Jerry Eckert: “Mahlapane’s Story” in Pooled Ink

Jerry Eckert’s “Mahlapane’s Story” (Issue 5) is available in the Northern Colorado Writers’ anthology, Pooled Ink. Pooled Ink publishes and celebrates the winners of the Northern Colorado’s Writers 2011 Contests and includes works of esteemed fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and cover design work. Eckert’s “Mahlapane’s Story” originally appeared in Issue 5 of Superstition Review and you can read a full version of the story in our archives.

Jerry Eckert is a former professor who has returned to his love of writing nonfiction after years of work in his academic field. He has published nearly 200 papers, some of which were award winning. His research and policy analyses for the Office of the South African Prime Minister helped speed the downfall of the apartheid, his monograph restructured Lesotho’s agriculture, he wrote the first economic policy package for the incoming Mandela government, and his op-eds in the Christian Science Monitor influenced American’s South Africa policies. “My career was in agricultural development and policy advising overseas.  I lived these events,” Jerry notes, “I was able to earn the trust of my host nations and their governments and they sucked me in very close to the center of the action. Every country I ever lived in long-term, I entered as a technocrat and ended up working for the President or Prime Minister directly, at their request.”

In our interview, Eckert mentions that his work and his love for literary nonfiction seem to come from two different cultures: “As an academic, I wrote a lot in ‘Academic Speak’ which is not a very creative (nor easily readable) medium. I [won] a couple of ‘Best Published Article’ awards from my professional association, and those were two papers I chose to write in the language of the average person rather than for the academic with his/her Ph.D.”

Jerry started writing when his studies took him beyond Arizona borders, and he felt the loss of leaving the desert that he loved: “I wrote for Arizona outdoor magazines as a way to re-live the Arizona desert and our sky islands vicariously. I could get back home in my mind every now and then. I wrote of my favorite mountains, the Santa Ritas, I wrote of my favorite species, the Coues deer (Sonoran whitetail). I think I got hooked when I discovered that I could get paid for what were essentially my love letters to an ecosystem. I fell in love with literary nonfiction when I discovered the richness of the feelings when writing memoir, recapturing my life’s high points, and finding that readers loved the stories.”

Eckert’s nonfiction pieces have previously appeared in Matter, Pilgrimage, Memoir (and), Weber – The Contemporary, in addition to Superstition Review. His piece “The Dustbin Telegraph” will be featured in our upcoming Issue 9 of Superstition Review, which will go live April 1st. “Requiem for the Night Sky,” a lament of losing the stars and the skies to pollution, will appear in the upcoming issue of Weber – The Contemporary West. Eckert’s “Ismail,” a nonfiction piece that examines life lessons learned from following the poorest people in Pakistan, is scheduled to appear in Memoir (and). Jerry Eckert is in the final stages of finishing his memoir, Weeping Kings and Wild Boars: Adventures of a Neocolonialist.

For those seeking to enter the literary nonfiction field, Jerry advises that budding writers “keep a journal, religiously.  I didn’t and now decades later it is really hard to pull up exact sequences of who said what to whom.” Jerry also encourages young writers to “Go through life with your eyes wide open. Like a photographer goes through life always seeing light more intensely than the rest of us, the writer needs to see life more intensely that most. Jump into the thick of things and, even if being swept along by the thrill of it all, remember to watch with what I call the Writer’s Eye, knowing that you are at the same time taking field notes for an essay some day.”

Pooled Ink is currently available on Lulu.com for $11.99 (plus shipping/tax) or at NCW for $11.00. Pooled Ink will be available on Amazon and additional markets in roughly 6-8 weeks.

Northern Colorado Writers is currently hosting their Short Fiction 2012 contest, which is open until March 15th, 2012. You can find more information and guidelines for the contest at the NCW website.

Congratulations Jerry Eckert. We’re proud of all that you have accomplished and look forward to your new work.


Being Flynn

Each week we feature one of out many talented interns here at Superstition Review. This week’s piece comes from Fiction Editor Stephanie De La Rosa.

Nick Flynn is an American author known for his poetry and plays. His memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City won a PEN award in 2004. Superstition Review had the honor of interviewing Flynn in Spring 2009, in Issue 5. Flynn shared a few of his thoughts on the writing style he used in Another Bullshit Night, and mentioned, “I wrote my way toward a sense of compassion for my father, which was perhaps the only way I could go, since I began with very little.”

Superstition Review is glad to share with our readers that Flynn’s memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, is soon to be released as a major motion film directed by Paul Weitz, and starring Robert de Niro and Paul Dano. The synopsis for the movie begins, “Can one life story have two authors?”  We hope to see the answer to this question upon the film’s release, March 2, 2012.

For more information, to watch the trailer, and to read more about the film, visit

http://focusfeatures.com/being_flynn.

You can also check out Nick Flynn’s Website and his interview with Superstition Review.

Here at SR, we wish Nick Flynn continued success and look forward to viewing his memoir’s film adaptation, Being Flynn.

 

Announcing: Terese Svoboda’s New Novel

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In Issue 5, we had the privilege of interviewing Terese Svoboda, and in Issue 7 we were honored to publish her short story “Madonna in the Terminal.” Svoboda has written more than 11 books of poetry, fiction, translations, and short stories, among them Cannibal, Trailer Girl and Other Stories, Tin God, and Black Glasses Like Clark Kent, and she is the recipient of awards such as the Iowa Prize and the O. Henry Award. Now, she has added another item to her list of accomplishments, the novel Bohemian Girl.

Praise for Bohemian Girl:

“Harriet’s observations of the world and her small place in it are insightful and often touching. And Svoboda (Trailer Girl and Other Stories) often displays a poet’s touch with language and imagery.”—Publishers Weekly

“Creating a western world as raucous and unpredictable as any imagined by Larry McMurtry, and teeming with characters as tragically heroic as those created by Willa Cather, Svoboda offers a vividly distinctive tale of the American frontier.”—Carol Haggas, Booklist starred review

For more information on Bohemian Girl: http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Bohemian-Girl,674858.aspx

Congratulations, Terese. We look forward to hearing more great things about you and your work.

 

Where Are They Now?: Michaela Stephens

Michaela Stephens was a Senior majoring in Literature, Writing, and Film with a Creative Writing concentration and an intern for Superstition Review.

Superstition Review: Which issue did you work on with Superstition Review and what was your position?

Michaela Stephens: I helped with issue 5. I was the Submissions Coordinator.

SR: What skills did you take away from the experience?

MS: I learned how to better structure my workflow and how to motivate myself with a long-term schedule by producing weekly reports.

SR: Creatively, what are you currently working on?

MS: In terms of large projects, I’m sort of in between. As for small projects, I’m still writing for my blog, Scriptorium Blogorium.

SR: What are some of your career highlights after leaving SR?

MS: Submitting my senior project to a publisher and starting a seminary pre-service class. Oh, and getting hired at Chandler Gilbert Community College as a substitute writing tutor.

Issue 5 Launch

Hello SR readers,

The team at Superstition Review is happy to announce that issue 5 is now online.


Art ImageOur art editors Lauren Brown and Gary Blair gathered work from 6 artists, including Edna Dapo, Nicki Reed, and Daniel Elson (pictured left).Born in northern Illinois, Daniel Elson has made props and animatronics for spook houses and theme parks, co-starred on a reality television series about torture for the History Channel, and sold the rights to his likeness to Cartoon Network. Former clients include Disney, Playboy, The Tonight Show, Rockstar Energy Drink and “Screech” from Saved by the Bell. He now exhibits “fine art” internationally and works for his alma mater, Columbus College of Art and Design. His paintings and sculptures can be found in the private collections of people like Kevin Smith, Pete Wentz, and Ashlee Simpson.

Click here to view the art in Issue 5.


Fiction ImageFiction editors Donald Weir and Ginna Rosi collected stories from 10 writers, including Sean Lovelace, Fletcher Cline, and Anthony Varallo (pictured left).Anthony Varallo’s short story collection, Out Loud, won the 2008 Drue Heinz Literature Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press). His first collection, This Day in History, won the 2005 John Simmons Short Fiction Award (University of Iowa Press). Varallo is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature, and his stories have appeared in Gettysburg Review, New England Review, Epoch, Shenandoah, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa/Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Currently he is assistant professor of English at the College of Charleston, where he is the fiction editor for Crazyhorse.

Click here to read the fiction in Issue 5.


Interviews ImageOur editors conducted interviews with seven authors, including Pam Houston, David St. John, and Nick Flynn (pictured left).Nick Flynn’s most recent book is The Ticking is the Bomb (Norton, 2010), a memoir of bewilderment and becoming a father, which Kirkus calls “. . . a stunningly beautiful cascade of images.” His previous memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (Norton, 2004), won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, was shortlisted for France’s Prix Femina, and has been translated into thirteen languages. He is also the author of two books of poetry, Some Ether (Graywolf, 2000), and Blind Huber (Graywolf, 2002), and a play, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins (Faber, 2008), for which he received fellowships from, among other organizations, The Guggenheim Foundation and The Library of Congress. Some of the venues his poems, essays and non-fiction have appeared in include The New Yorker, the Paris Review, National Public Radio’s This American Life, and The New York Times Book Review. His film credits include artistic collaborator and “field poet” on the film Darwin’s Nightmare, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best feature documentary in 2006. Each spring he teaches at the University of Houston, and he then spends the rest of the year in Brooklyn (and elsewhere).

Click here to read the interviews in Issue 5.


Nonfiction ImageNonfiction editors Britney Gulbrandsen and Kimberly Singleton gathered eight essays from authors such as Jerry Eckert, Susan Messer, and Marie Mockett (pictured left).

Marie was born in Carmel, California to a Japanese mother and American father. Her Japanese family owns a Zen Buddhist temple where she often played as a child, and which, among other things, performs exorcisms. In 2009, Marie attended the Bread Loaf Conference as a Bernard O’Keefe Scholar in Nonfiction. Marie’s essay “Letter from a Japanese Crematorium” was published in Agni 65, cited as distinguished in the 2008 Best American Essays, and anthologized in Creative Nonfiction 3, edited by Lee Gutkind. Marie’s debut novel, Picking Bones from Ash, was published by Graywolf Press on October 1st, 2009.

Click here to read the nonfiction in Issue 5.


Poetry ImagePoetry editors Haley Coles and Anthony Cuevas gathered poems from 17 poets, including Jesse Lee Kercheval, Marcia Golub, Simon Perchik, and Kelle Groom (pictured left).Kelle Groom’s poetry collections are Five Kingdoms (Anhinga Press, 2010), Luckily, winner of a Florida Book Award, and Underwater City (University Press of Florida, 2004). Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Poetry and is forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2010. She has published nonfiction in Agni, Bloomsbury Review, Ploughshares, West Branch, and Witness, among others. Groom has been awarded fellowships and scholarships from Atlantic Center for the Arts, Millay Colony, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a grant award from the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs.

Click here to read the poetry in Issue 5.


Many thanks to all of the student interns, faculty advisors, and supporters who made this possible. I hope you enjoy the magazine.

Sincerely,

Patricia Colleen Murphy,
Managing Editor

Meet the Interns: Lauren Brown, Art Editor

Lauren Brown is about to graduate from the Literature, Writing, and Film program at ASU’s Polytechnic campus.

Superstition Review: What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?

Lauren Brown: I am one of two Art Editors for Superstition Review. My job is to review the art submitted to the magazine and choose which pieces to include in Issue 5. I also created a list of artists whose work I would like to solicit and interview questions for two artists.

SR: How did you hear about Superstition Review and what made you decide to get involved?

LB: I was a student in Professor Murphy’s beginning poetry workshop and she announced internship opportunities for Superstition Review. I had worked for my high school’s literary magazine and really enjoyed it, and I was really interested in getting a chance to work on a professional literary magazine.

SR: What are you hoping to take away from your Superstition Review experience?

LB: I hope to take away many things from Superstition Review: experience working for a professional literary magazine, learning about publishing a magazine, working in online publishing. I am looking forward to working with writers and artists and working within the writing community.

SR: Describe one of your favorite literary or artistic works.

LB: I don’t think its possible for me to pick a favorite literary work, both my parents were educators and instilled a love of books in me from a young age. I feel like for each stage of my life there is a book that goes along with it, Charlotte’s Web in kindergarten up to Pride and Prejudice my senior year of high school, and every book in between and since then. I feel the same way about art, but I will always have a special place in my heart for Monet, especially his landscapes. Monet’s work taught me so much about the use of color and all his paintings give me a feeling of peace.

SR: What are you currently reading?

LB: Currently I am reading a collection of poems by Langston Hughes, I fell in love with his work during my American Poetry class last semester, and since then I have read any work of his that I can get my hands on.

SR: What other position(s) for Superstition Review would you like to try out?

LB: If I weren’t an Art Editor, I would love to try the position of either Poetry or Nonfiction Editor. I think it would be great to read such a large variety of work from so many different authors.

SR: Do you prefer reading literary magazines online or in print?

LB: I used to feel like reading online versions of literary magazines was too difficult and hard on my eyes. However, with new technology preventing glare from the computer screen and the many different types of devices to read electronic media on, I have come to depend on online media for most of my reading. I feel the easy accessibility of the work and the ability to take many books, journals, and magazines with me on my phone, laptop, or electronic reader really makes online versions my preferred option.

SR: Do you write or create art? What are you currently working on?

LB: I enjoy both writing and creating art, and I like to combine the two whenever possible. I am currently working on a portfolio of work which includes art, poetry, and nonfiction elements. In addition, I am working on a portrait series of my nieces and nephews using photography and pastels.

SR: Besides interning for Superstition Review, how do you spend your time?

LB: I have two part time jobs outside Superstition Review, I am a Habilitation Therapist for special needs kids and a bookseller at Barnes and Noble. In my work as a Habilitation Therapist, I work to include art and writing therapy for both stress relief and to develop fine motor skills. I have worked for Barnes and Noble since I was in high school and realized if I was going to read as much as I did I need to find a way to pay for it, and what better way to pay for books than to work at a bookstore and receive a discount.

SR: What is your favorite mode of relaxation?

LB: Whenever I am not working I am usually reading. I also enjoy taking my camera and my two dogs, Louie and Ringo, on hikes around Phoenix.

Progress Update: Movement

It’s been a week with a lot of movement at Superstition Review. Our submissions period closed on Wednesday, so we now are shifting to preparing for our Issue 5 launch, which is quickly approaching in mid-April.

Once submissions stopped on Wednesday night, our Submissions and Solicitations Coordinators posted all final submissions to the section discussion boards for evaluation. Then, our Section Editors quickly finished reading and responding to all submissions. Now, their focus is on sending out acceptance and rejection notifications and awaiting the return of bios and headshots from authors with accepted works.

Our Web Design Team is currently brainstorming ideas for optimizing navigation on our website, while our student web design worker finishes resolving some issues with our site design. Soon, our Web Designers will begin adding the content of this issue to the website!

The rest of the interns are continuing along their individual tracks: our Advertising Coordinator is building connections and getting the word out about our Issue 5 launch; our Interview Coordinator is communicating with our interviewees; our Reading Series Coordinator is finding potential readers for next semester; our Photoshopper is formatting headshots as she receives them; and I’m keeping the blog updated.

The semester’s end is drawing near, and we are excited that everything seems to be falling into place. We can’t wait to see the final outcome of all our hard work!

Meet the Interns: Amy Cheung, Advertising Coordinator

Amy Cheung is a Creative Writing junior at ASU.

Superstition Review: What is your position with Superstition Review and what are your responsibilities?

Amy Cheung: Advertising Coordinator. I am responsible for creating and sending out email blasts regarding submissions, readings, and notifications about Issue 5 of Superstition Review. I also work to contact other magazines and advertise SR there, as well as other locations so that we can increase awareness of our magazine.

SR: How did you hear about Superstition Review and what made you decide to get involved?

AC: I took a course with Trish last semester about publishing in literary magazines. I received email blasts about Issue 4 and an email blast requesting applications for interning this semester with SR. I thought it would be a great opportunity to contribute!

SR: What are you hoping to take away from your Superstition Review experience?

AC: I hope to learn a lot from this experience of working as a small part of a really big project. I want to learn the process of getting a literary journal out, better appreciate all the hard work that goes into it, and understand the extent to which each role plays an important part. More importantly, I want to have fun this semester working with my peers on this amazing journal.

SR: Describe one of your favorite literary or artistic works.

AC: One of the best books that I’ve ever read is by Australian author Tim Winton called Cloudstreet. It’s an amazing book about real life people and real life situations. The magic realism of the book creates a fascinating world that anyone can be a part of and brings the characters and the house they live in to life. The author’s style is so beautiful and fitting for his characters. It is definitely a must read.

SR: What are you currently reading?

AC: Besides all the textbooks for my other courses at ASU, I’ve just started reading Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.

SR: What other position(s) for Superstition Review would you like to try out?

AC: I think I would enjoy trying to do Photoshop and web design work for SR. I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at being a fiction editor, since I love reading other people’s work.

SR: Do you write or create art? What are you currently working on?

AC: I both write and create art. I’ve been revising a lot of my old stories as well as very slowly working on a book that I thought up several years ago. Art wise, although I haven’t painted in three years, I’m trying to paint again. I also like to do digital art, although it tends to be very time consuming.

SR: Besides interning for Superstition Review, how do you spend your time?

AC: Currently, I have three other classes at ASU, and I work part time for my high school in China. I’m finishing up helping coach for the basketball season. I also work as a media designer, creating advertisements, posters, pamphlets and other documents to promote the school.

SR: What is your favorite mode of relaxation?

AC: I love sitting and talking to my friends, since I have so little time to do so. I also like taking time for myself, reading, drawing, and playing video games when I need to do something mind numbing.

SR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

AC: I hope to still be writing in 10 years, and working as a museum administrator. I love art and organizing, so I hope to make a profession of it!

Progress Update: It’s the End of Week 5 Already?

It’s nearing the end of our fifth week with Superstition Review, and it seems we’re entering that part of the semester where time speeds up and days blend together. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Our Solicitations Coordinator has sent out email solicitations to authors chosen by our Section Editors, and we’re already beginning to receive solicited work! Our Interview Coordinator has also sent out interview requests, and we now have almost all of our interviews set up. This means our Section Editors are especially busy at the moment: keeping up with reading both open and solicited submissions, while also preparing questions for their interviewees! Our Content team has been strong and steady behind the scenes keeping this whole process organized.

Our Advertising Coordinator has been busy building connections to advertise our submissions period (you have until March 31st to send us your work!), and is starting to work on marketing for our launch. Our Reading Series Coordinator has run into some roadblocks, but is now working to find us a reader for March. Our Development Coordinator for grants and partnerships has been researching all the details for grants we might be eligible for, while our other Development Coordinator has been breezing through formatting past issues of Superstition Review for Kindle. Lastly, we received exciting news this week that we will soon be hiring a professional web designer to solve some web issues and help out our Web Design team.

And now we’re zooming madly on to week six. Don’t forget to check back for updates!