What’s the good word?

We’re fortunate to work with talented authors who receive glowing reviews and accolades. We can’t share with you every kind word we receive—that would take too long. But here are a few.

9780809333264“There is poetry here: our living language pulled into shape by hunger and intelligence.”—Slate

“Tarfia Faizullah moves across landscapes and time to piece together a familial tragedy which presents the reader with a legacy of loss, violence, and pilgrimage.”—American Literary Review

“Tarfia Faizullah’s Seam shows us that history should admit the emotions that come with more personal memory and, more radically, that memory can include even that which did not happen to ourselves or to the ones we love. Poetry can best address the horrors of history—and of the present day—through such a gathering of the impersonal and intimate.”—Poets’ Quarterly


9780809333271“Though York is no longer with us to write and share his poetry and insight, we are able to continue and advance as people by reading his work—to continue and advance as citizens, human siblings, and ushers of art.”—Rain Taxi

“There’s a reason why antebellum mansions still serve not as museums dealing with the ugliness of slavery but as popular backdrops for wedding receptions, the kind celebrated by Paula Deen re-creating the ‘glory’ of Gone With the Wind, and it has everything to do with an unwillingness to deal with the past openly and honestly. . . . York’s poetry is important because of the way that it attacks that unresolved history and refuses to let the longstanding narrative go unchallenged, and it does so from a position of power that makes it difficult for the privileged to ignore it the way they do similar work from poets of color who work in the same thematic spaces.”—The Rumpus


9780809332380Staging Social Justice is poised to spark conversation across generations, geographic locations, and activist sensibilities. . . . This is an excellent book, filled with stories of pluck that will no doubt be used as guides, inspirations, warnings, and provocations. Staging Social Justice offers a hopeful, accessible archive of an intrepid theatre facilitating invaluable work.”—Theatre Topics

“While the editors intend this collection to serve as a record of Fringe Benefits’ work to inspire others interested in theatre for social change, so many of the essays also offer valuable teaching advice and ways to collaborate respectfully to create meaningful theatre, regardless of content. This is due, no doubt, to the overall sense of caring and concern for the ethical responsibilities of the theatrical practitioners contributing to this book.”—New England Theatre Journal


9780809332854“David Gold and Catherine Hobbs give us an excellent work worthy of attention.”—Rhetoric Society Quarterly

Educating the New Southern Woman is an important contribution to the embryonic field that is the history of women’s higher education.”—History of Education Quarterly

“An impressive and well-researched project, this book will appeal to those interested in southern women’s education, in rhetorical instruction, and in the history of rhetoric and composition.”—Rhetoric Review


9780809332649“This compilation is recommended both as an example of the value of regional studies in their own right and how they can enhance our understanding of the Civil War, the central event in American history, by providing new contexts and perspectives.”—Nebraska History

“A step forward in explaining the distinctiveness of the midwestern experience, this welcome and valuable collection augurs further scholarship that will enhance thinking about and knowledge of the historical Midwest.”—Journal of American History


CLL logo“Southern Illinois University Press maintains its position as one of the leading publishers on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Era with this series dedicated to short and engaging works on Lincoln. . . . The series aims to appeal to both the well-versed Lincoln enthusiast and the newcomer alike.”—Kentucky Historical Society

“Out of seemingly modest ideas sometimes come great things, and that is the case with Southern Illinois University Press’s Concise Lincoln Library.”—History Book Club








“Because it is short, cogent, accessible, and important, [Lincoln and the Civil War] probably deserves a place in every college-level Civil War course.”—The Journal of Southern History

Lincoln and Religion is an intelligently constructed work upon which conversations regarding Lincoln’s religious allegiances and implications can be aptly built.”—Foreword

“Well-crafted and concise, [Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops ] is both a good basic survey of USCT history and a useful study of Lincoln’s status among his black troops.”—Choice

 “Engagingly written and intelligently conceived, [Lincoln’s Campaign Biographies] throws new light on the campaigns of 1860 and 1864 and the creation of the Lincoln legend.”—Journal of Illinois History

Authors in Motion

We’re always happy to see our authors in action. Doubly so when we can share it with everyone. Here are just a few recent appearances our authors made.

Poets TJ Jarrett and Dan Albergotti attended the Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival, sponsored by Grassroots, SIUC’s undergraduate literary magazine. Watch the poets read from their books Zion and Millennial Teeth, respectively.


Many of the authors of our Lincoln books have the pleasure of being invited to participate in virtual book signings, held by the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago.

Joseph Fornieri talks about Abraham Lincoln, Philosopher Statesman

Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

Gary Phillip Zola talks about We Called Him Rabbi Abraham, and Thomas A. Horrocks talks about Lincoln’s Campaign Biographies.

Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5

Author Clara Orban visited the Chicago Tonight studios to talk about her new book, Illinois Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide.

Jeff Biggers, author of Reckoning at Eagle Creek makes frequent TV appearances. Here he is on a recent episode of All In with Chris Hayes.


New regional books from SIU Press!

The year 2014 was a good one for us. We brought you dozens of books about Lincoln, the Civil War, architecture, rhetoric, theater, and more. Right now, however, we’d like to focus on some of the exciting regional books that came out this year. Not only do they highlight the rich history of Illinois and illustrate the treasures that the region has to offer, but they also make great gifts! Shop at www.siupress.com and receive 30 percent off all of these great books when you use the code GIFT at checkout.


 Orban“Although one certainly could read Illinois Wines and Wineries from cover to cover in one sitting, this is a guide meant to be referred to time and time again. Wine enthusiasts who enjoy visiting wineries and vineyards can easily use the guide to plan routes for day trips or weekends. Those who are looking for longer trips will find the regional sections and accompanying maps useful for planning wine-oriented vacations.”—Chicago Book Review



Partlow“So few people have any understanding of this event and its aftermath. . . . It needs to become a part of the history of southern Illinois.”—Jim Brigham, longtime southern Illinois community leader and businessman, former president of the Southern Illinois University Foundation





9780809333332“Reed challenges depressive stereotypes of black urban life by closely examining the variegated dimensions of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century black Chicago. He paints a vivid picture of entrepreneurial enterprises and institution building of a people who were unwilling to accept victimization and racial oppression. This work is a powerful revelation of black American agency, resiliency, and courage.”—Dr. Clovis E. Semmes, author of The Regal Theater and Black Culture


9780809333370“[This book] is a testament to the wisdom of generations of archivists and librarians who tended to the materials presented in this lavishly illustrated volume. The occasion for Treasures is the 125th anniversary of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. No recognition could be more durable or appropriate.” —Jean H. Baker, author of Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography



9780809333868“Part historical narrative, part family memoir, part pastoral paean, and part jeremiad against the abuse of the land and of the men who gave and continue to give their lives to (and often for) the mines, [Reckoning at Eagle Creek] puts a human face on the industry that supplies nearly half of America’s energy. . . . It offers a rare historical perspective on the vital yet little considered industry, along with a devastating critique of the myth of ‘clean coal.’”—Publishers Weekly




Coming in January!

9780809333769The Marion Experiment unflinchingly documents two sorts of horror: one of breadth, the other of depth. The book takes us across the broad sweep of long-term solitary confinement, showing how this brutal practice has proliferated in the United States and across the globe. It also drops us deep inside the personal terrors of such confinement, right alongside those who have been there and against all odds survived to say so. I could hardly bear to read The Marion Experiment, and I couldn’t bear to stop. With this book the crucial work of convict criminology continues.”—Jeff Ferrell, author of Empire of Scrounge


OrbanSeptember is Illinois Wine Month! We can’t imagine a better way to celebrate than by giving away a couple copies of Illinois Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide, a new book by Clara Orban.

Comment here and tell us about your favorite winery. It doesn’t have to be in Illinois. We love our state’s wineries, but know that not everyone has had the opportunity to visit them (yet).

To enter, comment by the end of the day on September 24th. Post this link to Twitter, or share our Facebook post, and you will be entered again. We’ll choose two lucky winners on Thursday, September 25. Good Luck!



*We can only ship physical copies of the book within the U.S. Any international winners will receive an ebook.


Book signing at Carbondale Barnes & Noble

PartlowAuthor Geoff Partlow will be at the Carbondale Barnes & Noble on Thursday, August 28, at 5 p.m. All are welcome.

Partlow is the author of America’s Deadliest Twister: The Tri-State Tornado of 1925.  The book draws on survivor interviews, public records, and newspaper archives to offer a detailed account of the tri-state tornado of 1925, which gouged a path from southeast Missouri through southern Illinois and into southwestern Indiana, hugging the ground for 219 miles, generating wind speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour, and killing 695 people. Partlow follows the storm from town to town, introducing us to the people most affected by the tornado, including the African American population of southern Illinois. Their narratives, along with the stories of the heroes who led recovery efforts in the years following, add a hometown perspective to the account of the storm itself.

New poetry books!

We’re happy to announce that the two newest books in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry are now available!

Jarrett“One simply must relish the superb light and a captured sense of darkness as avenues of lyric survival, the exemplary wealth of both human suffering and wise knowing in these poems that make reading Zion as much a warding off of spirits as it is a celebration of language and remembrance.”—Major Jackson, author of Holding Company

TJ Jarrett is a senior editor of Tupelo Quarterly and a business intelligence consultant for HealthTrust in Brentwood, Tennessee. She is the author of another volume of poetry, Ain’t No Grave, and has published poems in a number of journals, including Poetry, Boston Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Ninth Letter, Third Coast, Virginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch.

Win Bassett interviewed TJ Jarrett for The Atlantic. Read it here.


9780809333530“Dan Albergotti is a poet deeply hurt by the world—as he should be, as anyone who feels deeply should be. But his poems are not merely a record of that hurt, they are filled with an implicit hope of what is still possible—the way their elegant formal scaffolding suggests the possibility of justice in ‘an intolerable world,’ the way that the precision and beauty of Albergotti’s language is evidence that the better angels of our nature might, in this life, save us. Throughout the poems’ despair, the poet’s soul is resilient. Millennial Teeth is a beautiful and necessary book.”—Natasha Trethewey, author of Thrall

Dan Albergotti is a professor at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. The author of another book of poetry, The Boatloads, and two chapbooks, Charon’s Manifest and The Use of the World, he has also published his poetry in the Cincinnati Review, Five Points,the Southern Review,the Virginia Quarterly Review,and Pushcart Prize XXXIII,as well as other journals and anthologies. He has received fellowships and scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.



Remembering Alan Dixon

Former senator Alan Dixon of Illinois passed away yesterday. I heard the news this morning from WSIU. I’d spoken to Alan’s son just a couple of weeks ago, and knew he was under the weather, but I was not expecting this.

9780809332601I had the pleasure of working with Alan on his memoir, The Gentleman from Illinois. The stories he shares are genuine and accessible. I hold a special place in my heart for the authors of our political memoirs—they are a special breed.  But Alan was one of my favorites. Without fail, every phone call would begin with “Hey, it’s your old buddy Alan Dixon!” Perhaps he said this with every call he made, but it never felt like it.



His family encouraged him to write his memoirs, and were very active in helping to promote the book when it was published. It’s clear that they are a loving family. My heart goes out to them.


It was a pleasure to work with Alan and his family, and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to do so. Rest in peace, “old buddy.”