Prestigious Pushcart Prize awarded to Candito

June 9, 2014
Dr. Kara Candito

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The prestigious Pushcart Prize has been awarded to Dr. Kara Candito, assistant professor of creative writing and English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, for her poem “Monologue during a Blackout,” first published in ‘jubilat.’ She is the first faculty member at UW-Platteville to win this award.

Candito will read her winning poem and other selections of her poetry with Dubuque-based, Trinidadian poet Lauren K. Alleyne on Wednesday, Sept. 10, from 6-7:15 p.m. in the Harry and Laura Nohr Gallery. After the reading, there will be refreshments, book sales and a signing.


Winners of the Pushcart Prize are chosen each year from thousands of nominations of works published in little magazine and small book presses throughout the world. Candito’s poem and the other winners’ works – including essays, memoirs, poetry and short stories – will be published in the ‘2015 Pushcart Prize XXXIX: Best of the Small Presses’ anthology.

“I’m honored that my poem ‘Monologue during a Blackout,’ first published in ‘jubilat’ and included in my collection, ‘Spectator,’ (University of Utah Press, 2014), was selected for the ‘Pushcart Prize XXXIX: Best of the Small Presses’ anthology,’” said Candito. “I’m also delighted to share the Pushcart Prize designation with five past Visiting Writers Series featured readers: Tarfia Faizullah, Eduardo Corral, Lydia Conklin, Karla Huston and Rebecca Hazelton.”

UW-Platteville’s Visiting Writers Reading Series, held three times each semester by the department of humanities, brings nationally published writers to the university to read their literary works. The reading series exposes members of the university community to the diverse and vital world of contemporary literature and fosters a sense of community that is essential to the liberal arts education experience, Candito explained.

“We would not have had so many excellent creative artists here giving readings without Kara arranging them,” said Dr. Terry Burns, chair of the department of humanities at UW-Platteville. “It’s incredibly unusual for a regional university of our size, especially one that touts its ‘premier majors’ as those in engineering, agriculture and criminal justice, to attract so many nationally known and respected writers.”

“Our students benefit from workshops and readings with this caliber of writers because we have that caliber of a writer on our faculty,” continued Burns. “You can see the effect she’s had since arriving here in 2010: in the last few years, we’ve also started to see more of our undergraduates published in national journals.”

Candito holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Maryland, College Park, Md., and a Ph.D. in creative writing and literary theory from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla. In addition to writing “Spectator,” she is the author of “Taste of Cherry” (University of Nebraska Press, 2009). In addition to the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize, she is the winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and winner of the Lorine Niedecker Poetry Prize.

Her work has been published in journals and anthologies such as AGNI, Best New Poets 2007, Blackbird, Drunken Boat, Indiana Review, jubilat, The Kenyon Review, The Rumpus and A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry (University of Akron Press, 2012).

Candito is a recipient of scholarships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the MacDowell Colony and the Santa Fe Arts Institute. She is also co-curator of the Monsters of Poetry reading series and co-director of Membership for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Her areas of specialization include modernism, Spanish surrealism and the dramatic monologue.

For samples of Candito’s other works, including audio links to readings of her poems, go to For more information about Alleyne, go to

Contact: Dr. Kara Candito, department of humanities, (608) 342-6154,

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191,


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