Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Congrats for these writers!

Congrats to first-year fiction writer Melissa Scholes Young:

"My poem "My Problem" has been accepted for publication in MO: Writings from the River, the literary journal of Montana State University. It will appear in their Spring 09 issue."

and to third-year poet Kerry James Evans:
"My poem "A Year or More" has been accepted for Agni's website."

Congrats, Melissa and Kerry! Happy holidays to all!

MO: Writings from the River

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Catching up with Clint Cargile and Gillian King (MFA '05)

Good news about Gillian King (MFA '05) via her man, Clint Cargile (MFA '05):

Just wanted to pass along that Gillian's short story, The Dead Kid, is in the Winter 2008 issue of Carve Magazine:


It will also be published in their 2008 anthology sometime next year.

And it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize!

Take care,


Congrats, Gillian! Great to hear from you both!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pinckney in Sonora Review with "The Beginnings of Sorrow"

And now a message from fiction faculty member Pinckney Benedict:

"Hi, Allison. Just wanted to pass along the news that my long (about 13,000 words) apocalyptic story "The Beginnings of Sorrow" - in which a talking dog is a secondary character - appears in the most recent issue (#54) of Sonora Review, from the University of Arizona, Tucson. It contains the haunting phrases, "The strong will do what the strong will do. And the weak will bear what they must."'

Good going, PB--way to end the world!

Sonora Review website:
Sonora Review

Guenette Quickie

from Matt Guenette (MFA '99, poetry):

My short poem "Commercial Zoning" is up at decomP.

Here's the web address:

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Melanie Martin (MFA '04) featured poet in new issue of PEARL

Melanie Martin, MFA '04, is the featured poet in the new issue of PEARL (#39, Fall/Winter 2009), a national literary journal based in California. Of Melanie's poems, editor Joan Jobe Smith writes: "In some of the most powerful, beautifully-written poems we've ever come across, she lays bare the emotional reality of a life haunted by loss--of lives and relationships destroyed by mental illness, of a beloved grandmother fading into Alzheimers." Nine of Melanie's poems are featured in this issue, along with a beautiful author photo!

Check out PEARL's website at
PEARL website

Check out a poem by Melanie from "Leaving the Ones Leaving:"
Melanie excerpt

Friday, December 05, 2008

more Kerry James news

Just got this from Kerry James Evans (third-year MFA, poetry):

"I just received an email from Jose A. Rodriguez at Harpur Palate: '"Your poem "Soldier's Apology" has been selected as a
Finalist/Honorable Mention for the Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry. As such, we'd like to publish it in our next issue."'

Go, Kerry! Congrats!

Harpur Palate is published in New York at Binghamton University. More about them here:

Harpur Palate

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

SIUC Poets in new issue of RATTLE

Poems by Helena Bell (MFA '08) and Amie Whittemore (current second-year poet) grace the pages of the new issue of RATTLE. Hel's poem is "Dalton's Law," and Amie's is "The Calendar." Amie's poem was an honorable mention in RATTLE's annual poetry contest.

For more about RATTLE, visit

RATTLE website

Friday, November 21, 2008

Congrats to Kerry James Evans!

Third-year poetry MFA student Kerry James Evans has some good news to share:

"Poet Lore took "What Makes the Green Grass Grow" and Spoon River Poetry Review took "Scarab."

Kerry's succinct, isn't he?

For more about the publications Kerry's poems will be appearing in, visit their websites:

Poet Lore:

Poet Lore

Spoon River Poetry Review

Spoon River Poetry Review

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jon Tribble featured in "Ten Questions With..."

Find out Jon's answers at

Jon's answers

Happy news from Rachel Furey!

Third-year fiction writer Rachel Furey has happy news to share:

I'm a bit slow to pass this news along to you, but I wanted to
let you know that like Travis, I will be participating in a
pedagogy forum at AWP with my paper "Reimagining Nonfiction
into Fiction." In addition, my short fiction piece "Mountain
Climbing" took third in the 12th Annual Women Who Write Short
Prose Contest and I'm planning on attending the award
presentation and reading on Dec. 13 in Louisville, KY. I have
some family coming out for it, so I'm pretty stoked about that.

Thanks for the update, Rachel!

REMINDER: Rachel Furey and Josh Woods will be reading their award-winning pieces from the Press 53 Open Competition Awards anthology today at 4PM in the Harry T. Moore Auditorium, Faner Hall, SIUC campus. Free and open to the public!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Campus Writing Contest: Andy P. Smith Award

2009 Andy P. Smith Writing Contest

Calling SIUC Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Any Major

First Prize: $200
1 undergrad and 1 grad

Second Prize: $50
1 undergrad and 1 grad

Topic: How does the geography and environment of Southern Illinois affect your experience as a student?

Length: 1000-1500 words

Submission Format:
Do not write your name or anything that would identify you on the essay. Instead,
submit your essay with a coversheet containing the following information:

Address, Phone #, E-mail (if you are graduating include permanent contact info)
Year in school and major
Essay title

Deliver essays to Emily McQuillian, Awards Coordinator at Faner 2265
Due: January 20, 2009

To get a more detailed explanation or for answers to any questions, contact Emily Mc
Quillan at Please put “Smith Award” in the subject line.

Poemspotting: Guest, Meyerhofer, plus a Bond honorable mention

Poems by Paul Guest (MFA '99) and Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06) appear in the latest issue of River Styx (number 78). Paul's poems are "Remember How Sad That Was When" and "Loyalty Oath"; Michael's poem is "Peccadillo." In addition, David Bond (MFA '98) is cited as an honorable mention in the 2008 River Styx International Poetry Contest.

For more about River Styx, visit
River Styx

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pinckney Benedict Fans Take Note!

"Straight from the Department of Shameless Self-Promotion: I’ve just received copies of THE ECCO ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN SHORT FICTION (ed. Joyce Carol Oates and Christopher Beha, Harper Perennial), which contains my story “Mercy.”

Joyce writes in her preface that, in the book, she “hopes to bring together in a reasonably permanent structure the very best and most representative work of [the] era,” in this case the beginning of the 21st c. There are lots of good folks in the volume (48 stories in all) – Sherman Alexie, George Saunders, Jhumpa Lahiri, on and on – sufficiently prominent and skilled to make me both embarrassed and proud to find myself in their company."

Well done, PB! You can be embarrassed; the rest of us will just be proud.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Catching Up With Justin Hamm (MFA'05)

Here's a note from Justin Hamm (MFA '05, fiction):

I thought this might be a good time to resurface after maintaining a rather hermitesque profile for some time. I had a little bit of success publishing my short stories before I left Carbondale, but then I stopped writing for quite some time--taking in those lessons from the program, I suppose, and trying to understand them.

Lately, though, I've been at it again--this time writing, believe it or not, what I like to think of as poetry--and I've had some very modest success. I had a poem, "To the Venerable Bede" appear in Renaissance Magazine's Issue # 61 this summer, and two of my poems, "1434 bruges blues" and "dream: perhaps of futility?", will be appearing in the January/February issue of Oak Bend Review.

Right now I'm teaching high school English in Missouri and listening to too much Bob Dylan. My wife Melissa and I are expecting our first child this February.

Thanks, Allison, and I hope all is well in Carbondale.



Congratulations, Justin, on all your good news! Keep in touch!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Upcoming Reading: Press 53 Award Winners Anthology Reading

from Josh Woods:

OPEN AWARDS ANTHOLOGY reading on Wednesday, November 19, at 4:00pm in the Harry T. Moore Auditorium, Faner Hall. Rachel Furey will be reading "Mississippi Mud," the winner in Non-Fiction, and Josh Woods will be reading "The Exorcise Machine," the winner in Genre. See you there!

for information about the Press 53 Open Awards Competition, visit
2009 Guidelines

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

AWP Conference News and Notes

The 2009 AWP Conference in Chicago is sure to be a good time. The MFA Program in Creative Writing at SIUC will be a conference sponsor, and the program will also hold a reception for alumni during the conference.

Faculty members Jon Tribble, Allison Joseph and Rodney Jones will be featured on panels during the conference. Current poetry MFA student Travis Mossotti will be participating in the Pedagogy Forum with his paper "Circumstances of Composition: A Collaborative Writing Exercise" an entry developed from the Surrealism exercise he designed for the last summer's Young Writers Workshop.

for more information about the upcoming AWP Conference, visit the website at

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Career Talk Today Moved to New Room in Student Center

Please note change in initially announced location for this talk: no longer in Saline, moved to Illinois Room!






TIME: 4:00-5:30 PM

Sponsored by the Graduate Writers Forum
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Congratulations to Janelle Blasdel!

Janelle Blasdel, a first-year MFA in fiction, has happy Election Day news to share:

Hi Allison,

I was told to pass along my good short story "Vampire Crop" was accepted for publication in MAIN STREET RAG'S upcoming spring anthology on small town stories! Fun stuff.

Happy election day,

Congrats, Janelle! Those Main Street Rag folks like our fiction writers, don't they? Janelle is the third currently-enrolled fiction writer to have work accepted for a Main Street Rag anthology, after Rachel Furey and Josh Woods.

Here's a link to Main Street Rag's current call for fiction:

Main Street fiction anthology info

Irish Studies Presents a Lecture and Two Literary Readings!

Beth Lordan, SIUC creative writing faculty member and director of our Irish and Irish Diaspora Studies Program, sends news of upcoming literary readings:

--John McAuliffe, poet and Irish exchange alum,author of A BETTER LIFE and NEXT DOOR, co-director of Manchester (England)
University's Centre for New Writing, will read at 4 pm Monday November 10
in the Mississippi Room;

--on Wednesday November 12 at 4 in the Mississippi Room, Galway poets Kevin Higgins (author of THE BOY WITH NO FACE) and Susan Millar DuMars (author of BIG PINK UMBRELLA) will read.

--For those with a taste for talk about what's already written, Anne Fogarty, the first Fanning Medalist in Irish Studies, will give a public lecture at 7 pm in the Mississippi Room on figurations of abuse in contemporary Irish writing. Modest receptions follow all events.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Reading and Drinking: November '08 edition

from mistress of ceremonies, Amie Whittemore:

Hey independent clauses and prepositional phrases,

R&D is back in red, white, and blue this Wednesday, November 5th! So join us for
some post election merriment/downtroddenness/confusion/hullabooity or whatever
you'll be feeling on this Historical Wednesday.

The info:

Where: Melange, 607 S. Illinois Avenue, Carbondale, IL
When: November 5th 7pm
What: The Win, Lose, or Draw R&D featuring poetry, fiction, music, bedazzlement,
trivia, and absurdity in healthy doses.

Spread the word!

Adverbially yours,

~ Amie

Sunday, November 02, 2008

And speaking of Kevin McKelvey (MFA '04, poetry)

an early-morning note from Kevin himself:

"I've had a few good months, to say the least. I started a new project last winter on water, water usage, watershed health and the Wabash River in Indiana, and three of those poems have been accepted for publication. "Siipiiwi" will appear in Alehouse. The Pinch picked up "After seining the Wabash River near a train trestle on the Indiana-Illinois border." And the Tipton Poetry Journal, which was started in and named after my mother's home county in Indiana, published "Prophetstown" in Issue 10.

CUTTHROAT, a journal of the arts, accepted "Wampus Cat Token" from my "Deam Wilderness" manuscript.

Also, I'll be reading poems from my "Deam Wilderness" manuscript at the 22nd Annual Conference of The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts in Charlotte, NC on Nov. 14.

And the new job at the University of Indianapolis is keeping me busy, especially with editing and publishing classes and other writing classes."

Thanks for the update, Kevin!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Poems by SIUC Writers in new issue of Alehouse

Poems by Kevin McKelvey (MFA '04) and SIUC faculty member Allison Joseph appear in the new issue of Alehouse, an all-poetry journal from California.

The issue may be pre-ordered here:


One correction: Kevin teaches at the University of Indianapolis, not the University of Indiana.

And speaking of Paul Guest (MFA '99, poetry):

Paul Guest was featured recently in the "Poet's Choice" column of the Washington Post Book Review:

Paul Guest

Ben Percy (MFA '04) Awarded Whiting Fellowship!

Huge congratulations to Ben Percy (MFA '04), who has been awarded a Whiting Fellowship for 2008! Ben makes the second SIUC MFA grad (after Paul Guest, MFA '99, poetry) to receive this highly prestigious honor!

Read the award announcement here:

Award Announcement

Bios of Award Winners

Congrats again, Ben! You make us proud!

Career Presentation for Creative Writers: November 6, 2008






TIME: 4:00-5:30 PM

Sponsored by the Graduate Writers Forum
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Monday, October 27, 2008

Congratulations to Adrian Matejka (MFA '01)

Congrats to Adrian Matejka (MFA '01, poetry)--new poems by Adrian appear in the new issue of American Poetry Review (November/December 2008). These poems ("Battle Royale" and "Sporting Life") are from Adrian's manuscript-in-progress about the life of boxer Jack Johnson.

For more about American Poetry Review, visit


Grassroots Open Mike Reading and Halloween Party

Grassroots, SIUC's undergraduate journal of the literary and visual arts, will host a Open Mike Reading and Halloween Party on October 29, 2008 in Faner's Humanities Lounge at 7 pm. Wear a costume, read your work--all are invited!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In-House Reading: Wednesday, October 22

Reminder: In-House Reading tomorrow!

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2008 4-5:30 PM
SIUC Student Center

Travis Mossotti (2nd year poetry)
Lane Kareska (1st year fiction)
Jenna Bazzell (2nd year poetry)
Brooks Rexroat (1st year fiction)

Free and open to the public.

Curtis Crisler (MFA '04) to read in Bloomington, IN

Curtis Crisler, MFA '04, will read from his poems in Bloomington, Indiana, along with splendid poets Ross Gay and Eugene Gloria:

Reading: Curtis Crisler, Ross Gay, and Eugene Gloria

Keyhole Goes to Bloomington
Event Info Host: Keyhole Magazine
Type: Music/Arts - Performance

Date: Saturday, November 1, 2008
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Boxcar Books, 408 E. 6th St., Bloomington, IN

Keyhole Magazine and Boxcar Books present an evening of Indiana Poets: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1 at BOXCAR BOOKS: 7pm

Eugene Gloria, author of Drivers at the Short-Time Motel (National Poetry Series) and Hoodlum Birds, Ross Gay, author of Against Which (New Voices), and Curtis Crisler, author of Spill, the winner of Keyhole Magazine's 2008 poetry chapbook contest.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival Event Schedule

2008 Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday, October 23 – 25


8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Readings by Jim Tomlinson & Janice N. Harrington
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 Janice N. Harrington, Richard Jones, Sean Nevin, & Jennifer Perrine

11:00 – 11:50 a.m.
Fiction Panel featuring Amy Knox Brown, Josh Goldfaden, Anne Panning, & Jim Tomlinson

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Readings by Sean Nevin & Anne Panning
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 Jennifer Perrine & Josh Goldfaden
Student Center Auditorium


11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Readings from the new Crab Orchard Review, “The In-Between Age: Writers on Adolescence”
Student Center Auditorium

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Readings by Amy Knox Brown & Richard 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 REVIEW.

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!

Nice note this morning from Travis Mossotti (second-year, poetry):


Just found out on Friday that Rattle will be publishing my
poem "Crossing the Gap". I Guess Tim Green has a sweet spot
for SIUC poets.



Congrats, Travis!

Here's Rattle's website:


Carbondale's alternative weekly previews upcoming Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival

The Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival, SIUC's annual celebration of the writer and the written word, starts this Thursday!
Here's an article previewing the festival (scroll down to see festival profile):

Carbondale's Nightlife

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Congrats to Jim Gill (MFA '99)

from Jim Gill (MFA '99, fiction, former creative writing lecturer):

"How are things in Southern Illinois? All is well here. Just wanted to send a quick note to say that I've just had a story, "Redemption", accepted at Colorado Review. It'll come out in the Spring 2009 issue. It was welcome news. The editor there, Stephanie G'Schwind, is great to work with, so it's always nice to have a story there."

Congrats, Jim!

For more about Colorado Review, visit

Colorado Review

Monday, October 13, 2008

Paul Guest (MFA '99) Featured in Poets & Writers

The November/December 2008 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine features an extensive article about Paul Guest (MFA '99).
The article, titled "The Guest List," features excerpts from Paul's upcoming third collection of poems from Ecco Press and also details his upcoming memoir, also with Ecco.

Congratulations, Paul!

Poets & Writers

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In-House Reading Series Update: October 2008

from the fabulous Amie Whittemore:

My esteemed lilypads and leapfrogs,

Here is your reminder regarding the in-house reading series. I've included both this week's and next's info as the reader list has gone through some shifts due to a whole galaxy of circumstances.


Janelle Blasdel (1st year fiction)
Azizat Danmole (2nd year fiction)
Amie Whittemore (2nd year poetry)
Justin Benton (2nd year fiction)


Travis Mossotti (2nd year poetry)
Lane Kareska (1st year fiction)
Jenna Bazzell (2nd year poetry)
Brooks Rexroat (1st year fiction)

As always, tell your friends and enemies, your co-conspirators and those against whom you conspire. Or at least do whatever it is you've been doing, because attendance has been *outstanding*.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Jason Lee Brown (MFA '08) update:

The hardworking Jason Lee Brown (MFA '08, fiction) has some updates:

My story “Histrionics” was selected for publication in Quiddity for its themed Abraham Lincoln “Better Angels” Issue. My story spans from 1837-42, the years in which Lincoln lived and shared the same bed with lifetime friend Joshua Fry Speed.

On the poetry front, I have poems (“My Older Brother, June Bug” and “Name I Will Never Forget”) in the current issue of Post Road. Post Road has included an excerpt of one of the poems on its website. My poem “First Acceptance” is in the current issue of Confrontation.

Also, Universal Table/Wising Up Press will republish my poem “Curt Jones’s Father” in its anthology Cold Shoulders, Evil Eyes, Steadying Gazes and Warm Embraces. The poem first appeared in Elysian Fields Quarterly, The Baseball Review.

Post Road
Post Road



Universal Table
Universal Table

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

More Rodney-centric news, via Andy McFadyen-Ketchum

Third-year poetry MFA Andy McFadyen-Ketchum has this news:

I just learned that The Missouri Review will be publishing my interview with Rodney, "Poetry of the Instance, Poetry of the Instant: A Conversation with Rodney Jones," in, I believe, the Spring.

Congrats, Andy!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Upcoming Readings by Rodney Jones

SIUC faculty poet Rodney Jones will be appearing at two literary venues this fall:

Rodney will visit Mississippi University for Women for the upcoming Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium:

Welty Symposium

Rodney will also read at the University of Alabama on November 6, 2008:

UA Reading Series

In-House Reading Tomorrow!



Brenna W. Lemieux (1st year poetry)
James Scoles (2nd year fiction)
Hannah New (2nd year poetry)
Melissa Scholes Young (1st year fiction)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

News from Matt Guenette (MFA '99)

News from Matthew Guenette (MFA '99, poetry):

Check me out at this blog:
First Book Interviews

I'll also be reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival, Wednesday, October 15th.

Thanks for the updates, Matt!

New Rooms for In-House Reading Series

from Amie Whittemore:

Due to the overwhelming turn-out for the first In-House Reading last week, we've requested larger rooms to accommodate our adoring fans. So here's the corrected schedule.
Thanks, Amie


Brenna W. Lemieux (1st year poetry)
James Scoles (2nd year fiction)
Hannah New (2nd year poetry)
Melissa Scholes Young (1st year fiction)


Derand Wright (1st year poetry)
Janelle Blasdel (1st year fiction)
Laura Gross (2nd year poetry)
Justin Benton (2nd year fiction)


Travis Mossotti (2nd year poetry)
Lane Kareska (1st year fiction)
Jenna Bazzell (2nd year poetry)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Work by SIUC Writers in new issue of Roger

The new issue of Roger, an art and literary magazine published at Roger Williams University, features the work of two writers with SIUC connections. Third-year fiction writer Renee Evans has a story called "Traverse" in this issue, and Paul Guest (MFA '99) has two poems--"Waiting for the Mail" and "Parts of the Body by Name."

For more information on Roger, visit

To see one of Paul's two poems in this issue, visit
poem will open as PDF

Jon Tribble and Allison Joseph to read at the University of West Georgia

SIUC faculty poets Jon Tribble and Allison Joseph will read from their work at the University of West Georgia on Thursday, October 2. Details here
West Georgia reading

This reading will also be somewhat of an SIUC MFA reunion--teaching currently at UWG are Paul Guest (MFA '99) and Melanie Jordan (MFA '01).

Monday, September 29, 2008

October R&D: Literary Merriment and More at Melange

from Amie Whittemore:

My Dear Fresh Princes and DJ Jazzy Jeffs,

It is time to link your R to your D.

That's right. Reading and Drinking returns for another month of word-laden fun.

The details:

When: Wednesday, October 1st, 2008, 7 p.m.
Where: Melange, 607 S Illinois Avenue, Carbondale
What: The "Skeletons in Your Closet" R&D

So come on out and enjoy three rounds of poetry, prose, plays, trivia, trivial prizes, music and all the sweetness you can pack between two graham crackers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Congrats to Curtis L. Crisler (MFA '04)

Great news from Curtis L. Crisler (MFA '04, poetry):

"Hi Allison,

How are you doing in C'Dale? I found out I won the Keyhole Magazine
Chapbook Contest. Eugene Gloria picked my manuscript Spill."

Curtis, you're too modest! Congratulations!

Read the words of praise for Curtis's chapbook from final judge Eugene Gloria here:

Keyhole Magazine

Sunday, September 21, 2008

In-House Reading Series: Fall 2008 Schedule

IN HOUSE READINGS: Fall 2008 Schedule
sponsored by the Graduate Writers Forum
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

all readings free and open to the public


AK Thompson (1st year fiction)
Mark Brewin (1st year poetry)
Charlie Lemmink (1st year fiction)


Brenna W. Lemieux (1st year poetry)
James Scoles (2nd year fiction)
Hannah New (2nd year poetry)
Melissa Scholes Young (1st year fiction)


Derand Wright (1st year poetry)
Janelle Blasdel (1st year fiction)
Laura Gross (2nd year poetry)
Justin Benton (2nd year fiction)


Travis Mossotti (2nd year poetry)
Lane Kareska (1st year fiction
Jenna Bazzell (2nd year poetry)

Friday, September 19, 2008

First in-House Reading of the Semester: Wednesday, Sept 24, 2008

First-year MFA students A.K. Thompson (fiction), Mark Jay Brewin (poetry) and Charlie Lemmink (fiction) will read from their work on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 in the SIUC Student Center Kaskaskia Room from 4-5:30 pm.

The reading is free and open to the public.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jacinda Townsend to speak for Sigma Tau Delta

Jacinda Townsend, graduate faculty in creative writing at SIUC, will speak on the topic of "Writing What You Don't Know: Historical and Foreign-Born Fiction" on Monday, Sept 22, 2008 from 6 to 7 pm at the SIUC Student Center Saline Room.

This presentation is sponsored by the SIUC branch of Sigma Tau Delta.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Congrats to Amie Whittemore!

Amie Whittemore (poetry, second-year) is back with more good news:

"I found out this weekend that two more of my poems have been accepted for publication. Atlanta Review is taking my poem "Visiting" and Bayou is taking "Daughters are such a blessing." I should probably have spent this weekend in Vegas."

Congrats, Amie, on these upcoming publications!

Atlanta Review website:
Atlanta Review

Bayou website:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Congrats to Joan Dy (MFA '05)!

Joan Dy's chapbook "The Taste of Saltwater" has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. This chapbook was also a finalist in the Slapering Hol and Copperdome chapbook competitions!

Congrats, Joan!

Finishing Line is also publishing a chapbook by Kathyrn Kerr, another SIUC MFA graduate.

Finishing Line Press

Friday, September 12, 2008

Congrats to Amie Whittemore!

Great news from Amie Whittemore (poetry, second-year):

"I am delighted to inform you that I just found out my poem "The Calendar" won Honorable Mention in the RATTLE poetry contest, which means $100 in my pocket and publication in the Winter 2008 issue. Feel free to share and dance a jig. :)"

Congrats, Amie!

Rattle's Website:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poemspotting: Steve Trebellas (aka Steve Leek) MFA '05

"Sweet Dimes," a poem by Steve Trebellas (aka Steve Leek) MFA '05 (poetry), appears in the current issue of GLASS: A Journal of Poetry.


Glass is now accepting submissions for their next issue:
Submission Guidelines

Congrats to Josh Woods!

from today's e-mail:

"My short story "Small Dead Monkey" will be published in MAIN STREET RAG's anthology about eccentric women. This is the second anthology to feature the Rachel Furey/Josh Woods team-up (or maybe it's just that I'm publishingly stalking Rachel)."

If you're going to emulate anyone, it should be Rachel! Congrats to you both!

Here's information on the anthology both Rachel and Josh will be in:

Main Street Rag Fiction Anthology

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Essayspotting: Melissa Scholes Young

Melissa Scholes Young, a first-year student in fiction, has an essay in the latest issue of Mothering Magazine:

Baby Naming 101

Poemspotting: Kerry James Evans

"Monopoly," a poem by Kerry James Evans (poetry, third-year) appears in the latest issue of Eclipse, a literary journal published in California.

Eclipse has no website, but you can find more about this journal at

New Pages

Monday, September 08, 2008

Good news from Laura Gross!

from an e-mail from Laura Gross, second year MFA student in poetry:

"Just wanted to let you know that my poem "3AM" that appeared in the e-zine Chantarelle's Notebook earlier this year has been selected to be published in their "best of" annual print journal as well. This is one of my older poems that I wrote before starting the MFA program, but I am still excited."

Congrats, Laura!

Here's the issue in which Laura's poem appears:

Chantarelle's Notebook

Sunday, September 07, 2008

New Adrian Matejka poems up at ANTI-

Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) is the featured poet for the literary journal ANTI-

Check out the moves here:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Schedule for the Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary Festival now available!

Here's a press release with the details:

Devil's Kitchen

The Return of Reading and Drinking on 9/10

The long-awaited return!
Reading & Drinking resumes on Wed 9/10/08 at 7pm

Melange, 607 S. Illinois Avenue
Carbondale, IL 62901

Come hear

Drink Specials

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Illinois Arts Council awards Crab Orchard Review Operating Support Grant

Crab Orchard Review is proud and pleased to announce a grant of $5,610 from the Illinois Arts Council for operational support for Fiscal Year 2009.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Chad Simpson Update

Chad Simpson (MFA '05, fiction) has a "napkin story" up at Esquire's book blog:

Check it out here:
Chad on a napkin

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Congrats to Sara Burge (MFA '08)!

Just received this cheery e-mail from Sara Burge (MFA '08, poetry):

Hi Allison!

I got an email from Virginia Quarterly Review saying they want to publish "God of Chocolate, God of War." Of course, I emailed back that they could. It should be out in the Summer 2009 issue, and they're going to pay me some money for it!! I'm really excited about this, and thought I'd share with you!

Sara Burge

Thanks for sharing, Sara! And congrats on an excellent publication acceptance!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Departmental Reception: Friday, August 29

English Department Reception in honor of new faculty, staff and graduate assistants on Friday, August 29, 2008
5 to 7 pm
J.W. Corker Lounge, Student Center
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fabulous news about Adrian Matejka (MFA '01)

Adrian Matejka's second book, Mixology, has been chosen for publication in the National Poetry Series! The book will be coming out from Penguin, and was chosen for the prize by acclaimed poet Kevin Young. Congratulations, AD!

Adrian (MFA '01) is also the author of The Devil's Garden (Alice James Books).

The official announcement for 2008 is not yet on the website, but here is the link:
National Poetry Series

Chad Parmenter Interviews poet Reginald Shepherd

Chad Parmenter (MFA '05, poetry) has an interview with poet Reginald Shepherd in the September/October 2008 issue of the American Poetry Review.

Essayspotting: Kathryn Kerr (MFA '00)

"Hawk's Cave," an essay by Kathryn Kerr (MFA '00, poetry) appears in the new issue of Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley (Volume 8, Number 1). Big Muddy is published by Southeast Missouri State University.

More about Big Muddy here:
Big Muddy

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Congrats to Rachel Furey!

Good news from Rachel Furey (fiction, third year):

Dear Allison:

I just wanted to let you know that my short story "The Pet Mortician" was accepted into Main Street Rag's short fiction anthology focusing on eccentric women characters.

Best Regards,
Rachel Furey

Congrats, Rachel!

The anthology Rachel will be in is still accepting submissions until September 15. Check it out at
Main Street Rag Fiction

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

2008 Devil's Kitchen Festival Writers

The line-up for this year's Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival is now set. This year's festival, to be held October 23, 24 and 25, is sponsored by Grassroots, the undergraduate literary magazine of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Writers who will be appearing at this year's festival are (drumroll please!):prose writers Jim Tomlinson, Anne Panning, Amy Knox Brown and Josh Goldfaden and poets Janice N. Harrington, Richard Jones, Sean Nevin and Jennifer Perrine.

The festival is free and open to the public. It's always a great time for writers and readers.

SIUC MFA Program in Creative Writing now on Facebook

A Facebook Group for the SIUC MFA Program was launched today! Now there are two ways to keep up with the goings-on in Carbondale--this blog and our Facebook Group.
The group can be found at
Friends of the SIUC MFA Program

Friday, August 08, 2008

Brown Bag Luncheon for New and Returning MFA Students

There will be a brown bag luncheon for all new and returning MFA students on Thursday, August 14 from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m. in Faner Hall 1222. So come, bring your lunch, and spend some time with the MFA faculty.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Welcome to Carbondale, New MFA Students!

MFA Carbondale is happy and proud to welcome these new students to the program, the university, and the community:

Mark Jay Brewin, poetry
Brenna Lemieux, poetry
Sarah McCartt, poetry
Derand Wright, poetry
Katie Zapoluch, poetry

Janelle Blasdel, fiction
Lane Kareska, fiction
Charles Lemmink, fiction
Richard Pechous, fiction
Brooks Rexrout, fiction
Erin Thompson, fiction
Melissa Young, fiction

Welcome to the Dale!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Allison Joseph a Grand Prize Winner in Dancing Poetry Contest

SIUC faculty poet Allison Joseph's poem "Xenophilia" is a grand prize winner in the 2008 Dancing Poetry Contest sponsored by Artists Embassy International. The poem will be performed at ceremony in September at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum. Two other poems by Allison also received recognition as second-place winners.
Dancing Poetry

Friday, July 25, 2008

Forthcoming Pubs: Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry)

Michael Meyerhofer's poem "A Plea for the Cessation of Fruit Metaphors" will be published in North American Review.
Check out North American Review at
Update from MM:
"My prose-poem, "The Shipbuilder," was just accepted by Quick Fiction. :)"
Check out Quick Fiction at
Quick Fiction

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Meyerhofer Book News: the Official Announcement

Congrats again to Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry) on the acceptance of his second book for publication.
Here's the official word from Steel Toe Books:
Steel Toe News

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pinckney Benedict is the Best

We have objective proof that SIUC fiction professor Pinckney Benedict is indeed the best. From an e-mail from PB himself:

"I have just received copies of NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH 2008: THE YEAR'S BEST, edited by ZZ Packer, which contains my story "Bridge of Sighs," originally published in ZOETROPE: ALL-STORY last summer."

Congrats, PB!

News from Cynthia Roth (MFA '01)

Exciting news from Cynthia Roth (MFA '01, poetry). Let us hope for reruns:

"WSIU Channel 8 aired an Arts In Illinois segment about me on July 20th. It originally aired in Chicago in May, and was produced by WTTW11 Chicago. The show is specifically about the intersection of art and family life.

They didn't tell me about the broadcast in advance! I was watching Foyle's War and it came on afterwards, to my surprise. They also aired it in Chicago before I knew it existed. I did get a DVD of the program in the mail 3 weeks ago. I'm the last artist in a program featuring 4 different artists.

I will let you know when it is on again, and when it is posted in the WTTW archive online. They did a good job. They said I am from Kentucky, not TN, but that's okay. Otherwise it is pretty neat!"

Monday, July 21, 2008

Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) finalist for Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry

MFA poetry alum Adrian Matejka's manuscript "Mixology" was selected as a finalist for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Adrian will receive $1000, but not publication of his book.
Details about the prize can be found here:
Prairie Schooner Book Prize

Sunday, July 20, 2008

SIUC Writers Read in Chicago and St. Louis This Week

SIUC MFA faculty member Allison Joseph will read in Chicago on July 20 at Woman Made Gallery.
Woman Made Gallery

Poets Amie Whittemore (second-year), Jenna Bazzell (second-year) and Jason Lee Brown (MFA '08, fiction) will read as part of the River Styx at Duff's Hungry Young Poets Series on July 21 in St. Louis.
Hungry Young Poets

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kerry James Evans a finalist for Wick Prize

Kerry James Evans (third-year, poetry) writes:

Although the winner has been announced, I was named a finalist in the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize (Kent State University).
There were 21 finalists and nearly 400 entries.

Congrats, Kerry!

For more about the Wick Prize, visit
Wick Poetry Prize

Friday, July 18, 2008

SIUC's Allison Joseph reads in Detroit tonight

SIUC faculty poet Allison Joseph reads from her work tonight as part of The Write Word Write Now Summer Solstice Reading Series, presented by the Detroit Poetry Collective & Music Hall Center for Performing Arts

Location: Jazz Cafe at the Music Hall, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit MI, 48226 (Between Brush and Randolph)

Allison will read with Will Copeland, francine J. harris and Ross Gay.

The reading is free and open to the public. READINGS START AT 7PM.

The reading is funded in part by:
Detroit Poetry Collective Inc, Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, U of M, Dept of English, MFA in Creative Writing Program
Motown Writers Network, Wayne State University Press

About The Detroit Poetry Collective

The Detroit Poetry Collective was formed to cultivate urban artists through creative writing (poetry, fiction, and non-fiction); to develop, provide and support literary programs that foster multicultural literacy and creative critical thinking. Its purpose is to provide a safe-haven for Detroit writers by way of academic readings, scholarships, stipends, awards, poetry slams, writer’s retreats, conferences, guest speakers, works.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Allison Joseph to teach workshop in Evanston, Illinois

SIUC faculty member Allison Joseph will teach a workshop for the Illinois-based literary journal RHINO at the Evanston, Illinois library:

and peer exchange
sponsored by RHINO/the Poetry Forum


Evanston Public Library
Church & Orrington
1:30-4:30 -- Room 108

RHINO/the Poetry Forum invites all poets to its Poetry Workshop & Peer Exchange. Attendees bring 15 copies of a poem to be critiqued, and participate in an ongoing discussion of poetry and poetics. No registration is required, and the workshop is free, though a $5 donation is appreciated.

Sunday, July 27th, 2008
Leader: Allison Joseph

Allison Joseph lives, writes and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she serves as director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing. She is also editor and poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review, a journal of creative works, and director of the Young Writers Workshop, an annual creative writing conference for teen writers. She is the author of five collections of poems, most recently Imitation of Life (Carnegie-Mellon University Press) and Worldly Pleasures (Word Press). She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences, as well as from the Illinois Arts Council.

Topic: Dispatches from a Poetry Editor.

For more about Rhino, visit

Monday, July 14, 2008

Congrats to Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry)

Michael Meyerhofer's second full-length collection, Blue Collar Eulogies, has been accepted for publication by Steel Toe Books! When asked for a quote about this good fortune, MM said, "The royalty of the advance should almost cover the postage and entry fees!"

Steel Toe Books

Congrats, Michael!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Local paper recognizes SIUC MFA students

The Southern has a press release today about Josh Woods (third-year, fiction) and Rachel Furey (third-year, fiction) being winners in the national Press 53 Contest:

Southern Illinoisian

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Congrats to Kathryn Kerr (MFA '00)

Kathryn Kerr (MFA '00, poetry) has had another chapbook accepted for publication. The chapbook, which is still in search of a title, will be published by Pikestaff Publications of Normal, Illinois.

Congrats, KK!
Here's more information about Pikestaff:
Pikestaff Publications

Monday, July 07, 2008

Upcoming Readings by SIUC MFAs and Recent Grads

Kerry James Evans (poetry, third-year) will be reading from his work at the 14th annual "Southern Writers, Southern Writing" Graduate Student Conference to be held at the University of Mississippi July 17-19, 2008.

Poets Amie Whittemore (second-year), Jenna Bazzell (second-year) and Jason Lee Brown (MFA '08, fiction) will read as part of the River Styx at Duff's Hungry Young Poets Series on July 21 in St. Louis.
Hungry Young Poets 2008

Allison Joseph to read at Woman Made Gallery, Chicago

SIUC MFA faculty member will read in Chicago on July 20 at Woman Made Gallery. Details here:
Drawing from Experience Reading

Thursday, July 03, 2008

MFA Grads in New Issue of Pleiades

New poems by Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) and Chad Parmenter (MFA '05) appear in the new issue of Pleiades (28.2).

Adrian's poems are "Mulatto Ego Remix" and "Synth Composite Basketball: No More Fundamentals," and Chad's poem is "[Tina mia]." Also included in the issue is a review of Quiver of Arrows by Carl Phillips, written by Chad Parmenter.

For more about Pleiades, visit
Pleiades on the Web

Matt Guenette at Verse Daily

Fresh off his Young Writers Workshop appearance, here's Matt Guenette (MFA '99) at Verse Daily:
Verse Daily

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mark Your Calendars: Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival 2008

It's July, it's hot, and it's the perfect time to start thinking about SIUC's annual fall literary festival, the Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary Festival. The 2008 dates are October 23, 24, and 25. Watch this blog for information about the writers who will be coming to Carbondale for our three-day celebration of all things literary.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Young Writers Workshop Participant Reading!

JUNE 28th, 2008:
Young Writers Workshop Participant Reading
Cisne Auditorium, Pulliam Hall 34, 1:30 PM

Come hear our award-winning young writers read from their work!

As director, I'd like to offer huge thanks for the great job this year done by my dynamic and talented YWW Staff.
Big props to Josh Woods, Andy McFadyen-Ketchum, Jenna Bazzell, Azizat Danmole, Rachel Furey, Renee Evans, Kerry James Evans, Travis Mossotti, Rachna Sheth, Amie Whittemore, Alex Lumans, Abby Wheetley, and Jason Lee Brown.

Thanks, Pinckney Benedict, for your wisdom and support.

And thanks to our guests: the fabulous Matt Guenette and the inimitable Blair.

Special thanks goes to Pat Eckert and Kim Goforth of the Division of Continuing Education for all their logistical help.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Some Detroit Love for the Young Writers Workshop

Readings today at the Young Writers Workshop:

JUNE 27th, 2008:
SIUC Graduate Creative Writers Reading:
Rachel Furey, Azizat Danmole, Rachna Sheth & Amie Whittemore
Faner Hall 1005, 4-5 PM

Guest Reader/Performer: Blair
Faner Hall 1325 (Harry T. Moore Auditorium), 8 PM

Blair is a poet/singer-songwriter/performer/spoken word artist whose work, in the words of Metro Times "focuses on the hope that rises from the ashes of despair." Blair is a National Poetry Slam Champion (2002 Team Detroit) and Detroit Grand Slam Champion (2003). He's been named Best Solo Artist by Real Detroit Weekly Readers' Poll and has been written about in periodicals around the country and overseas including Performing Songwriter Magazine, Hour Detroit Magazine and The Bay Area Times.

Allison says: If Richie Havens, Walt Whitman, and Phillip Levine had a literary and musical love child, that offspring would sound like Blair.

Hear for yourself:
Blalr's My Space Page

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Young Writers Workshop Reading Series: June 26, 2008

The Young Writers Workshop Reading Series continues with a visit from SIUC MFA alum Matt Guenette!

Matt will read at 8 pm in Faner Hall's Harry T. Moore Auditorium today. Here's a taste of Matt's poetry, the infamous poem "Sestina Aguilera."

Verse Daily

About Matt:

His first book, Sudden Anthem, won the 2007 American Poetry Journal Book Prize, and will be published by Dream Horse Press in Winter/Spring 2008. His chapbook, Hush of Something Endless, is available from Ropewalk Press.

More Matt Links:
Dream Horse Press
Ropewalk Press

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Young Writers Workshop Reading Series: June 25, 2008

Here are the readings for June 25, 2008:

JUNE 25th, 2008:
SIUC Graduate Creative Writers Reading:
Jenna Bazzell, Kerry James Evans, Alex Lumans & Travis Mossotti
Faner Hall 1005, 4-5 PM

SIUC Faculty Reading: Allison Joseph (with grad student Will Tyler)
Faner Hall 1326, Harry T. Moore Auditorium, 8PM

Young Writers Workshop begins today!

SIUC's Young Writers Workshop begins its tenth annual session today! Twenty-seven high school students from five different states will be on the SIUC campus from today through Saturday writing and talking writing with creative writing faculty and graduate students. Tonight, SIUC fiction faculty member Pinckney Benedict will read from his work at 8 pm in Faner's Harry T. Moore Auditorium. This reading is free and open to the public.

More about the fabulous Mr. Benedict:
Pinckney's Wikipedia entry

Friday, June 20, 2008

Congrats to Kathryn Kerr (MFA '00)!

Great news this afternoon from Kathryn Kerr (MFA '00, poetry). Her chapbook, Turtles All the Way Down, was a top ten finalist in the Finishing Line Press New Women's Voices Series. She has been offered a publication contract for the chapbook!

Congrats, KK!

About New Women's Voices and Finishing Line Press:
Finishing Line

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Young Writers Workshop Reading Series

Here's the official news release about the Young Writers Workshop's annual Reading Series:

Free and Open to the Public

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Catching Up With Jim Harris (1990)

Just received this from Jim Harris--Jim was here before I came to SIUC!

"Hello Allison!

I'm an ancient alumnus of the SIU writing program (1990). Perhaps before it was a program. Just writing in support of your blog! Fantastic to see what's happening at my old school. I have fond memories of SIU where Rodney Jones was my mentor and I, of course, never wrote another poem after that. Ha! But I have written a couple novels since then.

If it's worth mentioning on your blog, I have a new novel out called, A Bottle of Rain, Livingston Press, University of West Alabama (September, 2007). It's my second novel and it's been nominated for a Pen USA award for writers west of the Mississippi. It's available in both hardback and trade paperback.

My first novel, Nowhere Near the Sea of Cortez, was published in 2001. It was a Small Press Review Pick that year.

I am currently hard at work on my third novel, As God Looked On. It's actually almost done. It's being edited by one of William Gay's previous editors (I believe I'm more proud of that than anything so far...)"

Thanks for the blog love, Jim!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Poemspotting: Kathryn Kerr

New poems by Kathryn Kerr (MFA '00, poetry) appear in the literary journal Blueline,a literary magazine dedicated to the spirit of the Adirondacks. The poems are " I've Done Enough Burning" and "The Best Poem I've Seen:"

Find out more about Blueline here:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Catching Up With James Miller (MFA'07)

The irrepressible James Miller (MFA '07, poetry) has some funky good news to share, delivered as only he can:

I finagled a few more publications in the new Blackbird, replete with a cant-ish introduction, nice words (even though they called the poems "postmodern"; slang for smarmy to me), but still, I'm ecstatic to be in the same issue as Norman Dubie and Claudia Emerson.

And I won a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to Sewanee for the summer (figure I'll dress like Big Daddy/Matlock). I've been going to and fro between the ATL and Delta, teaching classes, planting corn and playing the off gig in my favorite places, juke joints. WBAD, the soul station I always wrote about, is back up and running. Thank Yahweh and Tyrone Davis.

Congrats, James!
Link to the Blackbird poems by James:
James in Blackbird

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What Time Is It? Young Writers Time!

The Young Writers Workshop, SIUC's creative writing workshop for teens age 15-18, is back again for another summer! With the workshop comes a series of poetry and prose readings by SIUC faculty, graduate students and guest writers. You are cordially invited to attend any of the readings below, as they are free and open to the public.

10th Anniversary of the Young Writers Workshop Summer 2008 Reading Series
All Readings are Free and Open to the Public

JUNE 24th, 2008:
SIUC Faculty Reading: Pinckney Benedict
Faner 1326, Harry T. Moore Auditorium, 8 PM

JUNE 25th, 2008:
SIUC Graduate Creative Writers Reading:
Jenna Bazzell, Kerry James Evans, Alex Lumans & Travis Mossotti
Faner Hall 1005, 4-5 PM

SIUC Faculty Reading: Allison Joseph
Faner Hall 1326, Harry T. Moore Auditorium, 8PM

JUNE 26th, 2008:
SIUC Graduate Creative Writers Reading:
Renee Evans, Josh Woods, Abby Wheetley & Andy McFadyen-Ketchum
Faner Hall 1005, 4-5 PM

Guest Reader: Matt Guenette
Faner Hall 1326, Harry T. Moore Auditorium, 8 PM

JUNE 27th, 2008:
SIUC Graduate Creative Writers Reading:
Rachel Furey, Azizat Danmole, Rachna Sheth & Amie Whittemore
Faner Hall 1005, 4-5 PM

Guest Reader/Performer: Blair
Faner Hall 1325 (Harry T. Moore Auditorium), 8 PM

JUNE 28th, 2008:
Young Writers Workshop Participant Reading
Cisne Auditorium, Pulliam Hall 34, 1:30 PM

About our guest readers:
Matt Guenette is a 1999 graduate of the SIUC MFA program. He is the author of the poetry collections A Hush of Something Endless, a chapbook from Ropewalk Press, and Sudden Anthem, the 2007 winner of the American Poetry Journal Book Prize (Dream Horse Press). He lives, writes and teaches in Madison, Wisconsin.
More about Matt:
Matt's Blog

Blair is a poet/singer-songwriter/performer/spoken word artist whose work, in the words of Metro Times "focuses on the hope that rises from the ashes of despair." Blair is a National Poetry Slam Champion (2002 Team Detroit) and Detroit Grand Slam Champion (2003). He's been named Best Solo Artist by Real Detroit Weekly Readers' Poll and has been written about in periodicals around the country and overseas including Performing Songwriter Magazine, Hour Detroit Magazine and The Bay Area Times.
Blair's My Space Page

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Poem and Storyspotting: Jurmu and Brown

Work by Jason Lee Brown (MFA '08) and Deb Jurmu (MFA '06) appears in the new issue of Natural Bridge, the literary journal published by the English Department of the University of Missouri St. Louis.

Deb's story "Breath of the Wok" and Jason's poem "Why Mr. President Loves Soap Bubbles" appear in the Spring 2008 issue (Number 19).

for more about Natural Bridge:
Natural Bridge

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Poemspotting: Whittemore Edition

"First," a new poem by Amie Whittemore (second year, poetry), appears in the End of Winter 2008 issue of Poetry Midwest:

Poetry Midwest

Amie's on page 12.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Catching Up With Douglas Haynes (MFA '02):

Just got this e-mail from Douglas Haynes (MFA '02, poetry):

"I landed my first tenure-track creative writing position this spring at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and I owe so much to all of you for making such an opportunity possible for me. I'll be teaching advanced creative nonfiction courses, intro. creative writing, some modern Amer. lit., and supervising MA creative writing projects. I'm relishing the prospect of the 3-2 course load I'll have after teaching 4 courses a semester this year at New England College. I'm hoping to get much more writing done."

Congrats on the new job, Douglas!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Crab Orchard Review featured in the July issue of the Writer

A profile of Crab Orchard Review appears in the July issue of the Writer.
The profile is only available in the print issue of the magazine, but here's the table of contents for the issue containing this profile:
The Writer

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Poemspotting: Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06)

"Samsara," a poem by Michael Meyerhofer, appears in the new "A Moveable Feast" issue of River Styx. This issue of the venerable St. Louis-based journal is a tasty exploration of food as subject, complete with recipes.
More about River Styx at
River Styx Web Site

Poemspotting: Allison Joseph

New poems by SIUC poetry faculty member can be found at Mezzo Cammin, a journal of formal poetry by women, and at

Mezzo Cammin:
Mezzo Cammin

Monday, June 02, 2008

Young Writers Workshop National Contest Winners

Thanks to current MFA students Josh (J Dillon) Woods and Kerry James Evans for selecting the winners of the Younkin-Rivera Prizes for Young Writers. Both students will be attending this year's Young Writers Workshop, SIUC's annual creative writing workshop for writers age 15-18. Details here:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fabulous news about Tim Shea (MFA '08) via Rodney Jones

SIUC faculty member Rodney Jones writes with great news about Tim Shea (MFA '08, poetry):

"Yesterday I got a call from an elated Tim Shea. He had just gotten off the phone with Ciaran Carson. Queen's University has given him a full fellowship (tuition, fees, a 13,000 pound a year stipend plus housing allowance} for their 3 year Ph.D program. It will be all independent study. He'll meet with advisors at the beginning of each term to determine a meeting schedule. His dissertation will be a collection of his own poems prefaced by a significant research essay. He's the first creative writing poetry fellow they've ever admitted."

Congratulations, Tim! We're proud of you!

More about Ciaran Carson and Queen's University, Belfast:
Queen's Univ.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

SIUC Writers to Read in St. Louis and Detroit

Jason Lee Brown (MFA '08), Jenna Bazzell (second year, poetry) and Amie Whittemore (second year, poetry) will be part of this year's Hungry Young Poets Series at Duff's in Saint Louis on July 21:
Hungry Young Poets

Also, SIUC faculty poet Allison Joseph will be one of the poets reading for the Detroit Poetry Collective's Summer Reading Series on July 18:
Detroit Poetry

Crab Orchard Review Receives Illinois Arts Council Literary Award!

Crab Orchard Review is proud to announce that the journal has received a 2008 Literary Award from the Illinois Arts Council for Julie Benesh's story "Cami Chicks," which was published in the Volume 12, number 1 issue.

More details about the Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards at:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Poemspotting: Tim Shea (MFA '08)

"Looking at a Photograph from War Time I Will Be the Next Hit By Fire," a new poem by Tim Shea, appears in the latest issue of Rattle.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The SIUC-USI Connection: Southern Indiana Review

Several SIUC MFA grads make appearances in the new issue of Southern Indiana Review, a literary journal published by and at the University of Southern Indiana.

Two poems by Matt Guenette (MFA '99), a review by Melanie Jordan (MFA '01, poetry) of Nickole Brown's poetry collection "Sister," and a review of Ben Percy's (MFA '04, fiction) story collection "Refresh, Refresh" are in this new issue's pages.

For more information about Southern Indiana Review, visit
Southern Indiana Review

Catching Up With Chad Simpson (MFA'05)

Some new publication credits for Chad Simpson (MFA '05, fiction):

My story "Summer of Skin" appears in the May/June 2008 issue of The Rambler.
The Rambler

My story "Rail City" appears online in the latest issue of 5_Trope.

And I recently served as selecting editor for Wigleaf's Top 50 (Very) Short Stories of 2008. Details, along with a foreward by Wigleaf's editor Scott Garson, and an introduction by me can be found at Wigleaf.

Monday, May 19, 2008

News from Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06)

Checking in with Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry):

"I'm judging the Poetry Society of New Hampshire's National Contest for May (they have four each year, I think). Also, my poem "Albert Einstein Eats a Snow Cone on the 14,000,000,000th Birthday of the Known Universe" is forthcoming in Sojourn."

Saturday, May 10, 2008

SIUC Writers Receive Honors in Press 53 Awards!

Congrats to Rachel Furey (second-year fiction), Josh (J Dillon) Woods (second-year fiction), and Alex Lumans (second-year fiction)--all winners in the first annual Press 53 Awards! Rachel won first place in the creative nonfiction category for her piece "Mississippi Mud," Josh won first place in the genre fiction category for "The Exorcise Machine," and Alex was a finalist in the short story category! In addition, Nora Benedict, daughter of SIUC fiction professor Pinckney Benedict, was a finalist in the Young Writers category!

Congrats to all!
For more details, visit the Press 53 website:
Press 53 Contests

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) selected for Poetry in Motion 2008

SIUC MFA grad Adrian Matejka's poem "Affirmative Action" has been selected as a winner in the Metro Arts in Transit 2008 Poetry in Motion Contest. Adrian is one of fifteen St. Louis-area poets chosen for this honor.

Metro Arts in Transit and the Poetry Society of America 2008 Poetry in Motion® Reading and Reception!

Please join us on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at the Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63112) to honor this year's Poetry in Motion winners. The reception starts at 7PM and the reading is from 7:30PM-9PM. Guests will include Poets Mary Jo Bang, Changa Bey, and our winners. This event is open to the public and light refreshments will be served. Funding for this project is made possible with financial support from the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

To read the poem, go to
Contest Winners
Scroll through the poster mock-ups using the right tab button. Adrian's poem is number 8 of 15.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

New Alumni Publications: Spring 2008

Scott Beem (MFA '04, fiction) has fiction up at Fusion Fragment:
Fusion Fragment

Matt Guenette (MFA '99, poetry) has poetry forthcoming in the new issue of diode (up next week)
Diode Front Page

Paul Guest (MFA '99, poetry) has work in the current issue:

Monday, May 05, 2008

More Congrats in Order: Ropewalk and Discovery/Boston Review

from Alex Lumans (second-year, fiction):
I figured I'd let you know I also won a half-scholarship to the RopeWalk Retreat for fiction (in Lee Martin's workshop) as
well as a scholarship to attend the smaller Masterclass with Sigrid Nunez.

from Kerry James Evans (second-year, poetry):
Though the winners have already been announced, I was named one of fifty semi-finalists for the Discovery/Boston Review Contest. They received over 800 manuscripts. The judges were Jorie Graham, James Tate and Reginald Shepherd.

Congrats, you two!

Discovery/Boston Review

Reading & Drinking: May Edition

from the fabulous Amie Whittemore:

My fabulous fillies and coltish colts --

In honor of the Kentucky Derby, the last R&D of the semester's theme is 'Darkhorse,' so gallop on over to Melange on Wednesday to join in the fun.

You should know the drill by now, but if not, here's the stats:

* Melange, 607 S Illinois Ave, Carbondale, IL
* Wednesday, May 7
* 7 pm
* Drinks, trivia, live music!, prose, fiction, plays, poetry, and much, much more (hopefully mint juleps?)
* Toast to Eight Belles, the filly who gave her all at the race on Saturday.

Spread the word.
Darkly, horsefully yours,

~ Amie

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Congrats to Greg Schwipps (MFA '98)!

Just received this good news from Greg Schwipps (MFA '98, fiction):

Hey Allison!

Beth wanted me to send you my good news -- I sold my novel! I am excited, to say the least. Ghost Road Press from Denver took it, and it will be out in the spring of 2009. What This River Keeps is the title.

I got my MFA ten years ago this spring, so I think the timing is shapely.

Hope you are well!

Greg Schwipps

Congrats, Greg!

Ghost Road Press

Friday, May 02, 2008

Academy of American Poets Prize Winners 2008

This year, SIUC's Academy of American Poets Prize graduate prize winner is

Aaron Wheetley for his poem "Obsidian Creek."

Honorable Mentions go to
Sara Burge for "Geometry" and Jason Lee Brown for "Chores With My Father."

This year's judge was recent visiting poet Ciaran Berry.

Nota bene: Jason's poem has been selected for publication by Tar River Poetry.

Congratulations to our winners!

Academy's College Prizes
Tar River Poetry

SIUC Writers Receive Scholarships to the Ropewalk Writers Retreat

Congratulations to Jason Lee Brown (MFA '08, fiction) and Kerry James Evans (second year, poetry) for receiving scholarships to the Ropewalk Writers Retreat in New Harmony, Indiana:

Here's Jason's news:
My story “Kanamara Matsuri” was chosen as a runner-up in the Playboy College Fiction Contest and earned a partial scholarship to the RopeWalk Writers Retreat. I also won partial scholarships in nonfiction and poetry, which is the first time RopeWalk has offered scholarships in all three genres to the same person. I will be in workshops with Dave Smith (poetry), Susan Neville (nonfiction), and Elizabeth Stuckey–French (fiction). RopeWalk will be celebrating its 20th year in Utopia from June 14-21.

Here's Kerry's news:
I got a scholarship for the Stephen Dobyns workshop at Ropewalk.

Playboy College Fiction Contest
College Fiction Contest
Ropewalk Writers Retreat:
Utopia in Indiana

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Grassroots Release Party Today (April 30, 2008)

Check out the DE's article on Grassroots, SIUC's undergraduate literary and art journal:
Grassroots release party

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Poemspotting: Paul Guest (MFA '99)

Paul Guest (MFA '99, poetry) is back up again at Verse Daily.
Paul's poem

Monday, April 28, 2008

SIUC Writers at Fifth Wednesday Celebration

First-year poet Amie Whittemore and faculty poet Allison Joseph are contributors to the second issue of Fifth Wednesday, a magazine based in the Chicago area:
Fifth Wednesday
Amie and Allison will be attending and reading at one of the two upcoming release parties for the second issue of this journal. They will be at the May 4th reading:
Release Parties

Allison Joseph in SLAB

Allison Joseph's poem "What Poetry Is" appears in the new issue of SLAB (Sound and Literary Art Book), a journal published at Slippery Rock University. The poem was the first-place winner in the Elizabeth R. Curry Poetry Contest:

Poemspotting: Paul Guest (MFA '99)

Paul Guest was the featured poet today at Verse Daily, but it looks like they forgot to pay their internet bill!
So let's visit Paul's blog instead:
Paul's blog

Congrats to Matt Guenette (MFA '99)

A new "edition" at Matt Guenette (MFA '99, poetry)'s house:


On Thursday, April 24, Julie gave birth to our first child, a son, August Philip Guenette. It was a long, at times complicated labor, but Julie and August are doing well.


Congrats, Matt!
PS There's a photo of the little guy at Matt's blog
meet August

Friday, April 25, 2008

Congrats to Rachel Furey!

Rachel Furey, a second-year fiction writer, has sent the following great news:

Dear Allison:

I just wanted to let you know about some exciting news. I have a short nonfiction piece forthcoming in Women's Basketball

Rachel Furey

Congrats, Rachel!
Link to Women's Basketball Magazine
Women's Basketball

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Grassroots Reading: April 30, 2008

Grassroots, the undergraduate literary journal of SIUC, will hold its release party/open reading on April 30, 2008 from 7 to 9 pm in the Faner Courtyard (second floor, across from COLA Dean's office). It's an open mike with free gifts! In case of rain, the party will move indoors to the Faner Humanities Lounge.
Details here:
Grassroots press release

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Poemspotting: Measure edition

Poems by two SIUC MFA alums and a current faculty member appear in the new issue of Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry:
"Crow & Winter" by Jake Boyd (MFA '07, poetry), "Cherry" by Elisabeth Meyer (MFA '07, poetry) and "Against Therapy" by Allison Joseph.

Measure's website

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

MFA Graduation GALA--April 25, 2008

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

April 25, 2008
6:30 PM
Student Center Renaissance Room

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

Helena Bell
Jason Lee Brown
Sara Burge
Martin Anthony Call
Mary Keck
Shanie Latham
Andrew Lewellen
JY Sexton
Timothy Shea

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.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Poemspotting: Chad Parmenter (MFA '05)

Chad's poem "Batellite, Batellite of Love" appears in the latest issue of Black Warrior Review (Spring/Summer 2008, issue 34.2).
The poem won first place in the Third-Ever Fiction and Poetry Contest sponsored by BWR.

Visit Black Warrior's website at

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Visiting Writers Series: Jake Adam York on 4/24/08

The Visiting Writers Series and Crab Orchard Review present a reading by

Thursday, April 24, 2008
4:00 PM, SIUC Student Center Video Lounge (4th Floor)

This reading celebrates the publication of Jake Adam York's new book, A Murmuration of Starlings, published this year by Southern Illinois University Press in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. The reading is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow in the Old Main Lounge (2nd floor, next to the Old Main Room).

About the author:
Jake Adam York is an associate professor of English at the University of Colorado-Denver. His first book of poems, Murder Ballads, was published in 2005. His poems have appeared in such journals as Blackbird, DIAGRAM, Greensboro Review, Gulf Coast, Shenandoah and Southern Review. York was raised in northeast Alabama.

About A Murmuration of Starlings:
"Through a ceremony of language and song, A Murmuration of Starlings consecrates and memorializes the souls, blood, and bones of those black men and women slaughtered on the altar of hate and violence during the Civil Rights era. With a lucid, shrewd inteligence and a commanding vision of healing and atonement, Jake Adam York makes an offering of images and music that seems the foundation of a new understanding and remembrance." --Major Jackson, author of Leaving Saturn

Visit Jake's web site at
Jake Adam York

Michael Meyerhofer's new chapbook now available

Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry)'s new chapbook, The Clay Shaper's Husband, is now available from Codhill Press. The chapbook won their annual chapbook competition.

Find out more at
Codhill Press

Last In-House Reading for Spring Semester 2008

from the lovely and witty Amie Whittemore:

Dear roadest of runners and wiliest of coyotes,

Tomorrow (4/21) marks the end of the spring in-house readings.
Let's take this thing out in a blaze of glory.
Let's paint tunnels onto the sides of mountains.
Let's defy/thwart/vandalize gravity.

Come to the Mackinaw Room in the Student Center to enjoy a spoonful of Canada, a smidge of ol' St. Louis, and a hint o' Chicagoland in the stylings of:

4:30 JAMES SCOLES, 1st year fiction

4:45 TRAVIS MOSSOTTI, 1st year poetry

5:00 RACHNA SHETH, 2nd year fiction

Earthily and quakingly yours,

~ Amie

Friday, April 18, 2008

Poemspotting: Meyerhofer/Perillo

New poems by Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06) and former faculty member Lucia Perillo appear in the latest issue of Ploughshares, guest-edited by Philip Levine.
Lucia's poems are "Job Site, 1967" and "Love Swing." Michael's poem is "Against Etymology."

Ploughshares web site:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Alumni Update: Kevin McKelvey (MFA '04)

Here's an update from Kevin McKelvey (MFA '04, poetry):

"I recently accepted a Visiting Assistant Professor position at the University of Indianapolis to teach freshman writing, professional writing, creative writing, editing, and publishing. I really enjoy teaching this variety of classes, and I look forward to working at a medium-sized liberal arts university committed to the local community. Also, recent work has appeared in Timber Creek Review, which published a poem I wrote during a Young Writers' Workshop class, and River Oak Review."

Congrats, Kevin!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Writers on the Road Reading Update

from the lovely Amie Whittemore, the following update regarding the next Writers on the Road reading. This time we play host to :

Readers from Ball State University, Indiana State University, and Murray State University.
April 18
SIUC Student Center, Cambria Room
4-6:30 p.m.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Writers on the Road: Wash U edition cancellation

The edition of Writers on the Road featuring SIUC MFA students reading on the campus of Washington University scheduled for Thursday, April 17 has been cancelled due to the unexpected passing of Washington University MFA student and poet Eric Van Cleve. All of us at the SIUC MFA program extend our deep condolences to the students, faculty and staff at Washington University.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Writers on the Road: Wash U edition

Writers on the Road's latest upcoming installment has SIUC writers reading at Washington University in St. Louis:

The Washington University reading will be held Thursday, April 17th, at 8pm in the Hurst Lounge, located in Dunker Hall on the main campus. We'll serve refreshments, maybe take a little break about half-way through.
SIUC readers include:
Helena Bell
Sara Burge
Travis Mossotti
Rachna Sheth

Here's a campus map, Dunker is #25 on the list, and really easy to find:

And here's the address for the main campus:
Washington University Campus
1 Brookings Dr
St Louis, MO 63130

Wash U writers will read on the SIUC campus on April 18. Details on that event to come--watch this space!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

SIUC Writers at the Southern Illinois Writers Guild

Allison Joseph, Laura Benedict and Jacinda Townsend are all scheduled for presentations with the local writers group the Southern Illinois Writers Guild. Details here:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Do You Love Cheap Books?

Then be sure to check out:
Southern Illinois's largest Book Sale
Carbondale Public Library
405 West Main, parking lot entrance on Monroe Street
in the Brush Building next to the parking lot
No electronic or phone isbn searchers permitted
8 rooms of books!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Half-price sale Sunday, April 13, 1 - 4 p.m.
Friends Preview
(Must be a member of the Friends of CPL.
Memberships begin at $5 - join at the door.)
4 - 6 p.m., Friday, April 11

Book donations are sought and books can be dropped off
during regular Carbondale Public Library hours.

New Pinckney Benedict Fiction in IMAGE

The awesome PB writes:

"My story “The World, the Flesh, and the Devil” is in the current issue (#57) of IMAGE: Art, Faith, Mystery, along with an essay on the language of the Gospels by Franz Wright and an interview with Ron Hansen. An online interview with me is posted here:"

Remember: Mother's Day is May 11th

Allison Joseph is a winner in Trellis Magazine's Mother's Day Formal Poem Contest.

Writers on the Road: St. Louis Style!

Jason Lee Brown has sent along the schedule for the latest installment of "Writers on the Road." This time, SIUC MFAs will be spending time with the fine graduate writers of Washington University and of the University of Missouri St. Louis.

Itinerary for the Writers on the Road Reading and Other Festivities

Friday, April 11th
7:00pm: UMSL MFA Reading: Five graduating poets and writers from UMSL's MFA program will read from their theses at the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater of The Touhill Performing Arts Center. This is on the UMSL campus. Cash bar and snacks provided. SIUC and Wash U students are invited to this event. (Doors open at 7:00; reading starts at 7:30.)

10:00pm (approx.): Go to Blueberry Hill in The Loop for post-reading festivities.

Saturday, April 12th
2:30-4:30pm: Writers on the Road reading at Black Bear Bakery: 2639 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO 63118. (See map below.) Please arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the reading. Readers will be provided with a food voucher for $10 worth of food and beverages to be used at Black Bear Bakery.

Reading order is as follows:
--Amanda Goldblatt
--Chris Dennis
--Erin M. Bertram
--Vincent Guerra
--Jason Lee Brown
--Tim Shea
--Rachel Furey
--Mary Keck
--James Scoles

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Interview with Ben Percy (MFA '04)

Ben Percy (MFA '04, fiction) has been interviewed by the good folks at Southern Indiana Review:
Check it out at
Reminder: Ben's reading in Evansville has been rescheduled for April 14.
Ropewalk Reading Series:
Readings at USI

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Events with Ciaran Berry: Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2-3:15 pm, English Department Conference Room

Students and faculty are welcome to come meet visiting poet Ciaran Berry and take part in an informal conversation about contemporary American and Irish poetry and publishing.

Thursday, April 10, 4:00 pm, SIUC Student Center Auditorium

Ciaran Berry reads from his first collection of poems, The Sphere of Birds, published by SIU Press in North America and by Gallery Press in Ireland. A reception and book signing will follow the reading (reception in the Old Main Lounge).

Poemspotting: Rodney Jones

Rodney Jones fans take note: Two new poems by Mr. Jones appear in NOR: New Ohio Review (Spring 2008, Number 3).
The poems are "104" and "Feelings, by Ashley Higgins."

More about NOR here:
New Ohio Review

Sunday, April 06, 2008

In-House Reading Monday, April 7

A note from the lovely Amie Whittemore to remind all of the upcoming In-House Reading this Monday:

Dear snapdragons and tulip-faces,

The reminder that brings a tear of joy to your inbox has arrived. Feel free to frolic.
Don't miss this week's line-up featuring a Sox fan, an Alabaman (is that a word? and if it is, isn't it strange looking?), and a farmer's daughter (which is which? who is who? we'll never tell).

The info:

In-house Reading - Mackinaw Room, SIUC Student Center

4:30 John Flaherty (2nd year fiction)

4:45 Amie Whittemore (1st year poetry)

5:00 Kerry James Evans (2nd year poetry)

Hope to see your lovely faces there,

~ Amie

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Ben Percy (MFA '04) Reading at USI postponed

Ben Percy's reading at the University of Southern Indiana has been postponed from its original April 8 date to April 14, 2008.
The time and place (5 p.m. in Kleymeyer Hall in USI's Liberal Arts Center) remain the same.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Rodney Jones to read at Mississippi State

Our own Rodney Jones will read from his work at Mississippi State University on April 16, 2008.
More details here:
Miss State English

Judy Jordan to read at Murray State University

SIUC's own Judy Jordan will read from her poetry at Murray State University on Thursday, April 10th.
The reading is at the Clara M. Eagle Gallery at 7:30 pm.
Details here:
Murray MFA

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Upcoming Reading, April 10: Ciaran Berry

The Visiting Writers Series and Crab Orchard Review present a reading by

Thursday, April 10, 2008
4:00 PM, SIUC Student Center Auditorium

This reading celebrates the publication of Ciaran Berry's new book, The Sphere of Birds, published this year by Southern Illinois University Press in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. The reading is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow in the Old Main Lounge.

Ciaran Berry's first collection of poems, The Sphere of Birds, was released this spring in North America by Southern Illinois University Press and in Ireland by Gallery Press. His poem "Electrocuting an Elephant" was selected to appear in the Best American Poetry 2008 by Charles Wright. He is from the northwest of Ireland and he teaches in the Expository Writing Program at New York University.

More about The Sphere of Birds:
SIU Press

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

MFA Students Represent at this year's AEGIS Conference

AEGIS, the SIUC English department's graduate organization, has planned its yearly conference for Thursday, April 3 to Saturday, April 5.

MFA students will be in full effect during this year's conference. Creative writers will be doing readings and presenting papers. Here are some highlights from the schedule:

Thursday, April 3, Missouri Room, SIUC Student Center, 4:30 pm
Readings by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, Helena Bell, and Tim Shea

Friday, April 4, Mississippi Room, SIUC Student Center, 9:30 am
Readings by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, Kerry James Evans, Alex Lumans
Mississippi Room, SIUC Student Center, 1:45-2:45, Reading by Pinckney Benedict
Mississippi Room, SIUC Student Center, 3 pm, Readings by Sara Burge, Mary Keck, Will Tyler

Saturday, April 5, Sangamon Roon, SIUC Student Center, 9:30 am
Readings by Rachel Furey, John Flaherty, Shanie Latham
Mackinaw Room, 1:45 pm: Reading by Rodney Jones
Sangamon Room, 3:00 pm: Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum reads his paper "A Low Dishonest Decade: The Self-Imposed Revisions of W.H. Auden"
Sangamon Room, 4:30 pm:Readings by Rachna Sheth, JY Sexton, Kerry James Evans

Social Event at Melange (aka "R&D") at 8 pm

Congrats to Helena "Hel" Bell (MFA '08)

on her acceptance to law school! Hel will be attending law school this coming fall at Washington University in St. Louis.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Reading and Drinking Returns, Saturday 4/5

Another session of "R&D" aka "Reading and Drinking" will take place this coming Saturday at Melange.
Poetry--Fiction--Drama--Drink Specials--Trivia--Prizes

7pm at Melange, on the Strip, 607 S. Illinois Avenue, Carbondale, IL

Sunday, March 30, 2008

In-House Reading Monday, March 31

from Amie Whittemore, a reminder:
"in-house reading tomorrow to support your brilliant peers (who knows, you might need to borrow a kidney / cup of sugar /pizza cutter from them one day). Also, tell your classes, bribe your students, bat your eyelashes at cute strangers in the hallway - do what you must to improve attendance at these shindigs."

Here's the line-up:

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2008

4:30 ABBY WHEETLEY, fiction

4:45 RACHEL FUREY, fiction

5:00 HANNAH NEW, poetry

5:15 WILL TYLER, poetry

Friday, March 28, 2008

Elena Pearson (MFA '07) in Compass Rose

Elena Pearson (MFA '07) has a poem in both the print and online versions of the literary magazine Compass Rose:
Compass Rose

Ingrid Moody (MFA '07) finalist for Summers Prize

Ingrid Moody (MFA '07, poetry) has been named a finalist for the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize.
Info on the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize:
Ohio U Press

New Book News from Ben Percy

Ben Percy (MFA '04) has great news. His novel, The Wilding, will be published in 2009 by Graywolf Press!
Reminder: Ben will be reading at the University of Southern Indiana on April 8.

Poemspotting: Curtis Crisler (MFA '04)

New poems by Curtis Crisler appear in the new issue of Elixir (Number Six, a special double issue). The poems are "Mary Jane and Chelsea" and "Suffering in Ignorance."

Elixir's website:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More on Rodney Jones's reading at the Library of Congress

More on Rodney Jones's upcoming reading in our nation's capital:
University Communications

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring 2008 Thesis Defense Dates: SIUC MFA Program

Spring 2008 Upcoming MFA Thesis Defenses
SIUC Department of English Creative Writing Program

Spectators are welcome, but seating is limited.

03/26 Jason Lee Brown (Fiction) Sun Visor Spider
12:00 - 2:00 p.m. – Department Conference Room (Faner 2370)
Committee: Pinckney Benedict, Jacinda Townsend, & Jon Tribble

03/31 Timothy Shea (Poetry) Wake
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. – Dean's Conference Room (Faner 2408) (note changed locale)
Committee: Rodney Jones, Judy Jordan, & Allison Joseph

03/31 Mary Keck (Fiction) The Girl in the Oven & Other Stories
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. – Humanities Lounge (Faner 2302)
Committee: Pinckney Benedict, Beth Lordan, & Jacinda Townsend

04/01 Martin Anthony Call (Poetry) Holograham & Other Poems
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. – Department Conference Room (Faner 2370)
Committee: Judy Jordan, Rodney Jones, & Allison Joseph

04/01 Helena Bell (Poetry) All Exits
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. – Faner 2365
Committee: Judy Jordan, Rodney Jones, & Allison Joseph

04/02 Sara Burge (Poetry) Evening Shade
12:30 - 2:30 p.m. – Department Conference Room (Faner 2370)
Committee: Rodney Jones, Judy Jordan, & Allison Joseph

04/04 J Y Sexton (Fiction) Dog N Pony
9:00 - 11:00 a.m. – Department Conference Room (Faner 2370)
Committee: Beth Lordan, Pinckney Benedict, & Jacinda Townsend

Monday, March 24, 2008

Catching Up With Chad Simpson (MFA '05)

What's up with Chad Simpson (MFA '05, fiction) these days? Here's his latest news:

"My essay "Home of the Poor and Unknown" appears in the latest issue of Barrelhouse, in their special section devoted to Dive Bar Stories.
My story "Especially Roosevelt" appears in the April 2008 issue of The Sun."
The Sun

Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest Winners

Announcing the Winners of the 2008 Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest
Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Women’s Studies Program
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Judge Sandy Longhorn, poet and English instructor at Pulaski Technical College, Little Rock, Arkansas, has chosen to honor the following poets and their poems:

Undergraduate Winners:
First place: Krishna Pattisapu, for "Strippers."
Second place: Hope Connell, for "The Shelf Life of Fruit."
Third place: Kate Gramlich, for "Drop."
Honorable Mention: Doug Dowling, for "In Her Mother's Bootsteps."

Graduate Winners:
First place: Travis Mossotti, for "I watched her going into a gas station,"
Second place: Amie Whittemore, for "The Secret History."
Third place: Rachel Furey, for "It Takes a Woman."
Honorable Mention: Jason Lee Brown, for "Advice for the New You."

Please join us on Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 4 pm in the SIUC Student Center Auditorium for an awards ceremony featuring a reading from our judge, Sandy Longhorn, the author of Blood Almanac (Anhinga Press) and a recent recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Arkansas Arts Council.

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 the time of her death in 2003. Additional support for this contest comes from the Judge William Holmes Cook Endowment.

Visit Sandy Longhorn's blog:
Sandy Longhorn

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New Book: Matt Guenette (MFA '99)

Matt Guenette's first collection of poetry, Sudden Anthem, is now available via Amazon.
Matt will be doing readings in support of the book's publication--check out his blog for upcoming dates:
Matt's blog

New Job: Ben Percy (MFA '04)

Ben Percy (MFA '04, fiction) will be joining the faculty at Iowa State University in the fall of 2008. Ben will be teaching in their new MFA in Creative Writing and Environment program. Congratulations, Ben!

Details about the Iowa State University MFA program here:

In addition, Ben will be in Evansville, Indiana on April 8, 2008 for a reading:
University of Southern Indiana

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Graduate Writers Forum Presents the MFA In-House Reading Series

In-house readings to begin this Monday, March 24, 2008, 4:30 p.m, in the Mackinaw Room, SIUC Student Center.

First up in the series are the talented:

Renee Evans, 2nd year in fiction

Jenna Bazzell, 1st year in poetry

Andy McFadyen-Ketchum, 2nd year in poetry

Friday, March 21, 2008

Readings for Darfur: Upcoming Benefit

Join the faculty of Southern Illinois University Carbondale in raising awareness and funds for the victims of the ongoing war in Darfur. In the past five years, millions of innocent men, women, and children have been either killed, injured or displaced by the conflict. Do your part to help by attending and giving whatever help you can. Suggested donation is $5 and proceeds will go to Save the Children to support work they are doing in Darfur.

Tuesday, March 25th, Ballroom C, SIUC Student Center, 7-8 p.m.:
Pinckney Benedict, Fiction
Michael Brown, History
Jacinda Townsend, Fiction

Wednesday, March 26th, Cambria Room, SIUC Student Center, 7-8 p.m.:
Getahun Benti, History
Allison Joseph, Poetry
Jon Tribble, Poetry

Thursday, March 27th, Ohio Room, SIUC Student Center, 7-8 p.m.:
Mark Amos, English
Judy Jordan, Poetry
Beth Lordan, Fiction
To be followed by a candlelight vigil

Upcoming Contest: Academy of American Poets Prize

The Academy of American Poets Prize

Each year, the creative writing program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, in conjunction with the Academy of American Poets, presents a poetry prize. The prize of $100 is given for the best poem and is open to all graduate students at SIUC.

Contestants should submit up to three poems to Rodney Jones, Coordinator, Academy of American Poets Prize, Department of English, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, by April 10, 2008.

Manuscripts should be prepared as follows:

Along with your poetry submissions, submit a title page listing your titles, your name, and your address. Include titles on each poem submitted, but not your name.

Announcements of winners and runner-ups will be made before the end of the semester.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Poetry and War

Here's an article from today's Southern Illinoisian about yesterday's poetry reading focused on the anniversary of the start of the Iraq war:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Allison Joseph reads at Claflin University

SIUC faculty poet reads today at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, which is the current academic home of MA grad Gaynell Gavin (MA, poetry, 1996).
Allison will read today at 5pm in Claflin's Orange and Maroon Room on the Claflin University campus.
More about Claflin University:
Claflin University

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pinckney Benedict's Blog Advice

Pinckney Benedict's recent blog entry, "Letter to a Student About to Enter the Queens University Low-Residency MFA Program," has been chosen as this week's featured blog over at, the (relatively) new Web space for writers.

It's linked on RedRoom's front page RedRoom under Best of RedRoom.

Their description: "Pinckney Benedict writes about what an MFA program can do for you and what it can't."

Pinckney says: "It was written specifically to a Queens student, but I think it applies equally to what we do (and do well) at SIUC."

Here's the direct link:
Benedict wisdom

Roxana Rivera Contest Deadline Approaching


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: “It Takes A Woman”

DEADLINE: Friday, March 21, 2008

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, Mail Code 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 27, 2008.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Congrats to Jason Brown!

Third-year fiction writer Jason Lee Brown has some happy upcoming publication news:

"Confrontation, The Literary Journal of Long Island University, has accepted my poem “First Acceptance” for publication."

Congrats, Jason!
Find out more about Confrontation here:

Friday, March 07, 2008

Upcoming Reading in Visiting Writers Series: Asali Solomon

As part of the English Department's Visiting Writer Series, Asali Solomon will be at SIUC on Monday, March 17, 2008.

03/17 - Visiting Writers Series Reading by fiction writer
Asali Solomon, 4:00 - 4:50 p.m. – SIUC Student Center Auditorium,
reception and book signing in Old Main Lounge (5:00 - 6:00 p.m.)

Asali Solomon was born and raised in West Philadelphia. Her first book, a collection of stories entitled Get Down, is set mostly in Philadelphia. Solomon's work has been featured in Vibe, Essence, and the anthology Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts. She received the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award for the stories in Get Down and was selected as one of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" in 2007. She has a PhD in English from University of California, Berkeley and an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Solomon is currently a visiting assistant professor of English at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

Find out more about Asali Solomon here:

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Allison Joseph to be Visiting Writer at Vermont Studio Center

SIUC faculty poet Allison Joseph will be a Visiting Writer at the Vermont Studio Center from March 6-March 13, 2008.
Find out more about the Vermont Studio Center at

Rodney Jones to read in our nation's capital

SIUC's own Rodney Jones will read from his work at the Library of Congress on March 27, 2008.
Details here:
Library of Congress

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Letter to the Editor

Second-year poetry MFA student Andy McFadyen-Ketchum has an insightful letter in today's school paper that everyone who teaches on a college campus should read:

Daily Egyptian

Poemspotting: David Bond (MFA '98) Edition

"The Tower at Giant City Park," a poem by David Bond (MFA '98, poetry), appears in the new issue of Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley. Big Muddy is published by Southeast Missouri State University.

Find out more about Big Muddy at
Big Muddy