Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Allison Joseph  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: in London, England

-- Website --
-- Allison Joseph on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Allison Joseph lives, teaches and writes in Carbondale, Illinois, where she's on the faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Biographical and Professional Information

Joseph is a poet, editor and professor. She grew up in Toronto and the Bronx. She graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A., and from Indiana University with an M.F.A. Allison began her teaching career at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, teaching there from 1992 until 1994. She then moved to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she founded and became the Director of the Young Writers Workshop at SIUC in 1999. In 1995, she was one of the founding editors of Crab Orchard Review as the magazine's poetry editor and has also worked as editor-in-chief since August 2001.Along with her seven published books, Joseph's work has been published in numerous anthologies.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

What Keeps Us Here: Poems
ISBN: 0935331115

Ampersand Pr. 1992

Book by Joseph, Allison

Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series)
ISBN: 0887482473

Carnegie Mellon University Press. 1997

A collection of poetry by Allison Joseph.

In Every Seam (Pitt Poetry Series)
ISBN: 0822939940

Univ of Pittsburgh Pr. 1997

Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series)
ISBN: 0887483860

Carnegie Mellon University Press. 2003

A collection of poetry by Allison Joseph.

Worldly Pleasures
ISBN: 1932339124

Word Poetry. 2004

Worldly Pleasures is a book about pushing past tribulations to seek joy: in play, in friendship, in relationship. Ranging from a memorable series of character portraits to sensual love poems, Allison Joseph's fifth full-length collection finds, in its clear, smooth lines, a way to celebrate the world despite its difficulties. Worldly Pleasures further establishes Joseph as one of the leading poets of her young generation.

Voice: Poems
ISBN: 0932412750

Mayapple Press. 2009

Poetry. African American Studies. "Sassy and funky, serious and sly, the poems in Allison Joseph's VOICE travel through a rich and varied landscape. From childhood griefs to adult desires, the classroom to the bar, these poems cut and cajole, tackling the most serious and the most sultry with a 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"--Stacey Lynn Brown.

My Father's Kites
ISBN: 098241692X

Steel Toe Books. 2010

The centerpiece of Allison Joseph's sixth full-length poetry collection is a sequence of thirty-four sonnets about losing her father. "Superbly executed, part family history and part homage, Allison Joseph strings the frail human voices across the forceful lines of her verse to summon her absent father back from the dead." -- Maura Stanton


  • 1992 John C. Zacharis First Book Award
  • 1997 Illinois Arts Council Literary Award
  • 2009 Aquarius Press Legacy Award
  • Breadloaf Writers' Conference Fellowship
  • Sewanee Writers' Conference Fellowship
  • Academy of American Poets prize
  • Ruth Lilly Fellowship
  • Associated Writing Programs Prize

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)