Carla Gober-Park, of Redlands, CA, is the winner of the 2017 Prairie Poetry Prize Prairie Sampler contest with her beautiful submission "Prairie Poetry- Prairie Grasses." Congratulations! Carla works as a professor and administrator at Loma Linda University in Southern California. Much of her writing focuses on nature and health, whether health of the land, people, relationships, or societies. She teaches whole person care to medical students and speaks to audiences throughout the world on a variety of topics related to wholeness and health. She lives with her Scottish husband, Gordon, and Weimaraner dog Cypher, in Redlands, CA.

Alice D' Allesio is the winner of the 2017 Paul Gruchow Contest for her essay "Tending the Valley." Congrats Alice. She is a Middleton poet whose poems often reflect the wonder of the natural world, and/or the environmentalist’s vision. Social/political commentary and family/love relationships are also favorite subjects, rendered with a serious or light touch. Her poems have been published in the Wisconsin Academy Review, Earth’s Daughters, North Coast Review, Ariel, Free Press, The Kerf, Fox Cry Review, Verse Wisconsin, and others. They have won awards from The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and Wisconsin Regional Writers, and she was a runner-up in the Wisconsin Academy Review Poetry Contest in 2002.



Ina Roy-Faderman is the winner of the 2016 Digging to the Roots Color Poetry Contest. Congratulations Ina!

Ina Roy-Faderman’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Right Hand Pointing, Clade Song, the Tupelo 30/30 Project and elsewhere; California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia named her “Elegy for Water” the winning poem of the Richmond Anthology of Poetry. A good mid-western girl of Bengali heritage, she received her creative writing training while completing an M.D.-Ph.D. (Stanford-UC Berkeley). Currently, she teaches bioethics for Oregon State University, is a fiction editor for Rivet Journal, and works as a librarian at a school for gifted children.

Winner of the 2015 Winter in Variations: Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest: J.R is the Director of English and Communication Arts, and  Assistant Professor of English at SUNY-GCC in Upstate New York.  J.R. has  also taught for Mills College, California Poets in the Schools, San Francisco WritersCorps, and Literary Arts of Portland, Oregon. One memorable summer, J.R. canoed from Dryden, Ontario to Ely, Minnesota through the White Otter, the Quetico-Superior and the Boundary Water Wilderness areas. Currently, J.R. is writing a long poem on the cryosphere.

Taylor is an essayist living in Ames, Iowa. His work has appeared in Orion, the Northern Plains Ethics Journal, High Country News, The Huffington Post, among others. His chapbook of poems, Ruin: Elegies from the Bakken, is published by Red Bird Chapbooks, and he is currently editing the country's first anthology of creative writing about fracking, Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America, through Ice Cube Press.


Katharyn Howd Machan, Professor of Writing at Ithaca College, holds degrees from the College of Saint Rose, the University of Iowa, and Northwestern University. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines; in anthologies and textbooks such as The Bedford Introduction to Literature, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013, Poetry: An Introduction, Early Ripening: American Women’s Poetry Now, Sound and Sense, Writing Poems, Literature: Reading and Writing the Human Experience; and in 32 collections, most recently Wild Grapes: Poems of Fox (Finishing Line Press, 2014), H (Gribble Press, 2014—national winner) and When She’s Asked to Think of Colors (Palettes & Quills Press, 2009—national winner). Former director of the national Feminist Women’s Writing Workshops, Inc., in 2012 she edited Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology (Split Oak Press).

Jeanine Stevens studied poetry in the Creative Writing Program at U.C. Davis and has an MA in Anthropology. She is the recipient of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt, and a finalist for the William Stafford Award. She has other first place awards from Ekphrasis, The Bay Area Poet’s Coalition and Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference. Her work has appeared in Evansville Review, Poet Lore, North Dakota Review, Pearl, Sentinel Quarterly, Bardsong, and Cider Press Review. She is the author of Sailing on Milkweed, Cherry Grove Collections. Her latest chapbook, Needle in the Sea, was published by Tiger’s Eye Press. Besides writing, Jeanine enjoys collage, Tai Chi, Romanian folk dance, and hiking in the Sierras. She was raised in Indiana and now lives in Sacramento and Lake Tahoe with her husband, photographer Greg Czalpinski.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize nominee. Author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Slipstream, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, Buddhist Poetry Review, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art. You can find out more about Joan at



Lara Palmquist graduated with a BA in American Studies and Biology from St. Olaf College in 2013. Along with a group of students, she is a co-founder of the St. Olaf environmental education program "SustainAbilities," which encourages sustainable living and behavior on the college campus. The program was conceptualized and guided by the late Dr. Jim Farrell, who continues to inspire Lara's environmentalism and writing.


Lara is currently living in Northfield, Minnesota, and interning at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Most recently, her fiction was a finalist in the Tethered By Letters Spring Writing Contest, and she is the recipient of a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship for graduate studies in 2014-2015. She continues to find inspiration in the observant and powerful writing of Annie Dilliard, Barbara Kingsolver, and Paul Gruchow, whose essays she first read while conducting research in the Boundary Waters at the Coe College Field Station in 2012.


Jan Pettit’s poetry has appeared (or will soon appear) in The National Poetry Review, Water-Stone Review, Great River Review, South Dakota Review, Rosebud Magazine, Tusculum Review, Natural Bridge, and in Nebraska Presence, an anthology of poetry by native NebraskansHer nonfiction work was recently featured on the audio segment, You Are Hear. Jan is a graduate of the MFA Program at Hamline University. By day, she writes advertising copy. By night, she writes poetry and prose.  She is married to jazz guitarist, Paul Renz and is the mother of two beautiful almost-men. Jan is one of the co-winners of Variations in Winter: Bill Holm Poetry Contest with her collection "Lapses of Snow."


Linda Beeman is one of the co-winners of the Winter in Variations: Bill Holm Poetry Contest with her collection "Hibernal Songs." She  is an award-winning poet living on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. Her first chapbook, Wallace, Idaho, is a lyric tribute to her gritty hometown. Beeman’s poems have appeared in Raven Chronicles andWindfall and won awards from the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and Split This Rock.





Deborah DeNicola is the winner of the 2013 Carol Bly Short Story Contest with her story "Come Alone to the Alone."  Deborah wears several writing hats as a poet, fiction writer, memoirist, critic, essayist, editor and blogger. Her most recent publication is a full collection of poetry, Original Human, from WordTech Communications Press and her spiritual memoir The Future That Brought Her Here, from Nicholas Hays /IBIS Press, which reached #1 in Psychology and Social Sciences on The memoir, concerned with medieval history, dream image work, travels to Israel, and Jungian thought, contains a sequence of  poems to heal her relationship with her deceased father. The poems won her an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. 



Martin Willitts Jr is one of the co-winners of the Winter in Variations: Bill Holm Poetry Contest with his collection "Lake Effect; How To Know It is Cold Enough For Winter; Snow Fall; Kambara." 

Martin Willitts Jr is a Quaker, organic gardener, and retired Librarian living in Syracuse, New York. He was nominated for 6 Pushcart and 6 Best of the Net awards. He provided his hands-on workshop “How to Make Origami Haiku Jumping Frogs” at the 2012 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. He won the William K. Hathaway Award for Poem of the Year 2012. He has 5 full-length and 20 chapbooks including national contest winning “Searching for What Is Not There” (Hiraeth Press, 2013).

Martin Willitts Jr.'s forthcoming poetry books include “Waiting For The Day To Open Its Wings” (UNBOUND Content), “City Of Tents” (Crisis Chronicles Press), "Swimming In the Ladle of Stars" (Kattywompus Press), “A Is For Aorta” (Kind of Hurricane Press), “Martin Willitts Jr, Greatest Hits” (Kattywompus Press), “The Way Things Used To Be” (Writing Knights Press), “Irises, the Lightning Conductor For Van Gogh's Illness” (Aldrich Press).


Cindy Crosby is the author of seven books, and contributor to eight others.  Her books have been reviewed by Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Sun Times, Orion, Chicago Wilderness, Chicagoland Gardening, and various other publications. Her second book, By Willoway Brook, (with a foreword by Paul Gruchow) was named as of Chicago Wilderness magazine’s “great reads” in 2006. Cindy has written more than five hundred articles, reviews, and poems for many periodicals and websites, and she reviewed books for Publishers Weekly for almost a decade.



Nicole Parizeau


Nicole Parizeau is former senior editor at Whole Earth Magazine and principal editor at Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science. She writes and edits in Northern California, to which she moved from Montreal as an interpretive naturalist, and is the editor of five books from the International League of Conservation Photographers. Her poetry and prose appear or are upcoming in Folio, Poecology, the Emrys Journal, Opium Magazine, and Weather,an anthology from Imagination & Place Press. She is writer-in-residence at Sonoma Mountain Ranch Preservation Foundation.


Nicole's Story - Where Worlds Meet