ISU poet claims literary award

Meg Johnson never imagined she would grow up to write down poetry, but is glad she did.

Johnson, lecturer in English, was recently awarded the 2015 Vignette Collection Award by Vine Leaves Press. The distinction includes a contract to create her second poetry book, “The Crimes of Clara Turlington” as well as a $500 cash prize and a number of author’s copies.

Born and raised in Ames, Johnson moved around and worked professionally from the fine arts of dancing, before time for lecture in the English Department at Iowa State. An experience she described as “good and strange.”

Johnson began writing creatively in secondary school, but joked she wasn’t thrilled using the results.

Meg Johnson
“I don’t want to think an excessive amount of about what I was writing in senior high school,” Johnson said.

Her early 20s didn’t start with the pursuit of writing, speculate a member of a dance company. In that time she took creative writing classes without telling anyone and proceeded to get her MFA in creative writing on the Northeast Ohio Master of proper Arts program. Johnson’s first book, “Inappropriate Sleepover” commenced as her thesis but was acquired by the National Poetry Review Press’ 2014 edition, within a year and a half to become in the program.

Johnson describes the speakers in their own books as quirky and humorous. The main difference in the speakers of her two books is usually that the second book’s content is “darker” and “the stakes are higher.”

“Meg’s new book of poems is slyly brilliant, funny and intensely carefully crafted,” said Jennifer L. Knox, a fellow lecturer in English. “She explores the power of the feminine mind – of rage and imagination – in utterly unique ways that had me laughing and gasping on the same line.”

Students can make amends for Johnson’s work by checking out Inappropriate Sleepover from your ISU library or the Octagon. “The Crimes of Clara Turlington” is going to be published around December and could be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or digitally. It is possible to follow her just work at and Jennifer L. Knox will also be releasing a book of poetry in October. Additional information can be found at

Meg Johnson


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