Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival

Festival Flyer

2015 Devil's Kitchen Award Winners

Crab Orchard Poets

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The 2014-2015 Award Winners

Poetry: David Thomas Martinez, Hustle

David Thomas Martinez's debut collection of poetry, Hustle, was released in 2014 by Sarabande Books, winning the New England Book Festival's prize in poetry, the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award, and honorable mention in the Antonio Cisneros Del Moral prize. Features or reviews have appeared in Poets & Writers, Publishers Weekly, NPR's All Things Considered, NBC Latino, Buzzfeed, and many others. He is the reviews and interviews editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. He has been a Breadloaf and CantoMundo Fellow, and is finishing his Ph.D. in the University of Houston's Creative Writing program. Martinez is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of creative writing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.

Fiction: Megan Milks, Kill Marguerite

Megan Milks is the author of Kill Marguerite and Other Stories, which was named a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and the chapbooks Twins and The Feels (forthcoming from Black Warrior Review). Her fiction has been published in three volumes of innovative writing as well as many journals. She is the editor of The &NOW Awards, Volume 3: The Best Innovative Writing, 2011-2013; and co-editor of Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives. She teaches creative writing and literature at Beloit College.

Nonfiction: Ben Tanzer, Lost in Space

Ben Tanzer is the author of the books Orphans, which won the 24th Annual Midwest Book Award in Fantasy/SciFi/Horror/Paranormal and a Bronze medal in the Science Fiction category at the 2015 IPPY Awards, and Lost in Space, which received an Honorable Mention in the Chicago Writers Association 2014 Book Awards Traditional Non-Fiction category, and now The New York Stories, among others. He has also contributed to Punk Planet, Clamor, and Men's Health, serves as Senior Director, Acquisitions for Curbside Splendor, and can be found online at This Blog Will Change Your Life the center of his vast lifestyle empire.

To submit your work for next year's contest, please see the submission information page.

Browse our previous winners to add to your reading list.

Other Guests


Angie Macri was born and raised in southern Illinois. Her poems have appeared in New Madrid, The Southern Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and other journals. Her chapbook Fear Nothing of the Future or the Past was published by Finishing Line Press. Underwater Panther, awarded the Cowles Poetry Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University, is her first full-length book publication. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she lives in Hot Springs.

Lisa Fay Coutley’s poems have been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and an Academy of American Poets Levis Prize. Recent prose and poetry publications include Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, and Poets & Writers. Her first, full-length collection, Errata (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015), was awarded the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing-Poetry at Snow College in Utah.

Sass Brown's first book, USA-1000, was chosen by Adrienne Su as the winner of the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award. Brown is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship in Poetry, a Vermont Studio Center fellowship, a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarship, and an Intro Journals Award from the Associated Writing Programs, among other honors. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Her poetry has been published in many literary journals, including Hayden’s Ferry Review, Crazyhorse, Black Warrior Review, Quarterly West, and Gulf Coast. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, composer Jamie Kowalski.

The Festival

This year's Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival will take place from October 21-23. All events will take place in Morris Library at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Wednesday, October 21

Reading by 2015 Devil's Kitchen Reading Award Winner in Nonfiction Prose
Ben Tanzer
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)

Thursday, October 22

Writers Panel featuring all Visiting Writers
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)

2:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Poetry Readings by Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Authors
Sass Brown and Lisa Fay Coutley
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Reception and Book Signing featuring all Visiting Writers
1st Floor Rotunda (Morris Library)
(sponsored by the SIUC Dept. of English and the Southern Illinois University Bookstore)

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Readings by the 2015 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award Winners in Poetry and Fiction
David Tomas Martinez and Megan Milks
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)


10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
20 Years of Crab Orchard Review: A Conversation and Q & A
with Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor Allison Joseph and Managing Editor Jon Tribble
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)

1:00 – 1:50 p.m.
Readings by the Grassroots Editors and Contributors
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)

2:00 – 2:50 p.m.
Poetry Reading by Angie Macri
John C. Guyon Auditorium (1st Floor Morris Library)

Our Thanks to...

The festival is sponsored by Grassroots, the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Department of English's undergraduate creative magazine. The Devil's Kitchen Fall Literary Festival is made possible by the SIUC Fine Arts Activity Fee, the SIUC Department of English, the SIUC College of Liberal Arts, the Crab Orchard Review, and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities.