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WIU English Professor Invited to Take Part in Tupelo Press Project

March 30, 2020

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University English Professor Merrill Cole is a poet at heart, but over the years, while he still wrote poems from time to time, he focused more on his literature classes and his academic career. Thanks to an exclusive invite from Tupelo Press, Cole is putting pen to paper once again for National Poetry Month in April.

The Tupelo Press 30/30 project challenges invitees to write 30 poems in 30 days.

"As a 31-year longtime survivor of the AIDS pandemic and as a gay man, I offer a special perspective on our current novel Coronavirus pandemic," Cole explained. "Tupelo Press provides the platform, I bring the poems, accompanied by other fine poets, writing 30 poems in 30 days, all ours to edit and submit as we wish."

According to Cole, 30/30 poems have been taken by over 90 journals and featured in over 40 published books, so Tupelo Press can keep publishing diverse voices that might never be heard otherwise.

As part of the project, Tupelo Press has launched a fundraising initiative to publish the finished works. For more information, visit

Tupelo Press, Inc., which released its first five books in Fall 2001, is an independent, literary press devoted to discovering and publishing works of poetry, literary fiction and creative nonfiction by emerging and established writers. Tupelo Press is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company.

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