Bayou News / Contests / Fiction / Poetry

2013 Fiction & Poetry Contest Winners Announced!

The results are in! Our judges have read, deliberated and weighed in. Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the James Knudsen Prize for Fiction and the Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry! Finalists are listed below. Winners will receive $500 and publication in Issue 61 of Bayou Magazine.

Winner of the 2013 James Knudsen Prize for Fiction:

“Shit Weasel Is Late for Class” by Michael Gerhard Martin

James Knudsen Prize for Fiction Judge Lucy Bledsoe on why she selected “Shit Weasel Is Late for Class” as our 2013 Winner:

“The author of this story accomplishes the difficult task of portraying a victim with complete personhood and without stereotype or pathos. Despite his overwhelming pain, Josh is a fully realized character, with a burgeoning sense of self just under the skin, shown in his calculations and awareness of his place in the intricate power systems of high school. The story is full of great lines, such as, ‘I don’t read in public anymore.’ Most of all, ‘Shit Weasel Is Late for Class’ surprised me, went in directions I didn’t expect, and did so with utter believability. The story is authentic and unique, has energy and movement, and the characters evolve.”

Michael Gerhard Martin

Michael Gerhard Martin

Michael Gerhard Martin holds an MFA from The University of Pittsburgh, and teaches Rhetoric at Babson College and Fiction for the Johns Hopkins CTY summer programs. He has been short-listed for the Iowa Prize, The Hudson Prize, The Nelligan Prize, and a Glimmer Train New Writer’s Prize, and his work has appeared in Junctures, Yawp!, and Three Rivers. “Shit Weasel Is Late For Class” was written with support from Babson College in the form of a generous summer stipend.

Winner of the 2013 Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry

“Nude to Pink” by Madeline Vardell

Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry Judge Lara Glenum on why she selected “Nude to Pink” as our 2013 Winner:

“I love this combustible nugget of a poem—the way the seemingly straightforward diction belies a narrative complexity that torcs and shimmies. Rattling around in this she-scape, we ping from joy to joy—from the “dough man” to pleated skin, from “bare lava” to spiting grapes and “toothless old women”—I’m slightly skeeved out and totally enthralled! Hooray for the small poem that’s weighted like kryptonite, that forces the known world to buckle around its raucous perimeters.”

Madeline Vardell

Madeline Vardell

Madeline Vardell is an MFA candidate at New Mexico State University. Her poems have appeared in The Cleveland Review and are forthcoming in Rhino, Pank, Whiskey Island & Gravel. She currently lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.


2013 James Knudsen Prize for Fiction Finalists:

“Something for Nothing” by Karin C. Davidson

“Bozika” by Michelle Donahue

2013 Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry Finalists:

“37 – 2 brothers” by Cement Pond, LLC

“Of Animals, Diseases, Cold Cutting through the House” by Caitlin Scarano

“Tunnel of Fat” by Shaelyn Smith


"Win-Win Situation" by Garry Knight

“Win-Win Situation” by Garry Knight

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