Guest Post, Brad Modlin: Giving Writerly Thanks on Friendsgiving

“Happy Thanksgiving everyone!” by Satya Murthy is licensed under CC by 2.0

My favorite part of Thanksgiving is when we go around the table and say for what we’re thankful for.

For an electronic Friendsgiving dinner, I’ve asked some folks what they are thankful for when it comes to writing, reading, and teaching.


Angela S. Gentry:

“I’m thankful writing is the kind of friend you can always cycle back to, even if you haven’t talked in a long time.”

Becca J.R. Lachman:

“That the eclectic, wobbly pile of books on my bedside table never runs dry thanks to so many writer friends and mentors!”

Eric LeMay:

“I’m thankful for books that wait patiently on the bookshelf, sometimes for years, sometimes decades, until I have the good sense to take them down and read them.”

Wendy McVicker:

“ be part of a community (across time and space) of noticers..and noters, expanding my world with myriad perspectives.”


“Truth: reading aloud a book of fiction in turns sparked more joy in me and fellow inpatients than any prescribed therapy.  We rebuilt our lives with books, journals, lists, doodles: hope.”

Dinty W. Moore:

“I am thankful for those writing friends who tell me when I am spewing total B.S. I am thankful for Billy Pilgrim. I am thankful that Microsoft Word has cut and paste.”

Jennifer Pullen:

“My students give me hope for the world because they can argue over who was the better captain (Picard or Kirk) and how we can best begin to live in a sustainable way…all in the same conversation.”

Wesley Roj:

“Prompts- Sometimes this seems like the minority opinion, but for poetry and shorter prose a thoughtful (read: original) prompt can be so invigorating as a teacher or a student. It seems to give you and your students more freedom by convincing you that you have less. In other words, it represents a foundation to build on, and frequently unearths buried treasure.”

Woody Skinner:

“Electronic submissions.”

Karl Stevens:

“I’m thankful that my daughter is forming her understanding of the world by reading good stories.”

Kelly Sundberg:

“I’m thankful for headphones, Pandora, and ambient music, so I can block out the sound of the cartoons my son watches on Saturday morning and write.”

Anne Valente:

“I’m thankful for the generosity and kindness of so many people in the literary community. I was just talking about publishing and writing with a student this morning (another moment of gratitude, for engaged students who are curious!), who asked what was easier than I might have anticipated about writing. Truly, the generosity of writers and an engaged literary community makes writing all that much easier: having great people to share work with, to imagine possibilities, and to champion each other’s work. I was happy to share this with a student, and happy to have the chance to reflect on how true and vital this is, and how grateful I am for it.”

Bess Winter:

“The community of friends who can talk with each other as writers.”


Me, I’m thankful that my students and writer friends are willing to play games. I’m thankful that when writing, you don’t feel pressured to multi-task. Instead, you get the chance to daydream. At the same time, I’m thankful for this mindfulness bell that helps me concentrate:

Thanks everyone for your answers. SR blog readers, you’re invited to add your thankful-for’s to the list by leaving a comment below. And please pass the sweet potatoes. –Brad Modlin

Launch of Issue 7: Poetry

Superstition Review Issue 7 has launched and to celebrate we will be featuring blog posts about our artists and authors. Today we will be highlighting a few of the talented poets who are featured in Issue 7.

Angela S. Gentry is the two-time recipient of the Devine Summer Fellowship in Poetry from Bowling Green State University. Her first chapbook, Stirrings of Movement, was released in 2010 from Finishing Line Press. She received her BA in Christian Education from Cedarville University and her MFA in Poetry from BGSU. In her spare time, she would like to build a tree house, in addition to writing, but finds herself inordinately occupied with evaluating student papers. She currently resides in Michigan. Read her poem “My Barber” featured in issue 7. Angela Gentry’s Website

Marge Piercy is the author of 18 collections of poetry, most recently The Crooked Inheritance and this spring, her second volume of new and selected poems 1980-2010 The Hunger Moon, out from Knopf. She has published 17 novels, most recently Sex Wars. Two of her early novels, Dance The Eagle To Sleep and Vida, are being republished with new introductions by PM Press this fall. Her work has been translated into 19 languages. Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is available from Harper Perennial. Read her four poems featured in issue 7. Marge Piercy’s Website

Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of Barolo (The University of Nebraska Press), Pot Farm (forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press), Warranty in Zulu (Barrow Street Press), The Morrow Plots (forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc Books), Sagittarius Agitprop (Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc Books), and the chapbooks Four Hours to Mpumalanga (Pudding House Publications), and Aardvark (West Town Press). Recent work appears in The New Republic, The Huffington Post, Field, Epoch, AGNI, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, North American Review, Pleiades, Crab Orchard Review, The Best Food Writing, The Best Travel Writing, Creative Nonfiction, Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, Gastronomica, and others. He was born and raised in Illinois and teaches at Northern Michigan University. Read his poem “The Sticking-Place, Stripped Screws” in issue 7. Matthew Gavin Frank’s Website

Patricia Clark is Poet-in-Residence and Professor in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University. Author of three volumes of poetry, Patricia’s newest book is She Walks into the Sea; she has also published a chapbook, Given the Trees. Patricia’s work has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily; she has won Mississippi Review’s Poetry Prize; and been honored as the 2nd prize winner in the 2005 Pablo Neruda/Nimrod International Journal Poetry competition. Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic MonthlyPoetrySlateStandThe Gettysburg Review, and many other literary magazines. Read her poem “Until it Speaks” in issue 7. Patricia Clark’s Website

Tanaya Winder is from the Southern Ute and Duckwater Shoshone Nations. She graduated from Stanford University in 2008 with a BA in English. Tanaya was a finalist in the 2009 Joy Harjo Poetry Competition and a winner of the A Room Of Her Own Foundation’s Spring 2010 Orlando prize in poetry. Her work appears in Cutthroat magazineYellow Medicine ReviewAdobe WallsBarrier Islands Review, and Lingerpost. She is the co-editor of a forthcoming collection Soul Talk, Song Language: Conversations with Joy Harjo. She is currently pursuing a MFA in Poetry at the University of New Mexico. Read her two poems published in issue 7.


The full magazine with featured art and artists from issue 7 can be found here.