Sometimes … and please don’t take this to be as overdramatic is at may sound … it’s easy to wonder why you do this sort of thing. Why publish an online literary journal? Why write poetry and fiction at all? Why bother? Literature is undervalued in this world, poetry seemingly worthless. Even journalism has been cheapened in this virtual age, where many are unwilling to pay for real news and more than happy to support virulent political rhetoric that disguises itself as news. This is the worst time imaginable to be a writer.

But it’s also the best time. There is more poetry than ever being published and read, and much of it … a surprising percentage … is excellent. Oh, there’s more that’s awful, but then, there always is. Around the United States and beyond, people come out to listen to poetry in astounding numbers.

It’s a new world for literature, and we’re still writing the rules. We’re not at a destination, we’re in the middle of a process. We’re in the middle of re-evaluating what it means to be a writer, to be a poet or a journalist or a novelist. It’s extremely exciting, and also frustrating. And the future is happening whether we want it to or not.

At Radius, our rationale has always been to bring vital literature to where it’s most needed free of charge. We mostly deal in politically charged poetry, the type that often speaks more to the afflicted than the comfortable. Our goal is, and always has been, to deliver that one vital poem to the someone, somewhere who needs to hear it most. At the end of the day, that’s why we do this, even when it seems largely Quixotic.

We don’t believe we can save the world, but we believe we can, if we’re very lucky, pull one person somewhere back from the brink of despair, or put a tool in the hands of someone who needs it. We believe we may help someone, somewhere understand something about poetry and how it works, and that they may find that knowledge useful.

As easy as it is to succumb to cynicism or depression … two things we’re all familiar with here … we still believe in literature, and we still believe in people. Each poem, essay or story we publish is an act of hope, and that’s something we take very seriously.

And with that, it’s with great pride that we announce our 2015 Pushcart Prize nominees:

Without Sun,” by Albert Thomas

Loaded,” by Chace Zachery Morris

Time Capsule,” by Deonte Osayande

G.K. Blues,” by Tim Lynch

Daughter the Warrior,” by Meggie Royer

Dear Nat,” by Anastacia Tolbert

This is the sort of work we constantly seek: writing that’s brave and speaks to the world outside the confines of the page with both conviction and compassion. Good luck to all our nominees, and thank you for helping make Radius the unique journal that it’s become.

P.S.: If you enjoy Radius and believe in what we’re doing, please take a moment to donate to help us cover our operating costs. Even $5 or $10 can go a long way toward helping us deliver the poetry, fiction and essays you’ve come to expect. Thank you.