Joel Friederich is an Assistant Professor of English and Communication at the University of Wisconsin - Barron County. He is faculty advisor for Red Cedar, the College’s annual journal of the arts and literature, and Roots, the campus student newspaper. He also serves as the program director for Sustainable Literature events and programming, which have included a visiting author reading series, community writing workshops, a high school poetry slam, and several continuing education courses.
In spring of 2008, Friederich’s first full-length collection of poetry, In the Valley of the Tongue, was awarded first place in a national manuscript competition, as well as the 2008 Gerald Cable Award. It will be published in 2009 by Silverfish Review Press, which will distribute the collection to bookstores nationally and will feature it at literary and academic conferences such the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) conference.
Without Us, a previous poetry collection, won honorable mention in Finishing Line Press’s 2005 chapbook competition and was published in August, 2006. Another collection, The Body We Gather, won first prize in Kulupi Press’s “A Sense of Place” chapbook contest and was published in December, 2006.
Joel’s poem “Tether” won the 2007 statewide Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters poetry prize and was published in Wisconsin People and Ideas Magazine. He has read his work at the Wisconsin State Book Festival, The Chippewa Valley Book Festival, and many other venues. His poems have been published in numerous national literary journals such as Witness, Prairie Schooner, Sou’wester, The Paris Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, River Styx, and others.
Joel is originally from Iowa, attended college at the University of Iowa and received his B.A. at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He taught high school for several years in Santa Fe before attending graduate school in Missoula, Montana, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.
With his wife — Lee — and two sons, he had lived in Tokyo, Japan, for many years before coming to northern Wisconsin, and they have returned to Japan during 08-09 academic year while Lee researches Japanese women’s poetry and Joel writes poetry and articles, and teaches UW Colleges courses online — English 203 (Creative Writing) and English 102 (Composition II).