Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Allison Funk  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;


-- Website --
-- Allison Funk on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Funk teaches at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.

Biographical and Professional Information

Allison Funk is a poet who teaches English and Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Along with the books listed below, she is also the author of a chapbook, ''From the Sketchbooks of Vanessa Bell'', from the Parallel Press (2002). Her work has been included in a number of anthologies, including ''The Best American Poetry'' and ''When She Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women'', and many journals, including ''The Paris Review''; ''Poetry''; ''Shenandoah''; ''Field''; ''The Georgia Review''; ''Iowa Review''; ''Prairie Schooner''; ''The Beloit Poetry Journal''; ''Cincinnati Review''; ''Image'', and ''Poetry Northwest''. She has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and prizes from the Illinois Arts Council and the Poetry Society of America. Funk has been the recipient of residencies at Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, Hawthornden Castle International Writers Retreat (Scotland) and the Dora Maar House (France).

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Living At The Epicenter (Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize)
ISBN: 1555532470

Northeastern University Press. 1995

Includes such pieces as "Insomnia," "Backstroke," "Turning forty," " After dark," and "Faultline"

Forms of Conversion
ISBN: 0914086650

Alice James Books. 1986

A collection of poems by Allison Funk.

The Tumbling Box
ISBN: 0981501044

C&R Press. 2009

Poetry. "In THE TUMBLING BOX, Allison Funk offers us an exquisite accomplishment: elegant, subtle poems that confront the painful and complex enormity we call love, in particular, parental love. In spite of the best of intentions, in giving birth, we give birth not only to love but to suffering born, we are borne not only toward love but toward suffering. Rigorously and scrupulously crafted, these lyrics move us with their hard-won wisdom, awe us with their persistent lucidity, and redeem us with their enduring grace"--Eric Pankey.

Wonder Rooms (Free Verse Editions)
ISBN: 1602356181

Parlor Press. 2015

FREE VERSE EDITIONS, edited by JON THOMPSON | "The poems in Wonder Rooms, this powerful, heart-breaking, elegantly composed collection, are like the cabinets within such a room. Each is its own intimate interior space, where a reader is invited into the unknown. Some of these poetic spaces hold natural histories-crickets, dangerously beautiful corals, Provenšal snails. Others open to the terrors of love and motherhood, still others to the chaotic orders of the bestiary. This is an amazingly gorgeous and intelligent book-a wonder, a pleasure, and an invitation to inward voyage." -JENNIFER ATKINSON | "In Wonder Rooms, her most intimate collection of poems, Allison Funk explores the intersection between the seen and the unseen. This territory of in-between is both fragile and terrifying. Nevertheless, she remains there, using 'language as a lens to see through.' Such seeing can be harrowing, but the poems, no matter what they light upon, are stunning in all senses of the word. -ANDREA HOLLANDER | "In Wonder Rooms, Allison Funk gives us poems of uncompromising lyricism, many of which narrate obliquely the traumas of an adult son's mental illness. This volatile material is contained in poems linked by images of 'rooms,' as if the poet wants to contain the violence of his illness within the strictures of architecture. The wonder room becomes a metaphor for the strangeness of mental disorder and of existence itself. The book is a contemporary Stabat Mater. It bears much the same stark power as Michelangelo's Rondanini PietÓ, in which the two unfinished bodies seem to grow out of each other, are so intimate, yet finally so apart. -DONALD PLATT | ALLISON FUNK is the author of four previous books of poems, including, most recently, The Tumbling Box. The recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize, and the Society of Midland Authors Poetry Prize, she is a Distinguished Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


Living at the Epicenter

  • Samuel French Morse Prize
  • Society of Midland Authors Award

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    To set up readings or events, or to order a signed copy of any of her books, please email the author at