The editors at Limestone: Art. Prose. Poetry are delighted to announce their 2016 Pushcart Prize nominees. 

* Ree Davis, "Thing of Beauty"

"Thing of Beauty" is just the kind of story that I love to read. Ree Davis breathes so much life into these colorful, flawed characters, and deftly navigates the humor inherent to Angel's otherwise troublesome predicament. Told in a fresh yet familiar voice, "Thing of Beauty" is a story about the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.
           - Sean Madden, Senior Fiction Editor

* Laurel Dixon, "Drag King Jesus and Our Runaway Lord"

Laurel Dixon's short piece of nonfiction, "Drag King Jesus and Our Runaway Lord," offers a smart snapshot of her season as a cast member in her high school's production of "Godspell." Filled with moments of deadpan humor--"keep your hands full, your head down, and you won't have time for mustache-twirling lesbians to offer you crack in the school bathroom--or something like that"--and biting cultural critique, Dixon's writing shows a level of keen self-awareness, combined with the right questions: about her sexuality, religiosity, and what it means when the show has to go on.
           - Ashlie Stevens, Nonfiction Editor

* Claire Oleson, "Ten Degrees Below, Convection Bake"

It isn't very often that a piece of writing stops me dead in my tracks, but Oleson's "Ten Degrees Below, Convection Bake" did just that. It's a short, punch-to-the-gut piece, which, despite its brevity, still manages to make the reader hold their breath, waiting for the story to unfold. Oleson mixes imagery of fruit and sugar,  blood and snow, in the most disturbingly calm way. She's patient in her narration, too, avoiding the temptation to reveal too much, too soon. This is a story that I have returned to time and time again, simply for the pleasure of Oleson's craft. As an editor, I was thrilled that she shared "Ten Degrees Below, Convection Bake" with Limestone. As a writer, I wish I had written it. Watch out for Claire Oleson; she is a force to be reckoned with. 
            - Catherine A. Brereton, Editor-in-Chief

* Xuxa Rodriguez, "6 hours and 13 minutes"

Xuxa Rodriguez's poem "6 hours and 13 minutes" declares inclusively--"we are honey baked breaths"--and it doesn't stop declaring. It is not only that Xuxa or the subject of her poem is or is not "in boxes" or is or is not "infinite," but that we are that, together, across time and distance. Xuxa speaks a common language uncommonly, making made up words like "steepling" and "volleying" mean something with an almost Steinian precision. It is for this reason that I read Xuxa's poem over and over again--curiously, I seem to know its declarations already. Xuxa knows this about her reader: how could we not understand ways of saying "hello" and 'miss you" on loops, or the "pretty rooms" and "rain / locked nights fevered alive" of the past. 
           - Jenna Goldsmith, Senior Poetry Editor

* Rebecca Tirrell-Talbot, "Into the Bog"

Reading "Into the Bog" is like going on a road trip with an old friend; so much joy comes from the journey and the conversations you have along the way. Rebecca Tirrell-Talbot invites us into a world and a mind full of compelling contradictions where the unknown and the known--the adventurous and the safe--pull at us. No matter how many maps we bring, sometimes we get lost, and sometimes lost is exactly where we need to be. 
           - Sarah Abbott, Senior Nonfiction Editor

* Mark Trechock, "Grass and Black Baldies"

Trechock etches regret into every line of "Grass and Black Baldies." You can hear the words whistling gently through the gaping holes in the lives of Arne, of the speaker, of yourself. This poem captures the specific voice of the farmer and the universal yearning of humanity with its near-grammatical dialogue and rolling naturalist imagery. "Grass and Black Baldies" is a poem for those of us who almost got it right, who almost made it through adulthood without regret. This is a poem, then, for all of us. 
            - Sean Corbin, Poetry Editor

 

We're thrilled to be nominating these fine writers for a Pushcart Prize and are honored that they chose to publish their work in Limestone. Please join us in extending our congratulations to them.

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