On Thursday, March 23, at 7:00 PM, the Creative Writing Program at ASU presents a reading by Bojan Louis and Sara Sams.
Bojan Louis is Diné of the Naakai dine’é, born for the Áshííhí. He’s written a variety of poetry and fiction, published in Alaska Quarterly, Ecotone, Colorado Review, and elsewhere. He’s published two books: Sinking Bell: Stories and Currents, which received an American Book Award. To learn more, visit his website.
Sara Sams is a writer and translator from Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She’s written a variety of poetry and nonfiction in Blackbird, Now and Then, Waxwing, and elsewhere. She’s published Atom City, her fist book of poems. To learn more, visit her website.
Read Bojan Louis’s interview in Issue 20 of Superstition Review.
Sara Sams advised on and helped to create Issue 22 of Superstition Review.
This event is free and open to the public! To learn more and register, go here.
Award-winning poet Rigoberto González will be reading on Monday, November 7 at 7 p.m. at Arizona State University, Tempe Campus. This event is free and open to the public. Memorial Union’s Pima Auditorium will open its doors at 6:30 p.m.
Rigoberto González is the author four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His ten books of prose include two bilingual children’s books, the three young adult novels in the Mariposa Club series, the novel Crossing Vines, the story collection Men Without Bliss, and three books of nonfiction, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He also edited Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing and Alurista’s new and selected volume Xicano Duende: A Select Anthology. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the Los Angeles Times and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). He earned graduate degrees from the University of California, Davis, and Arizona State University in Tempe.
This event is hosted by the ASU Department of English and its Creative Writing Program, along with the Humanities Division of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information, please visit the event page and/or the Facebook event.
Location: Memorial Union Pima Auditorium (MU 230) ASU
Cost: Free of charge and open to the public
The Creative Writing Program in the Department of English at ASU presents a reading by poets David St. John and Anna Journey. The couple will read from their latest work at this event held in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of ASU’s Creative Writing Program. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the reading will begin at 7 p.m. A book signing and reception will take place from 8-9 p.m.
David St. John has been honored, over the course of his career, with many of the most significant prizes for poets, including both the Rome Fellowship and the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O. B. Hardison Prize (a career award for teaching and poetic achievement) from The Folger Shakespeare Library, and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from Beyond Baroque. He is the author of eleven collections of poetry (including Study for the World’s Body, nominated for The National Book Award in Poetry), most recently the collections, The Auroras and The Window, as well as a volume of essays, interviews and reviews entitled Where the Angels Come Toward Us. He is also the co-editor of American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry. David St. John has written libretti for the opera, THE FACE, and for the choral symphony, THE SHORE. He lives in Venice Beach, California.
Anna Journey is the author of the poetry collections Vulgar Remedies (Louisiana State University Press, 2013) and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting (University of Georgia Press, 2009), which was selected by Thomas Lux for the National Poetry Series. Her poems have been published in American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry, Blackbird, FIELD, The Kenyon Review, and The Southern Review. Her creative nonfiction appears in AGNI, The Antioch Review, Brevity, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and Utne Reader, and her criticism appears in American Poetry Review, FIELD, Kenyon Review Online, Parnassus, and Plath Profiles. Journey has received fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Corporation of Yaddo, the National Endowment for the Arts, and elsewhere. Journey holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston, as well as a BFA. in Art Education and an MFA. in Creative Writing, both from Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives in Venice, California.
Superstition Review will be hosting Mary Sojourner during our 2011 Fall Reading Series, on Wednesday, November 9 at 7 p.m. on the ASU Tempe Campus in the Pima Auditorium at the Memorial Union Building.
On Thursday, November 10, NPR commentator and novelist Mary Sojourner hosts a writing workshop called The Jump Start Circle “for those,” she says, “who have always wanted to write and somehow haven’t begun; for writers who have blocked; and for writers who want to move to the next level of their work.” The Jump Start Circle is not a lecture workshop—participants write for most of the session. November 10, 6:30-8:30. Cost: $25. Registration and pre-payment at 480.730.0205.
We are incredibly excited to host Mary Sojourner on our campus, and encourage all to come out to see her. Admission is free and anyone can attend.
Superstition Review recently had the opportunity to talk to Sojourner and ask her a few questions, and her answers have us on the edge of our seat, eagerly anticipating more of her insight during her upcoming events in Arizona.
Superstition Review: What got you started as a writer? How did you decide to take that (career) path?
Mary Sojourner: I wrote in my memoir, Solace: Rituals of Loss and Desire, about growing up in a frightening childhood. My mother was a brilliant and gifted bi-polar psychotic. Every two years, she would descend toward a suicide attempt and be taken away to the grim shelter of the State Mental Hospital. My dad was terrified and helpless in the face of her illness. I learned fast to disappear into books – and into the safety of the outdoors. That was the beginning. I knew from the time I was 8 years old that I wanted to be a writer – only a little more than I wanted to be a cowboy on the Western plains.
The writing path took me. It is not a career, especially now in these mean days of contemporary publishing. I teach in order to earn my living. Writing is a possession, a torment and the most compelling love I’ve ever known.
SR: What is the most rewarding thing you’ve taken from your career? Is it teaching? Participating in public readings?
MS: Every day I take the knowledge that writing has chosen me. Only a little less, I take the knowledge that teaching other writers also owns me. And, of course, there are those moments when lightning arcs through me and onto the page.
SR: What advice would you offer aspiring writers and artists currently attending undergraduate universities?
MS: Either drop out of school right now or plan to do so once you graduate. Resist the pressure and impulse to get an advanced degree. Apprentice yourself to your creativity. Let it map your route. You – unless you have a trust fund – can plan on being poor, scared, frustrated. You might, if you’re lucky, find yourself walking the blade of an obsidian knife. Howling. Laughing. Being grateful for every breath you take.
“Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.” — Albert Einstein. Make beauty. Make change. Make trouble for the settled and secure.
Superstition Reviewwill host its 2011 Fall Reading with special guest author Mary Sojourner.
Mary Sojourner is the author of the essay collection Bonelight: Ruin and Grace in the New Southwest, as well as novels, memoirs and short story collections. She is an NPR commentator and has taught writing throughout the West for 20 years. Please follow this link to read more about Mary Sojourner at: marysojourner.com
Who: Superstition Review Literary Magazine presents Mary Sojourner
On Thursday, November 10 Mary will be offering a workshop at Changing Hands Bookstore.
Jump Start with Mary Sojourner: a writing circle to charge your writing.
The Jump Start circle is for those of you who have always wanted to write and somehow haven’t begun; for writers who have blocked; and for writers who want to move to the next level of their work. Mary Sojourner is a national author and NPR commentator. She has taught writing circles for universities, writing conferences (Desert Nights, Rising Stars, Hassyampa) and in private circles nationally. This is not a lecture workshop – you will write for most of the session. November 10, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, Az., 6:30-8:30. fee: $25. Register and pay through Changing Hands.
Mary Sojourner is the author of two novels, Sisters of the Dream (1989) and Going Through Ghosts; the short story collection, Delicate; essay collection, Bonelight: ruin and grace in the New Southwest; memoirs, Solace: rituals of loss and desire and She Bets Her Life. She is an intermittent NPR commentator and the author of countless essays, columns and op eds for High Country News, Writers on the Range and dozens of other publications. She teaches writing, in private circles, one-on-one, at colleges and universities, writing conferences and book festivals. She believes in both the limitations and possibilities of healing. Writing is the most powerful tool she has found for doing what is necessary to mend.
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 webpagefor 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.
SuperstitionReview 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.
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.
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 KenyonReviewOnline, NinthLetter, 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.
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.
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