(Cleveland, OH)- George Bilgere, associate professor of English at John Carroll University, is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize, for his poem, “Graduates of Western Military Academy.”
The Pushcart Prize is a prestigious American literary prize presented by the Pushcart Press that honors writers of short stories, poetry, and essays published in the small presses over the previous year. The works of The Pushcart Prize winners are presented in an annual collection. Past recipients of the Pushcart Prize include Raymond Carver, Tim O’Brien, Jayne Anne Phillips, Charles Baxter, Andre Dubus, Susan Minot, Mona Simpson, John Irving, and Rick Moody.
“Graduates of Western Military Academy” is based on a true story: Bilgere’s father, while a student at a military academy in Illinois, became friends with Paul Tibbets. Tibbets was the man fated to pilot the U.S. bomber, The Enola Gay, on the flight that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.
George B. Bilgere directs the Creative Writing Program and the Visiting Writers Series at John Carroll University. He is the winner of the 2008 Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest honor John Carroll bestows upon a faculty member in recognition of outstanding teaching and scholarship. He is the host of Wordplay, a weekly radio program on WJCU that features poetry by local and nationally known poets. In 2006 he won the prestigious May Swenson Poetry Award for his book of poems, Haywire.