Introducing the 8142 Review

For 24 years, the Peninsula Pulse has sponsored the Hal Prize contest for writing and photography, publishing the top entries each year in a special edition of the newspaper. That changed in November 2021 with the release of the 8142 Review, a new literature and photography book celebrating the winners of the Hal Prize.

It’s inspired in part by the works that editor Grace Johnson loves as a reader, and in part by the publications that moved contest founders Tom McKenzie and David Eliot. 

“Back in 1995, David Eliot and I envisioned the Peninsula Pulse as a mash-up of some of our favorite contemporary publications – The Village Voice, Chicago Reader, Interview, The Onion, The New Yorker,” McKenzie said, “and some more arcane influences – The Grub Street Journal, Saturday Evening Post, zines, chapbooks, artists’ publications. It always seemed right to have works of literature from undiscovered or emerging regional voices create dramatic beats on a page-through of the Pulse.”

In 2021, the contest received a record 874 submissions, which a team of reviewers narrowed down for further review by an esteemed panel of judges selected by Johnson and Jerod Santek, the artistic director of Write On, Door County. The team behind the 8142 Review hopes to elevate the contest to a new level of respect from readers, writers and photographers.

“I always felt the contest would be successful when it had some regional acclaim,” McKenzie said. “I think having Ellen Kort, the first poet laureate of Wisconsin, serve as poetry judge was an early watershed moment.”

And whence came the title? Simply, it’s the address of the Peninsula Pulse office: 8142 Hwy 57 in Baileys Harbor. It’s where the publication is rooted – on the shore of Lake Michigan, near the center of Door County. A fitting heart for a publication aiming to elevate the county’s literature scene by drawing great voices from around the country to its pages, and by elevating the words and images of the peninsula’s creatives.

To purchase a copy, visit doorcountypulse.com/shop.

Photo by Rachel Lukas