eMerge Contributors Nominated for the Pushcart Prize

Updated: Jan 23


The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) is pleased to join its online literary magazine, e-Merge, in announcing our Pushcart Prize nominations. Charles Templeton, WCDH board member and eMerge Acquisitions Editor, said, “The intent of eMerge is to offer both our novice and established alumni writers an opportunity to see their work published and to nurture their artistic endeavors. We hope that by promoting the work of those who have stayed with us, we are also promoting WCDH as a sanctuary for creativity. Part of our vision is to share the writing of our residents. eMerge is one way we encourage them to write and share their humanity with others.” Since the first edition in 2017, eMerge has published a total of nine issues. Each issue includes approximately 40 examples of diverse genres including poetry, plays, short stories, essays, recipes, and photo essays. eMerge draws a varied, eclectic audience of over 12,000 views per year.


Describing his selections, Templeton said, “The nominated writers from eMerge shared their perceptions and perspectives of the human condition in their own unique and unrelenting voices. They represent a level of understanding and expression that writers constantly strive to achieve. They spend an inordinate amount of time skillfully crafting a sentence or choosing the perfect word or phrase to trigger a thought or put us into an emotional tailspin.” The nominated work includes prose by Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Martha Anne Toll, and Nikki Hanna, and poetry by Wendy Taylor-Carlisle, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, and Bill McCloud.


Sandra Jackson-Opoku was nominated for her short story, “Blue Mermaid,” which appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of eMerge. Blue Mermaid is a story from a different land and a different culture that mysteriously draws us in, embraces us, and allows us to relate it to our own experiences.


Martha Anne Toll was nominated for her entertaining short story, “The Gigolo.” Published in the Winter 2020 issue, it insightfully explores issues regarding our shared humanity and our most basic fears.


Writers are Thieves,” a short story by Nikki Hanna, appeared in the Winter 2020 issue. It weaves the frayed Southern Belle charm and the intellectual Yankee in-your-face personality into masterful prose that reads like stream-of-consciousness poetry.


Wendy Taylor-Carlisle’s poem, “Why Poetry,” appeared in the Summer 2020 issue. Her slightly tongue-in-cheek poem almost hides her pleasure in the impact of one sound upon another and the sense of play among words as you roll them off your tongue in poetic rhythm. Hearing Taylor-Carlisle read her poem in the accompanying recording, you can feel the love bubble up from a private place.


Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai was nominated for her poem, “Tears of Quang Tri,” which appeared in the Winter 2020 issue. Inspired by a haunting, real-life experience, this heartbreaking poem reminds us of the toll the American War in Vietnam had on both sides of that tragic affair.


I Want to Nurse at Your Breath,” a poem by Bill McCloud, was published in the Fall 2020 issue. He continues to amaze and enthrall his readers as he pushes the envelope of his soul. His poem captures the fleeting moment of realizing one is totally immersed in the uncompromising love of another being.


The Pushcart Prize, like eMerge, is a grassroots labor of love. Winners are selected from nominations submitted by small, independent print and electronic publications from across the country and are featured in a compilation of Pushcart Prize winners, which has been published every year since 1976. eMerge published over 100 different authors last year; however, each publisher can only nominate six pieces. The final winners will be published in the anthology, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, due in the fall of 2021. Please join us in congratulating our nominees and wishing them the best of luck in the final selection process.

eMerge is published by three volunteers who spend over 400 hours per year on editing, artistic design, and coding. The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow would like to thank Charles Templeton, Sandra Templeton, and Cat Templeton for generously donating their time and talents to provide a platform for alumni writers and friends to see their work published. To view current and past issues of eMerge, visit https://emerge-writerscolony.org.

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