Spring 2022 Rising Phoenix Winners and Judges!

Spring 2022 Rising Phoenix Winners and Judges!

This year’s Rising Phoenix winners have been selected!

Each spring, UWGB submissions to Sheepshead Review are automatically considered for the Rising Phoenix contest. Each genre has a judge, someone with passion and experience, to evaluate the many great submissions from UWGB students and face the difficult task of choosing just one piece to win, the best of the genre.


Rising Phoenix Judges

Paige Nordstrom – Visual Arts Judge

Paige Nordstrom is a Painter & Mixed-Media artist from the Midwest. She holds a Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She works in her studio and runs her own art business from home. Her artwork incorporates many elements of mixed-media such as acrylic paint, jewelry, fabric, glitter, burlap, string, textured paper and other pieces that inspire her. She has participated in many local art events and her work has been featured in local shops and galleries around town.


Jim Guhl – Fiction Judge

Hudson, Wisconsin resident Jim Guhl began writing fiction fifteen years ago. His first novel, Eleven Miles to Oshkosh, won a Midwest Book Award in May 2019. His second novel, South of Luck, was published in the fall of 2021. Guhl is also the author of many fictional short stories. He is a two-time winner of the Jade Ring Prize at the Wisconsin Writers Association.


Gabe Montesanti – Nonfiction Judge

Gabe Montesanti is a queer Midwestern roller derby player. She earned her MFA in creative nonfiction from Washington University in St. Louis. Her piece “The Worldwide Roller Derby Convention” was recognized as a notable essay in The Best American Essays. Her debut memoir, BRACE FOR IMPACT, comes out in May from The Dial Press.


Juliana Gray – Poetry Judge

Juliana Gray is the author of three poetry collections, including Honeymoon Palsy (Measure Press 2017). Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Birmingham Poetry Review, The Hopkins Review, and elsewhere, and her humor writing has been featured in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. An Alabama native, she lives in western New York and teaches at Alfred University.


Rising Phoenix Winners

Verity Langan – Visual Arts Winner

Verity is a junior majoring in Writing & Applied Arts with a minor in Arts Management. She created her piece, “Dressed for Success,” to be a celebration of a little girl, dreaming about what she will become and a contemplation on the preconceived notions planted in children of who and what they should aspire to be. In addition to painting, Verity works with a variety of mediums, including oil, acrylic, and encaustic paint, sculpture, and is also a writer/poet who hopes to be able to combine all of those skills to create stop-motion short films.


Conor Lowery – Fiction Winner

Conor is a freshman English major. His piece, “Horizon,” was inspired by Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.”


Indigo Ramirez – Nonfiction Winner

Indigo is a senior majoring in Writing & Applied Arts BFA and English with a Creative Writing Emphasis. They created their piece, “Intensive Care” because it finally felt like the right time to acknowledge a traumatic moment in their life, which was a turning point that heavily impacted the person they are today. In addition to writing nonfiction, Indigo is also a game writer with a love for sci-fi and telling queer stories. They strive to create the diversity in those fields that they didn’t see as a child.


Jasmine LeClair – Poetry Winner

Jasmine is a current UWGB student but will be transferring to Milwaukee next semester to study rhetoric and professional writing. She found inspiration for her piece, “What is Happiness,” throughout her own experience with finding happiness amidst her struggle with depression. Although she was selected as the poetry winner, she does not usually enjoy writing poetry and her writing generally has dark themes.


Thank you to this year’s judges for selecting some truly amazing winners and the UWGB students for submitting so many wonderful pieces!



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