Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pushcart Prize Ranking (Poetry) for 2012


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By now, my ranking of literary magazines is well known among writers. I began the ranking several years ago as I attempted to prioritize my submissions of short stories. I analyzed ten years of Pushcart Prize anthologies and ranked the magazines based on how many prizes and special mentions they had earned using a simple formula to come up with a score. That was the only factor in my ranking, attempting to keep it as objective as possible. I updated the ranking each year when the new anthology was released, adding the new data while dropping the data that was more than ten years old.

At the end of 2011, when I updated the Fiction rankings, I did the analysis for Nonfiction as well, and came up with a separate ranking. Both of these lists, as well as the Fiction rankings from prior years, are linked in the sidebar at right.

And now, finally, I’ve applied the analysis to Poetry.

Some people don’t like rankings, and I can sympathize with their view. But I maintain that the Pushcart Prize is a reasonable proxy for quality, and I think many writers hope to place their work in the best possible magazine. If I were a poet, I’d want to see my work in Poetry, the clear “winner” in this ranking. But I also acknowledge that the Pushcart Press has been slow to recognize the work that is appearing in online magazines, and these magazines, some of which are excellent, are under-represented on the list. Writers should keep this in mind.

Are there any surprises here? You tell me. Poetry is clearly dominant, and American Poetry Review is a strong second. But many of the remaining top twenty-five also rank highly in the other genres.

For whatever it's worth to you, here it is:

Pushcart Prize Ranking (Poetry) for 2012
2012
Magazine
2012 Score
1
108
2
74
3
65
4
59
5
46
6
45
7
42
8
41
9
40
10
36
11
33
12
32
13
30
14
25
15
21
15
21
15
21
18
20
19
19
20
17
20
17
20
17
23
16
24
15
24
15
24
15
27
14
28
13
28
13
28
13
28
13
28
13
33
12
33
12
33
12
33
12
37
11
37
11
37
11
37
11
37
11
37
11
37
11
37
11
37
11
37
11
37
11
37
11
49
10
49
10
49
10
49
10
49
10
49
Lyric (?)
10
49
10
49
10
49
10
49
10
49
10
49
10
61
8
61
8
61
8
64
7
64
7
64
7
64
7
64
7
64
7
64
7
64
7
72
6
72
6
72
6
72
6
72
6
72
Margie ©
6
72
6
72
6
72
6
72
6
72
6
72
6
72
6
72
6
72
6
72
6
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
Triplopia (?)
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
5
88
Verse Press ©
5
88
5
88
5
144
4
144
4
144
4
147
3
147
3
147
3
147
3
147
3
152
2
152
2
152
2
152
2
152
2
152
2
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
Cape Cod Voice (?)
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
Frostproof Review ©
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
Haven Chronicles (?)
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
Lynx House Press (?)
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
River City (?)
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
Speakeasy ©
1
158
1
158
1
158
Thunder's Mouth Press ©
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
Xantippe (?)
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
1
158
Roundhouse Press (?)
1
158
1

12 comments:

Don said...

TriQuarterly, at #11 is an online publication. The editors in the 2011 or 2010 anthology had some scathing comments about the transition to online publication (calling out TriQuarterly in particular with its transition from print to the web), so I think that there's a definite bias there.

Clifford Garstang said...

No question about it, I think, although TQ's transition is especially problematic because of the loss of its professional editorial staff. None of TQ's points in this ranking are from the last 3 years (they earned 2 Special Mentions in the 2009 anthology).

And yet, some online magazines are on the list, such as Blackbird. And Agni's online content is occasionally recognized, as well. Some have advocated that my lists cover a shorter time frame; if I did that, I think the online work would move up.

Tory said...

Mr. Garstang,

This list is great. I'm actually the current poetry editor of The Journal (#23) and wanted to let you know the web address you have for us is outdated. If you would update it, I'd be grateful. You can find us at thejournalmag.org

Clifford Garstang said...

Tory, thanks for the correction. I've fixed it here and also in the Fiction and Nonfiction lists.

Don said...

I thought I saw TQ in BASS since the transition, but I could be wrong.

Dustin said...

Where can we find the winners and honorable mentions for 2012? I'm not finding it online. (Besides the collection obviously, I wanted to check quickly for names if possible...having trouble finding anything.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. It's a very interesting: for years, I've been using Jeffery Bahr's ranking of poetry magazines, which is based on how often a magazine is honored by inclusion in the annual Best American Poetry anthology. It's interesting to compare and contrast Bahr's BAP-based rankings with your Pushcart-based rankings: for example, the Paris Review, which ranks #2 on Bahr's list, ranks quite low on yours. Also, several magazines that have never been honored in BAP (Lake Effect, Orion, Spillway, Hotel Amerika, Smartish Pace, Canary, etc.) have made it pretty far up your list, nonetheless.

Cliff Garstang said...

Dustin, I don't think it's available online anywhere. I buy the anthology every year to update the lists.

Anonymous said...

How can we enter the Pushcart Prize
I have 11 poetry books in 4 years...
And the Carnegie Poetry Prize winner, Spring 2009
I am not after prize I stated recently to write ...I want to apply my poems to advice people to be kind and abolish inhumanity ...

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_7/178-6478507-9626102?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sylva+portoian&sprefix=sylva+p:


Sylva

sylva-MD-Poetry said...

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_7/178-6478507-9626102?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sylva+portoian&sprefix=sylva+p:

Ii poetry books during 4 years only
!000' poems and more...
From a real soul...

Sylva Portoian,MD

Robert Laughlin said...

Re the anonymous posting of Jan. 16: it is worth noting that the Jeffrey Bahr rankings do not consider any BAP volumes more recent than 2001. This, to my mind, seriously limits the usefulness of Bahr. Cliff's continually updated breakdown of Pushcart winners remains the most useful guide to prestige literary markets, provided that one doesn't forget to send material to The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly and Harper's; these big-circulation magazines are not considered for the Pushcart Prize.

Matt Smith said...

Question for anyone who cares to share thoughts:

In addition to "The Best Poems of 2013," where else might one find best poems from year to year?

I'd love to know this and -even better- best of the month (from all publications).

I'm simply hungry for more resources.
Thanks in advance!