Contributors for the 2014 issue

Congratulations to the artists below, whose work graces the pages of the Volume 2 of Midwest Prairie Review

We accepted hundreds of submissions and have been overwhelmed with the wonderful and enthusiastic response we received from our writing community since the premiere of our new journal last summer. For our sophomore issue, we went through a number of “sifting and winnowing” sessions and narrowed our search down to the following pieces of prose, poetry, art, and photos. The following selections rose to the top of our files during those sessions. The journal’s editorial board then agreed that this material best embodied the spirit and theme for our regional journal celebrating the voices of the Heartland. Please join me in congratulating and celebrating these fine artists. —Laurie Scheer, Managing Editor

R. Ali

R. AliR. Ali grew up in the Midwest, but has spent the past 10 years living between cities and traveling abroad. She currently writes and sleeps in Philadelphia, where she is a freelance copyeditor for Main Course PHL and contributor to No Clue. She has a fondness for wasabi.

“When visiting my hometown, I waver between nostalgia for the familiarity, and cynicism for the small-town mindset that is inescapable. However, I cannot deny that I am envious of the community there, which I was largely removed from growing up.”
—R. Ali, on “Communities and Twisters” (Nonfiction)

Pam Andros

Pam Andros Pam stays busy working full-time work as an arts administrator and land use planner, and caring for a family made up of 4 boys and a variety of pets ranging from lab mutt to shrimp. She carves out time for her real passion, visual arts, with painting being her favorite. Sources of imagery include real life experiences, familiar animals and places, stories, and art itself.

“Every Midwesterner has a squirrel story – living in the garage, chewing its way into the basement, tormenting the dogs, stuck in the birdfeeder, darting across the street, and when we see them, they are already looking at us.”
—Pam Andros, on“Squirrel 2013” (Painting)

Robin Chapman

Robin ChapmanRobin Chapman is author of 9 books of poetry, most recently the portfolio Dappled Things (Paris: Revue K, 2013) with Peter Miller's photogravures and One Hundred White Pelicans (Tebot Bach, 2013), poems on climate change. She is recipient of Appalachia's 2010 Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared recently in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cortland Review, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, and Valparaiso Poetry Review.

“We passed these cows driving up to Door County late last May—I was so struck by their happiness in the luxuriant green grass that I started the poem in my notebook right then—and found its continuation at The Clearing later that week as the strawberries and fudge arrived for all of us! ”
—Robin Chapman, on “Cows Lying Down in the Long Spring Grass on the way to The Clearing”, (Poetry)

Barry Chessek

Barry Chessek Barry left the wonderful world of commerce several years ago. He successfully wore a number of different hats during the decades he inhabited that realm: Certified Public Accountant, marketing consultant, company president, and salesman. He now spends his time writing, cycling, sailing, and visiting his 5 grand grandchildren.

“The inspiration for I Feared for My Life was surviving the worst storm I ever encountered in my fifty years of sailing Lake Michigan, The Atlantic Ocean and The Caribbean Sea.”
—Barry Chessek, on “I Feared For My Life” (Nonfiction)

Alice D'Alessio

Alice D'AlessioAlice D'Alessio, Middleton, finds poetry in the environment, particularly the Pheasant Branch conservancy and the Driftless area of Wisconsin. Her published books include A Blessing of Trees, which won the Posner Prize from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Days We Are Given, a first-place chapbook from Earth's Daughters, and Conversations with Thoreau, from Parallel Press.

“This poem was born during some pleasant digging in the warm spring soil.”
—Alice D'Alessio, on "The Eternal Cycle" (Poetry)

Patricia Derozier

Patricia DerozierPatricia a Wisconsin photographer drawn to old barns, abandoned factories, bridges, and industrial grit. Her work has been exhibited in juried shows and other venues around the state and she publishes a blog, Wabi Sabi Photography, at which features her photography and commentary.

“This door, despite being weathered and worn and hanging askew, embodies a concept the Japanese call wabi sabi: a recognition of the beauty to be found in things which are old, not-perfect, and aging with dignity.”
Patricia Derozier, on “Sweet Red Door” (Photography)

Cathy Douglas

Cathy DouglasCathy Douglas writes a bit of everything – poetry, short stories, articles, and novels. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with one of her 2 adult sons, and works in a metaphysical shop. Her poetry and stories have appeared in both online and paper journals and anthologies. Her website is»

“Every year during National Poetry Month in April, some poets I know get together to write a poem a day. Since April 1 is my older son’s birthday, my first poem for the month usually has something to do with being a mom.”
—Cathy Douglas, on “Confession on the 25th Anniversary of Motherhood” (Poetry)

Carol Dunbar

Carol Dunbar Carol Dunbar is a vegetarian food writer and mother of 2 carnivores living off-grid in northern Wisconsin. Her work has appeared in The Thunderbird Review, and the anthologies Writer’s Read volume III and The Heart of All That Is: Reflection on Home. She is seeking publication for her first novel, Heartwood.

“Firefighters are great storytellers. When they get such rich and bizarre source material as this fire, their anecdotes beg to be consolidated into a narrative—in this case, one that could scarcely have happened anywhere but Wisconsin.”
—Carol Dunbar, on “A Mule’s Rebellion” (Fiction)

Stephanie Essex Elkins

Stephanie Essex Elkins Stephanie Essex Elkins is based on a retired dairy farm southwest of Madison. She photographs while hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing in local woods and prairies. She names trees and loves discovering prairie flowers through a macro lens. She’s also the host and producer of Morning Classics and Simply Folk on Wisconsin Public Radio.

“Atmospheric conditions drew me outdoors like a magnet for an early hike and photo shoot. As I came around a corner, the first rays of sun were highlighting sinuous rows of corn and freshly cut hay.”
—Stephanie Essex Elkins, on “Misty Morning” (Photography)

Deirdre Farr

Deirdre FarrDeirdre is a Chicago native who came to Iowa to attend Grinnell College in 1971 and never left. She currently lives in Des Moines with her husband, Tom, and multiple dogs. By profession a veterinarian specializing in holistic modalities, writing is for her both avocation and relaxation.

“I fell in love with the Iowa State Fair at my first visit over 40 years ago. The butter cow is one of my most loved fair exhibits. I felt that she deserved this essay.”
—Deirdre Farr, on “Butter Cow” (Nonfiction)

Cecilia Farran

Cecilia FarranAs a performer, Cecilia writes for the spoken word. She is currently performing her one-woman show, Voices which asks the question: “What is your story?” Her inspiration is drawn from the pines of Taralir, her home in Spring Green. She owns 43/90 North Earth, a new thought gift shop and reading room.

“After my son’s death, it fell to me alone to spread his ashes. Standing in the waters of the Mississippi River on a sultry summer evening I learned of holding on and letting go and what motherhood was ultimately about. ”
—Cecilia Farran, on “Like Ash on Water” (Nonfiction)

Andrée Graveley

Andrée GraveleyAndrée Graveley is a poet, a peace activist, and a student of Jungian dream work. She lives on an island in northern Wisconsin where she keeps a rustic cabin resort built by her grandparents. Her work is published or forthcoming in North Coast Review, Red Cedar Review, Verse Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Poets' Calendar.

“Anyone with this grandfather would have written about him one day. Children loved him; they were always all over him like tree frogs. It was my lovely fortune to be given both the man, and words to tell his story.”
—Andrée Graveley, on “How to Live: A Dancing Lesson” (Poetry)

Timothy Gray

Timothy GrayTimothy grew up near the Rock River in Beloit, Wisconsin, which was fertile ground for dreaming. Although he loved the woods, fields, and parks, he pursued study in Chicago and found an editing job. No matter whether he's on a busy street or in a downtown office, memories of Wisconsin always feel like home.

“The Wisconsin winter can hide us from each other, behind coats and snow. It can also reveal us to one another and ourselves. Under Snow is my attempt to commemorate a form of stoic helpfulness typical of the area.”
—Timothy Gray, on “Under Snow” (Fiction)

Ron Hatfield

Ron HatfieldRon Hatfield has traveled from farm to college to teaching to doing research on dairy farming.  Growing up on the farm gave him a deep appreciation for nature and life. He's always observing and is passionate about capturing the beauty of nature in words and/or photographs. Surrounded by nature is his favorite place to be.

“We’ve all experienced those special places or times that we wanted to hold on to. Every time I visit this place I see something new. This photo was an effort to capture the beauty of nature in a moment to share it with others. ”
—Ron Hatfield, on “Contours in Wisconsin” (Photography)

Corey Hoppenrath

Corey HoppenrathCorey is Wisconsin-based photographer whose subject matter varies from scenic, wildlife, and still-life to daily life on a small farm. He enjoys capturing the beauty before him and relaying the feeling that inspired him to stop and photograph the scene.

“At times, there is a feeling of sadness when one comes across an abandoned farm. Who lived there? Were there happier times? Where are the farmers now? What memories live on in that old structure?”
—Corey Hoppenrath, on “Ghost of the Farm” (Photography)

Nancy Jesse

Nancy JesseNancy Jesse grew up on a dairy farm in Barron County. She moved to Madison in1968 to attend the University of Wisconsin where she completed a degree in Education and later taught English at West High School. In retirement, she’s been working on writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Haymakers began while I was working on a short story that began with memories of the home farm. Although I did not use this material in the finished story, I realized, when re-reading it, that it had the potential to be a stand-alone piece of nonfiction.”
—Nancy Jesse, on “Haymakers” (Nonfiction)

Michael Knapstein

Michael KnapsteinMichael Knapstein is a fine-art photographer based in Middleton, Wisconsin. Best known for his nature, wildlife, and landscape photographs, he was recently named the International Landscape and Seascape Photographer of the Year in England’s Pollux Awards. His work has received more than 100 major awards, and has been widely published and exhibited around the globe.

“This image was made just after dawn on a foggy morning in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy in Middleton, Wisconsin. I was lucky enough to get this photograph as the rising sun bathed the misty landscape in a golden glow. ”
—Michael Knapstein, on “Conservancy Fog” (Photography)
“There are few things more visually inspiring than a field of prairie flowers in full bloom. This image was made in late July in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy in Middleton, Wisconsin.”
—Michael Knapstein, on “Prairie Flowers” (Photography)
“This photograph was taken in late October along the Wisconsin River, just a few yards from the shack immortalized by Aldo Leopold. It was a trill to experience the same sites and scenes that inspired this famous naturalist.”
—Michael Knapstein, on “Sandhill Cranes at Leopold Shack” (Photography)

Jon Kolb

Jon KolbThe author of crime novel The Summer of Rain:Odyssey of a Young PI (Sammy is an excerpt) is a published short story writer and the author of 3 plays that have been performed in his hometown. He resides in Whitefish Bay with his wife and near their 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren. He is a graduate of the school of Journalism at UWM and holds a degree in American History from the University of Iowa. His novel is available through, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

“Like many of us civilians these days, I have been moved by news reports of young soldiers returning from the recent wars. I attempted, in Sammy, to imagine some of what they might deal with as they reenter the civilian world”
—Jon Kolb, on “Sammy” (Fiction)

Elisa Korentayer

Elisa KorentayerElisa Korentayer is a writer and singer-songwriter performing as Elisa Korenne ( Elisa performs original shows about historical oddballs and records albums influenced by rock, folk, and blues. She is presently working on her first memoir, Hundred Miles to Nowhere, about moving from New York City to rural New York Mills, Minnesota. 

“Moving from NYC to rural Minnesota was my worst culture shock experience in a multinational life. While still questioning my decision to relocate, a tornado almost destroyed my home and surprisingly helped me recommit to my new life. ”
—Elisa Korentayer, on “Tornado” (Nonfiction)

Irene MacFarland

Irene MacFarlandAs a licensed psychotherapist, Irene works with individuals and couples through some of the most challenging times in their lives. Taking photos is a personal pleasure and interest through which she chooses the focus, viewpoint, and the outcome; capturing beauty, fun, and gatherings.   

Fog Ridden was captured on a quiet and relatively warm morning at Vilas Park. A lone cyclist entered the scene as I lifted my camera to capture the pond, the trees, and the fog. I’m pleased to have captured that moment, and give credit to the cyclist by naming it Fog Ridden.
—Irene MacFarland, on “Fog Ridden” (Photography)

Marnie Mamminga

Marnie MammingaMarnie O. Mamminga was born and raised in the Chicago area and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning undergraduate and master’s degrees in English. Her memoir, Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts, received high praise including Parade Magazine’s choice as one of the best reads for summer, 2012.

“While hiking down a forest road one winter’s morning, I discovered wolf tracks in the snow paralleling my own. I was walking with wolves! Although my companion was long gone, I began to look and listen, pondering out paths together…..”
—Marnie Mamminga, on “Listening for Wolves” (Nonfiction)

Ken Marsden

Ken MarsdenI see things fairly realistically, but my paintings stop short of showing precise detail. They are a blend of realism and impressionism using mostly traditional transparent watercolor techniques. I try to create paintings that give the viewer a moment of peace in this hectic world—perhaps trigger memories.

“I have often thought dairy farming in the north, getting up before daylight on cold winter mornings to milk cows, had to be a very hard life. Viewers often asked if I meant the farmer or the cows.”
—Ken Marsden, on “Hard Life” (Painting)

Paul Mason

Paul MasonPaul makes his living as an architectural designer and illustrator, but his true passions are watercolor painting, art history, and Chicago. Most of his life has been spent in the Upper Midwest.

“I've always thought of Chicago as the “Big City Capital” of the Prairie. Like the surrounding prairie it is a place of continual change. Sunset's Roar illustrates that condition in the coincidence of nature, skyscrapers, classical architecture, and exotic animal sculpture.”
—Paul Mason, on “Sunset's Roar” (Painting)

Jeri McCormick

Jeri McCormickJeri McCormick, a Madison poet and long-time writing teacher in senior centers and the Elderhostel program, has been published in Verse Wisconsin, Wisconsin People & Ideas, Hummingbird, and all of the Wisconsin Poets' Calendars. Salmon Poetry in Ireland has published 2 of her books, and her poems have appeared in many anthologies, such as Madison's Echolocations, and Notre Dame's The Book of Irish American Poetry.

“This poem's imagined philosophy offers a rebuttal to the old song that laments the inchworm's failure to pause and appreciate beauty in its surroundings. "Seems to me you'd stop and see how beautiful they [the marigolds] are." The song came back to me when I thought about insect life among plants.”
—Jeri McCormick, on “From the Inchworm Handbook” (Poetry)

Douglas W. Milliken

Douglas W. MillikenDouglas W. Milliken is the author of the novel To Sleep As Animals (PS Hudson, 2014) and the codex White Horses (Nada, 2010). Other work also appears in McSweeney's, Slice, and The Believer. Horse Story was written as part of a fellowship with the I-Park Foundation. (Photo credit: Ed Dittenhoefer)

“Two summers ago, I found an old notebook tucked between my station wagon’s backseats. The margins of one page bore a scrawled list of images, which later seeded Horse Story’s opening scenes. I recall neither writing the list nor why.”
—Douglas W. Milliken, on “Horse Story” (Fiction)

Gail Moreland

Gail MorelandGail 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. Midwest native, Gail lives in Woodstock, Illinois, with her cat Bailiff. Contact Gail at»

“I was exploring Bailey’s Harbor, Wisconsin; on an annual October visit to Door County. The sky was stormy. The pier tunneling through head-high grasses was mysterious. Where did it lead? Keep studying the photograph for the reveal.”
—Gail Moreland, on “The Long View” (Photography)
“The mailboxes, snow-rutted street, and glowing lamps in the blizzard-gloom almost cause the eye to miss the figure plowing his driveway. He and I were alone outdoors in the March blizzard in Woodstock, Illinois.”
—Gail Moreland, on “Plowing Out” (Photography)

Helen Padway

Helen PadwayHelen Padway experienced theater, television, and radio writing and performing before and after marriage and 5 children.  Her children’s families have all ceded a library shelf for the journals in which her poetry appears. She is grateful to the mentors who helped further her skills; she is a happy poet and keeps writing.

“The memories of my father and our country excursions stay with me. His observations, humor, and enthusiasm for Midwestern life helped shape my own zest for living here. I hope I am passing that on to my family.”
—Helen Padway, on “What Father Knew” (Poetry)

John Palen

John PalenJohn Palen’s Open Communion: New and Selected Poems was published by Mayapple Press in 2005. Since then he has had chapbooks published by March Street Press and Pudding House, and work appearing or forthcoming in Prick of the Spindle, Citron Review, Upstreet, Poydras Review and other publications. He lives in Central Illinois. (Photo credit: Robert Barclay)

“People-watching is the source of many of my poems. The hair salon manager was totally absorbed in her book. I would love, at least once in my life, to know that one of my poems meant so much to someone. ”
—John Palen, on “Why I Write” (Poetry)

Judy Patenaude

Judy PatenaudeA native Wisconsinite, Judy earned a BS degree (with an emphasis in graphics) from UW-Madison and enjoyed a 30-year graphic arts career with the Wisconsin Historical Society. She turned to watercolors in 2005 and found the work exhilarating and most satisfying. As an Arts Organizer in her community, she originated the Mt. Horeb Art Fair—now in its 43rd year—and co-founded the existing Mt. Horeb Area Arts Council.

“My watercolor Capitol Coots illustrates diverse communities—the natural and the urbane—that thrive in our neighborhood on Madison’s Lake Monona shore. (Inspiration came from a photograph my husband took while kayaking on the lake.)”
—Judy Patenaude, on “Capitol Coots” (Painting)

Ray Paul

Ray PaulRay's writing career had its genesis in a creative writing class at UW-Madison. Although his heart was primed for writing, raising a family took precedence for 40 years. Fifteen years ago, he decided to accept the writing challenge. Two college writing courses and several workshops later he began writing himself toward retirement, which hasn't happened yet. His works include Cabbage Requiem, Between the Rows, and A New Season (the novels that make up his George Konert trilogy), Shards, an eclectic collection of his best short stories, and recent releases Heaven Lies Between the Foul Lines (2012), and Annabelle and the Sandhog (2013).

“In general, I write about people interacting with others and moving on or falling back based on that interaction. As for process, I usually go to bed with a sliver of an idea about a story or character and wake up with a story-line or a new chapter to a book. ”
—Ray Paul, on “The Learning Purse” (Fiction)

Mark Purcell

Mark PurcellMark Purcell is a 2-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 an advertising copywriter. He continues to pursue his interests in photography, writing, playing music, and creating documentary films.

“A little over an hour north of Green Bay is Lake Noquebay. With the sun setting just right, I snapped this shot of a Springer Spaniel. There’s something in her eyes that makes this photo special to me.”
—Mark Purcell, on “Ginger at Noquebay” (Photography)
“This tale was inspired by a dog that lived under the porch at my grandparents' house. As children we were warned not to pet him. He wasn’t particularly dangerous. He was just generally gruff … much like some of the people in my family.”
—Mark Purcell, on “The Unusually Ordinary Dog” (Fiction)

Gwendolyn Rice

Gwendolyn RiceGwendolyn Rice is a professional writer and playwright. She holds an MA in Theater Literature, History, and Criticism from UW-Madison, and a BA in English and Theater from the University of Iowa. Gwen has had full-length plays, readings, and monologues produced across the country, and has won several awards for short fiction. She lives in Middleton with her husband and 2 sons, who make her laugh every day. (Photo credit: Nick Berard)

A Taste of Home was inspired by a story I heard second-hand about cultures clashing over food on an Air Force base in Alabama during the Vietnam era.”
—Gwendolyn Rice, on “A Taste of Home” (Fiction)

Darby Ringer

Darby RingerDarby Ringer’s poems have appeared in Pontoon #1, Floating Bridge Review #5,, and Poetry and Art on the Buses, 2001, among others. She has received bachelor’s degrees from the University of Washington in French and Landscape Architecture.  She is a landscape designer and lives in Seattle, Washington and visits Minnesota often.

“This poem was inspired by watching horses stand in a clear, starlit evening. The poem expresses my desire to know and experience the Minnesota landscape. If I could know a lake and its edges, I might really belong here. ”
—Darby Ringer, on “To Know a Lake and its Edges” (Poetry)

Jo Scheder

Jo SchederJo Scheder is an artist and writer. Her photography is published in TDR: The Drama Review, Honolulu Magazine, and Performing Asian America. She was the still photographer for the independent feature film Red Betsy (Wisconsin Film Festival). Her ethnographic documentaries were screened at the Hawai'i International Film Festival and on nationwide cablecast.

“The silos perched on a curve of highway north of Reedsburg, WI, rising above a field of dried corn stalks. The artwork, Crib, by artist Brenda Leigh Baker, was installed on existing bins for the 2012 Fermentation Fest’s Farm/Art DTour. ”
—Jo Scheder, on “Four Silos” (Photography)

David Scheler

David SchelerPublications in which David Scheler’s poems are published include Aurorean, Avocet, Comstock Review, Main Street Rag, Mid-America Poetry Review, and Reed.  He has reacquainted himself with the French language and has translated over 100 of his poems into French.

Winter Morning Commute is a sketch of a quiet winter morning out in the countryside. My intent was to distill the quiet aftermath of a night snowfall, momentarily interrupted, and followed by the peaceful solitude’s impact on me. ”
—David Scheler, on “Winter Morning Commute” (Poetry)

Steve Smith

Steve SmithSteve Smith attended the School of Visual Arts NYC. A fine artist and poet, Steve painted in theater and feature films for the past 30 years. His poetry and art has appeared in The Paterson Literary Review, The New Jersey Journal of Poets, Nerve Cowboy, Blue Collar, and The Iconoclast. Steve resides in Pennington, N.J.

Terhune Truck and Jacobs Creek are pastels created on location near my home in New Jersey. I pass through the area in my daily travels, and the natural beauty—and nostalgia in the case of the Terhune Truck—never fails to inspire me.”
—Steve Smith, on “Terhune Truck and Jacobs Creek” (Pastels)

Jeanie Tomasko

Jeanie TomaskoJeanie Tomasko is the author of Sharp as Want (Little Eagle Press), a poetry / artworks collaboration with Sharon Auberle; Tricks of Light (Parallel Press), and the e-chapbook, If I Confess Before 5:00 (Right Hand Pointing). She has 3 forthcoming chapbooks. When not writing, she works as a Home Health RN in the Madison area.

“Well, if you're in a writing slump, grab a Neil Young CD, head west in your car with someone you love, and write whatever you see. ”
—Jeanie Tomasko, on “Poem Turning Into Love Poem” (Poetry)

Steve Tomasko

Steve TomaskoInsects seem to creep their way into Steve Tomasko’s poems (even his love poems). He doesn’t think that’s a bad thing. Steve and his wife, Jeanie, are editors of the 2015 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar. Steve is also assistant editor of Hummingbird: Magazine of the Short Poem.

“My background in entomology and journalism collided with my long-time interest in words and writing to produce Light Bringer. There are a million more good insect stories out there that can be turned into a poem.”
—Steve Tomasko, on “Light Bringer” (Poetry)

Suz Anne Wipperling

Sue WipperlingMy poetry has been in several Dust and Fire journals, a publication from Bemidji State University, where one of my poems, Undressing Autumn, won the Diane Glancy Poetry Award. I write articles for a local magazine in Brainerd, MN called Her Voice, and belong to several writing groups.

“I was raised on a farm near Wadena, MN. I was the quintessential country kid. Picking rock was a common spring activity, before the fields were plowed for planting. I was the youngest of 4 and often rode on the tractor with Dad.”
—Suz Anne Wipperling, on “Obstacles” (Poetry)

Thelma Wurzelbacher

Thelma WurzelbacherDr. Thelma Wurzelbacher teaches in the Communication Department of Columbus State Community College in downtown Columbus, Ohio. She uses photography, poetry, and essays as tools to enhance personal reflection and to encourage mindfulness in students and colleagues.

“Last December my brother and I strolled the barnyard. This heifer watched as we reminisced about the terrible fire that burned the “big barn” to cinders. In 14 degree weather, volunteer firemen saved the “little barn” and this fencing.”
—Thelma Wurzelbacher, on “Outlook” (Photography)

Marilyn Zelke-Windau

Marilyn Zelke-WindauMarilyn Zelke-Windau is a Wisconsin poet who enjoys painting with words. Her work has appeared in printed and online venues including Verse Wisconsin, Stoneboat, qarrtsiluni, Your Daily Poem, and several anthologies. A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, her first chapbook, Adventures in Paradise, will be published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press.

“Hotel rooms are cleaned as if by magic. One never sees these workers—only their carts in hallways, loaded down with towels, hair products, and plastic-wrapped coffee packets. Maids' identities are revealed only by small, hopeful, named envelopes.”
—Marilyn Zelke-Windau, on “Hospitality” (Poetry)

The sophomore issue of Midwest Prairie Review premiered at the 25th Anniversary Writers’ Institute in April 2014, and remains available for purchase. The cost per issue is $5.00.

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