Chestertown, MD, December 4, 2003 — Erin Murphy, a Lecturer in English at Washington College, has been nominated for a 2003 Pushcart Prize for her poem “Studies,” published in the August 2003 issue of the poetry journal Red River Review. A 1990 graduate of the College, Murphy recently took Second Place in the 2003 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award competition, received Second Place honors in the 2003 Literal Latte Poetry Awards, and was a finalist for this year's Pablo Neruda Award.
“Studies” is a poem in two voices that deals with the clinical and personal aspects of Alzheimer's disease. The editors of Red River Review gave it the journal's “highest possible ranking” and voted to nominate it for this year's Pushcart Prize.
The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series has been published every year since 1976 and is one of the most honored literary projects in America. Small press journal and book editors can make up to six nominations from their year's publications by the December 1 deadline. Hundreds of presses and thousands of writers of short stories, poetry and essays have been represented in the pages of the annual Pushcart collections. Writers who were first noticed in their pages include Raymond Carver, Tim O'Brien, Jayne Anne Phillips, Susan Minot, John Irving, and Philip Lopate.
Murphy, who served as Creative Writing Editor for the 2003 issue of the Washington College Review, acknowledges her excitement about the nomination.
“I don't write poems for the money or the glory, although it's certainly thrilling when an honor such as the Pushcart nomination comes along,” she said. “I have a thing for language and poetry the way mechanics have a thing for cars. I like to get under the hood of a poem and tinker with words, see what I can make them do. Whatever the outcome, the Pushcart nomination will rev me up to write even more.”