We are pleased to bring you our first-ever array of nominations for the Pushcart Prize!
Thank you for being so supportive of our up-start experimental literary journal. We’ve had an incredible first 6 months and you can bet we’re excited to see what the coming year will bring.
Please read on to learn more about the fabulous authors we selected, along with a few notes on just what made the piece stand out from all the other incredible pieces we’ve received here at Visitant.
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Cameras This Summer
Debarun Sarkar sleeps, eats, reads, smokes, drinks, labors and occasionally writes and submits. He studied English and Sociology at the universities, but now spends most of his time juggling between freelancing and writing while halting at Calcutta for the moment. Works have previously appeared and or are forthcoming in The Brown Critique, Aainanagar, Foliate Oak, Cerebration, and The Opiate.
From the editor: This poem unnerves me in the same way that Black Mirror unnerves me, leaving me unsettled afterwards. From the first lines, “Cameras capture images / without our consent,” Debarun’s vision questions the technology that surrounds us, and threatens to absorb our humanity.
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The Extra Mile
Elizabeth Mastrangelo first started writing fiction on her mother’s Canon typewriter thirty-five years ago. These days, she teaches English to ninth and tenth graders and also works as a freelance ghostwriter, copywriter, and editor. Liz holds an MEd and an MA in English from UMass Boston and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Living with her devoted husband, spunky daughter, and sports-obsessed son on the north shore of Massachusetts provides her with endless material for her stories. Liz’s work has appeared in Sheepshead Review, Black Heart Magazine, and Burningword Literary Journal, among other publications.
From the editor: Speaking of unnerving, Elizabeth’s story uses a fascinating structural device to examine the past and future of a brutal murder. While we might never understand the psychology behind the student who committed the murder, Elizabeth constructs a post-mortem prism through which the reader is witness to the events and the aftermath.
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Penelope Is Not Called a Military Wife
Poet Hannah Baggott received her MFA from Oregon State University. She is interested in medical humanities, the body, the American South, and pop culture. Her work can be found or forthcoming in Bellevue Literary Review, Passages North, Ninth Letter, HOBART, [PANK], Calyx Journal, The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, and other journals. She lives in North Carolina, where she is a Lecturer of Composition at UNC Pembroke.
From the editor: Our favorite pieces often ask more questions than they answer, and this poem of Hannah’s does just that by contemplating the role of a military wife through the figure of The Odyssey’s Penelope. Each question is answered by Penelope in a counterpoint that prompts the reader to further ponder the purpose of war and gender roles. We’ll leave you to find your own conclusions.
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Lisbeth White is a poet/dancer/performer and VONA alum. She works as an expressive arts therapist, supporting people in discovering the arts as healing. Her current poetry project centers around ancestry and the unique relationships women of color experience in connection to nature.
From the editor: This fall, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to publish some of Lisbeth White’s moving poetry. We found “Poppa’s Register” to be a perfect distillation of Lisbeth’s preoccupations in writing: the connection of a woman of color to nature and her own biracial heritage. Read this poem, slowly, let it sit with you, and read again.
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For Better or Worse
An Oregon poet with a deep love for writing haiku, poetry with feminist and eco themes. Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press 2016) combines lyric and eco-poetry to look at change over time in a small town on Oregon’s north coast. Urban Wild (a chapbook from Finishing Line Press, 2014) highlights how people and wildlife interact in urban habitat.
From the editor: In a time of ecological crisis and the loss of both human and animal life, Tricia’s poem balances a sense mourning with the reminder of celebration. “For Better or Worse” takes the idiomatic phrase of the traditional wedding vow and marries our humanity back to the environment as an inseparable union to honor both in times of grief and joy.
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Mover, shaker, magic-maker. Writer, dreamer, singer/composer, philosopher. Tai writes a popular philosophy blog called “Parallax Journal: The Quester’s Companion,” and her book of poems, Pollen, is available online at Finishing Line Press (published under Tai Carmen). She believes it is the duty of every human being—and specifically every dreamer, sensitive & independent thinker—to personally awaken to their highest calling in order that the collective might begin to wake into the next level of consciousness, which is essential for our survival as a species.
From the editor: 2016 was inarguably, a year of unrelenting tragedy. As the calendar draws to a close and the colder months approach, Tai’s “Winter Fruit” calls on our senses—our memory of Summer strawberries, and the much needed light, heat, and comfort we take in each other in the dark and quiet moments.
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