cover image Pushcart Prize: Best of Small Presses, 1994-1995 Ed.

Pushcart Prize: Best of Small Presses, 1994-1995 Ed.

Bill Henderson. Pushcart Press, $29.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-916366-92-6

``It's not editors, but writers who read who make American literature.'' Lee Smith, a fiction reader for the annual Pushcart anthology series, may be right to say so: Pushcart's 19th anthology of fiction, essays and poetry, chosen mainly by writers from a year's worth of American small press publishing, is striking in its literary breadth and accomplishment. The Pushcart series has always found a balance between known writers and the undiscovered, and this volume favors the new, offering many rewards. Among them is the poetry, selected by David St. John and Lynn Emanuel, with strong contributions by Arthur Vogelsang, Carol Snow, Dian Blakely Shoaf, Rita Dove, Khaled Mattawa and others. Notable essays include Brenda Miller's powerfully lyrical ``A Thousand Buddhas,'' about giving and receiving massage. The many outstanding stories range from Raymond Federman's murmurously punctuationless ``The Line'' to ``Theng,'' a stoically realistic, eventually dramatic glimpse of Southeast Asian immigrant life by newcomer Susan Onthank Mates. There is so much to choose from here that readers may not want to choose at all-they can just read on and on and on. (Oct.)