Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I know many journals proudly tout their Pushcart nominees.
Poets, even some poets who have written poetry I like, boast
about their Pushcart nominations and awards. I have read
many poems which have been nominated for these prizes, and
let me tell you, I would rather have a dentist, such as Laurence
Olivier, torturing me like if I was Dustin Hoffman in the
Marathon Man than reading these nuggets of crap.

Pushcart this and Pushcart that. Just write the fucking poems,
ladies, and end all this pretentious bullshit. And have a very
happy new year, just to show you, I hold no grudges.


Blogger j.b said...

ouch, Luis...what precipitated this?

10:02 AM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

hey, LCB, indeed. glad to see you stretching out here at UPRIGHT and letting it hang. all these awards, etc. are a joke. they don't do shit to further the poem, do they? great for ego stroking though...

but I agree with j.b, what brought this on?


11:25 AM  
Blogger Luis said...

Well, I hardly ever write anything up here. I am listed as a contributor. Sometimes it is time to speak out. I know others might disagree with me. Especially those promoting themselves with these Pushcart Awards. Is it safe? I don't know. It's time to see the dentist.

2:12 AM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

I say:

go LCB GO! post anytime, baby! we love to hear from you.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Poet Hound said...

Are there any awards for poetry that further the poem, though?
Also, I'd like to know what precipitated the post, too.

7:49 PM  
Blogger H. said...

I think it painfully true what LCB says...that at the end of the day, a Pushcart nod or win won't write your next poem...does it matter? Who knows? It matters a lot to some, a little to some, some to most, & maybe not at all to some. At the core is a publisher praising the work in his stable--& there are fine poets with nominations. But it is true that, like most thing, the ignorant craving for accolades has eroded the general integrity of many awards. Hell, maybe none are immune. Maybe personality contests never stop, maybe at the grave's edge will worry about having the best box money can buy, or the most people looming over our corpse...but the poems care nothing for it, they respect on what you give to them, & 10,000 Pushcarts or none won't pick out the perfect next word. My 2cents anyhow...

1:07 AM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

p-hound: not that I can think of. it's never the ego nor the drive for prizes that write the good, strong line. it's the desire to tell the truth that brings out great poetry, a desire to get at our essences, to communicate, to grab the language and twist it into magic.

plus, it's all so subjective, the judging of "contests," and who can account for the tastes of another? "...one man gathers what another man spills" I guess...

11:21 AM  
Blogger j.b said...

still, no word from LCB on what precipitated this...i'm curious.

awards aren't necessary, are often doctored and/or politically motivated, don't really change anything, won't help create the next (whatever it is you create), etc. but i think they do serve a purpose -- or at least intend to -- by recognizing the abilities and successes of particular people. i won't lie and say i wouldn't love to receive a pulitzer. it would be an honor. why? because it's validation for my work, no?

and who among us is above being validated?

4:11 PM  
Blogger H. said...

Being validated? Yeah...I'm pretty sure that costs EXTRA...

6:07 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

I actually live above Validation, Inc. it's a local place that sells it cheap. I just today bought a little gold trophy that reads "Most Best Poet Ever." it has a statue of me with my head up my own ass.

so: yeah, it costs extra, but it's worth it.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Luis said...

That is the word: validation.
We do not need validation to know
what we are writing is worthy.
There is no shame in receiving
such prizes, looks good on a
resume, I guess. But promoting
the shit out of such said awards
and then reading some of the
poems that received these awards,
just makes me sick to my stomach.
Perhaps what I write makes others
feel the same way. Like what
was written above, judges are
subjective in their choosing &
some just have their heads far up
in other people's asses or their
own asses because they already
have in mind or are programmed
to think what a poem should be, what it should say, and what it should not say. I want to send the Dentist over their homes to do a cavity search of their souls.

Oh, well, just write the poem,
if it's good, someone one will
tell you. If if sucks, someone
will tell you it's good because
they are your friends. And if
they truly do care about what
you're writing, they'll let you
know what seems to be off. And then again you shouldn't care
what others say, just write.

1:43 PM  
Blogger j.b said...

wha? i have that same trophy. my mother bought it for me.

well, i'll admit i like being validated. by fellow poets whom i respect, by readers of my work (whom i seek out by submitting and publishing) and by editors (whom i also seek out). the only thing i disagree about with these awards is the political nature of them. but, being a political people, it's unavoidable. fuck, look at the damn Nobel Prizes. if that isn't above being influenced, then what is?

oh, and if any of you guys would like to send your inevitable validation of me and my work my way, you are invited to do so in the form of cash money! it might not be worth as much as it used to, so to make up for it just send more!!! :)

1:43 PM  

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