Senior English Literature Major Sean Carstensen is the Prose Team Manager for Superstition Review.
Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?
Sean Carstensen: It’s my responsibility to function as a liaison between the prose editors and management of SR. The Prose team as a whole is responsible for selecting the works to be published in the upcoming issue; my role in the team is to keep sight of the larger picture and assist the prose editors in any way I can while simultaneously working to streamline communication within the SR team.
SR: How did you hear about or get involved with Superstition Review?
SC: I found out about Superstition Review through an English Department email encouraging students to apply for the internship. It sounded like something I would be interested in, so I applied and decided to take a summer course which would prepare me for a management position in the Fall 2009 issue. Being involved in publishing a literary journal was more appealing to me than the traditional types of internships.
SR: What is your favorite section of SR? Why?
SC: My favorite section of SR would have to be the poetry. The density of meaning and ambiguity of the poems is what separates them from prose: I can read a fiction/nonfiction piece once through and feel as though I have a solid idea of the message; poems are completely different. The first read through a poem familiarizes me with the meter and structure, but the meaning often remains uncertain and ambiguous even after several reads.
SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal? Talk about him/her.
SC: I feel like Stephen King would be an extremely interesting interview. After reading previous interviews, I would want to ask him about his writing process because it sounds different from traditional methods which emphasis planning and structure; King incorporates a degree of spontaneity and oftentimes does not know how his main plot conflicts will be resolved.
SR: What job, other than your own, would you like to try out in the journal?
SC: Blogging has always been something I’d like to try out and I think that it would be exciting to be responsible for an ongoing blog about Superstition Review. I think that a lot of potential readers will first find out about SR through the blog, and I believe that maintaining the page would be an intriguing combination of journalism and marketing.
SR: What are you most excited for in the upcoming issue?
SC: I’m really hoping to discover some new writers through the open submissions. I know that we’ll receive quality work from the solicited submissions, but I would be thrilled to see some unsolicited work make its way into the final issue as well.
SR: What was the first book you remember falling in love with and what made it so special?
SC: One day my fourth grade teacher started reading us a book called The Phantom Tollbooth and I was absolutely transfixed. Later that day I happened to see the same book in my older brother’s room, so I stole it and proceeded to finish the entire thing. The mash up of wordplay, riddles and rhymes in the story of a boy named Milo were completely overwhelming and unlike anything I had seen before.
SR: What artist have you really connected with, either in subject matter, work, or motto?
SC: I would have to say Oscar Wilde. The Picture of Dorian Gray was an eye opening read, but it’s really Wilde’s criticism that I connect with: the notion that an observer deduces meaning from art by contributing part of their self to the work was new to me.
SR: What would be your dream class to take at ASU? What would the title be and what would it cover?
SC: A class on Aleister Crowley–I’ve read some less than complementary things about him, but have never actually read any of his work. I believe someone once called him “the wickedest man in the world” and I would be interested to see what a writer has to say to earn such harsh criticism.
SR: Do you write? Tell us about a project you’re working on.
SC: I have recently reconnected with three of my old friends from high school and we’re trying to start mailing a journal between the four of us; we’ll be able to reflect on how much has changed in four years while staying touch with one another in a unique fashion.
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