Wisconsin People & Ideas 2023 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 2023 Fiction & Poetry Contests. We will be joined by Nicholas Gulig, the State Poet Laureate of Wisconsin and the first place winner of the 2022 Wisconsin People & Ideas contest in poetry.
2023 Fiction and Poetry Contest Winners
1st Place story by Matt Cashion, La Crosse
“Music Appreciation for the Dead”
2nd Place story by Susanna Daniel, Madison
“The Goddess of Illicit Choices”
3rd Place story by Holly Hilliard, Madison
1st Place by Taylor Kirby, Madison
“if I have an addiction to water, know it’s hereditary”
2nd Place by K. E. McCoy, Madison
3rd Place by Sheryl Slocum, Milwaukee
“My Son Standing Near a Glass of Water”
William Stobb, Onalaska, “Ache Index” (Fall 2023)
Emily Bowles, Appleton, “This is Not a Villanelle” (Winter/Spring 2024)
Adam Fell, Madison, “A Deterioration in Talks” (Winter/Spring 2024)
Steven Espada Dawson, Madison, “Mercury Goes Right Through You” (Winter/Spring 2024)
Marnie Dresser, Spring Green, “I Hate People Who Cut in Line But” (Winter/Spring 2024)
Kelly R. Samuels, La Crosse, “Ambiguous Loss” (Winter/Spring 2024)
John Mulvihill, New Glarus, “Not Drowning, But Waving”
Matt Cashion is the author of three books including the novel, Our Thirteenth Divorce whichwon the 2017 Edna Ferber Book Prize, and the story collection, Last Words of the Holy Ghost, which won the 2015 Katherine Anne Porter Prize. Born in the North Carolina mountains and raised in coastal Georgia, he earned an MFA from the University of Oregon. Since 2006, he has enjoyed hiking, biking, skiing, snow-shoeing, kayaking, and running through the beautiful Driftless region of western Wisconsin. He teaches creative writing at UW-La Crosse.
Author Susanna Daniel’s debut novel, Stiltsville, was awarded the PEN/Bingham prize for best debut work published in 2010, and her second novel, Sea Creatures, was named an Amazon Editors’ Top Pick of the Best Books of August, 2013. Susanna was born and raised in Miami, Florida, where she spent much of her childhood at her family’s stilt house in Biscayne Bay. Susanna is a co-founder, with author Michelle Wildgen, of the Madison Writers’ Studio. She is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and was a Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Her writing has been published in Newsweek, Slate, One Story, Epoch, and elsewhere. Susanna lives with her husband and two young sons in Madison, Wisconsin, where during the long winter she dreams of the sun and the sea, and of jumping off the stilt house porch at high tide.
Holly Hilliard is a writer and amateur birder from Hillsboro, Ohio. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from North Carolina State University, where she was the winner of the 2018James Hurst Prize for Fiction. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin and teaches adult writing classes through Madison School and Community Recreation.
Taylor Kirby's recent work appears in Salt Hill, Cream City Review, Booth, and as a Best American Essays 2021 Notable. She lives as close to Lake Mendota as she can and works as the program manager for Odyssey Beyond Bars at UW–Madison.
K.E. McCoy’s poems have appeared in Stoneboat Literary Journal, Speckled Trout Review, Riverbed Review, Willows Wept Review, and a few other journals without water-themed titles. She was a recent Pushcart Prize nominee and is a member of the Wisconsin Writers Association and the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. She lives in Madison with her husband and two children.
Sheryl Slocum lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she teaches composition and English as a second language at Alverno College. Her poetry has appeared in many literary publications including the Wisconsin Academy Review, the former iteration of Wisconsin People & Ideas. Sheryl’s book, Leaving Lumberton (Wipf and Stock) came out in December 2022. She is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and the Hartford Avenue Poets.
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."