Friday, December 18, 2009

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!


Just got notice that the Valparaiso Poetry Review accepted the poem "My Brother's House" for publication next fall. I was pleasantly surprised to find and read your poem in the current issue.



Congrats, TM, and thanks for noticing!

Valparaiso Poetry Review

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congrats to Mark Brewin!

Second-year poetry MFA student Mark Brewin continues to have success getting his poems in fine venues:

ahoy, allison.

wow. goodness. i got a lovely e-mail yesterday from the River Oak Review asking to publish my poem "What Einstein Saw Before Typing His Theory of Relativity," and after checking my e-mail today (some 19 hours and 1200 miles later...) i got an e-mail from The Pinch expressing their interest in publishing "The Group" and "Our Lady of the Water Glass." what a week. keep it coming.

hot dog.

Congrats, MB!

River Oak Review
The Pinch

Monday, December 14, 2009

Congrats to Helena "Hel" Bell!

Helena "Hel" Bell (MFA '08, poetry) writes with good news as well:

Hey Allison, I finally have news for the blog! My poem "Cleaning the Quail" was accepted this morning by Pedestal Magazine.


Congrats, Hel!

The Pedestal

Congrats to Leslie Adams!

First-year poetry MFA student has good news for a Monday afternoon:

Hi Allison,

I'm happy to report that The Adirondack Review has accepted my poem "And This" for publication!

Also, I was informed this weekend that two of my poems were among the fourteen finalists for the Yellowwood Prize, which Mark ultimately won with his awesome poem.

Good news all around!
Leslie Adams

Congrats, Leslie!

The Adirondack Review
Yalobusha Review

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Congrats to Mark Brewin!

Current second-year poetry MFA student Mark Jay Brewin has a big win to celebrate this weekend. His poem "Our Lady of Mount Carmel" is the winner of the Yellowwood Prize from the Yalobusha Review!

Mark, whose poem was selected for this honor by Beth Ann Fennelly, will receive $500!

Congrats, Mark!

Yalobusha Review

Congrats to John Flaherty

Congrats to John Flaherty (MFA '08, fiction) on the publication of his latest story:

Hi, Allison -

Wanted to report that my story "American Soiling Fees" is up at The story is quite short, but it involves Ireland, Goldman Sachs, Tatyana Ali, and puking. In other words, it is posted just in time for the Holidays.

Hope all is well,

John Flaherty

American Soiling Fees

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Congrats to Nick Ostdick!

Start the weekend with a story by first-year fiction writer Nick Ostdick!

Hey Allison,

Hope your weekend is off to a great start. Just wanted to give word that my story 'True Hair' has just been published in the December issue of Storyglossia. A nifty little interview with me should be on the site as well. It's a great little mag and I'm stoked to have the story there.

Here's the link:
True Hair

Many thanks.


Congrats, Nick!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Congrats to Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry)

Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry) writes with a lot of upcoming credits:

Hey, Allison. I've had some good luck the past couple months and thought I'd pass these on.

My poems "Westbound Elegy" and "Post Grads" were taken by American Poetry Journal, "Touch" was taken by Los Angeles Review, and "Tattoo Parlor" was taken by Barn Owl Review. Also, "To the President of the American Begonia Society," "Mother’s Day," "If The World" and “Racial Memories” were taken by New York Quarterly. A short story, "The Hero's Wife," was accepted by Planet Magazine. Last, my poem, "Oasis," will be published as an Honorable Mention in the New Millennium Writings poetry contest, judged by Nikki Giovanni.

Hope you're well! Take care,


Congrats, MM! That's a lot of published and forthcoming work!

American Poetry Journal
Los Angeles Review (they like us; they really like us!)
Barn Owl Review
New York Quarterly
New Millennium Writings

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Congrats to Sara Burge!

Sara Burge (MFA '08, poetry) writes:

Hi Allison,

My Spock poem, "Vulcan Logic," is finally going to see the light of day in Los Angeles Review, and "Metal Concubines" will be published by Juked as one of the finalists in their poetry competition. Those poems have been floating around for a while, so I'm happy they found their homes!

Sara Burge

Looks like they like us in LA! Congrats, Sara!

Los Angeles Review

Congrats to Will Tyler (MFA '09)!


I'm finally writing with some good news. I had three poems accepted for publication over the weekend. Albatross picked up "Breakup on the Guadalupe" and "Elegies and Requiems." And the Los Angeles Review accepted "Capital Wire and Cable, 1968."


Congrats, Will--three poems accepted in one weekend is quite a weekend!

Los Angeles Review

Monday, December 07, 2009

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!

Current third-year poetry student Travis Mossotti has this news:

Harpur Palate has accepted "I watched her going into a gas station," for publication. I also found out that my manuscript About the Dead was a semi-finalist for the Brittingham and Pollak Poetry Prizes out of the University of Wisconsin.

Congrats, TM!

Harpur Palate
U of Wisconsin Poetry Series

Friday, December 04, 2009

Congrats to Alex Lumans!

Alex Lumans (MFA '09, fiction) writes from chilly Colorado:


Letting you know that Southern Humanities Review picked up two of my poems ("For the Restless Flycatcher" and "On the Eve of My Father's Second Book") for its next issue.

And my story "The Human Moments" that was originally published in Clarkesworld a couple years ago is now coming out this month in the anthology Realms 2: The Second Year of Clarkesworld.

It's also 3 degrees here right now.


Congrats, AL!

Southern Humanities Review
Realms 2

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Congrats to Jake Boyd (MFA '07)

from an e-mail note from Jake Boyd (MFA '07, poetry):

The poem "Burning Billboards" is up on BOMB's website for the next week, along with a high falootin' Q & A.
Here's the link:
Jake's Q & A

Also, the poem "Meditation at Sunrise" will appear in North American Review this spring, and the poem "Trying to Remember a Hermit Thrush" will be in Hawk and Handsaw. I've got some chapbooks circulating, but I've backed off trying to unleash a full-size book on the unsuspecting world.

Congrats, Jake!

North American Review
Hawk & Handsaw

Congrats to Kerry James Evans!

Kerry James Evans (MFA '09, poetry) will have his poem "Bones" published in an upcoming issue of Briar Cliff Review.

Congrats, KJE!

Briar Cliff Review

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Good News from Rachel Furey (MFA '09, fiction)

Great news keeps on coming for and from Rachel Furey (MFA '09, fiction):


Apparently, it's my lucky week. It actually snowed in Texas! And I
have the following news to pass along: my short story "After Failing
at Suicide" was a finalist for the 2009 Fulton prize and now appears
in the winter issue of The Adirondack Review. Also, Squid
Quarterly nominated "In front of the Aquarium" for a Pushcart Prize.

All the best,

Adirondack Review
Squid Quarterly

Congrats, Rachel! Keep the good news coming!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Essayspotting: Tim Marsh

A new essay by Tim Marsh (MFA '06, fiction) has just been published at Connotation Press:

At the Hanover U Haul

Storyspotting: Renee Evans (MFA '09)

A new story by Renee Evans (MFA '09, fiction) has just been published by Paradigm:

A Late Lunch

Congrats to Melissa Scholes Young!

Second-year fiction writer Melissa Scholes Young has lovely news to share:

The Yalobusha Review, the literary magazine of the University of Mississippi, has accepted a piece of my nonfiction entitled "Silk Flowers."
Yalobusha Review

My essay "Living and Sometimes Laughing" just came out in the anthology Voices of MS published by LaChance.
LaChance Publishing

And some old and new news. "Guinea Pig," which was published by the New Plains Review, has been nominated for a Pushcart. Alex Lumans found this link online to a video excerpt of Doug Goetsch introducing me and the reading.
New Plains Review
Melissa reading "Guinea Pig"

Congrats, MSY, on everything!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Congrats to Rachel Furey!

Rachel Furey (MFA '09) has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize!


I'll tag onto Janelle's note by letting you know that Main Street Rag is also nominating my story "The Pet Mortician" for a Pushcart Prize.

Hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving!


Congrats, Rachel!

Rachel's story appears in this anthology:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Congrats to Janelle Blasdel!

Congrats to second-year fiction writer Janelle Blasdel:

I just found out that Main Street Rag is nominating my short story "Vampire Crop" for a Pushcart Prize. This is the story that came out last spring in the anthology Dots on a Map.

Congrats, JB!

Main Street Rag's Fiction

Friday, November 20, 2009

Congrats to Katie Darby!

First-year fiction writer Katie Darby sends more good news to round out the week:

Hey Allison,

I just had a story picked up for publication! My story "A Color Story" will be forthcoming for the Spring 2010 issue of "The Meadowland Review." Good news! What a way to round out this week.


Yeah, Katie! Congrats!

Meadowland Review

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Congrats to Renee Evans!

The story acceptances keep coming for Renee Evans (MFA '09, fiction):

Dear Allison,

Paradigm just accepted "A Late Lunch" for publication.

Give yourselves hugs for us!

Congrats, Renee!

Paradigm Journal

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Congrats to Sara Burge!

Sara Burge (MFA '08, poetry) tops off today's spate of fantastic news with this:

I just found out my manuscript, Eternal Return, won the DeNovo Award through C&R Press!!!!!!
Oh My GAWWWDDD!!!!! (Hyperventilate!)

Sara Burge

Congrats, Sara! Catch your breath and go out and celebrate!

C&R Press

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!

Also appearing at AWP Denver's Pedagogy Forum will be third-year poetry student Travis Mossotti:

"An exercise I designed, "Cul-de-sac: Rescuing Composition Time and Salvaging Inspiration," has been accepted for presentation at AWP's 2010 Pedagogy forum for poetry. I will be presenting FRIDAY, April 9 from 9:00-10:15 AM in the Colorado Convention Center, Room 107.

The annual AWP Conference in Denver will be April 7-10, 2010.

Details here:

Catching Up With Rachel Furey (MFA '09)

Rachel Furey (MFA '09, fiction) writes with good news today:

"I wanted to let you know that my story "Machete Maneuvers" has been accepted by A Journal of the Built & Natural Environment for Issue No. 25 (to be launched around March 2010). The story was workshopped around this time last year, so I have to give a thankful shout-out to Pinckney Benedict and the rest of that workshop, whoprovided comments that proved helpful in revising that story.

Also, my pedagogy paper "Brave Writing: Embracing the Tough Details" has been accepted to be shared at a fiction and drama pedagogy forum taking place at the Denver AWP."

Congrats, Rachel! See you in Denver!


from the crazy world of Pinckney Benedict

Only fiction writer Pinckney Benedict (MFA faculty at SIUC) could give us this world:

"The characters in a new story of mine, "The Angel's Trumpet," are named Albertus Magnus, Ptolemy Philadelphus, and Cunobelinus Togodumnus. The narrator's named Athelstan Brunanburh. They're all brothers, last name of Goins. It'll be in the winter issue of APPALACHIAN HERITAGE. Their father thought it would be cool to give them all bizarre names."

Congrats, PB, on the forthcoming story!

Appalachian Heritage

Congrats to Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06, poetry)

Michael Meyerhofer has won the 2009 Marjorie J. Wilson Poetry Award from MARGIE for his poem "For My Brother!" He will receive $1000 and publication in volume 9 of MARGIE.
Congrats, MM!

Contest Results
For My Brother

In addition, a new poem by Michael appears in the latest issue of Atlanta Review. "The First Crush" is featured on page two of the Fall/Winter 2009 issue.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Congrats to Tim Marsh (MFA '06)

Two things: First, Connotation Press has just accepted my CNF piece "Abandoning Furniture at the Hanover U-Haul", due to appear sometime in December. Second, the SIU Alumni Association will be using a small article I wrote as a script for an upcoming commercial. The commercial will air during halftime of the men's basketball 2010 MVC Tournament, most likely during SIU's first/second round matchup.

Go Tim! Go Salukis!

Connotation Press

Friday, November 13, 2009

Congrats to Amie Whittemore!

Third-year poetry MFA Amie Whittemore sends this happy news:

Dear Allison:

I'm happy to report Sycamore Review accepted my poem "Movement of Heat" for publication.


Congrats, Amie!

Sycamore Review

This Just In: Adrian Matejka Reading

Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) reading in St. Louis. Sorry for the late notice; I've been on the road myself:

If you’re looking to meet some interesting NoCo people and stimulate your brain, head to the Thyme Table in Ferguson this evening for a free reading and discussion by German-born poet Adrian Matejka.

Sponsored by UMSL’s Graduate Writers’ Association and the Northern Arts Council, tonight’s event features some of Matejka’s award-winning work from the 2008 National Poetry Series, as well as an open dialogueon the craft of poetry.

Drinks and light refreshments will be served. Doors open at 7pm. Thyme Table Cafe, 304 S. Florissant Rd, 7:30 – 9pm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Catching Up with Betsy Taylor (MFA '98, fiction)

Loved this note I got from MFA grad Betsy Taylor:

Hey, Allison.

I'm writing fiction again, a little bit. I wanted to let you know about a couple of things in case you want to post it on the MFA bulletin board.

I've had a story, "The Funerals of Important Men," accepted by The Republic of Letters. It won't appear until issue #22, so it's still a ways off. (They're just about to publish issue #20.) Here's the link to the mag:
The Republic of Letters

Another story I wrote, "Notes on Infidelity," just received the Honorable Mention prize for the 2009 Memphis magazine Fiction Contest. (They awarded one grand prize and two honorable mentions this year.) The official announcement gets made in the magazine's December issue, which should come out in two weeks or so. I think the story might be published online in January 2010, but I need to clarify. Here's a little more info about the contest:
Memphis Magazine

Wonderful to hear from you, BT! Congrats on all these accolades!

Congrats to Katie Darby!

First-year fiction writer Katie Darby has had her poem "What I Think of When You Say You Aren't Afraid of Anything" accepted for publication in the first issue of the new literary journal Big Lucks!

Congrats, KD! Love that cross-genre action!

Big Lucks

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Book Alert: Surreal South '09

Announcing the publication of Surreal South '09, edited by Pinckney and Laura Benedict, featuring work by Josh Woods (MFA '09, fiction) and Alex Lumans (MFA '09, fiction):

Details here:
Surreal South '09

Monday, November 09, 2009

Allison Joseph to be featured writer at Millikin University Literary Festival

SIUC faculty poet Allison Joseph will head north to participate in the 7th annual Millikin University Literary Festival:
Millikin University Literary Festival

Congrats to Ben Percy!

Fiction grad Ben Percy (MFA '04) has just learned his essay "Me vs. Animals" will appear in the winter issue of The Paris Review!
Congrats, Ben!

The Paris Review

Congrats to Nick Ostdick!

First-year fiction writer Nick Ostdick has some cross-genre action to report:

Just wanted to let you know that I have a poem--yes, a poem, crazy, right?--entitled: 'to maggie: a girl who I once saw naked in eighth grade during steven hindrich’s pool party and whom I briefly might have been in love with' forthcoming in Anthills. Should be out soon. Thanks.

Congrats, Nick!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Congrats to Kerry James Evans!

Here's Kerry James Evans (MFA '09) in the most recent issue of Beloit Poetry Journal:
Leaning In from the Sea

Catching Up With Kevin McKelvey

Kevin McKelvey (MFA '04, poetry) sends the following news about what he's up to next week at the Spirit & Place Festival in Indianapolis:
Spirit&Place Festival

I'm fortunate enough to be reading or presenting at three Spirit & Place Festival events next week, and I hope you can make it to one (or all!) of them. This is an amazing festival whose themes are at the center of my creative work and community involvement, so I'm honored to be a part.

On Tuesday, November 10, I'll be reading at "Nature Awakens Creativity," which includes art, music, and writing inspired by Central Indiana Land Trust nature preserves. My poem "Hemlock Cliffs, December 2007" will have improvisational accompaniment by the Indianapolis Women's Chorus. The event is 7-9 p.m. at the Indianapolis Art Center

On Thursday, November 12, I'll be pitching an idea at Pecha Kucha night at the IMA to start an independent book publisher, Pogue's Run Press, in Indianapolis. 10 presenters, and one of them walks away with a $10,000 check to get started. Our focus will be on making books for kids by kids with Second Story and on publishing place-based writing, as well as graphic novels and innovative collaborations with Big Car. Bring your friends. 9-11 p.m at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. A free ticket is required, which you can reserve through the IMA. There's a bar. A good audience helps my presentation (20 slides for 20 seconds each for a total of 6:40). Go to the bar before or after my presentation, not during.
Pecha Kucha

And on Friday , November 13, I'm reading my "Barns" essay along with other Spirit & Place Festival essayists as part of the Made for Each Other event at the Wheeler Arts Community. The reading starts at 7:30, Jim Walker will emcee and facilitate a Q&A at the end, and local band Tonas Triad will play at intermission and after the reading. Second Story is partnering on this, and Big Car and Made for Each Other will have two photography shows, one with cell phone pictures and another with photos shot with disposable cameras by Fountain Square residents. This should be a great Friday night.

And one final pitch: my chapbook, "Dream Wilderness" is available for pre-order. (Scroll down to me). These poems started in graduate school and lived in the woods for awhile, so I'm happy to see them in print soon.
Finishing Line Press

Congrats, KMK, on all this activity!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Catching Up With Chad Simpson (MFA'05)

Congrats to MFA fiction alum Chad Simpson on the publication of "House Calls" in HOBART:
House Calls

Fiction alum Justin Hamm (MFA '05) is also in the same issue:
The Secret of Healers and Monsters

Love it when SIUC alums/current MFAs are in the same journal!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Congrats to Tim Marsh (MFA '06)!

Tim Marsh (MFA '06, fiction) writes from Bali to say "my piece "Hobbema" will appear in Eclectic Flash this January."

Congrats, Tim!

Eclectic Flash

Thursday, November 05, 2009


to Justin Hamm (MFA '05, fiction) for having his poem, "at sixteen," nominated for a Pushcart Prize by decomP! The poem originally appeared in the August 2009 issue:


to Travis Mossotti on the acceptance of his poems "Saxifrage" and "A Piece of Advice" for publication by Roger, the literary journal located at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Roger has a fondness for SIUC writers! Check their guidelines here:

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!

Congrats to Travis Mossotti (third-year, poetry):

My poem "After the Snowmelt" (a poem that ran through your workshop) has been accepted at the Greensboro Review for their
spring 2010 issue.


You can't stop the Mossotti, nor can you hope to contain him!

Greensboro Review

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Congrats to Kathryn Kerr (MFA '00)

Poetry alum Kathryn Kerr (MFA '00) puts aside modesty to share news of these recent or upcoming publications. Congrats, KK!

“The Hill Woman’s Rant” and “The Trouble with Genealogy” forthcoming in Big Muddy, A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley

“Song of Songs” and “Egrets in Abundance” in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment,XVI, No.2, Spring 2009

Big Muddy

SIUC writers to read in Chicago

Two upcoming readings in Chicago feature SIUC-connected writers:

Second year poetry MFA Katie Zapoluch will read in Chicago as part of this upcoming special reading:

With keynote speaker Irene Zabytko and poets Sonya Arko, Petrusia Duncan, and Katie Zapoluch
Saturday, November 7, 7:00 PM
The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art
2320 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
Free admission
Info here
Ukrainian American Writers

Fiction alum Andrew Lewellen (MFA '08) sends this news:

This Wednesday, November 4th, I will be reading at RUI: Reading Under the Influence, a monthly reading series here in Chicago that was the Chicago Reader's 2009 pick for Best Reading Series. At the event, folks read published work, original work, and trivia.
RUI takes place at Sheffields (3258 N. Sheffield) from 7-9 pm. There is a $3 cover charge.
I'll be reading from my--honestly--nearly-completed novel. It would be great to see some SIU people there!

Check out these links for more info:

Reading Under the Influence
Chicago Reader

Monday, November 02, 2009

Congrats to Ben Percy

Congrats to Ben Percy (MFA '04) on joining the faculty of the low-residency program in creative writing at Pacific University!
Pacific U MFA

Friday, October 30, 2009

Congrats to Rachel Furey and Tim Marsh!

Rachel Furey (MFA '09, fiction) and Tim Marsh (MFA '06, fiction) both appear in the new issue of Waccamaw Journal!

Congrats to Rachel for the publication of her story "When Your Wet Suit Fails" and to Tim for the publication of his essay "Mile One." In addition, an essay by Ira Sukrungruang appears in the issue (Ira was an SIUC undergrad and an editor of Grassroots during his time in Carbondale).



Congrats to Kerry James Evans!

A note from Kerry James Evans (MFA '09, poetry):


New Letters accepted three poems: "Blanket Party," "Burial" and "Volcano."

All the Best,
Kerry James Evans

Congrats, KJE!

New Letters

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!

I can't keep up with Travis's (third-year, poetry) honors and pubs (since they come so frequently), so this is a two-in-one post! Congrats, TM!


Aside from finding out I'm a finalist for the Southwest Review's Morton Marr Poetry Prize, I just got news that my poem "Only Then" will be featured in the Cigar Lounge section of the The Smoking Poet (an online journal for lovers of cigars and literature). Ha!



Morton Marr, Southwest Review
The Smoking Poet

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Congrats to Ethan Castelo!

Fiction alum Ethan Castelo (MFA '06) announces the beginning of a brand-new project:

Anson Everett Castelo was born yesterday at 2 pm. He was 7 lbs 10 oz and 19 inches long. Everyone is doing fine.

Congrats, Ethan and family!

Congrats to Shawn Mitchell!

Cool news today from first-year fiction writer Shawn Mitchell:

Hi Allison,

Good news!  I just found out my short story "It's Not the Heat So Much As the Jelly" will be republished in Torpedo's Best of Anthology at year's end.  The story originally appeared in Torpedo Volume 4, which was a tribute to Richard Brautigan.

Shawn Mitchell

Congrats, Shawn!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Poemspotting: SIUC Poetry Alums in New Issue of Roger

Poems by Renee Wells (MFA '06) and Kerry James Evans (MFA '09) appear in the new issue of Roger, the national literary journal published by Roger Williams University. Renee is represented by the poem "Swan Creek Township, Ohio" and  Kerry James has "How to Avoid an Ambush" in this issue. 

The editors at Roger are currently reading for their next volume; find out how to submit at 

In-House Reading: Wednesday, October 28

This Wednesday, October 28, will be our last In House Reading of the semester.  The reading will be in the Missouri River Room on the second floor of the Student Center from 4 to 5:30.

And here's the line-up of readers:

1) Sarah McCartt-Jackson (2nd year Poetry)
2) Shawn Mitchell (1st year Fiction)
3) Jung Hae Chae (1st year Poetry)
4) Charlie Lemmink (2nd year Fiction)

We hope to see you there.

(Thanks to Janelle Blasdel for the update)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ben Percy: Recent Publications

Recent publication news from Ben Percy (MFA '04, fiction):

"Go the Distance: What Rocky Taught Me About Submission" in Poets & Writers, Nov/Dec 2009 (print edition only)
"The Disrespected" an article about Stephen King and his new novel Under the Dome, in the Nov/Dec issue of Esquire
"The Tree" in the fall 2009 issue of Ecotone
Oh, and the graphic novel adaptation of Refresh, Refresh -- co-authored by James Ponsoldt and illustrated by Eisner-nominated artist Danica Novgorodoff -- came out this October with First Second Books (a division of Macmillan).
Congrats, Mr. Percy!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kevin McKelvey's (MFA '04) chapbook now available for pre-order

MFA poetry grad Kevin McKelvey's chapbook Dream Wilderness is now available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press!

Details here (scroll down):

SIUC MFA Program highlighted in The Southern

Thanks to Codell Rodriguez for his article in The Southern about the SIUC MFA Program in Creative Writing:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ten Questions With Rodney Jones

Not sure these are the ten questions I'd ask Rodney, but the answers are pure Jones:

Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival: Schedule and Author Bios

Thanks to Andrea Hahn in SIUC University Communications for this Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival roundup:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SIUC writers in Poets & Writers

Ben Percy (MFA '04, fiction) compares the writing life to the boxing life in the November/December 2009 issue of  Poets & Writers, but you can only read his column in the print edition.

Adrian Matejka (MFA '01, poetry)  talks about inspiration in the "Writers Recommend" column:

SIUC's MFA in Poets & Writers

SIUC's MFA Program in Creative Writing has been ranked among the nation's Top 50 programs by Poets & Writers:

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Kudos from Glimmer Train for SIUC writers

This just in--Shanie Latham (MFA '08, fiction) was named an "honorable mention" in the August 2009 Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers for her story "What Memories Are." Looks like Glimmer Train likes us.

Congrats to Desiree Dighton!

This one is a bit of old news, but still worth posting and celebrating! Desiree Dighton (MFA '07, fiction) was chosen as a finalist in Glimmer Train's June 2009 "Best Start" contest:

Glimmer Train

Congrats, DD! Better late than never!

Upcoming Literary Events in Carbondale: Week of October 19, 2009

Grassroots, SIUC's undergraduate literary and art journal, invites you to a Bonfire and Reading Party on Wednesday, Oct 21st at Giant City State Park at 6 pm.  Bring something spooky to read aloud and enjoy delicious s'mores and apple cider. For directions or a for a ride, e-mail

On October 23, the Graduate Writers Forum of SIUC welcomes writers from the University of Missouri.  The reading will take place at 5:30 pm at the Mississippi Room, SIUC Student Center, second floor. The reading is free and open to the public. The readers are:

Jessica Garrett, poet and author of Fire Pond (winner of the 2008 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry, published by University of Utah Press in April 2009)

Stephanie Carpenter, fiction writer whose work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, St. Ann's Review, turnrow and Avery Anthology

Robert Long Foreman, essayist whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Massachusetts Review, Alimentum, Under the Sun, Harper Palate and North Dakota Quarterly


Stephanie Wortman, poet whose work has appeared in Yale Review, New Orleans Review and Smartish Pace, among  other journals.

Congrats to Nathan Beck (MFA '07)

This good news comes via our department chair, Dr. Michael Molino:

"Tony Williams (SIUC film professor)  and Nathan Beck, one of our MFA graduates, wrote articles for a recently published collections of stories on Charles Coleman's Sergeant Back Again. What is not apparent from this image is that Tony was approached to write the screenplay for the film project. Tony recommended Nathan for the job, so Nathan now has a contract to write the screenplay. Congratulations and thanks to Tony. Good luck to Nathan."

Congrats to Nathan, on both the publication and the contract to write the screenplay!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Congrats for these writers!

Acceptance season is in full swing, and SIUC writers are getting their share!

From second-year poet Mark Brewin:
just got a happy little note in my e-mail. my poem "On Peeling Skin" has been accepted for publication in Iron Horse Literary Review. nice.
Congrats, Brewin!
Iron Horse

From alum Justin Hamm (MFA, fiction, '05):
Just wanted to drop a line to let you know that I'll have new fiction,"The Secret of Healers and Monsters," in next month's Hobart online.
Congrats, Justin!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Upcoming Literary Event: Bending the Bow: A Celebration of African Love Poetry

Event Schedule Here:
Bending the Bow

Congrats to Tim Marsh!

Tim Marsh (MFA '06, fiction) sends word about an upcoming publication:

My essay "Mile One" will appear in Waccamaw Journal at the end of the month.

Best to all,

Waccamaw Journal

Congrats to Tim, who's sitting pretty in Bali still!

Reminder: In-House Reading Today!

On Wednesday October 14, we will be holding our third In-House Reading of the semester from 4-5:30 in the Missouri River Room, located on the second floor of the SIUC Student Center.

The readers this time are
Rick Pechous, second-year fiction writer
Katie Zapoluch, second-year poet
Brenna Lemieux, second-year poet
Janelle Blasdel, second-year fiction writer

Readings are free and open to the public!

Congrats to Lane Kareska!

Congrats to second-year fiction writer Lane Kareska!

Hey Allison, just wanted to let you know my short story "God Water" was just reprinted in Columbia College Chicago's first issue of its new "Zine Columbia." With art (not my own)!
Best, Lane

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Congrats to John Flaherty (MFA '09)

John Flaherty has had a story published in a very unique venue. I'll let him explain:

Hi, Allison -

My story "The Dog-Gone Dog is Gone" appears tomorrow Wednesday 10/14 on If you go to the website, it will tell you to pull up the page on a web-enabled phone (turns out there is even an app for Flaherty!). So, to read the story you must do so on a phone -- it's, like, their thing.

Yes, it is semi-hip. And yes, it is slightly annoying. I apologize. Think of it as reading a really long and really well-written text message from me.

My story is up all-day Wednesday and this weekend in the weekly recap.

Hope all is well,

John Flaherty

Congrats, John!

Cell Stories

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!

Looks like Travis Mossotti (third-year, poetry) will be joining Brenna!


Just got the news I'll be joining Brenna in an issue of Salt Hill. My poem "My ignorance astounds me far too often" was accepted for publication.


Congrats to you both!

Salt Hill Journal

Monday, October 12, 2009

Poetry Readings for Bending the Bow: An Anthology of African Love Poetry

Dr. Frank Chipasula, poet and SIUC professor of Black Studies, invites you to these events in celebration of his anthology Bending the Bow: An Anthology of African Love Poetry:

October 15, 2009
Community Poetry Circle, 3-5 pm
Poetry readings with community poets
Rustle Hill Winery, Makanda, IL

Bending the Bow Poetry Reading, Book Signing and Refreshments
6-9 pm, SIUC Morris Library, John C. Guyon Auditorium

October 16, 2009
Bending the Bow Museum Reception with Lawrence Sykes, artist
4-7 pm
Gallery talk by Lawrence Sykes at 5 pm
SIUC, University Museum, Faner Hall

Poets participating during the celebration are Daniel P. Kunene (professor emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Rashidah Ismaili (widely anthologized author of short stories, plays and poetry). Father Joseph Brown (director of Black Studies at SIUC and author of a new poetry collection, The Sun Whispers, Wait) and Allison Joseph (director of the MFA Program at SIUC).

Beth Lordan plans Irish Studies conference

SIUC fiction writer and current director of the Irish and Irish Immigration Studies program Beth Lordan has planned an exciting conference for Oct 16-17:
Details here:
Irish Studies conference

NB: Beth sends this correction to what appears in the article above: "Just in case you're dying to attend the poetry reading on Friday night, it's actually in the Harry T. Moore Auditorium, rather than in the Glove Factory."

2009 Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival Schedule

2009 Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, October 29 - 31

8:00 - 9:15 p.m.
Readings by Sebastian Agudelo and Fred Leebron
Student Center Auditorium

9:15 - 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 Sebastian Agudelo, Eugene Gloria, David Kirby, and William Notter

11:00 - 11:50 a.m.
Fiction Panel featuring Jane Alison, Fred Leebron, L.E. Miller, and Donald Ray Pollock

2:00 - 3:15 p.m.
Readings by William Notter and L.E. Miller
Student Center Auditorium

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

5:00 - 6:15 p.m.
Readings by Donald Ray Pollock and David Kirby
Student Center Auditorium

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Readings from the new CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW, “Color Wheel: Cultural Heritages in the 21st Century”
Student Center Auditorium

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Readings by Eugene Gloria and Jane Alison
Student Center Auditorium

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE -- Sebastian Agudelo

Sebastian Agudelo was born in Mexico City, and he earned his MA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His poetry collection, TO THE BONE, was selected by Mark Doty as the winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize in 2008, and he is also the author of the artist collaboration book ON COLLECTING, published by Shandy Press. His poems have in appeared in numerous periodicals including LUCID STONE, BELLINGHAM REVIEW, MUVFAGGE, and KARAMU, and his translations of Robert Lowell and Frank O’Hara have been published by EDICIONES EL EQUILIBRISTA. Agudelo has taught at Temple University, Drexel University, and The University of the Arts, and this Fall he’s offering a poetry workshop for the MFA program at Rutgers.


Jane Alison was born in Canberra, Australia, and spent two years in Australia as a small child, growing up mainly in the United States as a child of diplomatic parents. She attended public schools in Washington, D.C., and then earned a B.A. in classics from Princeton University in 1983. Before writing fiction, she worked as an administrator for the National Endowment for the Humanities, as a production artist for the Washington City Paper, as an editor for the Miami New Times, and as a proposal and speech-writer for Tulane University. She also worked as a freelance editor and illustrator before attending Columbia University to study creative writing.

Her first novel, THE LOVE-ARTIST, was published in 2001 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and has been translated into seven languages. It was followed by THE MARRIAGE OF THE SEA, a New York Times Notable Book of 2003. Her third novel, NATIVES AND EXOTICS, appeared in 2005 and was one of that summer's recommended readings by Alan Cheuse of National Public Radio. Her latest book is a memoir, THE SISTERS ANTIPODES, published in 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It was a PEOPLE Magazine Editor's Pick and has also been published in Australia and the Netherlands. Her short fiction and essays have recently appeared in THE NEW YORK TIMES; INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE; TRIQUARTERLY; YOU Magazine; and FIVE POINTS. She has also written several biographies for children and co-edited with Harold Bloom a critical series on women writers. She teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Programs at the University of Miami and at Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina.


Eugene Gloria was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in San Francisco, California. He earned his BA from San Francisco State University, his MA from Miami University of Ohio, and his MFA from the University of Oregon. He is the author of two books of poems: HOODLUM BIRDS, published in the Penguin Poets Series in 2006; and DRIVERS AT THE SHORT-TIME MOTEL, which was selected for the 1999 National Poetry Series and the 2001 Asian American Literary Award. Gloria’s poems have appeared widely in journals, including PLOUGHSHARES, PRAIRIE SCHOONER, and THE GETTYSBURG REVIEW. He has received a Fulbright Fellowship, an artist grant from the San Francisco Art Commission, 96 Inc.’s Bruce P. Rossley Literary Award, and the Poetry Society of America's George Bogin Memorial Award. He has been a scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and a resident at the Vermont Studio Center, the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Fundación Valparaíso in Spain, and at Le Château de Lavigny in Switzerland. He currently teaches creative writing and English literature at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.


David Kirby is the winner of the 2009 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry for his collection of poems THE TEMPLE GATE CALLED BEAUTIFUL. He is the author or co-author of twenty-nine books, including the poetry collections THE HOUSE ON BOULEVARD ST.: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS, THE HA-HA, THE HOUSE OF BLUE LIGHT, and THE TRAVELING LIBRARY, and essay collections, including WHAT IS A BOOK? and ULTRA-TALK: JOHNNY CASH, THE MAFIA, SHAKESPEARE, DRUM MUSIC, ST. TERESA OF AVILA, AND 17 OTHER COLOSSAL TOPICS OF CONVERSATION. He has received many honors for his work, including the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and his work appears frequently in the BEST AMERICAN POETRY and PUSHCART PRIZE volumes. David Kirby has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Florida Arts Council. His poetry has appeared in many publications, including THE KENYON REVIEW, THE SOUTHERN REVIEW, and PLOUGHSHARES. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Kirby also writes regularly for THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, and CHICAGO TRIBUNE. He currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida, where he is a member of the creative writing faculty at Florida State University.


Fred Leebron has been a faculty member at Gettysburg College since 1997. He is also program director of the master's in fine arts in creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina, and serves as curriculum director of the Tinker Mountain Writers' Workshop at Hollins University, Virginia.

He has received several writing awards, including a Pushcart Prize, a James Michener Award, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship and an O. Henry Award. Leebron received a bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, a master's from the Johns Hopkins University and a master's in fine arts from the University of Iowa.

Fred Leebron is the author of three novels: SIX FIGURES (which was made into a movie featured at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005), IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THIS, and OUT WEST. He also co-edited POSTMODERN AMERICAN FICTION: A NORTON ANTHOLOGY and co-authored CREATING FICTION: A WRITER’S COMPANION. His work has also appeared in magazines and anthologies such as TIN HOUSE, DOUBLETAKE, GRAND STREET, PLOUGHSHARES, NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, TRIQUARTERLY, FLASH FICTION, MORE, and REDBOOK. A new long story of his, “Life in Wartime,” has been optioned, and he is currently working on its novelization so that it can be made into a feature film.


L.E. Miller has published short fiction in THE PEN/O. HENRY PRIZE STORIES 2009 (for her story "Kind," which was originally published in THE MISSOURI REVIEW); SCRIBNER'S BEST OF THE FICTION WORKSHOPS 1999, edited by Sherman Alexie; and twice in CALYX. Miller holds an MA in fiction writing from the University of New Hampshire. She lives in Newbury, Massachusetts, and is at work on a collection of short stories.


William Notter won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award for his collection HOLDING EVERYTHING DOWN, which was published by Southern Illinois University Press in Fall 2009. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Nevada Arts Council, and Sierra Arts Foundation, and was awarded the Walton Fellowship twice from the University of Arkansas program in creative writing. His chapbook, MORE SPACE THAN ANYONE CAN STAND, was published as the 2001 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize winner from Texas Review Press. His poems have appeared in ALASKA QUARTERLY REVIEW, AGNI ONLINE, ASCENT, THE CHATTAHOOCHEE REVIEW, CONNECTICUT REVIEW, THE MIDWEST QUARERLY, SOUTHERN POETRY REVIEW, WILLOW SPRINGS, the anthology GOOD POEMS FOR HARD TIMES, and on NPR’s THE WRITER’S ALMANAC. He received a BA from the University of Evansville and an MFA in poetry from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and he has taught writing at Grand Valley State University and the University of Nevada, Reno.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE -- Donald Ray Pollock

Donald Ray Pollock is the winner of the 2009 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose for his collection of stories KNOCKEMSTIFF. His work has appeared in, or is forthcoming in THE NEW YORK TIMES, THIRD COAST, THE JOURNAL, SOU’WESTER, CHIRON REVIEW, RIVER STYX, BOULEVARD, FOLIO, and THE BERKELEY FICTION REVIEW. Donald Ray Pollock was born in 1954 and grew up in southern Ohio, in a holler named Knockemstiff. He dropped out of high school at seventeen to work in a meatpacking plant, and then spent thirty-two years employed in a paper mill in Chillicothe, Ohio. Currently, he is a graduate student in the MFA program at Ohio State University and still lives in Chillicothe with his wife, Patsy, a high school English teacher. He hopes to someday teach fiction writing.

He is currently at work on a novel set in 1965, about a serial killer named Arvin Eugene Russell.

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.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!

Third-year poetry MFA student Travis Mossotti has more fine news:

Hunger Mountain has accepted my poem "Alice" for publication.

Congrats, Travis!
Hunger Mountain

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Congrats to Brenna Lemieux!

Second-year MFA student Brenna Lemieux has some celebrating to do:

Hi, Allison --

I just found out that my poem "Limen" will be appearing in the next issue of Salt Hill. I have no idea when it's coming out, but I'd guess next spring or summer or something.



Congrats, Brenna!

Salt Hill

Storyspotting: Nick Ostdick

First-year fiction MFA student Nick Ostdick's story "The Blackbirds in Lime Rock, Connecticut" is appearing now in Staccato Fiction:
The Blackbirds in Lime Rock, Connecticut

Also, check out Nick's story "Brothers" at Annalemma:

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Congrats to Leslie Adams!

First-year poetry MFA student Leslie Adams writes with this good news:

Dear Allison,

Two of my poems, "This is Not to Say" and "Portrait from a Negative, 1979," were accepted for publication in New South. They should appear in the spring 2009 edition.

Thanks so much!

Leslie Adams

Congrats, Leslie!

New South

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Adrian Matejka Update

SIUC poetry alum Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) will read alongside famed poet Terrance Hayes at Manhattan's Bowery Poetry Club on October 7:
Cave Canem fundraiser

In-Town Literary Happenings: week of October 5, 2009

Open Mic Poetry Night, sponsored by Underground Arts and Women Interested in Sigma Lambda Gamma. Bring material to read and share. Event open to all.
When: October 6, 2009
Time: 7-9pm
Where Big Muddy Room, SIUC Student Center

This month Reading and Drinking, aka R&D, goes tribute mode. Did you know that Randy "Macho Man" Savage is a graduate of SIU? Pay him homage on Oct 7 at 7:30 pm at the Mississippi Flyway. There will be the usual literary readings, trivia contests, and drink specials. Mississippi Flyway is in the Murdale Shopping Center (1925 W Main, Carbondale).

SIUC Faculty Poets Read in New York and Indiana

Our beloved Rodney Jones will read from his work on October 7 at SUNY Brockport, near Rochester:
SUNY Writers' Forum

Allison Joseph will read from her poetry at the University of Indianapolis on Oct 7:
Kellogg Writers' Series

Monday, October 05, 2009

Upcoming Readings: In House and Writers on the Road

On Wednesday October 14, we will be holding our third In-House Reading of the semester from 4-5:30 in the Missouri River Room, located on the second floor of the SIUC Student Center.

The readers this time are
Rick Pechous, second-year fiction writer
Katie Zapoluch, second-year poet
Brenna Lemieux, second-year poet
Janelle Blasdel, second-year fiction writer

Visiting on October 23, 2009 will be writers from the graduate program in creative writing at the University of Missouri. That reading will take place in the SIUC Student Center's Mississippi Room at 5:30 pm.

(Thanks to Janelle for this information!)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Congrats to Renee Evans (MFA '09)!

Congrats to Renee Evans (fiction, MFA '09) on the publication of another story!

To Say Nothing

Congrats Renee, and thanks to Kerry James for posting word of this new publication for Renee! Love to you both!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Upcoming Reading: Joanna Beth Tweedy

The Sallie Logan Public Library, 1808 Walnut Street, Murphysboro, will host an evening with Joanna Beth Tweedy on Friday, Oct. 2 from 6-8pm.

In this reading and presentation, author and editor Joanna Beth Tweedy will discuss with readers and writers not only the publishing process but also the promotion process that takes place before and after the contract is signed, sharing tips on everything from gaining the attention of an agent or editor, selecting a press, getting a book into stores, and conducting readings and signings. She will also read from her novel, published this year by Southeast Missouri University Press and titled The Yonder Side of Sass and Texas.

Tweedy is a native of Murphysboro, and her poetry and fiction have been published in literary journals and anthologies and have received honors from Glimmer Train, the Southern Women Writers Conference, Alsop Review, the Ray Bradbury Creative Writing Contest, among others. She has taught creative writing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Illinois Springfield, and she is presently an associate dean of academic affairs at Benedictine University in Springfield, where she is also the founding editor and host of Quiddity International Literary Journal and Public-Radio Program.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alumni Sightings!

MFA graduate (fiction, '09) Renee Evans's story "Strangers" is now appearing in Fogged Clarity:

Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum (MFA '09, poetry) is looking forward to the publication of several book reviews: "Looks like Rattle will be publishing my review of Kristin Bock's Cloisters online (a great way to get free books by the way!) at Rattle on October 10. And Third Coast will be publishing my review of Michael McGriff's Dismantling the Hills in their Spring 2010 issue."

Ben Percy (MFA, fiction, '04) reads at Bowling Green State University tomorrow:
BGSU Visiting Writers

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Love for Justin Hamm (MFA '05)

More good news from MFA '05 grad Justin Hamm:

Hi, Allison.

I just found out that Four Branches Press, a small press out of St. Louis set to publish their inaugural issue in the spring of 2010, are going to use three of my poems, "illinois route 3," "the autobiography, nearly," and "regret against the backdrop of autumn."

Be well,

Justin Hamm

P.S. I'm a little embarrassed to be emailing again after you've already been kind enough to celebrate my successes twice in the last week.

No need to be embarrassed! Just a need to celebrate! Congrats, Justin!

Four Branches Press

Monday, September 28, 2009

News and Notes: September 28, 2009

A poem by Justin Hamm (MFA '05, fiction) appears in the new issue of JMWW:
the electric widower

Travis Mossotti, third-year poetry MFA, had his poem "Inside the Skull" chosen as an honorable mention in the 2009 River Styx International Poetry Contest:
River Styx

This Wednesday (9/30), we will be holding our second In-House Reading of the semester from 4-5:30 in the Missouri River Room, located on the second floor of the SIUC Student Center.

And here are the charming readers:

Ruthie Awad (1st year Poet)
Leslie Adams (1st year Poet)
A.K. Thompson (2nd year Fiction)
Brooks Rexroat (2nd year Fiction)

"Arachne's Tapestry," a poem by Kerry James Evans (MFA '09), appears in the new issue of the Pinch, the literary journal of the University of Memphis.
The Pinch

Friday, September 25, 2009

Interviewing a Legend

Congrats to first-year fiction writer Katie Darby, who recently had the sublime honor of interviewing country music legend Loretta Lynn!
Details here:
Evansville Courier Press

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Congrats to Kerry James Evans (MFA '09)!

Nothing slows down Kerry James!


Poet Lore took "Grown Men."

All the Best,
Kerry James

Congrats, KJE!

Poet Lore

Grassroots Open Mic Party: Monday September 28

Grassroots, SIUC's undergraduate literary and arts journal, will host an Open Mic Party on Monday, September 28th in the Faner Hall Courtyard. Join the Grassroots staff at 7pm for music, food and poetry and prose readings. Bring your own work to read from, or just come to listen and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Scoles on a Roll

The honors keep coming for third-year fiction student James Scoles:

"I've been invited to be the featured reader at the fall launch of the new Prairie Fire issue--featuring my short story "The Electricity of Crime.'" The reading is on the evening of November 5th in Winnipeg.

Prairie Fire

Congrats to Tim Marsh (MFA '06)!

A note from world traveler Tim Marsh (MFA '06, fiction):

Hey Allison--

Hope you guys are having an easy autumn. I really miss that time of year back there. So I'm working in Bali for a while (if you can call it work) and having quite a wonderful experience. Wanted to let you know that my piece "January, Newfoundland" will appear this fall in the Soliloquies Anthology out of Concordia University. I got word yesterday, which I guess would make it your today, or something.

Talk later,

Congrats, Tim! on Bali and on the forthcoming publication!

Soliloquies Anthology

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Congrats to Sara Burge!

Sara Burge (MFA '08)'s poem "Smile, Princess" is forthcoming in Margie! Congrats, Sara!


Congrats to Justin Hamm (MFA '05)!

New e-mail from Justin Hamm (MFA '05, fiction) brings this delightful news:

Hi, Allison,

Hope everybody in C-dale is enjoying the first days of fall. Just wanted to drop a line to let you know that The Chaffey Review is going to use four poems of mine,  "What I Have Learned of Grieving," "Sunrise Subterfuge (in the first person)," "Holyghosts," and "Study in Contrast," in their Fall 2009 issue. 

All the best,

Four poems at once? Score! Congrats, Justin!

The Chaffey Review

Pinckney Benedict Update!

Updates on the career of SIUC fiction writer Pinckney Benedict:

Look for THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR #20 (ed. Stephen Jones), which contains twenty-one pieces, among them his long apocalyptic story "The Beginnings of Sorrow."

AND, I quote Mr. Benedict here:

"My new collection of stories (and it's a big one: 14 pieces and 80,000+ words of fictiony goodness at last count) will be published in May 2010 by my good friend Kevin Morgan Watson at Press53. It will be called MIRACLE BOY AND OTHER STORIES. And we have a kick-ass cover photo.

It'll be my first volume in 15+ years. Kind of like Halley's Comet - don't miss it or you might not live long enough to see the next one!"

Press 53 will also publish Surreal South '09, edited by Laura and Pinckney Benedict!

In addition, PB will be a featured author in Appalachian Heritage Magazine in March 2010!

Website of Stephen Jones
Press 53
Appalachian Heritage

Congrats to Shawn Mitchell!

First-year fiction MFA student Shawn Mitchell sends great news this afternoon:

Hi Allison,

My short short "Other People's Houses" has just been published in the print edition of Crafty Magazine, an online arts magazine based out of Melbourne, Australia.

There will be an online version of the magazine up later this year, and the editor is looking for more short prose pieces, poems, and art of any medium that revolve around this issue's theme, "Around the Campfire."

All best,
Shawn Mitchell

(online version up soon)
Torpedo Magazine
Torpedo Magazine (Crafty for sale there)

Monday, September 21, 2009

News and Notes: September 21, 2009

Some items of note:

Crab Orchard Review has received a Illinois Arts Council Program Grant for Fiscal Year 2010 in the amount of $4300. Given that the arts council has suffered tremendous budget cuts recently, it's quite amazing to have received that amount. Kudos to Jon Tribble for writing the grant proposal.

Poems by Paul Guest (MFA '99) appear in the new issue of BOMB (Number 109, Fall 2009). The poems ("Above" and "Invitation") are in Bomb's Literary Supplement.

"Mr. Blues," Allison Joseph's poetic tribute to the unsung early R&B singer Wynonie Harris, appears in the new issue of North American Review.

Fiction faculty member Pinckney Benedict's graphic fiction "Orgo Vs. The Flatlanders" appears in the new issue of the Idaho Review.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Catching Up With Kerry James Evans (MFA '09)

Recently graduated poetry MFA Kerry James Evans (MFA '09) sends this news.


Beloit Poetry Journal has asked me to be their featured poet for their blog for the month of February. Also, Florida Review accepted "Lilacs and Razor Wire."

All the Best,

Kerry James Evans

Congrats, KJE!

Beloit Poetry Journal
Florida Review

Monday, September 14, 2009

First In-House Reading for Fall Semester

Thanks to Janelle Blasdel for this message:

This Wednesday (9/16) marks the day of our very first In-House Reading. Please come out and join us in the Missouri River Room in the Student Center from 4 to 5:30.

The Line-Up:
Mark Brewin (2nd Year Poet)
Katie Darby (1st Year Fiction)
John Owen (1st Year Poet)
Nick Ostdick (1st Year Fiction)

From here on out, we'll be holding these readings every other Wednesday through October -- same time, same place.

Hope to see you there.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!

Persistence pays for third-year poetry MFA student Travis Mossotti:


RHINO has accepted two poems for publication: my title poem "About the Dead" and "Form" will be out sometime in 2010.
FYI: those two poems were rejected a combined 83 times. How's that for diligence.


Congrats, TM!


Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) profiled in SIUE's student newspaper

Poetry alum Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) is profiled in The Alestle, the student newspaper of SIUE. Adrian is on the faculty of SIUC's sister school.
Adrian's Alestle article

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Congrats to AK Thompson!

AK Thompson (second-year, fiction) served as editor for this newly published book by Matt Bliss:
Sandstone Warrior

Congrats to Ruth Awad!

Congrats are in order for Ruth Awad (first-year, poetry) for her essay just published in Sweet:
Ruth's "In the Skin"

SIUC MFA alums win in 2009 SIWG Writing Contest!

David Bond (MFA '98, poetry) and Alex Lumans (MFA '09, fiction) were winners in the 2009 Southern Illinois Writers Guild contest:
David won second place in the poetry category (plus TWO honorable mentions); Alex won first place in fiction. Congrats, David and Alex!

Results here:
Writing Contest results

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Poemspotting: Adrian Matejka (MFA '01)

Adrian Matejka (MFA '01, poetry) took some time out from celebrating his birthday to appear on Verse Daily:

Verse Daily, Sept. 5, 2009

Congrats and happy birthday, AD!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Congrats to James Scoles!

Third-year fiction writer James Scoles is having a very good day!  Witness the following correspondence:

Hi Allison,

My short story 'To Cook an Egg Gently' just won Third Prize in
Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction Award.  Of course, the 300 clams are Very Much Appreciated.



And then later that very same day:


My poem, The Broken Cookies, has been shortlisted for Arc's Poem of the Year Award (Canada).  In addition to being in the running for the $1500 First Prize, The Broken Cookies is also up for the Reader's Choice Award.  These poems will be posted on the Arc website next week, and readers will be able to read the poems and vote; I won't ask that anyone do so, but c'mon, help a Canadian out, eh.

I humbly thank Allison and her workshop for their help and guidance.



Congrats, James!  Way to make Canada--and Carbondale--proud!


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Poemspotting: Jason Lee Brown

Poems by Jason Lee Brown (MFA '08) are featured at Somnambulist Quarterly:

Jason Lee Brown

Monday, August 31, 2009

Upcoming Literary Events in Carbondale

Two events this week:

from Amy McKenzie, this year's editor:

Grassroots Undergraduate Literary Magazine will be hosting an Open Mic and Introductory Party Monday, August 31st at 7:00pm in the Faner Courtyard. We’ll have live music and delicious food! This is open to the public, so feel free to bring friends, family members, acquaintances, and whoever else you would like to! Also, don’t forget to bring your work to read!

Reading & Drinking, aka R&D, finds a new home at Mississippi Flyway this semester. First Wednesday of each month at 7PM, there will be readings--poetry, fiction, and drama--plus drink specials, trivia and prizes. Come out and support the merriment at the Murdale Shopping Center (1925 W Main St Carbondale, IL 62901-2167).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Congrats to...

Justin Hamm (MFA '05) whose poem "the electric widower" will appear in the Fall 2009 issue of Jmww.

and to Kerry James Evans (MFA '09) whose poem "Leaning in from the Sea" was accepted for publication by Beloit Poetry Journal.

Beloit Poetry Journal

Congrats, you two!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Congrats to Renee Evans!

News this afternoon from Renee Evans (MFA '09, fiction):


Fogged Clarity just took "Strangers" for their October issue.

Miss you guys!


Congrats, Renee!
We miss you and KJE too!

Fogged Clarity

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

News from Alex Lumans (MFA '09)

Today's e-mail brings word from Alex Lumans (MFA '09, fiction):

"So, my poem "At the Range" has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming James Brown-themed anthology Say It Loud!
I can't think of a better theme, so I'm hugely excited about this. And I wouldn't have know about this James Brown anthology were it not for your listserv, so many thanks for that opportunity.

Also, as of today, I have two adjunct english teaching jobs: 1) teaching two classes at the Community College of Denver, and 2) teaching one class at Johnson and Wales University.

Now I have to go searching for a third job."

Good luck, Alex! And congrats to your bad self!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Congrats to Nick Ostdick!

First-year MFA student in fiction Nick Ostdick has placed his short-short, "The Blackbirds in Lime Rock, Connecticut" with Staccato Fiction! Congrats, Nick, and welcome to the MFA program and the blog!

Staccato Fiction

It's the end of the world, and Pinckney Benedict knows it...

SIUC's apocalpyst-in-residence, fiction writer and professor Pinckney Benedict, is the subject of this profile:
the end is nigh

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hearty Congrats

to Josh Woods (MFA '09, fiction), who has been offered and has accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in English at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, IL! Way to be gainfully employed, Josh!

and to Mark Brewin, second-year poetry MFA student, who writes, "New Letters has selected my poetry manuscript as a finalist in their 2009 Poetry Contest."

Way to make Mama proud, guys!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Congrats to Tim Marsh (MFA '06)!

News from Tim Marsh (MFA '06, fiction):

My nonfiction piece "Gym Bag Steak" has just been named runner-up in the Toasted Cheese "A Midsummer Tale" writing contest. It'll appear in the September issue of Toasted Cheese Literary Journal. I also placed my first poem "Car Accident" in the inaugural issue of Squid Quarterly

Congrats, Tim!


Toasted Cheese
Squid Quarterly

BONUS: Rachel Furey (MFA '09, fiction) also appears in the same issue of Squid Quarterly as Tim!

Rachel's "In Front of the Aquarium"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Welcome to Carbondale, New MFA Students!

MFA Carbondale is pleased and proud to welcome the following writers to the SIUC MFA Program:

Leslie Adams, Poetry
Ruthie Awad, Poetry
Bryan Brower, Fiction
Jung Hae Chae, Poetry
Katie Darby, Fiction
Shawn Mitchell, Fiction
Nick Ostdick, Fiction
John Owen, Poetry
Jonathan Travelstead, Poetry
Adrienne Rivera, Fiction

So glad you could join us in the 'Dale!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Pre-Semester Workshop Breakout Session: August 20

A note for returning and new MFA students:

Our annual "breakout session" during the English Department's Pre-Semester Workshop will be on Thursday, August 20. This year, the breakout sessions will be preceded by a reception for all graduate students at 3:15 in the new library's Special Collections Room. Then, at four, we'll head to Faner Hall 1222 for our session.

I will have gifts and food for all!

Poemspotting: Justin Hamm (MFA '05)

SIUC MFA grad Justin Hamm (MFA '05, fiction) continues to publish poetry! Here's a link to a poem of his in the new issue of Oak Bend Review (scroll down some to see the poem):
Oak Bend Review

Friday, August 07, 2009

Congrats to Mark Brewin!

Congrats to second-year poetry MFA student Mark Brewin:

Ms. Joseph,

My poem "Burning Down the Camper" was accepted for publication in Southern Poetry Review. Nice.

-mark brewin.

Southern Poetry Review

Thursday, August 06, 2009

"Rhymes & Stuff" Recalled

Former SIUC faculty poet Joel Brouwer recalls Adrian Matejka's (MFA '01) early 2000s radio show "Rhymes & Stuff" in a post on the "Harriet" blog:

Poetry Foundation

Joel is now on the faculty at the University of Alabama, but he's remembered fondly in C'dale.

Travis Mossotti Author Appearances: August 2009

Third-year MFA student in poetry Travis Mossotti will have two upcoming author appearances in August 2009. He'll read from his work as part of the annual River Styx Hungry Young Poets summer series and will also read at the premiere party for the next issue of the California-based poetry journal RATTLE:

Hungry Young Poets, St. Louis, MO:
Hungry Young Poets, STL

Rattle Summer Reading and Release Event, Santa Monica, CA:

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Allison Joseph to receive the Aquarius Press Legacy Award

SIUC poet and faculty member Allison Joseph has been chosen to receive the inaugural Aquarius Press Legacy Award, the purpose of which is "to spotlight a woman writer of color from the Midwest who has yet to gain high exposure and who is also actively involved in providing opportunities for other writers."  Aquarius Press, based in Detroit, will celebrate its 10th anniversary in October 2009.  
Allison will attend the award ceremony in Detroit on October 3, 2009. Among the other writers in attendance that night will be SIUC MFA grad Curtis L. Crisler.

In terms of the award itself, there's a cash prize of $500 and the 2010 issue of the journal Reverie: Midwest African American Literature will be dedicated to Allison's work.


Aquarius Press

An Easier Link for Ordering Curtis Crisler's book

Here's an easier-to-use link for ordering Curtis Crisler (MFA '04, poetry)'s new book:

Willow Books, an imprint of Aquarius Press:
Pulling Scabs

Alumni Sighting!

Cynthia Roth (MFA '01, poetry) has a poem in the current issue of Dusie--she's on page 301 with "Figure Bet."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alumni Sightings!

Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum (MFA '09, poetry) has a review of Ciaran Berry's collection The Sphere of Birds in the new issue of the Southern Indiana Review.
Southern Indiana Review

Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) will read from his poems on Saturday, August 1 in Chicago as part of Word: Across Generations along with Quraysh Ali Lansana, Angela Jackson, FM Supreme and Kevin Coval, 3:00pm – 5:00pm, Perry Mansion Cultural Center in Englewood, 7042 South Perry Ave, Free. Open to the public. Reservations are recommended and can be made online, by email at, or by calling 312.422.5580. Each of the poets will perform their work and participate in a post-performance conversation, moderated by spoken word artist Kevin Coval about the power of words. This program is part of The Public Square’s "Looking for Democracy Through the Arts," made possible in part by the Woods Fund of Chicago.

Also, click here for a radio interview Adrian did with poet Kevin Coval:

Curtis Crisler (MFA '04, poetry)'s new book, Pulling Scabs, is now available for purchase from Aquarius Press:
Aquarius Press Order Site

Friday, July 24, 2009

Congrats to Hannah New!

Good news from third-year MFA student in poetry Hannah New. Two of her poems appear in the new issue of The Sylvan Echo:

The Sylvan Echo

The poems are "Phantom Fruits" and "Proving My Uncle Wrong."

Congrats, Hannah!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Catching Up With Teresa Kramer (MFA '04)

A recent note from Teresa Kramer (MFA '04, poetry). She currently works at Central Washington University, where she directs the university's Writing Center.

My poems have or will appear in the "Iguana Review" and "Not A Muse: the inner lives of women, a world poetry anthology" -- both of which I heard about through your CRWROPPS list. I so appreciate it. I hardly send anything out these days, but your e-list makes it both easier to think about submitting and almost shameful not to.

Iguana Review
Not A Muse
Teresa's Writing Center Bio

Congrats to Kerry James Evans!

Kerry James Evans (MFA '09, poetry) has very good news:

I just received my issue of New England Review--a humbling and rewarding gift. Also, I've had two acceptances this month: Fugue accepted "Colloquium" and The Comstock Review accepted "Junking Your First Car."

All the Best,

Kerry James

Congrats, Kerry James!

Comstock Review

Congrats to Shanie Latham (MFA '08)

Great news from Shanie Latham (MFA '08, fiction):

I was offered (and accepted) the Managing Editor position at River Styx. Allison, I'll add my thanks to you for CRWROPPS because I wouldn't have known about this position without it.

Best regards,

Congrats, Shanie! The folks at River Styx are getting a real gem!

River Styx

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Poemspotting: Justin Hamm (MFA '05)

A note from fiction grad (MFA '05) Justin Hamm:

I'll have a poem, "at sixteen," in the August edition of decomP if anyone is interested in checking it out.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mixology: A Best Seller!

SIUC poetry grad (MFA '01) Adrian Matekja's new book, Mixology, is that rarest of things, a poetry bestseller!
Details here
Poetry Foundation

Poemspotting: Spoon River Poetry Review

The new issue of the Spoon River Poetry Review contains work by SIUC MFAs, both past and future ones. MFA '09 poetry grad Kerry James Evans has two poems ("Operation Noble Eagle" and "Scarab), MFA '05 fiction grad Justin Hamm has his poem "meditations on a kiss" in this issue, and incoming MFA student Ruthie Awad has two poems ("Wine Glasses" and "The Storm From Here") in the issue.

Congrats to all!

Spoon River Poetry Review

Friday, July 10, 2009

More Congrats for Tim Marsh (MFA '06)

Here's e-mail from Tim Marsh (MFA '06, fiction)!  Congrats, Tim!  What a great time to be in Vermont!

Hey Allison--

It's my turn to give thanks for organizing and moderating the CRWROPPS site. 

I just received news that I've been selected for a fellowship and residency at the Vermont Studio Center, beginning September 25th. Along with the residency I've been offered a $650 artist's grant. The center is located in the northern Green Mountains in the town of Johnson. 

I first heard about the center through the Writer's Opportunities list. Without that posting I never would have applied for the residency. So thank you.

All the best,



Vermont Studio Center

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Congrats to Tim Marsh (MFA '06)!

The steady stream of acceptances continues for Tim Marsh (MFA '06, fiction):

Hey Allison--
Hope Young Writers went well. Some news on the nonfiction front: My essay "Drowning" will appear in the 2010 issue of Words and Images. Also, my story "Impetus for a Sketch" did in fact make the cut for the summer issue of The New Quarterly, which will be out in mid-July sometime.
All the best,

Words and Images
The New Quarterly

Alumni Sightings!

Poet Melanie Jordan (MFA '01) has a new chapbook from Ropewalk Press!
Information about Ghost Season at

Ropewalk Press

Fiction writer (MFA '09) Rachel Furey's prize-winning story "Birth Act" is now out in the new issue (Summer/Fall 2009) of Sycamore Review:
Sycamore Review

Fiction alums Josh Woods (MFA '09) and Rachel Furey (MFA '09) have stories in new fiction anthology, XX Eccentric, just published by Main Street Rag:
XX Eccentric

Monday, July 06, 2009

Congrats to Matt Guenette (MFA '99)

Congrats are also in order for Matt Guenette (MFA '99, poetry):

"Found out Sudden Anthem was voted a 2008 Outstanding Achievement in Poetry by the Wisconsin Library Association. SIU goodness marches on..."

Wisconsin Library Association

Friday, July 03, 2009

Congrats to Mark Brewin!

Congratulations are also due for second-year poetry student Mark Brewin:


I am pleased to announce that my poem "Burning Down the Camper" has been selected as one of the finalists for the Guy Owen Prize at the Southern Poetry Review. The prize is $1,000 dollars, and I will find out the outcome no later than the first week of August. Fingers crossed...


Pretty good for a kid from Jersey, eh? Congrats, Mark!

Southern Poetry Review

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Congrats to Melissa Scholes Young!

Some news for second-year fiction writer Melissa Scholes Young:

I wanted to let you know that I've been awarded a one week writing residency to Writers in the Heartland in September. A week alone at a spa with vegetarian meals sans bebes? Yeah, I can do that.

Writers in the Heartland

Congrats, Melissa!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congrats to Greg Schwipps (MFA '98)

Congrats to Greg Schwipps (MFA '98, fiction) on being named a finalist in the Emerging Writer category of the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award!

Indiana Authors Award

CRWROPPS comes through again!

Jason Brown (MFA '08, fiction) sings the praises of CRWROPPS in this post...


I won a scholarship to the DePaul Summer Writing Conference, July 17-19. My essay, "My First Time in Japan Visiting In-laws" was chosen as the judging committee’s favorite. Along with the scholarship, I’ll be giving a reading as part of the conference’s closing session at the Chicago Public Library’s Pritzker Auditorium. If not for CRWROPPS, I wouldn’t have even known about this.



You are welcome, Jason!  As the moderator of the CRWROPPS list (aka Creative Writers Opportunities List), I'm always happy to hear when folks succeed with information they've gotten from the list.  As SIUC's MFA program director, I'm doubly pleased to hear one of the scholarship winners is from the ranks of our alums! Congrats, Jason!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Congrats to Chris Allen (MFA '07)!

It pays to check the blog. Witness this note from Chris Allen (MFA '07, fiction):


I just wanted to pass on some news:  My story "An Acute Lack of Perspective" has been accepted at The Wanderlust Review.  They said they may split it into two sections, but some or all of it should be up on or shortly after their relaunch on July 1.

I also want to thank you for maintaining the bulletin board.  I would not have known about this publication opportunity if I hadn't seen the news about Tim's story on the board.  In short, you rock.
Chris Allen

Congrats, Chris!  And thanks for the compliment. You all make it easy with the constant flow of good news!

Wanderlust Review