Rachel Blau DuPlessis Comes to ASU

Every semester, the creative writing program at Arizona State University hosts distinguished authors to give readings of their work as part of the MFA Reading Series. This semester, Pamela Uschuck, William Pitt Root, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Michael Martone have been invited to share their work on the ASU campus. The upcoming reading on October 23rd will be by esteemed poet, essayist, and scholar Rachel Blau DuPlessis.

DuPlessis is arguably most well-known for Drafts, a long poem that has taken 26 years and 5 books of collected poems to complete. Her newest book, Surge: Drafts 96-114, was published this March and brings the work to a conclusion. The project, which has been compared to T. S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, is a collection of poem “drafts” that ultimately combine to form one long poem. The poems are organized into groups of 19, with each group covering the same themes in the same order, and utilize a number of genres. In an interview with Hayden’s Ferry, Rachel Blau DuPlessis emphasized that the poems can be read individually or with the work as a whole. She said, “Poems can also be read in any order. But they are joined together by all being ‘drafts’.”

Along with being a poet, Rachel Blau DuPlesiss is a feminist scholar and critic. She has published several works of feminist critique, with the most recent being Purple Passages: Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley and the Ends of Patriarchal Poetry. This work is the third book in a feminist critical series on poetry. DuPlessis’ background is evident in her poetry, which is rich in feminist themes. In the aforementioned interview she says, “…my poems are work written by me—and that ‘me’ is a lot of social and political things (“identities”) all mixed up together, including gender information, gender feelings (sometimes passionate ones) and observations.” As a part of her identity, feminism in naturally tied into her work as a poet.

Rachel Blau DuPlesiss will be reading her work in the Social Sciences Building, room 109, at noon on Wednesday, October 23. Later that day, DuPlessis will be giving a lecture, “Manifesting Literary Feminisms: A Conversation with Rachel Blau DuPlessis” at 4:30 pm, also in the Social Sciences Building, room 109. For more information on either event, visit the College of Liberal Arts and Science’s website. To prepare for this event, you can attend a master class by Cynthia Hogue on Rachel Blau DuPlessis. This class will be held on October 16. For further details, email Cynthia Hogue at Cynthia.Hogue@asu.edu.

SR Pod/Vod Series: Poet Pete Miller

Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature a podcast by Pete Miller.

petemillerPete Miller lives in Omaha, Nebraska, where he works doing homeless outreach. A graduate of Arizona State University’s MFA program, his poems have appeared in The Minus Times, H_ngm_n, and Hayden’s Ferry Review.

You can read along with his poems in issue 1 of Superstition Review.

To subscribe to our iTunes U channel, go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/superstition-review-online/id552593273


Meet the Interns: Heidi Nielson, Fiction Editor

heidinielson_0Heidi Nielson is pursuing concurrent degrees in English (Creative Writing) and Journalism (Digital Journalism), as well as a minor in Music.

Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?

Heidi Nielson: As a fiction editor, I send solicitations to authors for work, as well as for interviews, read, discuss, and decide on submissions along with Riki, and conduct at least one interview with an author.

SR: How did you hear about SR?

HN: I first heard about the internship while I was interning at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, working with Hayden’s Ferry Review. Shortly thereafter, I volunteered at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers’ Conference at ASU and was able to attend a class on literary journals that Patricia Murphy was teaching, and met with her after the class ended. During the last issue, I helped with the blog, though I wasn’t officially an intern. I’m very excited to be an intern this semester.

SR: What is your favorite section of SR and why?

HN: As a fiction writer, I tend to gravitate toward the fiction section of any journal first. I am an avid reader, as well as a writer. I feel like I learn the most about writing fiction from reading the work of more experienced and talented writers, like those in Superstition Review.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal?

HN: My dream contributor would probably be Jhumpa Lahiri. Her prose is beautiful, and I admire the way that she is able to immerse her readers in Bengali culture.

SR: What job would you like to try out?

HN: Probably blogger. I really enjoy social media and had a lot of fun when I helped with the blog during the last issue.

SR: What are you most excited for?

HN: I would say that I am most excited to just read submissions. We are writing to so many amazing writers this semester to request work.

SR: What is the first book you remember falling in love with?

HN: I think the first book I fell in love with was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. What made that book so compelling to me as a child, I think, was that their family felt so similar to my own. I come from a family of six girls, and one boy, and the personalities of myself and the three sisters closest to me in age, always seemed so similar to the four sisters in Little Women.

SR: What are you currently reading?

HN: I’m currently reading a compilation of T.C. Boyle’s short stories, entitled simply, Stories.

SR: What are your favorite websites to distract you from homework?

HN: I noticed that most people were saying Facebook, and I can’t deny that I do check it more than once a day, but I think the website that usually distracts me from homework the most is etsy.com. It’s a website of handmade or vintage items, and I can just spend hours browsing through the thousands of items. I also get distracted by my Google Reader. I subscribe to about 50 blogs, and so I’m almost constantly reading posts.

SR: Do you write? Tell us about a project you are working on.

HN: I write fiction, mainly short stories. I have been working on revisions of two stories I wrote for my fiction class last year since the last ended, and I’m on my sixth drafts of both.