Poet vying for literary honor

Poet Andrew Hubbard has been nominated for a prestigious literary award.

The publisher and founding editor of Indiana Voice Journal submitted the Brown County resident’s poem “Revelation” for the Pushcart Prize.

The Pushcart Press is among the most influential publishers in American history, according to Publishers Weekly. The Pushcart Prize honors poetry, short fiction, essays or “literary whatnot” published by small presses the previous year.

Magazines and small book presses can nominate up to six works they have featured. Anthologies of the selected works will then be published in the Pushcart Press.

“I am pleased, and it’s a bit of validation that my project of becoming a recognized poet is slowly beginning to take shape,” Hubbard said.

In 2014, Hubbard quit his job as a corporate vice president and moved from Houston, Texas, to Brown County to become a poet.

He was born and raised in a coastal Maine fishing village. He earned an undergraduate degree in English from Dartmouth College and a creative writing degree from Columbia University.

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After writing four books and hundreds of articles on training, Hubbard turned to poetry.

“I am going to write poems until I am on my death bed, and I probably won’t stop then, either,” he said.

In his spare time, Hubbard is a “casual student” of cooking and wine. He is also a former martial arts instructor and competitive weightlifter, collects edged weapons and is a licensed handgun instructor.

His book, “Things That Get You,” was published in 2014. His poems also have been published in a number of literary periodicals, including “Poetry Quarterly.”

He describes “Revelation” as being a short story poem — his favorite kind of poetry.

“Where it came from? I don’t know. I just sit there and try to come up with something. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t,” he said.


In a remote Italian village

With haywire streets and shy cats

I saw in a baker’s window

A fresh, hard-crusted loaf

And creased into the surface

A double perpendicular dent:

The Cross, worked into fertile dough

By the baker, just as his father had done

And his father’s father, back perhaps to Roman times.

He doesn’t think much about it;

It’s just how you make bread.

“For luck,” he would probably say.

His grandfather in more pious times

Would have said,

“It wards off the devil

And reminds our people

To thank the Provider for their bread.”

I watch the storefront

As late morning nibbles shadows

From the narrow street

And the store attracts some custom.

An old woman in a kerchief

Buys the two baguettes beside my loaf.

Two pretty girls with black eyes

Buy sweet rolls with raisins.

To me, that simple Cross

Baked into living bread

Seems so much more potent

Than the brass and pewter crucifixes

I saw for sale at the village church.

I resolve to buy the bread

And when I do

A peremptory thought

Darts across my mind:

“You are not worthy.”

It seems so ridiculous

To be intimidated

By a loaf of bread

That I will myself

To go in and buy it.

And then…you know?…

I couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

I carried it in my backpack

All day long, and gave it away

At dusk to a street beggar

Old, and none too clean.

It was much later I realized

The bread had been intended

For the beggar from the start.

The Cross had done its work.

— Andrew Hubbard, Brown County, February 2014

Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.