Paul Gruchow Essay Contest Winners

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.

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 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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