Wisconsin People & Ideas

Wisconsin People & Ideas 2022 Fiction and Poetry Contest Winners

Wisconsin People & Ideas, the Wisconsin Academy’s magazine of contemporary Wisconsin thought and culture, presents a Wisconsin Book Festival reading featuring the winners of the statewide 2020 Fiction & Poetry Contests, hosted by editor Christopher Chambers.  Join the event at: Before the event begins, you will see a countdown and the event image. 

2022 Fiction and Poetry Contest Winners 



1st Place story by Tom Pamperin, Chippewa Falls  

“In Rock Springs When the Angel Trumpets Sound”  

2nd Place  story by Richie Zaborowske, Appleton  

“Down in the Valley”  

3rd Place  story by Janice Wilberg, Milwaukee  

“Snow Door” 



1st Place by Nicholas Gulig, Fort Atkinson 

“Of Genesis” 

2nd Place by Alecia Beymer, Madison 

“A Couple Months After My Father’s Death, I Read About Songbirds Mysteriously Dying in Pennsylvania” 

3rd Place  by Jess L. Parker, Fitchburg 



Alecia Beymer

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Alecia Beymer is a poet-teacher who believes that poetry is a form which depends on its capacity to engage reader and writer in a relationship -- one of wonder and resonance, in which poetic forms promise profound if ineffable connections across persons. Some of her poems have been published in The Inflectionist Review, English Journal, Sugar House Review and Bellevue Literary Review, where she was a finalist for the Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry. 

Nicholas Gulig

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Nicholas Gulig is a Thai-American poet from Wisconsin. The author of North of Order, Book of Lake, and Orient, he currently works as an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and lives in Fort Atkinson with his wife and two daughters.


"It is an honor to have Of Genesis selected for the 2022 Wisconsin People & Ideas poetry award. It is always a quiet, unexpected shock when a poem I write matters and makes sense to someone else, a feeling that many of us working in the medium rarely have the privilege to feel. As such, I am grateful for the people whose time, dedication, sacrifice, and effort makes opportunities like this possible, not only for myself, but more so for the broader community of poets and writers, young and old, whose language too often remains obscure. Given the solitary nature of the craft, these brief moments of support and recognition truly are appreciated. Thank you very much."

Tom Pamperin

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Tom Pamperin has taught high school English for 19 years, both in the U.S. and overseas. As a student at UW-Eau Claire, he studied creative writing with Karen Loeb, John Hildebrand, Max Garland, and Allyson Loomis. Tom writes regularly about wooden boat building and small boat sailing—his first book, Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat, was an honorable mention for the 2014 Blei/Derleth Nonfiction Book Award. He is currently based in Wrocław, Poland.

"For me, the stories from the Wisconsin People & Ideas fiction contest are a literary highlight of the magazine each year. I’m excited to be joining the list of contest winners, and grateful for the support that Wisconsin People & Ideas gives to Wisconsin writers and artists."

Jess L Parker

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Jess L Parker is a poet and strategist from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Jess lives in Fitchburg, WI with her husband, son, and Pitbull, “Poe”. Her debut poetry collection, Star Things, won the 2020 Dynamo Verlag Book Prize. Jess’ poems have appeared in Bramble, Kosmos Quarterly, Blue Heron Review, and elsewhere. Jess holds a B.A. of English and Spanish from Northern Michigan University, an M.A. of Spanish Literature from UW-Madison, and an MBA.

Janice Wilberg

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Janice Wilberg is a retired community planning consultant who spends her time advocating for older adults and people who are homeless. She publishes Red’s Wrap, a daily blog featuring memoir, poetry, and flash fiction. Jan’s essays have been published in The New York Times and Newsweek, and she is the 2019 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring winner for humor. She lives with her husband and two retired sled dogs in Milwaukee.

Richie Zaborowske

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Richie Zaborowske is a father, author, and a public librarian in the Fox Cities who puts a contemporary twist on traditional library offerings. His monthly Short Story Night packs the local brewery and features trivia, comedy, and author interviews. His writing has appeared in Barstow and Grand, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Los Angeles Review, and others.