Michael John Wiese was awarded 1st Place in American Short Fiction’s 2023 Insider Prize, selected...Read More
About Michael John Wiese
Michael John Wiese loves writing. Writing for writing sake, writing because there is a story out there in ether that will change someone’s life, writing because stories have changed his.
Michael writes non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. His passion as of late is Prison Reform, not only because he is a prisoner, but because he believes witnesses have a duty to shed light upon systems that need to be changed.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies English/Business from Adam State University. He has published work in The Old Red Kimono, The Willow Review, The Listening Eye, Illuminations, the online poetry journal Ekphrastic Review, and the anthology Hear Us. He won the 2021 Willow Review Award in Non-fiction for his short memoir piece “The Inside Kind of Storm,” the 2021 Arizona Poetry Center’s Non-fiction award for “The Necessity of Community,” and the American Short Fiction’s 2021 Insider Prize for “The Execution.”
Awards and Honorable Mentions for Michael John Wiese:
Arizona Poetry Center's 2021 Non-fiction Award Winner for "The Necessity of Community"
Every paragraph of 'The Necessity of Community' is laced with vitality and creativity, to make manifest the culture of learning that the author and his fellow travelers in prison have worked to establish. With skillful weaving of the personal, altruistic and collective benefits of participation in a college community in prison, he makes the case for the untold brilliance that exists behind the walls of America’s carceral archipelago.Piper Kerman, author of Orange Is the New Black
American Short Fiction’s 2022 Insider Prize Winner for "The Execution"
“The Execution” is an absolutely stunning work of storytelling and reflection. I had to read it again after I stopped weeping. I wanted to take it apart and see how he’d done it. But like the best essays, there’s no way to figure it out. It just is. And what this essay is, is a heartbreaking, visceral exploration of the humanity one must lose and bury to survive an inhumane world, and the humanity we desperately cling to in order to maintain the hope we can survive. It’s powerfully written—switching from a detached voice, showing the learned detachment necessary to stay silent while witnessing a horrific murder and while explaining the systems of violence that not only allow but encourage this brutality, to a deeply personal voice detailing the human cost of bearing witness to such violence. The Execution, as an essay crafting the profoundly painful into something exquisite, is perfect. And I am in awe.Lauren Hough