Thursday, February 28, 2008

Last Days of Rosetta Stone

Last chance to score books from Rosetta Stone Bookstore:

Rosetta is closing its doors for good on Friday, Feb. 29th. Stop by now for great deals! We can't afford to have a giant "blowout sale" like large businesses, but through Friday:

All books are 10% off! (Poetry books 30% off! And select books 40% off!)

All cards, CDs, and local zines are 20% off!

And ALL magazines are 30% off!

Hope to see you soon!

Jessica Bradshaw
Rosetta Stone Bookstore
Inside Tropicana Vintage Clothing
Just off the square downtown
(212 North Washington Street, Rear)
Carbondale, IL 62901
Rosetta Stone
Monday - Saturday 11 AM - 6 PM

Interview to Be Published

Second-year poetry MFA student Andy McFadyen-Ketchum has blog-worthy news:

"Thought I’d let you now that my interview, “A NOTE ON FICTIONAL TRUTH, a conversation with Ed Pavlic” will be featured in The Cortland Review this Spring."

Congrats, Andy--the Cortland Review can be accessed here

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pinckney Benedict Scores Again!

from today's e-mail:

I’ve been informed by George Brosi, the editor of Appalachian Heritage AH, that my story “Joe Messinger is Dreaming” which appeared in their Summer 2007 issue, is the winner of the Plattner Award for Outstanding Fiction, for the best story to appear in the magazine in 2007. The novelist Lee Maynard was the judge.

Also, SURREAL SOUTH has received an excellent notice in the January/February issue of BLOOMSBURY REVIEW
BR. The money quotes:

"highbrow, literary writing"

"New blood"

"the rejuvenation of fiction"

"an anthropological eye-opener"

"a dream portal"

"a pot of nightmares"

"marijuana, fear, fatigue, alcohol, rage, and betrayal"
(sounds like the recipe for a good old-fashioned Appalachian family reunion to me!)

"the dreams of a hot and sticky southern night"

"irresistible offering"

"sultry and unforgettable"

I will also take a moment to note that Mark Budman, the reviewer, singles out Laura’s contribution to the anthology for particular praise, calling it "the most visually imaginative and logistically complex of all the stories."

Congrats to the editors of Surreal South, Pinckney and Laura Benedict!

Friday, February 22, 2008

More on Nobel Prize Winner Wole Soyinka's visit to SIUC

Here's a press release on all the events connected with Wole Soyinka's visit to SIUC:

This Saturday's Writers on the Road readings cancelled

Hello to all,

Due to the weather and resulting road conditions, the Writers on the Road event scheduled to be held tomorrow (2/23) has been cancelled. We'll send a new announcement if/when we schedule a make-up date.


Thanks, Shanie, for the cancellation notice. By the way, take notice of the fact that Shanie was recently named a finalist in the Compass Rose Pat Parnell Poetry Contest--congrats!

Compass Rose

Upcoming Readings for Allison Joseph

SIUC faculty poet Allison Joseph will be doing two readings next week:

Monday, February 25, 2008, 7:00 pm
Cherry Hall 125
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Kentucky

Thursday, February 28, 2008 7:30 p.m,
Broward Community College South Campus
Building 68, Southern Breeze Dining Room
Pembroke Pines, Florida

Comedy, Chicago-Style!

Much happier news in today's e-mail from Mark Vannier (MFA '03, fiction):

Hey, Allison,

I've been getting some good press for my latest ridiculous comedy show I co-wrote/created, including this EXCLUSIVE! important news feature:

Our clip is on the right side under video clips, the one titled "Bodyslam!" I'm the short, balding, red-bearded one on the left.

Anyone in the Chicago area looking to waste a Friday night, let me know and I'll try to secure some discount tickets for you.

take care,
Mark Vannier

More info on Bodyslam!
Annoyance Productions

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Carbondale Institution Is Closing

Just received this sad e-mail from Carbondale's radically independent bookstore, Rosetta Stone:

After 13 years of serving the community, Rosetta Stone Bookstore will be closing its doors on February 29th.

There are many reasons for the closure, but it comes down to the fact that sales are just too low. There have been many, many days where we've had one, two, or no sales. I have been working two - sometimes three - part-time jobs and still just barely scraping by. Even with the partnership with Tropicana Vintage Clothing, we are not making enough to pay our basic bills, and we have many, many debts to pay off. After this month, I'm hoping to get a full-time job.

We'll have all our magazines on display until the 29th, so please stop by & pick up a copy so you can fill out a subscription card. I know a lot of them would appreciate it, especially the smaller zines, who are also struggling in these tough economic times.

I hope that you continue to support Carbondale's independent businesses, including the Book Worm and Book World. I'm sure they would appreciate your business.

If you're an artist/author/musician and have items on consignment here, please come pick them up. If you can't make it in by Feb. 29th, please let us know (before the 29th).

Please stop by and show your support in these last few days. While we can't afford to have a big sale, everything is 10% off! We would really appreciate your support!

Thanks for everything you've done!

Jessica & Paula Bradshaw

Rosetta Stone Bookstore
Inside Tropicana Vintage Clothing
Just off the square downtown
(212 North Washington Street, Rear)
Carbondale, IL 62901
Rosetta Stone Bookstore
Monday - Saturday 11 AM - 6 PM

Young Writers Workshop 2008 Details

It's not too early to think about this year's Young Writers Workshop!
Details about this year's workshop (June 24-June 28, 2008) can be found
FYI: The Young Writers Workshop is a five-day program designed to give high school sophomores, juniors and seniors the chance to explore and develop their talents in poetry and prose writing. Students will hone their writing skills by participating in daily critique sessions lead by SIUC faculty, and by attending panels, readings, and craft discussions lead by SIUC creative writing faculty and graduate students.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Upcoming Literary Events in Carbondale

The following noteworthy literary events are not sponsored by the MFA Program or English Department, but they are very much don't miss events:

Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer
Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 7PM
SIUC Student Center, Ballroom B
presenting the Jack and Muriel Hayward Lecture
Sponsored by the Public Policy Institute and WSIU
Press release here:
Ray Suarez

Nobel Prize-winning playwright, poet, author and memoirist Wole Soyinka
1986 Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature
Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 5PM
SIUC Student Center, Ballroom D
Details at
Public Policy Institute

Catching Up with Ben Percy (MFA '04)

Fiction graduate Ben Percy (MFA '04) has great news:

"The February issue of Men's Journal features my farewell to Evel Knievel.

Esquire has commissioned me to write a short story -- "April 20th" -- for their April, 2008 issue.

"Refresh, Refresh" will be included in Best of the Pushcart Prize, an anthology that includes the best work awarded the Pushcart since its inception. Ed. Bill Henderson. 2009.

"In the Rough," (originally published in the Antioch Review) will be included in Best of the West: Volume 6, an anthology that includes the best work from the "west side of the Missouri." Ed. D. Seth Horton. 2009."

for more about Ben, visit his web site at
Benjamin Percy

Monday, February 18, 2008

Writers on the Road Update, via Shanie Latham


We're very excited about our next "Writers on the Road" event, which will take place this Saturday from 3-6 and include readings by MFA students from three different MFA programs: Washington U in St. Louis, Murray State U, and U of Alabama. Chris Dennis, who is a graduate of SIUC's undergrad program, will be one of the readers representing Washington U.

We hope you'll be available to make it to some, if not all, of these readings. But even if you cannot, we do hope you'll spread the word about the event to your students, both graduate and undergraduate.

Please note a location change: The readings will not be in a River Room this time. Instead, they will take place in the Cambria Room, which is adjacent to the Renaissance Room (where the Gala has been held for the past two years.)


The Graduate Writers Forum
presents the fourth SIUC-hosted installment of

Writers on the Road

featuring fiction and poetry readings
by MFA students from

Washington University in St. Louis
Murray State University
The University of Alabama

Saturday, February 23, 2008
SIUC Student Center ~ Cambria Room

3 p.m. Murray State University
4 p.m. The University of Alabama
5 p.m. Washington University

All are welcome. Please spread the word.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Congrats to Helena "Hel" Bell!

Third-year poetry MFA Helena "Hel" Bell has also had recent work accepted for publication:
"I thought I'd let you know that "Dalton's Law" has been accepted for publication by Rattle."

Congrats, Hel!

Here's the link:

In addition, Hel's also been accepted to more law schools:
Tulane University and Washington University at St. Louis!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Congrats to Renee Evans!

Second-year fiction MFA student Renee Evans also has good news:

"I just got a short story, "Traverse," accepted for the Spring 2008 issue of roger!"

Congrats, Renee!

Roger is the new literary journal connected to Roger Williams University, located in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Here's the link:

Congrats to Amie Whittemore!

First-year poetry MFA student Amie Whittemore has good publication news to share:

"Two of my poems have recently been accepted for publication: "The Other Runner" will be in Quiddity's inaugural issue (April 2008), and "Visitation" will be in Fifth Wednesday Journal's spring 2008 edition."

Congrats, Amie!

Here are the links:
Fifth Wednesday

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Congrats to James Scoles!

First year fiction writer James Scoles has even more good news to share:

"beth wanted me to write... and let you know that i just won
first prize in the 2008 Prairie Fire Short Fiction Contest.
the award carries a $1250 cash prize, plus payment for
publication (summer, 2008).

'El Juego' was the first short story i workshopped with beth
last semester, which i revised over november break. again,
huge thanks to beth, and the workshop."

Tremendous news, James! Congratulations!

Here's the link:
Prairie Fire

Pinckney Benedict Reprints and Accolades

from the fabulous fiction faculty member, Pinckney Benedict:

"My story “Bridge of Sighs” (originally published in the Summer
2007 issue of Zoetrope: All-Story) has been selected by guest editor ZZ
Packer for New Stories from the South: Best of 2008, due out from Algonquin
Books in September 2008.

Also, my story “Mercy” (originally published in the Fall/Winter 2006/2007 issue of Ontario Review and recently reprinted in PushcartPrize XXXII) will be included in
21st Century American Short Fiction, due out from Ecco Press in August 2008. The volume is edited by Joyce Carol Oates and includes work from, among others, Richard Bausch, Michael Chabon, Mary Gaitskill, Edward P. Jones, Lorrie Moore, George Saunders, and Tobias Wolff."

That Pinckney's quality!

Poetry Reading Cancelled Tonight (Feb. 13)

Due to bad weather conditions, the poetry reading by Allison Joseph (scheduled for tonight at 6 pm in the Student Center on campus) has been cancelled. The AAUW regrets the cancellation, and will work to reschedule the event.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06) Georgia Poetry Circuit dates

Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry) will be on the road this month, doing readings in the state of Georgia on the Georgia Poetry Circuit:

Monday, February 18, Brenau University, Gainesville
Reading: Noon, Banks Recital Hall

Tuesday, February 19, Georgia Perimeter College, Clarkston Campus
Reading: 5:30 pm, JCLRC

Wednesday, February 20, Georgia Perimeter College, Decatur Campus
Reading: 12:30 pm, A Building, Library Gallery

Thursday, February 21, University of Georgia, Athens
Reading: 12:30 pm, in Park Hall room 261.

Friday, February 22, Berry College, Rome
Reading: 3 pm, Science Auditorium

More dates to come in April.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Story Spotting: Chris Bryson (MFA '07)

from Chris Bryson (MFA '07, fiction):

"Thought I'd let you know I got the new issue of The Madison Review, and it has my short-short story "Sunglasses" in it."

Congrats, Bryson!
Here's the link:
Madison Review

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Congrats to James Scoles!

First-year fiction MFA student has some genre-jumping good news to share:

"i had a story accepted in january, which will appear in the
spring issue of Prairie Fire, a literary journal in canada.

'An Early Grey Cup' was a 20-page short story from workshop
last semester with beth, which eventually i worked into a much
stronger piece of creative non-fiction (especial thanks to beth
on that one)."

Congrats, James!

Here's the link:
Prairie Fire

Monday, February 04, 2008

SIUC MFA Grads in the new issue of Natural Bridge

Poems by MFA '07 poetry grad James Thomas Miller ("Poem for Gator Hinds" and "The Rules of the Game") and MFA poetry grad '05 Chad Parmenter ("A Purr for Julie Newmar, the One True Catwoman") appear in the latest issue of Natural Bridge, the literary journal located at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Natural Bridge website:
Natural Bridge

Upcoming Literary Event in Carbondale

This Wednesday 2/6 @ Melange:
Reading & Drinking
7 pm
607 S Illinois Avenue, Carbondale
Poetry-Fiction-Drama-Drink Specials-Trivia-Prizes

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Poems forthcoming for Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06)

from today's e-mail:
"The title poem for my in-the-printers-now chapbook, "The Clay-Shaper's Husband", was taken by Ploughshares. Another poem, "Husband for a Day", was taken by Pearl."
Congrats, MM!

Friday, February 01, 2008

And the hits just keep on comin'!

This just in...

Two of our fiction professors, Pinckney Benedict and Jacinda Townsend, have received awards from the Illinois Arts Council. Pinckney Benedict has received a Individual Artist Fellowship in Prose for Fiscal Year 08 ($7000). Jacinda Townsend is the recipient of a Finalist Award in Prose ($700). The official announcement of the awards can be found at


I'm especially encouraged to note that we were the only locale outside of the Chicagoland area to receive two awards.