2023 Pushcart Prize Nominees
When Pushcart Press sends out its call to independent publishers seeking nominations of the best writers of poetry and short stories to be recognized and compiled in their annual collection. (http://www.pushcartprize.com/), it comes in a simple looking envelope with my address handwritten across the front.
I've come to recognize the writing. And like a dog in Pavlov's lab, I react reflexively before I even process what is inside. My heart rate increases. I feel a sense of giddy and, to be honest, of dread, too. Every year I have had the honor of nominating my writers, I have griped about the difficulty.
As this little journal of mine expands its reach, as more and more of the world's best writers find us and contribute to our pages, the task of selecting favorites is nearing impossible. The handwriting on the envelope reminds me of the struggle I have ahead of me.
I feel the full weight of this responsibility. It's my own, alone. I don't seek out opinions of friends or family -- even the ones who have been in publishing for decades. My choices always come down to the works that have struck a unique emotional chord.; evoking feelings and that are unmatched.
Congratulations and best of luck to the following nominees.
(Click on each name to read the nominated work.)