Contributor Update Paula Cisewski

Congratulations to past contributor Paula Cisewski on the publication of her newest book! Ceremonies for no Repair includes Cisewski’s visual art for the first time: prints and fragments of small drawings and comics are interspersed with journal fragments and poems. A heroic crown of sonnets for her mother, who died in June of 2020, weaves through the book as well. 

The book was published through Beauty School Editions LLC and is available now for purchase!

In Ceremonies for No Repair, Paula Cisewski challenges us to examine our grief for the depths of our care. Set in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, this hybrid of poetry, prose, and images is a collage of personal and universal sorrows: a surprise divorce, an uprising, a mother’s death in quarantine. Less narrative than aggregate, it is a book about staying present and moving both with and through. It is an accrual of small moments and actions that, together, gesture toward hope.

Additionally, you can hear Paula read her work at the New Orleans Poetry Festival on Sunday, April 22nd at 2pm.

Ancestress: A Reading that Echoes Forward

This reading panel, featuring poets Darius Atefat-Peckham, Paula Cisewski, Angie Mazakis, and Danika Stegeman, formed around the idea of the “Ancestress,” as illuminated in the Bjork song from her 2022 album Fossora. The idea of the ancestress explores the ways we evolve from and carry our mothers as well as broader ideas of birth, mothering, and the feminine forward in time. Our mothers survive pain and violence while also creating life and/or healing in the face of those things. The readers come from diverse backgrounds and will share poems inspired by their mothers that capture the complexity, terror, and grace of their unique experiences. As Bjork intones “You see with your own eyes / But hear with your mother’s.” All of the panelists have lost their mothers, three in 2020. Each of us carry our mother forward in time through our survival and our words. To echo Bjork, “We are her hopekeepers / we assure hope is there at, at all times.”  

Ceremonies for No Repair has already received high praise:

“Night skull elegy, matrilineal pandemic pillow book, harrowing florilegium, red-threaded unbinding spell, Paula Cisewski’s Ceremonies for No Repair descends into the mouth of the lion called care. Down its milky throat and once thought. Into its green heart of radiant grief.”

Elisabeth Workman

“The inclusion of art and of the footnotes, and of the diary-like material along- side poems creates this vision of Cisewski’s artistic process and radiates outward to echo the artistic processes of others: like THIS IS WHAT ART IS: these are the materials. 

Danika Stegeman

Read Paula’s poem, “Notes Toward Eternity,” from Superstition Review Issue 25 published in the spring of 2020.

Paula Cisewski is a poet, editor, artist, educator, and curator. She is also the author of The Becoming Game (Hanging Loose Press, 2025), Quitter (Diode Editions Book Prize winner), The Threatened EverythingGhost Fargo (Nightboat Poetry Prize winner, selected by Franz Wright), Upon Arrival, and several chapbooks. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from or- ganizations including the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Oberholtzer Foundation, and Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. To find out more about Paula’s work, visit her website.

Honey by Victor Lodato: Contributor Update

Congratulations to previous contributor Victor Lodato on the forthcoming publication of his third novel! Honey is available for preorder now from Harper Collins, and will be released on April 16th.

You can attend his book launch on Friday, April 19 at 7:00 pm in Changing Hands Bookstore (6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283). He’ll be in conversation with the amazing Javier Zamora, NY Times bestselling author of SOLITO. 

She knows where all the bodies are buried.

Honey Fasinga, the glamorous daughter of a notorious New Jersey mobster, is returning home at last, ready to reckon with her violent past.

As a rebellious teenager, Honey managed to escape her father’s circle of influence and reinvent herself in a world of art and beauty, working for a high-end auction house in Los Angeles. Now in her twilight years, she decides to return home and unexpectedly falls in love. But in her family, nothing has changed. When her grandnephew Michael bursts into her life in what appears to be a drug-fueled frenzy, and her Lexus gets jacked, it’s hard to keep minding her own business. As old cruelties begin to resurface, Honey is no longer sure what she really wants—to forgive or to avenge.

Honey has already received significant praise:

“Utterly enchanting. A deeply human novel that sings the song of life itself. What a brilliant feat of empathy, style, and transcendent beauty—Lodato has created a true original in Honey.”

— Mona Awad, author of Bunny

“Rarely in literature—rarely in our lives—do we encounter someone like Honey Fasinga: fierce, complicated, and out-of-this-world sharp both inside and out. I cried, laughed, and screamed while reading this novel. Weeks after finishing, I am still looking for Honey everywhere.”

— Javier Zamora, New York Times bestselling author of Solito

Read our interview with Victor from Issue 8 here!

Follow his work on his website.

Victor Lodato is the author of two critically acclaimed novels. Edgar and Lucy was called “a riveting and exuberant ride” by the New York Times, and Mathilda Savitch, winner of the PEN USA Award, was hailed as “a Salingeresque wonder of a first novel.” Mathilda Savitch also won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize and has been published in sixteen countries. Victor is a Guggenheim Fellow, as well as the recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Princess Grace Foundation, The Camargo Foundation (France), and The Bogliasco Foundation (Italy). His short fiction and essays have been published in The New YorkerThe New York TimesGranta, and Best American Short Stories. Victor was born and raised in New Jersey and currently divides his time between Ashland, Oregon and Tucson, Arizona. 

Tabitha, Get Up: Lee Upton Contributor Update

Congratulations to Lee Upton on the upcoming release of Tabitha, Get Up. The novel will be available on May 22nd 2024 from Sagging Meniscus Press, and is available now for preorder.

Tabitha is a lonely fifty-year-old biographer who, in order to restore her self-respect and pay her rent, attempts to write two biographies simultaneously: one about an actor so famous his face is on the side of buses, and the other about a popular writer of children’s books recently outed as an author of erotic fiction. Is Tabitha ready to deal with interviewing an actor so handsome and charismatic she thinks he should be bottled and sprayed on belligerent people as a form of crowd control? Can she form a genuine friendship with a cult novelist who pressures her to compromise her values? While facing these and other challenges, Tabitha is bedeviled by memories of her long-ago divorce and the terrible wedding when, accidently bumped on a balcony, she shot off into the shrubbery. Is it true, she wonders, that there’s probably a dead body beneath the floating rot of any marriage? When surrounded by pretentious beautiful people does it help to imagine their intestines are full of worms? Are champagne bubbles the devil’s air pockets? Is it ever too late to change your life—from the bottom up?

Tabitha, Get Up has received significant praise!

“For starters, Lee Upton’s novel Tabitha, Get Up is funny—really, really funny. On top of that, narrator Tabitha’s clumsy, desperate, charming search for human connection—not to mention a paying gig—is also a serious look at whether it’s possible to bluff and hustle a life together. You’re going to love this book.”

David Ebenbach, author of The Guy We Didn’t Invite to the Orgy

Its protagonist, Tabitha, is a glorious piece of work: a biographer with a feverish mind and a long list of antagonists and an indomitable spirit and an unforgettable voice and major money problems. I wouldn’t want anyone to live her life, but I very much want everyone to read her book.

Brock Clarke, author of Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe? and I, Grape

“There is no form of the novel—the novel takes forms. Lee Upton’s
comely new novel presents as a series of exquisite ‘Notes’—to self,
to random others, to you who finds them. Riding herd, Upton
wrangles a novel that writes itself and rights itself.”

Michael Martone, author of Plain Air: Sketches from Winesburg, Indiana

You can read Lee Upton’s story, “After the Party,” in Issue 17 of s[r].

Lee Upton is an author of books of poetry, fiction, and literary criticism. Another of her novels, a literary mystery, will be out in May 2025. Her books include her seventh collection of poetry, The Day Every Day Is (Saturnalia Books 2023), two short story collections, a novella, four books of literary criticism, and an essay collection. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and Southern Review, as well as three editions of Best American Poetry. She is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize, the National Poetry Series Award, Poetry Society of America awards, the Miami University Novella Prize, the Open Book Award, the Saturnalia Book Prize, and other honors. You can keep up to date with Lee’s goings on on her website.

Contributor Update: Ayşe Papatya Bucak

We at Superstition Review are pleased to highlight past contributor Ayşe Papatya Bucak’s upcoming speaking event at the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing’s “2024 Festival of Faith & Writing.”

The biennial conference is running April 11-13th, in-person at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is “a three-day celebration of literature and belief” bringing together over 2,000 people of different faiths.

You can register for the conference here.

Ayşe’s interview with Superstition Review about her book, The Trojan War Museum and Other Stories can be read in Issue 25.

Ayşe Papatya Bucak is the author of The Trojan War Museum and Other Stories, which was shortlisted for the 2020 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection. Two of the stories in the book were also selected for the O. Henry and Pushcart Prize anthologies. Her writing has been published in a variety of journals, including One StoryGuernicaBombCreative NonfictionWitnessKenyon ReviewPrairie SchoonerThe PinchThe Iowa Review, and Brevity. Bucak was born in Istanbul, Turkey to an American mother and a Turkish father, but spent most of her childhood in Havertown, Pennsylvania just outside of Philadelphia. She holds a BA from Princeton University and an MFA from Arizona State University. She is an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, and a contributing editor for the journal Copper Nickel. You can find out more about Ayşe on her website.

Contributor Update: Claire Polders

Congratulations to previous contributor Claire Polders! DIAGRAM recently published three of her micro-memoirs. You can read them here.

They’re about murder as a protective force, the significant sound of lines slapping against masts, and childhood shame.

Her nonfiction piece, “Seven is the Hour of Water” can be read in Issue 31, and her short story, “Fistfuls,” can be read in Issue 17. She has also contributed an Author Talk which you can listen to on our blog.

Note from the author:

“Other authors might be interested to know that being persistent can pay off. I submitted my first flash fiction to DIAGRAM in 2015. It got rejected. I’ve sent them ten other pieces since. They were either rejected or withdrawn by me (and published elsewhere). But this year the editors and I agreed that DIAGRAM was the perfect home for these essays. I thank the editors for publishing my work and thank you all for reading!”

If you want to follow Claire’s adventures, she has launched a newsletter featuring travel-related personal essays which you can sign up for here.

Claire Polders grew up in the Netherlands and now roams the world. She’s the author of four novels in Dutch, one novel for younger readers (A Whale in Paris, Simon & Schuster), and many short stories and essays. Recurrent themes in her writing are identity, feminism, social justice, traveling, and death. She works on a memoir about elder abuse, a speculative novel, and a short prose collection. You can find out more about Claire on her website and social media: f x i g in

Contributor Update: Cameron Barnett

Congratulations to past Superstition Review contributor, Cameron Barnett, on the upcoming publication of his second poetry collection, Murmur. The collection is available now from Autumn House Press!

The second book by NAACP Image Award finalist Cameron Barnett, Murmur considers the question of how we become who we are. The answers Barnett offers in these poems are neither safe nor easy, as he traces a Black man’s lineage through time and space in contemporary America, navigating personal experiences, political hypocrisies, pop culture, social history, astronomy, and language. Barnett synthesizes unexpected connections and contradictions, exploring the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and the death of Terence Crutcher in 2016 and searching both the stars of Andromeda and a plantation in South Carolina. A diagnosis from the poet’s infancy haunts the poet as he wonders, “like too many Black men,” if “a heart is not enough to keep me alive.”

The collection includes two poems first published by s[r]. “Muck,” and the titular “Murmur,” can be read in Issue 22.

Murmur is already receiving attention and praise:

Cameron Barnett’s Murmur is in fact a glorious shout. These poems shake up histories, both intimate and political. They stir and disturb the ways we look at love, at race, at our people and ourselves. A bold, beautiful, and brilliant collection!

Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“‘Murmur’ plays jazz on the spinal cord.”

Monica Prince, poet and author of Roadmap: a Choreopoem

“With poems spanning histories, both personal and collective, and poems that center Blackness as a site of joy, promise, pain, and possibilities, these poems compel us toward knowledge we are deeply implicated in.”

M. Soledad Caballero, author of I Was a Bell

Cameron Barnett is a poet and teacher from Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water, the winner of the Autumn House Press Rising Writer Prize and a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He is a graduate of Duquesne University and earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Other honors include a 2019 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award for Emerging Artist and serving as the ’22-’24 Emerging Black Writer in Residence at Chatham University. Cameron teaches at his middle school alma mater, Falk Laboratory School. His work explores the complexity of race, place, and relationships for Black people in America. His work can be found on his website and social media: x i.

Fighting Hunger: Turning Poetry into Food

Logo artwork by Diane Wilbon Parks, all rights reserved

Hunger is everywhere and anywhere. And, thanks to pandemics, conflicts and climate change and politics, it’s on the rise big time. Just google “hunger” and you’ll see what’s going on.

In case you didn’t know, poets are fighting back.

Hiram Larew, Ph.d. founded www.poetryxhunger.com in 2017 to put poets and creatives to work bringing awareness to the persistent problem of global hunger. The initiative is his call for poets to write about hunger, because he believes that poetry has the power to touch hearts and minds in a way that statistics can struggle to communicate.

In his own words:

I founded Poetry X Hunger a few years ago to bring a world of poets to the anti-hunger cause. With partners like the United Nations, Feed the Children, arts councils and many food banks, more than 400 poems by poets near and far are now published on the website.

And, those poems are being put to work.

In 2023, Poetry X Hunger poets along with other creatives used readings and auctions to raise more than $10,000 US for global and US-based hunger-fighting organizations like Seed Programs International and Roots for Life. And yes, Feed the Children featured a Poetry X Hunger poem as voiceover in an internationally-aired Public Service Announcement. Even more recently, another poem on the website was selected as the lyric for a newly commissioned composition featuring a string quartet and a chorale. The soon-to-be released recording is amazing.

All to say, poets are turning their poetry into food.

Join us by writing and submitting your poetry about empty-stomach poetry for possible publication on the website. Here are the Submission Guidelines. The organization can be contacted at PoetryXHunger@gmail.com.

Since earning two degrees from Oregon State University (an MS in Botany and Plant Pathology in 1977 and a PhD in Entomology in 1981) Dr. Hiram Larew rose to prominence in the science, policy, and management of the US Government’s international agricultural sciences programs. Dr. Larew has won the hearts and minds of people around the world by helping to fill empty stomachs. His poetry has been nominated four times for national Pushcart Prizes, and he has received grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council for his poetry activities. His poems have appeared widely in journals and books in the U.S., Germany, Britain, Nigeria, The Netherlands, Ireland and elsewhere.  His fourth collection, Undone, was published in 2018 by FootHills Publishing. You can find out more about Hiram’s own poetry on his website.

Contributor Update: Lisa Ko

Congratulations to past contributor Lisa Ko, who has a new novel coming out in March! The novel is titled Memory Piece and will be available for purchase March 19th, 2024. Visit Penguin Random House for preorder information.

In the early 1980s, Giselle Chin, Jackie Ong, and Ellen Ng are three teenagers drawn together by their shared sense of alienation and desire for something different. “Allied in the weirdest parts of themselves,” they envision each other as artistic collaborators and embark on a future defined by freedom and creativity.

By the time they are adults, their dreams are murkier. As a performance artist, Giselle must navigate an elite social world she never conceived of. As a coder thrilled by the internet’s early egalitarian promise, Jackie must contend with its more sinister shift toward monetization and surveillance. And as a community activist, Ellen confronts the increasing gentrification and policing overwhelming her New York City neighborhood. Over time their friendship matures and changes, their definitions of success become complicated, and their sense of what matters evolves.

Moving from the predigital 1980s to the art and tech subcultures of the 1990s to a strikingly imagined portrait of the 2040s, Memory Piece is an innovative and audacious story of three lifelong friends as they strive to build satisfying lives in a world that turns out to be radically different from the one they were promised.

This novel has received outstanding reviews:

“A moving, strikingly evocative exploration of New York’s art, tech, and activism scenes across the decades.”

Vogue, Best books of 2024

“Lisa Ko has brought us one of those rare, sumptuous tales of art and friendship that feels both universal and inimitable.”

Elle, Best (and most anticipated) Fiction Books of 2024

“This novel serves as an archive of our past and a vision for what’s to come, hauntingly beautiful in a way that’s both nostalgic and dystopian. In essence Memory Piece is about the power of remembering, especially when it’s painful.”

Booklist

Lisa Ko is the author of the nationally bestselling novel The Leavers, which was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. Ko’s short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and her essays and nonfiction have been published in The New York Times and The Believer.

Superstition Review did an interview with Ko in issue 21, you can view that here. To learn more about Ko and her work visit her website here.

After Dinner Conversation: Technology and Ethics

Congratulations to After Dinner Conversation literary magazine on the recent publication of their first themed short story collection! Technology Ethics is part of a series of nine themed editions the magazine is releasing throughout 2024.

The dawn of AI, transhumanism, and robotics, will rise just like the sun, inexorably, and we are now struggling to imagine that future, to understand what it might mean for humanity when/if something else takes the wheel. There is no doubt now that AI will surpass our abilities in many areas: radiological analysis, data entry, medical diagnosis, paralegal research, and the list expands daily, as does the worry surrounding the disruption to our jobs, and to our lives.

This issue of ADC speaks to the growing unease with respect to our loss of control and our involuntary delegation of decision-making to technology. This powerful and accelerating wave will be transformative.

Deborah Serra – Technology Ethics Edition Editor

You can purchase the Technology Ethics collection on Amazon. Their next collection, Crimes and Punishments is available for preorder and will be released on February 21!

This collection has already received well-deserved praise:

“These collections can offer a spine for such courses, or the individual stories could be added to a course as illustrative material to stimulate discussion; outside of educational contexts, they work nicely to stimulate conversation in families, elder hostels, youth clubs, or book groups.”

Luc Bovens, PhD – Philosophy Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

After Dinner Conversation is an independent, nonprofit, literary magazine that focuses on short story fiction that encourages philosophical and ethical discussions with friends, family, and students.  Each story comes with five suggested discussion questions. You can discover more on their website and social media: f x i.