February 11, 2016

Joseph, alumnus team up for poetry reading

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Allison Joseph joins forces with alumnus Curtis Crisler to bring “In the Presence of Spirits,” a poetry reading, to Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Feb. 18. The reading begins at 8 p.m. in the John C. Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library. 

Joseph directs the master of fine arts in creative writing program at SIU. Crisler is part of the English and linguistics faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne. 

“I'm looking forward to welcoming Curtis back to SIU,” Joseph said. “It's been a long time since he's read on campus, and he has been extraordinarily productive since graduation from our creative writing program.” 

Joseph is a prolific poet and a champion of other writers – not only of her students. She maintains a free list of creative writing opportunities, the Creative Writers Opportunities List, which posts submission calls from journals, job and residency opportunities, contests and competitions for writers. She’s director of the Young Writers Workshop, a residential camp for high school-aged writers held at SIU that draws writers from the area, from the state, even from out of state. She also serves as editor and poetry editor of the “Crab Orchard Review,” a respected literary journal published in cooperation with SIU Press. 

Joseph is a very active writer, reading her work at universities and other venues across the country, and publishing poems in dozens of journals. She has several book collections of poetry to her name, including no less than three books forthcoming – “Multitudes,” from Word Tech Communications, “The Purpose of Hands,” from Glass Lyre Press, and “Mortal Rewards,” from White Violet Press.

Other collections are “What Keeps Us Here,” “Soul Train,” “In Every Seam,” “Wordly Pleasures,”  “Imitation of Life,” “Voice: Poems,” “My Father's Kites,” “Trace Particles,” “Little Epiphanies” and “Mercurial.” 

She is the literary partner and wife of Jon Tribble, also a poet, editor and proponent of the writing craft, also with two books forthcoming: “Natural State” and “And There is Many a Good Thing.” 

Crisler, too, has two poetry books forthcoming, and three already published: “Pulling Scabs,” “Tough Boy Sonatas” “Dreamist,” and the chapbook “Spill.”  He’s the editor of the nonfiction book, “Leaving Me Behind: Writing a New Me.” 

The reading is a Black History Month event.