First Ever Fake Bio Contest Winner and Other Finalists

Okay, I’ve been in hiding recently because so many poets have been hounding me over who is the winner of the first ever fake bio contest on Poetic Asides. The great thing about this contest is that writers didn’t need to have any “real” credits to enter–just a great imagination of what they’d like to have in their bio notes. That said, the competition was fierce–with many entrants owning impressive “real” bios.

Anyway, the judging was difficult, especially as I got closer and closer to narrowing down the field to 8 finalists from which to pick the winner. To build the suspense and share some of the fake bios I found most interesting, here are the 7 finalists who did not win:

Pris Campbell’s poetry book, Sucky Relationships, was just turned into an award-winning movie, directed by Clint Eastwood. She will be featured on Dr. Phil and Oprah where she’ll moderate participant’s arguments about which partner sucked the most. She is currently being sued by all six of her ex-husbands who demand parts in the movie as their award. She lives with her pet monkey on an island off of Maine where she’s hard at work on a sequel. Jib-Jab plans to spearhead a drive to make her poet laureate for ‘making poetry relevant to the people’ again.


Pris Campbell |camprisAT NOSPAMbellsouth dot net




Kellian Angelou is famous and well-known for winning the Pullet’s Surprise, the No Bell Piece Prize, and the Mack Arthur Genie Grant for her poetry collection exploring the uncertainty of scales, The Waistland. The Waistland is a corset of sonnets dealing with the tragic difficulty of being a size 14 in a world of zeros. Kellian received her MFA from the I-Owe-ya Writers Workshop. She currently lives with her wild emu, Walt, in the Northwest.


Kelli Agodon |kelliAT NOSPAMagodon dot com




Caili Wilk has been awarded the Emily Dickinson accolade for her upcoming work titled, “I am so old”. At age 32, this will be her first award for poetry; however as a teenager she received a bronze certificate for her entry into the middle school song contest. Miss Wilk is most well known for her attempt to break the world record for typing out the letter P on a keyboard; however, after 5,328,685 times, she collapsed muttering “I need to pee”. Inconsequently, she retired to her bathroom, and has not been seen in public since developing severe typophobia.


Caili Wilk |cailiwilkAT NOSPAMgmail dot com




Robert McDermott was intended to be the reincarnation of Robert Lowell but owing to a clerical error is actually the reincarnation of John Berryman. His poetry is quite remarkable and is easily the best on his ward. He is currently writing an opera about oranges and in his next life he wants to be a Shakespearean villain. His latest collection ‘In conversation with Kilgore Trout’ has attracted wide praise and is available in spirit everywhere.


Robert McDermott |robertmcdermottAT NOSPAMgmail dot com




Odoacer Pinkyring Moses de la Salle Cuthbert-Jones is that weird guy who lives in the van parked across the street from your house. He is allergic to everything, especially air and water. His most recent book, the title of which is unpronounceable in any human language, spent 30 seconds at the top of the best seller list in the Autonomous Republic of Erewhon. One day he will destroy you all.


Matthew Falk |mdfalkAT NOSPAMsvsu dot edu




Jonathan Pinnock is the author of “Apathy: A 21st Century Manifesto”. He’d tell you more about himself if he could be bothered.


Jonathan Pinnock |jonAT NOSPAMjpassoc dot co dot uk




Shaindel Beers, the once promising young poet, has decided after reading many literary journals, including this one, that mediocrity is the way to go. Obviously no one was brilliant enough to understand her allusions to the classical mythologies of ancient civilizations, her personal theories of metaphysics, or her unique insight into the human condition. Instead, journals have elected to publish her drunken scrawlings written on napkins at dive bars, which she then drunk types when she comes home alone from happy hours at various establishments. The other nights, little writing gets done.


Shaindel Beers |shaindelrAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com 


All of these were great, but the first ever winner cracked me up–and got bonus points, because writers could actually submit a similar bio note without stretching the truth. As a result, Jessy Randall will receive a free copy of the 2009 Poet’s Market. Congratulations, Jessy!

Here’s her winning entry:

Jessy Randall has read poems in the Iowa Review, Ploughshares, the Paris Review, the New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry 1999, 2003, and 2007.


Jessy Randall |jessyrandallAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


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16 thoughts on “First Ever Fake Bio Contest Winner and Other Finalists

  1. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    I absolutely agree – these are all wonderful and Jessy’s cracked me up and was an obvious winner!

    (Rosemary Nissen-Wade has given up entering both writing and athletic competitions so as to allow others to win, therefore was not featured in the recent Olympics nor in this spot…)

  2. Carol carolstephen2ataimdotcom

    Great fun! Great choice for winner, congrats Jessie!

    I knew that I could never come up with something so I gave up early on…aww who am I kidding, that’s an excuse…I was too lazy…


  3. AnnMarie Eldon

    Ha! This has made me laugh out loud and made my day. A wonderful concept for a competition and such worthy runners-up. Big congratulations to the winner and a copy of The Compendium of Great British Post-Modern Poets on it’s way to you…

  4. Vince Gotera

    Wow, that’s great, Robert. Loved the winner’s bio. Brava, Jessy.

    Here at the North American Review, one of my favorite bio notes went something like this: "I never read any literary journals." That was pretty much the extent of it.

    After seeing this for a couple of years, I finally wrote the guy and said do you really think this bio puts an editor in the mood to accept your work? He never sent me another submission again. It’s entirely possible that he is still using that same bio.

  5. Robert Brewer

    All artists borrow from each other, great job on recognizing when to use that experience. Also, everyone came up with some funny bios; it truly was tough to narrow down the list.

  6. Jessy Randall

    Full disclosure: ten years ago, when I lived in Philadelphia, I went to Leonard Gontarek’s poetry workshop, and he talked about the value of creating an imaginary bio note, and said that sometimes he thought about listing the journals he subscribed in his official bio note. So I stole the general idea from him.

  7. Pris Campbell

    I’m honoured to be a finalist. Clint saw the bio here and has already approached me about movie rights so I’m a big winner that way:-)

    Your choice for winner was perfect. I LOVE IT!!!

    (btw, your link on facebook leads to a ‘page cannot be found’ so I came to your blog directly from my own link)