Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Joanna Beth Tweedy  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Poetry

Born: in Murphysboro, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Tweedy is a native of Murphysboro, Illinois, in the Little Egypt region of Southernmost Illinois. She graduated from the Universities of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and Springfield.

Biographical and Professional Information

Tweedy is the author of ''The Yonder Side of Sass and Texas'', a novel written in the South Midland Dialect and published by Southeast Missouri State University Press. She is the founding editor and host of Quiddity International Literary Journal and Public-Radio Program, distributed by NPR-member/PRI-affiliate WUIS, Illinois Public Radio’s hub-station. Her poetry and fiction have been published in literary journals and anthologies and have received honors from ''Glimmer Train'', the ''Southern Women Writers Conference'', ''Alsop Review'', the ''Ray Bradbury Creative Writing Contest'', ''Life Press'', and ''Long Story Short'', among others.With degrees in education, English, and values-driven leadership from the Universities of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Springfield (UIS), and Benedictine University, respectively, Tweedy has taught creative writing, literature, and educational leadership, and has served as faculty-in-residence for the Capital Scholars Honors Program at UIS. She is a native of Little Egypt in the Shawnee Hills of southernmost Illinois and has presented widely in the United States and abroad on such topics as linguistic landscapes and dialects, literary publishing, and sustainability.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Yonder Side of Sass and Texas
ISBN: 0979871468

Southeast Missouri State Univ Press. 2009

Raised deep in the Shawnee Hills amid hogback bluffs, a roundabout river, and unending family, two divergent sisters share a colorful journey: first through childhood in a place both blessed and cursed by the hybrid footprints of the Appalachia and Ozark regions surrounding it, and then into the world beyond, compelled by their shared wanderlust. Arkansas (Sass) and Texas MacTerptin gradually understand that the sheltered bluffs of their youth are vastly removed from the broad ground beyond, and they find themselves on a truly foreign journey, separated from familiarity by an ocean and realizing amid their travels the depth of native soil all over again.
Joanna Beth Tweedy's combination of both rural-homeland and poetic language will surprise and delight you as will the stories of two unforgettable sisters and their backwoods clan.

Tweedy has created a poetic pathway into her first novel. The lyric prose is a dance that never missteps across twenty-five tales all absolute in originality and sophistication. --Amy Sayre-Roberts

Joanna Beth Tweedy has conjured up a world as familiar as childhood memories and as strange as the Sahara. The prose crackles like a splash of water on a hot skillet and there's a surprise on every page. --Robert Hellenga


-- *''Alsop Review'' editor’s prize, fiction

-- *''Glimmer Train'' finalist, fiction

-- *The Southern Women Writers Conference, fiction

-- *''New Millennium Writing'' finalist, fiction

-- *The Ray Bradbury Creative Writing Contest, honorable mention, poetry

-- *''Long Story Short'' first prize, fiction