This May I went to check the Circling Rivers Post Office box. In it was a letter from Bill Henderson…  

I am pleased to announce that work from your press has been selected to be included in Pushcart Prize XLVIII (2024 edition)…. 

Blue: Poems, by Erin Wilson, cover

The work in question is “Blue,” the title poem from Erin Wilson’s second collection with us. 

Sitting in my car in the parking lot of the Post Office, I read the letter. I read it again. And again. My eyes stung with tears and I half-laughed, half-cried. Writing this, months later, the overwhelming emotion still resonates. 

Bill Henderson wrote in the introduction to the 40th anniversary (2016) edition of Pushcart Prize: “Many did not expect [Pushcart Prize] would last more than a year, maybe two. After all, Pushcart had no grant funding, no institutional cash, no federal support or family fortune. But the prize refused to die, and I know the reason, hidden from the conglomerates. There is a heart, mind, soul, and defiance out there in Small Press Land that refuses to let commerce kill the spirit of our writers, editors, and readers.”

From a citizen of Small Press Land: Thank you, Erin Wilson, for your beautiful (and devastating) “Blue,” and thank you, Bill Henderson and the editors at Pushcart Press, for this encouraging affirmation!