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

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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.


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)

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The story of two widows and their troubled daughters. In the search for success as an actress, Lora neglects her daughter. Lora's black housekeeper's daughter repudiates her mother by trying to pass for white. As the years pass, each of the four women realizes that she has been living an emotionally fruitless existence.

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