December 23, 2003

Allison E. Joseph again honored for writing

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Capping off a year marked by awards, Allison E. Joseph has won second place in the first "Strong Medicine" poetry contest sponsored by Margie: the American Journal of Poetry, a two-year-old review based in Chesterfield, Mo.

Joseph, associate professor of English at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, received a $250 cash prize for her poem, "Black," which is based on a quilt stitched by Carbondale quilter and SIUC master of fine arts graduate Joanna Johnson. The journal will post Joseph's poem on its Web site,, in early January. The poem also will appear in the annual journal's third volume, due out next September.

The Margie prize is the sixth award for Joseph this year. Earlier, she won the 2003 Word Press Poetry Prize, the grand prize in a contest sponsored by Yawp Magazine, first place in an annual essay contest sponsored by the Writer's Challenge Literary Association, first place in the 2002 Wallace W. Winchell Poetry Competition and second place in an annual poetry competition sponsored by Oneswan Productions.

"I win some, I lose a lot, and I'm happy for whatever recognition I can bring to SIUC and the creative writing program," Joseph said.

Joseph joined the SIUC faculty in 1994. She earned her bachelor's degree from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, in 1988 and her master's in fine arts from Indiana University in 1992.

The Margie journal honors the late Marjorie J. Wilson, a 22-year-old photojournalist killed by a drunken driver while on assignment for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper. Its mottoes are, "Readable, above all else" and "Not high brow. High-minded."