I should have won. However, look at the Pulitzer Prize in fiction over the last twelve years (I stopped there as I couldn't take it anymore) and you will notice an absolute prejudice for post-secondary degree holders. Each of the winners since the turn of the century , as well as the three losing finalist this year, are all products of MFA, MA or PhD programs. Never mind if my book was twice the book that Swamplandia is because the ugly truth is that I don't have the bio to win. I wrote Columbia and rather angrily suggested that they drop the egalitarian facade and just go ahead and put "Post-secondary degree writers only" in their terms-of-entry literature if that is the de facto truth anyhow. If you want to read what readers have said about my book and what my editor, who is himself an M.F.A. recipient, had to say about it then feel free to visit poorfieldbooks.com and go to the Critical Reception page. Those comments will shed light on why I feel rather bitter about the experience. I could have dealt with losing to a chosen winner. But the three judges picking three books that the board deemed unworthy and then it being left at that is unacceptable. May the earth burn to charcoal the day wisdom, insight, intelligence and creativity become the exclusive product of a college campus.