Friday, December 21, 2007

The Chapbook King Returns

These bits of good news arrived in this morning's mail from Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry):

" I found out this morning that my manuscript, "The Clay-Shaper's Husband", won the Codhill Press Chapbook Award. The prize is $500 and fifty copies. I know, I know... four chapbooks now, and I'm still trying to get that second full-length book taken somewhere! ;)

I also found out in today's mail that two of my poems, "Peccadillo" and "Samsara", are forthcoming in River Styx! :)"

Congrats, MM! You're on a roll!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Meyerhofer Reviewed in Mid-American Review

Congratulations to Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry) for receiving a rave review of his first full-length collection of poems, Leaving Iowa (Briery Creek Press, 2007) from Mid-American Review, the national literary journal headquartered at Bowling Green State University. An excerpt from the review, written by Karen Craigo, the journal's editor-in-chief, reads as follows:

"What is striking about the collection is its unabashed confessionalism. But it is confessionalism that has an effect on the reader--not just the effect of catharsis for the writer, like so many poems that tread into personal black waters. In writing about his own life, the death of his mother, his childhood poverty, his medical problems at birth that left visible marks on him for a lifetime--Meyerhofer offers a brand new way of seeing."

Congrats, MM!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Chapbook Forthcoming for Melanie Jordan (MFA '01)

Great news from Melanie Jordan (MFA '01, poetry)--Melanie's chapbook "Ghost Season" will be published by Ropewalk Press in Spring 2008. This press. located at the University of Southern Indiana, was the publisher of fellow SIUC MFA alum Matt Guenette's chapbook, A Hush of Something Endless.

Congrats, Melanie!

For more about Ropewalk Press, visit:
  • Ropewalk Press
  • Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Happy News from Jake Boyd (MFA '07)

    Just received this note from Jake Boyd (MFA '07, poetry) about a sonnet of his to be published in an upcoming issue of Measure:

    "It's called "Crow & Winter" and gonna be in the 2008 issue. So I'm stoked. Merry Christmas to you."

    Congrats, Mr. Boyd!

    For more about Measure, look here:
  • Measure
  • Beth Lordan and "Writers on the Road" to read at Murray State University

    Beth Lordan, fierce fiction writer, longtime SIUC creative writing faculty member, and director of the SIUC Irish Studies Program will read at Murray State University on January 9, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. in the Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery (6th floor, Price-Doyle Fine Arts Building).

    Earlier that same day, a trio of SIUC MFA graduate students--poets Will Tyler and Andy McFadyen-Ketchum and fiction writer Jared Sexton--will read during the Murray State MFA January residency. They will read in Faculty Hall, room 208 from 1-2 pm.

    For more information on Murray State's MFA program, visit
  • Murray State MFA
  • Monday, December 10, 2007

    more on Pinckney and the Pushcart

    Read here about Pinckney Benedict's latest Pushcart Prize, his third:
  • SIUC News
  • Saturday, December 08, 2007

    Congrats to and a Tip from Jason Brown!

    more happy news and a publishing tip from Jason Lee Brown, third-year fiction MFA:

    "Natural Bridge has selected my poem “Why Mr. President Loves Soap Bubbles” for publication in Issue no. 19, guest edited by Mary Troy.

    Check out the submission call for the next theme issue that ends December 31: “The Literature of Place, local or exotic.”
  • Natural Bridge
  • Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Congrats to Tim Shea!

    Third-year poetry MFA student Tim Shea has had his poem "Baseball, 1996" accepted for publication by Poet Lore! The poem will appear in an issue due out in April 2008.
    Congrats, T-Shea!

    Poet Lore:
  • Poet Lore
  • Jason Brown Is a Busy Guy!

    Third-year fiction MFA Jason Lee Brown has been a busy guy this semester! Here's what he's been up to:

    "Third Wednesday has selected my poem “Haruka’s Sestina” for publication.
  • Third Wednesday

  • “Rooster,” an excerpt from my novella, appears in Emerging Writers Network’s Holiday Gift Email that was sent out last week.
  • Emerging Writers Network

  • My poem “The Embittered Muse” that was published in Pearl Magazine last year is now featured in Agora, an online journal of news, opinion, and creative expression written and produced by members of the English Department of Eastern Illinois University. Click on “Poetry Sampler” to read my poem.

  • Congrats, Jason!

    Wednesday, December 05, 2007

    Upcoming Literary Events in Carbondale

    Tonight @ Melange, Reading & Drinking, 7 pm
    607 S Illinois Avenue, Carbondale
    Poetry-Fiction-Drama-Drink Specials-Trivia-Prizes

    The High Life: the Champagne of Poetry
    Allison Joseph presents her English 382B class
    reading from their poetry
    Dec 10, 2007, 4 pm, SIUC Student Center
    Kaskaskia Room

    Both events are free and open to the public.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    Congrats to Carolyn Alessio!

    Former SIUC creative writing lecturer, current Crab Orchard Review prose editor, and all-around friend of the MFA program Carolyn Alessio has been awarded a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts!

    Details here:
  • NEA
  • Congrats to Andy McFadyen-Ketchum!

    Congrats to second-year poetry MFA student Andy McFadyen-Ketchum, whose poem "For the Unspoken" was accepted for publication by Sou'wester, the national literary journal located at our sister university, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

    For more about Sou'wester, visit
  • Sou'wester
  • Monday, December 03, 2007

    Anthology Announcement from Josh Woods!

    The following comes from Josh (J. Dillon) Woods, second-year
    fiction writer--congrats, Josh!

    "The anthology I have been putting together, The Versus
    Anthology, has found a home with the publisher Press 53
    ( The release is set for spring 2009.
    The works in VS will be based on the theme of pitting iconic
    characters/forces against one another. VS has a fantastic list
    of contributors, but there are still a few slots open, so feel
    free to contact me at jw234(at) if you are interested."

    Friday, November 30, 2007

    A Grant for Crab Orchard Review!

    Crab Orchard Review is pleased to announce that the journal has received a grant of $6,170 from the Illinois Arts Council. This grant is for general operating support for fiscal year 2008.

    Hearty Congratulations to...

    Chad Parmenter (MFA '05), whose poem "Batellite, Batellite of Love" was chosen by judge Dean Young as the poetry winner in this year's Black Warrior Review Poetry and Fiction Contest. Chad will receive $1000, and his poem will appear in the Spring 2008 issue of Black Warrior Review.

    About this poem, Chad writes:
    "These Batman poems have been some of the most fun of anything I've worked on in my life, and your suggestion at SIU-C, to bring in some of the villains, has helped them all, this poem in particular."

    Congrats, CP!

    Black Warrior Review's website:
  • Black Warrior Review
  • Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    Writers on the Road Reading--November 30, 2007

    The Graduate Writers Forum
    of Southern Illinois University Carbondale
    presents the second installment of

    Writers on the Road

    featuring fiction and poetry readings
    by graduate writing students from

    Columbia College Chicago
    University of Missouri-Saint Louis

    Friday, November 30, 2007
    SIUC Student Center ~ Mississippi Room

    3 p.m. ~ Readers from Columbia College Chicago’s Fiction MFA Program
    4 p.m. ~ Readers from University of Missouri - St. Louis’s MFA Program
    5 p.m. ~ Readers from Columbia College Chicago’s Poetry MFA Program

    All are welcome. Please spread the word.

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Reminder: Career Talk for MFAs and Friends



    Professors Pinckney Benedict and Allison Joseph invite you to a Career Seminar for MFA students (and any and all other interested students).

    Where: Wednesday, November 28
    When: from 4-5:30 pm
    Where: in the Student Center Missouri Room.

    This seminar will focus on

    -resume and CV preparation
    -job application etiquette for academic & non-academic jobs
    -finding and applying for fellowships and grants for creative writers
    -applying for/attending writing conferences and colonies

    All are welcome to attend.
    Event sponsored by the Graduate Writers Forum,
    MFA Program in Creative Writing,
    Department of English, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

    New poems by Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06)

    New poems by Michael Meyerhofer appear in the latest issue of Arts & Letters (Issue Eighteen, Fall 2007). The poems are "Limbic Self-Loathing, Post Emperor's Chicken," and "Late September."

    Congrats, MM!

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Allison Joseph reads tonight at the Ohio State University

    The OSU Creative Writing Program Reading Series will present poet Allison Joseph on Thursday, November 15, 2007. Joseph will participate in a Forum/Q&A at 4:00 p.m. and give a public reading at 7:00 p.m. -- both in the Denney Hall Commons Room, 311 Denney Hall.

    Allison Joseph is the author of What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand, 1992), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon, 1997), In Every Seam (Pittsburgh, 1997), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon, 2003) and Worldly Pleasures (Word Press, 2004). Her honors include the John C. Zacharis First Book Prize, fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry. She is editor and poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review and director of the Young Writers Workshop, an annual summer residential creative writing workshop for high school writers. She holds the Judge Williams Holmes Cook Endowed Professorship at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

    (event description courtesty the Ohio State Univ. English Dept. website).

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Contest for current SIUC Students (Undergrads and Grads)

    Announcing the 2007 Andy P. Smith Writing Contest
    Department of English, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
    Open to SIUC Undergraduate and Graduate Students only

    First prize: $200
    Second Prize: $50

    First and Second Prizes awarded to both an undergraduate and a graduate student

    The topic for this year: How does integrity play a part in the world at large or in your chosen field?

    Essay Guidelines:
    Length: 1000-1500 words

    Submission format:
    Do not write your name or any identifying information on the essay.
    Submit your essay with a coversheet bearing the following information:

    Address, phone number, e-mail (please include permanent contact information if you are graduating
    this year).
    Year in school and major
    Essay title

    Essays should be sent to Jennifer Justice (awards coordinator) in the Department of English (Faner 2380-Mailcode 4503, if using campus mail), and should arrive no late than 4 pm, January 30, 2008.

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Upcoming "Writers on the Road" Visitors

    Shanie Latham, the source of all that is good, tells me:

    "We will be hosting an installment of Writers on the Road on Friday Nov. 30, from 3 to 6:30 p.m., featuring readers from both the poetry and the fiction programs at Columbia College Chicago, as well as readers from University of Missouri - St. Louis."

    Welcome Columbia and UMSL writers!

    Friday, November 09, 2007

    Rodney Jones, Aimee Mann, and Poetry Daily

    Rodney Jones is featured on Poetry Daily today, with the poem "Deathly"--a poem that references both Aimee Mann and Carbondale:

  • Poetry Daily

  • Aimee Mann's website:
  • Aimee Mann
  • Mark Your Calendars: Career Seminar for MFA Graduate Students

    Professors Benedict and Joseph will host their annual Career Seminar for MFA students (and whoever else is interested) on Wednesday, November 28 from 4-5:30 pm in the Student Center Missouri Room.

    This seminar will focus on
    -resume and CV preparation
    -job application etiquette for academic & non-academic jobs
    -finding and applying for fellowships and grants for creative writers
    -applying for/ attending writing conferences and colonies

    All are welcome to attend.
    Event sponsored by the Graduate Writers Forum,
    Department of English, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

    Road Trip for "Writers on the Road"!

    SIUC MFA writers will be taking their act on the road--thanks, Shanie, for the details:

    "The details about our first road trip for Writers on the Road: Jason Brown, John Flaherty, Andrew Lewellen, and Shanie Latham will read on the U of Illinois campus as part of their "Voice Reading Series" on Thursday Nov. 15. Reading starts at 8 p.m. and also will include readers other than us (I believe from U of I.) I was not given the actual name of the place we'll be in, but the address is 1209 W. Oregon St. in Urbana."

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    Matt Guenette poems up on DIAGRAM

    New poems by Matt Guenette (MFA '99) are now online at DIAGRAM:


    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Poemspotting: Melanie Jordan edition

    A new poem, "False Attribution," by Melanie Jordan (MFA '01, poetry) appears in the Fall 2007 issue of the Southern Indiana Review.

    Jason Brown Poems forthcoming in Post Road

    Another gem from the morning mail, from multitalented third-year fiction MFA student Jason Brown:

    "Post Road has accepted my poems “My Older Brother, June Bug” and “Name I Will Never Forget” for publication."

    Congrats, Jason!

    Visit Post Road:
    Post Road

    Pushcart for Pinckney!

    Pinckney Benedict is way too modest (from my e-mail this morning):

    "Hi, Allison. For what it’s worth, I have received Pushcart Prize XXXII: Best of the Small Presses 2008. It contains my story, “Mercy,” published in Ontario Review about this time last year."

    Congratulations, PB!

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007

    Just because Devil's Kitchen's over...

    doesn't mean that the literary doings stop in Carbondale!
    Here's a summary of upcoming literary events. All are free and open
    to the public.

    Oct 31: Grassroots, the undergraduate literary journal of SIUC, hosts a
    Halloween Literary Open Mic that will take place this Wednesday
    (Halloween) from 7:30-10:00pm in the Big Muddy Room
    (basement of the SIUC Student Center). Come dressed in costume
    (or not, if you wish) to share and/or listen to original
    poetry or prose with the undergraduate creative writing community.
    Yummy treats will be provided.

    Nov 1: MFA Program Graduate Student Reading
    Kaskaskia/Missouri Room, 5 pm, SIUC Student Center

    Laura Gross, first-year MFA student, poetry
    Justin Benton, first-year MFA student, fiction
    Kerry James Evans, second-year MFA, poetry

    Nov 6: Native American poet Sherwin Bitsui
    7 p.m. – Sherwin Bitsui (Diné) with contemporary Native American Poetry
    including readings from his book "Shapeshift" and more recent works.
    He'll also discuss the importance of poetry in Native American education and identity.
    Originally from the White Cone, Ariz. Navajo Reservation,
    A Diné of the Tocich'ii'nii (Bitter Water Clan)
    and borne of the Tl'zilani (Many Goats Clan),
    he currently resides in Tucson, Ariz. Event to be held in the
    Ohio Room on the second floor of the Student Center.

    Nov 7: Reading and Drinking, Open Mike at Melange, 7pm
    607 S. Illinois Avenue, Carbondale.

    Nov 12: Laura Benedict reads from her literary thriller, Isabella Moon,
    for Sigma Tau Delta (English Honors Society).
    6-7 pm, Mackinaw Room, Student Center.
    For more about the book and Laura, visit
    She will read from her newly published novel and answer questions about her work.

    Sunday, October 28, 2007

    Pinckney's a Great Man...and Judge!

    from my esteemed colleague Pinckney Benedict:

    "For the blog, whenever it’s convenient: For what it’s worth, just wanted to tell you that I served as judge, along with Amy Hempel and Lynn Freed, for the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Awards this year. This was a particular pleasure because I won the Algren way back in 1986.

    The description of the awards is as follows:

    “The Nelson Algren awards are for short fiction. Submissions must be written by an American and must be unpublished. One $5,000 prize and three runner-up prizes of $1,500 are awarded. The award is given in memory of Chicago author Nelson Algren.”

    It looks as though they’ll begin accepting submissions for next year’s awards beginning November 1. Everybody in the program who has a story should enter."

    To find the guidelines, visit the Chicago Tribune's web site at
    and put "Algren Awards" in the search box.

    Friday, October 26, 2007

    Paul Guest (MFA '99) Named a Whiting Fellow

    The official announcement!
  • Whiting Foundation

    Article in Atlanta Journal Constitution:
  • AJC
  • And Now a Word from Mark Vannier

    Melanie Dusseau (MFA '03) sent me this about fellow MFA grad Mark Vannier:

    I think Mark is too shy to send you his "clippings,"
    as he calls them. Here he is on Chicago Public Radio
    reading a sketch with other comedy writers:

  • WBEZ

    Scoll down to "Hello Beautiful." It is segment two,
    you can click on the "listen" tab and his story starts
    at about minute three. Cool stuff! I thought the MFA
    blog would like to hear from him.

    Thanks, Mel D!
  • Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    Be on the lookout for...

    new poems by Matt Guenette (MFA '99):

    "Have 4 poems forthcoming: 2 in Diagram, 2 in Poetry Midwest."

    Thanks for the update, Matt. Let us know when the poems are published!

    Paul Guest (MFA '99) Slide Show

    Go to
  • AJC

    for a slide show about MFA poetry grad Paul Guest, with a lovely surprise at the end.
    Congratulations, Paul! A well-deserved honor!
  • Saturday, October 20, 2007

    Ben Percy (MFA '04) Featured in Poets and Writers!

    A wonderful feature article on SIU MFA alum Ben Percy can be found in the November/December issue of Poets and Writers.
    An excerpt from the article can be found at

  • Poets and Writers

    You have to get the magazine to read the entire article, but it's worth it, if only for the story of how Ben met (and wooed) his wife Lisa.
  • Friday, October 19, 2007

    Congratulations to Andrew Lewellen!

    Big news from third-year MFA fiction writer Andrew Lewellen:

    "After being 8 days late and putting Aishwarya through 24 hours of labor, Josephine Nukala Lewellen was born by Caesarean section on Tuesday, October 16 at 2:12 pm.
    We were expecting a boy due to the baby's size and activity. But we both wanted a girl and were delighted when one appeared. Josephine weighed 8.9 lbs at birth and came into the world
    looking suspiciously at everything she saw (particularly me!). So far she has demonstrated the same acrobatic feats she did while in the womb and appears to have her father's incessant and insatiable appetite for food.

    Both baby and mother are doing well, and we are scheduled to be dismissed from the hospital on Friday.

    Hope everyone is doing well. I'm delighted to share this news with you."

    Congratulations, Andrew, on your new daughter!

    Press Release on Devil's Kitchen

    Here's the University's press release on Devil's Kitchen. Check it out
    University Communications

    Congrats to Amie Whittemore!

    Lovely news this morning from first-year poetry MFA student Amie Whittemore:

    "I am delighted to let you know that my poem "The Sting" has been accepted for
    publication by the Packingtown Review, University of Illinois-Chicago's literary
    magazine. It'll be in their inaugural issue, November 2008."

    Congrats, Amie!

    For information on Packingtown Review, visit their site at
    Packingtown Review

    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival Feature Article

    Nightlife, Carbondale's free entertainment newspaper, has an article about this year's Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival. Thanks to Meg Moynihan for the coverage (scroll down to read the article):


    Author Appearances: SIUC Faculty Writers

    Allison Joseph will be appearing at the University of Pittsburgh as part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series (reading October 23, "Publishing Poets" panel October 24):
    Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series

    Judy Jordan will be a featured poet at the John R. Milton Writers Conference at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD, reading from her work on Friday, October 26.
    Conference schedule:
    John R. Milton Conference

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    A Change in Today's Line-Up

    Today's Graduate Student In-House Reading is still at 2PM in the SIUC Student Center Illinois Room, but there's been a change in readers. Renee Evans (second-year, fiction) will share the stage with Hannah New (first-year, poetry) instead of Halvor Aakhus.

    Welcome Visiting Graduate Student Writers!

    The Graduate Writers Forum
    at Southern Illinois University Carbondale

    presents the first-ever edition of

    Writers on the Road

    featuring fiction and poetry readings
    by graduate writing students from

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Illinois State University

    Friday, October 19, 2007
    SIUC Student Center ~ Mississippi Room

    3 p.m. Readers from UIUC
    4:30 p.m. Readers from ISU

    All are welcome. Please spread the word.

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    New poems by Rodney Jones

    Faculty member and poet supreme Rodney Jones has several new poems in the latest issue of TriQuarterly (TriQuarterly 128, guest-edited by Barbara Hamby and David Kirby). The poems are "On Fiction," "Sook," and "Deathly."

    Ben Percy in Green Mountains Review

    A new piece by Ben Percy (MFA '04) appears in the 20th Anniversary Issue of Green Mountains Review. The piece, entitled "Wal-Mart and the Apocalpyse and Me" is, fittingly enough, part of an issue focusing on the "Literature of the American Apocalypse."

    Read more about the issue at
    Green Mountains Review

    Monday, October 08, 2007

    Allison Joseph to read at SUNY-Oneonta

    Allison Joseph will read from her poems on the campus of SUNY-Oneonta
    on October 11, 2007 at 7:30 pm.

    More info at:
    SUNY Oneonta

    Saturday, October 06, 2007

    Adrian Matejka Update

    Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) has some upcoming reading dates. Catch him this fall at the venues listed below:

    October 19th, 1:00pm--Gwendolyn Brooks Conference at Chicago State University, Chicago, IL

    November 19th, 7:30pm--River Styx at Duff's Reading Series, 392 N. Euclid, St. Louis, MO 63108
    River Styx

    December 6th, 8:00pm--Observable Reading Series at Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave. (at Manchester)
    Maplewood, MO 63143
    Observable Reading Series

    Monday, October 01, 2007

    Ben Percy (MFA '04) Reading Tour Dates

    Ben Percy will be on the road to promote his new book, Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf Press). He'd love to see familiar faces! Catch Ben on these dates at these venues:

    Thursday, October 25th, 2007. 192 Books--sponsored by Symphony Space. New York. Actor Ted Marcoux will read "Refresh, Refresh" followed by a conversation with Ben.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007. With Roy Kesey, as part of the Happy Ending reading series. At the Happy Ending Bar, 302 Broome Street, NY.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007. Micawbers Bookstore. St. Paul, MN.

    Thursday, October 18, 2007. Seminary Co-op Bookstore. Chicago.

    October 18-21, 2007. Chippewa Valley Book Festival. Eau Claire, Wisconsin. for festival info.

    October 14, 2007. 4-5pm. Wisconsin Book Festival. Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State Street. Madison, WI. With Danielle Trussoni.

    Monday, October 8, 2007. 7pm. Marquette University's Weasler Auditorium, 15th and Wells, Milwaukee, WI. Wisconsin Authors' Night. With Larry Watson and Jane Hamilton.

    Thursday, October 4, 2007, 7:30pm. Sponsored by Bookslut. A reading at The Hopleaf Bar, 5148 N. Clark Street, Andersonville, IL.

    Dates in November, December and January to be posted in the future.

    Congrats to Amy Blache (MFA '07)!

    Amy Blache (MFA '07) has a big announcement:

    "Just thought I'd share with the MFA family that Julian Joseph Graziano was born at 11:40 a.m. by c-section on 9/26/2007. (Julian shares a birthday with T.S. Eliot!) He weighed in at 7 lbs. 4 oz. and spent four exhausting days in the NICU but now has a clean bill of health. I am doing just fine and the little man is cute as can be!"

    Congratulations, Amy, on your new son!

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Graduate Reading Series Schedule

    Fall 2007 MFA In-House Readings,
    Sponsored by the Graduate Writers Forum.
    All readings in the SIUC Student Center

    Wed. Sept. 26, 2 pm, Illinois Room:
    Will Tyler, 2nd-Year Poetry
    John Flaherty, 2nd-Year Fiction

    Thurs. Oct. 11, 5 pm, Kaskaskia/Missouri Room:
    Jenna Bazzell, 1st-Year Poetry
    James Scoles, 1st-Year Fiction
    Amie Whittemore, 1st-Year Poetry
    Alexander Lumans, 2nd-Year Fiction

    Wed. Oct. 17, 2 pm, Illinois Room:
    Halvor Aakhus, 1st-Year Fiction
    Renee Evans, 2nd-Year Fiction

    Thurs. Nov. 1, 5 pm, Kaskaskia/Missouri Room:
    Laura Gross, 1st-Year Poetry
    Justin Benton, 1st-Year Fiction
    Kerry James Evans, 2nd-Year Poetry

    Sunday, September 23, 2007

    Making Stanzas Rumba

    Allison Joseph will be attending and reading her poem "Proposal on a Plate: Orango Island, Guinea-Bisseau" at the annual Dancing Poetry Festival on September 29 in San Francisco, CA. This unique event combines poetry and dance. Allison herself will not be dancing.

    More about the Dancing Poetry Festival at
    Dancing Poetry home

    Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Michael Meyerhofer selected to read on the Georgia Poetry Circuit!

    Congratulations to Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06), who has been selected to appear on the Georgia Poetry Circuit. Michael will be doing readings in the spring at ten different colleges and universities in Georgia. Dates for particular readings aren't yet firm, but as soon as they are, this blog will have all the details.

    You're Invited...

    to a Book Release Party and Reading for

    She'll be reading and signing copies of her novel, ISABELLA MOON,
    at Kite Hill Vineyards & Winery on Sunday, October 7 from 3 to 5 PM

    You can find out more about Laura and ISABELLA MOON at
    Laura's website

    You can find out more about the Kite Hill Vineyards at
    Kite Hill

    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    Story Announcement: Chad Simpson (MFA '05)

    from Chad Simpson:

    I have a new story online: "Glass" is live at Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics.

    Check out Chad's story at

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Latino Heritage Month Keynote Lecture 2007

    Poet, novelist, essayist and professor Luis Urrea will be this year's keynote speaker for Latino Heritage Month. His lecture, titled "Dual Culture Life Experience" will take place on September 25, 2007 in the SIUC Student Center Auditorium at 7pm. Luis Urrea is the author of 11 books, including The Devil's Highway, Six Kinds of Sky, Across the Wire and The Hummingbird's Daughter. He is a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame and a Pulitzer Prize Finalist.

    This lecture is sponsored by the Associate Chancellor (Diversity), the Office of Diversity and Equity, the Hispanic Student Council, and Student Development Multicultural Programs and Services.

    You can find out more about Luis Urrea at his website
    Luis Urrea

    First In-House Reading of the Semester

    The In-House Reading Series, sponsored by the Graduate Writers Forum, is back!
    The first of this semester's readings will be held
    at 5pm on September 20, 2007
    in the SIUC Student Center Kaskaskia Room.
    Reading from their poetry will be first year MFA students
    Hannah New, Travis Mossotti, and second-year MFA student
    Andy McFadyen-Ketchum.
    The reading is free and open to the public.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Ben Percy (MFA '04) Podcast on NPR

    In case you didn't hear Ben Percy on NPR yesterday, here's a link to the podcast:


    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Congrats to Jason Lee Brown!

    Third-year fiction writing MFA student Jason Lee Brown has cross-genre chops:

    "My poem “Bioluminescence” has been accepted for publication in the Spoon River Poetry Review and should be out sometime this year."

    Congrats, Jason!

    Friday, September 07, 2007

    Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary Festival Schedule

    2007 Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival
    Southern Illinois University Carbondale
    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday--October 25 – 27


    8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Readings by Mary Jo Firth Gillett & Wendy Rawlings
    Student Center Auditorium

    9:00 – 10:00 p.m.
    Festival Reception (sponsored by the SIUC Dept. of English)
    Student Center J.W. Corker Lounge


    — panel discussions, Student Center Auditorium —

    10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
    Poetry Panel featuring Betty Adcock, Mary Jo Firth Gillett, Patricia
    Spears Jones, James Kimbrell, & Simone Muench

    11:00 – 11:50 a.m.
    Fiction Panel featuring Kerry Neville Bakken, Dale Ray Phillips, &
    Wendy Rawlings

    2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    Readings by Simone Muench & Betty Adcock
    Student Center Auditorium

    3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
    Reception and Booksigning featuring all festival readers
    Student Center Old Main Lounge

    5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
    Readings by James Kimbrell & Kerry Neville Bakken
    Student Center Auditorium


    11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Readings from the new anthology Surreal South
    Student Center Auditorium

    2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    Readings by Dale Ray Phillips & Patricia Spears Jones
    Student Center Auditorium

    The festival is sponsored by GRASSROOTS, the Southern Illinois
    University Carbondale Department of English’s undergraduate literary
    magazine. The Devil’s Kitchen Fall Literary Festival is made possible
    through funding from the SIUC Fine Arts Activity Fee, the SIUC
    Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series, and CRAB ORCHARD

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    Teaching the Unteachable?

    Sigma Tau Delta presents a talk by Allison Joseph of the SIUC's Creative Writing Program
    on the topic of "Teaching the Unteachable: The Pedagogy of Poetry-Writing"

    Monday, September 10, 2007
    Time: 6-7 pm
    Location: Saline Room, SIUC Student Center
    All are welcome to attend.

    Virtual Pinckney Benedict...

    Today's Daily Egyptian has a profile of Pinckney Benedict's virtual classroom:

    Daily Egyptian

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival 2007 Details

    Announcing the 2007 Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary Festival!
    OCTOBER 25, 26, & 27, 2007

    hosted by GRASSROOTS, the undergraduate literary magazine of the Department
    of English at Southern Illinois University Carbondale--

    Visiting Writers for this year's festival will include:
    Kerry Neville Bakken, winner of the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award in Prose
    James Kimbrell, winner of the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry
    Mary Jo Firth Gillett, winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award
    PLUS--Betty Adcock, Patricia Spears Jones, Simone Muench, Dale Ray Phillips and Wendy

    All festival events will take place at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale
    Student Center Auditorium. All readings and panels are free and open to the public.

    The Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary Festival is made possible by funding from the
    SIUC Fine Arts Activity Fee.

    Watch this blog for the festival schedule!

    article on Young Writers Workshop 07

    This article ran in Diverse Issues in Higher Education (September 6, 2007 edition):


    For the record, that's not Kerry in the photo, but Darian Spearman, who's now attending Carleton College in Minnesota.

    Now Available: MFA Carbondale T-shirts!

    The t-shirts have arrived! They are available in M, L, and XL.
    If you wish to have your very own MFA Carbondale t-shirt,
    contact Allison at aljoseph(at) t-shirt is $15.

    Mike Magnuson to read at University of Southern Indiana

    Mike Magnuson will be reading at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana on Thursday, September 13th at 7pm.
    Details here:
    University of Southern Indiana

    Monday, September 03, 2007

    Storyspotting with Ben Percy (MFA '04)

    Ben Percy (MFA '04)'s stories and prose pieces are cropping up all over this season. In Ben's own words:

    " "The Caves in Oregon" appears in the current issue of Glimmer Train. "When the Bear Came" appears in the current issue of American Short Fiction. "Dial Tone" appears in the current issue of the Missouri Review.

    And I've got a story "So Far From Anything" and a nonfiction piece "The Greatest Writer You're Not Reading" coming out in the October issue of Esquire."

    Congrats, Ben! Big props on your productivity!

    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    News from Andrew Lewellen:

    Third-year fiction writer Andrew Lewellen may not be in Carbondale anymore, but he's not forgotten to write with good news:

    "I just found out that my manuscript for my thesis, "The Long
    Descent," has been selected for the semi-final round of the
    James Jones First Novel Fellowship. I sent in pages 1-50 for
    the March 1 deadline, along with a plot outline, and now the
    judges now request that I send in pages 51-100.

    The contest is sponsored by Wilkes University, and the winning
    manuscript recieves a $10,000 prize. In 2006, there were 15
    semi-finalists, so I'm guessing I'm one of a number around this
    similar size.

    A nice bit of recognition after a lot of work; though the news
    is making it awfully hard for me to be productive in my little
    cubicle here in Evanston."

    Congrats, Andrew!

    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Coming Soon: MFA Carbondale t-shirts!

    If you'd like to reserve your own mfacarbondale t-shirt, write to
    Allison J. at aljoseph(at) (replace (at) with @).
    T-shirts will be $15.
    On the front: Write Your Life
    On the back:
    Color: Off-White

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    Catching Up With Ingrid Moody (MFA '07)

    from an e-mail from Ingrid:

    "I just wanted to let you know two things--one, that I entered a contest posted on the listserv to attend the Santa Barbara Summer Poetry Workshop and won, so I spent a nice long weekend writing and reading in what I'm convinced is the most beautiful place in the continental US; and two, at the workshop (which was small--about 30 poets), one of the organizers, Grace Rachow, spent a good deal of time praising and recommending CRWROPPS--among the many wonderful things she said about the listserv: "It doesn't get any better than this. It's free and it comes to you." She also expounded upon the high quality of the information. One of the women participating in the conference then shared that she has published numerous poems and a chapbook as a result of the information from CRWROPPS. When I bragged that I knew the moderator, I became a momentary celebrity in the room.

    Jon and I are headed to China tomorrow, where we'll chill in Beijing for a week, then travel to Shanghai, where Jon will be presenting at a climate conference, leaving me to wander the streets alone. When we return, I will be focusing on polishing my manuscript to send out--it seems like most of the big first book contests have deadlines in the fall."

    Congrats, Ingrid, on the SBSPW Prize! The link to CRWROPPS (Creative Writers Opportunities List) is to the right!

    Chris Gardner Lecture, Free Books Available

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — Christopher Gardner, often described as a "modern-day Horatio Alger," brings his life story of hard times and personal triumph to Southern Illinois University Carbondale tonight.

    Gardner is owner and CEO of Christopher Gardner International Holdings. But, the 53-year-old philanthropist and motivational speaker is widely recognized for his amazing story of personal tenacity that became a No. 1 best-selling book and movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness," in 2006. He served as associate producer for the movie.

    Gardner's lecture is at 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 23, at SIU Arena. The event is free. SIU's Office of the President, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, SIUC's Office of Associate Chancellor for Diversity, and The Southern Illinoisan are sponsoring Gardner's visit.

    ---profile courtesy SIUC University Communications

    PS Copies of Chris Gardner's book are available for free in Faner 2220 (aka the Glass Room). First come, first serve!

    Congrats to Shanie Latham

    Shanie Latham, a third-year MFA in fiction, was named a finalist for the 2007 Don Russ Poetry Prize for her poem "Sewing." This award is sponsored by the Kennesaw Review. Congrats Shanie--keep up the cross-genre action.
    Kennesaw Review

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    West Georgia knows quality....

    Both Paul Guest (MFA '99) and Melanie Jordan (MFA '01) are now teaching at the University of West Georgia, alongside Crab Orchard Series in Poetry winner Chad Davidson.

    You can contact either of them at the English Department there:
    West Georgia

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival 2007 Dates

    Mark your calendars:
    The annual Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival will take place in 2007 on October 25, 26, and 27. Watch this blog for more details about the writers who will be coming to Carbondale for three days of readings, panels, and literary merriment.

    Monday, August 20, 2007

    Lumans Forthcoming in Story Quarterly

    Second year MFA student Alex Lumans has some great news:

    "My short story "Elephants Are Why He Made the Oceans" will be
    published in the forthcoming issue of StoryQuarterly, which will
    be coming out this December."

    Congrats, Alex!

    Friday, August 17, 2007

    Hearty Congrats to...

    Clint Cargile (MFA '05) and Gillian King (MFA '05) on their wedding on August 18, 2007!

    Best of luck, Gillian and Clint!

    They are having their reception here:
    Lakewoods Resort

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    MFA Grad Updates

    Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06) will be teaching this upcoming academic year at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

    Jake Boyd (MFA '07) will be a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University this fall. His poem "Coal or Christmas Lights" is forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review.

    Elisabeth "Lis" Meyer (MFA '07) will begin the Phd program in English Literature at University of Kentucky. Her poetry is forthcoming in Measure.

    Chad Parmenter (MFA '05) has been named the Assistant Director of the Center for Literary Arts for the coming academic year at the University of Missouri.

    Congrats to all!

    MFA Carbondale is proud and happy to welcome...

    the following new MFA students to Carbondale!

    Halvor Aakhus, fiction
    Jenna Bazzell, poetry
    Justin Benton, fiction
    Azizat Danmole, fiction
    Laura Gross, poetry
    Travis Mossotti, poetry
    James Scoles, fiction
    Reynaldo Vargas, fiction
    Abby Wheetley, fiction
    Amie Whittemore, poetry

    Thanks for coming to share your writing with those of us
    already in Carbondale!

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007

    Meyerhofer Update

    Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06) writes:

    "I did manage to just get my poem, "Against Etymology", accepted by Ploughshares. Lately, I also had a poem called "Blue Collar Eulogy" accepted by MARGIE, another one called "The First Dancers" accepted by Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, and two more accepted by a Canadian sci-fi journal called On Spec."

    Congrats, MM!

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007

    Catching Up With Kevin McKelvey (MFA '04)

    Some news from Kevin McKelvey, MFA '04:

    "I just completed two weeks as Artist-in-Residence at Isle Royale National
    Park in the middle of Lake Superior . In exchange
    for a cabin and canoe, I gave one program a week, and I will submit a piece
    of work within a year. The archipelago was an amazing place to experience
    past human cultures and a pristine ecotone between northern hardwood forests
    and boreal forest, which leads to the kind of poems I like to write. Jnan
    Blau and Dawn Janke, friends of the MFA program, teach at Michigan Technical
    University in Houghton, MI, where the Park is headquartered, and told me
    about the program. Check out other Park Service properties with
    Artists-in-Residence at

    And last fall, I spent a week east of Eugene, Oregon, at the HJ Andrews
    Experimental Forest as a Resident of the Spring Creek Project of Oregon
    State University. I'm still trying to comprehend the 500 year-old firs, and
    I need to to contribute to their Long-Term Ecological Reflections Project.
    I'm also still trying to comprehend why Adrian Matejka couldn't get me to
    the airport on time."

    Congrats on all the different gigs, Kevin!

    Monday, July 23, 2007

    In Memory of Josh Vinzant, 1973-2007

    Max and History

    Max sees the house clearly mirrored,

    collapsed below the spruce and thin oaks.

    His great-grandfather was born there, over

    the white moon, beside the brown Grand River.

    In '95, his uncle cleared

    away the scrub brush, poured kerosene

    under the stairwell. Tossed in a Zippo,

    broke out a bottle and joint. Said, "Look at her."

    The ghosts of grey coyotes crouched down

    at their feet. Max named the smallest one

    and passed the joint; the flames around

    the chimney rose. Max used his handgun

    and shot out the stars. Left one burning

    in case he ever wanted to return.

    --Josh Vinzant

    Saturday, July 21, 2007

    With Deep Sorrow

    MFA Carbondale is deeply saddened to acknowledge the passing of Joshua David Vinzant, MFA '05.

    Online condolences and tributes may be left at

  • Danfelt Funeral Home

  • Rest in peace, Josh.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    Better late than never...

    It has recently come to this blog's attention that a poem by SIUC's own Rodney Jones was featured in the June 24 edition of the Washington Post in former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky's "Poet's Choice" column:

  • Washington Post
  • Friday, July 06, 2007

    Summer Poetry Roundup!

    New poems by former poetry faculty member Lucia Perillo appear in the new issue (Volume 19, issue 2) of Sycamore Review.

    Two poems by Melanie Jordan (MFA '01) appear in the latest issue of Third Coast. The poems are "When I Talk Like Loose Sugar Waiting" and "Interstate Daydream."

    New poems by Matt Guenette (MFA '99) are forthcoming in DIAGRAM. The poems are "Li Po Poem" and "The Town."

    Sunday, July 01, 2007

    A Fun Time Was Had By All

    Thanks to everyone involved with this year's Young Writers Workshop--the students and the staff, the faculty and guests. Next year will be the tenth anniversary of Young Writers at SIUC, and in honor of that fact, we will be extending the workshop so that it is now five days long. Our dates for next year will be June 24 through June 28, 2008.

    Saturday, June 30, 2007

    Local paper gives YWW some love

    Thanks to Brent Stewart of the Southern Illinoisan newspaper for visiting the Young Writers Workshop!
    His article is linked below:
  • the Southern
  • Young Writers strut their stuff!

    The Young Writers Workshop concludes on Saturday, June 30 with a public reading from the Young Writers Workshop participants themselves!
    They will read at 1 PM in Pulliam Hall's Cisne Auditorium. This reading is free and open to the public.

    Jacinda Townsend's Got Soul

    And this blog forgives her for not bringing this article to our attention earlier:

  • Southern Illinoisan
  • Friday, June 29, 2007

    YWW Continues with a Visit from Curtis!

    Looking forward to seeing alum Curtis L. Crisler (MFA '04) take the stage at this year's Young Writers Workshop! Curtis's reading is free and open to the public, as is this afternoon's graduate student reading:

    Friday, June 29, 4 p.m., in the Harry T. Moore Auditorium, Faner 1326 – Graduate student reading with fiction from Josh Woods and Rachna Sheth and poetry from Helena Bell and Tracy Conerton.

    Friday, June 29, 8 p.m., in the Harry T. Moore Auditorium, Faner 1326 – Guest reader Curtis L. Crisler. Crisler graduated from the MFA program at SIUC and served as assistant director of the workshop. Front Street Press published his first book of poems, "Tough Boy Sonatas," this year. He currently teaches in Fort Wayne, Ind.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    Today's YWW Public Readings

    Come one, come all! Today's Young Writers Workshop readings are listed below. Free and open to the public!

    Thursday, June 28, 4 p.m., in Faner Hall, Room 1005 – Graduate student readings featuring poetry by Sara Burge and fiction by Nathan Beck, Mary Keck and Renee Evans.

    Thursday, June 28, 8 p.m., in the Harry T. Moore Auditorium, Faner Hall 1326 – Graduate student and faculty reading, featuring MFA students Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum and Kerry James Evans with poetry and John Flaherty with fiction, and poetry from Allison Joseph.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    It's the most wonderful time of the year...

    Young Writers! 30 students from 4 different states will be joining the graduate students and faculty here at SIUC to read, write, eat and talk writing. The first public event happens tonight with Pinckney Benedict's reading:

    Wednesday, June 27, 8 p.m., in the Harry T. Moore Auditorium, Faner Hall 1326 – Faculty reading by Pinckney Benedict. Benedict joined the SIUC faculty in 2006. He is the author of two collections of short stories – "Town Smokes" and "The Wrecking Yard" – and a novel, "Dogs of God." His work appears in anthologies and magazines including Esquire, StoryQuarterly, The O. Henry Award Collection and The Oxford Book of American Short Stories.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    Poemspotting, Meyerhofer Edition

    Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06)'s "Ode to Dogs" appears in the new issue of Mid-American Review. It won first prize in the 2006 James Wright Poetry Award Competition.

  • Mid-American Review
  • Wednesday, June 20, 2007

    Young Writers Workshop Update

    Here's the latest press release on Young Writers:

  • Young Writers
  • Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Ben Percy Update

    Ben Percy (MFA '04) will be a Fellow at this summer's Bread Loaf Writers Conference!
    Congrats, Ben--and look for Chad Simpson ('05) while you are there!

  • Breadloaf
  • Saturday, June 16, 2007

    Poemspotting, Meyerhofer Edition

    Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06) is featured today on Verse Daily with a selection from his award-winning full-length collection, Leaving Iowa:
  • Verse Daily
  • Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Kerry James Evans Forthcoming. Hungry Young Poets to Read

    from current poetry MFA student, Kerry James Evans:

    "Just wanted to let you know that I got a poem, "Blue Ribbon
    Tomato Soup" accepted for the Sylvia Plath Dossier in Court
    Green. It's due out in late January 2008."

    Congrats, Kerry!

    And a reminder:
    Kerry James Evans, Sara Burge, and Andy McFadyen-Ketchum will read from their poetry
    on June 18 at Duff's in St. Louis as part of the Hungry Young Poets Series.
    Duff's is at 392 N. Euclid in Saint Louis, MO. The reading begins at 7:30 PM.
    Cover charge at the door: $5/$4 (for River Styx members, students, and seniors)

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    Summer Reading Series: Young Writers Workshop

    Coming Soon: The Young Writers Workshop--June 27-June 30, 2007
    SIUC's annual creative writing workshop for high school-aged writers.

    We're looking forward to the arrival of this year's group of Young Writers!
    Here's the schedule of upcoming readings:

    Wednesday: June 27: Faculty Reading, Harry T. Moore Auditorium (Faner 1326), 8PM
    Pinckney Benedict
    Pinckney Benedict joined the faculty at SIUC in 2006. He is the author of two
    collections of stories — Town Smokes and The Wrecking Yard — and Dogs of God, a
    novel. His short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of magazines
    and anthologies, including Esquire, StoryQuarterly, Zoetrope: All-Story, Best New
    Stories from South, The O. Henry Award Collection, the Pushcart Prize series, and
    The Oxford Book of American Short Stories.

    Thursday, June 28, Faner 1005, 4PM
    Graduate Student Reading with MFA students Nathan Beck (fiction), Sara Burge
    (poetry), Rachna Sheth (fiction) and Renee Evans (fiction)

    Thursday, June 28, Faner 1326 (Moore Aud), 8PM
    Graduate Student/Faculty Reading with MFA students Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum
    (poetry), John Flaherty (fiction), Kerry James Evans (poetry) and YWW Director and
    Associate Professor of English Allison Joseph

    Friday, June 29, Faner 1326 (Moore Aud.) 4 PM
    Graduate Student Reading with MFA students Josh Woods (fiction), Helena Bell
    (poetry), Tracy Conerton (poetry), Mary Keck (fiction)

    Friday, June 29, Faner 1326 (Moore Aud.) 8PM
    Guest Reader: Curtis L. Crisler
    Curtis L. Crisler is a graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
    and of the MFA Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. During Curtis's
    time in Carbondale, he served as Assistant Director of the Young Writers Workshop.
    His first book of poems, Tough Boy Sonatas, was published this year by Front Street
    Press. He currently teaches in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

    Poemspotting, Matejka Edition

    "Maggot Brain," a poem by Adrian Matejka (MFA '01), appears in the new issue of Gulf Coast.

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Checking in with Lucia Perillo

    Former poetry faculty member Lucia Perillo has a new collection of essays. Here's the scoop from Lucia herself:

    "I've Heard The Vultures Singing, essays, coming out soon from Trinity University Press.

    I read on 6/28 at Open Books in Seattle (a great store solely devoted to poetry.) Orca Books in Olympia on 6/30, Village Books in Bellingham on 7/20. Other events to come..."

    Saturday, June 09, 2007

    One Happy Matt! Official Book Announcement

    Received this happy news from Matt Guenette (MFA '99):

    "Dream Horse Press has announced: my manuscript, Sudden Anthem, has won
    the 2007 American Poetry Journal Book Prize. The award carries a
    $1000 prize and book publication, with the book slated for a
    Winter/Spring 2008 release. The book will be available via Amazon,
    Barnes & Noble, and other bookstores that see fit to order it.

    For information about American Poetry Journal, click here:

    The biannual journal features a mix of established poets and rising
    stars. One of my favorite poets today--Bob Hicok--sits on the
    advisory board. That he might have had a hand in selecting my manuscript is,
    for me, an incredible honor...

    For information on Dream Horse Press, click here:
  • Dream Horse

  • Last years APJ winning manuscript, Ted Worozbyt's The Dauber Wings, is
    an excellent--and excellent looking--book. Ted most recently won the
    prestigious Juniper Prize (UMass Press) for his second poetry
    collection Letters of Transit, so I guess that means I'm following a
    strong tradition. Pretty cool.

    The editor of Dream Horse is poet and activist J.P. Dancing Bear.
    He's the author of one full-length collection, Billy Last Crow, as
    well as six chapbooks. Click here to learn more:
  • Dancing Bear

  • Everyone--this is down the road a piece, but when the book gets
    released, if you know someone who works at a bookstore, library,
    college or university--anywhere they hold a poetry reading series--you
    might turn them on to my book once its ready for release. Like any
    small press, Dream Horse depends on its poets to do their part in
    marketing books. Essentially this means doing readings, anywhere and
    everywhere. Some poets shy away from readings, but I actually enjoy

    Excited here in Madison."

    Congrats, Matt!

    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    Alessio on the Airwaves

    Carolyn Alessio, former SIUC lecturer, current Crab Orchard Review prose editor, and all-around friend of the program, will be on TV this upcoming weekend. In her own words:

    "It will be with great trepidation that I make my debut on BookTV on CSPAN this Sat. And yes, I am interviewing the original teacher from "Freedom Writers." Much better book than movie. So if you're bored to death or masochistic, I'll be on live from the Printer's Row Book Fair on Sat. at 11 a.m.

    Help me."

    Knowing Carolyn, she'll be utterly charming as usual.

    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    Rodney Jones Goes Canadian, eh?

    As part of the festivities for the Griffin Poetry Prize, our own Rodney Jones read to an audience of 900 in Toronto last night.

    Details here:
  • Toronto Star
  • Friday, June 01, 2007

    Adrian Matejka Update

    from Adrian Matejka (MFA '01):

    Thanks for the shout out about Sou'wester and the job. I also wanted to mention I've some poems forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Pleiades along with a poem in a great new anthology, Kiss the Sky: Fiction and Poetry Starring Jimi Hendrix.

    Thursday, May 31, 2007

    Chad Simpson Update

    News from Chad Simpson (MFA '05):

    My essay, "The Perseids," which I read at the gala two years back, is out in the Duck & Herring Co. Warm Weather Pocket Field Guide . I also recently got word that I received a work-study ("waiter") scholarship to attend this summer's Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

    Congrats, Chad!

    Bread Loaf Writers' Conference:

  • website
  • Monday, May 28, 2007

    Congrats to Melanie Martin!

    Received this note from MFA program grad Melanie Martin (MFA '04) recently:

    "I wanted to spread the love that I just received a letter from Pearl Magazine editor, Marilyn Johnson, that I will be the invited feature poet for the poetry issue in Spring '08! I'm totally excited about this because they are my "thesis poems." I will receive 10 copies of the magazine, have 15 pgs. of poems and be the featured reader at their publication party. While it's still a year away, I feel honored and pleased to get some lovin' for those poems that I know represent my growth coming from the LBC to C'dale. Thank you, thank you, all of you who read and pushed my poems forward."

    Congrats, Mel M--we'll be looking for the poems in Pearl!

  • Monday, May 21, 2007

    SIUC Poets to Read in St. Louis!

    SIUC MFA poets Sara Burge, Andy McFadyen-Ketchum and Kerry James Evans will read in St. Louis as a part of the annual Hungry Young Poets series at Duff's Restaurant in St. Louis.

    Sara, Andy, and Kerry will read on June 18th at Duff's Restaurant, 392 N. Euclid, St. Louis, MO.
    The reading starts at 7:30 PM. It's $5 at the door, $4 for River Styx members, students, and seniors.

    Thanks to the great folks at River Styx for including SIUC MFAs in the merrymaking!

    More information at
  • River Styx
  • Crab Orchard Review Receives Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards!

    Crab Orchard Review is the recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards this year!

    The Literary Awards program from the Illinois Arts Council recognizes individual literary works published by journals in the state of Illinois. Each Illinois-based writer receives $1000, and each journal receives $1000 for each recognized work. This year, Crab Orchard Review is proud to announce receiving two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards--one for "Claudia Leaving," a story by Emily Gray Tedrowe and one for "Middle Aged Adam's and Eve's Bedside Tables," a poem by Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein. The winning works appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Volume 11, no.2.

    Congrats to these authors!

    Illinois Arts Council
  • website
  • Sara in Print!

    A note from Sara Burge (second-year MFA, poetry):

    "Just though I'd let you know that my poem "Mirror Ball" just came
    out in Cimarron Review's Spring edition."

    Congrats, Sara!

    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    Fiction Frenzy!

    Chris Bryson (MFA '07)'s first published story, "Sunglasses," will appear in the Fall 2007 issue of the Madison Review.

    "Amtrak," a story by Chad Simpson (MFA '05) appears in the Spring 2007 issue of Blue Earth Review.

    "Mijo," a story by Carolyn Alessio (former SIUC lecturer in creative writing and current Crab Orchard Review prose editor) has been chosen for an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award. The story originally appeared in Triquarterly.

    Congrats to all!

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Coming Soon--Young Writers Workshop 2007!

    SIUC's annual Young Writers Workshop, our residential creative writing workshop for writers age 15-18, will be held this June 27-June 30, 2007. There's still plenty of time for your favorite young writer to enroll or for alums/friends of MFA Carbondale to make scholarship donations.

    For more information about the workshop visit:
  • Press Release

  • and
  • Interview with Allison about Young Writers

  • To enroll, visit the Division of Continuing Education
  • Continuing Education
    click on "Youth," then on "Academic Camps."

    To make a scholarship donation, send your check to

    Young Writers Workshop
    c/o Ms. Pat Eckert
    Division of Continuing Education
    Southern Illinois University Carbondale
    Washington Square C
    Carbondale, IL 62901

    Make the check out to "SIUC" and write "Young Writers Workshop" on the memo line.
    We'll name the scholarship after you, or anyone else you please!
  • Poemspotting, Matejka Edition

    Two poems by Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) appear in the new issue of Sou'wester, published by our sister school, SIUE.
    In fact, Adrian will be joining the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville this coming fall.
    These new poems ("Equality" and "Communication") are from an in-progress manuscript about Jack Johnson, the first black world champion heavyweight boxer.

    About Sou'wester:
  • Sou'wester
  • Welcome Hattie!!!

    A new addition to Liz "Kershner" Whiteacre's home (MFA '02):

    "Our baby girl's name is Hattie Mae, and she was born 5/2 at 5:11 am. She was 6lbs 5oz and 19 1/4 inches long.

    We had her check up yesterday afternoon, and she's already at 6lbs 14oz, so she's already started growing and getting cuter and more entertaining by the day. Kevin and I have been spending our time bonding with her (lots of quiet tummy time that involves lying down and dozing)--he's still got 3 more weeks of family leave (he's already jealous that mine lasts until late August).

    I hope that you all are enjoying a wonderful start to spring and ends of terms, if you're still term-ing.

    Kevin and Hattie send their hugs and hellos too."

    Congrats, Liz and Kevin!

    Friday, May 04, 2007

    Chad Simpson News

    from a note in my e-mail today, from Chad Simpson ('05):

    "I got word today that I'm going to be a Tennessee Williams Scholar in fiction at Sewanee this summer."

    Congrats, Chad!

    About the Sewanee Writers' Conference:
  • SWC
  • Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    from SIUC to VT with Love: A Literary Reading

    In the last few weeks, everyone at Virginia Tech has, of
    course, been in the thoughts of all of us here at SIUC. In
    honor of the victims of those tragic events, their families,
    and to the entire Virginia Tech community, the English
    Department here in Carbondale is sponsoring a reading of works
    by the creative writing faculty at Virginia Tech: “From SIUC to
    VT with Love.”

    This reading will be held on Thursday, May 3rd from 4-5 pm in
    the Mississippi Room at the SIUC Student Center. We hope to raise
    money for the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, which will be used to
    cover expenses including assistance to victims and their
    families, grief counseling, memorials, communication expenses,
    and comfort expenses.

    Furthermore, with the unusual emphasis that these tragic events
    have placed on creative writing, the purpose of this reading is
    to present the writing of VT’s faculty – poets and prose
    writers who are dedicated to the art of teaching and to the
    power of the word.

    SIUC faculty and creative writing graduate students will read
    from the work of Nikki Giovanni, Lucinda Roy, Ed Falco, Fred
    D’Aguiar, Katherine Soniat, Bob Hicok, and Jeff Mann. This
    reading is free and open to the public.

  • Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund
  • Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Ben Percy movie news--part deux

    Got this note from Ben Percy (MFA '04) today:

    "I've signed the contract, so it's official: I'm now a tenure-track professor at UW-Stevens Point.

    Oh, and the "the "Refresh, Refresh" screenplay was accepted into the Sundance lab. This is an invite-only workshop held every June, where five emerging screenwriters work with Redford and other industry veterans for twelve days. James Ponsoldt (the writer/director) and I are feeling very lucky and excited."

    Congrats, Ben, on the job and the screenplay!

    Sunday, April 29, 2007

    Brad Vice Fiction Reading--Monday, April 30

    The Visiting Writers Series is proud to present a reading by


    4PM, April 30, 2007
    Mississippi Room
    SIUC Student Center

    Free and Open to the Public

    Brad Vice's fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Southern Review, Greensboro Review, and Shenandoah, among other worthy venues. His work has also appeared in anthologies such as New Stories from the South and Best New American Voices. A new edition of his collection, The Bear Bryant Funeral Train, has been published by River City Publishing.

    Read more about Brad Vice here
  • Brad Vice
  • Thursday, April 26, 2007

    MFA Graduation GALA--April 27, 2007

    The Creative Writing Program of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Department of English
    cordially invites you to attend our MFA Celebration

    April 27, 2007
    6:30 PM
    Student Center Renaissance Room

    These eleven graduating students will read briefly from their thesis works:

    Chris Allen
    Amy Blache
    J. Benjamin Borden
    Jacob Boyd
    Chris Bryson
    Desiree Dighton
    Elisabeth Meyer
    James Miller
    Ingrid Browning Moody
    Kurt Mueller
    R. Elena Pearson

    Please join us in wishing them congratulations and godspeed. There will be a reception with refreshments before the readings and during the intermission.

    Graduate Faculty:
    Pinckney Benedict, Rodney Jones, Judy Jordan, Allison Joseph, Beth Lordan, Mike Magnuson, Jacinda Townsend.

    Sunday, April 22, 2007

    Congrats to Rachel Furey!

    Received this note today from first-year MFA fiction writer Rachel Furey:

    I just thought I'd let you know that I recently got a short
    story titled "Naked Mannequins" accepted for the fall issue of
    Our Time is Now (a literary magazine for writers 23 and
    under). I also recently found out that I was chosen to receive
    the Wright Morris scholarship for full tuition, room, and board
    to attend the Nebraska Summer Writers' Conference.

    Well-done, Rachel!

    Michael Meyerhofer reads in Virginia

    Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06) will read from his award-winning full-length collection on Wednesday, April 25 at 6PM at the Longwood University Bed and Breakfast. This reading celebrates the publication of Leaving Iowa, the first winner of the Liam Rector First Book Award in Poetry (Briery Creek Press).

    The Longwood University Bed & Breakfast is located at 608 High Street, Farmville, VA 23901.

    Saturday, April 21, 2007

    Rodney Jones in California for Tufts Awards Ceremony

    Claremont Graduate University’s 15th Annual
    Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards Ceremony
    April 24, 2007 - Zipper Concert Hall, The Colburn School of Music
    200 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California


    2007 Winners:
    Rodney Jones - Kingsley Tufts Award $100,000 for Salvation Blues
    Eric McHenry - Kate Tufts Discovery Award $10,000 for Potscrubber Lullabies

    Claremont Graduate University Presents the 15th Annual Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards ceremony at 6 p.m. on April 24 at Zipper Concert Hall, The Colburn School of Music. Come and hear the authors read from their award winning works. The ceremony will be followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase on site.

    Claremont Graduate University awards two prizes for poetry each year, The Kingsley Tufts Award ($100,000) and The Kate Tufts Discovery Award ($10,000.) CGU’s Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is the largest monetary prize in the nation for a mid-career poet. Carbondale, Illinois resident Rodney Jones—a professor of English at Southern Illinois University—has been selected as the winner of the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Award for his poetry book, Salvation Blues (Houghton Mifflin, 2006). Kate Tufts Discovery Award is presented annually for a first book by a poet of genuine promise. The winner of the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award is Seattle resident Eric McHenry for his poetry book, Potscrubber Lullabies (The Waywiser Press, 2006).

    Monday, April 16, 2007


    "A Toast to Virtue," a new poem by first-year poet Kerry James Evans, appears in the Spring 2007 issue of the Mid-American Poetry Review. I can't find any web links for this journal, so if you want to get a copy so you can read the poem or if you want submit poetry to this journal that specializes in publishing poets of the Midwest, write to

    The Mid-America Poetry Review
    P.O. Box 575
    Warrensburg, MO 64093-0575

    Their next deadline for submissions is July 15.

    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    Catching Up With Douglas Haynes (MFA '02):

    Got this very nice note from Douglas Haynes (MFA '02) after spotting his poem "Alopecia" in the latest issue of the Bellevue Literary Review:

    Without ever intending to, I've settled in New Hampshire for a while, where I'm now in my second year of teaching at New England College (I'm an actual Assistant Professor with a business card and a 401k, both of which I feel quite ambivalent about!). I genuinely appreciate the perks and pleasures of teaching, though, especially after my 2005 stint of freelance newspaper writing that had me chased out of libertarians' houses and touring garden and cat shows. For now, I teach two first-year composition courses, an advanced personal essay course, and a general education seminar I designed called "Translating Travel: Reading & Writing Across Cultures." I also continue writing poetry, personal essays, and feature journalism. Recently, my poems have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Isotope, & Wild Earth, and I'm currently sending around a chapbook manuscript. I've also had essays in North American Review and Orion Online, among other places. I would love to hear from other SIUC M.F.A. alums and faculty. Write me at:

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    Moira Linehan Reading on April 19, 2007

    The Visiting Writers Series & Crab Orchard Review present a reading by Moira Linehan:
    THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2007
    4:00 PM SIUC Student Center Auditorium

    This reading celebrates the publication of Moira Linehan's new book, If No Moon, published this year by Southern Illinois University Press in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry.

    The reading is free and open to the public.

    Moira Linehan, award-winning poet, poetry teacher and prolific author, lives in Winchester, Massachusetts. Her
    poems have appeared in Green Mountains Review, Image, Notre Dame Review, Sou'wester, and Weber Studies.
    In summer 2005, she was poet-in-residence at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

    Read more about If No Moon here:

  • SIU Press
  • Congrats to Kerry James Evans

    A note from first-year poetry MFA student Kerry James Evans:

    Just wanted to let you know that The Dos Passos Review just
    accepted "Siphoning Gas" for publication in their June 2007

    Congrats, Kerry!

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Rodney Jones short-listed for the 2007 Griffin Poetry Prize

    Rodney Jones is a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize!

    Read about it here:

  • Griffin Poetry Prize
  • Monday, April 02, 2007

    Honoree Fanonne Jeffers Reading--April 5

    The Visiting Writers Series and Crab Orchard Review present a reading by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers--Thursday, April 5, 4:00 PM, Mississippi Room, SIUC Student Center

    This reading celebrates the publication of Honoree Fanonne Jeffers's new book, Red Clay Suite, published this year by Southern Illinois University in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry.

    The reading is free and open to the public.

    Honoree Fanonne Jeffers, an assistant professor of English at the University of Oklahoma, is the author of two other books of poetry, The Gospel of Barbecue and Outlandish Blues. She has received a number of honors, including the Stan and Tom Wick Prize for Poetry, the Julia Peterkin Award for Poetry, and awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

    Read some of Honoree's work here:

  • Callaloo
  • Saturday, March 31, 2007

    Meyerhofer, Chapbook King--

    Got this note from the unstoppable Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06) today:

    Hi, Allison. I just found out (as in, 20 minutes ago) that my chapbook, Real Courage, won the Terminus Magazine and Jeanne Duval Editions Poetry Chapbook Prize, judged by Thomas Lux. Prize is 200 copies. :)

    Congrats, MM, on your third chapbook!

    Thursday, March 29, 2007

    Allison Joseph wins Writecorner Press Poetry Contest

    Allison Joseph's "A Love Note to Teenagers" is the first winner of the Writecorner Press Poetry Contest.
    You can find out about this award (and other awards offered by Writecorner Press) at

  • Writecorner Press
  • Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest Winners

    Announcing the Winners of the 2007 Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest
    Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Women’s Studies Program
    Southern Illinois University Carbondale

    Judge Joy Katz, visiting poet at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, has chosen
    to honor the following poets and their poems:

    First place, “the midwife's children,” by Sarah E. Grandt
    Second place, “The Bone Glow of Streetlamps” by Abby Blank
    Third place, “Scattered Stars” by Spring Beck

    Honorable Mentions:
    “Mermaids” by Aaron Deutsch
    “leaving spiro, oklahoma” by Sarah E. Grandt

    First Place, “Barrel Vault” by Alexander Lumans
    Second place, “The Bird World” by Alexander Lumans
    Third place, “After The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses” by Alexander Lumans

    Honorable Mentions:
    “Spring Cleaning,” by Tracy Conerton
    “Literary Festival,” by Tracy Conerton

    Please join us on Friday, March 30 at 4 pm in the SIUC Student Center Auditorium
    for an awards ceremony featuring a reading from our judge, Joy Katz, the author of
    Fabulae (Southern Illinois University Press) and The Garden Room (Tupelo Press).
    The winners will also read their award-winning poems. There will be
    a booksigning and reception in the Old Main Lounge after the ceremony.

    The Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest honors the memory of Roxana Rivera, who
    was a poet and graduate student in English at SIUC at the time of her death in 2003.
    Additional support for this contest comes from the Judge William Holmes Cook Endowment.

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Congrats to Kerry James Evans

    Today I received this good news from first-year MFA in poetry Kerry James Evans:

    Just wanted to let you know I just had two poems accepted for
    publication: "There, Between" in Poet Lore and "Monopoly" in

    Congrats, Kerry! We'll be on the lookout for those new poems!

    Thanks for a great reading!

    Thanks to Matt Guenette '99 and Michael Meyerhofer '06 for a great reading--the first of many alumni readings to come.
    New work by Matt will appear soon--"Nickname Letter" in the next issue of Diagram, "Compound Fractures"
    in the next issue of Sojourn.
    Forthcoming for Meyerhofer: -"Late September" and "Limbic Self-Loathing, Post-Emperor's Chicken" in Arts & Letters.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Congratulations to Melanie Dusseau (MFA '03)!

    Melanie Dusseau's first collection of poems, The Body Tries Again, has been accepted for publication by Word Press of Cincinnati, Ohio. The book is due in 2009.

    Here's Mel D contemplating her cover options:
    "I'm trying to find out if I can reuse one of those pulp covers from old paperbacks: you know, a
    scantily clad woman smoking a cigarette in a seedy alley with a dangerous stranger lurking behind her?
    She rolls on the wrong side of town! She fell from grace in the big city! And I think it would be fun to
    emblazon that title over a fun piece of pop?"

    That's our Mel D! Congrats, girl!

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Spring 2007 In-House Readings

    Spring 2007 In-House Readings
    Sponsored by the Graduate Writers Forum
    Department of English, Creative Writing Program

    All readings (except for 4/17) are in the Student Center Mississippi Room,
    Thursdays from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

    Renee Evans, fiction
    Kerry James Evans, poetry
    Brandon Bond, fiction

    Rachel Furey, fiction
    Martin Call, poetry
    Josh Woods, fiction

    Shanie Latham, fiction
    Will Tyler, poetry
    Rachna Sheth, fiction

    4/17 4:30-5:30 pm, Illinois Room, Student Center
    Jared Sexton, fiction
    Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, poetry
    John Flaherty, fiction

    Mary Keck, fiction
    Sara Burge, poetry
    Andrew Lewellen, fiction
    Jason Brown, poetry

    All readings are free and open the the public.

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    Benjamin Percy (MFA '04) Wins Plimpton Prize!

    from the Paris Review website:

    The Plimpton Prize
    $10,000 is awarded to the best work of fiction published in The Paris Review in a given year by an emerging or previously unpublished writer.

    The 2007 Plimpton Prize will be awarded to Benjamin Percy for his story “Refresh, Refresh” from issue 175.

    The Plimpton Prize honors The Paris Review's longtime editor, George Plimpton, who presided over the magazine for fifty years, until his death in September 2003. The prize will be awarded annually for the best piece of fiction by a newcomer to appear in The Paris Review that year. The prize continues the tradition of the magazine's Discovery Prize, which has been awarded to such writers as Elizabeth Gilbert, Julie Orringer, and Karl Iagnemma.

    Congrats, Ben! You make us proud!

    Alumni Reading--Friday, March 23

    Two alums of the Carbondale MFA Program, Matthew Guenette and Michael Meyerhofer, will read from their chapbooks on Friday, March 23 in SIUC Student Center at 4 pm. This reading is free and open to the public.

    About Matt:

    Matthew Guenette’s A Hush of Something Endless was published by Ropewalk Press in October 2006. A 1999 graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's MFA program, Guenette was an instructor of English at University of Southern Indiana from 1999 to 2002. He currently teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin. His poems have appeared in many magazines, including Passages North, Southern Indiana Review, Diagram, Poetry Midwest and Poems and Plays.

    About Michael:

    Michael Meyerhofer is the author of two chapbooks, Cardboard Urn (winner of the Copperdome Prize) and The Right Madness of Beggars (winner of the Uccelli Press Chapbook Competition). His full-length collection, Leaving Iowa, was the first winner of the Liam Rector First Book Award for Poetry and is due from Briery Creek Press in April 2007. He is the recipent of the James Wright Poetry Prize from Mid-American Review and the Laureate Prize from the National Poetry Review. He teaches at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Grassroots Open Mike Reading, March 8

    GRASSROOTS, SIUC's undergraduate literary journal, will sponsor an open-mike reading on Thursday, March 8 at the Longbranch Coffeehouse (100 E. Jackson in Carbondale).
    Come to share and/or listen to original poetry and short fiction.
    This event is free and open to the community.

    Ben Percy on the Radio

    from Ben Percy (MFA '04):

    This Sunday, March 11th, my story "Refresh, Refresh" will be read on National Public Radio as part of the show, Selected Shorts. I don't know if IL carries the program. If not, and if you feel like tuning in, you can listen online -- live -- at many NPR affiliate station web addresses, including this one:

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    What fun!

    It was great to see so many SIUC MFA alums and current students at the annual AWP Conference in Atlanta, GA. Hope we can sponsor another reception soon, if not for the 2008 New York AWP, then definitely for the 2009 Chicago AWP.

    Monday, February 26, 2007

    Meyerhofer Strikes Again!

    Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06) has won the James Wright Poetry Award from Mid-American Review for his poem "Ode to Dogs." The award is $1000 and publication!

    Congrats, Michael!

    Thursday, February 22, 2007

    New Publications by MFA Grads

    Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06)'s poem "Floating Womb Syndrome" appears in the latest issue of Arts & Letters.
    Jan LaPerle (MFA '06)'s poem "House" appears in the latest issue of Tar River Poetry.
    Matthew Guenette (MFA '99)'s poems "Sudden Anthem" and "Capitol Steps" appear in the latest issue of Passages North.

    Tuesday, February 20, 2007

    Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest guidelines


    Join SIUC’s Creative Writing and Women’s Studies Programs as we honor the memory of a wonderful poet and celebrate Women’s History Month.

    The Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest honors the memory of Roxana Rivera (1977-2003), who was a first-year creative writing graduate student from Lynwood, California. Roxana, a graduate of California State University Long Beach, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and English. While at SIUC, Roxana was a PROMPT Scholar and a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of English.

    To remember this special woman and poet, a campus-wide poetry contest will be held, with divisions for both undergraduate and graduate students.

    Gift certificates will be awarded as prizes in both divisions:
    $80 for first place $40 for second place $25 for third place

    This contest is open to all students currently enrolled at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Students of all majors are encouraged to participate in this contest.

    This Year’s Theme: “All A Woman Can Be ”

    DEADLINE: Friday, March 23, 2007

    Submission Guidelines:

    Submit an entry packet with:
    1) A cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and poem titles. Indicate on your cover sheet whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student.
    2) Poem(s) on individual sheets (one poem only per page). No identifying information on the poems themselves, please. There is no entry fee, but there is a limit of three poems per entrant.

    The contest theme is provided to spark your creativity, and entries that reflect upon the theme in the lives of women are particularly welcome.

    Entry packets should be submitted to Prof. Allison Joseph, English Dept., Faner Hall 2380, MC # 4503. Entries may be sent via campus mail or dropped off at the English Department office (Faner Hall 2380) during regular campus office hours. Winners will be honored at a special awards ceremony to be held on March 30, 2007.

    Monday, February 19, 2007

    Chad Parmenter in Best American Poetry 2007!

    Got this bit of news today from Chad Parmenter (MFA '05):

    "I just got an e-mail saying that my poem from the Kenyon Review, "A Tech's Ode to the Genome Computer," was selected for Best American Poetry 2007. Needless to say, this wouldn't be possible without your guidance. Thanks for everything. I'm going to go faint now."

    Congrats, Chad!

    Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    Upcoming Readings & Events on the SIUC Campus

    Spring 2007 In-House and Visiting Writer Readings & Events
    SIUC Department of English Creative Writing Program

    02/16 Showing of the documentary “Beauty Rises: Four Lives in the Arts” featuring a post-screening discussion with SIUC poet Allison Joseph
    and the documentary’s director, Dan Andries.

    02/22 African American History Month Reading by SIUC Dept. of English
    Faculty, Allison Joseph and Jacinda Townsend

    03/23 SIUC MFA in Creative Writing Program Alumni Reading by
    Matthew Guenette and Michael Meyerhofer

    03/30 Women’s History Month Poetry Reading by the six winners of the
    Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest and this year’s judge,
    poet Joy Katz.

    04/05 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Reading by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers,
    author of RED CLAY SUITE (published by SIU Press)

    04/19 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Reading by Moira Linehan, author of
    IF NO MOON (published by SIU Press)

    Monday, February 12, 2007

    More on Rodney Jones and the Tufts Prize

    Here's the official word on the Kingsley Tufts Prize from the Claremont Graduate University:
  • CGU Press Release
  • Saturday, February 10, 2007

    Rodney Jones wins 2007 Kingsley Tufts Prize in Poetry

    Rodney Jones is the 2007 winner of the Kingsley Tufts Prize in Poetry from Claremont Graduate University:
  • read the press release

  • Congratulations, Rodney!

    Monday, February 05, 2007

    Ben Percy movie news

    Benjamin Percy (MFA '04) ' s Pushcart Prize-winning story "Refresh, Refresh" has been optioned by filmmaker James Ponsoldt. His first film, "Off the Black" (starring Nick Nolte and Timothy Hutton), premiered at Sundance in 2006 and is now in wider release. He and Ben are presently working on the screenplay together.

    Allison Joseph receives prize in national competition

    Allison Joseph is a prizewinner in the 2006 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Competition.
    Read about this competition at

  • Dorothy Prizes
  • Monday, January 29, 2007

    Chad Parmenter, Poetry Reviewing machine

    Reviews of new books (David Keplinger's The Clearing, and Joe Wenderoth's The Holy Spirit of Life: Essays Written for John Ashcroft's Secret Self) by MFA grad Chad Parmenter appear in the latest issue of Pleiades.

    Congrats to Sara Burge!

    Sara Burge, a second-year poetry MFA, has been named a finalist in Inkwell Magazine's annual competition for her poem "Each Black Shell."

    Friday, January 19, 2007

    Allison Joseph awarded IAC Fellowship in Poetry

    Allison Joseph has been awarded a 2007 Illinois Arts Council Artist's Fellowship in Poetry:

    Details here:
  • Illinois Arts Council
  • Jan La Perle in the Heartland Review

    Two poems by Jan LaPerle (MFA '06) appear in Winter 2007 issue of the Heartland Review. The poems are "Even the Radio" and "The Roof."

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    New Year, New Notes

    Deb Jurmu (MFA '06) has a story, "Explosive Device," in the Fall 2006 issue of Natural Bridge.
    Chad Parmenter (MFA '05) has a poem, "from Weston's Unsent Letters to Modotti," in the Fall 2006 issue of Sou'wester.
    Curtis Crisler (MFA '04)'s book, Tough Boy Sonatas, has been published by Front Street Press and is now available in bookstores and at
    Matt Guenette (MFA '99) has two poems--"Sestina Aguilera" and "Fiddling"--appearing in the February edition of Mannequin Envy. He will also be a workshop presenter at Illinois Wesleyan University's upcoming Tongue & Ink Writer's Conference.
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