Vassar Miller Prize

Former series editor, Scott Cairns, has stepped down. John Poch is the new editor, and by all indications, will operate this contest with integrity. I encourage you to enter unless you’re friends with or you’ve studied with this year’s judge, Eric Pankey. — /Alan Cordle 11/13/07/

The history of the prize is not good

* charges $20 to enter
* Series editor, Scott Cairns, regularly and repeatedly allows his
friends and associates to enter and win.
* In other cases, winners were friends and/or former students of the

Here’s a list of winners and judges to date, along with commentary about
known conflicts of interest.
Winner Judge Comments
Partial Eclipse by Tony Sanders Richard Howard
Delirium by Barbara Hamby Cynthia Macdonald
The Sublime by Jonathan Holden Yusef Komunyakaa Jonathan Holden is and
has been friends with Cairns for quite a while. And Holden features
Cairns’ writing in The Fate of American Poetry (University of Georgia,
American Crawl by Paul Allen Sydney Lea
Soul Data by Mark Svenvold Heather McHugh
MOVING & ST RAGE by Kathy Fagan T. R. Hummer Fagan attended Utah with
A Protocol for Touch by Constance Merritt Eleanor Wilner Merritt and
Wilner were friends at the time
The Perseids by Karen Holmberg Selected by Sherod Santos Santos was
Holmberg’s Dissertation director. Santos and Cairns both teach at
University of Missouri — Columbia.
The Self as Constellation by Jeanine Hathaway Selected by Madeline
DeFrees Hathaway and Defrees were friends at the time; both are former
nuns. Hathaway and Cairns are also friends.
Bene-Dictions by Rush Rankin Rosanna Warren
Losing and Finding by Karen Fiser Lynne McMahon
The Black Beach by J. T. Barbarese Andrew Hudgins
Re-Entry by Michael White Paul Mariani White and Cairns attended Utah

Cairns and Corruption: Discuss