Write On Announces 2017 Norbert Blei Poetry Award Winner

Steve Tomasko of Middleton, Wis., is the recipient of the 2017 Norbert Blei Poetry Award, administered by Write On, Door County. Judge Alice D’Alessio selected Tomasko’s poem “That sure was a close and holy time,” from among 37 entries. The award includes a prize of $250 and complimentary registration to the Washington Island Literary Festival. The festival is Sept. 22 – 24 at Trueblood Performing Arts Center on Washington Island. Tomasko will read his poem Saturday evening, along with Door County Poet Laureate Sharon Auberle and Wisconsin Poet Laureate Karla Huston.

Honorable mentions in this year’s award went to Shoshauna Shy of Madison for her poem “This is You in the Sundance Catalog,” Mike Orlock of Sturgeon Bay for “Origin Stories,” and Liz Hoffman of Sturgeon Bay for her poem “As it should be.”

Tomasko states he “likes pondering the small and forgotten – the dust mites that live under the couch and the eyebrow mites that live on us; the 5,000 species of bacteria in our mouths.” He has published his writing in various journals and his first chapbook of poems, and no spiders were harmed, came out in 2015.

D’Alessio retired from corporate and nonprofit communications positions to focus on writing poetry and non-fiction, and has published five books. She was co-editor of the book, The Professor’s Room, a tribute to Norbert Blei. Her latest book of poetry is Walking the Tracks, published by Fireweed Press in October 2016.

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