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McCormick Nominated for Publication in "The Pushcart Prize"

Feb. 2, 2005

By Jessica Gibbs

Blaine McCormick, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at the Hankamer School of Business, has been nominated to be published in The Pushcart Prize, a prestigious collection of stories, essays and poems.

While working at the Edison Papers at Rutgers University in the summer and fall of 2003, McCormick handled dozens of Thomas Edison's documents in archives. After reading the works of poets such as Jane Kenyon and Annie Dillard, McCormick began to see poetry in the personal writings of Edison.

"Something about Edison that few people know is that he loved poetry," McCormick said. "Given his poetic bent and my newfound lenses for seeing poetry, the poems began to jump off the page."

In December, McCormick received a letter from the editor of a journal in which he had first been published. The letter stated that he had been nominated for The Pushcart Prize.

"Being a business professor, I had no idea what this meant," said McCormick. "So I did the first logical thing: I googled 'Pushcart Prize.'"

McCormick then found out that The Pushcart Prize has been distinguished by the New York Times Book Review as the "single best measure of the state of affairs in American literature today."

McCormick's poem, I Did'nt Have Much Faith, has been picked from thousands of nominations to represent exceptional literary pieces first published by small presses and magazines on a national scale.

"It is a great honor for one to be nominated." Robert Darden, Assistant Professor in the English Department, said.

Each year, most of the writers and presses are new to The Pushcart Prize series. Writers who were first noticed in the literary publication include: Raymond Carver, Tim O'Brien, Rosellen Brown, Charles Baxter, John Irving, and many more.

In 1972, Bill Henderson, a former associate at Doubleday, founded The Pushcart Press. Henderson was frustrated with the larger publishing houses, and wanted to start out on his own.

Henderson established The Pushcart Prize as a tribute to the smaller presses and journals by distributing their best work in a yearly publication. The Pushcart Prize is named after a New York City demonstration when books were sold in pushcarts.

McCormick will find out later this year if he will be published in The Pushcart Prize.

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