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Cover design by Nicole Young

Cover image by Adam Fell

Letter From the Editors

Thanks to the tireless efforts of this year’s team of student editors and the guidance of Editor-in-Chief Nicole Krebs and Promotional Materials Editor and Event Planning Manager Isabelle Emerson, we are thrilled to present our 2024 issue of Spirit Lake Review. Each spring, students based on UW-Platteville’s main and Baraboo campuses come together in Dr. Kara Candito’s Literary Magazines course to edit, design, and produce an unforgettable array of poetry, prose, and visual art.

Our dynamic 2024 issue showcases the contributions of a slew of emerging and established writers and visual artists engaged with the messy complexities of modern life. Emerging authors, such as Jack Braun, Kaz Bresnan, Maddy Gorgen, and Matty Olson, lean into questions of identity formation, mental health, and resistance to the normative pressures of society and late capitalism. Dao Vang’s “Men Don’t Weep” and Trevion Rimmer’s “r.o.m.e.” provide compelling critiques of toxic masculinity, while seasoned poet Matthew Guenette tackles consumerism and parenthood in “At Costco,” a humorous grocery bag of voice and flair. Taylor Nisius’ “Mexico That Way →” and Angela Vasquez’s “What and That, Part IV” navigate experiences of immigration, displacement, and xenophobia. With gratitude to translators Jeanine M. Pitas and Jesse Lee Kercheval, we invite our readers to explore three fascinating poems by Chilean poet Úrsula Starke. Also featured in this year’s issue are works by the first-place winners of UW-Platteville’s 2023 Thomas Hickey Undergraduate Creative Writing Awards, Kassidy Litton (creative nonfiction), Jakob Cridelich (poetry), and Hunter Mashak (fiction).


Our 2024 issue cover image, “American Monster #3,” an abstract collage by Adam Fell, provides an ideal lens through which to contemplate some of our issue’s darker works, such as John Markstead’s “Escaping Pastrem” and Ivan de Monbrison’s “Four Poems Written in the Dark,” a visceral and fascinating examination of the negation of desire. Finally, the works of photographer Jeff Weiland infuse scenes of wreckage and aftermath with humor and narrative flourish. 


The editors of Spirit Lake Review would like to thank the many UW-Platteville faculty, staff, administrators, and community members who support our work. Special thanks to Academic Department Assistant Sara Koeller; Chair of Humanities Dr. David Gillota; Assistant Professor of English Dr. Laura Roberts; and UW-Platteville staff members of Event Services and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Most importantly, thank you to our readers and contributors for trusting us with your work and offering your attention and support.


Happy reading!


Until next year,


The 2024 Spirit Lake Review Team

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