Presenting: Sun Star Review #3

ss_w17_cover1-4-daniel1-ghosts-finalIt’s a new year. The holidays are over, the world is cold and barren, the falcon is growing just a bit hard of hearing, and the center is entertaining inchoate doubts as to its ability to hold. Sounds like the perfect time for new Sun Star!

We would like to express our sincerest thanks to our authors for the privilege of publishing their work, and to everyone who overwhelmed our inbox with wonderful work and made the final cut so difficult. We’re humbled and grateful for all our diverse contributors, and it means so much to us to be able to publish so much work that represents and touches on issues near and dear to our hearts. In every (general) issue, there is a moment, usually just before publication in that last frantic blizzard of word breaks and em dashes, when the project finally takes full shape before your eyes. The threads that you’ve been weaving pull together, and what had been a plan and a feeling becomes a real object staring up at you from your desktop. I must say, in the transition from writer to editor, those moments, the realized conversation and collaborative creation, are among the very best.

We hope you enjoy. Again, we cannot offer sufficient thanks to our authors, our submitters, our assistant editors, and everyone else who makes this project possible!

Happy reading!


Pushcart Prize Nominations

We are so grateful for the work that we have received this year, for the chance to read and to publish many folks in whom we really, truly believe. Over the course of our first few cycles on this project, we’ve had the privilege of meeting and getting to know so many new people, of hearing so many new voices. It has been wonderful to see so much interest in and support for our project. And so, in recognition of the talent and dedication of the writers who have made this last year possible, we are honored to announce our nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prize:

Adriana Campoy, Unsent Letter
Gayane Haroutyunyan, Please
Rachel Linn, Pass Slipped Stitch Over to Decrease
Maria Rosa Mills, Shapeshift
Audie Shushan, A Sky This Big
Steve Werkmeister, Going Home

It’s always tough to make final selections. We want to offer our congratulations to these writers, and to offer our sincere thanks and respect to everyone who contributed to our journal this year! Thanks for writing, thanks for reading, thanks for helping us do what we do.

Free submissions are closed. Long live submissions.

Dear readers,

First, we want to thank everyone who has expressed interest in our project, and we want to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who submitted through our first go-round on submittable. The response was impressive and, at times, quite overwhelming–and we couldn’t be happier.

We would like to note that our free submission window is now closed. We now look forward to forging ahead through our inbox–there’s a bottom there, somewhere, we’re sure–reading all that wonderful work, and moving forward with the next editorial steps.

We would like to note that we still do have an open submissions call: our Tip Jar is currently running year-round, and we welcome submissions through that tab. That option does require the increasingly-ubiquitous nominal fee. As far as free submissions go, we anticipate opening up again in late winter / early spring of 2017, with dates dependent on our editorial needs. We will be sure to keep you posted when we know the schedule there.

With that, we’d like to offer one last thanks. We are truly excited about the issue that’s coming together for January 2017, and of course we could not have done that without all your support!

Submissions update: 1 week left!


The last stubborn roses of autumn have finally wilted here in Portland. This is, of course, the traditional harbinger of Sun Star Review’s own (semi) hibernation period. We’ve been a bit quiet this fall, but far from idle. We’ve been so impressed by the quantity and quality of submissions we’ve received, and a common sight around our neighborhood has been our editors hunkered down in a cafe window, so engrossed in our submission queue that they can hardly spare a look up now and then, to catch those last falling petals. We’d like to thank everyone who has submitted, and it truly has been a pleasure to read your work.

However, if you would like to submit for this round but haven’t quite gotten to it yet, there’s still time! Our free submission period runs for one more week, through November 15th, so send us your work ASAP! At that point, we will only be accepting work through our tip jar category.

Once again, we’d like to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the upcoming issues. We are frankly blown away by the work we’ve received, and we are tremendously excited for the Winter 2017 issue to take final shape. Keep an eye out; we’re pretty sure you’re gonna love it, too.

Meet the Author: Adriana Campoy


We were so excited to have the opportunity to feature some of Adriana’s beautiful poetry  in our first issue. She’s a multi-talented writer with an MFA from the University of Washington and an MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from the University of Cambridge. You can also see Adriana’s work in the short film People Are Becoming Clouds, which she cowrote the screenplay for.

What is your favorite place to write in/at?

Usually at home, alone at my desk, where I can get up and pace and read aloud without bothering anyone. Sometimes the kitchen table, where there is lots of light and there are snacks close by. 😉 Occasionally it’s nice to go to a cafe when I’m revising.

We loved the variety of subjects in your poems and the sense of the poems reaching outwards to see through different perspectives. Can you tell us about what inspires your poetry?

It’s usually an image that grabs my attention–a painting or sculpture, a movement in a dance, something I spot while on a walk or cycling home. Occasionally it’s stories that people tell me–“El Mamey” was inspired by something one of my aunts told me during a visit to Mexico City. In the past year I’ve been thinking a lot about slowing down moments in time and describing them in detail and letting the images speak that way. I find it to be a really good exercise even if I don’t get a poem out of it.

Can you tell us a bit about your use of form? How do you decide what form a poem should take?

I usually just let it unfold in a way that feels natural to the image or to the shape of the sentence that’s unwinding–I wish I had a better answer than that!

If you could spend one day as any plant, animal, or non-human organism, what would you be?

I think I would be kelp swaying with the waves somewhere in the San Juan Islands.