When the Virus Came Calling

When the Virus Came Calling: COVID-19 Strikes America has earned three honors: Finalist in the “2020 Best Books Award/Anthology, Nonfiction”; and a “2020 Book of the Year, National Latino Book Club. When the coronavirus struck America, a group of 46 distinguished authors from across America got to work immediately to write poems, personal essays, and short fiction to document how swiftly our lives, our nation, our futures changed within months. By fall of 2020, their combined writings were published as one of the first books to document our historic pandemic’s first seven months.

The book includes Poets Laureate, award winners, professors of writing, and more. The historic book’s publisher, Golden Foothills Press of Pasadena (CA), is only 6 years old but has earned 27 national book honors from its 9 literary books showcasing a combined total of over 150 authors.

Six of the poets in When the Virus Came Calling are being honored with nomination to receive one of America’s highest literary honors, the Pushcart Prize for Poetry. Editors and publishers of anthologies and literary magazines nationally can nominate up to six outstanding poems they published in the year of the nomination. The Pushcart Press, the founders and sponsors of the prize, choose the eventual winners each year.

The book’s editor-in-chief, former Poet Laureate Thelma T. Reyna, states: “Simply to be nominated for the Pushcart Prize is an honor in itself, regardless of the final outcome.” The honor counts for the following year (2021), when winners are announced internationally. Reyna considered all 115 works in the book for nomination.

Poets selected by Golden Foothills Press are a cross-section of the nation’s poets:

• “Windowsill Prayer: A Precursor to COVID-19,” by Carolyn Clark, from New York
• “Passover 2020,” by Tresha Faye Haefner, from Costa Rica and Los Angeles
• “For the Minister of Loneliness,” by Mary Langer Thompson, from Apple Valley, CA
• “Say This Isn’t the End,” by Richard Blanco, the 2013 U.S. Inaugural Poet, who lives in Florida
• “God Is,” by Edward Vidaurre, from McAllen, TX
• “At the Start of the Pandemic, We Find Ourselves in the Desert,” by Linda Dove and Angie Vorhies, from Southern California

“Because of the high quality of the authors’ work,” said Reyna, “it was a difficult decision. Our book also included previous Pushcart Prize Nominees, so it was a delight to increase our press’ pool of honorees.”

The nominated poets will be celebrated at a public reading event to be announced soon. For more information about the press and this book, visit www.GoldenFoothillsPress.com


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