World Literature Today Announces Its 2015 Pushcart Nominees

December 7, 2015

Pushcart Prize XLI Nominees

The editors of World Literature Today are proud to announce their nominations for Pushcart Prize XLI, the next “best of the small presses” anthology. The nominees include six authors featured in the pages of WLT in 2015: 


Hedy HabraHedy Habra (Lebanon/US) – Two Poems: “How Much of Yourself Remains Within the Walls of a Home?” and “A Bird’s Song Unraveled” (November 2015)


Mei-Tal NadlerMei-Tal Nadler (Israel) – Two Poems: “X Days After the Amnesia Epidemic” and “102.2,” as translated from the Hebrew by Rachel Tzvia Back (May 2015)


Zsuzsa TakácsZsuzsa Takács (Hungary)– Two Poems: “Masters Whose Doorsteps” and “On Vision,” as translated from the Hungarian by Erika Mihálycsa (September 2015)



Brian DoyleBrian Doyle (US) – “Crew Cuts” (January 2015)


Zsolt LángZsolt Láng (Hungary) – “Ping-Pong; or, Writing Together,” as translated by Erika Mihálycsa (January 2015)


Adnan Mahmutović Lucy DurneenAdnan Mahmutović & Lucy Durneen (Sweden and United Kingdom) – “Comics, War and Ordinary Miracles” (May 2015)


Daniel Simon, editor in chief and assistant director, applauded the selection of Habra, Nadler, and Takács to represent WLT’s Pushcart nominees. “These three poets each showcase some of the best work from the special sections they were included in: Art Poetry, New Hebrew Writing, and Bodies in Literature, respectively,” Simon said. “2015 was an especially rich year for international poetry—which is famously ‘untranslatable’—and I hope readers will go back and discover all forty-two of the poets who were featured in our pages this year.”

Managing Editor Michelle Johnson describes Brian Doyle’s “Crew Cuts” as exemplary of the flash nonfiction genre. “In fewer than one thousand words and the span of four brothers’ haircuts, Brian Doyle delivers the story of a family and its poignant emotional landscape,” Johnson said.

Digital Media Editor Jen Rickard Blair found Mahmutović and Durneen’s joint personal narratives in “Comics, War and Ordinary Miracles” to be sobering, specifically Mahmutović’s recollection of reading comics while hiding in the attic during the Bosnian War. “Through his words I could smell the dank, precious comics and the lamp burning engine oil, and I could feel the fear backdropped by a foolish bravery to preserve those cherished literary escapes from the gunfire outside his window,” Blair said. “This pair of essays by Mahmutović and Durneen praises the value of books by showing how much someone would risk to save them and is ever more relevant as we seek to empathize with the struggles of refugees today.” 

Book Review Editor Rob Vollmar describes Hungarian writer Zsolt Láng’s piece “Ping-Pong; or, Writing Together” as an intoxicating essay that reminds the reader why writing is such an essential and, ultimately, human activity. “The essay captures the curious sensuality of ping-pong in its kinetic language and dizzying scope while teasing the reader all along with the growing sense that the piece isn’t about the game at all,” Vollmar said. “It’s full of ideas that couldn’t be expressed in any other form that gel together in a way that lingers in the imagination long after the piece is finished.”

Founded in 1976, the Pushcart Prize is an annual collection of poetry, short stories, and essays, nominated by little magazine and small book press editors throughout the world.