Unclassifiable Contest 2017 Winner and Finalists!

Our Unclassifiable Contest has ended, and a winner has been chosen by our judge, Michael Martone!


Shawndra Miller, “Bleeding the Butterfly”

Jolene McIlwain, “In All This Rain”
Julie Fisher, “Family Portrait with Trees”
Ted Mathys, “Ring Cycle”
Christina Olson, “The Pain Museum”
Brian Whalen, “Living Archive”

Martone writes of “Bleeding the Butterfly,” this year’s winner, “I always like when a piece of writing organically connects its content with form. Here, we have not so much a collage but more a delicate dancing decoupage of compositional bursts, mapping the bifurcated branches of consciousness and the unconscious, madness and sanity. The prose, dare I say, flits. It moves and darts, and its bleeding is arterial with its syncopated beats and repeats. I was impressed by the mess of it, the ordered disorder that replicates the subject at hand. That is to say: how does the mind think about itself? Answer: with such mirrors of reflection, with such surprising metamorphosis, with such delicate but startling beats of papillae, of Lepidoptera, of cocoon, of nymph—all the same old same old and yet remarkably different.”

Thank you to all those who submitted, for stretching our minds and engaging our imaginations! We hope to see your work again next year!

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