2015 Lake Prize Poetry Finalists

We’re thrilled to announce the poetry finalists for our 2nd annual Lake Prize! Congratulations to everyone who participated, and to the winners! The submissions we received were incredible and made narrowing the field down nearly impossible. Thank you to everyone who sent work in, and we hope to see you all next year.

All of the poems listed here will be featured in Issue 20 (Winter 2016).


Winner: “Nostalgia for the Chevy Monza” by Marc J. Sheehan

Marc J. Sheehan is the author of two poetry collections—Greatest Hits from New Issues Press and Vengeful Hymns from Ashland Poetry Press. His short story “Objet du Desir” won the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Contest sponsored by the public radio program Selected Shorts and was read on stage in New York by David Rakoff. His story “The Dauphin” was broadcast on Weekend All Things Considered as part of its Three-Minute Fiction series. He has published stories, poems, essays and reviews in literary magazines including Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Passages North, Michigan Quarterly Review and many others. He lives in Grand Haven, Michigan.

Poetry judge Marcus Wicker had this to say about Marc’s poem: First line: “I read each finalist selection aloud on my office couch, returning twice to ‘Nostalgia for the Chevy Monza,’ charmed by its wise, narrative voice and crisp lineation, before rising to my feet for a third read, as if seeing the poem from a new height might reveal even more- more cinematic imagery and slant rhyme (it did). More longing for the infamous hoopty that becomes the lens through which we ‘look back on earlier models’ of ourselves with ‘much deserved compassion.’


Runner-up: “My Labor and My Leisure Too” by Katie Hartsock

Katie Hartsock is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Hotels, Motels, and Extended Stays (Toadlily Press, 2014) and Veritas Caput (Passim Editions, 2015). Her first full-length collection, Bed of Impatiens, is forthcoming from Able Muse Press in 2016. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, she holds a MFA from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Comparative Literary Studies from Northwestern University, where she is currently a visiting assistant professor of English. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, DIAGRAM, Southwest Review, Southern Indiana Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Down to the Dark River: Poems about the Mississippi River (Louisiana Literature Press, 2015), and are forthcoming in Arion, Passages North, Massachusetts Review, and Matter. She lives in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood with her husband and can often be found walking along Lake Michigan.


Runner-up: “His Body Like Water, His Bones Like Oil” by Brian Clifton

Brian Clifton lives in Kansas City, Missouri. He co-edits Bear Review. His work can be found in: The Pinch, CutBank, Pleiades, Southeast Review and other magazines.



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