Full disclosure, Part I: Allison Joseph was my professor about eight years ago.
Full disclosure, Part II: The reason why Allison Joseph is my former professor is because I’m one lucky bastard who had the pleasure of studying with one of the best poets and most tireless literary citizens this side of the Milky Way.
There, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me ask a question: is there anybody reading this who hasn’t benefited in some way from Allison’s expertise? I’m not just talking about her former students, her work with AWP, her annual workshop for Young Writers, and her editing at Crab Orchard Review. I’m also talking about CRWROPPS, a free listserv of publishing opportunities that is to many creative writers what electricity is to hospitals.
I’m talking about the readings she’s done all over the country—including one for me, in which she and husband Jon Tribble (another fine addition to our Featured Poets) volunteered to come down and visit my students for free. And even that’s just the beginning.
With everything Allison has done for the literary community, it’s easy to spend so many hours talking about her professional accomplishments and substantial volunteer work that we forget to pay just respect to her poetry—which blends lush, sometimes funny, often gritty narrative with crisp lyricism that cartwheels through the often suffocating halls of contemporary verse.
Allison Joseph is my hero. I hope she’s one of yours, too.