Issue 27 Editor Statements

Student Editor-in-Chief Erin Peters

I am so honored to have served as the Student Editor in Chief this semester. The experience was unlike any other I’ve had in my academic career. In three short months, I witnessed my peers come together despite changes in deadlines, the restrictions of virtual meetings, and the general strain of isolation. Working with this semester’s staff showed me how fulfilling it can be to dedicate yourself to something you believe in. For many of us, this magazine became an outlet for the anxieties and uncertainties that surround our other academic and personal commitments. This is one of the most dedicated groups of individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Not only have they put together a wonderful Issue of Superstition Review, they’ve also come together to create a community. In between their required workload, they made time to attend virtual group social events, curate a Spotify Playlist and mentor their peers in the trainee program. Each member of this team has poured their heart into their work for Issue 27 and their passion shines through in the final product. Thank you, Superstition Review staff. Working with you has been an honor and I’m so proud of what you’ve accomplished.

While I’m giving out thank yous, I must extend my gratitude to every individual who submitted their work this semester. At a time where the word “essential” carries a bit more weight than it used to, I want to emphasize how essential artists are to the work that we do. Without such a wide range of voices and talent, we wouldn’t have been able to bring our readers this engaging collection of work. I’m impressed by the continued dedication we are able to show for the arts despite the many uncertainties that threaten to make us feel unessential. Despite snow storms in Texas, a takeover at the Capitol, despite riots and loved ones falling ill with Covid, we still have time to produce, edit, and celebrate art. I’m proud to be a part of a publication like Superstition Review which has always viewed art as essential and which constantly strives to amplify the voices of artists. So thank you again, to all of those who were brave enough to submit your work. I speak on behalf of the whole Superstition Review staff when I say that we are in continued awe of your dedication to your art.

Speaking of dedication, I have to sincerely thank our founding editor, Patricia Murphy, who is one of the most dedicated individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure to work under. Trish has navigated the challenges and triumphs of this semester the same way she has for the twenty six semesters before; with an infinite amount of grace and compassion. Her confidence and sincerity inspires every member of the S[r] staff to work that much harder to produce work we can be proud of. Trish, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be Student Editor-in-Chief and I thank you very much for the care you show your students. You are an excellent leader and mentor and I hold you in the highest respect.  

Art Editor Isabelle Kinney

When I started working on Issue 27 I was not sure what to expect. Art is an incredibly diverse  field and I had a lot I needed to learn because I tend to work in more academic spaces. I knew that my job as a content editor was to pick the best of our submissions, ones that reflected the multitude of talents and mediums of artists. I did not expect to see so much varied art in a wide variety of mediums from textiles to photography to painting. I also did not expect to contact such interesting people from places as far flung from Tempe as Japan, Russia, and Moldova. I saw so many dynamic pieces in our submissions, from photography, textiles, paintings, and even a comic. I was honored to see this artwork and discuss it with Founding Editor Patricia Murphy and Art Faculty Advisor Rebecca Fish Ewan. The weekly meetings I shared with them are some of the most thoughtful discussions of art, audience, and the meaning of art I have ever had.

I would like to thank our 6 contributors for their outstanding work. Kat Babbie’s four textile works are beautiful and dynamic. Her work is also featured on the cover. Carolina Dutca and Valentin Sidorenko’s five photos also include delightful textile elements and beautiful photography.  Takashi Ari’s haunting photographs of Hiroshima that explore the complicated interconnectedness of subjects in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima. To round out the photography, Ashley Miller’s surreal photographs explore themes of consumption. We are also lucky to feature Ali Liebegott’s three wonderful paintings, which explore themes of queerness, food, and domestic spaces.  

I have learned a great deal from this experience and feel privileged to be able to explore the work of all of these artists and their work has prompted much examination on my part.  These works have also expanded my knowledge beyond my normal academic pursuits and for that I am immensely grateful.

Fiction Editor Roxanne Bingham 

When I found out I was going to be the Fiction Editor for issue 27, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to dive into the rewarding process of curating stories for the next issue. When I began reading submissions, I was looking for pieces that exhibited what it meant to be human, whether that be the pain of a lost loved one, laughter after a joke, or the excitement of meeting a new person. There is a great deal of emotion and vulnerability that goes into writing, and I knew when taking on this position I was going to be exposed to these intricacies that shape the human experience. I had the privilege of discovering talented authors and I cannot wait to share their work with all of you.

Through her intriguing story about neighbors and their secrets, Roxanne Lynn Doty revealed that even the most complicated situations are much more complex beneath the surface. Eileen Pollack exposed just a few of the hardships women face in the online dating world, all while making us laugh along with her witty protagonist. Sarah Cavar reminded us why we work so hard to live without roommates while also teaching us about the impact of poor communication. Jen Currin created a strange sense of normalcy in an otherwise out of the ordinary situation by showing us a snippet of the daily life of cult members. And Jen Michalski established the magnitude of a single choice through her gripping story about the one who got away. I would like to thank each of these writers for providing us with a glimpse into their perspective on the world. 

I am honored to have been trusted with the task of picking out the fiction pieces for issue 27. Thank you to Trish for trusting and assisting me with this process and to our contributors, who continuously surprised me with their immense talent.

Interview Editor Grace Tobin

As a young writer myself, the honor of interviewing these authors is something I have cherished all semester and will remember forever. Thank you to all the contributors of the interview section for Issue 27. 

Adam Mansbach’s memoir and epic poem I Had a Brother Once is a heartbreaking depiction of life after his brother’s passing, and interviewing him gave me an insight into an exceptional mind that has mastered several literary mediums. Alex McElroy’s book, The Atmospherians, is a fantastic satire that discusses fatherhood, toxic masculinity, and mental health. Their interview is equal parts hilarious and thought-provoking. Danielle Geller’s memoir Dog Flowers is a breathtaking true-to-life tale about her familial relations in the wake of her mother’s passing, and her interview emphasizes the care she lends to all of her work and personal relationships. The Last Unkillable Thing by Emily Pittinos is a stunning exploration of loss and love. Her interview gives a deep look into her dealings with grief and the therapeutic qualities of writing. Peace Adzo Medie’s first novel, His Only Wife, demonstrates an ability to capture the essence of womanhood in a male-dominated world, and her interview reasserts her inspiring feminist background and intention. 

Thank you Patricia Murphy and Sarah Viren for being the most understanding and knowledgeable mentors throughout the process. I hope you all love Issue 27 as much as I do.

Nonfiction Editor Harrison Price

Words have the power to move and change us, both as readers and as humans seeking to connect with and through one another. As the nonfiction editor for Issue 27 of Superstition Review, I have had the great privilege of bearing witness to a wide variety of essays. Choosing work to feature in our magazine was not an easy task. However, with the help of Trish and Becky, I am pleased to present six essays that will make an impact long after they are published here.

More than ever, we are seeing a broad range of topics being discussed through the nonfiction format that seize us at our cores and truly explore what it means to be human. Just as Bernadette Murphy reflects on loss, readers can connect their own experiences with hers and find reassurance in committing to life. Dawn Reno Langley takes readers on a journey of storms, reinforcing concepts such as community and relationships. Ellen Glenn Moore’s story is vulnerable and passionate, describing a morning full of meditation. Honest and easy to relate to, Gabriela Denise Frank presents readers with the brink of adulthood while simultaneously exploring rebellion and truth. James Cihlar contemplates personal identity and relationships to unattainable figures and how they have influenced our lives. And finally, Kevin McLellan’s exploration of socioeconomic class allows readers to dwell on the nuances of life and the mundane interest of day-to-day life. Their wonderful mastery of the written word will surely take readers on amazing journeys that I hope inspires them to seize the day and grow in understanding of others.

Thank you authors for sharing your truths. 

Poetry Editor Carolina Quintero

Being poetry editor for issue 27 is the biggest joy I had this semester. Living life as a student through a computer is difficult enough as it is already, but reading poetry submissions was always a joy. 

With the advice and intelligence of Trish and Mark, we selected remarkable work. The knowledge I learned from them is so valuable and it not only helped my understanding of the literary world but also about myself as a poet. 

Our poetry contributors are talented experts, and reading their poems was a delightful experience. Chelsea Dingman provides chilling and nostalgic imagery in her poems. David Greenspan creates haunting phrases regarding death and existentialism. Jennifer Met shapes evocative settings to address self-perception. JSA Lowe constructs stunning stanzas through innovative form. Olaitan Humble narrates complex familial dynamics with exquisite details. Robert Krut breaks down the body for an eerie and powerful poem. Sara Moore Wagner addresses motherhood and femininity through brilliant detail. Satya Dash details the complexity of grief and illness through prose. Tomas Nieto  pulls the reader into a passionate and longing memory. Laurie Saurborn unfolds every pain about mental illness through haunting detail. Lucy Zhang creates innovative design to comment on economic inequality. And Martha Silano reflects on time and desire through thought-provoking questions. 

I’m honored to have been a part of issue 27 and to also honor the work and talent of our poetry contributors. I am so pleased that Superstition is able to share this work with you all, our readers. Thank you.