July 15, 2009

Current, former creative writing students honored

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- It’s almost impossible to keep up with the success stories generated by graduate students in the creative writing program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Here are some recent highlights:


• Current student Mark Brewin is crossing his fingers as a finalist for the Guy Owens Prize given by the Southern Poetry Review. Winners are announced later this summer. The award includes a $1,000 cash award and publication in the journal.

• Matthew Guenette, a 1999 graduate, garnered an Outstanding Achievement in Poetry award from the Wisconsin Library Association for his poetry collection, “Sudden Anthem.” The award is an annual one given to Wisconsin authors. The collection also was the 2007 winner of The American Poetry Journal Book.

• Greg Schwipps, a 1998 graduate, was a finalist for the Emerging Author category in the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award. Eligible writers were either Indiana natives or Indiana residents for a minimum of five years. Emerging writers, as defined by the contest, are those with one major work published.

Scholarships and residencies

• Jason Brown, a 2008 graduate, earned a scholarship to the DePaul Summer Writing Conference, beginning later this week. The conference includes a participant reading at the Chicago Public Library.

• Melissa Scholes Young, a current graduate student, earned a one-week writing residence with Writers in the Heartland, a writers’ workshop in rural Gilman, Ill. This is the inaugural year for the program. As if the secluded location is not enough, a “non-communication policy” is in effect for writing guests until evening, ensuring an atmosphere conducive to focus on writing projects.

• Tim Marsh, a 2006 graduate, earned a fellowship and residency at the Vermont Studio Center, beginning in late September. He will be one of 12 writers and part of a greater community of 50 total artists of various kinds enjoying an opportunity to focus on a creative work. Marsh also received an artist’s grant. Besides access to a private writing studio during his stay, Marsh also has the chance to participate in literary readings.

To keep up with creative writing graduate student activities, visit program director Allison Joseph’s blog at http://mfacarbondale.blogspot.com/.