Crab Orchard Review
About Us/Masthead

Crab Orchard Review was founded at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, in 1996 by Allison Joseph, Carolyn Alessio, Jon Tribble, and Richard Peterson. It is a biannual (spring and fall) literary journal of prose, poetry, book reviews, and author interviews. After nearly three decades in print, the magazine now exists as a digital e-zine accessible to readers anytime, anywhere.

(Shown here: the Crab Apple tree, genus Malus, from the rose family, native to North America and Asia.)

Allison Joseph

Allison Joseph (Editor) lives in Carbondale, Illinois, where she directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University.

Born in London, England, to parents of Caribbean heritage, Allison Joseph grew up in Toronto, Canada, and the Bronx, New York. A graduate of Kenyon College and Indiana University, she serves as editor of Crab Orchard Review, the publisher of No Chair Press, and the director of Writers In Common, a writing conference for writers of all ages and experience levels. In 2014, she was awarded a Doctor of Letters honorary degree from her undergraduate alma mater, Kenyon College.

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 on of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father’s Kites (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (NightBallet Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Mortal Rewards (White Violet Press), Multitudes (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands (Glass Lyre Press), Double Identity (Singing Bone Press) Corporal Muse (Sibling Rivalry Press) and What Once You Loved (Barefoot Muse Press). She has also published fiction and nonfiction, and travels frequently to read from her work at various festivals, conferences, and universities.

Her latest full-length book of poetry, Confessions of a Barefaced Woman, was published by Red Hen Press in 2018. It was chosen as the Gold/First Place Winner in the poetry category of the 2019 Feathered Quill Book Awards and a 2019 nominee in the poetry category of the NAACP Image Awards. It was also a 2019 finalist for both the Montaigne Medal and the Da Vinci Eye Book Award, sponsored by the Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Keith Hoerner,
Managing Editor

An SIU-C PhD student in literature, Keith Hoerner (he/him) is founding editor of The Dribble Drabble Review, a Webby Award recognized  e-zine/print anthology series and winner of Best Microfiction for three of its four years in publication. He is the author of two books: The Day the Sky Broke Open – A Memoir and Balancing on the Sharp Edges of Crescent Moons – A Collection (Adelaide Books, New York/Lisbon). His prize-winning prose/poetry has been featured in 157 lit mags and anthologies across five continents.

Sarah Nivala,
Fiction Editor

Sarah Nivala is a non-binary writer and editor from Pennsylvania. In the past, they have worked as a cheesemonger, a dog walker, and a bookseller. They attended Sarah Lawrence College where they studied poetry and film history. Currently, they are pursuing their MFA in Fiction from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Lyra Thomas,
Poetry Editor

Lyra Thomas is a proud St Louisian currently in Carbondale, IL, for the MFA in Poetry. They have three book reviews published with The Poetry Question, are an Editorial Intern with RHINO Poetry, the Submissions List Editor for Tell Tell Poetry, and are Crab Orchard’s Poetry Editor. When Lyra isn’t juggling their many gigs, they travel, crochet, play ukulele, and paint.