Progress Report: Artist Sara Newton confirmed

With three weeks left in our publication process, the upcoming launch of Issue 6 has everyone working diligently. Superstition Review’s submissions period came to an end last week, leaving section editors busy reading and sorting submissions. In the weeks to come, our web designer will publish content to the Superstition Review webpage for the launch in December.

Our Art Editors have confirmed dance choreographer turned artist Sara Newton for Issue 6. Her pieces Swimmer, Pink Pants and Red Boot will be featured.

The Superstition Review Reading Series is pleased to be featuring Melissa Pritchard. The reading will take place on Monday, November 8 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pima Auditorium on the Tempe campus.

Progress Update: Issue 6 Prepares for Launch

Superstition Review staff are preparing for the launch of Issue 6. With just 4 weeks left in our publication process, Section Editors will finish reading submissions, and our web designer will publish the content on the magazine’s webpage. We are still accepting submissions at http://superstitionreview.submishmash.com/Submit until October 31.

Our Nonfiction Editors have confirmed works from Paul Lisicky, Madeleine Blais and Ira Sukrungruang. Paul Lisicky has been published in Five Points, The Seattle Review and Brevity. His pieces Lighten Up, It’s Summer and The Queen of It will be published in Issue 6. Madeleine Blais worked for the Miami Herald from 1979-1987 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. Her nonfiction essay entitled Another Martini, Another Lobster will be featured in our upcoming issue. Ira Sukrungruang is the author of Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy; his nonfiction essay The Wide Open Mouth will be published in Issue 6 of Superstition Review.

As a reminder, the Superstition Review Reading Series is featuring Melissa Pritchard. The reading is on Monday, November 8 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pima Auditorium on the Tempe campus.

Progress Update: Poetry Editors confirm poets Demske, Gross and McClure for Issue 6

We are accepting submissions of Art, Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry until October 31st at http://superstitionreview.submishmash.com/Submit.

Our Poetry Editors have added poets Philip Gross, Nick Demske, and Meghan McClure to the list of authors to appear in Issue 6. Philip Gross was awarded the 2009 T.S. Eliot Prize for The Water Table and is well known for his children’s poetry titles The All-Nite Café and Off Road To Everywhere. Nick Demske’s self-titled manuscript won the 2010 Fence Modern Poets Series Prize and will be published in November. Meghan McClure will have three poems in Issue 6 of Superstition Review including “Stars on Their Way Down,” “Potential Energy,” and “Refractions.”

In the coming weeks Superstition Review staff are looking forward to the Melissa Pritchard reading on the Arizona State University Tempe Campus on November 8th at 7 p.m. Also expect an in-depth interview with Superstition Review contributor Claire McQuerry regarding her work at The Missouri Review and her new book Lacemakers.

 

Melissa Pritchard discusses Superstition Review reading and other works

On November 8th the Superstition Review Reading Series will feature Melissa Pritchard at Arizona State University’s Tempe Campus. Her reading will take place at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Pima Auditorium. Pritchard has published several books such as Phoenix: A Novel, Late Bloomer and Devotedly, Virginia: The Life of Virginia Galvin Piper. She has also published her essays Finding Ashton and A Woman’s Garden, Sown in Blood in O, The Oprah Magazine, and The Collagist 4, respectively. I had the opportunity to discuss the upcoming reading and Pritchard’s latest novel The Odditorium.

Superstition Review: How is The Odditorium different from your other works?

Melissa Pritchard: The Odditorium is a collection of seven stories and a novella. Most are based on unusual or enigmatic historical figures, all look at the ways architecture exerts subtle or unsubtle pressures on human consciousness. So they are different in those ways from most of my previous stories. More than half of them do not approach narrative in a traditional or conventional way. I experiment in one story, “Watanya Cicilia,” with a pastiche of historical documents, songs, research and fiction, contrasting the Wild West Show and the real, genocidal story of the West. “The Hauser Variations,” based on the life of Kaspar Hauser, a German boy kept in an underground dungeon throughout his childhood and then mysteriously released into a second tragic fate, is based, in terms of narrative strategy, on Bach’s Goldberg Variations. In another story, “Patricide,” two sisters meet in a haunted hotel in Richmond, Virginia, its courtyard said to be a place where Edgar Allen Poe once played as a child. In this hotel, one of the sisters goes mad. So I was less interested in the traditional structure of plot and expected emotional release than in ethics, history, architecture and the effects of these upon both historically based and purely imagined characters.

SR: What has in been like working with Bellevue Literary Press?

MP: We are in the earliest phases; I accepted their offer to publish The Odditorium in January, 2012, and had a lengthy phone conversation with the publisher, Erika Goldman. I was so impressed with her aesthetic understanding of the collection, her excitement over the departures I had taken in terms of subject and form, I became convinced this was the proper home for these pieces. The BLP website is terrific, too, as is their history with Bellevue Hospital and New York University’s Medical Center. They publish elegant books at the nexus of art, science and medicine, and only publish two fiction titles a year. One of this year’s fiction titles, Tinkers, by Paul Harding, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, resulting in a flurry of attention for the press, with articles and interviews in The New York Times, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and other media venues. It’s a tiny press operating out of Bellevue Hospital, and they do terrific work. I come from a family of surgeons, doctors and nurses, and have always been fascinated by science, medicine and the history of medicine, so this could not be a better place for this book, as a number of the stories deal with medical histories, issues and questions.

SR: How has your time at ASU influenced your writing?

MP: Because my time to write is limited, I have to be disciplined. Sometimes I find it quite difficult, having time and energy to both write and teach. A fragile balance at best. On the other hand, teaching keeps me awake to current trends in literature, to remaining relevant to students year after year, and I am blessed to work with some incredibly gifted students, both graduates and undergraduates. I always say my students teach me in equal proportion to what I teach them. At least I feel that. Also, ASU has always been tremendously supportive of my outside work–traveling for research, traveling to conferences, traveling for reportage or for humanitarian work, which I also do. I am extremely grateful for the university’s support.

SR: What are you most looking forward to as the Superstition Review reading draws near?

MP: I have a background in theater, in acting, so I always love reading my work aloud in a public setting…for me, it is as close to performance as I come these days. I love an audience and I love hearing the piece I’ve chosen come alive in the room, seeing the reactions of the listeners, answering questions afterwards. It is truly a wonderful exchange. This past summer at The Glen, a writing workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, part of Seattle Pacific University’s MFA Program, I read my collection’s title story, “The Odditorium,” to a full house. It is a comic piece about Robert Ripley of Believe It or Not fame, and other audiences have responded with laughter and lively commentary afterwards. This audience was dead silent. The room was dark, I couldn’t see anyone. I kept reading, on and on, by the little glow from the podium light. Afterwards, no one even asked questions! I was horrified, sure I had failed, sure the story had been a failure…I wanted to crawl under a carpet had there been one. What I found out later, was that the story had gone over so well, people couldn’t react, they went silent–stunned. I won’t repeat the praises I later heard, but then I became overwhelmed the other direction–was my story really that good? So one never knows, and one always doubts. Also, I’m always a little nervous before a reading, hoping it goes well, that I don’t disappoint people who made the time and effort to come to my reading when there are dozens of other things for them to do….I am also always scared no one will show up, and thrilled to pieces when they do. Finally, I’m looking forward to meeting all the staff and interns at Superstition Review. They’ve even managed to arrange to have copies of A Public Space #11 mailed from New York to be available for sale on the night of the reading. (I’ll be reading a story, “Ecorche, The Flayed Man,” from that issue.)

SR: What are you currently working on creatively?

MP: I’m in between three pieces right now…a non-fiction piece about my miniature dachshund, Simon, a speech about Sr. Airman Ashton Goodman and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project that I will be giving at the Air Force Institute of Technology in December, and a novella set in 19th century Florence, Italy.

SR: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

MP: Read voraciously. Read the best work you can find. Read what interests you. Be observant. Practice empathy and compassion. Know that what you write ultimately reflects who you are. Write every day, even if only for an hour and be humble in your practice while aspiring to greatness. Be gentle with yourself, and always reward yourself in some small way after a writing session. Leave the writing at a place where you are eager to return the next day.

 

Progress Update: Poets Mary Carroll-Hackett and Molly Brodak confirmed

Our Section Editors continue to read open submissions. If you would like to submit work for Superstition Review Issue 6, visit http://superstitionreview.submishmash.com/Submit for more information about our guidelines. The deadline for Submissions is October 31st.

Our Content Coordinator confirmed poets Mary Carroll-Hackett and Molly Brodak for Issue 6. Carroll-Hackett’s book The Real Politics of Lipstick won the 2010 Slipstream Press poetry competition and was published in August. Brodak’s poetry has been published in Kenyon Review OnlineNinth Letter, and Field, and she was awarded the 2009 Iowa Poetry Prize for her first book, A Little Middle of the Night.

Superstition Review staff will be busy putting the finishing touches on Issue 6 for the launch in December. Stay tuned for updates on our plans for a reading by Melissa Pritchard on November 8th at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pima Auditorium on Tempe Campus.

Franz Wright Reading

It’s finally here! Tomorrow, Superstition Review and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing are hosting a reading with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright!

Franz Wright, born in Austria and educated at Oberlin College, received the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for his book of poetry Walking to Martha’s Vineyard. Critics have praised Wright for his poetry, exclaiming that “Wright oscillates between direct and evasive dictions, between the barroom floor and the arts club podium, from aphoristic aside to icily poetic abstraction.” The Boston Review has said of Wright’s poetry; “among the most honest, haunting, and human being written today.” Other works by Wright include Wheeling Motel, God’s Silence, The Beforelife, Going North in Winter, and many others.

The reading and book signing will be held on Tuesday, April 20th at the Pima Auditorium (Room 230) in the Memorial Union at 7:30 p.m.

The following day, April 21, a public craft Q&A will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Piper Writers House on the ASU Tempe campus.

Early Announcement for SR Reading with Franz Wright

While we’ve yet to work out the details for our first reading of the semester, we are proud to announce that we’ve recently solidified our final reading series event for Issue 5. Superstition Review is teaming up with the Piper Center for Creative Writing to present a reading with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Franz Wright.

Poet FRANZ WRIGHT
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Reading and Booksigning, 7:30 pm
Pima Auditorium (Room 230) / Memorial Union – ASU Tempe Campus
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Public Craft Q&A, 11 a.m.
Piper Writers House – ASU Tempe Campus

I’ll announce it again as the event gets closer, but we wanted to give you plenty of time to plan ahead!

Distinguished Visiting Writers Series: Francine Prose

ASU’s Piper Center is bringing Novelist Francine Prose to ASU on March 2nd and 3rd as part of its Distinguished Visiting Writers Series.

Novelist FRANCINE PROSE
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Public Craft Q&A, 2 pm
Piper Writers House – ASU Tempe Campus
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Reading and Booksigning, 7 pm
Phoenix Art Museum, Whiteman Hall
1625 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ

Prose is the author of 14 novels and six books of nonfiction, including Household Saints, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Reading Like a Writer, a New York Times Bestseller. Her most recent works include Goldengrove: A Novel and Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife. Mark your calendars for this exciting event!

Superstition Review Reading 3

What: Superstition Review Reading 3: Featuring Carol Ann Bassett
When: Monday, November 30, 2009 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: ASU Memorial Union Building, Pima Auditorium (Room 230)

In conjunction with the ASU School of Life Sciences and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Superstition Review proudly announces its final reading of the Issue 4 Reading Series featuring renowned nonfiction writer and journalist Carol Ann Bassett. Author of three books of literary nonfiction, including her most recent release Galapagos at the Crossroads, Bassett’s work has received high acclaim, being anthologized in the American Nature Writing series. She was a regular contributor to The New York Times and Time Life Inc. and her work has appeared in such national publications as The Nation and The Los Angeles Times. Her work focuses on natural history, the environment, and traditional cultures in transition.

Distinguished Visiting Writers Series: Stephen Dobyns

ASU’s Distinguished Visiting Writers Series just released a late flier announcing a two-day event featuring author and poet, Stephen Dobyns, at the Main Campus.

We’re excited to be having Stephen on campus and looking forward to seeing more from this year’s Piper House lineup!

Poetry Foundation’s biography of Stephen Dobyns

ASU’s 2009-10 Distinguished Visiting Writer Series

ASU Main Campus Map