Art Editor Ashley Gaskin
Renee Gladman, an artist and writer, once said that when she is writing she is drawing, and when she is drawing she is writing. I’ve never connected with a statement more. One can not exist without the other and they exist within each other to create powerful, unique, and universal communication. In issue 29, our artists definitely utilized the duality of art and writing to create their own powerful languages.
Our cover artist, Jenny Day, conveys the impact of humans on the environment. Delta N.A. are two artists connecting with each other through artistic language. Emily Rankin’s pieces act like a person experiencing emotions in reality and dreams. Michelle McElroy provides landscapes of everyday life for the viewer’s imagination to explore. Oormila Prahlad reveals images surrounded by texture. Finally, Eliane Parks creates ceramics with intense movement though they are still.
I would like to thank our Founding Editor, Trish, and our Art Faculty Advisor, Rebecca Fish Ewan for their help and guidance. Rebecca Fish Ewan encouraged me to strive for excellence and Trish’s mentorship has taught me to follow my instincts with confidence. Thank you both for this experience—it taught me more about my own relationship with art than anything ever has.
Finally, thank you to all of the Superstition Review Trainees and Interns for a great semester, another beautiful magazine and for sharing your visions! I hope you find your own hidden languages within the art of this issue!
Fiction Editor Daniel Matlock
When I discovered I was going to be a Fiction Editor, the news gave me wings. Writing—stories in particular—can also bestow wings to readers who feel weighed down by everyday life. As an editor, I sought to be transported, changed, and returned to my reading chair.
In Abbie Barker’s zany tale of homelessness, a young couple learns against their in-law’s wishes that they can be happy living in a tent. Bradley Sides’ brave precocious student exposes a satanic monster in a state exam. Ryan Habermeyer reimagines an evil fairytale mother in a modern fairytale setting. Nadine Rodriguez explores the struggle to live one’s own identity authentically. Sahalie Angell Martin captures the tragedy of remembering too much. And William J. Cobb crowns the issue in the aftermath of CivilWar II, where a man defends his wife from prejudice as she’s transforming into a unicorn. I thank all these authors for their imagination and diligence in crafting these fabulous contributions.
Working as a Fiction Editor has been such a rewarding experience. Thank you Trish, Kristin, and my fellow fiction editor, Hannah for showing me the ropes as we read for Issue 29. And congratulations again to the writers who found their stories a home.
Fiction Editor Hannah Coleman
I was honored to be one of the fiction editors for issue 29. The hundreds of fiction submissions never ceased to inspire with their ideas, including those featured in this issue. For me, the power of fiction is its ability to remain with readers long after seeing a story for the first time. Our six fiction contributors this semester reinvent voice and form, and I can't wait to share their writing with you.
Bradley Sides places a fantastical narrative in the unique form of a state-wide test, a language many readers may know. Ryan Habermeyer takes readers into a chaotic, fable-fueled world of headless girls and french fries. Abbie Barker adds absurdity to the reality of houselessness and a complicated relationship with in-laws. Nadine Rodriguez writes a moving piece on being both Cuban and queer, exploring the complexity of social and cultural identity. William Cobb gives readers a surreal experience of contemporary magic, complete with unicorns and reptiles, while unapologetically biting into questions of society today. In her piece on memory, Sahalie Angell Martin puts readers into the perspective of a woman who struggles with the realization that she can't forget anything she experiences.
I'd like to thank these contributors for their hard work. I'd also like to extend a huge thanks to Trish, Kristin, and my fellow fiction editor, Daniel, for their dedication and enthusiasm throughout the semester. With that, I hope you enjoy issue 29.
Interview Editor Veronica Gonzalez
Growing up, I struggled to verbalize what I could feel, so I always looked up to those who could eloquently put their emotions into words. I was granted the privilege to learn more about the journey of doing so as the Interview Editor for this past issue.
First and foremost, I’d like to thank the contributors. Thank you for sharing your words, your memories, your creations, your worlds with me. It has been such an honor to be sitting in your audience, and I can’t wait for everyone to join in.
Darrel Alejandro Holnes’s poetry collection, Stepmotherland, is a political interweaving of social issues and personal experiences that encourages its reader to find their voice and step into the world. Quiet Night Think, a poetry and essay collection by Gillian Sze, explores losing and finding one’s self throughout motherhood, all while using the backdrop of her culture and history to paint vivid imagery. Kathryn Davis’s memoir, Aurelia, Aurélia, marries references to art, literature, and music with a breathtaking account of life, death, and the transition in between. A Tiny Upward Shove, a novel by Melissa Chadburn, explores themes of mercy and justice, following both protagonist and antagonist, and showcases representation of Filipino culture. Paul Tran’s lyrical prose and vulnerability when it comes to breathing life into asphyxiating memories is heart-stirring in their poetry collection, All the Flowers Kneeling. Yanyi’s Dream of the Divided Field, a poetry collection, is one that explores homes, bodies, and selves and the act of discovering and accepting all three no matter what form they come in.
Lastly, thank you to both Trish and Sarah for entrusting me with this process, for challenging me to read closer than I ever had before, and for the neverending support and guidance. I hope you all enjoy Issue 29 as much as I do.
Nonfiction Editor Etosha Magee
What is unique yet simultaneously universal? I pondered this question as I read through our wonderful array of submissions this semester. Through my weekly readings, I discovered that one of the many answers to this question is emotion. Our emotions are unique, yet they act as a bridge to connect us. The harmonious balance of universality and personability present in these works is an element that I looked for in the nonfiction pieces featured in this issue. I am honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with Patricia Murphy, Becky Byrkit, and my peers to construct Issue 29 for you all.
Through careful articulation, Laurie Blauner presents a vivid examination of humanity through the universal concept of being “On the Verge of” emotions, spaces, aging, and more. Marcia Aldrich’s lyricism appeals to the senses in a manner that is personal but still relatable to the reader. Wendy Gan reflects on her life and politics in Hong Kong through incredible imagery that puts current history into perspective. Cindy Lee’s meticulous examination of family and cultural differences is ubiquitous. And Haolun Xu explores the idea of navigating through spaces as a ghost through intertwining memories.
I am proud to present five essays that represent what it means to be human by appealing to our innate need for social connection. My goal was to collect universal experiences for this collection to use our shared experiences to demonstrate that our humanity and emotions transcend geographical boundaries, cultural differences, and more.
Poetry Editor Patrick De Leon
When I think of poetry I think of protest, activism, and endless possibility. Poetry, line by line, has the capacity to ask difficult questions, force us past our discomforts, and pose new ways of thinking. And the poets that were selected for issue 29 do just that. Being granted the privilege of meticulously reading through the hundreds of submissions I was in awe of the amazing work that was presented and knew I had my work cut out for me as an editor. I knew that I wanted to present a wide range of backgrounds, ways of thinking, and perspectives and I feel that we accomplished this with the poets we have presented here in issue 29 of Superstition Review.
In this issue, we have published 17 poets instead of our traditional ten. This is a testament to the high quality of work that we were fortunate to have. We have poems that bring to our attention the tenderness and compassion one must have when caring for an aging loved one to wit and humor regarding self-love. The poetry in this issue also explores topics around the effects that colonialism still has on native lands and people to explore topics such as queer identities, spiritual beliefs, and many other thought-provoking topics. The poetry that we have presented to you all in issue 29 is full of language that will sit with you long after you finished reading. We also in this issue of poets that are working in new and interesting poetic forms that work against expectations of what makes a poem a poem.
Lastly, I would like to thank all Trish for the relentless support and mentorship she provided to me not just as the poetry editor but also as a student and person. She has proven time and time again how much she cares for us as her students and for the work we do here at Superstition Review. And thank you to Mark for his thoughtful insight into the work we reviewed and for allowing me the space to become a better reader of poetry and for bringing to the editing table his wit and intellect.