Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mixology Nominated for NAACP Award

I can't tell you how pleased I was to learn that Adrian Matejka's volume of poetry Mixology was nominated for an NAACP Award.

A few years ago when Adrian was interviewing for the job here, he was telling a group of us during lunch about "this collection of poems" he was working on. He wasn't mentioning award nominations; instead, he was mainly talking through this concept or set of ideas he wanted to convey with the poems. The points he made during lunch that day sparked a wide-ranging conversation about poetry, sports, music, and politics that he and I have been having for three years now.

Not long after Adrian arrived at SIUE, it seems, he was awarded a National Poetry Series award for his then upcoming volume, and then there was a book release party celebrating his publication in St. Louis. And now, an NAACP Image Award nomination. It's been something following the movement of his work from a discussion about "this collection of poems" to this current nomination. I've just been glad to be a witness, as my elder folks say.

Now that I think about it, the poets in SIUE's English, Language, and Literature department have given us quite a bit of literary activity to witness over the last several months. Stacey Lynn Brown's volume Cradle Song was published not long ago; Allison Funk's The Tumbling Box was just published' and our colleague Joey Nicoletti's volume Cannoli Gangster will appear later this year.

All of these poets, along with another colleague Jeffrey Skoblow, are putting the finishing touches on a really wonderful collaborative project related to our Poetry Correspondence Program that we'll unveil in the next couple of weeks.

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