2023 Bill Holm Winner, Jayne Marek

The winner of the 2023 Winter in Variations: Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest is Jayne Marek with these poems.

What Did You Love About Sisley? Evensong Roll the Car You Might Want More New Friend A Second Storm Bio Note: Jayne Marek has published six poetry collections, with her next volume, Dusk-Voiced, due in 2024. Her writings and photos appear in Terrain, Rattle, The New York Times, Spillway, Catamaran, Salamander, Bloodroot, One, Calyx, Bellevue Literary Review, About Place Journal, and elsewhere. A former Midwesterner with a strong sensibility about winter, she now lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes, photographs, and learns about natural history.

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2023 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Winner, Kathryn Ganfield

Kathryn GanfieldKathryn Ganfield is the winner of the 2023 Paul Gruchow Contest for her essay “Tracks” Congrats Kathryn. She is a nature writer and essayist in the river town of St. Paul, Minnesota. Her work focuses on family, environment, and the climate in crisis. She is a 2022-2023 Mentor Series Fellow in nonfiction at the Loft Literary Center, a winner of the Writing By Writers Short Short Contest, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her words have been published in Creative Nonfiction and Sleet Magazine, among other journals. Find her online at www.kathrynganfield.com.

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2018 Bill Holm Winner, Jayne Marek

The titles of Jayne’s pieces are “Snow Day,” “Hungry,” “The Balance,” “Winter Pond as Window,” “Worry,” and “Woodcock Walk.” Since I lived for over 30 years in the upper Midwest, I have written a number of poems about that distinct ecology and climate, especially about the cold months. This set reflects the chilly joys of walking and watching birds in winter, for instance in Indiana, a flyway for cranes and a place where one can encounter woodcocks making their invisible, eerie-sounding displays.

Bio Note: Jayne Marek’s poetry and art photos appear recently in One, Stirring, Ascent, Slipstream, Bangor Literary Journal, The Cortland Review, Gulf Stream, Raven Chronicles, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Grub Street, and Amsterdam Quarterly. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she also was a finalist for the David Martinson–Meadowhawk Prize, the Naugatuck River Review narrative poetry contest, the Ex Ophidia Poetry Book Prize, and the Ryan R. Gibbs Photography Contest. Her most recent books are In and Out of Rough Water (Aldrich Press, 2017) and The Tree Surgeon Dreams of Bowling (Finishing Line, 2018).

Bio Note: Jayne Marek’s poetry and art photos appear recently in One, Stirring, Ascent, Slipstream, Bangor Literary Journal, The Cortland Review, Gulf Stream, Raven Chronicles, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Grub Street, and Amsterdam Quarterly. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she also was a finalist for the David Martinson–Meadowhawk Prize, the Naugatuck River Review narrative poetry contest, the Ex Ophidia Poetry Book Prize, and the Ryan R. Gibbs Photography Contest. Her most recent books are In and Out of Rough Water (Aldrich Press, 2017) and The Tree Surgeon Dreams of Bowling (Finishing Line, 2018).

Jayne’s Bill Holm Witness poetry collection to be published in WRUP Blog.

2017 Prairie Poetry Prize Winner Carla Gober

Carla Gober-Park, of Redlands, CA, is the winner of the 2017 Prairie Poetry Prize Prairie Sampler contest with her beautiful submission “Prairie Poetry- Prairie Grasses.” Congratulations! Carla works as a professor and administrator at Loma Linda University in Southern California. Much of her writing focuses on nature and health, whether health of the land, people, relationships, or societies. She teaches whole person care to medical students and speaks to audiences throughout the world on a variety of topics related to wholeness and health. She lives with her Scottish husband, Gordon, and Weimaraner dog Cypher, in Redlands, CA.

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2017 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Winner, Alice D’Allesio

Alice D’ Allesio is the winner of the 2017 Paul Gruchow Contest for her essay “Tending the Valley.” Congrats Alice. She is a Middleton poet whose poems often reflect the wonder of the natural world, and/or the environmentalist’s vision. Social/political commentary and family/love relationships are also favorite subjects, rendered with a serious or light touch. Her poems have been published in the Wisconsin Academy Review, Earth’s Daughters, North Coast Review, Ariel, Free Press, The Kerf, Fox Cry Review, Verse Wisconsin, and others. They have won awards from The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and Wisconsin Regional Writers, and she was a runner-up in the Wisconsin Academy Review Poetry Contest in 2002.

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2015 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Winner, Taylor Brorby

Taylor is an essayist living in Ames, Iowa. His work has appeared in Orion, the Northern Plains Ethics Journal, High Country News, The Huffington Post, among others. His chapbook of poems, Ruin: Elegies from the Bakken, is published by Red Bird Chapbooks, and he is currently editing the country’s first anthology of creative writing about fracking, Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America, through Ice Cube Press.

 

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2014 Bill Holm Co-Winner, Katharyn Howd Machin

Katharyn Howd Machan, Professor of Writing at Ithaca College, holds degrees from the College of Saint Rose, the University of Iowa, and Northwestern University. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines; in anthologies and textbooks such as The Bedford Introduction to Literature, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013, Poetry: An Introduction, Early Ripening: American Women’s Poetry Now, Sound and Sense, Writing Poems, Literature: Reading and Writing the Human Experience; and in 32 collections, most recently Wild Grapes: Poems of Fox (Finishing Line Press, 2014), H (Gribble Press, 2014—national winner) and When She’s Asked to Think of Colors (Palettes & Quills Press, 2009—national winner). Former director of the national Feminist Women’s Writing Workshops, Inc., in 2012 she edited Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology (Split Oak Press).

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2014 Winter in Variations: Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest Co-Winner, Jeanine Stevens

Jeanine Stevens studied poetry in the Creative Writing Program at U.C. Davis and has an MA in Anthropology. She is the recipient of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt, and a finalist for the William Stafford Award. She has other first place awards from Ekphrasis, The Bay Area Poet’s Coalition and Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference. Her work has appeared in Evansville Review, Poet Lore, North Dakota Review, Pearl, Sentinel Quarterly, Bardsong, and Cider Press Review. She is the author of Sailing on Milkweed, Cherry Grove Collections. Her latest chapbook, Needle in the Sea, was published by Tiger’s Eye Press. Besides writing, Jeanine enjoys collage, Tai Chi, Romanian folk dance, and hiking in the Sierras. She was raised in Indiana and now lives in Sacramento and Lake Tahoe with her husband, photographer Greg Czalpinski.

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2014 Winter In Variations: Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest Co-Winner, Joan Mazza

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize nominee. Author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Slipstream, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Buddhist Poetry Review, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art. You can find out more about Joan at www.JoanMazza.com

 

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2014 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Winner, Lara Palmquist


Lara Palmquist graduated with a BA in American Studies and Biology from St. Olaf College in 2013. Along with a group of students, she is a co-founder of the St. Olaf environmental education program “SustainAbilities,” which encourages sustainable living and behavior on the college campus. The program was conceptualized and guided by the late Dr. Jim Farrell, who continues to inspire Lara’s environmentalism and writing.

 

Lara is currently living in Northfield, Minnesota, and interning at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Most recently, her fiction was a finalist in the Tethered By Letters Spring Writing Contest, and she is the recipient of a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship for graduate studies in 2014-2015. She continues to find inspiration in the observant and powerful writing of Annie Dilliard, Barbara Kingsolver, and Paul Gruchow, whose essays she first read while conducting research in the Boundary Waters at the Coe College Field Station in 2012.

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