Sawtooth Poetry Prize at Ahsahta Press

Boise State University

  • Not recommended, despite changes in guidelines. As recently as April 1, 2005, Janet Holmes declared that she has veto power over student screeners.
  • She states that the Foetry administrators have “serious rage disorders” and the Foetry site is ” . . . sort of repellent, in the way it’s repellent when a friend of yours confides that aliens are trying to control him through the fillings of his teeth.” Perhaps she said these things because she hoped not to get caught defrauding entrants.
  • In 2003, Joe Wenderoth selected Graham Foust’s manuscript as winner of the competition.
  • Foust and Wenderoth had previously published an interview together, Foust presented about Wenderoth at a conference at Iowa, and Foust had read an unpublished Wenderoth manuscript.
  • Despite this act of fraud, Foust wrote and read a poem called Foetry.com. Holmes, in attendance, laughed along at this event, and kept laughing with the $25 entry fees, all the way to the bank.
  • In 2002, Brenda Hillman selected Aaron McCollough‘s manuscript WELKIN, which she had helped him to revise while the two were in Iowa City. McCullough and Hillman went on to perpetuate the lie that they only had a one-poem-meeting at Iowa. According to TWO independent sources, McCullough took a seminar with Hillman when she was a visiting writer there.
  • Even worse, Hillman knew the runner up too, Lisa Fishman, whose book was also published using entry fees.
  • When confronted with the charges, Holmes attempted to divert attention to Foetry’s identity. She falsely accused Andrew Mister publicly on her blog and our site:

    Believe me, if we don’t receive entries to the Sawtooth from you or {SNIP} (whom Aaron [McCullough] has published . . . so maybe she’s the angry one? or perhaps you presume she was sleeping with him when he published her and are jealous?), it doesn’t much matter to me. I’ve read your work and I highly doubt a manuscript’s worth could survive to finalist status among the many excellent entries we receive, anyway.

    (Strangely enough, it did this year — why did Andrew enter after she was so horrible to him?)

  • She went on to do this with a second person. Read more from the second person she libeled prior to the unmasking of Alan Cordle as Foetry.com.
  • Update: it was recently revealed that Janet Holmes speculated — in an email — that Jeffrey Levine of Tupelo Press was the person responsible for Foetry. Read her actual words, including a disturbing revelation about Tupelo’s first fiction contest.
  • Alan Cordle has twice asked that Professor Holmes remove more than 2000 words he wrote which she appropriated and posted on her weblog in violation of copyright law. She has twice refused.
  • Holmes, who has been called Professor 1984 for her attempts to silence this site, forced two attorneys, one from Boise State University, and a personal injury lawyer to write cease and desist letters to me.
  • Perhaps the most telling display of the Professor’s demeanor is evident in this statement. On 12/27/2004 Holmes wrote (excerpt)

    I (in fact) was the person who lost out to “Enola Gay” for the National Poetry Series, receiving a call from them to say that Jorie Graham thought my manuscript was next best. (She was sleeping with the winner. I didn’t know it at the time.)