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Hear the winners of MPR's Lake Superior poetry contest read their work

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Susie Island sits off the shore of Lake Superior.
Susie Island sits off the shore of Lake Superior.
Richard Hamilton Smith, courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

Lake Superior inspires every kind of feeling, thought and memory in those who visit its shores. 

This attachment to Minnesota's slice of the great lake helped it beat out hundreds of other lakes in MPR's recent Most Loved Lake Contest.

As MPR and the Water Main celebrate Lake Superior's place in our state's culture, they held a poetry contest. 

The three winners were Melissa Richards, David Olson and Lorene Sill. Click the player above to hear the poems, and read them below. 

And Still She Calls by Melissa Richards             

 Her waters are legendary, holding the unwary who spill

      from their ships, unaware of her power. And yet this Superior lake,

      when days are warm and sunsets, late, sends a powerful call.        

      Wise voices say, stay ashore; so we stop to breathe

      wave freshened air and listen for hawk, and owl, and bee. 

      Her wisdom, drawn from sources unseen by this day's eye,        

      is clearly there in faint paths, rustling grass, white topped swells

      as fearsome as when native men walked her shores and braved her waters. 

      Governments change but she does not.        

      Unafraid to be herself, her sad, beautiful history is known

      by wild tales told around campfires to impressionable youths,

      though many of her own ancient voices have been lost -

      lost in the sound of wave and bird;

      lost to the sounds of progress.       

      And still, she calls. 

      And still, we come.

Ashes by David Olson          

    The white finger waves

      would not let us

      get close to the water       

      So we sprinkled the

      ashes on tumbled rocks

      and didn't have to wait long       

      For searching stretching

      hands of the unconscious

      to come take you home

The Lake by Lorene Sill

glistening in the morning sun

remains quiet, taking time

I think unborn thoughts



caught in the sun

scream their freedom

I am alive without bounds       


exploring the unknown

arriving where I started

and knowing it for the first time       

Evening comes

           finishing the sun,




                       and peace

Thanks for all who entered. Keep an eye on these writers, The Loft Literary Center is giving them each a writing class to congratulate them on their poetry win. 

MPR and the Water Main are hosting pop-up classical performances along the North Shore on Saturday.