Just arrived home from my trip to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, which was spectacular on all counts. The lovely Allison Joseph invited me to be this year's judge for the Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest, sponsored by SIUC's Creative Writing and Women's Studies Programs. The contest included entries from both undergraduates and graduates at SIUC, and I have to say making a final decision was made difficult by the number of strong entries. Congratulations to all the winners!
Both Allison and Jon Tribble excel at hosting, making me feel at home the moment I arrived. Many thanks to Jon for rescuing me from the Google Map directions, which had me exiting at Lick Creek and traversing the back-country hills for about 20-minutes before I broke down and dialed for help.
Thanks to all of the students, faculty, and staff who showed up for the ceremony and reading! I was glad to have met the wonderful poet Judy Jordan and fiction writer Jacinda Townsend, as well as students, Krishna Pattisapu, Amie Whittemore, and Travis Mossotti. I also got to reconnect with students Jason Lee Brown and Andy McFadyen-Ketchum, both of whom I met at AWP Atlanta.
All in all, this was one of the best trips I've made for the poetry side of my life. Thank to you all!