Contributor Update Paula Cisewski

Congratulations to past contributor Paula Cisewski on the publication of her newest book! Ceremonies for no Repair includes Cisewski’s visual art for the first time: prints and fragments of small drawings and comics are interspersed with journal fragments and poems. A heroic crown of sonnets for her mother, who died in June of 2020, weaves through the book as well. 

The book was published through Beauty School Editions LLC and is available now for purchase!

In Ceremonies for No Repair, Paula Cisewski challenges us to examine our grief for the depths of our care. Set in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, this hybrid of poetry, prose, and images is a collage of personal and universal sorrows: a surprise divorce, an uprising, a mother’s death in quarantine. Less narrative than aggregate, it is a book about staying present and moving both with and through. It is an accrual of small moments and actions that, together, gesture toward hope.

Additionally, you can hear Paula read her work at the New Orleans Poetry Festival on Sunday, April 22nd at 2pm.

Ancestress: A Reading that Echoes Forward

This reading panel, featuring poets Darius Atefat-Peckham, Paula Cisewski, Angie Mazakis, and Danika Stegeman, formed around the idea of the “Ancestress,” as illuminated in the Bjork song from her 2022 album Fossora. The idea of the ancestress explores the ways we evolve from and carry our mothers as well as broader ideas of birth, mothering, and the feminine forward in time. Our mothers survive pain and violence while also creating life and/or healing in the face of those things. The readers come from diverse backgrounds and will share poems inspired by their mothers that capture the complexity, terror, and grace of their unique experiences. As Bjork intones “You see with your own eyes / But hear with your mother’s.” All of the panelists have lost their mothers, three in 2020. Each of us carry our mother forward in time through our survival and our words. To echo Bjork, “We are her hopekeepers / we assure hope is there at, at all times.”  

Ceremonies for No Repair has already received high praise:

“Night skull elegy, matrilineal pandemic pillow book, harrowing florilegium, red-threaded unbinding spell, Paula Cisewski’s Ceremonies for No Repair descends into the mouth of the lion called care. Down its milky throat and once thought. Into its green heart of radiant grief.”

Elisabeth Workman

“The inclusion of art and of the footnotes, and of the diary-like material along- side poems creates this vision of Cisewski’s artistic process and radiates outward to echo the artistic processes of others: like THIS IS WHAT ART IS: these are the materials. 

Danika Stegeman

Read Paula’s poem, “Notes Toward Eternity,” from Superstition Review Issue 25 published in the spring of 2020.

Paula Cisewski is a poet, editor, artist, educator, and curator. She is also the author of The Becoming Game (Hanging Loose Press, 2025), Quitter (Diode Editions Book Prize winner), The Threatened EverythingGhost Fargo (Nightboat Poetry Prize winner, selected by Franz Wright), Upon Arrival, and several chapbooks. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from or- ganizations including the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Oberholtzer Foundation, and Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. To find out more about Paula’s work, visit her website.

Honey by Victor Lodato: Contributor Update

Congratulations to previous contributor Victor Lodato on the forthcoming publication of his third novel! Honey is available for preorder now from Harper Collins, and will be released on April 16th.

You can attend his book launch on Friday, April 19 at 7:00 pm in Changing Hands Bookstore (6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283). He’ll be in conversation with the amazing Javier Zamora, NY Times bestselling author of SOLITO. 

She knows where all the bodies are buried.

Honey Fasinga, the glamorous daughter of a notorious New Jersey mobster, is returning home at last, ready to reckon with her violent past.

As a rebellious teenager, Honey managed to escape her father’s circle of influence and reinvent herself in a world of art and beauty, working for a high-end auction house in Los Angeles. Now in her twilight years, she decides to return home and unexpectedly falls in love. But in her family, nothing has changed. When her grandnephew Michael bursts into her life in what appears to be a drug-fueled frenzy, and her Lexus gets jacked, it’s hard to keep minding her own business. As old cruelties begin to resurface, Honey is no longer sure what she really wants—to forgive or to avenge.

Honey has already received significant praise:

“Utterly enchanting. A deeply human novel that sings the song of life itself. What a brilliant feat of empathy, style, and transcendent beauty—Lodato has created a true original in Honey.”

— Mona Awad, author of Bunny

“Rarely in literature—rarely in our lives—do we encounter someone like Honey Fasinga: fierce, complicated, and out-of-this-world sharp both inside and out. I cried, laughed, and screamed while reading this novel. Weeks after finishing, I am still looking for Honey everywhere.”

— Javier Zamora, New York Times bestselling author of Solito

Read our interview with Victor from Issue 8 here!

Follow his work on his website.

Victor Lodato is the author of two critically acclaimed novels. Edgar and Lucy was called “a riveting and exuberant ride” by the New York Times, and Mathilda Savitch, winner of the PEN USA Award, was hailed as “a Salingeresque wonder of a first novel.” Mathilda Savitch also won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize and has been published in sixteen countries. Victor is a Guggenheim Fellow, as well as the recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Princess Grace Foundation, The Camargo Foundation (France), and The Bogliasco Foundation (Italy). His short fiction and essays have been published in The New YorkerThe New York TimesGranta, and Best American Short Stories. Victor was born and raised in New Jersey and currently divides his time between Ashland, Oregon and Tucson, Arizona. 

Steve Almond Contributor Update

We at Superstition Review are excited to celebrate Steve Almond’s new movie and forthcoming craft book! Which Brings Me to You (2023) is available to stream now, and his book Truth Is the Arrow, Mercy Is the Bow: A DIY Manual for the Construction of Stories will be published with Zando on April 9th. It is available for preorder now on bookshop.com or Amazon.

Read our interview of Steve Almond for Issue 2 of s[r] here, where he talks about using candy as an anti-depressant and the process of writing the novel Which Brings Me to You with a co-author, Julianna Baggott.

In Truth Is the ArrowMercy Is the Bow, Steve Almond employs the radical empathy he displayed as co-host (with Cheryl Strayed) of the podcast Dear Sugars to explore the joys and trials of storytelling, and to explode the myths that hold us back from writing our deepest and truest work. The book includes chapters on plot, character, and chronology, but travels far beyond the earnest intentions of most craft books. It includes essays on humor, sex, writer’s block, and the dividends of failure, as well as prompts to generate new work and a rollicking Frequently Asked Questions section. You’ll never think about writing the same way again.

The long-awaited craft book has received glowing praise:

“Hilarious, heartfelt, and hopeful.”

– STAR TRIBUNE

Truth Is the Arrow, Mercy Is the Bow is a hilarious book that will kick your writing to the next level. I salivated over it and underlined like a madwoman.”

– MARIA SEMPLE, AUTHOR OF WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE

Which Brings Me to You is a romantic comedy based on Almond and Baggott’s novel. Watch the trailer below!

Which Brings Me to You (2023)

Steve Almond is the author of eleven books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His essays and reviews have been published in venues ranging from the New York Times Magazine to Ploughshares to Poets & Writers, and his short fiction has appeared in Best American Short StoriesThe Pushcart PrizeBest American Mysteries, and Best American Erotica. Almond is the recipient of grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. He cohosted the Dear Sugars podcast with his pal Cheryl Strayed for four years, and teaches Creative Writing at the Neiman Fellowship at Harvard and Wesleyan. He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with his family and his anxiety. You can find out more about Steve on his website.

Contributor Update: Jim Daniels

Congratulations to previous contributor Jim Daniels, on the publication of his new chapbook! Comment Card is available for purchase now through the publisher, Carnegie Mellon University Press, or on Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores.

Daniels’ poems offer up a world of juxtapositions, searching for equilibrium between the sublime and the mundane: a man watching young lovers kiss while poisoned ants rain down on his porch. A Christmas tree-needle collection and Jimmy Durante. The litter of a three-hole punch and a daughter leaving for college. Tamarinds and the International Space Station. A crushed snail and the Holy Trinity. These poems wonder, how did we get here, and, by the way, where are we?

Comment Card has already received worthy praise:

“Jim Daniels is a generous, inventive poet with great emotional range and insight. He is at home writing poems about home—the domestic space, child-rearing, marriage, aging, ambition—with honesty, intimacy, and grace . . . Jim Daniels is humorous, provocative, and smart—an American treasure.”

Denise Duhamel

“As prolific as he is talented. Jim Daniels gets my vote as ‘the hardest working man in poetry.’ His poems are honest, straightforward, full of insight, wit and goodwill, and grounded firmly in the human and the humane.”

Charles Harper Webb

You can read Jim’s story, “13 Ways of Looking at My Father in His Bathing Suit” in Issue 12 of s[r], or his story “Single Room” in our first ever issue of s[r]! We also interviewed Jim Daniels for our debut issue. You can read his interview here, where he talks about everything from the discipline factory work taught him to apply to writing, to his early writings being praised by a teacher as poetry—freaking him out and sending him temporarily on a path of “writing things that sounded like some self-pitying bad rhyming dude from the eighteenth century.”

Enjoy an electrifying preview of Daniel’s chapbook:

COMMENT CARD

Below zero—the hotel lost power—
frozen lines, broken sprinklers, just when
guests like us had flicked our lights off
to slog our way toward sleep. Alarms
blazed their grim fiery order: evacuate.
The laminated Emergency Plan instructed
us to gather in the parking lot and wait.
Half-dressed, half-awake, we bristled
at the dark betrayal. One gaunt guy
in sweats and shorts jogged in place,
turned zombie blue.

Someone aimed a flashlight at our frozen feet
till the cleaning lady invited us to squeeze
into her tiny car, then started it up. Shoulders
rubbed. We did not sing songs. We shared
scraps and fragments of what brought us
to our lonely rooms. Bianca from house-
keeping shared cookies she’d stolen
for her two kids. Her English: Take.

None of us were meeting-cute.
No coincidental links or sit-com jokes.
The situation: I sat between an older
businessman and a younger saleswoman.
Bianca’s old car smelled of Jesus air freshener.
Good heater, I said, and everyone agreed.
Our bodies, forced together,
grudged up extra heat.

The lights came on—you know that.
We fled the car in a mad frigid flurry.
The hotel offered us coffee and tea
in the lobby. We spread out over
stuffed couches. Bianca served us.
The manager chatted us up.
What can you do, he asked,
in weather like this?

Jim Daniels has authored over thirty collections of poetry, seven collections of fiction, and four produced screenplays. His most recent books include The Luck of the Fall (2023), The Human Engine at Dawn (2022), and Comment Card (2024). His books have won three Michigan Notable Book Awards, the Brittingham Prize for Poetry, the Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry, the Tillie Olsen Creative Writing Award, the Milton Kessler Award, and three Gold Medals in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. His work has been published in The Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize volumes.

During his long career, he has warmed up for singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, read poems at a Jamestown Jammers AA baseball game, had his poem “Factory Love” displayed on a race car, and sent poetry to the moon soon as part of the Moon Arts Project. A native of Detroit, he lives in Pittsburgh, where he is the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor Emeritus of English at Carnegie Mellon University. He currently teaches in the Alma College low-residency MFA Program. You can find out more about Jim Daniels on his website.

Tabitha, Get Up: Lee Upton Contributor Update

Congratulations to Lee Upton on the upcoming release of Tabitha, Get Up. The novel will be available on May 22nd 2024 from Sagging Meniscus Press, and is available now for preorder.

Tabitha is a lonely fifty-year-old biographer who, in order to restore her self-respect and pay her rent, attempts to write two biographies simultaneously: one about an actor so famous his face is on the side of buses, and the other about a popular writer of children’s books recently outed as an author of erotic fiction. Is Tabitha ready to deal with interviewing an actor so handsome and charismatic she thinks he should be bottled and sprayed on belligerent people as a form of crowd control? Can she form a genuine friendship with a cult novelist who pressures her to compromise her values? While facing these and other challenges, Tabitha is bedeviled by memories of her long-ago divorce and the terrible wedding when, accidently bumped on a balcony, she shot off into the shrubbery. Is it true, she wonders, that there’s probably a dead body beneath the floating rot of any marriage? When surrounded by pretentious beautiful people does it help to imagine their intestines are full of worms? Are champagne bubbles the devil’s air pockets? Is it ever too late to change your life—from the bottom up?

Tabitha, Get Up has received significant praise!

“For starters, Lee Upton’s novel Tabitha, Get Up is funny—really, really funny. On top of that, narrator Tabitha’s clumsy, desperate, charming search for human connection—not to mention a paying gig—is also a serious look at whether it’s possible to bluff and hustle a life together. You’re going to love this book.”

David Ebenbach, author of The Guy We Didn’t Invite to the Orgy

Its protagonist, Tabitha, is a glorious piece of work: a biographer with a feverish mind and a long list of antagonists and an indomitable spirit and an unforgettable voice and major money problems. I wouldn’t want anyone to live her life, but I very much want everyone to read her book.

Brock Clarke, author of Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe? and I, Grape

“There is no form of the novel—the novel takes forms. Lee Upton’s
comely new novel presents as a series of exquisite ‘Notes’—to self,
to random others, to you who finds them. Riding herd, Upton
wrangles a novel that writes itself and rights itself.”

Michael Martone, author of Plain Air: Sketches from Winesburg, Indiana

You can read Lee Upton’s story, “After the Party,” in Issue 17 of s[r].

Lee Upton is an author of books of poetry, fiction, and literary criticism. Another of her novels, a literary mystery, will be out in May 2025. Her books include her seventh collection of poetry, The Day Every Day Is (Saturnalia Books 2023), two short story collections, a novella, four books of literary criticism, and an essay collection. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and Southern Review, as well as three editions of Best American Poetry. She is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize, the National Poetry Series Award, Poetry Society of America awards, the Miami University Novella Prize, the Open Book Award, the Saturnalia Book Prize, and other honors. You can keep up to date with Lee’s goings on on her website.

Contributor Update: Katie Flynn

The warmest of wishes to Katie M. Flynn, a previous s[r] contributor, on the recent publication of her short story collection, Island Rule! The book was published with Scout Press, and is available for purchase now wherever books are sold.

We were delighted to her that an expanded version of the story “Bury the Bird,” which was published in Superstition Review Issue 17, appears in her collection as “Disaster Kids.”

In twelve interconnected stories, Katie M. Flynn weaves the myth and pathos of contemporary America, bringing her imaginative foresight to a world in which people, places, and even animals are not always what they seem. From the seismic wealth gaps of California to the potential jeopardy of a Minnesota mortuary-turned-playground, Island Rule is about the mysterious ways we’re connected without suspecting it, about growth following decay, and about how we are shaped by and shape the world we live in – a world where humans behave like animals, and animals make their presence known. Pygmy rabbits, whales, rats, and birds change the course of the lives of libidinous college students, self-righteous joggers, and fighting sisters.

Island Rule has already received glowing reviews:

“This short-story collection mixes the mundane and the bizarre with an authority stemming from its concrete sense of place . . . the overall effect is appealingly weird, as if the uncanny valley took literary form. A compelling exercise in worldbuilding and genre blending that toggles among the recent past, present, and near future.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A wonderfully eerie collection, Island Rule haunts and delights. Flynn’s writing is taut and teeming, making a world of bone mounds and monsters as alarmingly real as teenage angst and midlife crises . . .  Island Rule revels in exploring darkness at the edges of our world, and what happens when we invite it in.”

Erika Swyler, author of The Light from Other Stars

“Flynn has been compared to the likes of Jennifer Egan and Karen Russell, but her voice is unmistakably original.”

Nob Hill Gazette

Katie M. Flynn is a writer, editor, and educator based in San Francisco. Her short fiction has appeared in the San Francisco ChronicleTin House, and Tor.com, among other publications. She has been awarded Colorado Review’s Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction, a fellowship from the San Francisco Writers Grotto, and the Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing. Katie holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Geography from UCLA. Her first novel, The Companions, was published in March 2020, and her interconnected collection of short stories, Island Rule, came out March 2024 with Scout Press/Gallery Books.  You can find out more about Katie at katiemflynn.com.

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Contributor Update: Ute Behrend

Past Contributor Ute Behrend will be exhibiting her photographic work, “Flowers you gave to me,” with Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art from May 17th to July 13th 2024.

The exhibition, following the theme of “The bouquet of flowers, the ephemeral splendor,” is curated by artist Hartmut Neumann, who focuses on the bouquet of flowers—as an artistic installation that precedes photography—as a central theme.

In an ambivalent way, I make fun of the fact that women dream of men they are in love with standing outside the door with flowers, because they are also in love with THEM. The flowers are in the foreground. The men are out of focus. The bouquets are very select. 

With these pictures I am creating a collection of men “who are in love with me.” The bouquets are preserved through the photo. And with them, the memory of the moment of falling in love.

Ute Behrend

You can view her photographs, “Ballons,” “Horses Near the Lake,” and “Girl with Sheep” in Issue 17.

Ute Behrend is a German artist, publisher and visual editor. She is co-founder of BUMMBUMM BOOKS publishing and a member of the DGPH. She is also a member of the presidium of the German Photographic Academy (DFA). Behrend’s photographs and video installations have been exhibited internationally and are part of numerous public collections. She published her first book “Girls some Boys and Other Cookies” with Scalo Publishers in Zurich in 1996, and has since written 7 other books, including most recently “Cows and Cars.” Her work has received many awards, including the Julia Margaret Cameron Award, the German Photo Book Prize, and the Merck Prize. You can find out more about Ute Behrend on her website.

Contributor Update: Ayşe Papatya Bucak

We at Superstition Review are pleased to highlight past contributor Ayşe Papatya Bucak’s upcoming speaking event at the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing’s “2024 Festival of Faith & Writing.”

The biennial conference is running April 11-13th, in-person at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is “a three-day celebration of literature and belief” bringing together over 2,000 people of different faiths.

You can register for the conference here.

Ayşe’s interview with Superstition Review about her book, The Trojan War Museum and Other Stories can be read in Issue 25.

Ayşe Papatya Bucak is the author of The Trojan War Museum and Other Stories, which was shortlisted for the 2020 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection. Two of the stories in the book were also selected for the O. Henry and Pushcart Prize anthologies. Her writing has been published in a variety of journals, including One StoryGuernicaBombCreative NonfictionWitnessKenyon ReviewPrairie SchoonerThe PinchThe Iowa Review, and Brevity. Bucak was born in Istanbul, Turkey to an American mother and a Turkish father, but spent most of her childhood in Havertown, Pennsylvania just outside of Philadelphia. She holds a BA from Princeton University and an MFA from Arizona State University. She is an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, and a contributing editor for the journal Copper Nickel. You can find out more about Ayşe on her website.

Contributor Update: Claire Polders

Congratulations to previous contributor Claire Polders! DIAGRAM recently published three of her micro-memoirs. You can read them here.

They’re about murder as a protective force, the significant sound of lines slapping against masts, and childhood shame.

Her nonfiction piece, “Seven is the Hour of Water” can be read in Issue 31, and her short story, “Fistfuls,” can be read in Issue 17. She has also contributed an Author Talk which you can listen to on our blog.

Note from the author:

“Other authors might be interested to know that being persistent can pay off. I submitted my first flash fiction to DIAGRAM in 2015. It got rejected. I’ve sent them ten other pieces since. They were either rejected or withdrawn by me (and published elsewhere). But this year the editors and I agreed that DIAGRAM was the perfect home for these essays. I thank the editors for publishing my work and thank you all for reading!”

If you want to follow Claire’s adventures, she has launched a newsletter featuring travel-related personal essays which you can sign up for here.

Claire Polders grew up in the Netherlands and now roams the world. She’s the author of four novels in Dutch, one novel for younger readers (A Whale in Paris, Simon & Schuster), and many short stories and essays. Recurrent themes in her writing are identity, feminism, social justice, traveling, and death. She works on a memoir about elder abuse, a speculative novel, and a short prose collection. You can find out more about Claire on her website and social media: f x i g in

Contributor Update: Cameron Barnett

Congratulations to past Superstition Review contributor, Cameron Barnett, on the upcoming publication of his second poetry collection, Murmur. The collection is available now from Autumn House Press!

The second book by NAACP Image Award finalist Cameron Barnett, Murmur considers the question of how we become who we are. The answers Barnett offers in these poems are neither safe nor easy, as he traces a Black man’s lineage through time and space in contemporary America, navigating personal experiences, political hypocrisies, pop culture, social history, astronomy, and language. Barnett synthesizes unexpected connections and contradictions, exploring the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and the death of Terence Crutcher in 2016 and searching both the stars of Andromeda and a plantation in South Carolina. A diagnosis from the poet’s infancy haunts the poet as he wonders, “like too many Black men,” if “a heart is not enough to keep me alive.”

The collection includes two poems first published by s[r]. “Muck,” and the titular “Murmur,” can be read in Issue 22.

Murmur is already receiving attention and praise:

Cameron Barnett’s Murmur is in fact a glorious shout. These poems shake up histories, both intimate and political. They stir and disturb the ways we look at love, at race, at our people and ourselves. A bold, beautiful, and brilliant collection!

Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“‘Murmur’ plays jazz on the spinal cord.”

Monica Prince, poet and author of Roadmap: a Choreopoem

“With poems spanning histories, both personal and collective, and poems that center Blackness as a site of joy, promise, pain, and possibilities, these poems compel us toward knowledge we are deeply implicated in.”

M. Soledad Caballero, author of I Was a Bell

Cameron Barnett is a poet and teacher from Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water, the winner of the Autumn House Press Rising Writer Prize and a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He is a graduate of Duquesne University and earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Other honors include a 2019 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award for Emerging Artist and serving as the ’22-’24 Emerging Black Writer in Residence at Chatham University. Cameron teaches at his middle school alma mater, Falk Laboratory School. His work explores the complexity of race, place, and relationships for Black people in America. His work can be found on his website and social media: x i.