Mark Jay Brewin, Jr. | College Name | SIU

Southern Illinois University

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Mark Jay Brewin, Jr.

2011 MFA, English

Mark Jay Brewin, Jr.

Fast Forward. SIU alum Mark Jay Brewin Jr. was recently awarded the 2012 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry. Brewin’s collection will be published by the University of Utah Press this spring under the title Scrap Iron.

While at SIU, Mark received an Irish Studies grant from the Department of English which allowed him to live for a time in Galway, Ireland—an experience which continues to inspire him. But the poet says that it was his time at SIU which especially kindled his talent. “Carbondale was a place of dedicated mentors and fellow writers who were extremely enthusiastic, not just about their own work but also the betterment of the craft. That environment was brilliant. It brings out the best in you.”

The MFA 2011 alum will also receive a cash prize and be honored with giving a reading in the University of Utah’s Guest Writer Series. Brewin, who has been very successful publishing both online and in print, is currently teaching at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. A sampling of Mark's poetry may be found here.

Read CoLA's exclusive interview with Mark here.