Unclassifiable Contest Winner and Finalists Announced!

We are excited to announce the winner of the second annual Unclassifiable Contest, judged by Michael Martone! Congratulations to Emily Wolahan with her winning Unclassifiable piece, “The Direct Account of Frank Thomas.” Her work will appear in the Spring 2017 issue of Arts & Letters.


Jessie van Eerden, “The Whole Painting”
Erik Hoel, “Higher Education”
Kirsten Imani Kasai, “A Snail Without its Shell is a Snail”
Tom Sheehan, “Letter Across Open Waters to Lost Comrades”
Penny Perkins, “My NPR Interview with Terry Gross”
Elizabeth Robinson, “Vulnerability Index”

Michael Martone writes of the winning piece: “What struck me about this solid and solidly articulated collage was the stuffness of all the stuff deployed here. This is the nominative on steroids. Nouns away! Subjected to subject. I like that the material nature of the piece, its artifice, was not just so much material but that it was also, part and parcel, connected to the content. This collage was cantilevered, a through truss bridge I could trust to carry me across the current of genre. It wears its brutalist architecture on its sly sleeve. It is engineered to move and is itself quite moving.”

Of the first finalist, Jessie van Eerden’s “The Whole Painting,” Martone also writes: “…painters have it easy. That wall of paint can be taken in all at once. This piece wants that all-at-onceness, goes all aerosol, creating an atmosphere more than a mean meaning, installs an instillation of words, does not simply re-create on a two dimensional space the illusion of a three dimensional world but throws in one or two more dimensions just for fun.”

Thank you to all who sent us their Unclassifiable work, and we hope you will consider us again for next year’s contest!

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