Art Editor Khanh Ngyuen
To me, art is powerful because you can perceive the story it tells in a single glance. What’s interesting is that each of us can perceive different stories from the same piece of artwork. So, as I considered the submissions for art, I thought not only about the stories they told to me, but also what stories they might tell to others, and what stories their creators wanted to tell. And what diverse, thought-provoking stories they told!
Starting with our cover artist, Jeff Rivers has faithfully captured Southern life, culture, and family in body language and detailed fabrics. Heidi Nielson worked with literally hard mediums, reflecting the honest struggles of her personal and ancestral history. Kateryna Bortsova drew on her extensive international experience in her exploration of identity and place. Teresa Sites’s meticulously-crafted collages reveal the hidden movement of music. Finally, Vivian Calderon’s mesmerizing paintings seem to unearth magical worlds. Thank you to these amazing artists for their contributions.
Of course, my process would be incomplete without the guidance of our Founding Editor, Trish, and our Art Faculty Advisor, Rebecca Fish Ewan. While Rebecca’s insight gave me new perspectives on art, Trish’s mentorship gave me confidence to express my own vision. I’m grateful for all the memorable conversations we’ve had.
I’ll conclude by thanking our Superstition Interns and Trainees for a valuable semester of collaboration. Just as I am loving the writers that you have shared, I hope you’ll also enjoy the visual stories that our artists have created.
Fiction Editor Hannah Coleman
When I started as the Fiction Editor for issue 28, I wasn't sure what to expect from this batch of submissions. In looking for pieces for this issue, I kept in mind that writing can be a powerful way to heal and to overcome the uncertainty of the future. I looked for stories that spoke to the visceral emotions of love, despair, and hope. The selected work for issue 28 offered unique perspectives on complex human experiences.
Barbara Lock’s story examines roles in the workplace, in the community, and in the family. Katherine Tunning shows us the complexity of changing parental relationships and how beautiful curiosity can be. Kim Magowan puts us in the place of facing a difficult past and moving into the future. Melissa Llanes Brownlee speaks to readers about how to move on to somewhere new and how a sense of place can become an identity. Molly Andrea-Ryan shows readers how sometimes, the lies we tell others can be the lies we tell ourselves, and that we all are searching for one good story. I'd like to thank each of these authors for their dedication and the hard work put in to these inspiring pieces.
Thank you to all of the Superstition Review staff of interns and trainees. I love the way that you all worked so hard to create a dedicated and connected community to build Issue 28. I'd also like to expand a special thanks to our Fiction Faculty Advisor Kristin LaCroix and of course to Trish, thank you for all you do.
Interview Editor Anna Narin
I would like to first thank all the contributors of the interview section for Issue 28. I was hesitant about taking on the role of Interview Editor at first, but after some reassurance from Patricia Murphy and Sarah Viren, I couldn’t be more happy with my decision.
Representation has always been important to me, so I am extremely happy with the diversity in the works for Issue 28. Mai Der Vang sifts through hundreds of documents about chemical and biological weapons dropped on Hmong people and assembles them into beautiful collages and poems in Yellow Rain. Interviewing her gave me a sense of appreciation for her resiliency as she tackles docu-poetics. Nichole Perkins’s memoir unapologetically highlights her experience dealing with relationships, social media, and society, and she talks about them with unmatched elegance and humor. Night Neon by Joyce Carol Oates gives us 9 bone-chilling stories that are full of mystery and suspense. Her interview highlights her artistic decisions behind the stories. Elizabeth McCracken explores mundaness paralleled with complexity, and her interview gives insight into her writing process for The Souvenir Museum.
This experience has been such a rewarding one. The process was insightful as well as enriching, so I hope you enjoy Issue 28 as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Nonfiction Editor Paress Chapell
My experience as the Nonfiction Editor for Issue 28 of Superstition Review has taught me that people are made in the mundane. The parts of our lives that seem inconsequential to others affect us deeply on a personal level. What attracted my interest at first was the visual composition of these stories. The writers added a picture or a lullaby to further engage my senses. They have flipped letters on their backs and torn apart words’ underbellies; written titles and added headings to entice me.
As a reader, I wanted to be led into the unknown, to dissolve my perspective and be shown an assortment of new ones. The essays presented here re-configure the unnoticed aspects of our lives into meaningful fortifications. Ashley Wolfe describes the challenging experience of going through a pregnancy and raising a son with ADHD. Everyday items can connect us to our memories in Jacqueline Doyle’s “The Dream Lives of Objects.” Amanda Gaines showed me the effect of our parents’ relationship on our own love lives. On the west coast, Kelly Gray tells us how climate change affects her home ecosystem. Erin Murphy reflects on the socioeconomic differences between her classmates as a daughter of a single mother.
I have come to these stories hungry, and left feeling full, but not quite satisfied. Which to me is the goal of any story. For readers to want more than they are given after they have finished the story. Thus, I have enjoyed reading all the pieces that were submitted. And I am truly grateful for having this opportunity to curate the nonfiction section of Superstition Review this semester.
I’m proud to announce Jacqueline Doyle, Amanda Gaines, Erin Murphy, Kelly Gray, and Ashley Wolfe as our nonfiction writers for Issue 28. I know that their stories will be a worthy and engaging experience for our readers.
Poetry Editor Bree Hoffman
Being poetry editor for Issue 28 has expanded my understanding of what poetry is. Reading our 300+ submissions I encountered several pieces that blew me away—many of which I’m proud to say are highlighted in this issue. My favorite part of being a poetry editor has been getting to read and discuss these pieces with Trish and Mark, who were constantly encouraging me to find exciting work that we had never seen before, and I’m really proud of what we have accomplished this semester.
Among our selections, Glenn Shaheen plays with the format of poetry and how we interpret art. Grace Q. Song paints brief but beautifully stylized slices of life in her poems. Preeti Vangani wields her wit as an unstoppable force that acts as the voice of her writing. Gretchen Rockwell plays with topics of transition, identity, and gender expression. Leah Falk ponders over rituals and legacy. Vanessa Couto Johnson continues to define and redefine the language we use to connect with one another. Ronda Broach takes us on a wistful drive back in time. Javeria Hasnain writes of the dangers that follow women. Liz Marlow imagines a place where myth and history overlap. And Kevin Mcilvoy brings Jesus back to life. And I’ll leave it at that, because I really want you all to go read his poem.
I have no doubt that our readers will find these poems to be compelling and contemplative. I’m overjoyed and honored to be a part of Issue 28, and I’m so thankful to Trish and Mark, and all the other section editors and coordinators for all their hard work.