The Pushcart Prize has been awarded annually by Pushcart Press since 1976 and recognizes the best poetry, short stories, essays, translations, and excerpts of longer works published by small presses over the course of the previous year. Prize winners are published in an anthology called Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, which has been named "among the most influential projects in the history of American publishing by Publishers Weekly. The Pushcart Press welcomes up to six nominations from "little magazine and small book press editors throughout the world."
Split this Rock, the publication which nominated Johnson for the prize, "cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. It calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged poets."
Johnson is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Librarian and an assistant professor at Pratt Institute, where they provide innovative library instruction, as well as develop online orientations for students. Their work has appeared in The New York Times, Boston Review, WUSSY, The Wanderer, Vice, Rewire News, The Root, and Nat. Brut among other publications.