Haley Larson, Poetry Editor for Issue 3, received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology and with a minor in Music from the University of Nebraska. I took some time to catch up with her about her experience and how SuperstitionReview has helped shaped her future.
Superstition Review: Which issue did you work on with Superstition Review and what was your position?
Haley Larson: I worked on Issue 3 of Superstition Review. I was one of two poetry editors that year, and it was quite an opportunity. I had the chance to correspond with some esteemed poets, many of whom I’d admired for some time.
SR: What skills did you take away from the experience?
HL: I owe a lot of my confidence and tenacity to the Superstition Review internship. A huge part of the internship is learning to not only embody but also balance professionalism and confidence. I think such professionalism encompasses a whole mess of other skills: organization, prioritizing, meeting deadlines, even–can I say–eloquence in emails. The confidence translates into so many other outlets, whether this includes applying for graduate programs or submitting one’s own work to a literary journal. Trish was kind enough to grant me a wonderful opportunity to flex these skills at AWP’s most recent conference. I had the chance to be a part of a presenting panel with her and representatives from two other undergraduate literary magazines. She was (is!) a fantastic, generous mentor. The experience continues.
SR: Creatively, what are you currently working on?
HL: I am working on a few different projects, most obsessively, a couple of different series of poetry. I’m trying to explore/exploit some of my background in music and psychology through this, allowing music, sound/silence, communication, and disorder to talk and tangle in my work.
SR: What are some of your career highlights after leaving SR?
HL: I am currently pursuing my MFA degree in poetry at Colorado State University. I’ve had opportunities to teach at CSU, intern with the Colorado Review, and co-curate a student reading series. A few journals have been kind enough to publish a poem or two, even a couple of my reviews. A few colleagues and I are working to start a non-profit organization, The Strophe Project, aimed at forming and facilitating writing communities in underserved populations of Fort Collins. You can learn more at www.thestropheproject.wordpress.com.
Don’t forget, Superstition Review‘s Reading Series kicks off this Monday, September 21, at 7 p.m., held at Changing Hands Bookstore! The reading will feature some exciting names, including Rita Ackerman, Annie Lopez, and Stella Pope Duarte.
Former intern for SR, Veronica Martinez, interviewed Stella for Superstition Review last semester about her newest published book, If I Die in Juarez, for issue 3. It’s with great excitement, then, that we announce that this very book has been awarded an American Book Award for 2009. This is a prestigious award given to an author who accomplishes diversity in the literary community, presented by other writers.
A lot of the interns will be in attendance so don’t forget to say hi if you see us, we’d be happy to talk to you. We will also be live-tweeting at the event so, if you can’t make it, you can stay up-to-the minute with the event on our Twitter account (add us!).
Come on down to Changing Hands, at 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, 85283, at the southwest corner of McClintock Dr and Guadalupe, to hear one of this year’s American Book Award winners and her accomplished students celebrate the first reading of the SR Reading Series!
Amber Mosure is serving on the Poetry and Art Team as one of our two Poetry Editors. She is a senior this semester, and is a student of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, majoring in English Literature.
Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?
Amber Mosure: I send out solicitations for poetry contributors to SR. I read submissions and make a decision on who will be published in the poetry section of the magazine. I send out acceptance and rejection emails. I write interview questions to ask potential interviewees.
SR: How did you hear about or get involved with Superstition Review?
AM: I am a returning staff member. Last semester was my first issue with SR. It was the 3rd issue. I did funding and development last semester. I heard about the opportunity to come back on board as poetry editor. I thought that would be fun and exciting, so I accepted.
SR: What is your favorite section of SR?
AM: I like poetry. It’s mainly what I write so I’m partial to it.
SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal?
AM: It’s a tie between Lydia Lunch and musician/writer/songwriter, Nick Cave, but I’d have to say Lydia. She is a musician, actress, writer, photographer, performance artist. She is internationally known. She’s released numerous musical, as well as, spoken word albums. I love the art of spoken word and she is very candid, captivating, and intense with it. She’s well-known in the underground. She got her career start as lead singer for the late 1970s nu-wave band Teenage Jesus and The Jerks.
SR: What job, other than your own, would you like to try out in the journal?
AM: Art Editor.
SR: What are you most excited for in the upcoming issue?
AM: Picking contributors.
SR: What artist have you really connected with, either in subject matter, work, or motto?
AM: Kathy Acker. Her writing is very post-modern in style, almost poetically schizophrenic but eerily makes sense when directly applied to one’s own personal experiences with people and the world. I have connected with her works in the last couple years. Of her works, I’ve read: Don Quixote, Empire of the Senseless, In Memoriam to Identity, Great Expectations, and Pussy King of the Pirates.
SR: What are some of your favorite websites to waste time on or distract you from homework?
AM: Facebook, band websites.
SR: What would be your dream class to take at ASU? What would the title be and what would it cover?
AM: John Waters: A Study in the Art of Bad Taste. It would cover his life, his art, his movies, his writings. It would include other notables in the art of bad taste.
SR: Do you write? Tell us about a project you’re working on.
AM: I am in the process of pitching a synopsis for a co-authored screenplay entitled “Celebrity Matters.” It’s pretty raunchy, but looking at the films being released by major production companies gives me great hope.
Though it’s over a month away, we thought you’d like to know that Sherman Alexie, featured poet in Issue 3 of Superstition Review, and accomplished author, will be presenting at The Heard Museum in mid-October.
The event is being hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore, who announced the event on their Facebook page, as well as releasing an event page at their website, in collaboration with the Heard. The event is off-site, meaning instead of being held at the Tempe independent-bookseller site, it will be located at the Heard Museum at 2301 Central Avenue, Phoenix, 85004, and will be running from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. the evening of October 16.
Tickets to the event are available for purchase only through Changing Hands, who can be reached at 480-730-0205. A trip to Changing Hands is not necessary if you don’t live nearby–you can collect your pre-purchased event tickets the night of the event directly at the Heard. And perhaps best yet, the ticket price of $7 is not only admission, but also a voucher to be applied to the purchase price for an autographed copy of War Dances that evening.
If you can’t manage to attend the event, but still want an autographed book, this can be arranged by phone with the lovely people at Changing Hands–just give them a call and they’ll help you get your own signed copy.
Mark your calendars–it’s less than two weeks until Superstition Review‘s first reading of the semester!
Every issue-launch of SR brings on the Reading Series–an opportunity to get a sneak peak at the works we’re considering for inclusion in the journal, to hear varied pieces read aloud, and to mingle with everyone working on the SR staff. Our featured reader for the evening is Stella Pope Duarte, an amazing author we interviewed in Issue 3 of SR.
The reading is scheduled for September 21 at Changing Hands Bookstore, in Tempe, at 7 p.m. Casual dress and a free ear are all that’s needed. Come join us, we’ll be looking forward to seeing you there! For more information, visit the Changing Hands website.
Author Stefanie Freele has just informed us of the release of her newest book, Feeding Strays.
Published by Lost Horse Press, Stefanie’s collection of short stories will include the piece that was featured in Issue 3 last semester, “What Came After She Left Him,” with an acknowledgment to Superstition Review for first publishing the work.
Sarah Dillard, Fiction Editor for the dazzling new issue of Superstition Review, shared a few moments of her busy schedule with me to discuss her experiences as a student intern. An Illinois native, Sarah joined the Literature, Writing, and Film major at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus in 2007 after a few years in Indiana. This is her first semester with Superstition Review. She will pass her knowledge along to next semester’s interns as she wraps up her undergraduate career in preparation for next month’s graduation.
Haley Larson: What is your preferred genre as a writer? As a reader?
Sarah Dillard: As I writer, I prefer to write Nonfiction because it allows me to tap into my inner emotions to create a piece of work that emulates my life and beliefs in some form. When I first began taking nonfiction writing courses last semester, I was a bit intimidated by the process of writing about myself and allowing others to read my work. Since then, I have been able to reflect on my writing and release any inhibitions that I previously had. As a reader however, I prefer fiction pieces because they allow me to escape my own reality and focus on something new and interesting.
HL: Who influences your own work and your aesthetic?
SD: It’s hard for to pin point just one author who influences my own work and aesthetic; there are many authors who that I find inspirational and influential! For me, it’s best to surround myself with different writing styles and try to take the inspirations I have drawn from their writing to incorporate it into my own unique style.
HL: How did you first hear about Superstition Review? Who or what aspect of the internship encouraged you to apply?
SD: I first heard about Superstition Review before I even applied to ASU. I emailed Duane Roen to ask him about the Literature, Writing, and Film program and internship opportunities and he mentioned that Trish Murphy started an online literary magazine. I knew I wanted to save the internship until my last semester of school, so as soon as I received the application, I filled it out right away. I wanted this internship because I knew I would gain a great deal of knowledge and insight into the publishing business.
HL: What do you think of the online/paperless format of this internship and publication?
SD: One of the reasons I was attracted to this internship was because it was offered entirely online. I have such a busy schedule, so I liked that it offered a flexible working/learning environment. I feel like I am more creative and productive late at night, so this internship has allowed me the opportunity to work whatever hours I choose, as long as I get my work done. By having Superstition Review published in an online format allows for easy accessibility to our readers. How often to you come across a good article in a magazine just to find out the magazine was accidentally thrown out or misplaced? Superstition Review keeps archives of issues which allow readers to see accomplishments of the past, as well as the present. Even though this magazine is relatively new in the literary field, Superstition Review has published high profile authors in past issues and this online format lets readers view works from these prominent authors.
HL: What has been one of your most exciting assignments/responsibilities at Superstition Review this year?
SD: This whole process has been exciting! One of my favorite moments of Superstition Review was having the opportunity to interview highly successful authors whom I admired and respected. Mary Sojourner and Erin McGraw are big names in the literary field; I was star-struck! I couldn’t have asked for a better experience to connect to the literary world.
HL: What is currently keeping you busy at Superstition Review?
SD: I just finished reading a record number of submissions and sending out acceptance/rejection letters. It was a very time consuming process but I learned so much from it! Now I am just anxiously awaiting the launch of Issue 3 while tying up some loose ends.
HL: With a record number of submissions this year, how have you balanced being a student and a member of busy literary and art journal?
SD: At first, it was hard to find balance between this internship, taking 22 credit hours, and working on top of that. After the first few weeks though, I began to find myself in a routine that I was comfortable with. I think the key to maintaining balance is to stay focused and organized, not to mention laugh at the crazy moments I can’t control! These elements have helped me immensely throughout this internship and semester.
HL: How has your understanding of a literary journal changed by being a part of Superstition Review? What surprises you most about the start-to-finish process of publishing an issue?
SD: I have always had an interest in the publishing world but never knew what it entailed or the work that goes behind publishing a magazine. There were times where I would think to myself there’s no way I’m going to get this done, but in the long run, I learned that everything falls together with hard work. I have even more respect for editors and publishers of literary magazine because of this experience. I can’t say there’s anything that surprised me, because I honestly didn’t know what to expect when signing up for this, which allowed me to keep an open mind and go with the flow.
HL: How has this experience enhanced your education or preparedness? What do you think you’ll take away from this internship after its completion?
SD: This internship has provided me with hands-on work experience that I don’t think I could have gained anywhere else. The online learning environment required me to communicate effectively with peers and stay on top of tasks. I have also increased my organization skills immensely. This internship also taught me what it’s like to work as a team on a project that I can be proud of. Everyone at Superstition Review has been extremely helpful whenever I’ve had a question or was confused about something. I share the role as a fiction editor with Rebekah Richgels who has helped me guide me throughout the process of publishing this magazine. Even though this was an online environment, I feel I was able to connect with my managing editor, advisors, and peers.
HL: Will you consider working on another publication after completing your internship with SR? What are your plans post-graduation?
SD: Once I graduate in May, I plan to return to school to obtain my teaching certification. I want to teach high school composition and literature. This internship has inspired me to create a classroom publication once I am a teacher that will allow students to manage and organize a literary magazine. I want to pass the skills I have gained through Superstition Review to my students.
Intern Veronica Martinez interviews Elizabeth Anderson about what her challenges and rewards are as the Solicitation Coordinator for Superstition Review.
Veronica Martinez: What has your intern experience been like so far?
Elizabeth Anderson: Coming into the internship, I was expecting to do more of the tedious random assignments that no one else wanted to do and be treated like I did nothing for the magazine. There have been many deadlines and a lot of very stressful projects, but I have realized that I have been given a string of support that I can reach at any given moment. My favorite part has been the reading last week at ASU East because it was rewarding to see that the writers we contact do actually respond and are willing to give back to the community.
VM: Can you give us a short description of what your internship duties are?
EA: I am currently the Solicitations Coordinator. I searched for fiction, nonfiction, art, and poetry writers to add to our current Solicitations list. I contacted bookstores, Undergrad and Grad programs, libraries and more to send out the fliers to ask for submissions for issue 3. I am in charge of reminded the genre editors of their deadlines. I am currently working on adding names to our distributions list from people who attended the AWP conference.
VM: What are your hopes for the future, in regards to what you are learning through this internship experience?
EA: In regards to this internship, I am learning the basic skills of discipline and deadlines. I will be able to apply these skills to my dream of becoming a writer or an editor for a well-known magazine like Time or Life. I am learning how to be a committed intern, and have realized that there is a climb to get to the top. I hope that this internship will help me pursue my dreams and work hard for what I want. I hope to apply my new-found knowledge of the contemporary writers and the varieties of writing styles to my future work. Overall, this internship has been very inspiring.
VM: What’s one fun thing you can tell us about yourself?
EA: I am absolutely obsessed with the Twilight series. I am one of nine children. I plan to move to Seattle when finished with school. I am an Art History minor.
Haley Larson, a Superstition Review poetry editor, comments on her experience with Ray Gonzalez’s poetry.
When new work from Ray Gonzalez landed in the hands of the poetry editors, we were beyond eager to feature four of his new poems in Issue 3. Gonzalez, a professor in the MFA Creative Writing programs at the University of Minnesota and Pine Manor College, is the author of numerous collections of poems, essays, and short stories. For more of his bio and impressive achievements, join us for the launch of Issue 3 on April 20th!
Among his new work, we’ll have the opportunity to experience the subtle and tumbling momentum of Gonzalez’s gift with prose poetry. We will lose ourselves among snow storms, beards, chest hair, starry plains–all in the crisp language that shapes Gonzalez’s imagery and often sorrowing metaphors. From “Three Snow Storms” we get a taste of this collective craft:
because ground is
marked only once
for men with
The white storm
pushes me into
the canyon where
the poetry of shadows
Age, art, their entangled rapport–we are fortunate captives riding out the three storms of this poem.
One more teaser before your return on April 20th, we present to you a small excerpt from “Photo of Pablo Picasso with His Shirt Off.” Poets and artists take note, “The hairy look of genius gets in the way.” We invite you to join us for more from Ray Gonzalez!
Superstition Review interns are busily preparing to launch the next issue of the fast growing literary magazine run by undergraduate students at ASU. With the launch date quickly approaching, we are excited to announce two fiction authors whose work has been selected to appear in the magazine. Issue 3 of Superstition Review will feature authors Mary Sojourner and Patricia Ann McNair.
Mary Sojourner’s publications include Sisters of the Dream, Delicate, Bonelight: ruin and grace in the New Southwest, and Solcace: Rituals of Loss and Desire. Sojourner’s short stories and essays have been featured in many literary magazines, as well as High Country News and Mountain Gazette. Her commentary on social issues can be found on NPR. She also teaches writing throughout the West.
Patricia Ann McNair teaches in the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. Her work has appeared in American Fiction: Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers, Other Voices, F Magazine, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and Air Canada’s en Route magazine. She has received many Illinois Arts Council Awards and Pushcart Prize nominations and fiction and nonfiction.
Be sure to find out who else will be featured in Issue 3 of Superstition Review when the magazine launches on April 20th!