September 10, 2004

Joseph captures award for fiction writing

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. - - Award-winning poetess Allison E. Joseph continues to gain national prominence for her latest passion - - fiction writing.

Joseph is an associate professor of English at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Her second award-winning short story, "In the Sickroom," took second place in the fiction category of an annual competition sponsored by the Alabama Writers Conclave.

She will receive $50 for the piece and it will appear in Alalitcom, a book encompassing prize-winning entries in the annual competition.

"I think I may just keep this fiction thing going," she says playfully. Joseph's story follows on the heels of her earlier prize-winning short story, "Tabernacle" and chronicles the same family.

"The narrator is a young black girl coping with watching her mother die of cancer while her father's in denial," says Joseph, who admits the characters bear a resemblance to her family.

In addition to teaching in the University's creative writing program, Joseph has edited the Crab Orchard Review, a biannual literary journal published at SIUC, and is founding director of the annual Young Writers Workshop, which nurtures the writing talents of area high school students.

Leading in research, scholarly and creative activities is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.