Get to Know Us

We introduce our savvy motley crew, who creates Red Savina Review, so you may get to know them better. Our credentials can be found at this link.

This page has not  been updated in  a couple of years – we’ll try to answer the questions again asap.

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Here, Editor-in-chief John M. Gist answers several questions:

If you were stranded on a desert island with no foreseeable rescue in sight, and you could choose two books, what would they be and why?

I’d probably take the complete works of Nietzsche along with the collected works of Augustine of Hippo. Playing these two against one another, it would seem, would never get old. I might create a dialogue between them in my mind to pass the time. The exercise might drive over the edge so that I had “truly gone fishing” by the time someone came to the rescue, but, hey, if nobody came looking, at least I wouldn’t be alone.

What are three of your favorite cuisines?

Basque, Thai, and Mexican. All three make impressive use of peppers, and I love peppers.

What are you reading now and does it affect your writing?$T2eC16F,!zoE9s5nc3tvBRW5pir7ow~~_35

The Confessions of St. Augustine. I suppose Augustine’s depth of thought does impact my own thinking and, thus, my writing. The influence may be subtle, but it is probably there.

Where is the most beautiful place you’ve lived?

That’s not a fair question. I’ve lived all over the country, from Alaska to Mississippi, from Arizona to North Dakota, from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Rocky Mountains, from the Oregon coast to the Chihuahua Desert. All of these places have their own brand of beauty. If I was forced to pick a spot, it would be a tie between Silver City, New Mexico near the Gila Wilderness and the Oregon coast.

What music do you listen to when you’re writing?

Depends on what mood I’m in and what I’m writing. I’ve written pieces listening to Rage Against the Machine and Tool. Other pieces have been written to Pink Floyd or Beethoven playing in the background. Sometimes I listen to Miles Davis or Alice in Chains. Oftentimes I write without music playing. Just depends.

Who is your favorite visual artist? What is your favorite painting?

 800px-MVI_2810_Remington's_Ridden_DownHaving spent a good part of my life in the American West, I am a fan of Fredric Remington. In particular, I have always been fond of the oil on canvas ‘Ridden Down’. It is a very emotional painting.

If you could compare yourself to an animal, what would it be and why?

The wolverine. Not because of the popularity of the superhero, but due to the nature of the beast: wolverines are solitary by nature and, if necessary, will tenaciously stand their ground.

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MS pic RSRHere, Assistant Editor Matt Staley answers several questions:

If you were stranded on a desert island with no foreseeable rescue in sight, and you could choose two books, what would they be and why?

I was originally going to say a book on survival, but I sort of think that is cheating.  Why would I have a book like that on me in the event I was stranded?  So I’d want the newest Best American Short Stories anthology to keep me entertained.  I can’t seem to stay focused on any one story for too long, so having a book full of short stories would make the days pass more smoothly until my rescue.  But knowing I may never be rescued, I’d choose I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven.  It is a fantastic book, especially if you know your days are numbered.

What are three of your favorite cuisines?

You can never go wrong with pizza, which is perhaps the Generation X food of choice.  I grew up eating tuna fish casserole, and I could easily eat it as my last meal.  But I will knock you down and stomp on your fallen body to get to a plate of Pad Thai with spring rolls.

What are you reading now and does it affect your writing?

I’m reading The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick for a children’s literature course I’m taking.  I’m also writing about fifteen pages of children’s literature for the course, so the book is certainly affecting my writing.  I think the sincerity of the dialogue really makes me question if the dialogue I’ve written is authentic.

Where is the most beautiful place you’ve lived?

For me, this is going to be tricky, almost to the level of cheating.  I am going to say onboard the Navy destroyer, USS Peterson, is the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived.  Not beautiful because living in a space the size of a coffin turned on its side is great, but the beauty was in where the ship was able to go.  And the most beautiful place to me was Santorini (Thera), Greece.  Maybe I was just under the spell of the Ouzo.

 What music do you listen to when you’re writing?

I normally don’t listen to music unless I’m working on a longer project, and when I do it is anything on the piano.  I think I just prefer instrumental music playing quietly in the background when I’m writing. I cannot listen to any music with vocals because I don’t want any distractions from the voices in my own head.

Who is your favorite visual artist? Veiled-Lady

The most memorable art I’ve ever seen was a bust called “The Veiled Lady” by Pietro Rossi, which was sculpted in 1882. I was able to view it at the Gibbs Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina, and it was simply amazing. I really wanted her to open her eyes.

If you could compare yourself to an animal, what would it be and why?

I would probably compare myself to a cheetah.  And please do not think it is because I can run fast!  When a cheetah hunts and runs, it is getting down to business. The rest of the time, the cat basks in the sun or sleeps in a tree. In other words, when it’s time to get busy, I am throttle wide open.  When I’m not wide open, I’m sleeping in a tree.

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Here, Managing Editor Wendy Gist answers several questions:

If you were stranded on a desert island with no foreseeable rescue in sight, and you could choose two books, what would they be and why?

The Tao Te Ching to guide the way because everything changes except for it unless you read it and then it changes again. A ream of blank paper to write my own book.

 

What are three of your favorite cuisines?

1) Mediterranean  2) Thai  3) New Mexican “Lite” (minus lard, pork, etc.).

What are you reading now and does it affect your writing?

I spent the past year reading a lot of contemporary poetry and anthologies (online and print journals), as well as poetry written by literary journal and press editors. I just finished On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year by Lee Ann Roripaugh. I’ve started off the New Year (2014) reveling in Classical Chinese poetry and find Tu Fu to be refreshing. I’m also reading a collection of Southwest fiction. It probably affects my writing. I’m not really sure.

Where is the most beautiful place you’ve lived?

I grew up in the woods on the outskirts of Flagstaff, Arizona, not far from Sunset Crater with a breathtaking view of the San Francisco Peaks. But, I’d have to say it would be a toss-up between Gold Beach, Oregon, and Tsaile, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation (near the Canyon de Chelly where I used to hike often during non-tourist season). On the other hand, the Land of Enchantment’s otherworldly light and low-slung sky gets my creative fire burning like no other place. There’s a dreaminess to New Mexico. I can practically reach up and lasso the clouds from this land. The topography lends naturally creative writing opportunities. For me, the American Southwest is a live-and-let-live spacious place, and, what can I say?  The air is conducive to reflecting, dreaming and writing.

What music do you listen to when you’re writing?

It depends on what I’m writing. Most often Vivaldi, Bach, Native American Flute, AC/DC, Beck, Black Sabbath, Cold Play,Diana Krall, David Bowie, Lana Del Rey,Led Zeppelin,Metallica, Pink Floyd, Radiohead.

Who is your favorite visual artist? What is your favorite painting?
Brooklyn Museum: Green, Yellow and Orange

My favorite is Georgia O’Keeffe. I discovered O’Keeffe’s “Green, Yellow and Orange” (Oil on Canvas) during the process of brainstorming a poem that came to fruition. I witnessed bright clusters of sunflowers bending over a New Mexican lake and the colors green, yellow and orange appeared beautifully on the water and swirled into an unusual abstract pattern. “How O’Keeffe!,” I thought. And so later after doing a bit of research, I happened upon the painting. It reminded me of the ‘nature art’ observed on that enchanted summer morning. With that said, the above is one of my favorites.

If you could compare yourself to an animal, what would it be and why?

A turtle. I come out of my shell when I write. I take my time. I’m at my best when close to Mother Earth.

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Here, Review Editor Royce Grubic answers several questions:

If you were stranded on a desert island with no foreseeable rescue in sight, and you could choose two books, what would they be and why?

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, as it is a primer in how to find humor and love in even the most absurd and seemingly hopeless of circumstances.  I would also bring a guidebook on how to survive on desert islands—how to find water, shelter, edible plants, fend off predators (ha). I doubt Robinson Crusoe would do the trick.

 

What are three of your favorite cuisines?

Chinese, Thai, and Indian—I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years, and these are three of the most vegetarian-friendly cuisines.  Asian cultures in particular appreciate both cooking and eating as creative and holistic artforms that unite mind, body, and spirit.  As a rather serious home chef myself, I believe in that harmony.  And, of course, doctors should say to screaming babies when they are born, “Shh….it’s all right, there’s ice cream.”  Mint chocolate chip awaits.

What are you reading now and does it affect your writing?

 

I’ve been immersed in cognitive and evolutionary psychology for most of the last two years.  Everything I read, though, gives me insight into what makes us tick and how to possibly improve our inner clockwork, and that interest drives both my teaching and my writing.  Recently I’ve also been impressed by the insight and clarity of Krishnamurti.

 

Where is the most beautiful place you’ve lived?

 

Santa Barbara, California, although for me at the time it was mainly an exercise in proving that one can be miserable even in paradise.  I was fortunate to live in other places right on the Pacific Ocean during my years in Los Angeles (including Venice and Corona del Mar), but nothing matched the serenity and beauty of Santa Barbara.  The aroma of eucalyptus trees always carries me back there.

 

What music do you listen to when you’re writing?

 

The music of the spheres.  And whatever pops up in my immense iTunes playlist.  Instrumental jazz and ambient are probably best for writing.

 

Who is your favorite visual artist? What is your favorite painting?

 

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Excluding ex-girlfriends or myself, I would have to say Picasso.  Rather than a single painting, I’d pick the entire Blue Period.  So evocative and just amazing.

 

If you could compare yourself to an animal, what would it be and why?

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In appearance and often in temperament, a lion.  But I am a dog person to the core, born in the year of the Dog and raised in a home full of Siberian Huskies.  In the words of the great George Clinton, “Bow wow wow yippie-o yippie-ay.”

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