There are a lot of good reasons why both print and online journals – and Radius is no exception – involve themselves in the rigmarole of nominating its contributors for awards. A little prestige and exposure can bring in readers, can attract contributors. It can allow you to draw attention to writing that really is spectacular. It can give you bragging rights for a week or two, and it can be a nudge of encouragement when the job of putting out a journal seems particularly thankless.
But ultimately, the process of nominating poems for awards is a good moment to step back and reflect on the work you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. To reflect on what statement your journal is trying to make. Radius, since its inception, has always been a peculiar beast, and has always sought out particular types of work. It publishes political poetry and elegies for poets, along with a few other eccentric styles. It works to not just publish good poetry, but to illustrate how poems work, and how they can connect to the world. How they can matter.
There were a lot of poems we could have nominated for the Pushcart this year, but ultimately, these six poems comprise the entirety of the statement Radius is trying to make: They’re beautifully written poems, that connect to the world in tangible and emotional ways, poems that are forward-thinking stylistically, and which are written by authors from diverse backgrounds. They’re the poems we want to point to and say, “This is what Radius is about.”
These six poems are what Radius is all about:
“A Prayer For Parents”
by Rachel McKibbens (03/07/2011)
“The Power of the Literary Novel”
by Randall Horton (03/08/2011)
“Poem for impending rapture perhaps”
by Kazim Ali (05/21/2011)
“Some Sign of Nature”
by Monica Hand (05/24/2011)
“Two Poles and a Suicide”
by Leslie McGrath (09/03/2011)
by Karrie Waarala (11/22/2011)
To all our contributors: THANK YOU. You’re what make Radius what it is, what makes its voice so distinct and vibrant. We’ve been blessed to feature writing from all across the spectrum, and indeed, all around the world, and each poem or essay has been a blessing.
And to our six Pushcart nominees, thank you again, and good luck.
Victor D. Infante
Radius: Poetry From the Center to the Edge