Pushcart Nominees for 2022

eMerge, the online literary magazine of the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, is proud to announce its 2021 nominees for the Pushcart Prize.

These pieces were nominated for their exceptional craftsmanship and profound evocation of the human experience: in life, in loss, in humor, in hope, and on and on. Each writer here has struck a miraculous balance between grounding us in the particulars of the present moment while considering the context that surrounds that moment. In doing so, they permit the reader to glimpse the many hidden layers of emotion and conflict that permeate even the most ordinary actions, and the way these subterranean motivations connect us all to each other.

Prose Nominees:

Nikki Hanna – for her short story, "I don’t Mean that Weird-like,"  appeared in the Spring 2021 Issue of eMerge. Nikki Hanna has elevated her tongue-in-cheek sense of joie de vivre to its highest level, as she recalls a trip to the emergency room for a bloody nose. Nikki’s gratitude and celebration of life is found in every aspect of her story-telling.

Morris McCorvey – for his short story, "Rosebuds," appeared in the Spring 2021 Issue of eMerge. When I read Rosebuds, I couldn’t help but think of Gil Scott-Heron’s jazzy rendition of ‘Whitey on the Moon.’ Things are not always what they appear to be. An insightful perspective on the classic movie, Citizen Kane. From a perspective that will make you pause and reflect on time before you lost your innocence if you can remember that far back!

Annie Klier Newcomer – for her short story, "My Red Shoes," appeared in the Winter 2021 Issue of eMerge. Annie Newcomer shares memories of childhood pain and joy as she reflects on the loss of a sibling. As she grapples with mortality in this piece, she also engenders a sense of awe about life … even though it has an ending. After reading this short story, close your eyes and tell us … what image appears?

Poetry Nominees:

Wendy Taylor Carlisle – for her poems, "Death Sonnets," appeared in the Fall 2021 Issue of eMerge. In this trilogy of poems, Wendy confronts a host of emotions that collide on the death of her friend. These emotions remind us of our own mortality and help us to understand that eventually our world will go dark. Wendy uses figurative language and a sense of irony that challenges our assumptions about life and death.

Belinda Bruner – for her poem, "After School," appeared in the Summer 2021 Issue of eMerge. Dr Belinda Bruner, in her poem, "After School," invites us to reexamine the word “statistics.” The metaphorical language Dr. Bruner uses plays around with the images she creates, draws us into the world of children who grow up in an America different from the one of comfort most of us experience. Whatever their circumstances, they all deserve our compassion and respect.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg – for her poem, "Almost Gone," appeared in the Winter 2021 Issue of eMerge. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg offers us a glimpse into an experience that is familiar to all of us yet perceived differently by each of us. Her figurative language elicits a range of emotions. In "Almost Gone," we are taken to that space between notes, where the music lies. That moment at the end of day, where light is fading fast and life is ‘almost gone, almost here.’

Our deepest gratitude goes out to all of our writers for continuing to share your work with us and be a part of the eMerge community.  The selection process was difficult, as so many pieces exhibited the extraordinary skill and exceptional insight we sought to nominate. However, Pushcart only allows small press and online magazines six nominees each. With that being said, know that we hold your work in high esteem. Without you, eMerge would not be the diverse, inventive publication that it is.

Many thanks to the crew at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow for making eMerge possible. Thanks also to Charles Templeton, Sandra Sewell Templeton, and Carolyn-Anne Templeton for their tireless work and careful attention to each of the pieces selected.

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About the Author

Charles Templeton is the author of the best-selling, surreal historical novel, Boot: A Sorta Novel of Vietnam. When he is not singing at the Metropolitan Opera, you can find him in Eureka Springs, where he is currently an editor/publisher at eMerge, an online literary magazine. Charles wakes up daily and is thankful for the opportunity to offer creative literature to a diverse audience from emerging and established authors. He knows that whatever vicissitudes life throws at him, it will always be better than shovelin’ shit in the South China Sea.