The premiere issue contributors
I was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but most of my growing up happened later. In 1984, I left the farm to attend medical school in Madison and parts of me grew up while practicing medicine. Now I write fiction and, truth be known, I’m still growing up.
Kelly Jo Brick
Wisconsin native, Kelly Jo Brick, is an award-winning screenwriter and copywriter. She graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin, earning a B.A. in both Communications and English—Creative Writing. She is a winner of the Scriptapalooza TV writing contest and has received numerous Addy and broadcasting awards.
Barbara Cranford was born in Chicago, where she was an encyclopedia editor, poet, sculptor and gallery owner. In her Central Wisconsin woods where she has lived since 1971, she conducts an occasional poem-making workshop and writes when she feels like it.
Judy Brackett Crowe
Judy Brackett has taught creative writing and English literature and composition at Sierra College. A native of Nebraska, she’s lived in California’s northern Sierra Nevada foothills for many years. Her stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Other Voices, Alaska Quarterly Review, James Dickey Review, THEODATE, The Wisconsin Review, Sierra Songs & Descants (Hip Pocket Press), The Untidy Season (Backwaters Press), and elsewhere.
Photography is my small attempt to tug at the coat sleeves of people who have forgotten or have refused the beautiful world we’ve been given. To see more of my work please visit www.kimkylephotography.com.
Herons – “Mid-summer breakfast time on a central Wisconsin farm. Just over the hill, where mist rose off the pond, a curious sound mixed into the usual morning songbird harmony. Bird calls I didn’t recognize.”
Mary Driver-Thiel holds a B.A. in Fine Art and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Her short stories have appeared in various literary journals, and her first novel, The World Undone, was released in January, 2013. She is a member of Off Campus Writers’ Workshop, The Writers of Glencoe, and Forest Writers’ Group.
I grew up in Pittsburgh and came to Wisconsin to attend UW-Madison in the late 1960s. In school I studied writing, not art, and only became an artist about five years ago when I began making torn tissue-paper collages. If my art-making has a purpose, it is to create beauty.
Terese Floren is a freelance writer and editor in Madison, WI. She worked for 25 years as the publications editor of a small, nonprofit organization, writing everything from articles and press releases to obituaries and video scripts. She loves language, travel, and taking an occasional break from wordsmithing to help out on a local farm.
Dave Gourdoux is a lifelong resident of Wisconsin and a husband of 31 (and counting) years, with two sons and a daughter. He is a staff contributor to the arts focused website “2nd First Look” (2ndfirstlook.com) and is working on two novels. He also maintains his own website, “Drivel by Dave“ (djgourdoux.wordpress.com).
Joan Elliott Gray
Joan is a retired Clinical Social Worker who lives in Madison with her husband. This is her first screenplay, and she’s honored to be included in the inaugural edition of The Midwest Prairie Review. Her memoir, Lessons From Africa, won honorable mention in a memoir contest of The Writers Workshop of Asheville, North Carolina.
Annette L. Grunseth, Green Bay, a freelance writer and communications/public relations professional, has been published in the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Calendars, Wisconsin Academy Review, Free Verse, The Door Voice, Fox Cry Review; anthology, Poetry of Cold; and chapbook: Between the Sheets. Her poetry has been performed on the WPR show, Higher Ground.
Adam Halbur has one collection of poems, Poor Manners (Ahadada Books 2009), for which he was awarded the 2010 Frost Place Residency. Jim Harrison said the book “at first intrigued me of my Swede immigrant relatives who farmed in Mecosta County. The poems are on the money as they say.”
Jamie Heiden and T.D. Storm
Jamie Heiden and T.D. Storm have collaborated on several small projects, including “Raincloud”, a short story and photograph in the premiere issue of the Midwest Prairie Review. The sister-brother team finds inspiration in one another. Jamie captures frozen moments in part, she claims, because she can’t write stories. T.D. takes those frozen moments and extrapolates them into tales of longing and growing older.
Since obtaining her degree in Photography 22 years ago, Jamie Heiden has worked to expose the wonder of everyday moments. Her work makes use of multiple layers to enhance the timelessness of her photographs. She’s a regular at Midwestern art fairs, and has work in galleries as far away as Ireland. Visit her at www.jheidenphoto.net
T.D. Storm lives in a hilltop house in the Irish countryside and spends his free time gardening mandrakes and curating his gnome collection. He writes stories about a guy from Wisconsin, who teaches literature and writing and just got his MFA from Pacific University.
Julie A. Jacob
Julie A. Jacob works as a communications professional in Milwaukee and also teaches writing at Gateway Technical College. She has an MFA in creative writing and a master's degree in journalism. Her essays have appeared in TallGrass Writers Guild anthologies, Under the Sun, and other print and online publications.
I am a retired nurse living in northern Wisconsin. My home is on the river and in the woods and I spend hours of idle time enjoying nature. I love taking pictures of the beautiful world I see and enjoy. I also write short stories about living in the north woods.
My lives are in southeastern Wisconsin and on the family farm near Neenah, WI, have published a poetry chapbook, AUBADE, and book, IN THE FIRST PLACE, have been published in WisconsinAcademy Review/Wisconsin People & Ideas, won 2012 Wisconsin Writers' Assoc. Jade Ring/Bard's Chair For Poetry, currently co-editing Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets' Calendar 2014.
Sonja Kosler is a retired broadcast and print journalist. She lives on the shore of a small west central Minnesota lake. Sonja is an award winning photographer with works in the permanent University of Minnesota collection. She is also a published poet and oral tradition storyteller.
Mark Liebenow is the author of Mountains of Light (Yosemite and John Muir), published by the University of Nebraska Press. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, won the River Teeth, Chautauqua, and Literal Latte Nonfiction Awards, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and named a notable essay in Best American Essays 2012.
Karen Loeb's poems about China and adoption appear in Shifting Balance Sheets from Wising Up Press, Terracotta Typewriter #6 and Spillway. She writes and teaches in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Deborah Ann Lucas, a writer and artist, has lived in Leaf River, Illinois, for 18 years. She has exhibited her artwork internationally since receiving an MFA from UCLA. For her writing, she has received a 2011 Evie Award for her memoir and a 2012 Evie Award for her YA novel. The first page of her memoir placed at The Writers’ Institute in 2012. Find her blog at www.LeafRiverWriter.com
“Out of the Fog my beauties emerge, with the oaks they dance in the mist. Morning and night I feed them grain, throw blankets on their backs when it rains, pick burrs from their tails and contemplate life. To stand in their presence brings calm and delight.”
“The Evening Sky flashes its color. Our horses return to the barn for the night. Sparrows peck at seeds kicked out by the jays. Moles dig their holes as owls awaken. Deer leap the fence to find a place they can rest. From the porch we listen and watch, then retreat inside when coyotes scream.”
As a licensed psychotherapist, I work with individuals and couples through some of the most challenging times in their lives. Taking photos is a personal pleasure and interest through which I choose the focus, viewpoint, and the outcome, capturing beauty, fun, and gatherings.
Gail Moreland is an award-winning photographer, mystery writer, and former trial lawyer. Her passion is translating the natural beauty around us into photographs she can share. A Midwest native, Gail lives in Woodstock, Illinois, with her cat Bailiff. Contact Gail at gailmorelandphotography.com.
Photo #1 - Untitled (Kishwaukee River in fog): “This photograph was taken on August 4, 2012, near Garden Prairie, Illinois. The sun was just coming up over the Kishwaukee River, which was shrouded in fog. The photograph evokes the stillness and isolation of that morning.”
Photo#2 - Untitled (prairie grasses and fence post): “This photo was taken on September 1, 2012, in Woodstock, Illinois, in Emricson Park. The city park borders an untamed field, separated by an old fence. The bright yellows in high wind and the leaning fence post attracted me.”
Bob (Robert) B. Moreland has a doctorate in biochemistry and works in biomedical/clinical research. He has published poems in the Penwood Review, Red Cedar, South Dakota Review, Verse Wisconsin and several anthologies. This is his first journal photo credit. Bob resides with his wife Rebecca in Carol Beach near Lake Michigan in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
Marian O’Brien Paul
Native Kansas City, Missourian, Marian O’Brien Paul has lived in Turkey, Ireland, Kansas, and mostly Nebraska. A retired teacher of writing and literature, in 2007 she moved to Chicago, Illinois. Her poems appear in The Stony Thursday Book (Limerick, Ireland, 2010); and the “Poetic Asides” column, Writer’s Digest (2011).
Mark Purcell is a two-time Chicago Emmy nominated animator/producer for clay animation and jingle writing. He has also won dozens of local and regional advertising awards and is currently employed as a health care copywriter. He continues to pursue his interests in photography, writing, playing music and creating documentary films.
I grew up around Lake Minnetonka in Navarre, Minnesota. After raising a family in Germany over 30 years, I am based in Castle Danger by the North Shore of Lake Superior. Besides writing, fiber artistry fills my days. I belong to the Lake Superior Writers and the League of Minnesota Poets.
Shoshauna Shy’s poems have been published on Poetry Daily, in Poetry 180, The Seattle Review, Cimarron Review, Poetry Northwest and elsewhere. She has a publishing company called Woodrow Hall Editions which is responsible for the Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf, and the Woodrow Hall Jumpstart Award programs.
Vegan Pacific Northwestern Household” (Poetry)
Robert L. Switzer, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has turned to creative writing in retirement. His memoir “A Family Farm: Life on an Illinois Dairy Farm”; was published in 2012 by the Center for American Places, Columbia College, Chicago. He is working on a novel and short stories.
Connie Wanek lives in Duluth, Minnesota. Her books of poems include Bonfire (1997) and Hartley Field (2002), and On Speaking Terms (2010 from Copper Canyon Press). US Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, named her a Witter Bynner Fellow of the Library of Congress in 2006. Her website is: www.conniewanek.com
Born 1948, Jonathan is a lifelong resident of Southern Wisconsin. He has been painting full time for 43 years. He is fascinated by this area and its bird life-both are the components of his painting. His work can be seen at Artisan Gallery, Paoli and Edgewood Orchard Galleries, Fish Creek, Wisconsin.
Judith Zukerman, author of Amsterdam Days, a journey through poetry, is a Chicago native and long-time Madison, Wisconsin resident. Her recent work appears in Drash Northwest Mosiac 2012, Grey Sparrow, Fall, 2011, and the Wisconsin Poets Calendars 2012 and 2013. She is a Mind’s Eye Radio Collective participant and a member in the Poet in Schools residencies. See www.bookthatpoet.com.