Ruminate 2015 Pushcart Prize Nominees

by Keira Havens December 04, 2015

Ruminate goes through over 5,000 submissions each year, and we're privileged to be able to share the best of them with the world. Each year, we select six of the most exceptional pieces as our Pushcart Prize nominees--two each from our poetry, fiction, and nonfiction categories. This year we're thrilled to nominate six unique voices for the 2016 Pushcart Prize.

Derrick Austin
 is nominated for his poem "Colonized", published in Ruminate Issue 37, Being Known. He is also the author of Trouble the Water, selected by Mary Szybist for the 2015 A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize (BOA Editions, 2016). A Cave Canem fellow, he earned his MFA from the University of Michigan. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2015, Image, New England Review, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, The Paris-American, Memorious, and other journals and anthologies. He is the social media coordinator for The Offing. He is also a RuPaul’s Drag Race aficionado.

Jody Rambo
is nominated for her poem "The Book of Never Saw", which appeared in Issue 36, Writ in Water. Jody is the author of Tethering World (Kent State University Press, 2011), winner of the Wick Poetry Chapbook Award. Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Cutbank, Gulf Coast, Quarterly West, Sycamore Review, Salamander, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others. She is the recipient of four Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. She teaches creative writing at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

D. L. Mayfield's
essay '"Blessed are the Pure in Heart" was selected as the winning piece of the 2015 Vandermey Nonfiction Prize, appearing in Issue 35, A Loss for Words and is now nominated for a Pushcart Prize. D. L. Mayfield loves to write about theology, refugees, gentrification, and pop culture. She has written for McSweeneys, Image Journal, the Other Journal, and the Toast, among numerous other publications. Her book of essays, tentatively titled Dispatches from the Stateless Wanderers is forthcoming from HarperOne in 2016. She is constantly just pretending that she is not overwhelmed by this earth.

Julia MacDonnell
is nominated for her essay Marie and her Sons, which appeared in Issue 36, Writ in Water. Julia has lived many lives, among them, urban homesteader, circus performer, modern dancer, waitress, anti- war activist, newspaper reporter, and seamstress for a theatre company. She is professor emerita at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, where she taught workshops in fiction and creative nonfiction for many years. MacDonnell’s second novel, Mimi Malloy, At Last! published by Picador in 2014, was just released in paperback. She is the nonfiction editor of Philadelphia Stories and lives in southern New Jersey where she raised her three grown children.

Joseph Rien
is nominated for his Short Story "The Journalist," published in Issue 35, A Loss for Words.  Joseph is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. His fiction has appeared most recently in Iron Horse Literary Review and thePinch Literary Journal. He also writes short and featurelength screenplays, two of which have been produced in Hollywood. He is a father to three children under four years old, and in his free time (in the rare moments he has it) he recently did all the handiwork to finish his basement.

Doug Cornett
has been nominated for his story 'Maybelline in the Tower' which was published in Ruminate Issue 37 Being Known and winner of the 2015 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize. Doug lives with his wife in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches English and history at the Northwest Academy, an independent middle and high school. He earned his BA from Skidmore College and his MFA in creative writing from Portland State University. His writing has previously appeared in Vestal Review, Superstition Review, Propeller Magazine, and elsewhere. He is currently finishing up both a literary mystery and a middle grade novel. Some of his favorite things: nachos, hard bop, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, ping pong, and rooting for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series is one of the most honored literary projects in America. Every year, independent magazines and small presses may select six nominations from that publishing year to send on to the Pushcart Prize judges. Want to experience the 2015 Pushcart Prize nominees yourself? Get our 2015 Pushcart Prize Package & save 25% off the cover price! It contains Issue 35, 36, and 37, each containing two Pushcart Prize nominated pieces. Just click here to get shopping.

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Keira Havens
Keira Havens


Keira Havens grew up in Hawaii where she was fascinated by flowers, bugs, and the ocean. After receiving her bachelor's in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2004, she accepted a commission in the United States Air Force. She left active duty to pursue a degree in a synthetic biology laboratory and received her MS from Colorado State University in 2014. Along the way, she has volunteered and worked in nonprofit marketing and outreach. She joined Ruminate’s team in 2010 and currently serves as Ruminate's Marketing and Outreach Director.

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