Meet Our Pushcart Nominees

Six writers hailing from different parts of the world represent the best of Vandal for 2012: Sheila Maldonado, Myriam J.A. Chancy, Aisha Gawad, Oindrila Murkherjee, Sasha Pimental Chacon and Nelly Rosario


Sheila Maldonado

for “Future Tense (minor tribe: 2012)”

I tend to think the ancient is not that much different than how we live today. Of course I am ignoring all the vast spiritual and technological differences. But I do feel this sense of living in a civilization’s decline, which I think is some aspect of what the Maya must have felt, this sense of decay and instability.

(more from her interview with Vandal)

Myriam J.A. Chancy

for “The Aftermath

A year later. A year later. A phrase that should be followed with an enumeration of those people, things and sites that might have been saved and salvaged, those things that might still be in the process of repair. But even eleven months on, not even the rolls at the ballot boxes can enumerate the living, crammed as most were with the names of the unclaimed dead. A year later, we still do not have a death roll or a death toll.

(more on Myriam J.A. Chancy)

Aisha Gawad

for “When My Father Was A Child

I can tell you what excites me as a reader—language that feels invigorating and fresh, surprising and challenging. And I like writers that aren’t afraid to tackle politics, however subtly done; I like stories where the stakes are high. So I aim to accomplish both those things in my own writing, and some days I succeed, which is exciting, and some days I fail.

(more from her interview with Vandal)

Oindrila Mukherjee

for “My First Byline

I would love more conversations about international culture and its place in America today, and about representations of other nations. While there are attempts to talk about the challenges of being a woman writer or being a writer of color, there is very little about being a foreign writer. This dimension has played into my creative writing workshops as a grad student, into my communication with agents and editors, my cover letters, and my tenure track job. It is a unique space to inhabit.

(more from her interview with Vandal)

Sasha Pimental Chacón

for “The Eyes Open To Cry

Blood moves me from the bedroom
to the bathroom, my body pulled
away from the crescent of my husband in ended eclipse, and my toes tent on the tile as I pleat the warm cloth over my hips.

(more on Sasha Pimental Chacón)

Nelly Rosario

for “How To Date a Thugboy, Artboy, Nerdboy, or Papichulo: Remix of Junot Diaz Theme”

I’m one for inventing dishes out of whatever’s left in the fridge. Pastas or rices tossed with leftover chicken, chopped vegetables, olive oil, spices. The same with stews, eaten over white rice. As long as there’s garlic, onions, oregano, olive-oil, vegetables, and a carb, we’re good to go. Oh, and then there’s quiche, which is pretty much the same concept, except with eggs, cheese, milk, and a dash of flour. Potpourri’s actually in line with the Dominican sancocho tradition. It’s how I write.

(more from her interview with Vandal)