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

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Poemspotting: Jake Boyd (MFA '07) edition

"Coal or Christmas Lights," a poem by Jake Boyd (MFA '07, poetry) appears in the new issue of Hayden's Ferry Review (Fall/Winter 2007-2008, Issue 41).
Find out more about Hayden's Ferry Review:
Hayden's Ferry Review

New Theater in Town

Here's an article featuring MFA '98 poetry graduate Catherine Field--she's instrumental in Carbondale's community theater group, the Stage Company. The group recently received a new home here in Carbondale:
The Southern

Wonder if Cathy would let us have readings there?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Upcoming Visiting Writers' Reading: Brian Barker and Nicky Beer

Mark your calendars for the first Visiting Writers Series Reading
of the Spring 2008 semester!
Poets Brian Barker and Nicky Beer will read on March 5, 4:00 - 4:50 p.m. – SIUC Student Center Auditorium,
reception and book signing in Old Main Lounge (5:00 - 6:00 p.m.)

Read work by Brian at

Read work by Nicky at
Verse Daily