Manistee native wins writing contest

MANISTEE COUNTY — Michigan Writers Cooperative Press (MWCP) recently announced the two winners of its annual chapbook contest, one in poetry and one in creative nonfiction.

Margaret Fedder, of Manistee, is the winner for her poetry chapbook, “Angel Rides a Bike.”

Margaret Fedder, a 1998 graduate of Manistee High School, won the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press' annual chapbook contest for her poetry chapbook, "Angel Rides a Bike." (Courtesy photo)

Margaret Fedder, a 1998 graduate of Manistee High School, won the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press’ annual chapbook contest for her poetry chapbook, “Angel Rides a Bike.” (Courtesy photo)

Kathleen Pfeiffer is the winner for her essay collection, “Ink: A Memoir.”

Both chapbooks will be published by MWCP and released at a celebratory reading and reception at 7 p.m. on June 10 at the Writing House on the campus of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. The event is free and open to the public.

Fedder, a 1998 graduate of Manistee High School, learned to write while corresponding over many years with her grandmother, great aunt and sister. This, combined with a love of magical realism, lyrical narratives and prose poetry, has deeply influenced her explorations of how people remember — both in their minds and on the page.

After working as a writing instructor and freelance editor, Fedder is beginning a career as a counselor, a vocation she comes to as sincerely as curling up with book and pen in a comfortable chair. She lives with her husband and son in Northern Michigan.

Fedder’s “Angel Rides a Bike” was selected by poetry judge Diane Seuss, who for many years was the Writer in Residence at Kalamazoo College. Seuss is the author of the poetry collections “Four-Legged Girl,” “It Blows You Hollow,” “Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open,” and “Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl,” which is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in May 2018.

“I hope readers will read ‘Angel Rides a Bike’ slowly, with relish,” said Seuss. “In this collection poems often center upon the details of the midwestern landscape, the natural world, of religion and family. These details are offered up by a young speaker who has an eye for both tenderness and mystery. The chapbook is organized seasonally — from January through December — in short poems that function like haiku, with that degree of concrete witnessing and with an understanding of silence, of the power of what remains unsaid. Each poem is a potent revelation.”

Pfeiffer is an essayist, memoirist and literary critic living in Rochester Hills. In 2012, she was named Literary Arts Fellow by Kresge Arts in Detroit. Her creative writing, which has appeared in The Sun magazine and the Bear River Review, ponders difficult situations like adultery and stepmotherhood; she also blogs at kathywrites.com. An English professor at Oakland University, Pfeiffer has numerous scholarly and critical publications, but Ink will be her first book-length publication in a literary genre.

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