Professor’s First Poetry Collection Shortlisted for Prestigious Indiana Authors Awards
Campus News

Callista BuchenCallista Buchen, Ph.D., Franklin College creative writing professor and author, received news this week that her first poetry collection, Look Look Look, has been shortlisted for the Indiana Authors Awards.

The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards honor the best books written by Indiana authors. Awarded every two years, they celebrate Indiana writers, shine a light on the Hoosier state’s literary community and deepen connections between Indiana writers and readers. They were established in 2009 as a vision of Indianapolis philanthropists Eugene and Marilyn Glick and are a new component of Indiana Humanities’ rich and diverse literary programming.

“These writers and many, many others add to the storied literary heritage of not only Indiana, but the Midwest,” said Keira Amstutz, Indiana Humanities president and CEO. “These awards will help make sure Hoosiers and the rest of the nation are aware of these talented authors and of our state’s literary prowess.”

Winners of the awards from the eight categories will receive $5,000, and current Indiana residents are invited to participate in a statewide speakers program. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. The categories include: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Children’s, Young Adult, Drama, Genre and Emerging. Buchen’s collection was one of six books to be nominated in the poetry collection

Buchen released the collection in October 2019. The book, printed by Black Lawrence Press, is the culmination of eight years of creative research and reflection. She describes the collection of prose poems as a series “about the early days of motherhood and the challenges in those days.” She began drafting the poems when she was pregnant with her first child as an attempt to make sense of the uncertainty she experienced as a new mother. The title — Look Look Look — is her attempt to reconcile her personal history with the lack of visibility she said all mothers share.  

“What I was interested in was this idea of ‘seeing,’” Buchen said. “What would it mean to really see mothers, to really see myself and to feel seen during this time? I liked the idea that the book would ask readers for their attention.” 

Buchen previously published the chapbooks Double-Mouthed (2016) and The Bloody Planet (2015). Her poems have appeared in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills and numerous other journals. In May 2019, her poem “Taking Care” was nominated to be included in the prestigious Orison Anthology. Amid her teaching schedule, Buchen directs Franklin College’s visiting writers reading series and advises Apogee, the student-led literary journal. Buchen received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, her master’s degree from the University of Oregon, her M.F.A. from Bowling Green State University and her doctorate degree from the University of Kansas.

Wild Geese Bookshop, located in Franklin, currently has copies of Look Look Look available for purchase.

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.

To learn more about the awards, visit


POSTED Aug 5, 2020