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
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