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Spirit Lake Review

Who We Are

Kelly Dwyer


Kelly Dwyer grew up in San Pedro, California, graduated from Oberlin College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has spent much of the last twenty or so years in Baraboo, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband, Louis Wenzlow; their daughter Alice attends the University of Minnesota. Kelly has published two novels and is currently finishing her third, a psychological ghost story titled Ghost Mother. She taught at the University of Platteville, Baraboo/Sauk County for fifteen years, where she co-founded Spirit Lake Review, which began as a club in the cafeteria, and then became the vibrant class it is today. Kelly is currently teaching creative writing classes to adults online through the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and working on her own writing. She is enjoying seeing the magazine flourish and loves keeping in touch with former students. 


Kara Candito

Faculty Advisor

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 on the UW-Platteville main campus. 

Mikayla Faivre

Editor | Email Manager | Website Designer

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:

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Maddie Hansen

Editor | Logo & Banner Designer

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:

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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Jolene Werlein

2022 Social Media Strategist

Jolene Werlein graduated from UW-Platteville in December 2021 with bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Music Non-Teaching. Jolene currently works as an Office and Communications Assistant for the Performing and Visual Arts Department at UW-Platteville and as a Chiropractic Assistant at Live Well Chiropractic in Platteville, WI. Jolene lives in Platteville with her husband, James, and her cat, Penelope. In her spare time, she enjoys playing clarinet in area concert bands and ensembles.

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