An Upper Iowa University faculty member has been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in Creative Nonfiction. Adjunct English Instructor and Writing Center Manager Katharine (Katie) Kress was nominated for the award by The Fourth River, which published the author’s essay “Body Memory” in spring 2016.
“This is a huge honor and surprise,” said Kress. “Writers often work alone and receive a lot of rejection. That’s just par for the course. So it’s always a lovely surprise when your work is published and recognized. It would be a joy to win a Pushcart Prize. I would feel incredibly honored, but the nomination alone has inspired me to work even harder at developing my craft.”
Published since 1976, the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series is the most honored literary project in America. Hundreds of presses and thousands of writers have been represented in the annual collection since its inception 40 years ago.
Kress explained that Body Memory is about land – here in Iowa and her old Chicago, Illinois, neighborhood of Rogers Park – and “about how our bodies are connected to the land, how our identities are formed by the places we inhabit.” This is the UIU faculty member’s sixth creative nonfiction essay to be published since 2014.
“I constantly tell my students that goals and dreams and wishes don’t come easy,” Kress said. “They need to be earned. I hope that my Pushcart nomination helps them see that hard work does bear fruit if you stay focused and remain persistent. But I also want all UIU students to know that I didn’t get here on my own. Friends and teachers and mentors reviewed my writing. My family supported me and my work a great deal, and they have always encouraged me to keep striving for what I want. We all need help and it’s important to reach out for that support when you need it.”
The Fourth River is expected to feature the essay on its website at http://www.thefourthriver.com in early January.