Lee University’s Dr. William Kelley Woolfitt was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, an esteemed literary recognition for best poetry published by small American presses.
The Literary Bohemian nominated his poem, “Teresa of Avila Compares the Soul to a Palm Cabbage.”
Woolfitt said he was moved by Charles de Foucauld’s “Prayer of Abandonment” to write a book-length manuscript centering on de Foucauld and his life in Algeria among the Taureg, a nomadic, Berber people. Teresa is a poem from that exploration.
“I wanted to learn more about Charles and his life as a Christian contemplative and missionary.”
In response to the nomination, Woolfitt said, “I am flattered and humbled.”
The Pushcart Prize publishes annually and is one of the most formidable and influential literary projects in America. The Pushcart Fellowship has represented numerous presses and writers of short stories, poetry and essays since 1976.
Woolfitt is also the author of “The Salvager’s Arts,” co-winner of the 2011 Keystone Chapbook Prize through Seven Kitchens Press. The Keystone Chapbook Series focuses on the work of poets with Pennsylvania ties.
Another poem from Woolfitt’s manuscript, “Red Coals,” was selected for publication in Best Indie Lit New England, Volume One, a forthcoming print anthology that will display the best fiction and poetry published by independent journals in New England from 2010 to 2012.
Woolfitt’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Michigan Quarterly Review, African American Review, Shenandoah, Cincinnati Review, New Ohio Review, Ninth Letter, Los Angeles Review, River Styx, Christianity and Literature, Sycamore Review, Southern Humanities Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, and The Christian Century.
Woolfitt is an assistant professor of creative writing and recent addition to Lee’s Department of Language and Literature.
A native West Virginian, Woolfitt earned his doctorate and master of fine arts from The Pennsylvania State University.
Woolfitt enjoys walking on the Appalachian Trail and his grandparents’ farm in West Virginia whenever he can.
His poem appears on The Literary Bohemian website: http://www.literarybohemian.com/index.php/poetry/poem/teresa-of-avila-by-william-kelley-woolfitt/.