News of Note

Jayson Iwen, UW-Superior professor of Writing and Language and Literature Department chair, joined the ranks of Pulitzer Prize-nominated authors this summer when his book-length series of persona poems, "Roze & Blud," was nominated for a Pulitzer by his publisher, the University of Arkansas Press. "Roze & Blud" is an examination of the thoughts and feelings of fictional characters inspired by Iwen’s lived experience. The book is a series of story poems about the working poor, as one reviewer called them, written in the characters’ voices.

"Roze & Blud" has been nominated in the Pulitzer Verse Award category. It also won the Miller Williams Poetry Prize, was a finalist for the National Poetry Series and the Green Rose Prize, as well as a semi-finalist for the Wheeler Prize and the Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes. Iwen has written 18 books to date, of which four have been published. Poetry is his specialty.

The Pulitzer Prize selection process includes a jury that reads through all of the nominations and narrows it down to three per category. Those are sent on to a Pulitzer Board who read them and select a winner. At this point, he does not know if his book has been selected as a finalist or not, but winners will be announced at 2 p.m. April 19 at Columbia University. The event will be live streamed and open to the public. Event information will be forthcoming at

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  • Lake Superior Writers is accepting entries for its annual writing contest. Categories: Poetry (1 to 3 poems), short-short fiction (1 or 2 submissions of up to 500 words), short fiction (a single submission of 1,500-2,500 words), and creative nonfiction (a single submission of 1,500-2,500 words). First place winner in each category will receive $200 and publication on the LSW website. Runner-up in each category will receive $50. The theme is “lockdown.” Writers may interpret this theme as broadly as they wish. You might write about the tension found in everyday experiences or the profound struggles faced by people, resulting in a feeling of being in “lockdown” or actually being in lockdown. The LSW Writing Contest is open to adults age 18 and older. Entry is free for LSW members; $35 for non-members, which includes membership in LSW. Graphic content that is violent or sexual in nature is prohibited. Deadline: Monday, April 12. For more information, go to


Title: "The Old Man's Poet"

Author: Christopher Eng

Synopsis: This is a culmination of 15 years of observation on the part of poet Christopher Eng. As he travelled throughout the Western USA, he wrote, sharing his poetry with many of the park rangers he encountered, and now, he’s sharing it with the world. We all share the same elements as the stars in the universe, after all. We are symbiotic with the trees of the world. We breathe out carbon dioxide, which they need, and they give us oxygen, which we need. Eng’s reflections and unique interpretation of the natural world will capture the minds of readers young and old.

Cost: $35

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.

Contact info:

Title: "Incandescence: Rising Above Darkness"

Author: Clare Cooley

Synopsis: This memoir chronicles the author's journey from growing up in a dangerously dysfunctional family to becoming a self-made successful prolific artist. No one in her chaotic family noticed when she stopped attending school regularly at seven years old, and she did not return until she was asked to teach in her twenties.

Cooley’s evocative stories follow her saga hitchhiking with truckers, fasting alone for three days on a mountaintop, being one of the first females to work with the longshoremen on Lake Superior, innocently ending up in jail, nearly perishing at sea, and being deported from a country.

Cooley fearlessly reflects on moments of great adversity and expanding epiphany, dealing with abuse, addiction, suicide, teen motherhood, misogyny, raising her damaged drug addicted sister’s children, and confronting her father about his violent crimes. Cooley writes eloquently and authentically about growing up a sensitive, free-spirited daughter of a brilliant but broken pedophile father and a gentle artist mother. Cooley charts her sojourn from her first home in a quonset hut in the Arizona desert, to bouncing around the country with her family, then leaving home at seventeen to travel the U.S. alone, sometimes living in a tent, a teepee, a car, and an abandoned building. Cooley reflects on the power of facing painful truths, expressing them, and healing.

Publisher: Self-published

Cost: $9.99 ebook