Since beginning his tenure as an M.F.A. candidate and Iowa Arts Fellow in the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program in 2009, Joshua Unikel ’07 has worked indefatigably in his capacity as a writer, resulting in eight creative works accepted for publication. Recently, Unikel shared his talent and experience with up and coming students at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
Unikel addressed undergraduate students at CMU, joining the campus as a speaker in the Adamson Visiting Writers Series. Unikel discussed the logistics of getting work published – where and how it is done – as well as the challenges that come along with trying to get published. Each year, the Adamson Series welcomes writers from across the country to become a part of CMU’s community of writers. Recent visitors have included Horatio Castellanos Moya, Matthea Harvey, G. E. Patterson, Alyce Miller, Charles D’Ambrosio, and Denis Johnson.
Unikel himself recently had a lyric essay accepted to Disabilities Studies Quarterly. “The essay is about living between the world of the blind and the world of the seeing,” explains Unikel. “I was born completely cross-eyed and having five corrective eye surgeries before age seven. Ever since, I’ve been legally blind without my glasses and have struggled with the stigma. The essay explores these issues and more broad issues of vision as well.”
As a student at the Colleges, Unikel graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English, concentrating in creative writing, with a double minor in philosophy and cognition, logic and language. He also received the Katherine D. Cooke Scholarship for honors-level literary scholarship, the Benjamin Atkinson Award in English and Comparative Literature, the Dean Benjamin P. Atkinson Prize for his contribution to the lives of his peers and was also the co-recipient of the Boswell Award for philosophic excellence.