Announcing the 2017 Hal Prize Poetry, Photography & Prose Winners

Each fall, the Peninsula Pulse invites people of all ages, backgrounds and artistic abilities to submit stories, photographs and poems for a chance to be published in our annual Hal Prize literary and photography issue. The Hal Prize is held in the spirit of the late Hal Grutzmacher, a professor and Door County bookstore owner, by offering commentary and encouragement to promising writers and photographers.

With the help of our judges, authors David Haynes and Erika Janik, photographer Kevin Miyazaki, and the poetry editors of cream city review (Alessandra Simmons and Tobias Wray), we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Hal Prize. Copies of the issue are on newsstands now and a digital version can be accessed here.


First Place:  “Surf Sisters” by Laura Joeckel

Second Place:  “Chinta’s Love” by Shannon Thielman

Third Place:  “New Friend” by Ron Maloney


Honorable Mentions:

“Eastern Black Swallowtail on Parsley” by Casey Buhr

“Ironworker” by Guntis Lauzums

“Eye Examination” by Guntis Lauzums

“Vaxholm” by Pam Maloney

“A Boy and His Dog” by Michael Marit



“Shelf Cloud Over Murphy County Park” by Carlyle Chan

“Jack” by Thomas Jordan

“Giant Tortoise in the Everglades” by Thomas Jordan

“Ric Furrer, the Blacksmith” by Thomas Jordan

“The Tall Ship Sails Against A Grey Sky” by Thomas Jordan

“Memories of Times Past” by John Koski

“Sign, Sign Everywhere a Sign” by Arlene Stanger

“The Artist” by Arlene Stanger

“Hammock Joy” by Shannon Thielman



First Place:  “The Obligation” by Dawn Hogue

Second Place:  “THINGS I LEARNED THIS MONTH” by Catherine Jagoe

Third Place:  “Bernstein’s Shostakovich” by Timothy Walsh


Honorable Mentions:

“Daedalus Surfs Refugio Beach” by Sylvia Cavanaugh

“Head Job (Brain Surgery Recovery)” by Richard Swanson

“ORACLE” by Catherine Jagoe

“Crow” by Meridel Kahl

“White Dog” by Amy Phimister

Almost everything went wrong” by Karen Allred McKeever

“Escaping the Sunday Times” by Alice D’Alessio



First Place:  Chicken” by Scott Winkler

Second Place:  Master Link” by Dan Powers

Third Place:  Lost and Found” by Roger Barr


Honorable Mentions:

“Calculus” by Peter Sherrill



First Place:  Things That Won’t Happen Again” by Joanne Nelson

Second Place:  “France in the Family” by Ronnie Hess

Third Place:  The Prairie Schooner” by David Bueschel


Honorable Mentions:

“Let Me Tell You a Story About Benches” by Kathleen Phillips

“On Coming Home from the Conference” by Joanne Nelson


With the closing of the 2017 Hal Prize comes the call for entries for the 2018 contest! For more information, visit

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