Issue 33 Editor Statements

Art Editors, Charlise Bar-Shai and Claire Kelly

Working on Issue 33 has been a remarkable experience. We’ve learned so much about literary magazines and have been exposed to such tremendous contemporary art and artists. Our appreciation for this space has only grown with time as we find invaluable lessons from our mentors, peers, and the talented artists we are so lucky to be featuring. Charlise spent her time this semester refining the skills she learned previously. She became better at art curation and improved her interviewing skills. Claire has spent this semester researching contemporary art and learning about the importance of spotlighting artists through online media. Her appreciation for art in all its mediums has only deepened as she has learned everything that goes into art curation for a magazine.

Dixie Salazar’s bright and vivid paintings are mesmerizing, with an array of religious and cultural nods. Kathy Alma Peterson’s paintings create movement that is both smooth and shaky, slow and urgent. Kelly D. Villalba’s sculptures reimagine traditional coiled basketry. Nam Hoang Tran’s photographs capture the simplicity and beauty of daily life. Rodney Rigby’s sculptures are a classic tale of the more you look, the more you see, as a hidden text reveals itself. Slav Nadev’s lovely paintings show expertise in color and shadow.

First, we of course would like to thank Trish for the amazing opportunity to work on a literary magazine as undergraduate students and for the wisdom she’s shared with us all. Working with Superstition Review and the talented people that make it all possible has been a terrific experience we’ll forever be grateful for.

Fiction Editors, Eliza Kent and Rique Duhamell Escobedo

It has been such a privilege for us to read so many stories and work with so many smart people for this issue’s fiction section. As writers ourselves, we took the responsibility to give every submission the attention and vision it deserves very seriously.

One of the most unique stories is Darci Shrummer’s, which is written in the format of a quiz asking you, “What would you do for everlasting life on paradise earth?” “Change is horror, virtue is merely stubbornness” by David Yourden gives a glimpse of sisters-turned-adversaries when one’s mental health drives a wedge between them. “Six rules to live the American Dream” by Fatima J. Alharthi depicts a struggle of being successful at immigration yet not assimilation, and what that reputation entails. Jennifer Ly’s “Afterimage” is bound to move readers to tears and laughter through the ghostly maternal. Steven Archer proves to be a writer with very clear vision in “Old Queens,” with stunning prose that paints a haunting of a lost community. “Happy New Year” by Will Musgrove rings in nostalgia for the year’s end and the impending doom we all find ourselves toasting to each time around.

Superstition Review has bolstered our confidence in publishing--reading submissions and working with authors and editing teams have been invaluable skills to learn. We’d like to thank Trish Murphy for her consistency and thoughtfulness throughout this issue, as well as our fellow interns who made number 33 possible.

Interview Editor, Madelynn Paz

I am very grateful for the opportunity to work on Issue 33 of Superstition Review. As a young writer, each of the authors I interviewed taught me valuable lessons regarding the craft of writing, and influenced my development as both a writer and a person.

Elwin Cotman’s short story collection Weird Black Girls was a masterful rendering of the surreal; his poetic prose illuminated the often painful, often beautiful experience of existing as a Black person in America. In her memoir My side of the River, Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez gave voice to a generation of children affected by family separation due to our broken immigration system. Gina Chung’s short story collection Green Frog leapt off the page and into my heart through the emotional resonance of her characters, and her lyric, visceral writing. The Lucky Ones, Zara Chowdhary’s gorgeous memoir, was a multilayered work of art combining personal narrative and political reporting of the 2002 Muslim pogrom in India. Each of these writers utilized the beauty of their craft to convey their resilience, humanity, and hope.

I would like to extend my deepest thanks to all our contributors, especially to my interviewees, who were so generous with their time and thoughts. Finally, I would like to thank Professor Trish Murphy, whose tireless work on this magazine is a tremendous gift to so many students and to the literary community as a whole. Thank you, Trish, for your kindness, your support, your vision, and guidance; it has been a great privilege to work alongside you.

Interview Editor, Phoebe Nguyen

I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the opportunity to return to Superstition Review for its 33rd Issue. Contributing as an interview editor has allowed me to grow immensely as a person and as a writer. It is an honor to participate in such a beautiful publication. 

Christina Vo's dual memoir My Vietnam, Your Vietnam, co-authored by her father, tenderly delves into themes of healing, identity, and loss, with profound empathy for the Việt Kiều experience. Root Fractures, Diana Khoi Nguyen's poetry collection showcases her lyrical voice as she gracefully examines familial trauma, language, and memory through the lens of her experience as a Vietnamese-American daughter. Sally Wen Mao's short story collection Ninetails immerses readers in a captivating exploration of the feminine experience through an enchanting cast of characters. Lisa Ko's novel Memory Piece is a story about everything, written with dazzling humor, authenticity, and imagination. With each turn of the page, readers are invited to ponder questions about friendship, activism, and technology. 

I would like to express my profound gratitude to the entire Superstition Review staff for their dedication to the magazine's current and previous issues. Working alongside such a talented team has been nothing short of a transformative experience. I would also like to thank Professor Trish Murphy for her invaluable guidance and support throughout this process. It has been a gift to learn from you, one that I will take with me long after my time with SR. Thank you sincerely for everything.

Nonfiction Editors, Bryan Lurito and Fae Valentine

The Essays submitted for Issue 33 have proved particularly difficult to judge due to their high quality, but a few stood above the rest, and we are proud to feature them. Reading each and every submission was a privilege. Being able to contribute to the magazine at the same time was a beautiful moment of synergy; we are both seeking to become editors of fiction in the future, and thus our connecting here allows us the opportunity to support each other’s future endeavors.

Brenda Miller & Julie Marie Wade’s collaborative piece “Safe Passage” explores several key moments in their lives, using the narrative and structural theme of transitions to beautifully tie these varied events together. J.D. Isip’s “Mountaintops” exemplifies a well-structured narrative, utilizing setup and payoff to address overcoming a cynical outlook on life, in an effort to embrace the blessings of the present. “Victim Protection” by Jill McCabe Johnson depicts a haunting look into the life of an abuse victim struggling with a broken judicial system that fails to protect them from their tormentor. The titular “Forever House” of Joseph Bardin’s piece is both literal and symbolic, the metaphor becoming clearer over the course of the narrative as he writes about the relief of nontraditional family dynamics can bring to events of great tragedy. The creatively structured piece “The Essential Guide to Types of People at a Funeral,” by Kasey Butcher Santana, documents the various familiar and unfamiliar faces you’re likely to encounter at a funeral in the format of a nature documentary-like guide. The methodical pace of Mark Brazaitis’ “The Mournful Mist,” gives readers much-needed time to ponder the intricately connected array of topics he presents, from politics to mental health. Brazaitis’ ambition and skill in mixing seemingly-disparate topics was definitive.

We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to Trish and Becky. Creating this issue has been a uniquely wondrous opportunity in improving collaboration and finding balance. We would like to express our thanks to the entire team who made it possible, as well as all the authors bravely submitting their pieces.

Poetry Editors, Daniel Gernant and Ismael Hernandez

This semester was full of new experiences for us. We had a tough time deciding on some of the poems, and this led to us learning to take a look outside of ourselves in a way we had not before. This semester also taught us how our original thoughts and assumptions can be wrong at times, and it is always best to read again and take another look.

“Be. Well.” by Anastacia Renee is an extremely creative poem that can be read in different ways; each way providing a new and interesting way to see the story within. The way that CD Eskilson brings up abuse and the struggle of being transgender in their poems is fantastic and creative. Ian C. Williams’s poem really hit us hard with its messaging; we remember not feeling safe when we went to school, and this captures that feeling well. “Noise Pollution” by Lindsey Schaffer has an intentionally messy structure that fits perfectly with the topic of the poem and it really stands out because of it. Both of Manuel A. Melendez’s poems force the audience to look upon their body in a new light. Martha Silano’s “Seventh Grade Personal Use Typing” spells out an experience that many of us had in a unique way that drew our attention. The imagery of Mary B. Moore’s poems are vibrant and fascinating. Each of Megan J. Arlett’s poems are unique with their messaging and yet both bring a sense of yearning. When reading Ori Fienberg’s poems out loud, each syllable feels intentionally placed. Patricia Davis-Muffett’s poem Red List: ten things critically endangered and declining is wonderful in the way that it brings attention to these endangered species and gives each a story of its own for us to think about. Rachel Mallalieu brings spectacular natural imagery in “The End of Illness Is Not Health”. The loss of loved ones in Sara E. Hughes’s poetry is devastating in its effectiveness and heartfelt imagery. The messages in Tatiana Dolgushina’s poem are brutal and she delivers them in an extraordinary manner through each of the stanzas in the piece.

We would like to thank each of the authors who submitted their poems for review. Without them we wouldn’t have the opportunity to read such outstanding writing. We would also like to thank Trish and Mark for helping us through some tough decisions and thought processes. Finally we would like to thank all of you for making this publication possible and allowing us to have the experiences that we did. We will treasure them for a lifetime.