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fiction and poetry contest

Watch the Wisconsin People & Ideas Fiction and Poetry Contest Reading at the 2017 Wisconsin Book Festival, featuring some of Wisconsin's best writers and poets.

The election happened and now you’re driving north.November freezes in the birch trees. The fieldshave nothing left. In Wisconsin where you pass themthe hills go rolling autumn through the cold.

Exhausted, this light.It was supposed to shinepiercingly brightset the roof ablazemelt the fire escapespark mica in the wallsinge a rat’s whiskersin its hole.But side-swiped by a taxi door

Life may not be as bleak as it seems.

The hurried seasons—spring, summerand fall—may plow into winter’s caboose, send it vamoosing.

Mudstone illustration

This was something Joy Frisk told us one August night around a campfire on a bluff overlooking the boathouse. Joy Frisk was high. Pain meds, most likely.

The transformative power of being recognized as a writer.

I came across a dead porcupine sitting on its bellylooking asleep—his only sign of injury a crookedand bloody nose—and thought perhaps I’d get a poemout of it—this corpse I nearly stumbled over

My brother and I conjured a swamp of black water,filled it with saw-toothed specimens, upping the anteof our basement games. Any trek downstairs

Wild, wacky, and utterly entertaining, the 2nd place-winning story from our 2016 fiction contest turns the hardboiled detective story on its head.

In dim lightGrandma sits at her tableshaving fat and fleshfrom the pig’s skullswick swick swickher knife slicesthrough bristled skinpast cartilage and brain

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