CHA’s Pushcart Nominations 2011

Each nominee will receive a handmade dragonfly card from Cha. The cards are made by a former contributor.

*Voting is now closed. 


Cha co-editors Tammy Ho & Jeff Zroback will nominate the following poems for the Pushcart Prize 2010. There is one more slot: we have several pieces in mind but would love to know your thoughts. Which piece from issue 10, issue 11 and issue 12 of the journal do you recommend?

Leave us a comment below or send your suggestions to editorsATasianchaDOTcom (Subject line: “Pushcart”) if you prefer anonymity. If possible, please explain briefly why you liked a particular piece. We will consider your input when deciding the sixth nominee. We intend to post the nominations 1st November 2010.

Last year, we faced the same problem and in the end only nominated five poems (see the nominees here). You can help us this time.
Congratulations to all the nominees. We wish you the best of luck and thank you for letting us publish your wonderful work.

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    84 thoughts on “CHA’s Pushcart Nominations 2011

    1. The more I keep re-reading Bones, the more I like it. The last two lines in particular put the whole poem into a new light, as the reader gets a glimpse of the relationship between the narrator and her mother.

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    2. From a reader:

      Tammy, these are all very strong poems you and Jeff are nominating. I enjoyed discussing them with you immensely.

      After re-reading the recent issues, I'm going to give my 'vote' to “Bones” by Rumjhum Biswas.

      This is my interpretation of the poem: the persona and her mother had a strenuous relationship. The daughter never did anything sincerely and she did not respect her mother. But after the latter's death, she picks those memories of her that she despised, that made her mother so disrespectable. She lets them sink into the Ganges, in a way to forgive her mother and her misgivings.

      This is of course inspired by your own interpretation, which is succinct and insightful.

      Thank you for this wonderful new issue.

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    3. Dear Tammy,

      I consider Papa Osmubal's “A Bum's Demise”, published in your Sept. 2010 issue, as a true winner. The simplicty of the words used blends well with the deep and meaningful message it conveys powerfully narrated with scenarios and images that a reader could easily identify him or herself with. The piece got my vote.

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    4. Trevor Barnes told us: “I would like to cast my vote for your sixth Pushcart nomination slot: Daniel Bowman Jr’s “April Poem,” with its understated clarity and subtle magical realism, is easily one of the most beautiful pieces I have read this year. I have been a fan of Bowman’s work for a while now, having discovered his poems in several of my favorite journals (including your own). It would be wonderful to see such a deserving poet gain some further recognition.”

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    5. I loved Daniel Bowman's poem, “April.” The speaking through images reminds me of haiku. The form itself, the references to the cycling of the seasons, reinforces one of the themes of the poem.

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    6. A reader told us: “Of all the poems mentioned here, I vote for Rumijhum Biswas's “Bones” and Ocean Vuong's “Paramour”. “Bones” is beautifully written and the ending prompts you to re-read the entire piece. “Paramour” – just because of the stanza from the poem singled out by Tammy.”

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    7. I am hoping Rumjhum Biswas' 'Bones' is nominated. A poem that says much sparsely but very evocatively and effectively. In the narration of one life, one death, it speaks for many others. Its very starkness makes it even more memorable.
      Thanks for this space, I am glad I could write this about a poem a liked immensely!

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    8. Bones by Rumjhum Biswas is a poem that goes beyond poetry- it becomes your own experience. I relived my emotions and feelings that had flooded through me when my mother died, and every Hindu who goes through the cremation rites for a beloved parent automatically becomes the speaker in the poem- such is the power and strength of this poem that speaks with a low and quiet voice and yet resonates in our hearts. My nomination is Bones by Rumjhum Biswas

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    9. It is a difficult choice; the two poems that speak most to me though are “Country” and “What I Said to Her Was Not a Lie”. Both also have a great last two lines (as does “Bones”).

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    10. My vote goes to “Suicide Note”. I like it's simplicity and the mood the author has created. It's incompleteness is a wise device to illustrate the theme “suicide”. I like it!

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    11. Ooops, I made a mistake above – My vote for this year's poems goes to “Bones”.

      What usually reminds us of our departed and beloved relatives? Usually it's the remains of their bodies, i.e. their bones. The poet has captured a very wise device (just as Anuradha Vijayakrishnan used various addresses in “Suicide Note”) to enhance the power of death.

      I really like how the poet uses her nostalgia to influence her readers. Nice poem!

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    12. So many great poems! I'll have to give three cheers to:

      “Dera Ghazi Khan, 1925” by Nabina Das
      “After Ten Years” by Kim-An Lieberman
      “April Poem” by Daniel Bowman Jr

      p.s. the link to “Diaphragm” doesn't appear to be working.

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