Congratulations to Barrett Bowlin whose debut book, Ghosts Caught on Film, comes out this week published by Bridge Eight Press.
Proceed with caution. A scientist and sister hope to transform gummy bears into embryos. A sleepwalking father poses a dangerous threat to his young son. Ghosts Caught on Film is a collection of stories both haunting and funny, full of warmth, anxiety, love, and foreboding. Winner of the Bridge Eight Press Fiction Prize, Barrett Bowlin’s debut is unafraid to make you laugh while looking over your shoulder or bring you to tears while turning the page.
Inventive, entrancing, funny, and often wonderfully bizarre, Ghosts Caught on Film is a fantastic story collection. With an abundance of heart and humor, Barrett Bowlin sets the table for characters who are all daring to dream while facing their own impending apocalypse. Each of these stories resonates with existential questions, echoes and afterimages, flickers of love and longing—and taken altogether, this is a stunning debut.
Jason Allen, author of The East End
You can read “Skiagraphy,” by Barrett Bowlin in Issue 20. You can also check out Barrett’s website and Twitter to learn more about his work.
One needs two things to be a good Fiction Editor. #1 is an attitude of Playful Openness that gets one excited to read the submission pile. #2 is Time. While working on this issue of Superstition Review, I had boundless amounts of openness and only a breadcrumb of time because of extra classes I was taking to graduate early. These classes diminished some of my enjoyment in being a Fiction Editor and are my only regrets.
Yet, I will never forget the pleasure of reading submissions. One of the marks of good fiction is escapism: allowing the reader to feel like he’s away from home. Many submissions helped me forget the strain of my other assignments and gladly found a home in my YES pile. It was also a delight to learn from my fellow editors Patricia Murphy, Kristin LaCroix, and Hannah Coleman. You were all generously patient as I learned the ropes.
“A writer should create living people; people not characters,” says Ernest Hemingway. I’m always looking for these living people when reading fiction. Not perfect people, but people who are afraid, unworthy, or not suited for the situation or task facing them—much like myself. This forges identification between reader and character, and it is the key to a reader’s escape and relief. When we read about people in trouble like ourselves (or better, people worse off), we’re healed. A character’s efforts to overcome adversity always leave the reader with a smile.
As a writer myself, I want to thank every person who submitted to Superstition Review for their courage to imagine, draft, and craft, because it’s taught me that this is the most important part of writing stories.
This semester, I had the pleasure of working as Superstition Review’s Nonfiction Editor under the supervision of Patricia Murphy and Rebeca Byrkit. My experience was informative and enriching. I read an impressive selection of essays from renowned authors who originate from different backgrounds. Receiving the opportunity to review these authors’ works was one of the most rewarding parts of my experience. I feel honored that these authors submitted their pieces to our magazine.
Another rewarding part of my role was learning more about what editors do. Before assuming this role, I only knew about copy-editing and technical editing. When I realized that magazine editors were responsible for tasks like reading and selecting submissions, contacting authors, and copy editing, I was delighted because I finally felt like I had discovered my calling.
I find nonfiction important because it is a versatile literary genre that can be used to inform readers, document history, and more. This genre is also remarkable because the truths present in nonfiction provide direct links between the author and the audience. The vulnerability and relatability of nonfiction are crucial factors; with them, we can use literature as a tool to understand one another and connect.
The idea of universality and human connection inspired how I evaluated and chose pieces for Issue 29. I wanted to focus on selecting stories that would either hold a mirror to our society or allow readers to appreciate the world from a different perspective. My goal with my selections is to promote empathy and boost the power of human connection through presenting stories that encapsulate emotions that all readers can find relatable. I hope that everyone who reads these selections sees a part of them reflected in the five essays.
Laurie Uttich creates a safe space in her new poetry collection, where readers know they’re not alone. Somewhere a Woman Lowers the Hem of Her Skirt will be published by Riot in Your Throat, a press dedicated to feminist poetry.
In this book, Laurie guides you through different experiences in life with vulnerability and relatability, critiquing gender roles, expectations put on women, and society. Some other topics include abuse, mental health, old and new relationships, and finding your way back home.
Her language is fierce and strong, telling unforgettable stories about breaking free from a quiet midwestern mold and demanding more from a world with inequality and injustice. These poems support everyone navigating their own journey in life with poems like “A Prayer for My 17-Year-Old Son on the Other Side of the Door” and “To My Student With the Dime-Sized Bruises on the Back of Her Arms Who’s Still on Her Cell Phone.”
Her knowledge from her own heartache, raising boys and making connections today is written in a way that makes it seem like she is speaking directly to you, sharing encouraging words of hope and strength. This closeness and raw emotion from Uttich invites the reader to dig deep in a brave, self-accepting way, while gently reminding everyone that they have the strength to bring about the change needed in the world and break out of our own molds others have put us in.
These poems will take you out, spin you around, and teach you just how important a woman’s life is. They’ll remind you of the distance between where you grew up and where you live now, and then they’ll collapse that distance so you see who you are is everyone you’ve ever been. And they’ll do all that with breathless grace, humor, and compassion.
Katherine Riegel, author of two poetry collections: What the Mouth Was Made For (2013) and Castaway (2010)
Congratulations to Dallas Woodburn for the release of her new novel, Thanks, Carissa, for Ruining My Life published by Immortal Works. This YA novel is the perfect friends-to-lovers romance that you won’t be able to put down. Join characters Carissa, Rose, and Brad as they navigate self-improvement, identity, and acceptance in our image-obsessed culture.
If you would like to listen to a deep dive into the book, check out Marissa Meyer’s The Happy Writer podcast where Dallas talks about the challenges of writing romance, creating powerful character arcs, and not giving up on the draft of a book you really love.
A perfect young adult romance, this slightly outlandish but totally delicious story is as contemporary as it is witty.
Dallas Woodburn writes with rare insight and compassion about the aching glory of being young.
Hilma wolitzer, author of an available man and the doctor’s daughter
You can also read Dallas’s short story “Tarzan” in Issue 13 before it is featured in her new short story collection, How to Make Paper When World is Ending, coming out this summer from Koehler Books. Keep your eyes peeled!
Future Present: A Workshop Series is an 8-week program designed to explore the political possibilities of poetry and imagine new ways of telling the stories we carry. By the end of the workshop series, each poet will revise an original piece to be included in an anthology, submitted to Iron City Magazine, and performed at the final celebratory reading.
This is open to formerly incarcerated people and family/friends of current/formerly incarcerated people. There are 30 workshop seats available on a first come, first serve basis.
The workshops are Saturdays April 9-May 7from 11 am to 12:30 pm MST, 2-3:30pm EST on Zoom. Please register here by April 2 to receive the link for all workshops.
Directed by Assistant Professor Solmaz Sharif, Poetry for the People at ASU is a program modeled after the one founded by late poet, scholar, and activist June Jordan at UC Berkeley. Focused on poetry as a medium for telling the truth and building beloved community, the program offers an introductory poetry course for students at ASU, the opportunity for students to meet and work with established poets, and workshops and readings for the greater Phoenix metro area. For more info, visit here.
Meet the workshop facilitators!
Jade Cho is the author of In the Tongue of Ghosts (First Word Press, 2016). Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net and has appeared in Apogee, BOAAT, The Offing and elsewhere. As an MFA candidate at Arizona State University, she has received the Virginia G. Piper Creative Engagement Fellowship, the Virginia G. Piper Creative Research Fellowship, and two Swarthout Awards. Jade holds a BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley, where she studied and taught in June Jordan’s Poetry for the People and learned how to write, perform, and organize in Bay Area spoken word communities. She has been on two nationally-competing slam teams, representing the Bay Area at Brave New Voices 2010 and UC Berkeley at College Unions Poetry Slam 2013, where she and her teammates won “Best Political Poem” and “Best Writing as a Team.” She is a co-founder of Ghostlines, a collective of artists and educators, and The Root Slam, a free poetry venue in her hometown of Oakland, California. The granddaughter of Hoisanese immigrants who settled on Ohlone and Tongva land, she is currently at work on a project tracing memory, grief, and desire through the archive of Chinese Exclusion and the Chinese Confession Program.
Julián Delacruz is a third year M.F.A Candidate at Arizona State University. He is a June Jordan Teaching Fellow under ASU’s new poetry program, Poetry for the People, a workshop focused on poetry as a medium for telling the truth and building beloved community. While deeply attentive to craft, he loves mentoring writers who want to embrace more reckless and frayed modes of questioning. Having taught creative writing for multiple years, and also having worked a series of editing internships at Roof Books (’11), The Paris Review (’12), PEN American Center (’14), The Iowa Review (’15-’17) and Catapult (’16), he is poised to give insightful editorial feedback to writers of many different persuasions. Julián is also the co-host of Equality Arizona’s Queer Poetry Salon, the largest queer reading series in the southwest. He has had the pleasure to feature such esteemed poets as CA Conrad, Ariana Reines, Richard Siken, Eduardo Corral, and Tommy Pico, alongside queer indie poets across many identities. Delacruz was awarded the 2020 Mabelle A. Lyon award in poetry, and a Glendon & Kathryn Swarthout Award in writing at Arizona State. He lives and writes in Tempe, AZ.
Avery Meinen was born and raised between the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers and Lake Erie. They are a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and former editor of Sampsonia Way Magazine, a publication of City of Asylum Pittsburgh. They have worked as a teaching artist with high school youth, and coached a team of spoken word poets in the Philly Slam League. They were a fellow with Crescendo Literary’s Emerging Poets Incubator in 2017 and a Winter 2021 Tin House Scholar. In their time as an MFA candidate at Arizona State, they have received a Virginia G. Piper Creative Research Fellowship and a Swarthout Award. In addition to their fellowship with Poetry for the People, they are currently a graduate research fellow with the Recovering Truth Project, a project of the Center for the Study of Conflict and Religion at ASU. Their current project examines the intersections of extractive industry and physical and sexual violence, particularly in the bodies and worlds of children. Their work is oriented towards radical queer and trans ecologies, holds survival to be a profoundly creative act, and aims to reconsider ruin, both embodied and ecological, as a site of possibility.
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is celebrating Women’s History Month with Lois Roma-Deeley, Rosemarie Dombrowski, and Patricia Murphy, our Founding Editor. At the event, these three amazing poets will read original works honoring women and the wonder of words.
This virtual event is on Thursday, March 31 at 7 pm. RSVP here with pay-what-you-wish tickets.
Learn more about the featured poets below!
Lois Roma-Deeley’s poetry collection is Like Water in the Palm of My Hand (forthcoming 2022). Her previous books include The Short List of Certainties, High Notes, northSight, and Rules of Hunger. Her poems are published nationally and internationally. Roma-Deeley is associate poetry editor of Presence. She was named U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation in 2012. Roma-Deeley is the current Scottsdale Poet Laureate.
Rosemarie Dombrowski is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Phoenix and the founding editor of rinky dink press. She’s the recipient of an Arts Hero Award, a Great 48 award, and a Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. In 2020, she founded Revisionary Arts, a nonprofit that facilitates therapeutic poetry workshops for vulnerable populations. She teaches courses at ASU Downtown and is a lecturer for Arizona Humanities.
Patricia Murphy teaches at Arizona State University, where she founded Superstition Review. Her book Bully Love won the 2019 Press 53 Poetry Award, and her book Hemming Flames won the 2016 May Swenson Poetry Award and the 2017 Milt Kessler Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Quarterly West, The Iowa Review, and Black Warrior Review, and she has received awards from Gulf Coast and Bellevue Literary Review, among others.
Manifest/o, a new journal for Arizona artists, is accepting art submissions to publish in its prototype issue that will launch May 2022.
All Arizona-based artists are encouraged to submit creative nonfiction, digital media, drawing, fiction, paintings, photography, poetry, prose, and any other art that can be displayed in a digital format to capture the theme “Arizona Art in the Moment.”
Visit the Manifest/o website for more information on literary and visual submission requirements.
Congratulations to Meg Tuite for the release of her new book White Van published by Unlikely Books. This collection of poems shines with Meg’s unique descriptive voice with stories that capture womanhood in a cathartic and honest way. It’s a wonder to read each word and experience all that they offer.
Gorgeously brutal, jaggedly mattering, Meg Tuite’s incantations crackle with the clarities of a true visionary. White Vans treats the trample and grime of trauma with cleansing ecstasies of language. This book will turn you inside out.
Garielle Lutz, author of Worsted
White Van is available for purchase on Amazon. Keep reading for an excerpt from the book!
Squeezed In By Despair
The sky absorbs itself into tiny clusters of strangely beaked branches cutting incisions through the veined hiss of tired blue. Step on to the cackle of leaves beneath your shoes. Wallow your way in and out of trees, skeletal tall, old as aches, and smell darkness bleed into each pore. No sense in pretending what the forest hides. Bodies compost history, groan and gnash dust into rich, brazen dirt damp with the guts of wanderers. A multitude of eyes size up the stench of your leeched family tragedies. The caverns of sad, lonely trails deepen across your face. It’s okay. You’ll never find yourself alone. A pack of swaying columns covered with bark imperceptibly surround you.
For more of Meg’s writing, you can also read her short story “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” in Issue 12.
Meg Tuite is the author of a novel-in-stories, Domestic Apparition (San Francisco Bay Press), a short story collection, Bound By Blue, (Sententia Books) Meet My Haze (Big Table Publishing), White Van (Unlikely Books), won the Twin Antlers Collaborative Poetry award from (Artistically Declined Press) for her poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging, Grace Notes (Unknown Press), as well as five chapbooks of short fiction, flash, poetic prose, and multi-genre. She teaches workshops and online classes through Bending Genres and is an associate editor at Narrative Magazine. Her work has been published in over 600 literary magazines and over fifteen anthologies including Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good. She has been nominated over 15 times for the Pushcart Prize, won first and second place in Prick of the Spindle contest, a five-time finalist at Glimmer Train, finalist of the Gertrude Stein Award, and 3rd prize in the Bristol Short Story Contest. She is also the editor of eight anthologies. She is included in the Best Small Fictions of 2021. Her blog: http://megtuite.com