2024 Lord Nose Award

Celebrating Jim Perlman, Founding Editor and Publisher of Holy Cow! Press

The Holy Cow! Press logo, a stylized cow's head.

Photo of Jim Perlman, a light-skinned man with glasses, wearing a patterned tan shirt.Jim Perlman, founding editor and publisher of Holy Cow! Press, is the recipient of the 2024 Lord Nose Award, given in recognition of a lifetime of superlative work in literary publishing.

Perlman was born and raised in Minneapolis. He started writing poetry in tenth grade and was later selected as coeditor of his high school literary journal. As an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, Perlman helped found and coedit ONE magazine. In 1972, he founded the literary magazine Moons & Lion Tailes, which he coedited until 1977 when he founded Holy Cow! Press (the name had come to him in a dream). His first published titles included letters to tomasito by Thomas McGrath, Chicken and in Love by Natalie Goldberg, and Brother Songs: A Male Anthology of Poetry, which he edited. In 1980, he attended the University of Iowa eventually graduating with an MA in English/Ed.S. While at Iowa, he enrolled in a Walt Whitman seminar taught by Professor Ed Folsom. In 1981, Perlman, Folsom, and their classmate Dan Campion coedited and published Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song—a monumental anthology of poems and essays that reveal Whitman’s ongoing worldwide influences. Subsequent editions were published in 1998 and 2019.

Perlman and his family eventually settled in Duluth, Minnesota, where he continues to publish Holy Cow! Press books. Among the many authors his press has published are Meridel LeSueur, Carol Bly, Louis Jenkins, Joyce Sutphen, Joseph Bruchac, Diane Glancy, Roberta Hill, Kimberly Blaeser, Max Garland, Farzana Marie, Dianna Hunter, and Yael S. Hacohen. Perlman coedited and published three anthologies with Deborah Cooper, Mara Hart, and Pamela Mittlefehldt entitled Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude; The Heart of All That Is: Writings about Home; and Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior. 

The annual Lord Nose Award is given to a publisher or editor in recognition of a lifetime of work in literary publishing to honor and celebrate the memory of Jonathan Williams. Along with being the founder and publisher of the now legendary literary press, The Jargon Society, Williams was also an accomplished poet, photographer, raconteur, and cultural observer with a mordant wit and a clear eye for artistic excellence wherever it might be found.

Over a period of more than fifty years, beginning in 1951, Jargon published 85 books and 30 broadsides and booklets, all focused on his unique vision of poetry, prose, and photography that truly mattered—that needed to be discovered, nurtured, and brought into the world. His commitment to making books as compellingly beautiful objects never wavered. Jargon stands as one of the most important literary presses of the twentieth century. It is an exemplar of Williams’s lifelong dedication to words and art, of discovery and joy, the social act of making public the work he believed in.

The Lord Nose Award was established in 2017 by David Wilk, with support from Jeffery Beam, Stanley Finch, and Tom Meyer. There is no application process; honorees are chosen based on their work and accomplishments. The award is administered by CLMP.