Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sawtooth Revisted: The Intrigue Ccontinues . . .

Buried in the comment section...

Spirit of Mallie said...

1. St. Mary's is unofficially affiliated with Sawtooth: Brenda Hillman and Graham Foust both teach there. The former "judged" a Sawtooth prize and the later "won" one. Three St. Mary's people. What ARE the chances?

2. Rusty will be publishing Bin Ramke's new book.

3. Hillman and Gander edit the California poetry series.

4. Gander is married to Wright.

5. And the list continues . . .

Thanks, Spirit of Mallie.


Friday, June 29, 2007

2007 Sawtooth Poetry Prize competition, and the winner is...

Thanks to "anonymous," I looked up the winner of the 2007 Sawtooth Poetry Prize:

Ahsahta Press is delighted to announce the winner of its sixth annual Sawtooth Poetry Prize competition: Rusty Morrison of Richmond, California, whose manuscript the true keeps calm biding its story was selected by Peter Gizzi. She will receive the $1,500 prize in addition to the publication of her book by Ahsahta Press in January 2008. Read the rest here...

C.D. Wright will judge the 2008 contest.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Rusty Morrison and her husband Ken Keegan are founders of Omnidawn Publishing: a publication founded "to create books that are most closely aligned with each author's vision, and to provide an interactive and rewarding publishing experience for poets and writers."

"She was the winner of the 10th Annual Colorado Prize for Poetry (2004) judged by Forrest Gander for her poetry collection, Whethering, published by Center for Literary Publishing and distributed by the University Press of Colorado. She is also the winner of the 2006 Cecil Hemley Memorial Award and co-winner of the 2003 Robert H. Winner Memorial Award, both from the Poetry Society of America. She also co-edits the poetry journal 26, which is affiliated with the Saint Mary's MFA program."

Finalists for the 2007 Sawtooth Poetry Prize:

Geri Lynn Baumblatt, Chicago, Illinois, Atlas of a Cul-de-sac

Oni Buchanan, Brighton, Massachusetts, Spring

Adam Clay, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Nodaway River

Joshua Corey, Ithaca, New York, Windlestrae

Donna de la Perrière, Oakland, California, Saint Erasure

Rebecca Morgan Frank, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Everyday Disaster

Anthony Hawley, Lincoln, Nebraska, Autobiography/Oughtabiography

Stephanie Heit, Frankfort, Michigan, Quiet Anatomy

Brenda Iijima, Brooklyn, New York, If Not Metamorphic (runner-up)

Alice Jones, Berkeley, California, Plunge

Jim Klein, Rutherford, New Jersey, I Didn’t Know if I Was Afoot or on Horseback

Rusty Morrison, Richmond, California, the true keeps calm biding its story (winner)

Danielle Pafunda, Shelburne, New Hampshire, Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies

Karin Randolph, Brooklyn, New York, Blitz

Richard A. Reid, Brooklyn, New York, to be hung from the ceiling by strings of varying length

Evelyn Reilly, Hillsdale, New York, Reverse Landscapes

Andrea Rexilius, Denver, Colorado, A HEM

Christopher Schmidt, Brooklyn, New York, The Next in Line

Brandon Shimoda, Missoula, Montana, O Bon

Michael Slosek, Chicago, Illinois, Artificial Origins

Ashley VanDoorn, Lawrenceville, Georgia, Devices

G.C. Waldrep, Gambier, Ohio, Archicembalo


Semifinalists for 2007 Sawtooth Poetry Prize:

Angus Bennett, Austin, Texas, Stomachion

Jessica Bozek, Beverly, Massachusetts, The Bodyfeel Lexicon

Julie Carr, Denver, Colorado, I, Minimus

Jennifer Denrow, Saint Louis, Missouri, A Knee for a Life

Shira Dentz, Salt Lake City, Utah, Diagram of a Voice

Janet Kaplan, Brooklyn, New York, Dreamlife of a Philanthropist

Jennifer MacKenzie, Portland, Oregon, With Its Brightness

Dora Malech, Bethesda, Maryland, Say So

Sarah Mangold, Seattle, Washington, Everything About How

Malinda Markham, Tokyo, Japan, Who Came Running

Susan McCabe, Santa Monica, California, Descartes’ Nightmare

Mary Molinary, Memphis, Tennessee, Feast of Anonymous

L.J. Moore, San Francisco, California, F-STEIN

Rusty Morrison, Richmond, California, Beyond the Chainlink

Kristin Naca, Seattle, Washington, Bird Eating Bird

Christopher Rizzo, Albany, New York, 33 Days in the Month of Kid

Donna Stonecipher, Seattle, Washington, The Cosmopolitan

Allison Titus, Richmond, Virginia, Barter, Fasten

Leila Wilson, Chicago, Illinois, The Hundred Grasses

Terence Winch, Silver Spring, Maryland, Lift from Below

Lynn Xu, Brooklyn, New York, For an Expedient Return to Wilderness


I wonder: Is Rusty Morrison's work really that good that she would win this contest and place as a semi-finalist?

I would say that she is well-connected. But I'll let you all judge for yourself.

The Tricky Dynamic of Domain Names

On Thursday, I registered a domain name through Yahoo!
- has been redirected to my website, which now has a legal notice posted. I'll explain what it's all about.
Being a word person, I'm fascinated by domain names and the possibility that one can make money with the right combination of words (I haven't quite figured out how to do this, but I'm working on it).
The other day, I Find Domains popped into my head, so I registered the dotcom version of it; the domain reselling biz is a bit crazy right now, so I thought I'd use it as a parking name, to see if it would generate some $$$$, okay $. I submitted it to a parking and resale site called Sedo and redirected the name to their parking lot and was getting ready to work on the template and maybe add some minor content (which is allowed).
That should have been the end of it, right?
I'm getting the feeling that Sedo and, perhaps, Afternic, are trying to seize the name on the cheap, which boggles my mind because I have MUCH better dotcom names registered. What's more, the wayback machine has the domain as last being a website in February 2005, so it's hardly a hot commodity. When I picked up the domain name, it must have just been dropped (perhaps for good reason) by its former owner and deleted from Whois. Believe me, if it were truly a hot name, the experienced domainers would have been on top of it with all their sophisticated farming software.
After I submitted the name to Sedo, there was a message on my account page noting that they needed to verify the owner of domain name. "That's cool," I thought. But then I noticed something odd; all my other non-verified names were still available for me to edit. They were noted as "not being for sale," but I could edit the templates, look at stats, access the actual page through my account, etc. However, was missing from my list, so I accessed the parked page the old-fashioned way (typing in the domain name in the browser box) and discovered that Sedo was offering the domain for for $100.00!
My domain is still stored in the Sedo database, but they are denying me access to it, so I can't delete it. The verification message is still on my account--all my other names have cleared verification. It's obvious that checking would take all of three seconds to verify me as the owner.
I was totally and thoroughly pissed off--still am--what gives them the right, anyway? I immediately went to my Yahoo! account and deleted the redirect, and for a day, it was reparked on Yahoo!'s construction page. I thought that was the end of it, but I still had a bad feeling, so I went to Domain Tools and discovered that the domain was still being offered for sale! I emailed both Sedo and Afternic with a cease and desist order, and I tried posting a message on the Domain Tool Blog. I suspect the Domain Tools folks thought I was just trying to market the name, and they didn't publish the post. But what I'm trying to do is leave an electronic trail so that I'm not forced (legally) to sell my name for a price not of my choosing. I'm just not electronically savvy enough to prove that I didn't give Sedo permission to act as my agent, but I'm stating it here again: Sedo and Afternic and others do NOT have permission to act as my selling agent for
I'm not interested in selling it at all; I just bought it!
Then, DUH, I realized I could post a notice on a webpage, and redirect the domain to that page (I use redirect a lot--for example, goes to my school website, easier for my students to remember, that is, if they spell my last name correctly).
Hence, the legal notice, on a webpage that is actually accessed via the actual domain address. How's that for proof? Anyway, I'm willing to fight for keeping this name; it was available, and no one wanted it until I registered it.
Although this is only slightly related to writing--creating cool domain names is a form of artistic expression--I just want to leave an electronic trail in case this ends up in court. I'm also keeping a paper trail as well. You think the world of poetry has cornered the market on sleazy practices? They're amateurs when compared to people who make money on domains; the field is festering with the domain version of foets.
I'm hoping it doesn't go that far, but I want my ducks in a row.

Lagniappe: an unserious blog

My cousin, Ted Frank, has kindly posted a link on his blog to us! His father is my Mom's brother! His site's address is: Lagniappe: an unserious blog

I am hoping for a link with my cousin Garance Franke-Ruta.

Hoping everyone is healthy and creative...

Haiku ruminations in plaid prose

My first encounters with Haiku were in elementary school(many, many years ago). I considered it to be more of a mathematical exercise than an aesthetic one. We were assigned to compose "poems" of three lines, with a 5 by 7 by 5 syllable breakdown.

My son was introduced to haiku in first grade, and as much as I adore him, his compositions reminded me of my own. I was not impressed. Please do NOT tell him that I've said this. His Haiku are surely better than mine!

Recently I received an email with some "Jewish Haiku". Regardless of syllables or brevity or my distaste for all things mathematical, these were laugh out loud amusing. I have a hunch as to the author, and if right and this person doesn't object, I will post two or three of them here.

My mother sent me a wonderful book. I haven't finished it, but I am ready to blog about it!

Baseball Haiku:
The Best Haiku Ever Written About The Game

Edited by Cor Van Den Heuvel And Nanae Tamura.

I love baseball and poetry and learning about Japanese culture. This little volume offers all of that. There are no watercolors or cartoons or illustrations, save for the front cover. The introduction is remarkable."Japanese poets have been using baseball as a subject for their haiku since 1890."

This book is published by W. W. Norton, New York ' London, copyright 2007. $19.95.

Here is one by Michael Fessler:

change of pitchers
the right fielder puts his glove
over his face

I have 4 minutes left on this computer. More later!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Does Post Foetry Have a Future?

Maybe it's because it's summer, or, perhaps Al was right: it's possible Foetry has run its course. I reread the last few posts that I wrote, and I can see why readers aren't checking in and/or responding. Post Foetry isn't breaking new ground; in fact, in my opinion, we have taken a step backwards.

At least one comment suggests this fact.

I could just be cranky today; it's hot out, and I'm tired, but I'm getting the sense that writers like the status quo, even though it's a deeply flawed system. Certainly, pobiz benefits those in power, so there is little incentive for real change, unless...

The government gets involved and starts investigating some of these university and private elitist contests, which, in my opinion, are sophisticated versions of poetry.scam. I do believe that a day of reckoning is upon the horizon, but I, as a lonely dissenter, will not be the impetus for such an investigation. I have neither the money nor the ambition to sustain the ire and relentless investigation required of a whistle blower. Perhaps some government wonk will get up off his or her ass and start the ball rolling, but I'm not holding my breath. It will take a truly egregious scandal to get the attention of the right legislators. It will happen: if nothing else, pobiz powers have a bottomless capacity for self-deception--sooner or later, some narcissistic pobizer will piss off the wrong people (read: powerful).

Three years ago, Al, as a private citizen, did a damn good job of ruffling feathers, but he's only one person; even if you dislike him, he stirred up the pobiz and some changes did take place, but now he has had to move on and reclaim his life before Foetry.

I note that pobiz has pretty much lapsed back into its sloppy ways and slimy contest guidelines, but here's the deal: most of you are adults, and if you choose to support these bogus contests, then who am I (or anyone else) to stop you?

For the past few days, I have been doing some serious thinking about where I want to concentrate my limited energies, and I had to admit that it isn't here.

Therefore, I will no longer be updating contest guidelines; you're on your own now. Perhaps another fofighter will take up the fight. However, I'll keep this blog open for comments and team members should anyone have anything important to say.

Post Foetry has an opportunity to become a place where important ideas are discussed, but it isn't there yet, and it may never be there.

So be it.

I'll check in a few days from now.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ho-hum, Another Contest, More of the Same Old, Same Old

Yesterday, I received what I consider another piece of contest junk mail, this time from Hollis Summers Poetry Prize.

Yet another way to lose $20.00.

I don't even need to go into the full guidelines, but the following is, in my opinion, a deal killer:
The final judge for the competition will be announced when the winner is named in April [2008].
Post Foetry recommends that you avoid all literary contests that don't announce their judges in advance and don't have the Jorie Graham Rule in place (e.g., former students, current students, friends, family, etc. may not enter).

How can one know if the judges are friends, former teachers, family, or foes if one does not know who the judges are? See our ideal guidelines in our favorite link list. Please note that our ideal contest guidelines text is a dynamic document; we are still working on it.

Eventually, we'll have in place a list of contests to definitely avoid and a list that have in place ethical submission rules. The latter will have links to their websites.

Hmmmmmm....I wonder which list will be longer?

Readers, if you want to help out in this effort, please e-mail any hinky guidelines to me.

Best, Bugzita

Friday, June 15, 2007

If You Tried to Comment, Read On...

I have just discovered that the comment feature was unavailable to non-members. That was not my intention, so if you wanted to jump in and couldn't, please try again. I thought I had set this blog up for comments, but evidently I hadn't.

If you are still having difficulty, please e-mail me.

This is a moderated form, which means you will have to copy some annoying letters and numbers before shooting off your comment. This is not meant to censor, but to circumvent those annoying spammers.

If you're not a team member and you want to post something on the blog, e-mail your article, and I'll consider posting all or part of it, even if I disagree with you. You may even be promoted to team member status.

Best, Bugzita

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Foetry Members as Writers

Back in the Foetry days, critics often accused foetry members as being non-writers; I kept mum on this topic, but, now, I just want to set the record straight. Those of us who were Foetry administrators and moderators are writers, although not all of us are poets. Also, most of the top-level administrators and moderators have come "out," identity wise. The day I was promoted to moderator, I identified myself. Nothing bad happened to me because no one cared. I'm out here as well: Jennifer Semple Siegel.

Matt is brilliant (in my opinion) and even headed. Intellectually, he's above me, but not in an intimidating way; I just sit back and enjoy his ideas and take from them what I can. I sincerely hope he finds his place as a writer and discovers a publisher who sees the value of his ideas. I hope he'll jump in and write something here; unlike the folks in his Jungian forum, Post Foetry will not ban him for differing ideas and opinions.

Al does shoot from the hip, but he got your attention, didn't he? But he's a writer as well. I'll say no more.

Nomi, I believe, also writes, but she can verify that for herself.

Monday Love ought to be a writer (if he's not already); while I didn't always agree with his posts, I still appreciated and enjoyed them. I hope he eventually comes here to post.

Christopher Woodman is a well-published poet who happened to get caught in the Tupelo snare.

I am both an academic and a writer. Furthermore, I do hold an M.F.A. from Goddard College, which probably sets me apart from other Foetry folks in that I do hold the M.F.A., although Goddard is anything but a traditional college. I loved my time there, having met a bunch of other malcontents and misfits and, at least in one case, a likable rogue.

I have published my fiction and non-fiction in both regional and national publications, and I self-published my book of short stories--I see no shame in that, and I have an odd habit of not caring what others think. I did it with eyes wide open. Besides, three of the stories in the collection had been published elsewhere.

During my time at Foetry (June 2005 to May 2007), I fiinished the first draft of a memoir and revised it three times. One more quick line editing, and then, for better or worse, I'm done with it. I have started a novel in which the main characters have working websites (complete with their domain names) and am simultaneously writing a non-fiction (not a memoir) work. I have another idea for a novel, but I want to finish what I have started.

During my time at Foetry, I never publicized the titles to my own work; I didn't want critics to say I was in this just to promote my own work, and I won't do it here, either. My name is googleable, and that's enough. I have other blogs and belong to other forums and am not shy about plugging my work in those places.

I once heard that if you don't show up in Google, you don't exist. Often, my students don't have a Google presence, so I have The Writer's Blog, a blog dedicated to their work, even my literature students. Sometimes, their work is better than the writing students, but that doesn't surprise me, for good reading often results in better writing--try telling that to the rhet comp people.

I like the idea that I often offer my students their first web existence. I do plug my short story collection there, but not overtly and only because our students ought to know that their instructors have lives outside of academe. Mostly, I'm proud of my students who continue to surprise me with their creativity, which is why I created the blog in the first place.

Last semester, I taught a full load, including a brand new course (at least for me): African-American Literature. I'm Irish, redheaded, and extremely white, but there it is. I loved every minute of it. I still wrote, sometimes during exams, sometimes during office hours, but I wrote. My Foetry participation fell off, which is why I feel partially responsible for Foetry's demise and one reason I decided to start this blog. Forum protocols are somewhat beyond my technical abilities, but I do understand blogging and doing website work (I have had my own website since 2001, though I have used FrontPage since 2004).

Any technical abilities I own have largely been self-taught--had I been born 20 years later, I'd be a total techie geek, but I'm 56, and change occurs slowly. I came to the internet kicking and screaming; back in 1995 I told everyone, "No way," and I forbade my students to use online sources, even "verified" sources. Sounds funny now, because now I can't imagine life before the web.

Where else can one meet friends all over the world?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Word is out.

My last meager post didn't appear in the font I'd chosen. Today I found a blog that mentions us. :)

Thanks, Jim Brock!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Greetings all,

My technical limitations are legendary. Yesterday I attempted to forward a serious message about a missing child and I somehow sent a blank message to about 20 people. Four of them kindly informed me of my error.

I continue to make progress. Foetrydotcom introduced me to the joys of electronic dialogue and the value of increasing these skills. I am not in the same league as Alan, Matt or Bugzita, but I am in a different level than in my earliest days.

If folks have an interest in corresponding with members of foetrydotcom, I am willing to facilitate by way of email. It will not always be possible and it will not be an instant process. Please contact me at:

Friday, June 1, 2007

Calling All Suckers! poetry.scam "Press Release"

Most Post Foetry readers know this scam well, but just in case you're new to this game, I offer you an important warning:

poetry(dot)com and other vanity press companies scam the media with advertising dressed up as press releases, such as the following:

* * * * *

[SPAM!] For Immediate Release

Free Poetry Contest [Except for the $49.99, plus shipping, to see it buried on page 755, UNLESS you pay extra, yadda, ydda, yadda...]

OWINGS MILLS, MD (USA) - Poetry (dot) com [a.k.a. The International Library of Poetry and other bogus names, too numerous to mention here] has announced that $58,000.00 in prizes will be awarded this year in the International Open Poetry Contest. Poets, particularly beginners [suckers], are welcome to try to win their share of over 250 prizes. The deadline for the contest is [blanked out]. The contest is open to everyone [and they mean anyone, even your cat or gecko or local caveman. Sorry, Geico] and entry is FREE [Though your poem will be published in a cheesy edition with thousands of other REALLY BAD poems, and you'll have to pay $49.99, plus shipping, to see it on page 755, UNLESS you pay extra, yadda, yadda, yadda...].

"Any poet, whether previously published or not, can be a winner," stated [the scamster, uh, Contest Director]. "When people learn about our free poetry contest, they suddenly realize that their own poetic works of art can win cash prizes, as well as gain national recognition [along with 5,000,000 other suckers]," continued [Gort, the evil contest director] .

To enter, send ONE original poem, any subject and any style to: [blanked out--you'll THANK me]. The poem should be 20 lines or less [Do you think we REALLY want to waste more than 20 lines of profit on your CRAP?], and the poet's name and address should appear on the top of the page. Entries must be postmarked or sent via the Internet by [blanked out]. You may also enter online at poetry(dot)com [Noted here only because you'll want to know what to avoid].

The International Library of Poetry, founded in 1982, is the largest poetry [scam] organization in the world. [For more information, see Bugzita's Squidoo lens on this scam]

* * * * *

Unfortunately, many media outlets fall for this ploy, thus perpetuating the myth that these outfits are community-minded and spirited, when, in fact, they are huge money-making machines--$12,000,000 per year--that prey on the hopes of the young and naive.

My Squidoo lens offers some good links to organizations that have spent careers documenting the activities of scam poem contests.

Best to all,


Poets & Writers (Grants & Awards Submission Calendar)

Poets & Writers offers a submission calendar for grants and contests.

Post Foetry does not endorse contests but simply offers this link for informational purposes. I urge you to read all contest guidelines and understand them before writing that check.

Even with freebie contests, do consider whether or not your entry will be worth your time, paper, and postage.