McKendree English Professor Wins Poetry Award

(LEBANON, Ill., February 3, 2016) - Dr. Jenny Mueller, associate professor of English at McKendree University, has won the 16th Annual Poetry Award given by Elixir Press in Denver. Her book manuscript, titled State Park, was selected from a large national pool of entrants for publication. The contest was judged by poet Adrian Matejka, a Guggenheim Fellow and professor of creative writing at Indiana University.

“A lot of State Park was written on the road,” Mueller said. “I think much of the book is about American spaces. That means it’s also got to do with borders and history - the passage of people, species, geological eras; the way in which these passages are marked by loss and gain and battle. That said, State Park is also about emotional journeys. It includes love poems to my late husband and for my mother, and it speaks of widowhood, as well.”

Mueller teaches creative writing and literature at McKendree and serves as adviser to the university’s student literary magazine, Montage. State Park will be her second full-length book of poetry published by Elixir Press; her first, Bonneville, was printed in 2007. She has also published two chapbooks, which are smaller collections of poetry.

“I'm thrilled to be working again with Elixir, a small press with a distinguished record in poetry and fiction,” said Mueller, “and I’m honored that Adrian Matejka selected my manuscript for the prize, because he’s such a wonderful poet himself.”