“Oligarchs pick our entertainments, our celebrities, our presidents and our wars,” says Bill Henderson, publisher and editor of The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series. “We children of the spirit are yesterday’s news, if we ever were news. Yet for over three decades the Pushcart Prize—and the small presses and authors we honor—have flourished. The reason? Spirit will never be quelled, certainly not by big bucks and bluster.”
We couldn’t have said it any better. As unlikely as it may seem, writing that moves the mind and nourishes the spirit continues to be published by small, independent magazines and presses—and this year, we’re happy to report that Orion is one of them.
Among the winners of this year’s Pushcart Prize are “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist” (January/February 2012), a paradigm-cracking essay by Paul Kingsnorth on environmentalism’s troubled heart, and “Tallahatchie” (May/June 2012), Susan B. A. Somers-Willett’s hard and beautiful poem dedicated to the memory of Emmett Till.
We’re also excited to report two inclusions in the upcoming volume Best American Science and Nature Writing, an excellent collection of writing published annually by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. This year, the honor goes to J. B. MacKinnon, for his exploration of the danger of nature (and the nature of danger), “False Idyll” (May/June 2012), and to Rick Bass, for his love letter to a forest’s old soul, “The Larch” (September/October 2012).