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Cover Art by Jesse Lee Kercheval

Cover Design by Daniel Emerson

Letter from the Editors

Welcome to the 2022 issue of Spirit Lake Review! This spring, under the careful direction of web designer and editor Mikayla Faivre, we built a brand new website to house the dynamic prose, poetry, and visual art we are so thrilled to present to you. Between the publication of our first online issue, our new logo, courtesy of editor Maddie Hansen, and new faculty advisor Kara Candito, 2022 has been a year of transformation for Spirit Lake Review. It has also been a time of reaffirming our mission to showcase the diverse work of Wisconsin-based and connected writers in conversation with the work of visual artists from all over the world. 


Housed at University of Wisconsin, Platteville Baraboo Sauk County, Spirit Lake Review is, as ever, run by student editors and advised by a faculty member. This spring, an especially cozy and dedicated group of student editors worked tirelessly on our nineteenth issue. Such closeness breeds inside jokes and passionate debates about aesthetics. Thankfully, all of our editors share a common belief in the power of voice in poetry and prose. From fourteen-year-old Rebecca who deplores the alien (to her) desert landscape of her new life in John Markestad’s short story,“Rebecca in the Moonlight,” to the subversive, ribald speaker of Lisa Chu’s poem, “Daisy Chains,” who proclaims, “Blood of Christ chased with a Mountain Dew,” our 2022 issue is full of voices that enact and process the world in surprising and utterly memorable ways. Our issue cover art, by Wisconsin poet, fiction writer, memoirist and translator Jesse Lee Kercheval, is in itself a study in voice as perspective. 


This year, we are proud to feature works by Dez Logan, Scott Tallow, and Whitney Schwindenhammer, the first place winners of UW-Platteville’s 2022 Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Awards in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, respectively. We are also delighted to feature the works of emerging writers Taylor Arcand, AnaCapri Peterson, Ben Hartman, and Matt Mutiva; and seasoned writers Antonio Bouxa, Nina Clements, Sherman Funmaker, Kathryn Gahl, Michael Lambert, and James Roberts. A multitude of compelling contemporary art and writing awaits you in the virtual pages of our new issue! 

Spirit Lake Review would like to thank the UW-Platteville faculty, staff, administrators, and community members who continue to support us logistically, financially, and morally. Special thanks are in order for veteran contributing editor John Markestad; social media strategist Jolene Werlein; English, Creative Writing faculty member Dr. Stormy Stipe; and Deans Dr. Kory Wein and Dr. Stephen Swallen. Most importantly, thank you to our readers and contributors for trusting us with your creative work, and giving us your attention and support.

Here's to art and spring!

The 2022 Spirit Lake Review Editors 

2022 Editors

Kara Candito

Kara Candito is the author of Spectator (University of Utah Press, 2014), winner of the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize, and Taste of Cherry (University of Nebraska Press, 2009), winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Her work has been published in such journals as American Poetry Review, AGNI, The Kenyon Review, and Jubilat. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and scholarships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Ragdale Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Kara is an associate professor of English, Creative Writing  UW-Platteville main campus. 

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Mikayla Faivre

Mikayla is from North Freedom, Wisconsin, and is majoring in Animal Science. She has always been enamored by storytelling and spends her spare time reading or writing. Mikayla is a recipient of the David Cole Award in Creative Writing. This is her second year as an editor for the Spirit Lake Review. Find her on Instagram:

Maddie Hansen

Maddie Hansen is extremely passionate about drawing, writing, and storytelling. She hopes to publish her own collection of poetry someday, with a drawing for each one. Check her out on Instagram:

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John Markestad

John is a returning adult auditing the course. He is semi-retired, lives near Portage with his wife and best friend of 52 years, and has authored nine scifi novels.

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