Thursday, September 28, 2006

A note from Pinckney and Laura

Find out more about our new writer-friends, Pinckney and Laura Benedict:

Hi. Don’t know if this is the sort of thing you want to include on the MFA blog, but Laura and I have started up MySpace pages.


The addresses:




They’re mainly to publicize the professional stuff we’re doing, conferences, readings, pubs, etc., with some personal stuff thrown in.





A little cross genre action

just a touch of the story here...
Click on "Writing Awards" to access it...

Save these dates!

Save these dates:

Fall 2006 MFA Program In-House Readings
sponsored by the Graduate Writers Forum

All readings are in the SIUC Student Center Illinois Room,
Wednesdays, from 3:30-4:30 pm

Jared Sexton, fiction
Kerry James Evans, poetry
Andrew Lewellen, fiction

Martin Call, poetry
Alex Lumens, fiction
Will Tyler, poetry

Mary Keck, fiction
Helena Bell, poetry
John Flaherty, fiction

Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, poetry
Jason Brown, fiction
Jon Tribble, poetry

All readings are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Very happy news from Liz "Kershner" Whiteacre (MFA '02):

I've checked out the blog and was once again impressed by the great talent SIU's MFA program hosts and has nurtured. I don't know that this news is blog-worthy, but I wanted to share with all of you that I had a doctor's appointment yesterday morning, and the doctor confirmed that I'm pregnant! I'm due May 3rd-ish, and Kevin and I are both thrilled.

We are currently living just outside Chicago, and I've started my fifth year at College of DuPage. I had the opportunity to chair the Creative Writing Committee last year, which was exciting, and I've just become the advisor for the school's literary arts magazine, The Prairie Light Review, this term. The only poet currently on faculty (at least the only one who identifies herself as one--the other retired last spring), I'm also the advisor of the poetry/music club at the college. This place keeps me busy with my interests--I love it here. They have also given me a very kind schedule for the year: I'm teaching 2 Introduction to Literatures online and 1 & 1/2 Compositions online (1 then 2 in the spring), a poetry writing class, and the literary magazine class that produces the magazine for the college's district each term.

Those who are curious about the daddy-to-be will be happy to hear that Kevin's busy with new research projects at the federal halfway house for which he's done research for the past three years (it's run by the Salvation Army) and is teaching graduate research methods for Loyola University in downtown Chicago.

Those who are curious about the goldfish, currently the objects of our affections, will be happy to know that they haven't shown any signs of jealousy. We're all getting along swimmingly.

I probably won't be down to Atlanta for the 10th-year celebration party, but I'll send you an update. I hope you are all happy and well-rested--I'd love to hear your gossip!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Congrats to Melanie Martin (MFA '04), whose poem "Faith in Water" appears in the new issue of River Oak Review (Volume 2, Issue 3)!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

News from Chad Simpson (MFA '05):

I'm currently Writer-in-Residence/Lecturer at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. I teach Beginning Fiction and Fiction Workshop, and honestly, it's about the coolest job in the world. I have stories in the current editions of
Georgetown Review and Versal and shorts up online at SmokeLong Quarterly and
juked. I also recently received word that a story of mine has been accepted for the inaugural issue of Avery: An Anthology of New Fiction, which is slated to come out in October. Oh, and it's old news by now, but I received a rockin' fellowship in prose earlier this year from the Illinois Arts Council.

You can keep up with Chad at his blog:

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Congrats to second-year fiction MFA student Jason Lee Brown, whose short-short
"Chicken Without a Head" will be published in The Journal (Ohio State University)!
Jason's piece will appear in issue 30.2

The Journal's web site:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A new documentary features SIUC's Allison Joseph:

read about it here...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Rodney Jones's new collection, Salvation Blues, as reviewed by Poetry !

read it here
Congrats to first-year poetry MFA student Kerry James Evans, whose poem "Southern Hospitality," is forthcoming in the fall edition of Southern Humanities Review!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

News from Jan La Perle (MFA '06), who's now in the Phd program
at Oklahoma State University:

I like the program, it's friendly, but unfortunately there aren't very
many poets. Film studies and TESL are big programs here and take up
much of the English Dept. My students are polite, and more respectful
as I gain confidence as a teacher, they call me ma'am and I like that.
I worked on "House" quite a bit this summer, sent it out to 3
contests. I'll send it out to more, but it's really expensive, as you
know. I've met Lisa Lewis, but I won't be taking a workshop until the Spring.
Ai is teaching one now, but I'm, instead, taking a seminar on Marianne Moore
& Elizabeth Bishop which I'm really enjoying.
You know, as much as I didn't think I would, I really do miss
Carbondale and my friends there. But I'm doing my best at
making Stillwater & OSU a good place for me.
Congratulations to second-year MFA poet Sara Burge, whose poem "The Valley, the Shadow" took third place in River Styx's 2006 International Poetry Contest! The poem will be published in that journal's October issue.

River Styx's website:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

News to shout from the rooftops:

Ben Percy (MFA '04) has sold his second story collection to Graywolf Press! Congrats, Ben!

Ben also writes:

I sold a story to Glimmer Train.

Ann Patchett will host a "Best American" evening with Symphony Space. She has selected three stories from the BASS 2006 anthology -- among them "Refresh, Refresh" -- to be read by actors and recorded for their Selected Shorts series. If you're interested in knowing more, here's the link-- the event is listed under "Literature." Can't wait.

Visit Ben's website at

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Good news: Allison Joseph's poem "Blind Date" was chosen by the poet Alicia Ostriker as the grand prize winner in the 2006 Happy Hour Poetry Contest,
sponsored by the literary journal Alehouse Press.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Congrats to second-year poetry MFA student Helena "Hel" Bell, whose poem
"The Love Boats" is forthcoming in Margie!
To learn more about Margie, visit their web site at
Good news this AM: Allison Joseph's poem "To Clint, Whose Nametag I Misspelled"
won second place in the The Ledge's 2006 Poetry Awards Competition.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Congrats to new poetry MFA student Andy McFadyen-Ketchum on his poem "The Art of Fishing" being accepted for publication in Mad Poets Review!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Good news--Crab Orchard Review has received a grant of $7610 from the Illinois Arts Council!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'll be reading in Chicago this week on Sunday, September 10 at Woman Made Gallery, as part of a group reading called "Anthropomorphism." The reading begins at 2 pm and concludes at 4 pm.

Woman Made is a great venue for art by women and is located at 685 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60622.

Their website is located
  • here

  • We are proud and happy to welcome Jacinda Townsend and Pinckney Benedict to our faculty at SIUC.

    About Pinckney Benedict:

    Nationally known fiction writer Pinckney Benedict is the author of a novel, Dogs of God, and two collections of short stories. Among other awards, he is a recipient of the prestigious Nelson Algren Award from the Chicago Tribune, as well as a James Michener Fellowship.

    About Jacinda Townsend:

    Jacinda Townsend was a 2003–2004 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing and a 2002 Hurston Wright Award finalist. She has published in numerous literary magazines, and her work has been anthologized in O. Henry Festival Stories and Telling Stories: Fiction by Kentucky Feminists. A former Fulbright fellow, she is a graduate of both Harvard University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
    News from Joan Dy, (MFA '05):

    I have a poem in the Tribute to Filipino Poets issue of Rattle.
    You can see it here at: Otherwise, I've been involved in a love/hate relationship with Korea for the past year. Will be coming back to live in the 'dale. All-night poetry salons complete with homemade chocolates, sword-fighting, and seven-course dinners will resume.
    The MFA Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will be a sponsor of the 2007 Association of Writers and Writing Progams Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on February 28-March 3, 2007.

    We're planning a reception for current students, alumni, and friends to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the MFA Program at SIUC.

    Hope to see you there,
    Allison J.

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    Here's a note from Jim Gill (MFA '99):

    I recently installed a bar sink in a friend's house, bagged my first Cascade Range volcano summit (Diamond Peak, 8744 ft.), and had a short story, "Fort Sumter", come out in Grain Magazine. Oregon is paradise! Enough said.

    Keep those notes coming!

    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    News from Chad Parmenter (MFA '05), aka Complex P:

    My latest thangs are getting a creative writing fellowship at Mizzou, and having my chapbook, "Weston's Unsent Letters to Modotti," place as a finalist in The Laurel Review's compeition. John Gallaher was wonderful enough to take a couple of poems from it for TLR, that will be coming out I think in the winter issue.
    More from Matt Guenette (MFA '99):

    My chapbook ( is now available from Ropewalk Press. (Check out my blog for details). My manuscript Sudden Anthem continues to be a regular finalist: hopefully it won't be too much longer before it catches on for good. I landed a full-time permanent job at Madison Area Technical College, which has been a godsend. The work is great, the students fantastic, and we (my wife Julie and I) get to live in Madison.
    Alums with chapbooks:

    Both Paul Guest and Matt Guenette have new chapbooks available.
    You can check out their blogs for more information: ( Paul Guest) ( Matt Guenette)

    Congrats to you two!
    Our faculty has expanded with the addition of new fiction writers Pinckney Benedict (from Hollins University) and Jacinda Townsend (from Missouri State University). Also with us this year as a lecturer is recent MFA grad in poetry Michael Meyerhofer.
    Rodney Jones and Mike Magnuson are on well-deserved sabbaticals. Judy Jordan is teaching the graduate workshop in poetry and Pinckney Benedict is teaching the graduate workshop in fiction. Jon Tribble continues as managing editor of Crab Orchard Review.
    Hello and welcome to Bulletin Board: MFA Carbondale. This blog will highlight the activities of the great people who are and have been a part of the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The MFA creative writing program at SIUC was the first MFA program at a public university in the state of Illinois, and we remain committed to creating a space for writers to learn their craft.

    I hope that current students and alums will contribute to this blog.
    Allison Joseph
    Program Director
    MFA Program in Creative Writing