Pavement Saw Press and David Baratier

In recent research I’ve been conducting, I came across the following post on the Poetics listserv out of Buffalo. It’s from David Baratier of Pavement Saw Press, from April of this year. I would post this correction on the listserv itself, but my membership has not been approved yet. Maybe it won’t ever be.

It frustrates me to see someone so self-righteously denounce’s work, particularly in light of the fact that I did not write _one word_ of the paragraph he attributed to me. Another forum member, Monday Love, wrote it. Baratier was completely careless in this post. And no, I’m not against all contests either. And I’m pro Monday Love too.


Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2007 22:35:21 -0700
Sender: UB Poetics discussion group
From: David Baratier
Subject: Agni needs a spine
In-Reply-To: Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1The situation with foetry affects all of us. It is apparent from my
interactions with foetry that Alan Cordle is against all contests, even an
honest one. Foetry first went after me insinuating that I appeared in the
Denver Quarterly because I had Bin Ramke as a judge. That statement sat on
their site for many months even after the timeline was shown to them that
proved that the accusation was false. I am not sure why we were brought
onto their site except for an apparent need of Cordle to attack Ramke and
anyone who used him as a judge. The passage below written by Cordle is yet
another instance of his making things up without evidence:
————————- Let’s see. Please tell me if I got anything
wrong. David Baratier’s letters and poems have appeared in the Denver
Quarterly, editor Bin Ramke, professor, University of Denver. Baratier is
editor of Pavement Saw Press, in Ohio, which gets money from Ohio
taxpayers in order to establish, according to Pavement Saw Press’s mission
statement, a “non-university affiliated press” which helps Ohio’s economy
by attracting outside attention and publishing “works of national
signifiance.” Dana Curtis, Ph.D. University of Denver, wins Pavement Saw
Press Prize, picked by Ramke. Curtis is founder & editor-in-chief of
Elixir Press, based in Denver. Jake Adam York, director of creative
writing, University of Colorado at Denver, and Colorado Council on the
Arts fellow, wins Elixir Press Prize. Sounds to me like
university-affiliated Denver is the cat and the Ohio taxpayers are the
cream. It looks like, so far at least, there’s a nice little Denver system
in place here. Very nice. ———————————————-
Ok, Back to my side again The above written by Cordle is a total
fabrication. York and Curtis didn’t know each other in fact, at the time
Dana was in Minneapolis, not Denver I did not know Bin except for asking
him to judge the contest and I asked him because I called to find out if
they were going to run a interview I did with Simon Perchik (which
appeared as a feature in an early issue of Jacket) and while he was on the
line I asked if he would be interested. I’ll just stop here. The whole
thing is starting to bother me again. Our contest is blind judged, the
manuscripts are stripped of the name and publication credits, if we can
afford a judge, the judge is sent 25 manuscripts out of all recieved. If
not I end up judging the batch I am sent back from the readers. If I am
able to afford publishing two books (1000 run each) from the entries I do.
Then we pay to mail everyone at least their entry fee worth of books we
have published. I think we run one of the fairest contests there is, I
challenged Cordle to come up with a place that did better. I am still
waiting. Anyway, my experience is that we would have something false
written about us with no evidence, and once that material appeared on the
foetry website it became my job to “prove him wrong.” I should also
mention that Levine is one of our authors. And that (for the record, as to
avoid more wild speculation) his book won our contest before Tupelo was
publishing. I also do not see why Levine being accused of a problem with
the way he runs his press should affect the acceptance of his poems into
journals. This is heading into an ugly direction, what is next? Will AGNI
apologize about publishing poems if a poet is accused of running a
red-light? Maybe AGNI should apologize for all of the poems they publish
until they get a spine. Considering the student teacher problems with
poetry awards and with contests who have chosen a winner beforehand, my
amazement with Cordle is how inflated he is over the little he has
revealed. Be well David Baratier, Editor Pavement Saw Press PO Box 6291
Columbus, OH 43206