Foetry: American Poetry Watchdog

Exposing the fraudulent "contests."

Tracking the sycophants.

Naming names.

The Colorado State University's Colorado Prize: Guidelines have changed, but 2005 Judge is Forrest Gander's Georgia selection, Cal Bedient.

Previous Colorado Prize Winners:

  1. 2004 Rusty Morrison for her manuscript Whethering (the climate: conditional). The judge was Forrest Gander.
  2. 2003 G. C. Waldrep, Goldbeater's Skin. (an MFA candidate at The Iowa Writers' Workshop) The judge was Donald Revell. Ed. note: Waldrep writes, "I entered the Colorado competition in December 2003. At the time I had no MFA degree, in fact no academic training in poetry . . . I had never met Donald Revell prior to his choosing my manuscript, much less studied with him." Read more in the Foetry Forums. Waldrep earned his B.A. at Harvard.
  3. 2002 Robyn Ewing, Chemical Wedding. Judge was Fanny Howe. (Ewing graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop with an MFA in poetry)
  4. 2001 Geoffrey Nutter, A Summer Evening Judge was Jorie Graham. (Nutter graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop with an MFA in poetry)
  5. 2000 Sally Keith, Design selected by Allen Grossman. (Keith graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop with an MFA in poetry and also won Georgia's Contemporary Poetry Series)
  6. 1999 Stephen Burt, Popular Music Burt is a graduate of Harvard, where he studied with Helen Vendler. Dr. Burt writes, "When Jorie Graham selected me for the '99 Colorado Prize I had met her once, at a reading, for about five minutes; I've since met her once, for about five minutes more. I've never set foot in Iowa City, and do not hold an MFA. (I did once write a favorable review of her Selected Poems, which I still think is a wonderful book . . . )"
  7. 1998 Michael White, Palma Cathedral (chosen by his professor, Mark Strand)
  8. 1997 Catherine Webster, The Thicket Daybreak (chosen by Jane Miller -- can anyone confirm a connection?)
  9. 1996 Bruce Beasley, Summer Mystagogia picked by Charles Wright)A reader says, "Bruce Beasley was not a student of Charles Wright. His wife, Suzanne Paola, was, and Bruce was at U.Va. getting a Ph.D. He'd gotten an MFA at Columbia." Beasley confirmed this information on April 22, 2005. Foetry regrets the previous misinformation that Beasley was Wright's student.
  10. 1995 Dean Young, Strike Anywhere selected by Charles Simic. (Young has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop)
If you don't like the ethics of this competition, feel free to contact the editor and/or CSU's President, Larry Edward Penley. You may also wish to contact the Colorado Consumer Line, a service of the Attorney General, the Colorado Better Business Bureaus and AARP ElderWatch.