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.”
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: