah and her work you can visit her website. You can also read an interview with her, featured in Issue 13 of Superstition Review.
Today’s Intern Update features Shelby Kazen, an advertiser from Issue 16 of Superstition Review.
With a BA in English, Shelby recently began working as a Video Collaboration Specialist at Logitech, a multi-brand company designing products that bring people together through music, gaming, video and computing. Their mission is to continually enhance how customers connect and interact with the digital world.
Shelby also worked as the Director of Marketing for the Atlas Artist Group, where she collaborated with musicians to develop advertising strategies best suited for their overall goals. These could include driving traffic to streaming platforms or ticketing sites, or increasing views on music videos.
We are so proud of you Shelby!
If you’d like to learn more, you can visit Shelby’s LinkedIn profile here.
Today’s Intern Update features Leslie Standridge, a Blogger from Issue 16 of Superstition Review.
With a BA in English Literature as well as Film and Media Studies, Leslie began working as a publicist at Lavidge earlier this year. There, she is part of a marketing company that specializes in advertising, public relations, and digital marketing.
Leslie has also worked as a publicist for SparkPoint Studio, where she spearheaded national and local publicity campaigns for authors and pitched and secured media in national, local, and niche publications.
We are so proud of you Leslie!
If you’d like to learn more, you can visit Leslie’s LinkedIn here.