Progress Update: Melissa Pritchard Featured for Reading Series

While awaiting responses from solicited writers of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, Superstition Review Section Editors are dedicating their time this week to reading and organizing incoming submissions via Submishmash. Go to http://superstitionreview.submishmash.com/submit for our submission guidelines and to see our new submissions manager. Our Art Editors have visited exhibits locally and elsewhere, and are now communicating with hopeful incoming artists.

Also this week, Superstition Review Reading Series Editor Mary Richardson has confirmed that we will feature Melissa Pritchard at our Superstition Review reading this semester. Date and venue will be announced soon.

Check back regularly for updates on our highly anticipated reading, and other Superstition Review updates.

Progress Update: On The Fast Track

Although we were all introduced just four short weeks ago, we are already a quarter of the way into the semester. Our section editors have finalized their solicitation lists and will begin to contact potential artists, interviewees, poets, fiction, poetry and nonfiction authors. Expect more information on our highly anticipated Superstition Review reading series in the following weeks.

Our Content Coordinator is creating Submishmash accounts for each Superstition Review section editor. Using these accounts, editors will be able to effectively read and organize incoming submissions. Go to http://superstitionreview.submishmash.com/submit for our guidelines, and to see our new submissions manager. We’re very excited to try Submishmash this semester.

We have also introduced our Art Editors, Anthony Torres and Rebecca Glenn via a segment entitled “Meet The Interns.” At suggestion of one of our readers, I will be introducing a “Where Are They Now” segment to the Superstition Review blog later this week. These brief interviews will allow insight into the endeavors of past Superstition Review interns, both in academics and in the literary sphere.

Early Announcement for SR Reading with Franz Wright

While we’ve yet to work out the details for our first reading of the semester, we are proud to announce that we’ve recently solidified our final reading series event for Issue 5. Superstition Review is teaming up with the Piper Center for Creative Writing to present a reading with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Franz Wright.

Poet FRANZ WRIGHT
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Reading and Booksigning, 7:30 pm
Pima Auditorium (Room 230) / Memorial Union – ASU Tempe Campus
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Public Craft Q&A, 11 a.m.
Piper Writers House – ASU Tempe Campus

I’ll announce it again as the event gets closer, but we wanted to give you plenty of time to plan ahead!

Superstition Review Reading 3

What: Superstition Review Reading 3: Featuring Carol Ann Bassett
When: Monday, November 30, 2009 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: ASU Memorial Union Building, Pima Auditorium (Room 230)

In conjunction with the ASU School of Life Sciences and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Superstition Review proudly announces its final reading of the Issue 4 Reading Series featuring renowned nonfiction writer and journalist Carol Ann Bassett. Author of three books of literary nonfiction, including her most recent release Galapagos at the Crossroads, Bassett’s work has received high acclaim, being anthologized in the American Nature Writing series. She was a regular contributor to The New York Times and Time Life Inc. and her work has appeared in such national publications as The Nation and The Los Angeles Times. Her work focuses on natural history, the environment, and traditional cultures in transition.

Superstition Review’s Fourth Issue Reading Series, Second Reading

The second reading of the semester took place as part of the Homecoming festivities on the lovely Polytechnic Campus. It was lovely, sunny, but a bit colder than the last few days, and quite blustery. The wind was blowing things around and making it more than a little difficult for all of the departments and organizations with tables set up about their programs.

We hosted our program (thankfully indoors) in the absolutely beautiful facility of the Black Box theater in the Applied Arts Pavilion. Due to a shifting situation on where we wanted/were permitted to hold the reading, the location had changed multiple times, resulting in a series of emails updating our readers. Probably confused me more than anyone else really. Even though I am the reading series coordinator, I had never spent much time on the Polytechnic campus, and did not really have much conception of where all the places were located, though I did eventually find my way to where we needed to be.

I started off by welcoming everyone to the reading and introduced Patricia Murphy, our managing editor and staff advisor. She then proceeded to explain the mission of SR and how we work, operate the magazine, and take submissions.

I then was able to introduce Laura Tohe, who was kind enough to drive out from the Tempe campus to share the written word with interested attendees out at our event at the Polytechnic campus. Laura read a variety of poems, including some beautiful poems from her most recent book, Tseyi, Deep in the Rock, which included poetry in both Navajo and English. She followed this with some assorted other poems, including assorted poems from a collection she is developing that she is calling her Bluebook collection, named because she started them in a blue notebook.

Laura finished the event by reading us a piece of a short story she wrote for Phoenix Noir, a recently published collection of noir mysteries all set in the Phoenix metro area. Mrs. Tohe laughed as she told us that she had never before written a mystery, but when she asked the editor how she should do it, drugs, sex, and murder were apparently the basic ingredients. I truly enjoyed the excerpts she read, and plan on buying the anthology to read the rest of the tale.

SR Reading 2: featuring Laura Tohe

WHEN: Thursday, October 29 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE: Applied Arts Pavilion @ ASU Polytechnic Campus

The reading will take place as part of the 2009 Homecoming celebration, featuring events such as a free concert by Arizona rock band Authority Zero and the Taste of the East Valley food fair. For more information on the Homecoming festivities, visit the ASU Polytechnic Homecoming Website.

Superstition Review is proud to announce Reading 2 of our Fall Reading Series, which will feature award winning author Laura Tohe as part of the 2009 Homecoming celebration at ASU’s Polytechnic Campus.

A current resident of Mesa, AZ, Tohe has received high acclaim for her book Tséyi’ / Deep in the Rock: Reflections on Canyon de Chelly, which received the 2007 Arizona Book Association’s Glyph Award for Best Poetry and Best Book and was named a Top Pick on the Southwest Books of the Year 2005 by the Tucson-Pima Public Library. She has also written a commissioned libretto, Enemy Slayer, A Navajo Oratorio, which made its world premiere as part of the Phoenix Symphony’s 60th Anniversary Season in February of 2008. She has also written essays, stories and children’s plays that have appeared in the U.S., Canada and throughout Europe.

Please click here for a video of Laura detailing her libretto Enemy Slayer, A Navajo Oratorio.

Raised by her family and relatives on the Navajo Indian reservation, Tohe grew up near the Chuska Mountains on the eastern border of the Diné homeland. She received her Bachelors degree from the University of New Mexico and her Masters and Doctorate degrees in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

For the event, she will read poems and an excerpt from her new short story in Phoenix Noir. Admission is free.

http://www.lauratohe.com

Meet the Interns: Samantha Novak, Reading Series Editor

samanthanovak_0Reading Series Editor Samantha Novak is a sophomore at Arizona State University majoring in Global Studies and minoring in Spanish and Urban Planning.

Superstition Review: How did you hear about or get involved with Superstition Review?

Samantha Novak: I actually came to the Review by a slightly unconventional route. I am not an English major, but I heard about Superstition Review from my Honors English 102 teacher. She proposed it as a really neat opportunity and said that any of us interested should apply. I did, and here I am!

SR: What is your favorite section of SR? Why?

SN: I think my favorite section of SR is probably the art section, I have always found photography incredibly powerful and enjoy having the opportunity to be exposed to new and different artists.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal?

SN: My dream contributor would probably be Ruth Reichl. She has written some extremely powerful stories about her relationship with her family and with food (Reichl was a New York Times food critic and the editor-in-chief of Gourmet). I can really relate to this relationship since I also love food so much.

SR: What job, other than your own, would you like to try out in the journal?

SN: I really enjoy the job I am working at right now, but if I was doing something else I think I would like to try out being the blogger. It would force me to be more methodical with my blogging, which I think would bleed over to increased blogging in my other blogs.

SR: What are you most excited for in the upcoming issue?

SN: I am really excited to be able to experience new artists and writers. I am always looking for new work to read.

SR: What was the first book you remember falling in love with and what made it so special?

SN: I fell in love with The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. The novels feature a really strong, feisty princess protagonist that would rather swordfight than do embroidery. When her parents try to set her up in an arranged marriage she runs away to be a dragon’s princess. Magic, dragons, pretty dresses, sly references and humor–what’s not to love? I brought the books with me to college and still read them when I’m feeling down.

SR: What are you currently reading?

SN: I am bout to start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson.

SR: What are some of your favorite websites to waste time on or distract you from homework?

SN: I love mentalfloss.com, cakewrecks.com, Facebook and various food blogs.

SR: Do you create art? Tell us about a project you’re working on.

SN: I do photography, and I am currently in the post processing stage of some photographs I took this summer when I spent a month in China.

Meet the Interns: Riki Meier, Fiction Editor

rikimeier_0Fiction Editor, Riki Meier, is a senior majoring in English Literature, part of The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Superstition Review: What do you do for SR?

Riki Meier: I’m a fiction editor, so I get to solicit work from authors I like, read submissions, and help determine which stories will be published in the next issue.

SR: How did you hear about or get involved with Superstition Review?

RM: I first heard about Superstition Review through WORD: Creative Writers @ ASU, another internship for which I’m serving, filling the role of President. As WORD’s President, I helped advertise the reading series to our members. I later learned through the Honors College listserv that Superstition Review was accepting applications for interns, and the opportunity just seemed too fantastic to pass up!

SR: What is your favorite section of SR?

RM: The Fiction section is my favorite, of course! Fiction is my passion. I love reading fiction (it’s a requirement for Literature majors) and I also write fiction as well.

SR: Who is your dream contributor to the journal?

RM: Oh–I have two dream contributors! There’s no way I could choose between them. I would absolutely love to be able to publish Toni Morrison or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. They are both my literary idols.

SR: What job, other than your own, would you like to try out in the journal?

RM: Honestly, I’m so excited about my work this semester as fiction editor that I find it hard to consider any other positions at the journal!

SR: What are you most excited for in the upcoming issue?

RM: I am most excited about getting to contact my favorite authors and asking them to submit work. I think it’s a chance of a lifetime. When else will I be able to contact Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, etc., and ask them for a story or an interview? Just the thought of being able to interview someone like Marquez or Morrison is absolutely thrilling to me.

SR: What was the first book you remember falling in love with and what made it so special?

RM: Actually, the first thing I remember falling in love with when I was little was Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.” That story introduced me to magical realism, which I absolutely adore. It was also the first piece of literature that really got me thinking about larger social issues.

What are you currently reading?

RM: Right now I’m reading a lot of books on feminist theory, postcolonial theory, and cybercultural studies for research projects I’m working on. Other than my work at Superstition Review, I don’t have time to read anything else this semester, unfortunately. However, I have a copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Carlos Fuentes’ The Death of Artemio Cruz piled up on my nightstand just waiting for the day after final exams!

SR: What would be your dream class to take at ASU? What would the title be and what would it cover?

RM: That’s easy! It’s an MFA class currently being taught at ASU by Alberto Rios called “Magical Realism.” Not only does the class study great works written in the magical realism tradition, but you get to learn magical realism writing from a great magical realism writer!

SR: What are your feelings on digital medium?

RM: Oh, that’s a loaded question for me as I’m studying an online book discussion group for one of my big research projects. New media allows for a new hybridity of virtual/physical, public/private, sacred/profane, work/play, and even male/female. It is through narrative discourse that discursive and cultural practices are formed and diffused throughout society, and these practices, in turn, work to form the framework within which identities are constructed. As media types and forms of expression evolves and extends to virtual environments, a deeper exploration of cybercultural studies is necessary to deconstruct and understand the new identities being formed.

I believe there is an intrinsic connection between literature studies and rhetoric studies, and that there is an evolution of literature and narrative in progress that is the result of technological advancements. Today, multiple narrative forms—including literature—are evolving and adapting to online and multimodal environments. I maintain we must study communities of practice to understand the impact these virtual environments have on narrative and on the people who produce and consume these narratives.

Superstition Review’s Fourth Issue Reading Series, first reading

This past Monday was Superstition Review’s first reading of the semester and, I have to say, it was pretty amazing, particularly with the small and intimate setting of our favorite local bookstore, Changing Hands, literally setting the stage for the event!

Not only did we get to hear from American Book Award winner Stella Pope Duarte, who was previously featured as an interviewed writer for her award-winning book, If I Die in Juarez, but she also asked two of her writing students to join her. Accomplished writers Rita Ackerman and Annie Lopez accompanied our main guest reader that night as they too shared highlights from their varied portfolios. After a brief introduction to the readers for the evening via our Editor-in-Chief, I grabbed a seat off to the side and settled in for the reading–notebook, camera, and BlackBerry (for live-tweeting!) in hand.

Reading Series Editor, Samantha Novak, took the Changing Hands stage first, quickly introducing Trish Murphy, our Editor-in-Chief, inviting her to speak a little about SR. As Trish gave the rundown of how we work, take submissions, and run the magazine all through semester-long undergraduate internships, she also gave an update on submissions and solicitations that have already drifted into the magazine. Among the poets and authors submitting work, we learned that award-winning author and former ASU professor Ron Carlson will be interviewed for this upcoming issue–how exciting is that? With the logistical side of the reading out of the way, we were ready to hear from our esteemed readers.

First to read was Rita Ackerman, a scholar of the history of the American Wild West. She read an illuminating narrative on the shootout at the O.K. Corral from the perspective of Ike Clanton, an under-celebrated outlaw of Arizona’s history.

The story came from her recently published O.K. Corral Postscript: The Death of Ike Clanton and provided a street view of the shootout. It was particularly interesting because it viewed the famous Earp brothers from a fairly neutral position. Ackerman continued with a short dip into the death scene she has reconstructed from the obituaries and accounts of Ike Clanton’s death. Introducing ‘Pigleg Wilson,’ her writing explained that Ike, though a pivotal member of the Clanton gang, is not buried in a dignified grave in Tombstone like the rest of his family, but he instead resides in a unmarked grave somewhere in Springerville, Arizona.

It was particularly interesting to hear a detailed and engaging account of one of Arizona’s famous outlaws. Ackerman really brought to light the benefits of well-written nonfiction narratives, highlighting one of the under-sung genres of many literary journals, and one that SR is proud to feature.

Next up was Annie Lopez. Not only is Lopez a great storyteller, but she’s also an artist–one featured at the Phoenix Art Museum (and giving a lecture on her work on October 21st at 4 and 7 p.m.).

Lopez’s work collectively focused on the naivety of youth, especially as a young woman growing up in Phoenix. In her partly auto-biographical stories, the fourth-generation Phoenician read about her young adult mishaps. In, The Dress, a middle school-aged Lopez shows us a glimpse into a home-economics class. She and a friend made complete fools of themselves by knowing a little too much about sewing and trying to flaunt their skills, resulting in becoming the laughing stock of the Phoenix Suns basketball team. Her other story not only brought about laughs from the audience as she explained the awkward situation she was put in when her high school guidance counselor exposed herself to Lopez, but also reinforced the need to feel comfortable in your surroundings as a young adult.

Enterprising on the hilarious hi-jinx of youth, Lopez really connected with her audience as she shared her humorous tales and reminded everyone in the audience the importance of staying on the good side of friends-who-happen-to-be-writers–whatever you do, she warned via her shared anecdote, don’t forget that whatever you say and do can, and often will, be written down and used against you in the future if it has high humor value. In all fairness, you should know better!

Finally, it was Stella Pope Duarte’s turn to take the small stage. The audience seemed particularly excited to hear from her as she was introduced.

The ABA award-winner greeted everyone with a quick, unabashed admission: she loves rumors and secrets. As she talked about the upcoming acceptance of her award, she revealed that, though she loves Phoenix more than she could ever like NYC, she enjoyed the City for its eavesdropping goldmine that it is; she claimed she loves nothing more than walking the streets there to gather as many rumors as she could. It wasn’t just a random comment, though–she said none of her stories would really be possible without them, especially from the collection she was reading from.

Duarte is a passionate activist and writer defending human rights issues, particularly bringing child prostitution wrongs to light. On Monday she shared one of her newer stories, “One of These Days I’m Gonna Go Home,” a selection to be published in her upcoming collection of short stories, with the working title of Women Who Live in Coffee Shops, that focus on rumors and the lives of individuals whose worlds are affected by the rumors. The story dealt with the adoption and rehabilitation of a former child prostitute being raised in the Phoenix desert.

Our featured reader was really engaging with her audience and she had complete command of local Phoenician dialogue, slang, and speech. Her reading, as well the other women’s, really featured the outstanding talent of local writers. It was refreshing to hear these home-grown southwestern stories of our state’s history, growing up in Arizona, and dealing with the complexities of such a culturally rich state.

Overall, I’d say that the reading was a complete success and a wholly enjoyable event. I’m extremely excited about the next one, October 26!

Did you attend the event? What did you think? What was your favorite work you heard?

Video Interview with Rita Ackerman on ‘O.K. Corral Postscript: The Death of Ike Clanton’

Phoenix Art Museum lecture schedule

Stella Pope Duarte wins 2009 American Book Award

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Moving Right Along…

With our solicitations sent out and the submitted works starting to filter in, the Prose and Poetry Teams been busy looking things over in that realm, but have had to shift their focus to the upcoming series of interviews in their future. Our prose and poetry editors were busy this week researching the writers they intend to interview this semester, gathering facts and preparing questions to submit to the authors. And, as was announced at the SR reading on Monday evening, we’ve already got an exciting author lined up–award-winning fiction writer, Ron Carlson!

The Art editors have already had their hands full looking through the submissions drifting in. They’re be working on responding to their solicitations and have been queuing up potential contributors for this upcoming issue of SR.

The Administrative Team had their work cut out for them: besides coordinating the reading at Changing Hands, they also made progress on the Kindle project and worked on the parameters for the first-ever SR writing contest.

Our Content interns are starting to piece together the actual work that’s being considered for publication in the journal. They’re been busy logging all work that’s been drifting in so as to keep things from slipping through the cracks; because SR is digital, and all exchanges are through electronic means, it becomes critical that we have a way to track all of these and make sure all the work we receive has a record to track; this team keeps the magazine running smoothly.

The Web Design Team has simply continued working behind the scenes on the redesign of the website. We released some potential design ideas this week and are receiving feedback from all the interns before we proceed, but the site is progressing nicely. As part of my duty as Blogger I attended the reading and live-tweeted, so in case you missed it you can catch up with what the reading was like here, at least until the reading review is posted. And, as always, I’ll be here, filling you in, so you can stay up-to-the-minute with the editing process here at SR.