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Janet Holmes

Janet Holmes is the author of Paperback Romance (State Street Press, 1984, a chapbook) and has been recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant and a Bush Foundation Artist's Fellowship. Her poems have been published in numerous magazines, including Antaeus, New Letters, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, Shenandoah, and Tar River Poetry. Her poems have been selected by A.R. Ammons and Richard Howard to appear in The Best American Poetry 1994 and 1995. A longtime resident of New Mexico, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, Alvin Greenberg, and their dogs Wally, Waverly, and Daisy. She teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her The Physicist at the Mall won the 1994 Anhinga Prize for Poetry.

Janet Holmes' second book of poems,The Green Tuxedo (published in March, 1998, by the University of Notre Dame Press) won the Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry.

Prize-winning poet Tom Andrews says:

Janet Holmes' first book, The Physicist at the Mall, introduced us to a remarkable new voice: fiercely intelligent, buoyant with humor, alert to mysteries of language and landscape. The Green Tuxedo more than fulfills the earlier book's promise, adding to it a formal inventiveness and mastery that amazes and delights… If any recent book could capture a new and reluctant audience for poetry, this is it.

And in a review in the Twin Cities City Pages, Anne Ursu says of The Green Tuxedo:

While sorting through her father's things after his death, acclaimed poet Janet Holmes uncovered two of the journals he kept during the 1920s. These journals became the source material for much of the poetry in Holmes's second collection, The Green Tuxedo. Excerpts from his diaries are interposed with Holmes's own efforts to create a portrait of her father as a young man. One poem is a 76-line list of names copied from the journal under the title "Wild Women I Have Known," and the next poem speculates its meaning: "I search my father's scrapbook with its photographs and clippings: round faces with beestung lips. His type? and the decade got named for the sounds the wild make." The result is deeply affecting and deeply cool.

Three poems from Janet Holmes' collection in progress, Humanophone, were recently selected by W.S. Merwin for the Pablo Neruda Prize.


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Document last modified: August 17, 2012 12:54 PM