2017 Visiting Writers

Benjamin Busch

2017 Distinguished Visiting Writer
Benjamin Busch


Benjamin Busch
is an actor, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. After graduation from Vassar College, where he majored in Studio Arts, he served 16 years as an infantry and light armored reconnaissance officer in the United States Marine Corps, deploying to Iraq in 2003 and again in 2005 where he was wounded in the battle for Ramadi.  He is writer/director of the award winning films Sympathetic Details  and BRIGHT  and was an actor and military consultant on the HBO mini-series, Generation Kill.  He also portrayed Officer Colicchio for three seasons in the HBO series The Wire. He has three traveling exhibitions of photography and a forthcoming book of selected images.  He is the author of the acclaimed memoir Dust to Dust  (Ecco), winner of the Debut-litzer Prize, GLCA Award for Creative Nonfiction and Michigan Notable Book Award.  His essays have arrived in Harper’s,The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, The Daily Beast  and NPR’s All Things Considered.  His work has been featured in Best American Travel Writing, notable in Best American Essays  and nominated for the Pushcart Prize and a National Magazine Award.  He is the winner of the James Dickey and Laurence Goldstein Prizes for poetry and his poems have appeared in North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Five Points, The Florida Review, Epiphany, Oberon, Nimrod  and Michigan Quarterly Review among others.  He teaches independent writing workshops across the country as well as college, university and high school visiting writer events and participates in veteran programs such as Words After War, Theater of War  and Talking Service.  He teaches nonfiction in the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing program at Sierra Nevada College, Tahoe and lives on a farm in Michigan where he shovels by day and is an illustrator at night.


 

Photo of visiting artist, Craig Finn

2017 Distinguished Visiting Artist
Craig Finn

 

Craig Finn is best known as the frontman of acclaimed rock outfit The Hold Steady, with whom he has released six studio albums. Prior to The Hold Steady, Finn was the also the frontman of beloved Minneapolis post-punk band Lifter Puller. We All Want The Same Things is Finn’s third solo album, following Clear Heart Full Eyes (2012) and Faith In the Future (2015). WAWTST takes the listener even deeper into Finn’s complex, nuanced world of characters, explaining “these songs are about normal people trying to help themselves, trying to move forward, and in some cases trying just to survive. All the while they are negotiating what space the others in their lives can occupy.”


Barbara Hamby
Barbara Hamby
is the author of  On the Street of Divine Love: New and Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014), All-Night Lingo Tango  (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), Babel (University of Pittsburg Press, 2004), winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize, The Alphabet of Desire (New York University Press, 1999), , and Delirium (University of North Texas Press, 1995). Recent poetry has appeared in The New YorkerThe Yale Review, American Poetry Review, Poetry,  and Ploughshares. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2010, and that year her book of short stories, Lester Higata's 20th Century,  won the Iowa Prize and was published by the University of Iowa Press. With her husband David Kirby, she co-edited an anthology of poetry, Seriously Funny  (University of Georgia Press, 2009). She is Distinguished University Scholar at Florida State University.


Allison Joseph
Allison Joseph
lives, writes, and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is part of the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University.  She serves as editor and poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review, moderator of the Creative Writers Opportunities List, and director of the Young Writers Workshop, a summer writers’ workshop for teen writers. Her books and chapbooks include What Keeps Us Here  (Ampersand Press), Soul Train(Carnegie Mellon University Press), In Every Seam  (University of Pittsburgh Press), Worldly Pleasures  (Word Tech Communications), Imitation of Life  (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems  (Mayapple Press), My Father's Kites  (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles  (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies  (Imaginary Friend Press), Mercurial  (Mayapple Press),Mortal Rewards  (White Violet Press), Multitudes  (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands  (Glass Lyre Press), Corporal Muse  (forthcoming, Yellow Chair Press), Double Identity  (forthcoming, Singing Bone Press) and What Once You Loved  (forthcoming, Barefoot Muse Press). Her next full-length collection, Confessions of a Barefaced Woman, has been accepted for publication by Red Hen Press. She is the literary partner and wife of Jon Tribble.


David Kirby
David Kirby
's collection The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems  was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2007. Kirby is the author of Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which the Times Literary Supplement of London called “a hymn of praise to the emancipatory power of nonsense.” Kirby’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. His latest poetry collection is Get Up, Please.


Photo of author Tom McAllister

Tom McAllister's debut novel "The Young Widower's Handbook" was included on Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers list for Spring 2017. He is the author of a memoir, "Bury Me in My Jersey," and the forthcoming novel, "How to Be Safe." His shorter work has been published in a number of places, including The Best American Nonrequired ReadingBlack Warrior ReviewHobart, and The Millions. He is the non-fiction editor at Barrelhouse, and co-host of the Book Fight podcast. He lives in New Jersey and teaches at Temple University. 


Ian Stansel
Ian Stansel
is the author of the novel The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo  (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) and the story collection Everybody's Irish  (FiveChapters, 2013), a finalist for the PEN/Robert Bingham Prize for debut fiction. His writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Salon, Joyland, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Louisville.


Jon Tribble
Jon Tribble
lives, writes, teaches and edits in Carbondale, Illinois, where he serves as managing editor of Crab Orchard Review  and Series Editor of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry.  He is the author of two books of poems, Natural State, published in 2016 by Glass Lyre Press, and And There Is Many a Good Thing, forthcoming in 2017 from Salmon Poetry.  He is a 2016 winner in the Nazim Hikmet International Poetry Competition. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, Atticus Review, South Dakota Review, Connotation Review, and in anthologies such as the Jazz Poetry Anthology  and Sweet Jesus: Poems About the Ultimate Icon. He has received fellowships and awards from the Illinois Arts Council.  He is the literary partner and husband of Allison Joseph.