Pushcart Nominations 2022

I’ve just returned from the post office, where this year’s nominations for The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses begin their journey to the Pushcart Press out on the south fork of Long Island. Every year, this process reminds me of the great gift it is to be able to work with writers from around the world who share their work with us, and selecting just six pieces from the year from among so many that we love always proves to be a challenging task.

As in recent years, we’re sharing the first lines of our nominated pieces in our announcement, hoping that these introductions will inspire you to revisit these and the many other excellent pieces we’ve been able to include in the journal this year. Please join me in congratulating each of these writers, and in enjoying the chance to read their work again.

It was because of the way
I saw the world,

That they hated me.
They could not have been

Any clearer
Upon this point.

“Witchcraft Heights” by Marion
from Issue Twenty-Six: Fall 2022

over the years, feel for Takh
in the half-light of survival__
finally, as evening comes,
she is__there, in dreams again,
war pony running on sweetgrass shoes

“Takh” by Pearl Button
from Issue Twenty-Three: Winter 2022

After the Blade, Isaac

would never forget the rough pull of an old man’s hand
in his hair. His father held him down with fingers curled
in the wiry brush of it for so long that he stopped fighting.

“After the Blade, Isaac” by Betty Stanton
from Issue Twenty-Five: Summer 2022

Thirty years later, and you’re explaining to your kids
how dreams shine when broken

like communion bread.

“History and Hysteria” by Overcomer Ibiteye
from Issue Twenty-Four: Spring 2022

I have seen many maybe-whales:
surf disturbed in a certain way
waking nerves alert and sky-wide
transfixed by the vague
suggestion of a creature

“Constellation” by Frederick Livingston
from Issue Twenty-Three: Winter 2022

o, have you seen
                the river?

            sun-dappled oxbows
   meander lazily,
            cavorting in
              giddy rills,
       belying the power
                      to cancel dreams—

“music in the name” by Rich Follett
from Issue Twenty-Five: Summer 2022

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