Help Us Support Homeless Families in Phoenix


Click here to register or to donate.

In our first meeting of fall 2013, I said to the Superstition Review interns that I wanted to make outreach part of our mission. Every semester we have a group of 40 energetic, creative, and talented people. It’s a perfect base for giving back to our community. I wanted something that would link specifically to our work in literature and the arts.

That’s when my fiction editor Kevin mentioned Read to Me at UMOM. Every Tuesday volunteers spend the evening reading to the children who live in the shelter. My Student Editor-in-Chief Erin communicated with UMOM and organized our first outing. And so a group of our interns arrived at UMOM on a Tuesday that semester ready to read. I want to share my experience from that night.

The first rule of Read to Me is that the child chooses you. I had to wait a little while before someone sat beside me. Finally, a girl wandered over to my table. She was seven years old and had tight spiral curls and big brown eyes. She smiled up at me and said, “I’m Nicole.”

I said, “I’m Trish. What should we read?”

Nicole picked a colorful I Spy book. I turned to the first page and asked Nicole to read the text under the pictures. “I spy a parrot, a picture frame, and a pig,” she said. We both giggled and then studied hard to find those objects on the page.

On page two, Nicole read, “I spy a camera, a sewing machine, and a nightgown.” We were getting pretty good at finding things! Every time I found an object Nicole said, “Good job!” When Nicole found an object I said “Nice work!”

On page three, Nicole read, “I spy a bottle of glue, a lion, and a fan.” Nicole frowned for a moment and then looked up at me.

She said, “Do you think that means a Chinese fan or an electric fan?”

“You know, Nicole?” I said. “That’s a really good question.”

We went on reading and searching for objects until Nicole decided to move on to another reader. I drove home that night thinking about little Nicole. Her warm smile. Her happy attitude. Her intellectual curiosity. And how smart she was for asking the right questions.

Nicole inspired me to ask a question too. What more can I do to help?

I continue to take groups of interns to Read to Me. We’ll be there on October 14th. But we’re also so excited that at 7:30 AM on Saturday September 27th we’re going to be part of the 6th Annual UMOM Walk for Homeless Families (1K Walk & 5K Run). I hope you will join our team or donate. Here are the specifics:

In 2009, UMOM Women’s Auxiliary founded The Walk for Homeless Families to help spread community awareness about family homelessness and raise funds for UMOM. The walk is a family-friendly, fun and inspiring way to help UMOM break the cycle of homelessness.

Early-bird registration for the 1 Mile Walk and 5K Run is only $25 for adults and $20 for students until September 15, 2014. Children under 3 are free and do not need to register. All registered people, in attendance, will receive FREE admission into the zoo that day!

Event Location: The Phoenix Zoo

Event Schedule:
Registration 9/27/2014 6:30 am – 7:15 am
Walk/Run Begins 9/27/2014 7:30 am

Adult Registration: $25.00
1 Adult Registration that includes admission to The Phoenix Zoo for the day of the walk.

Student Registration: $20.00
1 Student Registration that includes admission to The Phoenix Zoo for the day of the walk

Are eBooks Pushing Print to Extinction?

There is something about the aroma of a worn book that induces a sense of nostalgia. Print aficionados have fought to maintain the sanctity of printed press, but as the popularity of eReaders and tablets continues to rise, how long can book-advocates withstand the pressures of a technology-driven society?

With Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook leading the revolution, more and more readers are turning to the instant gratification of eBooks and digital readers over more traditional mediums. They can now hold entire libraries in their hands, buy a book with the tap of a finger, and read until their screens go dark. So what’s not to love?

Some argue the experience is not the same. A book’s battery never goes dead. Browsing an App Store can’t compete with wandering the shelves of a bookstore and running your fingers along the spines. Holding a book in your hands, with its binding and tangible pages, doesn’t feel the same as holding plastic, aluminum, or glass. Books are permanent entities whereas digital media feels ephemeral; an ebook you own could be there one day and gone the next, but a printed media will withstand decades. Actor and journalist Stephen Fry said recently, “Books are no more threatened by the Kindle than stairs by elevators.” Other authors would agree that while eBooks are convenient, they will never replace print.

However, some statistics show that the move towards eReaders is happening more aggressively. In a recent article, The Wall Street Journal estimated that one in six Americans now uses an eReader, a number that has nearly doubled since 2010. That statistic is estimated to more than triple in these next few years, which leads to the question, what will become of print?

The bright side to this new trend is that eReaders aren’t entirely replacing books in American households; many readers own both an eReader and a hearty bookshelf filled with volumes of print. According to the Wall Street Journal, amongst eReader users only 6% admit to not purchasing a single book in the past year, which is a much better percentage than the 32% of Americans who haven’t purchased a book at all in the past year. Perhaps the accessibility of books on an eReader increases not only book sales, but also reading and literacy rates.

Both book lovers and eReader advocates have strong feelings on the topic. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for both print books and their digital counterparts.

Academics and Ambitions: Superstition Review, Spring 2009

1109777_sister_studyingWe here at Superstition Review are put in a unique position in the literary world. As student interns, we are at the forefront of shaping the future of literacy. To work on a national literary publication such as this is a unique opportunity. By publishing and producing a body of work, we contribute both directly and indirectly to current literature–while still safely in the cradle of the University.

Therefore, your continued support of our publication not only helps Arizona State University, but also the literary and career world as a whole. As for myself, I am returning to school as a full-time Creative Writing student, part-time freelance editor, and lifelong devotee to writing. I look forward to blogging and putting together our next issue of the Superstition Review–and I hope you look forward to this too.

Welcome back, readers. What are your ambitions for Spring 2009?