Pushcart Announcement / Salute to Tom Batten
Every year, literary journals have the opportunity to nominate six pieces they have published for a Pushcart Prize. A few months ago, I was like, “Damn, we publish literary work, we can do that, and make Pushcart nominees of writers we love.”
After a rigorous and highly objective process, Lizzy sent out something she wrote (about body hair), something I wrote (about leaving the Bay Area), and four pieces by Tom Batten.
If all this sounds too easy to you, you’re not alone. This incredibly whiny man that no one has ever heard of also agrees with you. For a good laff, imagine that open letter in the voice of this kid.
Lemme tell you about Tom Batten: for the past year almost, Tom has sent us an extremely dope new piece of work about once a week, sometimes more than once a week, for free. There would really be no Tusk without him. When Lizzy and I started this thing, we had an aesthetic in mind that blends criticism and memoir, and blends humor and misery, and which is kind of hard to articulate. Tom has excelled within that same blendy aesthetic and also pushed it beyond what we thought it could be, made it more imaginative and daring. He’s certainly challenged me to write better and more prolifically just through the quality and abundance of his work, and I’m sure Lizzy feels the same. The piece we’re publishing by him later this week makes me wish the Pushcart due date was later.
Here are the essays by him that we nominated:
The Sad Sweetness of Masculinity
Costco, Cancer and a Champagne Sebring
The Wisdom of King Wizard, Son of a Gypsy
Howl for Zelda, Howl for Missouri
One Response to “Pushcart Announcement / Salute to Tom Batten”
[…] and made plans for a reading at the next AWP in Minneapolis; we’ve submitted stuff to the Pushcart Prize; we’ve interviewed Tom Scharpling and Julie Klausner; we’ve been yelled at by gun nuts […]