Paul Gruchow

Paul Gruchow is the author of seven volumes of essays, including the Necessity of Empty Places; Grass Roots: The Universe of Home; and Boundary Waters: Grace of the Wild all published by Milkweed Editions. Paul's work has appeared in many anthologies including: The Best American Essays.

Read more about Paul Gruchow…

 

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.

Read more

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.

 

Read more

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.

Read more

2013 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Winner, Cindy Crosby

Cindy Crosby is the author of seven books, and contributor to eight others.  Her books have been reviewed by Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Sun Times, Orion, Chicago Wilderness, Chicagoland Gardening, and various other publications. Her second book, By Willoway Brook, (with a foreword by Paul Gruchow) was named as of Chicago Wilderness magazine’s “great reads” in 2006. Cindy has written more than five hundred articles, reviews, and poems for many periodicals and websites, and she reviewed books for Publishers Weekly for almost a decade.

 

Read more

2008 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Winner, Coleen Johnston

Coleen Johnston‘s poem “In Spring” appeared in Speakeasy (Summer 2005), and her poetry has been featured in the Art and Poetry Collaboration of Crossings at Carnegie since 2002. Her essay “Walking Brule” won honorable mention in the 2005 Minnesota Literature Essay Contest. She is the author of four books, Garage Sale Decorator: A Pennypincher’s Shopping and Decorating Guide (Betterway Publications, 1989) and The Founders, The Guardians and The Inheritors, a historical fiction trilogy (St. Martin’s Press 1993-94). Johnston holds a B.S. in English from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She lives near Mazeppa, Minnesota, with husband Bruce, and is currently editing the memoir of two years in her woodland garden.

Read more

2008 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Winner, Donal Heffernan

 

Donal Heffernan is a writer and poet, international lawyer, and university professor. His work has been published in books, literary journals, and magazines. . His novel Lakota Windows about the new tribal Americas is expected to be published next year. He lives in rural Stillwater.

Read more

2008 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Winner, Patricia Monaghan

Patricia Monaghan is the author of four books of poetry, most recently “Homefront,” on the effect of war on families; and of several books of nonfiction including “The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog,” an ecospiritual journey around Ireland. She is associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at DePaul University in Chicago and Senior Fellow of the Black Earth Institute, a progressive think-tank dedicated to reconnecting arts, spirituality, and the environment. She was awarded a Pushcart Prize in 2004 and the Phoenix Award for environmental poetry in 2003.

Read more

2008 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Winner, Virginia M. Wright-Peterson

Virginia M. Wright-Peterson has written extensively about her native Minnesota homeland and places abroad. Her co-winning essay, “The Natural and Unnatural History of Marion Township, is part of “Finding Ourselves in Empty Places,” a collection of essays that trace her journey through the Midwest with her young daughter in the wake of her husband’s death from leukemia.

When she isn’t writing, she is teaching English and Humanities at Rochester Community and Technical College, growing native plants in her small greenhouse, walking with her three canine companions, and biking and reading with her daughter, or traveling. Recent adventures have taken her to Iraq with the Red Cross, to the Peruvian Amazon, and to Algiers as a Fulbright Scholar.

Read more

2007 Paul Gruchow Winner, Sue Leaf

Sue Leaf of Center City, Minnesota won the 2007 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest with her essay To Love the World. Honorable Mention went to Coleen L. Johnston of Mazeppa, MN for her essay Foreigner.

Sue Leaf of Center City, MN won the 2007 contest with her essay entitled, “To Love The World.”, and co-won the 2006 contest with her essay: “Everlasting Fire.” Sue Leaf has a PH.D in zoology and has taught biology and environmental science at Cambridge Community College in Minnesota. She was awarded a McKnight Individual Artist Grant in 1998. Her writing has been published in Minnesota Monthly, Utne Reader, Architecture Minnesota and Minnesota Conservation Volunteer. She is the author of Potato City (Borealis Books, 2004). She lives in Center City, Minnesota on the shores of Pioneer Lake.

Read more

2006 Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Co-Winner, Sue Leaf

Sue Leaf of Center City, MN won the 2007 contest with her essay entitled, “To Love The World.”, and co-won the 2006 contest with her essay: “Everlasting Fire.” Sue Leaf has a PH.D in zoology and has taught biology and environmental science at Cambridge Community College in Minnesota. She was awarded a McKnight Individual Artist Grant in 1998. Her writing has been published in Minnesota Monthly, Utne Reader, Architecture Minnesota and Minnesota Conservation Volunteer. She is the author of Potato City (Borealis Books, 2004). She lives in Center City, Minnesota on the shores of Pioneer Lake.

Read more