We just released Issue 16 this week and are thrilled with how it turned out! In addition, Issue 16 features the finalists of our inaugural Lake Prize, both fiction and poetry. Below are the winners, along with a short blurb from our judges about why these pieces impacted them the most.
Fiction Winner: “Our Lady of Cleveland” by Brian Petkash
Fiction judge Ander Monson had this to say about Brian’s story: I particularly admired several things about “Our Lady of Cleveland.” For starters, it’s about work, and there aren’t enough stories about work, which is how most of us spend a great part of our lives. Perhaps that’s because most work’s not very dramatic. This work, though, is: literally (life and) death. But even more important is how work allows the story to access the headspace of the protagonist and his history and the many tensions operating on him at once. Get an interesting character, wind him up with a bunch of pressures and contexts, and let him go. Bravo.
Poetry Winner: “Animal Bride” by Sara Quinn Rivara
Poetry judge Mary Biddinger had this to say about Sara’s poem: First line: “The cherry trees burned, blossoms fell like snow.” In moments both tender and ravenous, “Animal Bride” enters a dialogue with nature, turning its entire tableau into an hourglass where sands migrate and rise like floodwaters. This poet allows place to serve as a character in the poem, and at the same time transcends place, with a nod to seasonal shifts, encroaching time, and primitive desires. Employing economical lines, the poem surprises readers at every turn, making the everyday infinitely more intense, allowing us to hear how, “…the crows brayed all afternoon in the sycamore snag,” and to see, “The baby’s mouth a dry rose.” “Animal Bride” is Midwestern writing at its very best: visceral, haunting, colorful, and gorgeously alive.
All of the Lake Prize winners and runners-up are featured in Issue 16 (Winter 2015), out now.