Well Versed 2009

 Judges Name Well Versed 2009 Winners

Four oft-published writers judged the blind submissions to Well Versed 2009 and selected prize winners. The guest editors also ranked other manuscripts to determine which would be published.

Thirty-seven members submitted poetry, prose, and photographs, with several sending in both poetry and prose. Several also submitted both fiction and nonfiction. The high volume compelled the editors to be selective, and more than a dozen manuscripts narrowly missed the cut.

Poetry prizes

Missouri Poet Laureate Walter Bargen agonized over choosing the prize winners from the most outstanding of the 65 poems. He named the following three Editor’s Picks.

1. Eva Ridenour—“Five Rocks on a Table” 2. Carol Gorski Buckels—“Birds at Midnight” 3. Evelyn Aholt—“The Old Man”

Walter gave four poems Honorable Mention.

Carol Gorski Buckels—“In Balance” Ida Fogle—“Grandma in the Afterlife” Amy White—“ Spare Change” and “Irregular Borders”

The entries impressed him so much that he offered to give a program for the group. He will speak July 12.

Fiction prizes

Because of the many prose manuscripts submitted, the managing editor assigned fiction and nonfiction to different pro bono judges. Tina Parke-Sutherland and Bill Sutherland, who teach writing at Stephens College, took on the heavier assignment: judging the fiction entries. Their Editor’s Picks follow.

1. Steve Whisnant—“ Photo Album” 2. Von Pittman—“Laundry Bag: Green Nylon”

They gave three Honorable Mentions.

Steven Adams—“The Right Thing to Do” Betsy Murphy—“Hooking Up” Teresa Parker—“September 14, 2003”

Nonfiction prizes

Kris Somerville, the marketing director for The Missouri Review, evaluated the nonfiction. Her selections were as follows.

Editor’s Pick: David Collins— “My Father’s Maps”                       Honorable Mention: David Collins—“On Carnegie Hill” Honorable Mention: Svetlana Grobman—“The Elephant”

The other winners

The judges also selected the following manuscripts for our 2009 edition.


Larry Allen To Charles As Brer Rabbit While Eating Tacos At The Mall
Al Beck Duo-Haiku
Carol Gorski Buckels Zuzu’s Sonnet
Carol Buening Circus Red             Hot Shot             Enef and the Pink Lady
Cheri Eichholz Cherry We Are the Understory             Oak
Jim Coffman The Paperhanger’s Children             Parties on the Lawn

Darryl Edwards To My Brother Dwight

Ida Fogle Now You are Twelve

Lori Galaske Chambers of My Soul

Debra Hardin Vestige A Warm Day to Die

Shawna Matteson Living Corpse One Flesh Rotting Soul

Debbie Parker Stone Circle Skull Rock

Eva Ridenour             Circle of Life             Country Store

Nicholas Straatmann             Between Here and There

Jaye Stock             Evening Remembered             It’s Friday

Swiftwalker             Love Your Lobster             Poem that Might Have Been             Starlings             Brush with Death

Cathy Thogmorton             Bittersweet

Amy White             While You Were Gone


Barrie Bumgarner             Obsessions

Jimmy Capps               The Adventure at the Creek

Elizabeth Davis               When I Grow Up

Linda Fisher             Make a Splash A Prisoner of My Dreams             The Big River Church

Lora Galaske             Raymond The Best Prize Snow Whispers

Teresa Parker             Father Ice Cream Prayers

Chloie Piveral             Six of One

Kent Pollman             The Light Chamber

Steve Whisnant             Average


Nancy Beverage             Stolen Winter Afternoon

Carol Buening             Annie Critters in our Lives             Body Conditioning Class 101

Bridget Bufford             Another Marble in Your Jar

Jim Coffman Go on Green             Dancing with Bears: 1960

Debra Hardin Touched

Shawna Matteson Ice Cream Calls and Doughnut Whispers

Steve Whisnant Local Writing Group Shows Talent

Amy White             L’InAmy Whiteverno             Night Shades Speeding