Distinguished poet will read at Ripon College Sept. 24

Distinguished poet Allison Joseph will return to Ripon College Wednesday, Sept. 24, to read selections of her work. The presentation is the first this year in the College’s Visiting Writers Series. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the North Reading Room of Lane Library at Ripon College, 300 Seward St.

The reading, which is free and open to all, will be followed by a book signing and reception.

Born in London to parents of Caribbean heritage, Joseph lives, writes and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She also serves as editor of Crab Orchard Review, a national journal of literary works. In addition, she directs the Young Writers Workshop, a coed residential creative writing summer workshop for high-school aged writers. She also moderates the Creative Writers Opportunities List, a listserv that distributes calls for submissions and literary contest information to writers free of charge.

Joseph’s seven collections of poetry include, most recently, My Father’s Kites (Steel Toe Books, 2010) and Voice (Mayapple Press, 2009). Her many awards and recognitions include the Ampersand Press Women Poets Series Prize, the John C. Zacharis First Book Award, and fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, Breadloaf Writers’ Conference and the Associated Writing Programs. Individual poems have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, including New Sister Voices: Poetry by American Women of African Descent and American Poetry: The Next Generation.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa has written of Joseph’s work: “These poems point to the strong materials needed to make ourselves whole in the modern world. They alert us to the seams we must tug at to see into ourselves.” Poet Stacey Lynn Brown notes of Joseph’s book Voice that “these poems cut and cajole, tackling the most serious and the most sultry with graceful eloquence. Like a soloist who rises above the rest of the choir, the voice in these poems peals with clarity and beauty, leading us from a place of familiarity smack dab into the sublime.”

Joseph’s visit is being sponsored by the Ripon College Visiting Writers Series, with assistance from the Schang Family Visiting Writer Fund. For more information, contact David Graham, Department of English, at 748-8722.


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