Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Audio poetry from an alum!

Mark Jay Brewin, Jr. (MFA '11, poetry) writes:

Ahoy there and Happy Holidays, Allison!

I am thrilled to announce that my Creative Audio version of my poem "Seven
Places I Have Found My Grandmother in the Last Six Years" is featured on The
Collagist's website for their December 2012, Issue 41! Please please please,
check it out!

Scroll down and find the link Creative Audio at:

Congrats, MJB!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Re: MFA Blog News!

Great news for first-year poet Lucien Meadows:

Happy December news-- my character poem, "Trans/Verse," was recently
published by Boxcar Poetry Review

Today, I received word that BPR has selected my poem as one of their
2012 Pushcart Prize nominations. Hooray!

Congrats, Lucien!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Recent and forthcoming publications from SIUC MFA alums

Poetry alum Elena Pearson (MFA '07) has a poem, "Skyview Lake, Fourth of July," forthcoming in Moon City Review 2013.

Fiction alum (MFA '12) Nick Ostdick has a short story published in a new Main Street Rag Publishing Company fiction anthology called "Aftermath: Stories of Secrets and Consequences."


Congrats, Elena and Nick!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

All is Not Quiet on the Pinckney Benedict front

news from SIUC fiction prof Pinckney Benedict's sabbatical:

NYC friends: I'll be reading at NYU as part of a series called
"Literary Publishers Present," readings hosted by editors featuring
their magazines' or presses' authors (so far they've had McSweeney's,
Paris Review, Granta, and Bellevue Literary Press). Zoetrope:
All-Story will be featured on Thursday, February 28, at 7 PM. The
host/introducer is the wonderful Adrienne Brodeur, founding editor of
Zoetrope, and the other readers are David Means and Kathryn Harrison.
There will be wine and cheese afterward!

Sounds like a great time, PB!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Fiction MFA Chris Allen wins theater award!!!

Congrats to Chris Allen, MFA 2007 (fiction) on this fabulous
honor--it's cross-genre too!

"Stitches," a one-act play I wrote and directed, took Outstanding Production
(the top honor) at the South Carolina Theatre Association Community Theatre
festival. The show will represent South Carolina at the Southeastern Theatre
Conference in Louisville next March.

Chris Allen

Wonderful news, CA!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Copper Nickell publishes MFA alums

Work by fiction alum Adrienne Rivera (MFA '12) and by poetry alum
Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum (MFA '09) appears in the new issue of Copper
Adrienne's fiction piece "Murdered Girl" and Andy's poem "Ghost Gear"
appear in Issue 18 of this great journal. Congrats to Adrienne and
For more about Copper Nickel, visit:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mark Brewin (MFA '11) strikes again

The hits just keep on coming for Mark Jay Brewin Jr (MFA '11, poetry0:

Just letting you know that Southern Humanities Review picked up my
poem "Donation Doctor's Visit" and that Burnside Review accepted "A
Bridge is like a Tongue" for publication in its upcoming issue.

Congrats, MJB!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Outstanding News for Ruth Awad (MFA '12)

via Facebook:
I just found out I won the Outstanding Thesis Award. Out of the entire university!!!! I am now utterly dizzy with excitement and disbelief! A world of thanks to Judy Jordan, Allison Joseph, Jon Tribble, and Rodney Jones for your wonderful letters and for being incredible mentors. J'adore!

Fantastic news, Ruth Awad!  The honor is well-deserved!!!!!

Congrats to Andrew McSorley!!!

Congrats to third-year poet Andrew McSorley, whose poem "Winter's
Ritual" appears in Issue 2 of the Lindenwood Review, the literary
journal published by Lindenwood University!

BTW, the Lindenwood Review is reading submissions for Issue 3 until
December 15, 2012 (guidelines here):

Monday, October 29, 2012

Congrats to Austin Kodra!

Great news for second-year poet Austin Kodra:

I was honored and excited to find out that my poem "Against Nostalgia"
wasaccepted for publication in Barnstorm.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Congrats to Mark Brewin (MFA '11)

Good news in abundance for poetry alum Mark Jay Brewin, Jr:

I am pleased to announce that New Madrid has accepted my poem "Puerta la
Reina, First Movement" for its upcoming issue, and that Booth Online Journal
has accepted my poem "A Borrowed Childhood Memory, Alloway, 4 July 1967" for
their Spring 2013 line-up. Pretty stoked.

Congrats, Mark!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

2012 Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival!!!

It's that time of year again--the Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary
Festival is this week!!!

Here is the schedule for the 2012 Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary Festival:

2012 Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday, October 24 – 26
(All Events in SIUC's Morris Library)


8:00 – 9:15 p.m.
Readings by Wally Swist and Scott Blackwood
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Poetry Panel featuring Katie Chaple, Wally Swist, Daniel Nathan Terry,
and Marcus Wicker
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)

2:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Poetry Readings by Daniel Nathan Terry and Marcus Wicker
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Reception and Book Signing featuring all festival readers
1st Floor Rotunda (Morris Library)
(sponsored by the SIUC Dept. of English and the Southern Illinois
University Bookstore)

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Readings by the 2011 Devil's Kitchen Reading Award Winners in Poetry and Prose
Katie Chaple and Patricia Ann McNair
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)


11:00 – 12:00 a.m.
Fiction Panel featuring Scott Blackwood, Patricia Ann McNair, and Peter Orner
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)

2:00 – 2:50 p.m.
Fiction Reading by Peter Orner
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)

3:00 – 3:50 p.m.
Publishing Talk by Kevin Morgan Watson, founder, publisher, and Editor
in Chief of Press 53
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)
(sponsored by the SIUC Dept. of English Graduate Writers Forum)

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 Dept.
of English Graduate Writers Forum, the SIUC Creative Writing Program's
Visiting Writers Series, the SIUC Department of English, the SIUC
College of Liberal Arts, and CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW.

Here are biographies of the writers who will be reading at this year's
Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival:

Scott Blackwood is the newest member of the graduate faculty in the
MFA program in creative writing at Southern Illinois University
Carbondale. His novel, We Agreed to Meet Just Here (New Issues Press,
2009), won the AWP Prize for the Novel, the Texas Institute of Letters
Award for best fiction, and was a finalist for the PEN USA Literary
Award for fiction. His award-winning collection of stories, In the
Shadow of Our House, was published by SMU Press in 2001. His fiction
has appeared most recently in American Short Fiction, the Gettysburg
Review, Boston Review, and Southwest Review, and the title story from
his collection is featured on the New York Times Book Review's "First
Chapters" website. His feature essays and reviews have appeared in the
Austin Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, Bookslut, and Revenant
Record's NPR-featured American Primitive Volume II. He's a recipient
of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, two Texas
Commission on the Arts Fellowships, and was a distinguished
writer-in-residence at Wichita State University. Blackwood holds an
MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University.

Katie Chaple, this year's winner of the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award
in Poetry, is the author of Pretty Little Rooms (Press 53, August
2011). She teaches poetry and writing at the University of West
Georgia and edits Terminus Magazine. Her work has appeared in the
Antioch Review, Crab Orchard Review, Passages North, The Rumpus,
Southern Humanities Review, StorySouth, and Washington Square, among

Patricia Ann McNair, this year's winner of the Devil's Kitchen Reading
Award in Prose, is the author of The Temple of Air (Elephant Rock
Books, 2011), which was also named a finalist in the Chicago Writers
Association's 2nd Annual Book of the Year Awards. has lived 98 percent
of her life in the Midwest. She has managed a gas station, sold pots
and pans door to door, tended bar and breaded mushrooms, worked on the
trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and taught aerobics.
Today she is an Associate Professor in the Fiction Writing Department
of Columbia College Chicago, where she received the Excellence in
Teaching Award as well as a nomination for the Carnegie Foundation's
US Professor of the Year. McNair's fiction and creative nonfiction
have appeared in various anthologies, magazines, and journals
including American Fiction: Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging
Writers, Other Voices, F Magazine, Superstition Review, Dunes Review,
River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and others.
She is also published in The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in
Creative Nonfiction edited by Dinty W. Moore. She's received numerous
Illinois Arts Council Awards and Pushcart Prize nominations in fiction
and nonfiction. McNair divides her time between city and small town
with her husband, the visual artist Philip Hartigan.
Peter Orner is the author of two novels, including Love and Shame and
Love, a New York Times Editor's Choice Book, and The Second Coming of
Mavala Shikongo, Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. His
first book, Esther Stories, received the Rome Prize from the American
Academy of Arts and Letters, and is being re-issued next year with an
introduction by Marilynne Robinson. Orner is also the editor of two
non-fiction books, Underground America and Hope Deferred: Narratives
of Zimbabwean Lives, both published by McSweeney's. His work has
appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, Granta, and Best
American Stories. Born in Chicago, Orner currently lives in San

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fantastic News for Brooks Rexroat (MFA '10)

Brooks Rexroat, MFA "10 (fiction), has won the very prestigious short
storycompetition hosted in London by the Telegraph newspaper!

The story is titled "Angel of Death" and can be accessed here:


As winner, Brooks will travel to London next year to meet with editors
and publishers from across Great Britain!

Congratulations, Brooks!!!!

Congrats to Nick Ostdick (MFA '11, fiction)

Congrats to Nick Ostdick!

Hope all is well. Some good news this morning: Corium Magazine has
accepted my very short story 'Columbus Day' for publication in the
upcoming fall issue. Should be out in a few weeks, I think. It's a
great pub and I'm stoked to be involved with it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Graduate Students to Read from their Work!!

The first In-House Reading of the Fall Semester will feature creative writing graduate students Andreas Willhoff and Dan Paul reading from their fiction, and Laura Ruffino and Robert Parrott reading from their poetry

Thursday, October 18th at 4pm at the Old Baptist Recital Hall (red brick building north of Faner Hall).

Free and open to the public!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Forthcoming for Ryan Crawford

A poem and a story are forthcoming for first-year fiction MFA Ryan Crawford:

Just got word from Prime Mincer that my story, "There's No One Down
There," will be published in the anthology The Man Date: Fifteen Bromance
Stories, alongside our own Pinckney Benedict, alum Shawn Mitchell, and
several other very talented folks including Rick Bass and Alan Heathcock.

In addition, Ryan's poem "In the Park" is forthcoming in New York Quarterly.

Congrats, Ryan!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Poem Publication for Mark Jay Brewin, Jr!

from Mark Brewin (MFA '11):

Ahoy there, Allison.

I am pleased to say that Roanoke Review has accepted my poem "Aubade"
for publication in their Spring 2013 issue. Nice nice.


Congrats, Mark!!!

Congrats to Elena Pearson

Poetry alum (MFA '07)  Elena Person's poem "A Nigerian Refugee" is forthcoming in Off the Coast Magazine.

Congrats, Elena!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Allison Joseph to read at Pittsburg State

SIUC faculty poet will read from her work as a visiting writer at
Pittsburg (KS) State:


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Congrats to Nick Ostdick (MFA '12)

Recent fiction grad Nick Ostdick writes with this lovely news:

Exit 7 has accepted my story "Somewhere Between This World and
Another" for publication in their next issue, due out in February. I'm
way geeked.

Congrats, Nick! We miss you in the Dale!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

new OXFORD BOOK OF AMERICAN SHORT STORIES includes Pinckney Benedict

SIUC fiction faculty member is included in state-of-the-art fiction anthology!
My story "Mercy" is included in the new edition of THE OXFORD BOOK OF AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, just out from Oxford University Press. It's included with a veritable Murderer's Row of folks, from Washington Irving to Jhumpa Lahiri via Eudora Welty and Ha Jin. Pretty happy about this one.

Here's are links:

great news for Staci Schoenfeld!

Second-year poet Staci Schoenfeld has lovely news:

I heard from the New Plains Review that they accepted my poem "On
Silent Retreat at The Abbey of Gethsemani, Trappist, Kentucky." Woot!
It will be out in their Fall 2012 issue. :)

Congrats, Staci!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

More good news for Mark Brewin (MFA '11)

I am pleased to announce that "The Island Meditations"--my ten page
humdinger of a poem in the middle of my first book manuscript--has
been accepted for publication at Connotation Press. One more poem left
to be published!

Congrats, MJB!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fantastic news for poetry alum Mark Jay Brewin, Jr!!!!

MFA 11' poetry alum Mark Jay Brewin Jr. was just awarded the 2012 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry by contest judge Kathleen Graber. Brewin's winning collection will be published by The University of Utah Press in the spring of 2013. He will receive a cash prize and will give a reading in the University of Utah's Guest Writers Series.

Congratulations, MARK!!!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Welcome Scott Blackwood!!!

MFA Carbondale extends a warm welcome to Scott Blackwood, our new fiction professor!  Scott comes to SIUC from Roosevelt University in Chicago, where he directed the creative writing program. For more about Scott, visit his website:
Scott Blackwood's site

Friday, August 17, 2012

forthcoming publication for Austin Kodra:

Second-year poet Austin Kodra received this good news: 

Prime Number Magazine just accepted three of my poems!! "Parentless, in Our Childhood Homes," "Pneuma Airlines," and "New Year's Resolution, March 2012."

Congrats, Austin!!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Publications Forthcoming for SIUC MFA Alums

from Ruth Awad  (MFA '12) via Facebook:

Rattle just accepted my poem "Inheritance" for publication!!!!!!

from Helena "Hel" Bell (MFA '08, poetry):

Clarkesworld has accepted my story 'Robot' for an upcoming issue!

Congrats, you lovely writers!

Story Publication for Shawn Andrew Mitchell

News from Shawn Andrew Mitchell (MFA 12, fiction), who is now in Korea:
Just thought I'd write to tell you "The Hillbilly in My Pocket" got picked up by the Fairy Tale Review, http://www.fairytalereview.com/

Congrats, Shawn!!! 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

new student Lucien Meadows has work accepted!

Incoming MFA student in poetry Lucien Meadows shares this good news!

I am an incoming MFA Poetry student, and I arrived in sunny Carbondale over the weekend. I look forward to starting PSW in six days! When I checked my email for the first time here in Illinois, I learned that Toad, Virginia Tech's excellent literary magazine, has accepted two of my poems, "Arc" and "On Passing Through the Monongahela National Forest at Night," for inclusion in a future issue! Staci (Schoenfeld) said I should send you an email, to let you know, so that you could post the happy acceptance on the MFA Blog. I am excited, particularly as the two poems deal with growing up in West Virginia, and Toad has many readers from the WV and greater Appalachian area. I look forward to meeting you!

Congrats, Lucien and welcome to the MFA Program!

Another acceptance for Staci Schoenfeld!

Second-year poet Staci Schoenfeld has had more work accepted!

I'm happy to announce that "The Patient's Complaint" and "The Patient Talks of Electroshock and Lobster" will be published in the September issue of diode poetry journal! 

Congrats, Staci!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Poem accepted for Staci Schoenfeld

Congrats to second-year poet Staci Schoenfeld:
I'm super excited that Bellevue Literary Review has consented to publish my poem "The Patient" in their Fall 2012 issue. Woot!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Alumni Update: Alex Lumans (MFA '09)

Fiction alum Alex Lumans writes with a bevy of good news:
My story "Signs and Wonders" is now up at Blackbird. It hails all the way back to my slot in Pinckney's workshop, and there's no way it would be out in the world now without that class.

My story "Phys. Ed. 112 Syllabus: You and Your Apocalypse"  was accepted by Toasted Cake, which does podcast reprints.

I was a finalist in Press 53 2012 Open Awards Contest in the Flash Fiction category.

And an audio version of my poem "Looking over His Shoulder, Eadward Muybridge Addresses the Mirror" that came out in Sycamore Review is now up on their site.



Monday, July 02, 2012

Congrats to Sequoia Nagamatsu!

Third-year fiction writer Sequoia Nagamatsu has great news to share this Monday morning:

My story "The Silence of the Third Inversion" will be published in the next issue of Redivider. 

Also, this happened a little while ago but this was also the title story in a chapbook that was a finalist in the 2012 Cutbank Chapbook contest. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

congrats to Mark Brewin (MFA 11)

I am pleased to announce that my second flash fiction piece titled "Accessories" was accepted for publication in the December print issue of Emerge Literary Magazine. A little cross-genre love...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Young Writers Workshop 2012 starts today!!

The Young Writers Workshop, SIUC's annual creative writing conference for high school students aged 15-18 starts today!

Here's the schedule of  this year's readings. All readings are free and open to the public!

Tuesday, June 19:
8-9 PM: Faculty Reading w/ fiction writer Pinckney Benedict, Harry T. Moore Auditorium, Faner Hall

Wednesday, June 20:
4-5 PM: Graduate Student Reading, Faner 1005: Pete Lucas, Dan Paul, Max Schleicher

8-9 PM: Guest Author Reading with Laura Benedict, fiction writer, Harry T. Moore Auditorium, Faner Hall

Thursday, June 21:
4-5 PM: Graduate Student Reading, Faner 1005: Elise Foster, Brett Gaffney, Jenny Flack
8-9 PM: Visiting Author Reading w/ fiction writer Nicole Louise Reid

Friday, June 22:
4-5 PM: Graduate Student Reading, Faner 1005: Andy Harnish., Andy McSorley, Derand Wright
8-9: Visiting Author Reading with fiction writer Geoff Schmidt, Harry T. Moore Auditorium

Saturday, June 23:
1:05-3:15 PM: Young Writer Workshop Participants Reading, Pulliam Hall #34, Cisne Auditorium

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Great News for Staci Schoenfeld!

Congrats to second-year poet Staci Schoenfeld:

Just passing along the happy news I got today that my poem "Attempts at Flight" was chosen as a finalist in Yemassee's 2012 Pocataligo Poetry Contest. My name will be listed in the upcoming magazine and website as a finalist, and the poem will be published on Yemassee's website. :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Publication Gone "Live" for Andrew McSorley

Third-year poet Andrew McSorley's work is up!

     The newest issue of Rougarou is up online and contains, amongst other cool work, my poem "Backyard Rink." Here's the link for the current issue:


- McSorley

Congrats, Andy!

Catching Up with Jared (JY) Sexton (MFA '08)

Fiction alum Jared (JY) Sexton sends this update: The biggest news is that I got hired on for the tenure-track fiction position at Georgia Southern University and will join their faculty in August. On top of that, my interview with Chuck Klosterman was the cover story for the latest issue of BULL, my piece "New and Better Things" was just published in Dark Sky Magazine, NANO Fiction will publish my story "The Hatred in Their Eyes, The Cruelty in Their Hearts," Metazen will publish my story "I am the Oil of the Engine of the World," Stymie will publish my story "Of All That Breathes Across the Earth," my story "A Man Gets Tired," originally featured in PANK, will appear in Press 53's upcoming anthology of bar stories, and the book trailer for my collection "An End to All Things," directed by film maker Jake Bottiglieri, recently premiered. (http://vimeo.com/40903289)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Update on Alex Lumans (MFA '09)

In case you've been wondering what a certain redhead's been up to, here's an update from Alex Lumans:
I had a story accepted and published recently at Clarkesworld called "All the Things the Moon is Not". They also have it available as an audio podcast for download.

The Blue Mountain Center in upstate NY offered me a one-month Residency Fellowship, which I'll be heading to in a few weeks.

And then I'll go the ART342 Program in Fort Collins for six weeks because they also offered me an artist residency.

That certainly solves the question of how I was going to survive this summer. Sadly, it means I'll be missing the lovely Shea-Whittemore wedding.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

an announcement from the Young Writers Workshop


Department of English, Southern Illinois university Carbondale, Faner Hall 2380, Mailcode 4503, 1000 Faner Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901




Announcing the Winners of the 2012 Younkin-Rivera Prizes For Young Writers





Carbondale, Illinois: The Young Writers Workshop, an annual creative writing workshop for high school writers, is proud to announce the winners of the annual Younkin-Rivera Prizes for Young Writers. Each winner will receive an award of $250 and free registration to the 2012 Young Writers Workshop, to be held on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


In prose, this year's winner is Kate Mirly of Smithton, Illinois for her story "The Story of a Villain." Kate attends Freeburg Community High School in Freeburg, Illinois.


In poetry, this year's winner is Monique Ocanas of Park Forest, Illinois for her poem "A Reflection." Monique attends Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois.


The awards, open to creative writers aged 15-18 from across the country, are named in memory of Brad Younkin and Roxana Rivera, two young writers who were once students in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing.


The Young Writers Workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is a four-day, co-ed, residential creative writing workshop for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in developing their skills in the writing of poetry and prose. In 2009, the workshop will held from June 19 to June 23, 2012. Additional information about this year's session can be found at www.dce.siu.edu.


The awards will next be offered in 2013. For information about next year's awards, please contact Allison Joseph, the Young Writers Workshop Director, at aljoseph@siu.edu.

Congrats to Staci Schoenfeld!!!

Great news from second-year poet Staci Schoenfeld!

I have some good news to report. Last week I had 3 poems accepted for The Chaffey Review's upcoming Volume 9: Innocence and Experience. 

Red Ochre LiT also emailed to let me know they will be publishing 5 poems as a mini-chapbook titledOrbits in their next issue which should be released by mid-June. (Many thanks Hannah Katie New for the collection title.)

Great news, Staci!!! Congrats!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

update on Brooks Rexroat (MFA '11, fiction)

Here's an update on fiction grad Brooks Rexroat:

"The Parents' Row was published in the spring edition of Revolution House. The entire issue is available as a free PDF or e-book download at http://revolutionhousemag.com/?page_id=23
There's some amazing work in there, so I'm super-proud that my little story about getting old but still wanting to rock made the cut.

"Hidden Cost," a short-short about traveling in the Baltic will appear in the twelfth print edition of Blink-Ink, available in July.  

Marathon Literary Review
, published by the MFA program at Arcadia University, has accepted "The Shore of Erie" for its next edition. That one wears the helpful fingerprints of lots of SIUC students and professors, and I'm very glad that it's found a good home.

Congrats on all this good work, Brooks!!!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Profile of Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum (MFA '09) in Inside Higher Ed

Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum is profiled in Inside Higher Ed's "Adjunct Hero" series: Andyprofile

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Publication forthcoming for MFA grad Helena "Hel" Bell!

straight from her Facebook page, here's good news from Helena "Hel" Bell (MFA '08, poetry):

Squee! I sold a story! The lovely Shimmer magazine has accepted "In Light of Recent Events I Have Reconsidered the Wisdom of Your Space Elevator" for a future issue. :)

Congrats, Hel!!

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!!!

Fabulous news for MFA '10 poetry grad Travis Mossotti, recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award for $6,000!  Mega-congrats, TM!!!

Details here:
Sustainable Arts Foundation

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Accepted story for Abby French Wheetley (MFA '09)

Abby French Wheetley (MFA '09, fiction) has great Tuesday news:

My story, Dinner Date, is going to be published in the upcoming issue of Flywheel Magazine.

Congrats, Abby!!!! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

MFA Graduation Gala 2012!!!

The Creative Writing Program of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Department of English 

cordially invites you to attend 

our MFA Celebration

April 28, 2012
5:30-7 pm: Reception
7-9:30 pm: Readings

at the Varsity Center for the Arts, 418 South Illinois Avenue, Carbondale, Illinois

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

Ruth Awad
Bryan Brower
Jung Hae Chae
Shawn Mitchell
Nick Ostdick
John Stanford Owen
Derand E. Wright
Please join us in wishing them congratulations and godspeed.

Accepted poem for Brenna Lemieux (MFA '11)

Harpur Palate accepted my poem "Departures" this week. I'm looking
forward to hearing all the fine 3rd years read at the Gala!

Congrats, Brenna!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Update: Travis Mossotti (MFA '10)

Great news from poetry alum Travis Mossotti (MFA '10, poetry);

I'll be an Assistant Professor of English at St. Charles Community
College this fall, I just found out I won the Blue Moon Poetry
Chapbook Contest at Missouri State for My Life as an Island (first
half of a longer manuscript--Western Humanities Review is publishing a
fifteen page spread from that manuscript this summer), and Prairie
Schooner will be publishing a ten page poem, "Yellowstone Wolf
Project," from a different manuscript in fall 2012.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Re: Publication news for Jung Hae Chae

Fabulous news also from Jung Hae Chae (MFA '12, poetry):

Very excited to share news of an upcoming publication--the Calyx
Journal picked up three of my poems: "Language Acquisition,"
"Generations," and "She was the ugliest girl" in either July 2012 or
January 2013 issue.  Groooovy!

Groovy indeed!!! Congrats, Jung!!

Mark Brewin forthcoming publication!

MFA grad Mark Brewin (MFA '11) also has good news!

Just letting you know that Harpur Palate has accepted my poem"A
Borrowed Childhood Memory, New York City, 1923." Nice nice.

Indeed! Congrats, MB!

Re: poem acceptance!

Great news this Monday for first-year poet Maggie Graber:

Just wanted to let you know for the blog...my poem "Late Night Shift
at the Radio Station" was picked up by Black Heart Magazine.

Congrats to Sequoia Nagamatsu!

Second-year fiction MFA Sequoia Nagamatsu was named a finalist in the Third Coast Fiction Contest!!

Details here:
Third Coast

forthcoming publication for Adrienne Rivera (MFA '12)

Fabulous news from fiction writer Adrienne Rivera (MFA '12):

Copper Nickel is going to publish my short story "Murdered Girl."
This is my first publication ever, so I am pretty pleased.

Great news, AD!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pinckney Benedict online reading and Q&A - Wednesday, April 18, 6 PM Eastern

SIUC fiction prof Pinckney Benedict will be reading from his work on Wednesday, online!

I'm doing an online video "event" tomorrow, Wednesday, April 18, at 6 PM Eastern time. It's an experiment - you all know me well enough to be aware of what a gadget guy I am, and it seems to me that this latest gadget will have some role in how book tours and such are done in the (near) future. I'll be giving a brief reading from Miracle Boy and Other Stories, and then there will be a Q&A period, during which webcam-equipped attendees (who can virtually raise their hands!) can ask me questions and so on.

I freely admit that I have no idea how this will go, so you're likely to see me fall flat on my face, or hit the wrong button and blip out of existence. What could be better?

Hit the link below to add yourself to the guest list. The event coordinators will then send you an email with the link to the actual reading, as well as a reminder when the reading is about to start. There's no software to install, as the whole thing works in a conventional browser.

Hope to see ("see") some of you there ("there").

Monday, April 16, 2012

A scholarship for and a tip from Rachel Furey

Rachel Furey (MFA '09, fiction) writes with good news (and an inside tip):

The scholarship I received from the Highlights Foundation is $600
toward a Young Adult Boot Camp in June with Rich Wallace and Kathryn
Erskine. The folks at the foundation asked that I spread the word to
other writers, so if others are interested in children's/YA writing,
they might check out the list of workshops:


They're happy to answer any questions and send a scholarship
application via email.

Congrats, Rachel, and thanks!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Congrats to Patrick Hunt!

First-year fiction MFA Patrick Hunt has this great news:

I'll have an upcoming short story, "Sooyoung at the Shore," in the
Spring 2012 issue of The Bellingham Review, which I think is coming
out later this month or next.

Congrats, Patrick!

Friday, April 06, 2012

SIUC MFA students to be featured in Paducah, KY

Poet Staci Schoenfeld and fiction writer Sequoia Nagamatsu will be the SIU readers at the Rivertown Reading Series in Paducah, KY on Saturday April 21 at the Yeiser Center for the Arts. The reading will begin at 7:30 pm at 200 Broadway Street. Congrats Sequoia and Staci!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Coming Soon: the Little Grassy Literary Festival

SIUC's annual spring literary festival, the Little Grassy Literary Festival, is back again for 2012.

April 11-April 13:

Read about it here:
Festival News Release

Monday, April 02, 2012

Poemspotting: Mark Brewin

Publication news for Mark Brewn (MFA 11, poetry):

A piece of mine was selected as Poem of the Month a while back and has
been posted on The
Pinch's website. It's a longer piece titled, "Seven Places I Have Found My
Grandmother in the Last Six Years."


Congrats, MB!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2012 Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest Winners

Announcing the Winners of the 2012 Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest

Judge Catherine Pierce, poet and professor at Mississippi State
University has chosen to honor the following poets and poems:

Winner: Jessica Lynn Suchon for "When you glimpse his hand, the heel
of his shoe,"

Runner Up: Jeffrey Haynes for "My Great Aunt Dies of Creeping
Paralysis at Age Sixteen"
Runner Up: Jessica Lynn Suchon for "The Anatomy of Guilt"

Winner: Max Schleicher for "Story"

Runner Up: Ruth Awad for
"A Name for the Year's Longest Night: My Father's Grade-School Crush
Among the Maronite Militia"
Runner Up: Austin Kodra for "Parentless, In Her Childhood Home"

Please join us on Thursday, March 29 2012 at 7 pm in the SIUC Student
Center Mackinaw Room for an awards ceremony featuring a reading from
our judge, Catherine Pierce, author of The Girls of Peculiar and
Famous Last Words, both published by Saturnalia Books. The winners
will also read their award-winning poems. There will be a booksigning
and reception in the Faner Humanities 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 Southern
Illinois University Carbondale at the time of her death in 2003.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Congrats to Max Schleicher!

Second-year poet Max Schleicher has great Friday news:

Good news. My poem "White Tent City" has been picked up by the Irish
magazine "The Stinging Fly."

Congrats, Max!!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Allison Joseph Receives AWP's Garrett Award

SIUC MFA Program Director Allison Joseph is the 2012 recipient of the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature:

Details here:

Joseph receives Garrett

Monday, March 19, 2012

Publication Forthcoming: Ruth Awad

I'm very excited and honored to announce that my poem "Karantina
Massacre" will be published by The New Republic and seen in print
during the next year. I'll keep you posted on a more specific date.

Congrats, Ruth!!! Excellent publication!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Publication Forthcoming: Andrew McSorley!

Second-year MFA Andrew McSorley has upcoming publication news:

The Lindenwood Review took my poem, "Winter's Ritual." Should be out this summer.

Congrats, Andrew!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Now Available: new poetry chapbook by Ingrid Moody!!

Poetry alum Ingrid Moody (MFA '07) has a new chapbook just published by Texas Review Press:

After a year of waiting...my book of poetry, Learning About Fire, has just been released from Texas Review Press! Check it out here:

Learning About Fire

Congrats, Ingrid!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Women's Words Reading is Tonight!

To help celebrate 2012 Women's History Month, come hear the lovely ladies of SIUC's MFA program read their fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Tell your friends. Tell your students. Come out. Help us kick off 2012 Women's History Month programming in great fashion. Spread the word!

Readers include Ruth Awad, Jenny Flack, Brett Gaffney, Staci Schoenfeld, Maggie Graber, Alberta Skaggs, Allison Joseph, Jung Hae Chae, and Judy Jordan.

SIU Student Center, Missouri Room, 7 pm, March 8, 2012

Monday, March 05, 2012

Fantastic News for Jared (JY) Sexton!!!

MFA "08 fiction alum Jared (JY) Sexton has wonderful news:

I'm going to be the new Fiction and Screenwriting professor at Georgia Southern in Fall '12. It's bittersweet because I'm looking forward to the new post, but I'm leaving a lot of lovely people and the state I adore. Thanks to everyone who's been supportive over the last few weeks, and Go Eagles.

Congrats, Jared, and best of luck in Statesboro!

Nick Ostdick score!

Congrats to third-year fiction writer Nick Ostdick:

Fresh off AWP Chicago tomfoolery, I'm pleased to say The Northville
Review has accepted my short story 'Thursday' for an upcoming issue.
Neat, right?

Very neat. Congrats, NO!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

News Update from Melissa Scholes Young (MFA '11)

An update from fiction grad Melissa Scholes Young

It seems I'll be employed again next year. The Literature Department
of American University has offered me another contract to keep doing
what I do. I'm a lucky lady, indeed.

Also, The Truth About the Fact, the literary journal of Loyola
Marymount University, has accepted my nonfiction essay "On the Verge
of Everything" for spring publication. Hopefully, I'll be out in LA
in April to read for their launch party.


Conclave: A Journal of Character is publishing a short story of mine
entitled "The Application" due out in their October print edition.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Rachel Furey (MFA '09) Update

Fiction alum Rachel Furey (MFA '09) continues to impress:

I hope all is well in Carbondale. I thought I'd pass along the good
news that my story "The Biology Bee" won the William Richey Short
Fiction Contest and will be published in Yemassee.

The editor of Fifth Wednesday Journal also let me know about this kind


Great work, Rachel!!!

Good News for John Stanford Owen

Third-year poet John Stanford Owen has great news:

I'm happy to announce StorySouth has picked up "His Knives," the
longest poem in my manuscript.

Congrats, JSO!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

News from Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum (MFA '09)

Here's an update from Andrew McFadkyen-Ketchum (MFA "09, poetry):

Man, sorry I haven't sent you anything in so long. It's been a pretty
amazing 12 months or so, but the first few weeks of 2012 have been
just out of control. The highlights:

"Corridor" and "Driving into the Cumberland" were selected to be in
The Southern Poetry Anthology: Tennessee

My anthology proposal for a book of Apocalyptic Lit (working title
Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days) was accepted by
Upper Rubber Boot Books

I was given first prize in the Emerging Poets Prize awarded by
Methodist University's 22nd Southern Writers Symposium.

I just became (today!) a Contributing Editor for Southern Literary
Review. Check out my web-column called "poetry=am^k" (The title was
Ron Mitchell's idea, not mine) on their website,

And I had 3 panels taken by AWP that are going to be awesome. I have a
feeling you may know a few of the participants:

F114. Redefining Lyric: Five Poets Featured on PoemoftheWeek.org Read
Their Work on Friday at 9:00, F138. Apocalypse Now: A Multi-Genre
Reading of Apocalyptic Literature on Friday at 10:30, and F149.
Ghostwriting the Eulogy: How to Survive and Make Your Name beyond the
Academy with a Degree in Creative Writing at noon.

Congrats on all this, AMK!

Monday, February 13, 2012

News Update from Jared (JY) Sexton (MFA '08)

Fiction alum Jared (JY) Sexton writes with a good news update:

My story "A Man Gets Tired" is forthcoming from PANK, "Now I Am Become
Death, Destroyer of Worlds" is forthcoming in Pulp Modern, "Everybody
Must Give Something Back for Something They Get" is forthcoming in The
Platte Valley Review, "The Right Men For the Job" appeared in 10,000
Tons of Black Ink, "Mediation" appeared in the newest issue of The
Raleigh Review and was nominated for the Million Writers Award, "It is
Wide and It is Deep" appeared in Prime Mincer and was nominated for a
Pushcart, I was named Managing Editor at BULL and was just interviewed
by The Review Review, and Atticus Books just announced that my first
collection, "An End to All Things," will be released November 23rd,
Black Friday, later this year.

Congrats on all this bounty, Jared!

Nick Ostdick nominated!

Third year fiction MFA Nick Ostdick has great news too!

My story "Storms" has been nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize! Kinda
stoked, not gonna lie.

Stoked for you, Nick!

upcoming publication for John Stanford Owen

The good news keeps on coming--this time from third-year poet John
Stanford Owen:

I'm happy to announce "First Barrow" will be appearing in the Southeast Review.

Congrats, JSO!!!

More Brewin doings

Looks like they just can't get enough of poetry alum Mark Brewin (MFA
'11) in Memphis:

It seems that The Pinch is so interested in my work that the
Editor-and-Chief just emailed me and asked that besides having my poem
"Seven Places..." as the April "Poem of the Month" that she would love
one of her favorites of my submission "Lily of the Valley" be printed
in the upcoming issue as well!

Congrats, MJB!

Catching Up with Brooks Rexroat (MFA '11)

Fiction alum Brooks Rexroat also has a lot of great news in his update:

An update for the blog:

My hyper-short story "Vacuum" appeared in issue 21 of Boston Literary
Magazine. It's out in print and online at

The Jet Fuel Review at Lewis University published "Five Meals in
Paris" in its fall edition. http://jetfuelreview.com/?page_id=749

"In the Center" was included in the first issue of Literary Juice.

Generations Literary Magazine has accepted the story "Wisdom of Age"
for its upcoming third print edition.

The folks at Alt Hist Fiction have posted an interview with me. It's
up online, along with an excerpt from my story "To the Stars," which
came out in the new edition of that publication.

My story "Destroying New Boston," which was first published last July
by The Cleveland Review was the story of the day for Jan. 31 at

"Last Night" was chosen by author Louise Doughty from among 700
submissions as one of six finalists for the Telegraph Newspaper's
(England) Short Story Competition.

I've also got a Web site up and running at brooksrexroat.com

Catching up with Tim Marsh (MFA '06, fiction)

Fiction alum Tim Marsh (MFA '06) has loads of great news:

Hey Allison! Hope the new year is treating you right! Things are
pretty awesome on this end. It's been a while and a lot of things have

Publications: New Plains Review has just published my essay "Patience"
in their latest issue; The Kartika Review has just included one of my
pieces "Banjar Dalung" in their 2011 Anthology of Asian Pacific
Islander American Literature, available on Lulu and Amazon; Ninth
Letter will be publishing my nonfiction piece, "Something Californian"
in their Spring 2012 issue; Quiddity will be publishing another essay
of mine in their 2012 issue, due out in the spring I think.

Fellowships: I've received a full bursary from the Tenot Foundation in
France, which grants me 6 weeks at the CAMAC Centre d'Arts, in
Marnay-sur-Seine, not far from Paris. Utterly stoked about this. I've
also received a scholarship to the Can Serrat International Arts
Center and will be spending June as a writer-in-residence in
Montserrat, Spain.

Bigger News: Though I'm not totally committed to this yet, I also just
received a conditional acceptance into the Aberystwyth PhD Creative
Writing Program in Wales. I'm a finalist for a departmental
scholarship that would fund my entire first year...so please keep your
fingers crossed, and anything else on your body that can overlap.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

More publication news for Mark Brewin!

More great news for Mark Brewin (MFA '11):

I am happy to say that my poem "On Thunderstorms" was recently accepted for
publication at Georgetown Review, as well as my poem "Seven Places I Have
Found My Grandmother in the Last Six Years" which was not only accepted at
The Pinch, but will be featured as their "Poem of the Month" for April!

Congrats, Brewin! Wonderful!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

2012 Roxana Rivera Poetry Contest Guidelines


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

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

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

Gift certificates will be awarded as prizes in both divisions:

$50 for the winning entry, $25 for two runner-ups

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: "Her Body, Her Self"

DEADLINE: Friday, March 23, 2012 at 4pm

Submission Guidelines: Send an entry packet with:

1) A cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and poem title(s). Indicate on your cover sheet whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student.

2) No identifying information on the poems themselves, please. One poem per page. There is no entry fee, but there is a limit of three poems per entrant. When sending entries via e-mail, please send in rtf or doc file format (no docx) —send all poems as one file.

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

Entries accepted via e-mail only at

(replace -AT- with @ in sending e-mail).

Winners will be honored at a special awards ceremony to be held March 29, 2012.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Re: publication news

Congrats to third-year poet Jung Hae Chae!

So happy to share news that my poem, "Happiness" found a
home--Georgetown Review will publish it in 2012 or 13 or 14 (strange,
but they didn't confirm the exact date). No complaints though.

Something to look forward to! Congrats, Jung!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Congrats to Melissa Scholes Young!

Great news for MFA '11 fiction grad Melissa Scholes Young:

I just got word that my short story "Holding Hands," which used to be
called "Anywhere But Here," will be published with Sliver of Stone. I
saw that they published your awesome naked mole rat poem, so I know
I'm in good company. The story is the first in my short story
collection, and I'm pretty proud it finally found a home.

Congrats, MSY!!!


I have an interview with Ana Menendez up at Fiction Writers Review:

Menendez interview

My past interviews with Devil's Kitchen's own Danielle Evans and Jennine Capo Crucet are over there, too.

Spectacular News for fiction alum Chad Simpson

Delightful news for MFA '05 grad Chad Simpson--his story collection "Tell Everyone I Said Hi"--has won the 2012 Iowa Short Fiction Prize!!!!

Details here
Iowa winners

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Congrats to Brett Gaffney!!

First-year poetry MFA Brett Gaffney has great news to share:

Precipitate just accepted by poem "La Isla de las Muñecas, Xochimilco, Mexico."

Congrats, Brett!!!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Helena "Hel" Bell update

Congrats to Helena Bell (MFA '08) on the new story publication:

"All the Young Kirks and Their Good Intentions" is now live at Clarkesworld!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Alex Lumans: Recent Publications

Word from fiction grad Alex Lumans (MFA '09):

A story of mine entitled "Eighty-SIx Ways to Cross One Desert" was
accepted by Fifty-Two Stories. And Booth took a story called "Phys Ed
112: You and Your Apocalypse."

Hobart also accepted a story of mine that's told in tweets called
"Twitterfeed: TheSinner'sCorpse." It's up now:

I also have a story starting today at Necessary Fiction called
"Acknowledge the Corn" for their Origin Stories Month:

And The Collagist will soon publish my book review of Michael Griffith's Trophy.

Congrats on everything, Lumans!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Congrats to Leslie Adams!

Third year MFA poetry student Leslie Adams sends this great news all
the way from France:

West Branch will be taking "Half-Water Meditation," "Men Eating
Alone," "Meditation with Lines from Wallace Stevens," and "The Beach
House." It's great when some of your favorites get picked up together!

All best, and miss you all,


Congrats, Leslie!

Congrats to Max Schleicher!

Great news this morning from third-year poetry MFA Max Schleicher:

Lake Effect is publishing my poems "Hunger Weather" and "January
Coyote." My first pub.

Congrats, Max!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

forthcoming story for Helena "Hel" Bell

MFA '08 grad Helena "Hel" Bell writes with this lovely news:

Clarkesworld Magazine (you may remember that they published a story by
Alex Lumans a while back) has accepted "All the Young Kirks and Their
Good Intentions" Will send a link when it goes live.

Congrats, Hel!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Poem from Mark Brewin

Recent MFA grad Mark Brewin has a new poem up on line at Mason's Road:

"...just came out today from Mason's Road. It's a longer piece
titled, "Letter about my last night in Carbondale, Illinois."


Congrats, Brewin!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Congrats to Andrew McSorley!

Lovely news for second-year poet Andrew McSorley:

Rougarou, the online literary journal at the University of Louisiana,
Lafayette took my poem "Backyard Rink."

Congrats, Andy!!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Congrats to Shawn Mitchell!

Third-year fiction student Shawn Mitchell shares this great news:

I had an essay on the Cuirt Literary Festival picked up for the next
issue of P&W!

Congrats, Shawn!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Congrats to Staci Schoenfeld and Brett Gaffney!

Some fine news for two first-year poets:

First-year poetry MFA student Staci Schoenfeld has publication news:

I just received word that nibble will publish two of my poems -
"Desire from A to Z" and "Valentine" in their next issue!

Congrats, Staci!!

First year poetry MFA student Brett Gaffney also has publication news:

The Medulla Review accepted two of my poems into their next (all women) issue
The poems are "Night People" and "The Scream Queen."

Congrats, Brett!!

Congrats to Brenna Lemieux (MFA '11)

Great news for poetry alum Brenna Lemieux:

I'm writing with the glad tidings that three of my poems have recently
been accepted for publication: "Someone Else's Pain" and "Mrs. Eder's
Sunday School Class" got picked up by Bellevue Literary Review, and
"The Gospel of Household Plants" was accepted by cream city review.