Poet and professor Kryah ‘thrilled’ to join English department

English professor and poet Joshua Kryah has published poems on spirituality themes

SIUE’s newest English professor Joshua Kryah is a published poet who primarily writes about faith and spirituality. However he does not consider himself a religious poet.

Kryah instills in his writing the iconography and imagery he learned over the years from his Catholic upbringing, yet he focuses on the idea of faith.

“I think that ultimately my primary theme or preoccupation has to do with spirituality,” Kryah said. “The idea of faith…in something other than ourselves.”

He is also in the process of working on “Holy Ghost People,” a book of poems that deals with the topic of glossolalia or speaking in tongues.

Kryah has authored two poetry collections: “We are Starved,” in 2011 by the University of Colorado Press, and “Glean,” in 2007, which was selected for the 2006 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize.

His poems have appeared in “American Poetry Review,” “FIELD” and “The Iowa Review,” among other journals.

Kryah has received various recognitions including being named the 2013 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowship, winning the Michael W. Gearhart Prize from “The Southwest Review” and the “Third Coast Poetry Prize.”

English Department Chair Sharon McGee said Kryah’s talents and credentials made him stand out for the faculty selection process.

“Joshua rose to the top from a very competitive national search last year, and we are delighted to have him engaging so actively in the department and with our student writers,” McGee said.  “He is a very talented poet. He is so approachable, and I think students appreciate his talent and energy, and his interest in them as emerging writers.”

Kryah said he has been warmly received by the SIUE community.

“I am thrilled. My welcome here has been immense and ongoing,” Kryah said. “Everyone’s been great. My colleagues have been generous and supportive in all ways helping me get set up. They’ve made me feel welcome and at home.”

Kryah said he aims to work intimately with his students sharing his passions for writing and literature in order to make it an integral part of their lives.

Advice Kryah would give to students is to “read, read and read some more” and be in the company of like-minded writers and artists.

“Develop a veracious appetite for literature,” Kryah said. “Surround yourself with other writers and artists in creative activities.”

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