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First-Place Literary Award Winners


  • Poetry: Nicholas Surprise, “Whirring”
  • Creative Prose: Alaina “Letty” Mundt, “Ashes to Ashes”
  • Critical Essay: Mary Paplham, “Trains, Thoughts, and Trains of Thought: Making the Connection ‘In a Station of the Metro’”


  • Poetry: Erich Wegenke, “What Comes After”
  • Creative Prose: Mary Paplham, “A Thin Place”
  • Critical Essay: Chryssy Joski, “A Virulent Frost: A Study of Memetics and Robert Frost”


  • Poetry: Peter Dahl, “Afloat”
  • Creative Prose: Amy Mrotek, “Adam's Orchard”


  • Poetry: Carrie Kline, “Forest Creatures,” “Inheritance,” “in the beginning,” “The Town That You Live In” and “Growing Pains”
  • Creative Prose: Amy Mrotek, “Postcards”
  • Critical Essay: Emma Riehl, “Form of All Forms: Fluidity of Divine Meaning in ‘Ulysses’”


  • Poetry: Carrie Kline, “One More for the River”
  • Creative Prose: Fiona Lochtefeld, “The Judgment of Maria Olivia Taylor December 15th”


  • Poetry: Sarah Titus, “LewElyn: A Three Poem Collection”
  • Creative Prose: William Paplham, “Pitch-Black Closet”
  • Critical Essay: Jens Paasen, “If You Want to Belong, You Have to Buy: Disney‘s ‘Pocahontas’ and Consumerism in a Natural Disguise”


  • Poetry: Katie Meyer, “For All the Florence Thompsons”
  • Creative Prose: Joseph Paul Simurdiak, Excerpt from “The Shadows of Autumn”
  • Critical Essay: Paige Caulum, “Sense and Sensibility in James Joyce‘s ‘Ulysses’: Establishing the Link Between Identity and Intimacy”


  • Poetry: Paige Caulum, “Lying through her teeth,” “Of one mind,” “A survivor’s confession” and “Happier”
  • Creative Prose: Kim Hansen, “The Droll Haircut”
  • Critical Essay: Claire Dailey, “Racial Revolutions: The Evolving Image of the Black Individual in Herman Melville’s ‘Benito Cereno’”


  • Poetry: Magdalynn O’Leary, “Sun Prairie High,” “Midnight Mass,” “The Collage,” “It Was the Summer of Raspberry Vodka” and “A Dream Referred”
  • Creative Prose: Paul J. Utterback, “Afraid to Fly”
  • Critical Essay: Christine Garten, “An Unseen Hand: Gender and Gaze in Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’”


  • Poetry: Paul Strickler, “blues metal,” “daughter,” “to build a fire,” “war is hell” and “wish you were here"
  • Creative Prose: Stuart Ninabuck, “The One and Only”
  • Critical Essay: Paul J. Utterback, “Silence Amidst Racial Injustice: Complacent Catholicism in O’Connor”


  • Poetry: Dan Kiefer, “the smell of books”
  • Creative Prose: Zachary Willis, “The Sound of Birds”
  • Critical Essay: Stefanie Jochman, “The ‘Naming of the Unnamed Name’: How the Rose Unlocks T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets”


  • Poetry: Meghan Fahy, “Overdone”
  • Creative Prose: Stuart Ninabuck, “Rooster”
  • Critical Essay: Erin Grams, “Fairy Godmother and Wicked Witch: The Veiled Dichotomy of Dicken‘s Miss Havisham in ‘Great Expectations’”


  • Poetry: Julie Ennenbach, “Meals on Wheels,” “Sweat” and “My dad, his hands”
  • Short Story: Andrew McIlree, “Duffer (a tale of the Great North Woods)”
  • Personal Non-Fiction (tie): Karen Aschenbrenner, “Minutes” and Dan Karel, “Strangers and Stars”
  • Critical Essay: Elizabeth Hermans, “The Devolution of Female Strength in ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’”


  • Poetry: Kristin Alberts, “Water Doesn’t Want Us,” “Water Solitude” and “Boats on the Rhone”
  • Short Story: Andrew McIlree, “Nothing More to Fear”
  • Critical Essay: Kristin Alberts, “From Romantic to Realistic: Shifting Emotions in the Poetry of World War I”


  • Poetry: Bridget Esterhuizen, “Hairy Carrie,” “chickens understand sharp things,” and “Neither Poached nor Scrambled”
  • Short Story: Margaret Bridge, “The Little Minnow”
  • Personal Essay: Karen Aschenbrenner, “Deciphering What’s Right with All That’s Left”
  • Critical Essay: Mike McIntyre, “Inequality with Poetic Ingenuity: Chaucer’s ‘Clerk’s Tale’


  • Poetry: Maureen Pratt, “First Confession,” “Music Scene” and “Mining Engineer”
  • Short Story: Kelley Kepler, “Breakdown”
  • Personal Essay (tie): Kelley Kepler, “Happy Hollow Road,” and Jennifer A. Broberg, “The Guilt of Settling”
  • Critical Essay: Kelley Kepler, “Huckleberry Finn: The End is Just Cheating”


  • Poetry: Alan Kellermann, “something god doesn’t know,” “farinelli” and “adam’s elegy”
  • Short Story: Alan Kellermann, “That’s Why They Play the Blues”
  • Personal Essay: Liz Langemak, “For Carmen”
  • Critical Essay: Theresa Andre, “Totalitarian Goals vs. Utopian Ideals: Orwell’s Warning on the Antithetical Nature of Totalitarianism to Humankind’s Pursuit of the Ideal Society”


  • Poetry: Liz Langemak, “Green Accent, 1935,” “The Blue Rider, 1903” and “Impression IV, 1911”
  • Short Story: Jacob Paplham, “The Last Temptation of Bill”
  • Personal Essay: Michelle Bergen, “Thunder Rolls"
  • Critical Essay: Kelley Kepler, “Gatsby’s Connection with Myrtle: Re-evaluating His Greatness”
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