Vermont Poetry Newsletter • April 20 2010

[The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this. PLEASE NOTE: I have edited his newsletter so that links are provided rather than text. If I cannot find a link, I will either omit the relevant portion of the newsletter to avoid copyright violations, or I will provide an alternate link. Please contact Ron Lewis if you would like to receive his Newsletter in full. All images are linked.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter


Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State
April 20, 2010 (Previous issue: 03/25) – In This Issue:

  1. About VPN/How To Print
  2. Newsletter Editor’s Note
  3. Writing Assignment/Suggestion/Exercise/Prompt
  4. Arab Idol: Veiled Woman Rises In TV Poetry Contest
  5. Montpelier Art Walk & Poetry Alive!
  6. Post Your Poetry
  7. Special Poetry Sale
  8. Between Ordinary and Ecstatic
  9. Gary Margolis New Book: Below the Falls
  10. Inkblot Complex Poetry Workshop
  11. League of Vermont Writers Spring Workshop
  12. PSOV Spring Luncheon
  13. Vermont Poets Daniel Lusk and Angela Patten
  14. League of VT Writers: David Weinstock Writing Workshop
  15. Statement For A Television Program – Denise Levertov
  16. Ed Carvalho’s Interview with Ron Slate
  17. Tehran Halts Travel by Poet
  18. Did You Know? Frost Place Conference on Teaching Poetry
  19. Ponderings: Poetry Posts
  20. Poetry Quote – Carl Sandburg
  21. Failbetter Poem
  22. Linebreak Poem
  23. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  24. American Life in Poetry Poems
  25. US Poets Laureate List
  26. Vermont Poet Laureates
  27. US Poet Laureates From Vermont
  28. New Hampshire Poet Laureates
  29. US Poet Laureates From New Hampshire
  30. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  31. Vermont Literary Journals
  32. Vermont Literary Groups’ Anthologies
  33. Vermont Poetry Blogs
  34. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  35. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  36. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  37. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  38. Other Writing Groups in Vermont
  39. Poetry Event Calendar

1.) About the Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network

The Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network is made up of people of all backgrounds, ages and skills who appreciate the craft of poetry and want to promote it in the beautiful state of Vermont. The network consists of a free e-mail list, an eventual web site, workshops, open mics, poetry performances and other literary events.  The network provides opportunities to meet local poets, talk about and enjoy poetry, and motivate and inspire yourself in whatever writing projects you are involved.

The mission of the Vermont Poetry Newsletter is to foster the poetry arts community in the Green Mountain State. Its goals are to serve as a resource for and about VT poets; to support the development of individual poets; and to encourage an audience for poetry in Vermont.

2.) Dear Friends of Poetry:

It was nice to hear from several of you these past weeks on the new look to the Vermont Poetry Newsletter, since it’s now permanently a part of Patrick Gillespie’s poetry blog: http://poemshape.wordpress.com/.

I would encourage most of you to get out there and take in some of the poetry readings this month. As you can see on the Poetry Event Calendar (at the bottom of the Vermont Poetry Calendar), there is a wealth of readings in these green hills. As a note, you will find the identical information about these readings on another poetry calendar: Poetz.com. I am the Curator of that site, and it’s an easy way to see what’s going on, what’s coming up, and what you might have missed!

I could have placed additional interesting information in this newsletter for you, but with all the events, I didn’t want to delay any longer for fear of you missing out on something of interest. So here you are!

Have a great National Poetry Month.

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher
247-5913

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The Vermont Poetry Newsletter • December 2 2009

[The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis , by whose permission I post this. PLEASE NOTE : I have edited his newsletter so that links are provided rather than text.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter

Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State

December 2, 2009 – In This Issue:

  1. About VPN/How To Print
  2. Newsletter Editor’s Note
  3. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  4. Kingdom Books Poetry Room Closing Dec 10th
  5. Two Heads: New Book by David Parkinson/Judith Dow Moore
  6. NH Writer’s Project Poetry Event Calendar
  7. The Mountain Review Literary Magazine
  8. The Pleasures of Translation & Writing Off The Bible: Misrashic Poetry
  9. The Politics of Poetry
  10. Brighten the Barn – PSOV Anthology
  11. 2009 NH Writer’s Handbook
  12. Interview with Poet Kevin Pilkington
  13. Stanley Kunitz on The Poet’s Relationship to the Poem
  14. Anne Sexton 10-Minute Video
  15. On Revision
  16. Poet Craig Arnold Passing
  17. Robert Frost Farm Fund
  18. Lost Poetry Quotations Web Site
  19. 2009-10 Poetry Out Loud Registered Schools To-Date
  20. The Recession Confession of a Poetry Shopaholic
  21. Bloodroot Literary Magazine Winners
  22. Boys & Girls Club of Rutland County 350 Syllables Project
  23. Did You Know? Poetry Foundation Has Launched an Online Poetry Learning Lab
  24. Ponderings – $10,000 Poetry Film Prize
  25. Poetry Quote – Christian Wiman
  26. US Poets Laureate List
  27. Failbetter Poem
  28. Linebreak Poem
  29. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  30. American Life in Poetry Poems
  31. League of Vermont Writers
  32. Vermont Poet Laureates
  33. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  34. Vermont Literary Journals
  35. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  36. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  37. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  38. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  39. Poetry Event Calendar

1.) About the Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network

The Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network is made up of people of all backgrounds, ages and skills who appreciate the craft of poetry and want to promote it in the beautiful state of Vermont. The network consists of a free e-mail list, an eventual web site, workshops, open mics, poetry performances and other literary events.  The network provides opportunities to meet local poets, talk about and enjoy poetry, and motivate and inspire yourself in whatever writing projects you are involved.

The mission of the Vermont Poetry Newsletter is to foster the poetry arts community in the Green Mountain State.  Its goals are to serve as a resource for and about VT poets; to support the development of individual poets; and to encourage an audience for poetry in Vermont.


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New Hampshire’s Writer’s Trail

  • Although it’s called the New Hampshire’s Writer’s Trail, this year’s trail is crossing the river into Vermont (where all good things happen). Take a ride on the train and enjoy poetry, Shakespeare and other readers and writers of poetry.

NH Writer's Trail

Vermont Poetry Newsletter February 14 2009

[The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter
Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State
February 13, 2009 – In This Issue:

  1. Newsletter Editor’s Note/Notes to Otter Creek Poets
  2. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  3. John Engels Memorial Reading
  4. New Vermont Lit Journal – The Queen City Review
  5. Geof Hewitt’s Slam Poetry Book
  6. Poetry Can Be Any Damn Thing It Wants
  7. Valentine Broadside from Copper Canyon Press
  8. Vermont Poet Plumbs Lake Champlain For Inspiration
  9. Talking Pictures
  10. Amazon in Big Push For New Kindle Model
  11. This Week’s Review: Khaled Mattawa
  12. This Week’s Review: Seido Ray Ronci
  13. Did You Know? Lucille Clifton’s Use of Punctuation
  14. Ponderings – How Can You Become a Poet?
  15. Poetry Quote (Carl Sandburg)
  16. US Poets Laureate List
  17. failbetter.com Poem
  18. Linebreak Poem
  19. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  20. American Life in Poetry Poem
  21. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
  22. Vermont Poet Laureates
  23. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  24. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  25. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  26. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  27. Poetry Event Calendar

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About the Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network

  • The Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network is made up of people of all backgrounds, ages and skills who appreciate the craft of poetry and want to promote it in the beautiful state of Vermont. The network consists of a free e-mail list, an eventual web site, workshops, open mics, poetry performances and other literary events.  The network provides opportunities to meet local poets, talk about and enjoy poetry, and motivate and inspire yourself in whatever writing projects you are involved.

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1.)

Dear Friends of Poetry:

Please note that my email address has changed again!  Sorry to do this to everyone.  My first couple of choices were taken, but another one of my top choices, which is being used by my poet friend Patrick Gillespie (but his host is different than mine), was available.  I decided to go with it.  So, my new email address is:

vtpoet@gmail.com

Vermont has added a wonderful new lit journal to its collection, The Queen City Review.  It was nice to see so many members of the Otter Creek Poets gobble up subscription applications after passing around a couple of samples of this fine journal.  Please see my description of the QCR below.

The Burlington Poetry Journal has indicated that at least 3 members of the Otter Creek Poets have had poems accepted for their 2009 issue.  Those poets are Ann Day, Ray Hudson and myself.  Congratulations to all!

April is National Poetry Month and it is sooner than you think.  David Weinstock of the Otter Creek Poets is now taking suggestions for guest speakers, guest poets, and other events in celebration of the art and its month.  They have four Thursdays to plan for, April 2, 16, 23 and 30. (April 9 is the first night of Passover.) If you have any interesting program ideas for us to mull over, please let me know and I will pass them on to David.  If you’re a poet and would consider providing a reading or program to the group, again, contact me.

I begin my new job as the General Manager of Rutland Natural Foods: The Co-op this coming Monday.  Trying to fit another 2,500 hours into my already difficult schedule will be an exercise in time management.  The Vermont Poetry Newsletter will probably become a bi-monthly publication from this date forward.  Wish me luck on both fronts.

I won’t be back with the Otter Creek Poets for some time.  At least I got to go out with a “bang,” you might say, after the reading of my poem, “Let’s Build a Bomb.”  I will indeed miss all the friendships I developed with the Otter Creekers.

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher
247-5913

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2.)
THIS WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

ASSIGNMENT: JUST-SO STORIES, or, HOW THINGS GOT THIS WAY.
The oldest stories we know are an attempt to explain how the world got the way it is. Genesis contains several stories of creation, including a flood story that may have come from earlier Babylonian sources.
Kipling wrote his whimsical Just-So stories about How the Elephant Got His Trunk, and How the Camel Got His Hump.
WRITE ONE YOURSELF: Take something, anything, about the world, or your life, and write a poem or story that tells how things got that way. Feel free to remember, feel free to invent.
HINT: Keep the poem free of apologies, winks, or other tip-offs that you don’t really mean it, because you do.
David Weinstock
02/12/09

LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

Bring in a poem “suitable for framing.”  Make it a good one, as you’ll be asked to read your poem, and the group will be listening to it with an ear bent to visualize it on a Broadside under framed under glass.

David Weinstock
01/29/09

Good luck!

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3.)

Please note the change of time for this event (from a 7:00 start, to 7:30)

John Engels Memorial Reading

Wed, Mar 11: Hoehl Welcome Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, 7:30 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  John Engels Memorial Reading.  In memory of longtime English Department member (and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet), John Engels (1931-2007) the Department has established an annual  poetry reading. Poet, novelist and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s reading.  The first reading, in 2008, featured former Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt.  The English Department Reading Series invites poets, fiction writers, theater troupes, filmmakers, and the like to campus to give readings, talks, performances, screenings etc. In the last few years for example, they’ve hosted the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, novelists including Julia Alvarez, Russell Banks, and Pulitzer-Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, and poets including Pulitzer-Prize winner Louise Gluck, Chase Twitchell, Joy Harjo, and Galway Kinnell. Students are invited to these events, free of charge, and often have the chance to meet and talk to those visitors.  Sponsored by the Lecture Series.
Vermont had a few losses in 2007 and 2008, which were also losses to the entire poetry community.  John Engels, a professor for 45 years at St. Michael’s College, was one of those great losses.  For those of you lucky enough to have clutched a copy for yourself and read through “Remembering John Engels,” you will believe yourself a friend of John’s, as an admirer of his words.  I feel fortunate to have been been both a poet friend of his, as well as a friend of the stream, both of us maintaining a love of fly fishing and fly tying.  If you want to connect or reconnect with John Engels, I would invite you to come to this event, which is sure to be one of those incredible poetry moments.

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4.)

New Vermont Lit Journal
The Queen City Review

  • Burlington College’s Queen City Review, whose inaugural issue is labeled as Fall 2008, is a true Vermont gem, as much as is our fall foliage, or a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.  The founding editor, Heidi Berkowitz, who teaches in the college’s Interdisciplinary Studies program and coordinates its writing center, sent me three complementary copies, and I cherish each one.  Dartmouth lecturer Kevin McCarthy, who oversees the poetry, has gone out of his way to make ensure there are no loose gems in this first collection.  The familiar names, or at least they should be familiar to anyone who follows poetry closely, ring out clearly: poetry slam champ Geof Hewitt, fast-rising star Oregonian Matthew Dickman (he was just declared the winner of the 2009 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for his first book All-American Poem, which also won the APR/Honikman First Book Prize, and the inaugural awarding of the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences), and several others, including some nice surprises.  Between the lovely color cover, drawn by Aaron Mitton, and its last many brief bios, is a collection that will keep you entertained to the point of energizing you to submit your best unpublished work to them, or pick up your writer’s journal and get to it!  This is a lit journal that I will be glad to share with my close fellow poets, but one they will grudgingly give back to me.

Ron Lewis

Submission Guidelines

The Queen City Review is a yearly journal of art and literature and accepts the work of new and established writers and artists in the areas of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, photography, and fine art, as well as essays and criticism on all aspects of the aforementioned. They seek to publish high quality work that ranges broadly in topic and genre.
All submissions and queries should be emailed to:queencityreview@burlington.edu by April 20, 2009.
Their submission period is rolling and accepted writers and artists will be notified by email. All submissions must be in English, formatted in WORD or RTF, and previously unpublished. Please submit no more than three poems at a time, fiction and screenplays under 5000 words, and photography and artwork in JPEG format. Simultaneous submissions are also acceptable as long as they are notified immediately if the manuscript or artwork is accepted for publication elsewhere. Be sure to include phone, address, and e-mail contact information.
The Fall 2008 issue is on sale now. The 2009 issue is slated to come out in early autumn.

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5.)

Geof Hewitt’s Guide to Slam Poetry and Poetry Slam with DVD (Paperback)

In case you weren’t aware of or hadn’t seen this book, here’s what has helped to nuture (besides the Vermont poet himself) Slam Poetry.  If you want to grasp Slam, teach it, or write it, grab a copy of Geof’s book!

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6.)

Here’s a most-interesting article from The Poetry Foundation.  At the conclusion, you will find some hilarious blogs, commenting on the article.

Poetry Can Be Any Damn Thing It Wants

Introduction to a collection of eight manifestos commemorating the centennial of Italian futurists.

BY MARY ANN CAWS

In 1909, pamphlets were dropped over the town of Milan containing Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto, the centennial of which we are celebrating. Everything about this piece was exciting, its pace, its over-the-top scenery:
We had stayed up all night, my friends and I, under hanging mosque lamps with domes of filigreed brass, domes starred like our spirits. . . .

An immense pride was buoying us up, because we felt ourselves alone at that hour, alone, awake, and on our feet, like proud beacons or forward sentries against an army of hostile stars.
Nothing is slow in this manifesto of speedy Futurism: “‘Let’s go!’ I said. ‘Friends, away! Let’s go!'” I love that kind of exalted certainty about a showy (manifest) endeavor. Of course, we have the right to ironize about the over-the-topness — who among us would so exaggerate the style and so magnify the substance as to make a larger-than-life-size poster, pointing at itself as a deictic genre? Look! Here! Now!

The rest of the article can be read here.

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7.)

Valentine’s Day

Yes, that’s today!  Many of you know me as a poet, or just the publisher of the Vermont Poetry Newsletter.  Well, another one of my hobbies is that of collecting antique Valentine cards.  I have one of the largest collections on the east coast, numbering 4,000-6,000 cards (I admit, it’s hard to count them all!).

With that, you might be interested in downloading a Valentine broadside from Copper Canyon Press, at http://www.coppercanyonpress.org/VDayBroadside/.  It’s a poem by Gregory Orr.

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8.)

Vermont Poet Plumbs Lake Champlain for Inspiration

BY MIKE IVES

Lake Champlain is so picturesque that its effect on viewers can defy description. But that doesn’t stop any number of writers from trying. To that number add Daniel Lusk. Since last spring, the poet and University of Vermont English lecturer has been reading maritime lit and visiting shipwrecks with guides from theLake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes. With financial support from the Vermont Community Foundation, Lusk plans to translate his experience and knowledge into a collection of poems tentatively called “Lake Studies: Meditations on Lake Champlain.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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9.)

Talking Pictures

“Picture That Poem,” multi-media show examining the relationship between visual imagery and poetry.

Main Floor Gallery, Studio Place Arts, Barre. Through February 28.

By Marc Awodey

The nexus of poetry and visual art encompasses more than vivid verbal imagery. “Picture That Poem,” at Studio Place Arts in Barre, demonstrates how diverse and thought provoking the two arts’ links can be.
SPA is known for strongly curated theme shows, and a great idea makes for a fascinating group exhibition. “Picture That Poem” is built on a fresh notion that gave artists plenty of room for creativity in addressing the call for entries, which requested visual art “utterances” and the poems that inspired them.

Read the rest of the article here.

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10.)

Amazon in big push for new Kindle model

By Brad Stone and Motoko Rich
Escalating its efforts to dominate the fledgling industry for electronic books, Amazon.com introduced on Monday a new version of its electronic book reader, called Kindle 2.
Amazon said the upgraded device had seven times the memory as the original version, allowed faster page-turns and had a crisper, though still black-and-white, display. The Kindle 2 also features a new design with round keys and a short, joysticklike controller — a departure from the previous version’s design, which some buyers had criticized as awkward. The new device will ship on Feb. 24. Amazon did not change the price for the device, which remains $359.

Read the rest of the article here.

POSTED BY BETH KANELL; for more Blogs, go to http://kingdombks.blogspot.com

  • (Beth Kanell is from Kingdom Books, which is a specialty mystery, poetry and fine press shop in Vermont.  Beth Kanell, Co-Owner with her husband Dave, is a published author and regularly reviews books for the Vermont Review of Books.  Kingdom Books offers mostly first editions, many signed, and often hosts author events.)

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11.)

THIS WEEK’S REVIEW (1 OF 2)

Khaled Mattawa

AMORISCO: To Enter Another World

Narrative, whether as prose or poetry, can paint another world in vivid colors, and can transport the emotions into new places, new situations. But how can a writer perform the complex alchemy of assisting the reader to let go of the existing self, in order to sample another tongue entirely?

Rarely leaving the English language, but twisting the verse forms and the continuities and jumps of imagery, Libyan-born Khaled Mattawa calls forth an edgily foreign experience in the poems of AMORISCO (Ausable Press).

Read the rest of the article here.

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THIS WEEK’S REVIEW (2 OF 2)

American Zen: The Poetry of Seido Ray Ronci

On a lifetime journey that led to the Naropa Institute and the metaphorical feet of Allen Ginsburg, and later to his present position as director of Hokoku-an Zendo in Columbia, Missouri, Seido Ray Ronci has shaped a trail of poetry and poetics as markers along the road. With the Ausable Press publication of THE SKELETON OF THE CROW: New & Selected Poems, 1978-2008, comes a map to that territory … or at least a wide selection of those markers.

Boston poet/publisher William Corbett wrote for the back of the book that reading it from first poem to last shows Ronci’s process of “shedding the impulse to tell stories while skillfully paring his poems to that he comes to say in the fewest words what is his to say.”

Read the rest of the article here.

POSTED BY BETH KANELL

For more Blogs, go to http://kingdombks.blogspot.com

  • (Beth Kanell is from Kingdom Books, which is a specialty mystery, poetry and fine press shop in Vermont.  Beth Kanell, Co-Owner with her husband Dave, is a published author and regularly reviews books for the Vermont Review of Books.  Kingdom Books offers mostly first editions, many signed, and often hosts author events.)

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13.)

Did You Know?
In Lucille Clifton’s (an absolute legend of a poet) latest book, Voices,
there is not a comma, period, colon, or semi-colon throughout.

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14.)
“Ponderings”
Reply to the Question: “How Can You Become a Poet?”

by Eve Merriam (1916-1992)

take the leaf of a tree
trace its exact shape
the outside edges
and inner lines
memorize the way it is fastened to the twig
(and how the twig arches from the branch)
how it springs forth in April
how it is panoplied in July
by late August
crumple it in your hand
so that you smell its end-of-summer sadness
chew its woody stem
listen to its autumn rattle
watch as it atomizes in the November air
then in winter
when there is no leaf left
invent one

from Rainbow Writing © 1976 by Eve Merriam.

  • Eve Merriam was a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction for both children and adults. Her awards were many and varied, including the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 1946, the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1981, and an Obie for playwriting in 1977. Ms. Merriam’s favorite genre was poetry, however. Of her writing career she said in Something About the Author,”I think one is chosen to be a poet. You write poems because you must write them; because you can’t live your life without writing them.”

Although Eve Merriam died in 1992, her poems are still being published in picture books for very young children.

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15.)

‘Poetry is the achievement of the synthesis
of hyacinths and biscuits .’

Poetry Quote by Carl Sandburg

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16.)
Poets Laureate of the U.S.A.

  • A Net-annotated list of all the poets who have served the Library of Congress as Consultant (the old title) or Poet Laureate Consultant (the new title). Biographies & general reference sites are linked to the poets’ names — for the recent Laureates these are our own poet profiles with book-buying links at the bottom. Many of the other linked biographies are pages from the Academy of American Poets’ Find a Poet archive, a growing & invaluable resource. If there is no general information site about the poet, we have searched the Net for sample poems or other writings or recordings & listed those below the poet’s name.

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17.)


failbetter.com

Leave It All Up to Me

By Major Jackson
All we want is to succumb to a single kiss…

Lorca in Eden

By Major Jackson

Squat by a roadside near Eden, prairie flowers…

  • Major Jackson is the author of two collections of poetry: Hoops and Leaving Saturn. His third volume of poetry, Holding Company, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. A recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, he is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at the University of Vermont, and a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. He serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review.

failbetter.com is an online journal that publishes original works of fiction, poetry and art

Sign up in order to get their online newsletter: http://failbetter.com/29/AboutUs.php

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18.)
Linebreak is an online journal with a bias for good poetry. Here is a poem from their web site this week:

Dear Atamasco Lily
by Susan Meyers

Nothing else in the swamp rises beyond…

http://linebreak.org/

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19.)
Here’s a poem from Copper Canyon Press, not in its “Reading Room” (http://www.coppercanyonpress.org/) as I usually reprint in the Newsletter, but from another source.  It was such a find that I felt you should read it in this space usually reserved for a Copper Canyon poem.

Carolyn Kizer

Bits of Reminiscence
A toppled wine-cup,
A stone path floating beneath the moon
Where the grass was trampled:
One azalea branch left lying there…

The rest of the poem can be read here.

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20.)
American Life in Poetry: Column 203

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

To read in the news that a platoon of soldiers has been killed is a terrible thing, but to learn the name of just one of them makes the news even more vivid and sad. To hold the name of someone or something on our lips is a powerful thing. It is the badge of individuality and separateness. Charles Harper Webb, a California poet, takes advantage of the power of naming in this poem about the steady extinction of animal species…
Read the rest of the post here.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2006 by Charles Harper Webb. Reprinted from “Amplified Dog,” by Charles Harper Webb, published by Red Hen Press, 2006, by permission of the author and publisher.  Introduction copyright (c) 2009 by The Poetry Foundation.  The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.  We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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21.)

KEEP PAST VERMONT POETS ALIVE!  I’M SOLICITING YOUR HELP:

POETS OF VERMONT: PAST AND PRESENT PROJECT

I’m looking for a copy of:
1) The Literature of Vermont: A Sampler, University Press of New England, Arthur W. Biddle and Paul A. Eschholz, Editors, 1973
2) Poets and Poetry of Vermont, by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1858
3) “Driftwood,” a poetry magazine begun in 1926 by Walter John Coates
If you have any books of poetry, chapbooks, or just poems written by Vermont poets, dating 1980 and earlier, famous or not, I’d like to know about them.  I’m beginning a project that deals strictly with Vermont poets, from Vermont’s past, with summaries of the poets themselves, a portrait photo or drawing of the poet, along with a small sampling of poems.  If you think you can help, you probably can!  Please contact me by replying to this newsletter.

Ronald Lewis

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22.)

VERMONT POET LAUREATES

1) Robert Frost – 1961
2) Galway Kinnell
3) Louis Glück
4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
5) Grace Paley
6) Ruth Stone

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23.)

If you ever have a need to contact me, here’s how to go about doing so:
Ronald Lewis:
Phone: 802-247-5913
Cell: 802-779-5913
Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
Email: vtpoet@gmail.com

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24.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BELLOWS FALLS

1) Great River Arts Institute – See details elsewhere in this newsletter

2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat).  The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at vsbooks@sover.net or  jfowler177@comcast.net.

GUILFORD

The Guilford Poets Guild, formed in 1998, meets twice a month to critique and support each other’s work.  Their series of sponsored readings by well-known poets which began at the Dudley Farm, continues now at the Women and Family Life Center.

MIDDLEBURY

1) The Otter Creek Poets offer a poetry workshop every Thursday afternoon, from 1:00 to 3:00 in the basement meeting room of the Ilsley Public Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury.  This workshop, the largest and oldest of its kind in the state, has been meeting weekly for 13 years.  Poets of all ages and styles come for peer feedback, encouragement, and optional weekly assignments to get the poetry flowing.  Bring a poem or two to share (plus 20 copies).  The workshops are led by David Weinstock.  There is considerable parking available behind the library, or further down the hill below that parking lot.  For more information, call David at 388-6939 or Ron Lewis at 247-5913.

2) The Spring Street Poets.  This group is by invite only and consists of six members, Jennifer Bates, Janet Fancher, Karin Gottshall, Ray Hudson, Mary Pratt and David Weinstock.

NORWICH

This group meets on the first Sunday of every month at the Norwich Library, 6:30 p.m.

PLAINFIELD

The Wayside Poets share their poetry publicly from time to time.  They meet at the Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street, Plainfield.  Members include Diane Swan, Sherry Olson, Carol Henrikson and Sarah Hooker.  You can contact them through Sherry Olson at: solsonvt@aol.com or 454-8026.

STOWE

There is another poetry workshop happening in Stowe, but unfortunately I know nothing much about this group.  If you do, contact me!

WAITSFIELD

The Mad River Poets consists of a handful of poets from the Route 100 corridor.  More on this group in the future.

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25.)
OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BURLINGTON

Scribes in the making put pen to paper as part of an open verse-writing session at the Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street.  Three consecutive Thursdays, starting January 8, 2009, 5:00-6:00 p.m.  Free.  Contact information: 862-1094.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

Thinking Like a Poetry Editor:  How to Be Your Own Best Critic
(“The Ossmann Method” Poetry Workshop – Crash Course)
Instructor: April Ossmann
The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT  05001
Saturday, January 17th OR Saturday, February 14th
2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
$45

Learn how to think like a poetry editor! In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. Participants will receive written editorial suggestions for both poems from the instructor. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8. Info: (802) 333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and www.aprilossmann.com

The Ossmann Method Poetry Workshop: Building Your Tool Kit
Instructor: April Ossmann
The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT  05001
Sundays, 8 weeks, January 18th – March 8th
2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
$200

Build or improve your poetic techniques tool kit and learn how to think like a poetry editor!  In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. This workshop will be both critical and generative, so I will assign reading and generative exercises meant to teach or improve writing skills. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8 (minimum enrollment for the course to proceed is 4). Info: (802) 333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and www.aprilossmann.com

  • Note: If you know of any others, or have personal information about the workshop in Stowe and Guilford, please send me that information.  I realize that there are several smaller groups or workshops around the state.  However, because of their intimacy, they are not posted above, allowing them to offer “memberships” to close friends or acquaintances that they feel would be most appropriate.

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26.)
YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

The Writer’s Center is for serious writers and nervous beginners. It’s for procrastinators who could benefit from regular deadlines – and for the prolific who could benefit from quality feedback. It’s for anyone with a manuscript hidden in a drawer, or a life story or poem waiting to be written. It’s for people who don’t know where to start or how to end. And for writers who are doing just fine on their own, but would like the company of other writers.  The Writer’s Center is for anyone who is writing or wants to write.  One of the Center’s consultants is April Ossman (www.aprilossmann.com).  Founded by Joni B. Cole and Sarah Stewart Taylor, the Writer’s Center offers instruction and inspiration through a selection of workshops, discussions, and community. We would love to see you – and your writing – at The Writer’s Center!  For more info, http://www.thewriterscenterwrj.com/.

UNDERHILL


Women Writing for (a) Change supports the authentic experience of women who honor themselves through creative writing.  Our community supports reflection as we move into our questions and awaken to change.  Participants enhance expressive skills, strengthen their voices, deepen themselves as women as writers for positive change in all spheres of life.  Creative writing in all genres is our shared vehicle.  Women Writing for (a) Change is for women who, 1) dream of writing for self-discovery, for personal or social healing, 2) hunger for creative process in their lives, 3) yearn to explore their feminine voice, 4) crave reflective, space, and 5) are in transition.  For more information, go to their web site at www.womenwritingVT.com/ or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or sarah@womenwritingvt.com.

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27.)

Poetry EventPOETRY EVENT CALENDAR

Below please find the most current list of poetry happenings in Vermont for the near future.  Please be aware that these events can be found on Poetz.com, but there is usually additional information that is typed here that would be cumbersome to place on Poetz.com.  Please note all events are Vermont-based unless they are of extreme importance or happen to lie just outside our borders.  If you would like to save on paper and ink, please just highlight what you need, or perhaps only events for the coming month, and print that information.

Tue, Jan 27-May 10: Another Language, Another Soul

Another Soul

What happens when two languages and two fine arts mingle? Find out by attending:

OPENING RECEPTION: JANUARY 28th 5:30pm – 7:30pm
The Robert Hull Fleming Museum invites you to the opening reception of their spring semester exhibits. Cash bar and free hors d’oeuvres.

January 27-May 10: More Than Bilingual: William Cordova and Major Jackson
Although Peruvian-born visual artist William Cordova and African-American poet Major Jackson come from divergent backgrounds, both artists find inspiration and common ground in music, literature and the urban aesthetic. The fluency with which they navigate cultural signifiers and media, results in a shared visual multilingualism. The two artists have long admired one another’s work; the Fleming Museum is pleased to bring them together in a collaborative venture for the first time.

Robert Hull Fleming Museum
University of Vermont Campus
61 Colchester Avenue
http://www.uvm.edu/~fleming

Sat, Feb 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 1:00p.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Leigh Marthe Poetry Reading.  Westmoreland poet Leigh Marthe will read from her first published collection of poems, The Exact Life.  Marthe serves as President of the Monadnock Writer’s Group and has been on the Board of Directors for that organization for seven years.  Her work has been published in Cold River Review, New England Writer’s Anthology, Wind in the Timothy Press online, and Summit Avenue Express.  Marthe has had a career in higher education and is completing her PhD in Education with a focus on leadership for higher education.  She teaches part-time at River Valley Community College. To reserve a place at the reading, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Sat, Feb 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.
Sun, Feb 15: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Winter Readings in the National Park.  Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided.  Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center.  For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

Wed, Feb 18: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  “You Come, Too”: Winter with Robert Frost.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity.  Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s winter poems.  Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving.  Refreshments served; free.  RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Wed, Feb 18: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

Thu, Feb 19: Studio Place Arts, 201 N. Main Street, Barre, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Teen Slam.  Directed by poet Geof Hewitt.  Everyone is welcome, but only teens will slam!  Modest prizes and glory for all!  Teachers, please tell your students!

Thu, Feb 19: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Fri, Feb 20: Outer Space Café, FlynnDog Gallery, 208 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, 7:00 p.m.  Poet’s Night.  Join in the growing popularity of this continuing series!

Mon, Feb 23: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Waters to read. Michael Waters’ eight books of poetry include Darling Vulgarity (2006—finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize), Parthenopi: New and Selected Poems (2001), and Green Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum (1997) from BOA Editions, and Bountiful (1992), The Burden Lifters (1989), and Anniversary of the Air (1985) from Carnegie Mellon UP. His several edited volumes include Contemporary American Poetry (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) and Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois UP, 2003). In 2004 he chaired the poetry panel for the National Book Award. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright Foundation, Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and four Pushcart Prizes, he teaches at Monmouth University in New Jersey and in the Drew University MFA Program.

Wed, Feb 25: Peabody Library, Route 113, Post Mills.  Reception and book signing by the authors of the literary magazine, Bloodroot.  Bloodroot Literary Magazine is a nonprofit publication released each December. Their mission is to provide a journal of high production values and quality material by established and emerging authors.  The 2009 issue of Bloodroot features cover art by Christy Hale and poems, short stories and creative nonfiction by 28 outstanding authors, many of them familiar names here in Vermont – Regina Brault, Carol Milkuhn and Nancy Means Wright.  The book is scheduled to be out and about in mid-December 2008.

Sun, Mar 1: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet C.D. Wright.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  A compelling and idiosyncratic poet, C.D. Wright has twelve collections including Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008), a weaving of deeply personal and politically ferocious poems;  Deepstep Come Shining and Cooling Time.  Her collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana was awarded the Dorothea Lange-Paul Tayor Prize.  Her new and selected poems Steal Away was on the shortlist for the Griffin Trust Award.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the Israel J. Kapstein Professor at Brown University.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

Tue, Mar 3: Farrell Room, St. Michael’s College, 4:30 p.m.  David Cavanaugh.  Local poet David Cavanaugh will read from his work.

Wed, Mar 4: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

Thu, Mar 5: Middlebury College, Abernathy Room, Axinn Center, 4:30-6:30.  Richard Chess was born in Los Angeles. He spent most of his childhood and youth in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is the author of three books of poetry, Third Temple (2007), Chair in the Desert (2000), and Tekiah (1994). His poems have appeared in many journals as well as several anthologies, including Best American Spiritual Writing 2005 and Telling and Remembering: A Century of American-Jewish Poetry.  An award-winning and much-sought after teacher, he is professor of literature and language at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  He directs UNCA’s Center for Jewish Studies as well as UNCA’s Creative Writing Program.  He has been a member of the low-residency MFA faculties at Warren Wilson College and Queens College.  He served for a number of years as writer-in-residence at the Brandeis Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, California.  He is now assistant director of The Jewish Arts Institue at Elat Chayyim, located at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center, where he will be teaching creative writing in a two-year training institute that begins in August of 2007.  He is poetry editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture.  He lives in Asheville with his wife, Laurie, and son, Gabe.  His two step-daughters, Alice and Margaret, are currently pursuing their careers elsewhere.  For more info, 443-5276.

Thu, Mar 5: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Fri, Mar 6: Outer Space Café, FlynnDog Gallery, 208 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, 7:00 p.m.  Poet’s Night.  Join in the growing popularity of this continuing series!

Sun, Mar 8: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Winter Readings in the National Park.  Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided.  Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center.  For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

Wed, Mar 11: Hoehl Welcome Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, 7:30 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  John Engels Memorial Reading.  In memory of longtime English Department member (and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet), John Engels (1931-2007) the Department has established an annual  poetry reading. Poet, novelist and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s reading.  The first reading, in 2008, featured former Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt.  The English Department Reading Series invites poets, fiction writers, theater troupes, filmmakers, and the like to campus to give readings, talks, performances, screenings etc. In the last few years for example, they’ve hosted the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, novelists including Julia Alvarez, Russell Banks, and Pulitzer-Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, and poets including Pulitzer-Prize winner Louise Gluck, Chase Twitchell, Joy Harjo, and Galway Kinnell. Students are invited to these events, free of charge, and often have the chance to meet and talk to those visitors.  Sponsored by the Lecture Series.
Vermont had a few losses in 2007 and 2008, which were also losses to the entire poetry community.  John Engels, a professor for 45 years at St. Michael’s College, was one of those great losses.  For those of you lucky enough to have clutched a copy for yourself and read through “Remembering John Engels,” you will believe yourself a friend of John’s, as an admirer of his words.  I feel fortunate to have been been both a poet friend of his, as well as a friend of the stream, both of us maintaining a love of fly fishing and fly tying.  If you want to connect or reconnect with John Engels, I would invite you to come to this event, which is sure to be one of those incredible poetry moments.
Sat, Mar 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.
Wed, Mar 18: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.
Thu, Mar 19: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Thu, Apr 2: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Rosanna Warren to read.  Rosanna Warren was born in Connecticut in 1953. She was educated at Yale (BA 1976) and Johns Hopkins (MA 1980). She is the author of one chapbook of poems (Snow Day, Palaemon Press, 1981), and three collections of poems:  Each Leaf Shines Separate (Norton, 1984), Stained Glass (Norton, 1993, Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets), and Departure (Norton, 2003).  She edited and contributed to The Art of Translation:  Voices from the Field (Northeastern, 1989), and has edited three chapbooks of poetry by prisoners. She has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace Readers’ Digest Fund, among others.  She has won the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lavan Younger Poets’ Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Award of Merit in Poetry from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She is Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities at Boston University.

Sun, Apr 5: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Wesley McNair.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  Wesley McNair is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Foundations and a United States Artists Fellowship to “America’s finest living artists.” Other honors include the Robert Frost Prize; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry (for Fire); the Theodore Roethke prize from Poetry Northwest; the Pushcart Prize and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal.  McNair is currently Professor Emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine at Farmington.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

Sat, Apr 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Apr 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eric Pankey to read.  Eric Pankey is the author of six books of poetry: Reliquaries, Cenotaph, The Late Romances, Apocrypha, Heartwood and For the New Year. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NEA Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award, and an Ingram Merrill Grant. His work has appeared in many journals, including Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Triquarterly, DoubleTake and The New England Review. He teaches at George Mason University and lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Thu, Apr 23: Middlebury College, Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  A talk by Adina Hoffman, on her new book, My Happiness Bears no Relation to Happiness: Poet Taha Muhammad Ali and the Palestinian Century, (Yale University Press), the first biography of a Palestinian poet, and the first portrayal of Palestinian literature and culture in the 20th Century. Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Middle East Studies Program.  For info, 443-5151, E-mail: schine@middlebury.edu.

Sat, May 9: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, May 14: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Harper to read.  Michael S. Harper was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1938. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from what is now known as California State University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He has taught at Brown since 1970.  Harper has published more than 10 books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems (ARC Publications, 2002); Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems (2000); Honorable Amendments (1995); and Healing Song for the Inner Ear (1985). A new poetry collection, Use Trouble, is forthcoming in fall 2008 from The University of Illinois Press.  His other collections include Images of Kin (1977), which won the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America and was nominated for the National Book Award; Nightmare Begins Responsibility (1975); History Is Your Heartbeat (1971), which won the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award for poetry; and Dear John, Dear Coltrane (1970), which was nominated for the National Book Award.  Harper edited the Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980); he is co-editor with Anthony Walton of The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) and Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (1994), and with Robert B. Stepto of Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship (1979).  Harper was the first poet laureate of Rhode Island (1988-1993) and has received many other honors, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. Harper is also a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow, and the recipient of numerous distinctions, including the Robert Hayden Poetry Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Melville-Cane Award, the Claiborne Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

Mon, Jun 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eamon Grennan to read.  Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated at UCD, where he studied English and Italian, and Harvard, where he received his PhD in English. His volumes of poetry include What Light There Is & Other Poems, (North Point Press, 1989), Wildly for Days (1983), What Light There Is (1987), As If It Matters (1991), So It Goes (1995), Selected and New Poems (2000) and Still Life with Waterfall (2001). His latest collection, The Quick of It, appeared in 2004 in Ireland, and in Spring 2005 in America. His books of poetry are published in the United States by Graywolf Press, and in Ireland by Gallery Press. Other publications include Leopardi: Selected Poems (Princeton 1997), and Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century, a collection of essays on modern Irish poetry. His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in many magazines both in Ireland and the US.  Grennan has given lectures and workshops in colleges and universities in the US, including courses for the graduate programs in Columbia and NYU. During 2002 he was the Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University. His grants and prizes in the United States include awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Leopardi: Selected Poems received the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and Still Life with Waterfall was the recipient of the 2003 Lenore Marshall Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Poets. His poems have been awarded a number of Pushcart prizes. Grennan has taught since 1974 at Vassar College where he is the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English.

Sat, Jun 13: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Jul 9: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Ryan to read.  Michael Ryan has published three collections of poetry, including In Winter, Threats Instead of Trees, has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and God Hunger, as well as A Difficult Grace: On Poets, Poetry, and Writing, and the memoir Secret Life. His work has appeared in Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, New Republic, and elsewhere. Ryan has been honored by the Lenore Marshall Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and a Guggenheim. Ryan is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UC, Irvine.

Sat, Jul 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Jul 27: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Doreen Gilroy to read.  Doreen Gilroy’s first book, The Little Field of Self  (The University of Chicago Press, 2002), won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares.  Her second book, Human Love, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2005.  Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Slate, TriQuarterly and many other magazines.

Sat, Aug 8: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Aug 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Cole Swensen to read.  Cole Swensen is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. She is the author of five collections of poems, including Try (University of Iowa Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Poetry Prize; Noon (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), which won a New American Writing Award; and Numen (Burning Deck Press, 1995) which was nominated for the PEN West Award in Poetry. Her translations include Art Poetic’ by Olivier Cadiot (Sun & Moon Press, Green Integer Series, 1999) and Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun & Moon, 1995). She splits her time among Denver, San Francisco and Paris.

Thu, Sep 3: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Marge Piercy to read.  Marge Piercy has published 17 books of poetry, including What Are Big Girls Made Of, Colors Passing Through Us, and most recently her 17th volume, The Crooked Inheiritance, all from Knopf. She has written 17 novels, most recently SEX WARS in Perennial paperback now.  Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is also in Harper Collins Perennial.  Last spring, Schocken published Pesach for the Rest of Us.  Her work has been translated into 16 languages. Her CD Louder We Can’t Hear You Yet contains her political and feminist poems. She has been an editor of Leapfrog Press for the last ten years and also poetry editor of Lilith.

Sat, Sep 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Oct 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Pattiann Rogers to read.  Pattiann Rogers has published ten books of poetry, a book-length essay, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, and A Covenant of Seasons, poems and monotypes, in collaboration with the artist Joellyn Duesberry. Her 11th  book of poetry, Wayfare, will appear from Penguin in April, 2008.   Rogers is the recipient of two NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation, and five Pushcart Prizes.  In the spring of 2000 she was in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.  Her papers are archived in the Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community and the Natural World at Texas Tech University.  She has taught as a visiting professor at various universities, including the Universities of Texas, Arkansas, and Montana, Houston University, and Washingon University.  She is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s MFA in Writing Program.  Rogers has two sons and three grandsons and lives with her husband in Colorado.

Sat, Oct 10: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Oct 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Major Jackson to read.  “Jackson knows the truth of black magic. It is a magic as simple as the belief in humanity that subverts racism, or the esoteric and mystical magic of making jazz, the music of hope and love.” —Aafa Weaver.  Major Jackson is the author of two collections of poetry, Hoops (Norton: 2006), a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry. and Leaving Saturn (University of Georgia: 2002), winner of the 2000 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.  Poems by Major Jackson have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Boulevard, Callaloo, Post Road, Triquarterly, The New Yorker, among other literary journals and anthologies. He is a recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has received critical attention in The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Parnassus, Philadelphia Inquirer, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.  Jackson is an Associate Professor of English at University of Vermont and a faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. In 2006-2007, he was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Sat, Nov 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Nov 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Sebastian Matthews to read.  Sebastian Matthews is the author of the poetry collection We Generous (Red Hen Press) and a memoir, In My Father’s Footsteps (W. W. Norton).  He co-edited, with Stanley Plumly, Search Party: Collected Poem s of William Matthews. Matthews teaches at Warren Wilson College and serves on the faculty at Queens College Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing. His poetry and prose has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Georgia Review, New England, Review, Poetry Daily, Poets & Writers, Seneca Review, The Sun, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review and The Writer’s Almanac, among others. Matthews co-edits Rivendell, a place-based literary journal, and serves as poetry consultant for Ecotone:
Re-Imagining Place.

Sat, Dec 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

2010:

Mon, Feb 22: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet David Shapiro to read.  David Shapiro (born January 2, 1947) is an American poet, literary critic, and art historian and . Shapiro has written some twenty volumes of poetry, literary, and art criticism. He was first published at the age of thirteen, and his first book was published at the age of eighteen. Shapiro has taught at Columbia, Bard College, Cooper Union, Princeton University, and William Paterson University. He wrote the first monograph on John Ashbery, the first book on Jim Dine’s paintings, the first book on Piet Mondrian’s flower studies, and the first book on Jasper Johns’ drawings. He has translated Rafael Alberti’s poems on Pablo Picasso, and the writings of the Sonia and Robert Delaunay. Shapiro has won National Endowment for the HumanitiesNational Endowment for the Arts fellowships, been nominated for a National Book Award, and been the recipient of numerous grants for his work. Shapiro lives in Riverdale, The Bronx, New York City, with his wife and son.

Again, if you become aware of an event that isn’t posted above, please let me know. My apologies if I have left off anything of importance to any of you, but it can always be corrected in the next Vermont Poetry Newsletter.

That’s about it for now. Again, keep your eyes peeled for poetry events.  I hope this email finds you all with good health and sharp pencils.

Your fellow Poet,

Ron Lewis

Vermont Poetry Newsletter – February 4 2009

[The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter
Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State
February 4, 2009 – In This Issue:

About the Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network

  • The Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network is made up of people of all backgrounds, ages and skills who appreciate the craft of poetry and want to promote it in the beautiful state of Vermont. The network consists of a free e-mail list, an eventual web site, workshops, open mics, poetry performances and other literary events.  The network provides opportunities to meet local poets, talk about and enjoy poetry, and motivate and inspire yourself in whatever writing projects you are involved.
  1. Newsletter Editor’s Note/Notes to Otter Creek Poets
  2. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  3. John Engels Memorial Reading
  4. Most Popular Poets: Contemporary & Historical
  5. Poetry & The Creative Mind – NYC Festival
  6. The Intersection of Poetry & Politics
  7. Parsing the (Inauguration) Poem
  8. Picture That Poem – Studio Place Arts, Barre Exhibit
  9. New Lit Journal in Vermont! The Queen City Review
  10. Cop Couplets: Police in Maine Make Poetry Calendar
  11. Litlist.net
  12. Poetry Foundation – Year (2008 ) in Review
  13. Did You Know? In Praise of the Chapbook
  14. Ponderings – Governor Rod Blagojevich
  15. Poetry Quote (John Longenbach)
  16. US Poets Laureate List
  17. Linebreak Poem
  18. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  19. American Life in Poetry Poem
  20. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
  21. Vermont Poet Laureates
  22. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  23. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  24. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  25. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  26. Poetry Event Calendar

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1.)
Dear Friends of Poetry:

For the Otter Creek Poets, I have ordered 10 free copies of Poetry as part of their offer for National Poetry Month.  The issue they will be sending is the April 2009 copy, usually the special Translation Issue.  It is promised that we will be discussing this copy of Poetry on some level, after which I complete a form they provide and then return it to them.

April is National Poetry Month and it is sooner than you think.  David Weinstock of the Otter Creek Poets is now taking suggestions for guest speakers, guest poets, and other events in celebration of the art and its month.  They have four Thursdays to plan for, April 2, 16, 23 and 30. (April 9 is the first night of Passover.) If you have any interesting program ideas for us to mull over, please let me know and I will pass them on to David.

The Otter Creek Poets have begun discussion of some type of publication of their new poetry.  These discussions are very preliminary and are certain to take many twists and turns before anything is settled.  So far, we have ideas to publish in the following formats:

  • 1. In individual Broadsides
  • 2. Anthology
  • 3. Individual chapbooks
  • 4. Audio CD

Please note that I have a new email address as of February 1st.  It has changed from sshortpt@verizon.net to sshortpt@myfairpoint.net.  Emails sent to the old address will still get through until the end of March.

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher
247-5913

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2.)


THIS WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

Bring in a poem “suitable for framing.”  Make it a good one, as you’ll be asked to read your poem, and the group will be listening to it with an ear bent to visualize it on a Broadside under framed under glass.

David Weinstock
01/29/09

LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

THE LINES OF TRIBE

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.  We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and nonbelievers.  We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.” — Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address

My favorite line in Obama’s speech is “. . . the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve.”

Not only is it vivid, prophetic, and unlikely, it is perfect iambic tetrameter.  It made me think about the tribe I was born into, the several tribes I have joined, and the tribe I’d like to be a part of.

Assignment:  Write a poem about tribe, or tribes, or tribal feelings or conflicts, however you see it.

David Weinstock

Good luck!

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3.)


John Engels Memorial Reading

Wed, Mar 11: Hoehl Welcome Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, 7:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  John Engels Memorial Reading.  In memory of longtime English Department member (and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet), John Engels (1931-2007) the Department has established an annual  poetry reading. Poet, novelist and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s reading.  The first reading, in 2008, featured former Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt.  The English Department Reading Series invites poets, fiction writers, theater troupes, filmmakers, and the like to campus to give readings, talks, performances, screenings etc. In the last few years for example, they’ve hosted the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, novelists including Julia Alvarez, Russell Banks, and Pulitzer-Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, and poets including Pulitzer-Prize winner Louise Gluck, Chase Twitchell, Joy Harjo, and Galway Kinnell. Students are invited to these events, free of charge, and often have the chance to meet and talk to those visitors.  Sponsored by the Lecture Series.
Vermont had a few losses in 2007 and 2008, which were also losses to the entire poetry community.  John Engels, a professor for 45 years at St. Michael’s College, was one of those great losses.  For those of you lucky enough to have clutched a copy for yourself and read through “Remembering John Engels,” you will believe yourself a friend of John’s, as an admirer of his words.  I feel fortunate to have been been both a poet friend of his, as well as a friend of the stream, both of us maintaining a love of fly fishing and fly tying.  If you want to connect or reconnect with John Engels, I would invite you to come to this event, which is sure to be one of those incredible poetry moments.

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4.)

Most Popular Contemporary Poets

2008

1. Billy Collins
2. Gwendolyn Brooks
3. Charles Simic
4. Nikki Giovanni
5. Gary Soto
6. Allen Ginsberg
7. Kay Ryan
8. Rita Dove
9. Adrienne Rich
10. Naomi Shihab Nye
11.Mary Oliver
12. John Ashbery
13. Donald Hall
14. Louise Glück
15. Lucille Clifton
16. Sharon Olds
17. Yusef Komunyakaa
18. Sonia Sanchez
19. Jane Kenyon
20. Mark Strand

Most Popular Historical Poets

2008

1. Langston Hughes
2. Emily Dickinson
3. Walt Whitman
4. Robert Frost
5. E.E. Cummings
6. Edgar Allan Poe
7. William Carlos Williams
8. Sylvia Plath
9. William Blake
10. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
11. Pablo Neruda
12. W.H. Auden
13. William Shakespeare
14. T.S. Eliot
15. Dylan Thomas
16. Ezra Pound
17. W.B. Yeats
18. Elizabeth Bishop
19. William Wordsworth
20. Robert Browning

The above were from the results of a survey through Poets.org

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5.)

Celebrate National Poetry Month this year in NYC!

gala_inviteOn April 1, 2009, the Academy of American Poets will present its seventh annual benefit, Poetry & The Creative Mind, at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. Some of America’s leading artists, scholars, and public figures will participate in this extraordinary evening celebrating the role of contemporary poetry in American culture. Each year, Poetry & The Creative Mind kicks off National Poetry Month, which was established by the Academy in 1996 and is now the largest literary celebration in the world.
Guest readers are to include Meryl Streep, Liz Smith, Dianne Reeves, John Guare, Jonathan Demme, Philippe de Montebello, Katie Couric, Graydon Carter, Robert Caro, and Candace Bushnell. Each read poems by some of America’s best-loved poets.
Tickets are now available and can be purchased through the Lincoln Center web site, the Lincoln Center box office, or by phone at (212) 721-6500.  Prices are $40-$75
A limited number of VIP tickets are available. VIP tickets include the performance followed by a cocktail buffet supper with the special guest readers and begin at $450. For information about VIP tickets, contact Beth Harrison at bharrison@poets.org.

If you’ve never been to this event, and in order to get a flavor of what it’s like, below is the itinerary from the 2008 event:
Opening Remarks

  • Tree Swenson, Executive Director, Academy of American Poets

Yusef Komunyakaa

  • Robert Hayden, Names
    Robert Hayden, Sphinx
    Robert Hayden, Monet’s Waterlilies

Jonathan Demme

  • Randall Jarrell, The Lost Children

Graydon Carter

  • Dorothy Parker, Our Office: A Hate Song

Liz Smith

  • Langston Hughes, Let America Be America Again
    Edward Arlington Robinson, Miniver Cheevy

Philippe de Montebello

  • Theodore Roethke, The Geranium
    Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man
    Edna St.Vincent Millay, Dirge Without Music
    Edgar Allan Poe, The Valley of Unrest
    Ezra Pound, The Garden
    W.H. Auden, Musee des Beaux Arts
    Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fable

Candace Bushnell

  • Gertrude Stein, from A Grammarian
    Gertrude Stein, Stanzas in Meditation

Robert Caro

  • Robert Frost, The Bearer of Evil Tidings
    Emily Dickinson, Hope is the thing with feathers
    Emily Dickinson, A Man may make a Remark
    Edward Hirsch, Branch Library
    Edward Hirsch, Special Orders
    Edward Hirsch, Elegy for the Jewish Villages

Dianne Reeves

  • Gwendolyn Brooks, A Song in the Front Yard
    Gwendolyn Brooks, Queen of the Blues
    James Weldon Johnson, Go Down Death

John Guare

  • William Carlos Williams, from Asphodel, That Greeny Flower

Katie Couric

  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Anti-Suffragists
    Emily Dickinson, I measure every Grief I meet
    E. E. Cummings, Maggie and Milly and Molly and May

Meryl Streep

  • Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning
    Walt Whitman, Miracles
    Walt Whitman, A noiseless patient spider

Closing Remarks

Eunice J. Panetta, Chairman, Academy of American Poets

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6.)

The Intersection of Poetry and Politics
By DWIGHT GARNER
New York Times

Summoning artists to participate
In the august occasions of the state
Seems something artists ought to celebrate.

Those are pleasant thoughts, but awful poetry — probably the worst three lines Robert Frost ever put to paper. Tellingly it was work for hire: the opening lines of ”Dedication,” the poem Frost composed for John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration.

Famously, and perhaps blessedly, Frost never had the chance to declaim them. The high wind and strong sun that day conspired to make his typescript unreadable. Unruffled, he pulled a mighty poem from memory, his own “Gift Outright,” with its ringing first line: “The land was ours before we were the land’s.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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7.)

Parsing the Poem
By Tobin Harshaw

While plying their art in front of millions of viewers was nothing new for Itzhak Perlman or Yo-Yo Ma, it must have been more than a tad unsettling for Elizabeth Alexander, the inaugural poetess. And while Rick Warren was the controversial choice for the day’s events, Ms. Alexander’s selection also led to conflicting anticipations. Writing shortly after the announcement in December, the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates was thrilled.

Elizabeth Alexander is going to present a poem at the inauguration. I don’t want to disrespect anyone here with what I’m about to say. But there is an interesting parallel, here again, in the Obama and Clinton selections. Maya Angelou is a very inspirational writer who, I think, has helped a lot of young women through some tough times.

Read the rest of the article here.

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8.)

artreview_59
Talking Pictures
“Picture That Poem,” multi-media show examining the relationship between visual imagery and poetry. Main Floor Gallery, Studio Place Arts, Barre. Through February 28.
BY Marc Awodey

Mark Awodey
“The Only Secret” by R.G. Solbert

The nexus of poetry and visual art encompasses more than vivid verbal imagery. “Picture That Poem,” at Studio Place Arts in Barre, Vermont demonstrates how diverse and thought provoking the two arts’ links can be.
SPA is known for strongly curated theme shows, and a great idea makes for a fascinating group exhibition. “Picture That Poem” is built on a fresh notion that gave artists plenty of room for creativity in addressing the call for entries, which requested visual art “utterances” and the poems that inspired them.
Many of the poems posted in the show were written by the visual artists themselves. Mark Markowitt is an octogenarian who’s been writing poetry for about three-quarters of a century. He’s been stricken with dementia and is losing his ability to speak. Markowitt’s painting “Tribute to a Lost Love” reflects on a poem entitled “Lament for a Lost Love” that he composed 60 years ago. He completed the accompanying mixed-media abstraction — involving green patches and black dots — with the assistance of an art therapist. Yet, despite his handicap, Markowitt was able to specify that the poem and the painting are integrally linked. “Tribute to a Lost Love” seems like the map of a mysterious tropical atoll.
Markowitt’s wife, Suzy, contributed a 2008 mixed-media watercolor with collage dominated by blue hues, in which the upward movement culminates in a translucent lavender peak. Called “Parallel,” her painting is associated with a 1948 poem by her husband entitled “Inspiration,” which references the Matterhorn.
Janet Van Fleet’s 2009 sculptural construction with text also quotes a family member’s poem, which appears along the edges of the freestanding 38-by-12-by-51-inch sculpture. “Heaven’s Chop Shop” features a tableau in which Lilliputian figures made of bolts, rusty nails and gold thread dismantle a Gulliver-sized skeleton of sticks, laid out like an archaeological burial. Van Fleet uses the poem “Reincarnation,” written by her mother Sandy McKinney, which begins with the lines: The part that arrives at heaven’s chop-shop / doesn’t leave much to work with / but you’re one of the lucky ones . . . To read the whole text, a viewer must circle the sculpture several times — a potentially dizzying experience.
The title of “The Only Secret,” by R.G. Solbert, alludes to two lines of Emily Dickinson: “The only secret people keep / Is Immortality.” Solbert’s 23-by-28-by-5-inch wall sculpture illustrates the Massachusetts poet with an object akin to the winged soul effigies on early New England gravestones. Solbert crafted copper wings and hung an antique wooden shoe stretcher beneath. The shoe element is a graceful and expressive object in the Marcel Duchamp “ready-made” tradition, from about the same era as his 1913 “Bicycle Wheel.”
Three exquisite paintings by Middlesex painter and textile artist Pria Cambio were inspired by the famous Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) poem “Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment.” Much like the Romantic British poet did with words in his opulent masterpiece, Cambio layered color upon color as if they were silken threads in a sumptuous Oriental tapestry. Her 12-by-12-inch “Xanadu: Gate to the City” is a jumble of overlapping gates, walls and domes. The 12-by-24-inch vertical “Xanadu: The Abyss” portrays mountains and lush greenery reminiscent of the opium-induced visions by which Coleridge claimed his pen was fueled.
The artists selected for “Picture That Poem” all produced pieces that inadvertently speak to a saying of Paul Gauguin: “Literary poetry in a painter is something special, and is neither illustration nor the translation of writing by form.” While the poet’s and the visual artist’s tools are quite different, their two mediums may actually be inseparable.

Beautifully said.

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9.)
New Lit Journal Draws Authors from Afar
BY MARGOT HARRISON

New literary magazines sprout in college towns like mushrooms. But Burlington College’s Queen City Review, whose inaugural issue appeared in December, is more than a forum for students and the folks who put it out. (The founding editor is Heidi Berkowitz, who teaches in the college’s Interdisciplinary Studies program and coordinates its writing center; Dartmouth lecturer Kevin McCarthy oversees the poetry.) Though students, faculty and local writers — such as poetry slam champ Geof Hewitt — are well represented in its pages, the QCR also offers art and lit from across the country. There are love poems by Matthew Dickman, an Oregonian whose work has appeared in The New Yorker. Black-and-white drawings by Dallas artist Michael Savoie, who used to live and exhibit in Burlington, evoke the suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina.
The local stuff is well chosen, too. Anna Blackmer, Burlington College’s Chair of Arts and Humanities, contributed a poem called “A Middle-Aged Woman Reaches into Her New Purse” that has some killer lines: “ . . . I repeat the same ten actions every morning / and go to work like an armored car on fire inside. / No one seems to notice.”
Two prose works have user-friendly vignette structures, with bite-sized pieces ushering the browser into a longer narrative. BC student Aaron Mitton’s story “Smoky Vignettes” is a mini-cultural history of smokers, both famous and obscure. And Alice Eckles, who teaches printmaking at the college, tells her life story through a series of ill-fated vehicles in the dryly funny essay “The Cars She Drives.” It ends with a classified ad of sorts, offering a deal on her current Kia Sportage.
While the car may no longer be on sale, the magazine is — $8 from Burlington College, or call Berkowitz at 862-9616 to request a mailed copy. She accepts submissions until April 20 at queencityreview@burlington.edu.

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10.)

Cop couplets: Police in Maine make poetry calendar

CLARKE CANFIELD

PORTLAND, Maine — Officer Alissa Poisson graces the January page of the 2009 Portland police calendar, baring her … soul.

The calendar features poems and photographs by members of the police department in Maine’s largest city.

Poetry has given Poisson an emotional outlet while opening her eyes to the world around her. In “The Things I Carry,” a poem on the January page, Poisson writes about her feelings as she equips herself for each shift with a .45-caliber Glock, a knife, pepper spray, handcuffs, a baton and two clips of bullets.

Read the rest of the article here.

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11.)

LitList

http://www.litlist.net/

LitList has fast become one of the most popular sources of information surrounding small publishing, editing, and writing.
LitList is a dynamic list of literary journals, independent book publishers, and e-magazines. It also gives small publishers new ways to interact with readers and writers. Built on the idea that updating information about small publishers online is often a tedious task, LitList gives publishers the power to update their own information, including contest deadlines and contact information.

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12.)
Poetry Foundation
Year in Review
January 2009

The Poetry Foundation, like many, will remember 2008 as the year of the great financial crisis. From poets and their publishers, to schools and literary organizations, this year’s economic collapse has afflicted everyone in the poetry community in ways that are both far-reaching and painfully individual. The Foundation’s own challenge was to protect the value of its endowment and continue its work to support poetry and poets.

The U.S. stock market finished 2008 down 34% for the year. Losses on other types of investments, including real estate, private equity, and international, were similar. Thanks to the cadre of prudent fund managers who are responsible for investing the Foundation’s endowment, our resources were not directly affected by defaults in the mortgage market, the failures of Wall Street firms and custodial banks, or the more recent losses of charitable foundations that were invested with Bernard Madoff. Although the value of the Foundation’s portfolio has declined in line with the markets in which it is invested, there were no write-offs or permanent losses, and the endowment is positioned to participate fully in the eventual market recovery.

As a matter of prudent management the Foundation has adopted a budget for 2009 that will not exceed 5% of the value of the endowment, a common policy in the foundation world and one that the Poetry Foundation has heeded in its five years of operations. At the same time, we are doing everything possible to maintain our work on behalf of the field and to preserve our direct payments to poets and writers, publishers, and prizewinners.

The lean economic times notwithstanding, the Foundation continues to develop a broader and more engaged audience for poetry. All of the Foundation’s programs, including its new initiatives, enter 2009 intact. The site for building the Foundation’s permanent home in Chicago has been purchased and prepared, and a beautiful design by John Ronan Architects awaits the groundbreaking. When market conditions turn more favorable, we look forward to the sale of a bond issue and the start of construction. And the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute, a think tank dedicated exclusively to issues of intellectual and practical importance to poetry, will see 2009 as its first formal year. Katharine Coles, poet laureate of Utah, former head of the creative writing program at the University of Utah, and founding director of the Utah Symposium in Science and Literature, is already at work as the Institute’s inaugural director. She has selected as a first field of study for the Institute “Poetry and the New Media.”

While tending to its responsibilities on the business side of the house — the necessary left-brain activity of an arts organization — the Foundation continued its mission to discover the best poetry and to celebrate it through publication, prizes, and criticism. This year the Foundation increased its number of Lilly Fellowships, our annual awards for emerging poets, from two to five. Providing $15,000 to each of five fellows, the fellowships provide no-strings-attached assistance to young poets at a formative time in their careers.

Poetry, for its part, published many first-time contributors (over two hundred of them in the past five years). To quote just one of the spirited and articulate poems from these newcomers, Sarah Lindsay’s “Zucchini Shofar” begins:

No animals were harmed in the making of this joyful noise:
A thick, twisted stem from the garden
is the wedding couple’s ceremonial ram’s horn.
Its substance will not survive one thousand years,
nor will the garden, which is today their temple,
nor will their names, nor their union now announced
with ritual blasts upon the zucchini shofar.
Shall we measure blessings by their duration?

And it ends:

This moment’s chord of earthly commotion
will never be struck exactly so again —
though love does love to repeat its favorite lines.
So let the shofar splutter its slow notes and quick notes,
let the nieces and nephews practice their flutes and trombones,
let the living room pianos invite unwashed hands,
let glasses of different fullness be tapped for their different notes,
let everyone learn how to whistle,
let the girl dawdling home from her trumpet lesson
pause at the half-built house on the corner,
where the newly installed maze of plumbing comes down
to one little pipe whose open end she can reach,
so she takes a deep breath
and makes the whole house sound.

Discovery and celebration: they are apparent in each new issue of Poetry, and they are a legacy going back to the magazine’s very beginnings. Harriet Monroe and Ezra Pound, her “foreign correspondent,” chose the poets they published with a combination of personal enthusiasm, neighborhood familiarity, and a perfect willingness to go against the grain. Publishing the new talents of their day — Eliot, Stevens, Moore, and Williams, among many — they tapped into a reservoir of underground energy that came to be known as Modernism. The rest, as they say, is history.

Speaking of underground energy, the Foundation tapped into a load of that this year through our blog, Harriet, and through the Printers’ Ball. Inspired by Harriet Monroe’s “Open Door” policy*, the blog has become an agora where, with suitable noise and excitement, aesthetically diverse poets come to debate the art form. The Printers’ Ball, in a parallel way, showcases Chicago’s independent publishing scene. One might think of the Printers’ Ball and Harriet together as a kind of Salon des Refusés, that historic exhibition where the Impressionists found their identity in opposition to the French Academy. Whether any poet-descendants of Rimbaud, Dylan Thomas, or Ginsberg were present at the recent Printers’ Ball, I don’t know, but the fact that the police showed up at the prior year’s ball is a positive sign. It seems more than merely appropriate that the Foundation remain open in every way possible to the emergent talents and the underground energies of the moment.

Across our programs we continue to cultivate new poetry readers among the youngest members of our culture. This year Poetry Out Loud, the national recitation contest, reached more than 250,000 high school students across the country. The Foundation appointed the second Children’s Poet Laureate, the renowned and delightful Mary Ann Hoberman. Our growing collection of successful audio programs, available on poetryfoundation.org, includes the popular monthly podcast featuring the editors of Poetry. In 2008 listeners downloaded our audio content more than five million times. The multifaceted Poetry Everywhere project received a Parents’ Choice Award for its online educational curriculum. Classical Baby (I’m Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show — our collaboration with HBO and a kind of poetry primer for young children and their parents — premiered on television in April and received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program.

Looking around at the widespread effects of the financial crisis, it seems that the old models, both business and social, are broken. At such moments in history, when there is no going back, poetry can intuit the future. As Yeats wrote after the failed Easter Rising of 1916:

All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
A few years later the Republic of Ireland was formally established.

Sincerely,

John Barr

* The Open Door will be the policy of this magazine. . . . To this end the editors hope to keep free of entangling alliances with any single class or school. They desire to print the best English verse which is being written today, regardless of where, by whom, or under what theory of art it is written.

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13.)

Did You Know?

In praise of the chapbook
Independent press excels at creating small poetry samplers
Daniel A. Olivas / Special to the Times

You might have seen them at a library, in a classroom or perhaps at your local coffee shop. They’re small, maybe 50 pages in length, with unexpected titles and edgy artwork.

Welcome to the world of the chapbook, mini-collections of poetry, fiction or essays that can whet the appetite of adventurous readers at a reasonable cost. You usually cannot buy a chapbook from a traditional bookstore, but they are readily available from the publishers’ Web sites.

The rest of the article can be read at:

http://www.elpasotimes.com/living/ci_11600006

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14.)

“Ponderings”
Governor Rod Blagojevich

Until a few weeks ago the story of Rod Blagojevich—the foul-mouthed, thick-haired governor of Illinois accused of (among other corrupt activities) trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat—didn’t seem to have much poetry in it: suspense, yes, and farce (How did he get elected?), but little of the dignity or verbal nuance we associate with serious poems. W.H. Auden defined poetry as “memorable speech”; the most memorable words from the disgraced governor were words most newspapers would never print.

Blagojevich changed that in December, when he quoted Rudyard Kipling’s “If -” in a defiant press conference; journalists took note—some even learned the history of that frequently quoted poem. The governor looked to another British poet in another speech on Friday, January 9. Again, he made national news. Just impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives, but not yet convicted by the state senate, “Blago” said that he would fight to remain in office, just as he fought for ordinary Americans. He concluded with a ringing quotation from Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the Victorian poet laureate who also wrote “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” (Some headlines read “Gov. Rod Blagojevich Quotes Tennyson.”) The governor used the same poem, he noted, that Senator Ted Kennedy cited in 1980, after losing the Democratic presidential nomination: “Ulysses.”

The governor quoted lines from the end of the poem, in which the hero of Homer’s Odyssey declares, in resonant blank verse, that he and his comrades still have strength to fight:

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will,
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Resolute, determined, unwearied—appropriate, no?

Yet for anyone who knows the poem, Blagojevich might as well have quit on the spot. Tennyson’s great monologue is not a show of defiance but a speech of resignation from office, by a ruler who admits he is unfit to rule.

How could a resignation sound so defiant? How could Blagojevich’s speechwriter get this famous poem so wrong? Tennyson’s poem does not take place during the Odyssey. Nor does it take place during the Trojan War, in which Ulysses (whom Homer calls “crafty,” polu-metis) distinguished himself for inventive tactics (or, from the Trojan point of view, for dirty tricks): he was the Greek who devised the Trojan Horse. This Ulysses speaks years after the Odyssey ends, after he has rejoined his queen, Penelope, and his son, Telemachus, and re-established himself as the ruler of his native Ithaca. Ulysses begins by explaining that he no longer enjoys his job:

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

He’s bored with his work and his home. (Blagojevich, who became governor six years ago, allegedly considered sending himself to Washington if he could not make the right deal for that Senate seat.) “I cannot rest from travel,” Ulysses says: he is famous all over Greece (“I am become a name”) “for always roaming with a hungry heart.” So, he says, he will give up his throne to his son,

mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

Telemachus has just the virtues that Ulysses lacks: put simply, Telemachus will follow the law.

Having resigned, Ulysses and his fellow sailors (“Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me”) will take to the seas in search of new adventures: they will “follow knowledge like a sinking star,” and “sail beyond the sunset, and the baths / Of all the western stars, until I die.” He may never come back—not until he has found and conquered all the secret places of the world. The end of the poem (the part Blagojevich quoted) indeed amounts to a show of defiance—but what Tennyson’s Ulysses defies is neither a host of enemies, nor a volley of accusations, so much as the limits to all human life.

Tennyson did not take this story from Homer, but neither did he make it all up: the British poet found his material in canto XXVI of Dante’s Inferno, where Ulysses explains to Dante and to Virgil how lust for discovery kept him from staying home. Dante’s Ulysses died, with all his sailors, in a shipwreck at the edge of the known world. He belongs in the Inferno, not for seeking knowledge, but for sins committed during the Trojan War—for tricking the Trojans by building the Trojan Horse, and for stealing the Palladium, a magic statue that protected Troy.

Widely believed to harbor corrupt ambitions, impeached, and accused of soliciting bribes, the governor of Illinois has defended himself by quoting a poem that amounts to a resignation from executive office, spoken by a character who declares himself no longer fit to rule, who says he will leave his home state and never return, and who will, soon after he finishes speaking, probably go to hell for theft and fraud.

If that’s not dramatic irony, I don’t know what is—and dramatic irony is exactly what Tennyson’s sort of poem invites. Published in 1842, Tennyson’s poem helped invent the genre of poetry now called dramatic monologue: in it, we hear only the voice of a single character, explaining his life and justifying his ways. Sometimes (as in Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess”) the character is flat-out evil: sometimes (as in Browning’s great “Andrea del Sarto” or Tennyson’s “St. Simeon Stylites”) he might be self-deluded, or insane. As we listen to speakers in dramatic monologue, we learn things about them that they themselves cannot know: we acquire perspectives that they cannot have, seeing motives they hide from themselves, or else condemning the very actions they praise. (W.S. di Piero explained how to read Browning’s monologues here.)

Few readers of Tennyson condemn Ulysses. After all, courage has value, and there is something noble in Ulysses’ determination to follow his nature, even if we think that nature (as Dante did) incompatible with virtue, and even if it leads to his doom. And few readers think Ulysses ought to stay and rule Ithaca: Ulysses himself knows that it is time to resign. Most Illinois voters want Blagojevich to resign too—a few weeks ago, according to one poll, 84% did. If only the governor read his Tennyson closely, he might have learned what Ulysses already knew.

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15.)

‘A good poem teaches the writer how to write it.’

Poetry Quote by James Longenbach

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16.)

Poets Laureate of the U.S.A.

  • A Net-annotated list of all the poets who have served the Library of Congress as Consultant (the old title) or Poet Laureate Consultant (the new title). Biographies & general reference sites are linked to the poets’ names — for the recent Laureates these are our own poet profiles with book-buying links at the bottom. Many of the other linked biographies are pages from the Academy of American Poets’ Find a Poet archive, a growing & invaluable resource. If there is no general information site about the poet, we have searched the Net for sample poems or other writings or recordings & listed those below the poet’s name.

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17.)

ashtonRenaming Wonder
by Sally Ashton

Sally Ashton is author of These Metallic Days. Her poetry and reviews have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Parthenon West Review, Sentence: a journal of prose poetics, and Poet Lore. She was a guest blogger for the Best American Poetry blog in July ’08 and is editor of the DMQ Review, an online journal featuring poetry and art.

World gets chance to name new 7 wonders

What are the new seven wonders, a wren
in a hedge, a hummingbird’s red-feathered throat,
wild elk that return to bugle at night…

Read & hear the rest of the poem here.

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18.)

Here’s a poem from Copper Canyon Press, not in its “Reading Room” (http://www.coppercanyonpress.org/) as I usually reprint in the Newsletter, but from another source.  It was such a find that I felt you should read it in this space usually reserved for a Copper Canyon poem.

The Gift of Tongues


Everything I steal, I give away.
Once, in pines almost as tall as these,
same crescent moon sliding gently by,
I sat curled on my knees, smoking with a friend,
sipping tea, swapping coyote tales and lies.

He said something to me
about words, that each is a name,
and that every name is God’s. I who have
no god sat in the vast emptiness silent
as I could be. A way that can be named

is not the way. Each word reflects
the Spirit which can’t be named. Each word
a gift, its value in exact proportion
to the spirit in which it is given.
Thus spoken, these words I give

by way of Lao Tzu’s old Chinese, stolen
by a humble thief twenty-five centuries later.
The Word is only evidence of the real:
in the Hopi tongue, there is no whale;
and, in American English, no Fourth World.

Sam Hamill, editor

The Gift of Tongues: Almost Paradise: New & Selected Poems & Translations (Shambhala Publications)

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19.)


American Life in Poetry: Column 202

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

David Wagoner, who lives in Washington state, is one of our country’s most distinguished poets and the author of many wonderful books. He is also one of our best at writing about nature, from which we learn so much. Here is a recent poem by Wagoner that speaks to perseverance.

The Cherry Tree

Out of the nursery and into the garden
where it rooted and survived its first hard winter,
then a few years of freedom while it blossomed,
put out its first tentative branches, withstood…

Read the rest of the poem here.

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20.)

KEEP PAST VERMONT POETS ALIVE!  I’M SOLICITING YOUR HELP:

POETS OF VERMONT
PAST AND PRESENT
PROJECT

I’m looking for a copy of:

  • 1) The Literature of Vermont: A Sampler, University Press of New England, Arthur W. Biddle and Paul A. Eschholz, Editors, 1973
  • 2) Poets and Poetry of Vermont, by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1858
  • 3) “Driftwood,” a poetry magazine begun in 1926 by Walter John Coates

If you have any books of poetry, chapbooks, or just poems written by Vermont poets, dating 1980 and earlier, famous or not, I’d like to know about them.  I’m beginning a project that deals strictly with Vermont poets, from Vermont’s past, with summaries of the poets themselves, a portrait photo or drawing of the poet, along with a small sampling of poems.  If you think you can help, you probably can!  Please contact me by replying to this newsletter.

Ronald Lewis

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21.)

VERMONT POET LAUREATES

1) Robert Frost – 1961
2) Galway Kinnell
3) Louis Glück
4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
5) Grace Paley
6) Ruth Stone

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22.)
If you ever have a need to contact me, here’s how to go about doing so:
Ronald Lewis:
Phone: 802-247-5913
Cell: 802-779-5913
Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
Email: sshortpt@verizon.net

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23.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BELLOWS FALLS

1) Great River Arts Institute – See details elsewhere in this newsletter

2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat).  The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at vsbooks@sover.net or  jfowler177@comcast.net.

GUILFORD

The Guilford Poets Guild, formed in 1998, meets twice a month to critique and support each other’s work.  Their series of sponsored readings by well-known poets which began at the Dudley Farm, continues now at the Women and Family Life Center.

MIDDLEBURY

1) The Otter Creek Poets offer a poetry workshop every Thursday afternoon, from 1:00 to 3:00 in the basement meeting room of the Ilsley Public Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury.  This workshop, the largest and oldest of its kind in the state, has been meeting weekly for 13 years.  Poets of all ages and styles come for peer feedback, encouragement, and optional weekly assignments to get the poetry flowing.  Bring a poem or two to share (plus 20 copies).  The workshops are led by David Weinstock.  There is considerable parking available behind the library, or further down the hill below that parking lot.  For more information, call David at 388-6939 or Ron Lewis at 247-5913.

2) The Spring Street Poets.  This group is by invite only and consists of six members, Jennifer Bates, Janet Fancher, Karin Gottshall, Ray Hudson, Mary Pratt and David Weinstock.

NORWICH

This group meets on the first Sunday of every month at the Norwich Library, 6:30 p.m.

PLAINFIELD

The Wayside Poets share their poetry publicly from time to time.  They meet at the Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street, Plainfield.  Members include Diane Swan, Sherry Olson, Carol Henrikson and Sarah Hooker.  I will publish more about this group after I contact one of their members.

STOWE

There is another poetry workshop happening in Stowe, but unfortunately I know nothing much about this group.  If you do, contact me!

WAITSFIELD

The Mad River Poets consists of a handful of poets from the Route 100 corridor.  More on this group in the future.

OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BURLINGTON

Scribes in the making put pen to paper as part of an open verse-writing session at the Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street.  Three consecutive Thursdays, starting January 8, 2009, 5:00-6:00 p.m.  Free.  Contact information: 862-1094.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

Thinking Like a Poetry Editor:  How to Be Your Own Best Critic
(“The Ossmann Method” Poetry Workshop – Crash Course)
Instructor: April Ossmann
The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT  05001
Saturday, January 17th OR Saturday, February 14th
2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
$45

Learn how to think like a poetry editor! In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. Participants will receive written editorial suggestions for both poems from the instructor. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8. Info: (802) 333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and http://www.aprilossmann.com

The Ossmann Method Poetry Workshop: Building Your Tool Kit
Instructor: April Ossmann
The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT  05001
Sundays, 8 weeks, January 18th – March 8th
2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
$200

Build or improve your poetic techniques tool kit and learn how to think like a poetry editor!  In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. This workshop will be both critical and generative, so I will assign reading and generative exercises meant to teach or improve writing skills. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8 (minimum enrollment for the course to proceed is 4). Info: (802) 333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and http://www.aprilossmann.com

  • Note: If you know of any others, or have personal information about the workshop in Stowe and Guilford, please send me that information.  I realize that there are several smaller groups or workshops around the state.  However, because of their intimacy, they are not posted above, allowing them to offer “memberships” to close friends or acquaintances that they feel would be most appropriate.

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24.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

The Writer’s Center is for serious writers and nervous beginners. It’s for procrastinators who could benefit from regular deadlines – and for the prolific who could benefit from quality feedback. It’s for anyone with a manuscript hidden in a drawer, or a life story or poem waiting to be written. It’s for people who don’t know where to start or how to end. And for writers who are doing just fine on their own, but would like the company of other writers.  The Writer’s Center is for anyone who is writing or wants to write.  One of the Center’s consultants is April Ossman (www.aprilossmann.com).  Founded by Joni B. Cole and Sarah Stewart Taylor, the Writer’s Center offers instruction and inspiration through a selection of workshops, discussions, and community. We would love to see you – and your writing – at The Writer’s Center!  For more info, http://www.thewriterscenterwrj.com/.

UNDERHILL

Women Writing for (a) Change supports the authentic experience of women who honor themselves through creative writing.  Our community supports reflection as we move into our questions and awaken to change.  Participants enhance expressive skills, strengthen their voices, deepen themselves as women as writers for positive change in all spheres of life.  Creative writing in all genres is our shared vehicle.  Women Writing for (a) Change is for women who, 1) dream of writing for self-discovery, for personal or social healing, 2) hunger for creative process in their lives, 3) yearn to explore their feminine voice, 4) crave reflective, space, and 5) are in transition.  For more information, go to their web site at www.womenwritingVT.com/ or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or sarah@womenwritingvt.com.

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26.)

unknownPOETRY EVENT CALENDAR

Below please find the most current list of poetry happenings in Vermont for the near future.  Please be aware that these events can be found on Poetz.com, but there is usually additional information that is typed here that would be cumbersome to place on Poetz.com.  Please note all events are Vermont-based unless they are of extreme importance or happen to lie just outside our borders.  If you would like to save on paper and ink, please just highlight what you need, or perhaps only events for the coming month, and print that information.

Tue, Jan 27-May 10: Another Language, Another Soul
Another Soul

What happens when two languages and two fine arts mingle? Find out by attending:

OPENING RECEPTION: JANUARY 28th 5:30pm – 7:30pm
The Robert Hull Fleming Museum invites you to the opening reception of their spring semester exhibits. Cash bar and free hors d’oeuvres.

January 27-May 10: More Than Bilingual: William Cordova and Major Jackson
Although Peruvian-born visual artist William Cordova and African-American poet Major Jackson come from divergent backgrounds, both artists find inspiration and common ground in music, literature and the urban aesthetic. The fluency with which they navigate cultural signifiers and media, results in a shared visual multilingualism. The two artists have long admired one another’s work; the Fleming Museum is pleased to bring them together in a collaborative venture for the first time.

Robert Hull Fleming Museum
University of Vermont Campus
61 Colchester Avenue
http://www.uvm.edu/~fleming

Thu, Feb 5: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Cleopatra Mathis to read.  Cleopatra Mathis was born and raised in Ruston, Louisiana. Her first five books of poems were published by Sheep Meadow Press. A sixth collection, White Sea, was published by Sarabande Books in 2005. Her work has appeared widely in anthologies, textbooks, magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Tri-Quarterly, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry, The Extraordinary Tide: Poetry by American Women, and The Practice of Poetry. Various prizes for her work include two National Endowment for the Arts grants, in 1984 and 2003; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poems in 2001; the Peter Lavin Award for Younger Poets from the Academy of American Poets; two Pushcart Prizes (1980 and 2006); The Robert Frost Resident Poet Award; a 1981-82 Fellowship in Poetry at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts; The May Sarton Award; and Individual Artist Fellowships in Poetry from both the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey State Arts Council. She is the Frederick Sessions Beebe Professor of the Art of Writing at Dartmouth College, where she has directed the Creative Writing Program since 1982.

Fri, Feb 6: Firehouse Gallery, 135 Church Street, Burlington, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading and Drumming.  As part of the Burlington Art Walk, poet and artist Terry Hauptman will provide a poetry reading accompanied by  Jerry Geier’s drumming on his sculptural slit drums will entertain all.  While you’re at the Firehouse Gallery, you can visit these two artists’ exhibits, titled Veiled Lineage.  It features two Vermont artists investigating concepts of ancestry, heritage and tradition; using sculpture, painting, and installation. Jerry Geier’s assembly of sculptures, or totems, feature carved faces of wood and clay derived from indigenous and modern societies. The totems are hollowed and act as functional drums. Terry Hauptman’s Songline Scrolls feature colorful multi-cultural processions on wall-sized scrolls of paper. These scrolls are a metaphor for life, representing a continual unfolding revelation of change and celebration. In this 400th anniversary of European arrival in the Champlain Valley, this exhibit highlights our evolving notions of cultural and spiritual identity, and exposes the paradox of searching for meaning in the very same cultures that were supplanted by our own colonialist history.

Sat, Feb 7: Studio Place Arts, 201 N. Main Street, Barre, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Teen Poetry Workshop.  High-school-aged scribes get guidance from Geof Hewitt in a survey of works by contemporary New England writers.  This workshop for high school students includes reading and group discussion that challenges participants’ perceptions of poetry with poems by contemporary New England writers. The goal is to increase each participants’ awareness of the quick and dirty, direct expression awaiting anyone who goes looking for a few good poems. Participants should arrive early and spend time in the main floor gallery enjoying the “Picture that Poem” exhibit. Call SPA at 802-479-7069 to register.  Free.

Mon, Feb 9: Grafton Library, Main Street, Grafton, 7:00 p.m.  Robert Frost: Poetry and Prose.  Third of three-part book discussion series led by Dr. Deborah Luskin from the Vermont Humanities Council.  For info, Linda Montecalvo at 843-1444.

Tue, Feb 10: Farrell Room, St. Michael’s College, 4:00 p.m.  Verandah Porche.  Verandah Porche will read from her work.

Wed, Feb 11: Center for Women and Gender, St. Michael’s College, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Verandah Porche.  Verandah Porche returns for a workshop titled Told Poetry/Shared Narrative.  Open to students, faculty, and staff.  Co-sponsored by the English Department and the Center for Women and Gender.

Sat, Feb 14: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Sun, Feb 15: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Winter Readings in the National Park.  Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided.  Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center.  For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

Wed, Feb 18: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  “You Come, Too”: Winter with Robert Frost.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity.  Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s winter poems.  Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving.  Refreshments served; free.  RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Mon, Feb 23: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Waters to read. Michael Waters’ eight books of poetry include Darling Vulgarity (2006—finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize), Parthenopi: New and Selected Poems (2001), and Green Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum (1997) from BOA Editions, and Bountiful (1992), The Burden Lifters (1989), and Anniversary of the Air (1985) from Carnegie Mellon UP. His several edited volumes include Contemporary American Poetry (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) and Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois UP, 2003). In 2004 he chaired the poetry panel for the National Book Award. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright Foundation, Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and four Pushcart Prizes, he teaches at Monmouth University in New Jersey and in the Drew University MFA Program.

Wed, Feb 25: Peabody Library, Route 113, Post Mills.  Reception and book signing by the authors of the literary magazine, Bloodroot.  Bloodroot Literary Magazine is a nonprofit publication released each December. Their mission is to provide a journal of high production values and quality material by established and emerging authors.  The 2009 issue of Bloodroot features cover art by Christy Hale and poems, short stories and creative nonfiction by 28 outstanding authors, many of them familiar names here in Vermont – Regina Brault, Carol Milkuhn and Nancy Means Wright.  The book is scheduled to be out and about in mid-December 2008.

Sun, Mar 1: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet C.D. Wright.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  A compelling and idiosyncratic poet, C.D. Wright has twelve collections including Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008), a weaving of deeply personal and politically ferocious poems;  Deepstep Come Shining and Cooling Time.  Her collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana was awarded the Dorothea Lange-Paul Tayor Prize.  Her new and selected poems Steal Away was on the shortlist for the Griffin Trust Award.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the Israel J. Kapstein Professor at Brown University.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

Tue, Mar 3: Farrell Room, St. Michael’s College, 4:30 p.m.  David Cavanaugh.  Local poet David Cavanaugh will read from his work.

Thu, Mar 5: Middlebury College, Abernathy Room, Axinn Center, 4:30-6:30.  Richard Chess was born in Los Angeles. He spent most of his childhood and youth in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is the author of three books of poetry, Third Temple (2007), Chair in the Desert (2000), and Tekiah (1994). His poems have appeared in many journals as well as several anthologies, including Best American Spiritual Writing 2005 and Telling and Remembering: A Century of American-Jewish Poetry.  An award-winning and much-sought after teacher, he is professor of literature and language at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  He directs UNCA’s Center for Jewish Studies as well as UNCA’s Creative Writing Program.  He has been a member of the low-residency MFA faculties at Warren Wilson College and Queens College.  He served for a number of years as writer-in-residence at the Brandeis Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, California.  He is now assistant director of The Jewish Arts Institue at Elat Chayyim, located at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center, where he will be teaching creative writing in a two-year training institute that begins in August of 2007.  He is poetry editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture.  He lives in Asheville with his wife, Laurie, and son, Gabe.  His two step-daughters, Alice and Margaret, are currently pursuing their careers elsewhere.  For more info, 443-5276.

Sun, Mar 8: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Winter Readings in the National Park.  Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided.  Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center.  For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

Wed, Mar 11: Hoehl Welcome Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, 7:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  John Engels Memorial Reading.  In memory of longtime English Department member (and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet), John Engels (1931-2007) the Department has established an annual  poetry reading. Poet, novelist and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s reading.  The first reading, in 2008, featured former Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt.  The English Department Reading Series invites poets, fiction writers, theater troupes, filmmakers, and the like to campus to give readings, talks, performances, screenings etc. In the last few years for example, they’ve hosted the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, novelists including Julia Alvarez, Russell Banks, and Pulitzer-Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, and poets including Pulitzer-Prize winner Louise Gluck, Chase Twitchell, Joy Harjo, and Galway Kinnell. Students are invited to these events, free of charge, and often have the chance to meet and talk to those visitors.  Sponsored by the Lecture Series.
Vermont had a few losses in 2007 and 2008, which were also losses to the entire poetry community.  John Engels, a professor for 45 years at St. Michael’s College, was one of those great losses.  For those of you lucky enough to have clutched a copy for yourself and read through “Remembering John Engels,” you will believe yourself a friend of John’s, as an admirer of his words.  I feel fortunate to have been been both a poet friend of his, as well as a friend of the stream, both of us maintaining a love of fly fishing and fly tying.  If you want to connect or reconnect with John Engels, I would invite you to come to this event, which is sure to be one of those incredible poetry moments.

Sat, Mar 14: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Apr 2: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Rosanna Warren to read.  Rosanna Warren was born in Connecticut in 1953. She was educated at Yale (BA 1976) and Johns Hopkins (MA 1980). She is the author of one chapbook of poems (Snow Day, Palaemon Press, 1981), and three collections of poems:  Each Leaf Shines Separate (Norton, 1984), Stained Glass (Norton, 1993, Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets), and Departure (Norton, 2003).  She edited and contributed to The Art of Translation:  Voices from the Field (Northeastern, 1989), and has edited three chapbooks of poetry by prisoners. She has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace Readers’ Digest Fund, among others.  She has won the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lavan Younger Poets’ Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Award of Merit in Poetry from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She is Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities at Boston University.

Sun, Apr 5: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Wesley McNair.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  Wesley McNair is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Foundations and a United States Artists Fellowship to “America’s finest living artists.” Other honors include the Robert Frost Prize; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry (for Fire); the Theodore Roethke prize from Poetry Northwest; the Pushcart Prize and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal.  McNair is currently Professor Emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine at Farmington.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

Sat, Apr 11: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Apr 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eric Pankey to read.  Eric Pankey is the author of six books of poetry: Reliquaries, Cenotaph, The Late Romances, Apocrypha, Heartwood and For the New Year. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NEA Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award, and an Ingram Merrill Grant. His work has appeared in many journals, including Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Triquarterly, DoubleTake and The New England Review. He teaches at George Mason University and lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Thu, Apr 23: Middlebury College, Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  A talk by Adina Hoffman, on her new book, My Happiness Bears no Relation to Happiness: Poet Taha Muhammad Ali and the Palestinian Century, (Yale University Press), the first biography of a Palestinian poet, and the first portrayal of Palestinian literature and culture in the 20th Century. Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Middle East Studies Program.  For info, 443-5151, E-mail: schine@middlebury.edu.

Sat, May 9: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, May 14: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Harper to read.  Michael S. Harper was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1938. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from what is now known as California State University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He has taught at Brown since 1970.  Harper has published more than 10 books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems (ARC Publications, 2002); Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems (2000); Honorable Amendments (1995); and Healing Song for the Inner Ear (1985). A new poetry collection, Use Trouble, is forthcoming in fall 2008 from The University of Illinois Press.  His other collections include Images of Kin (1977), which won the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America and was nominated for the National Book Award; Nightmare Begins Responsibility (1975); History Is Your Heartbeat (1971), which won the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award for poetry; and Dear John, Dear Coltrane (1970), which was nominated for the National Book Award.  Harper edited the Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980); he is co-editor with Anthony Walton of The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) and Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (1994), and with Robert B. Stepto of Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship (1979).  Harper was the first poet laureate of Rhode Island (1988-1993) and has received many other honors, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. Harper is also a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow, and the recipient of numerous distinctions, including the Robert Hayden Poetry Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Melville-Cane Award, the Claiborne Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

Mon, Jun 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eamon Grennan to read.  Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated at UCD, where he studied English and Italian, and Harvard, where he received his PhD in English. His volumes of poetry include What Light There Is & Other Poems, (North Point Press, 1989), Wildly for Days (1983), What Light There Is (1987), As If It Matters (1991), So It Goes (1995), Selected and New Poems (2000) and Still Life with Waterfall (2001). His latest collection, The Quick of It, appeared in 2004 in Ireland, and in Spring 2005 in America. His books of poetry are published in the United States by Graywolf Press, and in Ireland by Gallery Press. Other publications include Leopardi: Selected Poems (Princeton 1997), and Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century, a collection of essays on modern Irish poetry. His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in many magazines both in Ireland and the US.  Grennan has given lectures and workshops in colleges and universities in the US, including courses for the graduate programs in Columbia and NYU. During 2002 he was the Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University. His grants and prizes in the United States include awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Leopardi: Selected Poems received the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and Still Life with Waterfall was the recipient of the 2003 Lenore Marshall Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Poets. His poems have been awarded a number of Pushcart prizes. Grennan has taught since 1974 at Vassar College where he is the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English.

Sat, Jun 13: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Jul 9: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Ryan to read.  Michael Ryan has published three collections of poetry, including In Winter, Threats Instead of Trees, has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and God Hunger, as well as A Difficult Grace: On Poets, Poetry, and Writing, and the memoir Secret Life. His work has appeared in Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, New Republic, and elsewhere. Ryan has been honored by the Lenore Marshall Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and a Guggenheim. Ryan is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UC, Irvine.

Sat, Jul 11: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Jul 27: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Doreen Gilroy to read.  Doreen Gilroy’s first book, The Little Field of Self  (The University of Chicago Press, 2002), won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares.  Her second book, Human Love, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2005.  Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Slate, TriQuarterly and many other magazines.

Sat, Aug 8: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Aug 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Cole Swensen to read.  Cole Swensen is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. She is the author of five collections of poems, including Try (University of Iowa Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Poetry Prize; Noon (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), which won a New American Writing Award; and Numen (Burning Deck Press, 1995) which was nominated for the PEN West Award in Poetry. Her translations include Art Poetic’ by Olivier Cadiot (Sun & Moon Press, Green Integer Series, 1999) and Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun & Moon, 1995). She splits her time among Denver, San Francisco and Paris.

Thu, Sep 3: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Marge Piercy to read.  Marge Piercy has published 17 books of poetry, including What Are Big Girls Made Of, Colors Passing Through Us, and most recently her 17th volume, The Crooked Inheiritance, all from Knopf. She has written 17 novels, most recently SEX WARS in Perennial paperback now.  Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is also in Harper Collins Perennial.  Last spring, Schocken published Pesach for the Rest of Us.  Her work has been translated into 16 languages. Her CD Louder We Can’t Hear You Yet contains her political and feminist poems. She has been an editor of Leapfrog Press for the last ten years and also poetry editor of Lilith.

Sat, Sep 12: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Oct 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Pattiann Rogers to read.  Pattiann Rogers has published ten books of poetry, a book-length essay, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, and A Covenant of Seasons, poems and monotypes, in collaboration with the artist Joellyn Duesberry. Her 11th  book of poetry, Wayfare, will appear from Penguin in April, 2008.   Rogers is the recipient of two NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation, and five Pushcart Prizes.  In the spring of 2000 she was in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.  Her papers are archived in the Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community and the Natural World at Texas Tech University.  She has taught as a visiting professor at various universities, including the Universities of Texas, Arkansas, and Montana, Houston University, and Washingon University.  She is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s MFA in Writing Program.  Rogers has two sons and three grandsons and lives with her husband in Colorado.

Sat, Oct 10: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Oct 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Major Jackson to read.  “Jackson knows the truth of black magic. It is a magic as simple as the belief in humanity that subverts racism, or the esoteric and mystical magic of making jazz, the music of hope and love.” —Aafa Weaver.  Major Jackson is the author of two collections of poetry, Hoops (Norton: 2006), a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry. and Leaving Saturn (University of Georgia: 2002), winner of the 2000 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.  Poems by Major Jackson have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Boulevard, Callaloo, Post Road, Triquarterly, The New Yorker, among other literary journals and anthologies. He is a recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has received critical attention in The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Parnassus, Philadelphia Inquirer, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.  Jackson is an Associate Professor of English at University of Vermont and a faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. In 2006-2007, he was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Sat, Nov 14: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Nov 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Sebastian Matthews to read.  Sebastian Matthews is the author of the poetry collection We Generous (Red Hen Press) and a memoir, In My Father’s Footsteps (W. W. Norton).  He co-edited, with Stanley Plumly, Search Party: Collected Poem s of William Matthews. Matthews teaches at Warren Wilson College and serves on the faculty at Queens College Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing. His poetry and prose has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Georgia Review, New England, Review, Poetry Daily, Poets & Writers, Seneca Review, The Sun, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review and The Writer’s Almanac, among others. Matthews co-edits Rivendell, a place-based literary journal, and serves as poetry consultant for Ecotone:

Re-Imagining Place.

Sat, Dec 12: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

2010:

Mon, Feb 22: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet David Shapiro to read.  David Shapiro (born January 2, 1947) is an American poet, literary critic, and art historian and . Shapiro has written some twenty volumes of poetry, literary, and art criticism. He was first published at the age of thirteen, and his first book was published at the age of eighteen. Shapiro has taught at Columbia, Bard College, Cooper Union, Princeton University, and William Paterson University. He wrote the first monograph on John Ashbery, the first book on Jim Dine’s paintings, the first book on Piet Mondrian’s flower studies, and the first book on Jasper Johns’ drawings. He has translated Rafael Alberti’s poems on Pablo Picasso, and the writings of the Sonia and Robert Delaunay. Shapiro has won National Endowment for the HumanitiesNational Endowment for the Arts fellowships, been nominated for a National Book Award, and been the recipient of numerous grants for his work. Shapiro lives in Riverdale, The Bronx, New York City, with his wife and son.

Again, if you become aware of an event that isn’t posted above, please let me know. My apologies if I have left off anything of importance to any of you, but it can always be corrected in the next Vermont Poetry Newsletter.

That’s about it for now. Again, keep your eyes peeled for poetry events.  I hope this email finds you all with good health and sharp pencils.

Your fellow Poet,

Ron Lewis

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