SF English Professor Nominated Twice This Year for Literary Prize

Imagine for a moment that the world is closing in around you, about to end. Walls growing tighter, your mind spinning as you try to make sense of the details of the life you are about to leave behind.

In his Pushcart Prize-nominated short story, “Six Hours Before the End of the Universe,” Santa Fe English Professor Manuel Martinez takes readers into the mind of a man contemplating his life as the entire universe closes in around him.

The story was recently published in Issue No. 10 of the Los Angeles Review. It was so well received that the magazine’s editors nominated the story for a Pushcart Prize -– an American literary prize that honors the best “poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot” published in the small presses over the previous year.

“‘Six Hours Before the End of the Universe’ is about a man who wants to write a speech commemorating the end of the universe,” Martinez said. “I liked the idea of somebody trying so hard to do something that doesn’t really matter.”

Martinez shared an excerpt from his story:

“Meanwhile the boundaries of the Universe have pulled in more tightly around us, and there is so little space for my friend Peter to wander around in that we know he is long gone. Without him, there is no one but me left to make sense of the empty burdens of men, those bundles that we strain beneath until, nearly broken, we drop them to the ground and lay them bare and see that there is nothing to see.”

To call Martinez a prolific writer would not be an understatement. He has been published in a number of literary magazines. This month, his short story, “What the Dead Know,” originally published in The Sun magazine in October 2004, was archived online. And, Martinez was nominated for a second Pushcart Prize this year by the editors of The Literarian for his short story, “Travel Tips.” It seems Martinez has a fantastic talent that consistently catches the editorial eye.

“The magazines that nominated me published a number of very good stories by well-known authors last year, so it felt good to know that the editors of both magazines felt that my stories stood out,” Martinez said.

The announcement of the Pushcart Prize winners will be made in spring 2012.

For more information, contact Manual Martinez at 395-5762.

~ by Amanda Hernandez, Communication Specialist, College Relations

“‘Six Hours Before the End of the Universe’ is about a man who wants to write a speech commemorating the end of the universe,” Martinez said. “I liked the idea of somebody trying so hard to do something that doesn’t really matter.”

Martinez shared an excerpt from his story:

“Meanwhile the boundaries of the Universe have pulled in more tightly around us, and there is so little space for my friend Peter to wander around in that we know he is long gone. Without him, there is no one but me left to make sense of the empty burdens of men, those bundles that we strain beneath until, nearly broken, we drop them to the ground and lay them bare and see that there is nothing to see.”

To call Martinez a prolific writer would not be an understatement. He has been published in a number of literary magazines. This month, his short story, “What the Dead Know,” originally published in The Sun magazine in October 2004, was archived online. And, Martinez was nominated for a second Pushcart Prize this year by the editors of The Literarian for his short story, “Travel Tips.” It seems Martinez has a fantastic talent that consistently catches the editorial eye.

“The magazines that nominated me published a number of very good stories by well-known authors last year, so it felt good to know that the editors of both magazines felt that my stories stood out,” Martinez said.

The announcement of the Pushcart Prize winners will be made in spring 2012.

For more information, contact Manual Martinez at 395-5762.

~ by Amanda Hernandez, Communication Specialist, College Relations