Literary LEO 2017: The winners of our annual poetry, fiction and photography competition

We here at LEO throw a lot of words and images at you every week, but arguably none are as sweet, potent, profound, uplifting, shocking, funny, important, evocative or consciousness-shifting as those within this issue, Literary LEO. The best prose. The best poetry. The best photography. An annual staple since 1993, the literary issue showcases deep talent and passion from across the region. This year’s entries — nearly 300, and all of high caliber — did the judges no favors: Picking the winners and honorable mentions was agonizing, they said. So we owe many thanks to the judges: Outlaw poet Ron Whitehead, Angela Burton, founder/chief writing motivator of Feet to the Fire Writers’ Workshops, and Mary Carothers, photography professor at UofL.

And to all who entered — thank you. Finally, we hope Literary LEO inspires all of you writers, photographers and artists to reignite and redouble your creation of art in 2017, whatever medium and for whatever reason. Because as we tumble into this new, Trumpian, Bevin-flavored era of pyrite-plated buffoonery, dispassionate divisiveness and scurrilous scapegoating — art of all kinds is more important than ever.

Here are links to the winning stories, poems and photos:

Bus Love – Short Fiction: 1st Place

Too Cool – Short Fiction: 2nd Place

The Unlikely Fix of Jacqueline Du Pre – Short Fiction: 3rd Place

Curb Karma – Short Fiction: Honorable Mention

Death in the Family – Short Fiction: Honorable Mention

Kentucky – Poetry: 1st Place

Marcher Russe – Poetry: 2nd Place

Original Sins 
and Recent Blemishes – Poetry: 3rd Place

For Chris – Poetry: Honorable Mention

Thin – Poetry: Honorable Mention

Photography Winners