Professor Steve Klepetar nominated for Pushcart Prize

Monday, November 17, 2008

Photo of Steve Klepetar

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – St. Cloud State University English professor Steve Klepetar has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his poem titled “Running on Sand.” This is his fourth Pushcart Prize nomination since 2004.

The poem was nominated by the national literary magazine “Stirring: A Literary Collection” where it was published in the January 2008 issue. The magazine’s editor-in-chief nominated the piece after deciding that it was one of the strongest poems published this year. Klepetar’s poem was one of six pieces from the magazine to be chosen.

The Pushcart Prize was created in 1976. Each year, “The Pushcart Prize - Best of the Small Presses” is released containing hundreds of the best-written pieces of the year. Small publications from around the country are permitted to submit up to six nominations for the award. For more information on the Pushcart Prize, visit

# # # # #

Running on Sand

While I was slow on grass

or concrete (cemented to first

base, almost always “it,” drain

on the relay team) I could run

like hell on sand.  Maybe

it’s my bones, hollow

as bird's, a slight alteration

in my DNA, or maybe

the brand of peanut butter

my mother bought, a cheap

one from a lower shelf.

Maybe I got bitten

by a radioactive crab or

slept with a lost pearl in my bed

or from my cradle

saw my mother sucking clams.

Who knows? 

But at the beach on hot

white sand, I kicked up storms –

you didn’t want to run

behind me, trying to breathe

crushed fragments of a hundred

billion shells. 

And on the wet gray sand

by ocean’s edge, my footprints

welled and disappeared

like skywriting or summer

smoke. Spiderlegs they called

me, Sandrunner, Beachripper,

Shorelinelightening vanished,

sail on the horizon, blurring into fog.


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