Vermont Poetry Newsletter: January 16 2009

[This is a newsletter I receive on a regular basis from Ron Lewis. I did not write this. But I am posting it here as a resource for others interested in Vermont happenings.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter
Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State

Newsletter Editor’s Note

  • 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.

January 16, 2009 – In This Issue:

  1. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  2. Inauguration PoemsInauguration Poem Story – Robert Frost
  3. JFK Library Gets Famous Frost Inauguration Poem
  4. April Ossmann’s Poetry Workshops
  5. Poetry Reading at Red Hen Bakery & Café
  6. Carol Muske-Dukes California Poet Laureate
  7. Hayden Carruth Memorial Fund
  8. In Memoriam: Chris White
  9. In Memoriam: W.D. Snodgrass
  10. A Green Mountain Idyll-Poems for Hayden Carruth
  11. Did You Know? Poet Sonia Sanchez was in Middlebury?
  12. Ponderings – Latest Broadway Play “Romantic Poetry”
  13. Poetry Quote (Maxwell Bodenheim)
  14. US Poets Laureate List
  15. Linebreak Poem
  16. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  17. American Life in Poetry Poem
  18. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
  19. Vermont Poet Laureates
  20. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  21. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  22. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  23. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  24. Poetry Event Calendar

Dear Friends of Poetry:

The Otter Creek Poets will be meeting in the Ilsley Library’s Vermont
Room (upstairs) on Thursday, January 22nd. If you’re interested in
joining the Otter Creek Poets, please see the information on
workshops, found near the tail end of this email.

Speaking of new members, poets Kelly Moss Chitwood and Fay Levitt
have become the newest members of the Otter Creek group. We welcome
them into this wonderful association of writers. New members have to
ask themselves in reading their first poem to the group, “What do you
look for in bringing a poem to a workshop?” or “What part in the poem
do you say to yourself, I’ve said it, or that’s what I was trying to
get out.” Food for thought.

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.

There has already been serious discussion about an Otter Creek Poets
Anthology, which will be it’s 4 such collection. For OCP’s, it’s
time to begin getting your best 3 or 4 poems together for possible
publication. From what I’ve seen during the past year, this should
be an amazing compilation.

For those OCP members thinking about writing a poem about slide
rules, and I’ve heard the subject batted around a bit, there will be
a slide rule lesson in Middlebury at the Ilsley Public Libary on
Sunday, January 25th, at 2:00. Learn how to do complex calculations
with the tool that predates the calculator. Bring your old slide
rule, if you can find it; look next to the lava lamp! Led by John
Wesley; for additional info, 388-4095.

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher
247-5913

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1.)

THIS WEEK’S
WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:


WRITE ABOUT MONEY

  • The best way to find an original poem is to take up a new subject, one that formerly has been considered unsuitable for poetry. In the 1950s, the personal lives of American men became possible to write about. In the 1960s and 70s, the lives of women joined the list of topics. Which topics are still out of bounds? I suggest that for nextweek, you write a poem about money, in any of its roles and disguises.


LAST WEEK’S
WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

  • Poet Elizabeth Alexander has been chosen to read a poem at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. She’s a good sport for taking the gig, because no matter how good she is, other poets will make fun of her until the end of time. Not to mention all the things that might go wrong. Remember how Robert Frost forgot his reading glasses and could not read the poem he had composed for JFK’s inauguration in 1961? Of course, inauguration organizers have a backup plan. It’s YOU..

Assignment:

  • If Ms. Alexander cannot read her inauguration poem for whatever reason, you have been selected as her understudy. Please write a poem to suit (or disrupt) the occasion and bring it on Jan. 15. Limit: 100 lines.

Good luck!

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In thinking about the inauguration poem you’ll be hearing on the
20th, or if you’re trying to do last week’s Otter Creek Poets
assignment, you might be interested in these 9 inauguration poems by
9 prominent poets, and how they handled it.

Odes to Obama: A poem or 2 for the new president

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Poets don’t typically write to order. You can’t just call them up and ask them for a poem. Not even for an inauguration. But The Associated Press did ask. And they did write.The inauguration of a new president just seems to be a fitting time for poetry, and so 10 American poets accepted the AP’s invitation to come up with a little something to mark Barack Obama’s ascension to the presidency.

The poems came from an eclectic assortment of American wordsmiths, ranging from a former poet laureate and a Pulitzer Prize winner to a self-described “cowboy poet.”

Billy Collins, U.S. poet laureate from 2001 to 2003, submitted “launch,” containing shimmery imagery of a boat set afloat under “the sun’s golden rafters.”

In “Making the News,” Californian Gary Soto wrote about setting a match to the newspaper and letting “the bad years go up in a question mark of smoke.”

Novelist and poet Julia Alvarez, who spent her first 10 years in the Dominican Republic, wrote a rebuttal to the poem that Robert Frost had recited at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. Alvarez remembers watching Kennedy’s inauguration and being fascinated with the “old, cranky, white-haired man” who recited “The Gift Outright.” Later, she studied the poem and came to see it as overlooking huge swaths of the U.S. population.

Frost’s poem focused on the American colonists from England and stated that “The land was ours before we were the land’s.” Alvarez countered that “The land was never ours, nor we the land’s: no, not in Selma, with the hose turned on, nor in the valley picking the alien vines. Nor was it ours in Watts, Montgomery – no matter what the frosty poet said.”

Themes of change and hope were everywhere in the poems.

In “The Procession,” Yusef Komunyakaa wrote that “Each question uncurls a little whip in the air. Can we change tomorrow?”

In “The World Has Changed,” Alice Walker, who won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Color Purple,” exhorted readers to “wake up & smell the possibility.”

Almost as poetic as some of the poems that arrived were the comments of poets who either said they’d give it a try, or who wouldn’t think of it.

Nathaniel Mackey explained that writing an inaugural ode would be a challenge because “I tend to write in a rather dark vein.” Nothing came of his pledge to try.

Sandra Cisneros wouldn’t make any promises, writing that “I just go to sleep, and it’s just born or it’s not.” It wasn’t.

Charles Simic, another former poet laureate, said “it’s impossible to say yes or no. … I can’t write to order. … When do you need it by?” His good intentions didn’t bear fruit.

New Yorker Sharon Olds deemed her efforts unworthy. “It’s as I suspected,” she e-mailed. “I’m not able to come up with anything near good enough, tho I used a lot of paper!”

Andrei Codrescu, who was born in Romania and became a U.S. citizen in 1981, wasn’t one even to venture a try. “I voted for Obama, but I grew up under Ceausescu,” Codrescu wrote of the former Romanian dictator. “The idea of writing poems for people in power gives me the creeps.”

There was some modesty among those who did venture to write something.

Soto – winner of too many poetry prizes to list – sent his in with the instructions: “feel free to edit.”

Alvarez sent hers along with the caveat that “it’s in the nature of occasion poems to be somewhat disposable.”

The AP set no ground rules for the poems. But poet David Lehman, editor of the Best American Poetry series, decided his should meet the same guidelines as those established for an inaugural ode contest sponsored by the poetry series that he edits. Writers were required to use at least three of six designated words (integrity, faith, change, hope, power and honor.) Lehman managed to work five into a poem that offered Obama the wish that “May God, in this winter hour, shine on your countenance and teach you to balance the heart’s poetry and the mind’s power.”

Digital poet Christopher Funkhouser bypassed the whole words-on-paper realm to create a swirl of bouncing letters and words that form and re-form on a video screen. He ended up creating three poems, explaining: “I couldn’t manage to do just one!” You can see them at: http://wepress.org/inauguration/

Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, happened to be in West Africa filming a documentary on oral storytellers when the request for a poem arrived. He drew inspiration from his surroundings to write “Africa goes for Obama!”

Cowboy poet Ted Newman penned a plea to Obama to “be the president our country needs.”

Amiri Baraka, former poet laureate of New Jersey, took a short cut and sent in something he’d written about Obama last February: “Imagine Obama Talking To A Fool.”

One of the poets who didn’t respond to the AP’s invitation was poet Elizabeth Alexander. It turns out she’ll be reciting an original poem at the inauguration.

Apparently, Obama’s invitation took priority over the AP’s.

Poems for the inauguration of Barack Obama

Launch

A boat is sliding into the water today
to test the water and the boat

which glides down a grassy bank
the prow touching the wavelets

then another push
and the length of it up and buoyant

the tapered length of it floating
toward the middle on its own

as we watch from the shore
pointing to the heavy clouds coming in

from every side
but now above us only the sun’s golden rafters

and the boat afloat
out there on the bright surface of the water.

by Billy Collins.

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The land was never ours, nor we the land’s:
no, not in Selma, with the hose turned on,
nor in the valley picking the alien vines.
Nor was it ours in Watts, Montgomery–
no matter what the frosty poet said.
We heard the crack of whips, the mothers’ moans
in anthems like an undertow of grief.
The land was never ours but we believed
a King’s dream might some day become a deed
to what we did not own, though it owed us.
(Who had the luxury to withhold himself?)
No gift outright for us, we earned this land
with sorrows currency: our hands, our backs,
our Rosas, Martins, Jesses our Baracks.
Today we give our land what we withheld:
the right at last to call itself one nation

–By Julia Alvarez.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Julia Alvarez. By permission of Susan Bergholz Literary Services, New York and Lamy, NM. All rights reserved.

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Making the News

It’s not right to burn newsprint,
The stink of ink in the air,
But I have to crumple at least a few pages
And strike a match in the fireplace–
The bad years go up in a question mark of smoke.

Or should I make confetti from the sports section,
Or shape a dunce hat from the business page–
I, the investor in rubber bands
That shot me in the foot.

Or should I cut out coupons–
Two cans of soup for the price of one.
Or, for a laugh, should I spread open the comics
On the kitchen table and string a macaroni necklace,
The playground craft I could master.

I choose smoke and fire,
The sting in my eyes on this January day,
And poke a wreath of newspaper
Until it crackles with a steady fire.

Let’s air out the square and oval rooms.
Let’s wave at a dog frolicking on the lawn.
Let’s hear children and the tap of rain on a tulip.
Let’s welcome the new resident to our house,
His handshake strong from the clasp of so many.

–By Gary Soto.


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The Procession

Yes, the dust of the Great Migration
is in our dreams & on the soles of our feet,
but we can foxtrot into this bandaged season
limping toward us from the fog. Each question
uncurls a little whip in the air. Can we change
tomorrow? Can we love what’s in the deep mirror
& trace fault lines beneath nocturnal streets?
Loneliness & anger always know the road home.
Now the long-lost ones stand at the threshold
& gaze into our eyes. Please don’t turn away,
don’t retreat into caves of artificial light
& borrowed lowly laughter brimming up.
There’s a hard, long road ahead. Nights
&days ahead, one foot in front of the other.

Days ahead, one foot in front of the other
is how we ascend Jacob’s tangled ladder.
Bring your lantern & philosopher’s stone,
your pick & shovel, ball of twine, hook
& sinker, your slide ruler & plumb bob.
There’s some faithful work to be done
on this hill & down in the valley, too.
Bring your running shoes & baseball cap.
I tell you, I’m no one’s Benjamin Banneker,
but I know a cul-de-sac is a whiplash
& slipknot. Sometimes you have to bow
to self-given thorns, or weave around a body
of water. Some things you argue against
or for, & then you go straight through bedrock.

You have to go straight through bedrock
to find hope, I said. You can’t kill the past
to erase a page. Cut out a tongue singing delta,
& still a windy lamentation crests the hilltop.
Burn odes into ash to smear on the forehead,
but still the laconic cricket calls the night
to sing deeds, blasphemies, & allegories
droning beneath the earth’s blueprint.
Yes, even if we parade in secondhand garb
as priestly nobodies, the Daylight Boys,
or other heretical truth-seekers, we know
weeping isn’t a fly in a spider’s web.
If you can’t see hunger on our streets,
at least remember hard songs left behind.

At least remember hard songs left behind
on fields from Concord to the Green Zone.
Our maps go to the edge of a lost frontier,
following every unsolved riddle & tributary,
indigenous souls still in the drizzle & bog
grass, behind hedgerows–beyond imagination.
Now there’s one sky, with holes in the ozone.
Limitless steps across snow recast star charts.
All the old gods gaze at us like deathwatch
beetles, waiting to see what we do with this hour.
Let Walt Whitman put his lips to your ear
as he rocks the dead of north & south in his arms.
Words taproot down to what we are made of,
& these hosannas are ours to surrender to.

These hosannas are ours to surrender to
till laurel & olive branch into our footpath,
an eruption of blooms overtaking our heads.
We’re here to honor those who came before,
who gladly or sadly gave themselves back
to earth. You know their names. We know
who stood & never lost ground. We know
who knelt beside their contraband drums
& depended on hawthorn to guard them.
Sunlight & water draw roots deep as seed
& oath; their sway & pull can bend an oak
over a grand monument. Evermore pours
from a beggar’s tin cup as one thousand
clocks strike inside the stone base.

Clocks strike inside the stone base.
The mainsprings are about to be adjusted
& oiled. For the first time in decades
the blindfold has slipped off her face,
& we are now seeing her true reflection
on the harbor. The shortcuts tell us, no,
the winding road isn’t a second guess,
& one could risk one’s life getting here.
Where I stand in splendor, at this point
of view, surely, it is already Springtime.
How could it not be? The Sunday-go-to-
meeting clothes, the bright hats cocked
at the true angle that slays blue devils.
How could it not be? This is the hour.

How could it not be? This is the hour
beckoning the North Star & drinking gourd,
waist-deep shadows crossing the Ohio River,
& I hear Fredrick Douglass’ voice in a brisk
shiver of dry leaves, saying, “When the dogs
in your streets, when the fowls of the air,
when the cattle on your hills, when the fish
of the sea, & then reptiles that crawl”
The rattle of night pods is the only shaman
at this late hour. Secret markers run
from flatland to river town, pale desert
to mountain, grassland to autumn skyline.
From here I see a lighthouse, love of the planet
bringing a polar bear back to its ice floe.

By Yusef Komunyakaa.

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The World Has Changed

The World Has Changed:
Wake up & smell
The possibility.
The world
Has changed:
It did not
Change
Without
Your prayers
Without
Your faith
Without
Your determination
To
Believe
In liberation

Kindness;
Without
Your
Dancing
Through the years
That
Had
No
Beat.
The world has changed:
It did not
Change
Without
Your
Numbers
Your
Fierce
Love
Of self

Cosmos
It did not
Change
Without
Your
Strength.

The world has
Changed:
Wake up!
Give yourself
The gift
Of a new
Day.

The world has changed:
This does not mean
You were never
Hurt.
The world
Has changed:
Rise!
Yes

Shine!
Resist the siren
Call
Of
Disbelief.
The world has changed:
Don’t let
Yourself
Remain
Asleep
To
It.

By Alice Walker
(Copyright (c) 2008 by Alice Walker.)

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Poem for Obama

We want a hero, an uncommon one,
The common wisdom being that integrity
In an age of irony is as unlikely as fun
On jury duty and equally as vital to the city,

The state, and the nation. Put the likelihood
Of rejection and the inevitability
Of injustice on one side; the ability
Of free people to choose their livelihood

On the other; and though hope is genteel
And faith obsolete, yet breathes there
A man or woman who cannot feel
The charge of the change in the air?

May God, in this winter hour,
Shine on your countenance
And teach you to balance
The heart’s poetry and the mind’s power.

By David Lehman.

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PLEA TO THE PRES

BAILOUTS FOR THE BIG GUYS
BUY BACK THEIR ROTTED FRUIT
FORGET THE CANOPY OF GOLD
IT’S THE PLATINUM PARACHUTE.

NO ONE INDICTS THE AUTHORS
GUYS LIKE FRANK AND DODD
THEY SAY SHOW ME THE MONEY
WE’LL BAIL YOU OUT BY GOD.

THE FRED AND FANNY WATCHDOGS
WITH OUR MONEY PLAY SO LOOSE
THEY BORROW US INTO SERFDOM
AS THEY KILL THE GOLDEN GOOSE.

THEY POSTURE AND PONTIFICATE
AS THEY DIVIDE THE LOOT
THEN REWARD THE BIG CONTRIBUTORS
WITH PLATINUM PARACHUTES.

THE DOUBLESPEAK AND DOUBLETALK
OF LEADERS PSUEDO-BRAVE
MORTAGAGE CHILDREN’S FUTURES
AS THEY TAX US TO THE GRAVE.

THANKS TO CORRUPT LEADERSHIP
AND IGNORANCE TO BOOT
THEY’LL SAVE US THE UNWASHED MASSESS
WITH PURE LEAD PARACHUTES.

SO PLEASE MR. OBAMA
DON’T LET THEM PLAY THEIR GAMES
DON’T LET THE LIES CONTINUE
DON’T LET THEM HIDE THE BLAME.

BE THE PRESIDENT OUR COUNTRY NEEDS
LET’S REALLY REARRANGE
THE POLITICAL HYPOCRACY
KEEP YOUR WORD AND BRING US CHANGE.

By Ted Newman

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Imagine Obama Talking To A Fool

To Lead, is what
We fought We fighting now, We been
At war For equality, equal citizenship
Rights. Are those ours, No, no yet.
Our struggle Self Determination
Is always by the moment, is on us
Always, as our skin is, gleaming
Inside & outside w/ the fulfilled beauty
Of promise, as an eye arrow streaks
Through the darkness toward itself at
Thousands of miles an hour.
We are ourselves always
Full of ourselves. What we know
Is boundless as our everybody
All our hands & muscles, our swiftness
Is itself a thought & not a thought
But a being, a seeing, that, yes,
We want to lead, we are not fools
Or forever weaker than that self that cd
Be him, them, her, they, we can raise this
Stupid filthy place, we can strangle foolishness
Where it lurks and hurl it into hah hahs
Of imbecility. Why wd you taunt a person
With skeletons challenged by
The enlightenment?
So they turn the hood backwards
&now can see nothing
But how their weak breath
Makes the bedsheet soggy.
Yes, we can. Lead! We will anyway.
But we want to lead. Whats wrong
With that? We can!
And with all this mountain pile
Of wrong, backward, dumb,
Dishonest, boring, filthy
Thing you or they have created
This thing that we us I have
Hated, It can not be a surprise
That someone else shd see this world
Through their own eyes. Yes,
I want to lead. You have
Already failed.
We have all heard those songs
Those tales. I want to lead
You have already failed!

By Amiri Baraka
Feb. 10, 2008

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Africa Goes for Obama!

In Bamako, the koras can’t stop singing praises
Of the African king named Barack Obama.
You can talk all you want
in the courtyard
under the mango tree,
But these harps know their stories, revel
In contradiction’s harmony.
A song that consumes history.

Meanwhile, in Timbuktu
The shirt off my back
Spirited off in high-fived exuberance
Barack Obama’s face
Lifted in 2008 Sahara sandstorm

Lifting off from Dakar, Leopold
Senghor – they name their airports
After Poet-Presidents here —
An “I Made it to Timbuktu
And Back!” t-shirt on my back

Back to Union Square, 14th Street,
New York City, flying Middle Passage
Route of Bones Fair Trade Agreement

By Bob Holman

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2.)

And, if you didn’t know the story behind our own Robert Frost, and his own attempt at an inaugural poem, here you are:

FROST DEDICATES JFK OUTRIGHT

For John F Kennedy’s inauguration as President of the United States Robert Frost wrote a new poem entitled, “Dedication”. Like many others he conceived the new president as young Lochinvar, the perfect combination of spirit and flesh, passion and toughness, poetry and reality:

“… The glory of a next Augustan age
Of a power leading from its strength and pride,
Of young amibition eager to be tried,
Firm in our free beliefs without dismay,
In any game the nations want to play.
A golden age of poetry and power
Of which this noonday’s the beginning hour.”

But the poet was old (87) and he couldn’t see the words because of the sun’s glare that bright, cold January day. The poem’s newness to him and his unfamiliarity with and uncertainty about the way it went caused him to stumble uncertainly with his voice and tone and he gave up. Instead he fell back on an old one he knew perfectly, and in the most splendidly commanding of voices, recited it impeccably:

~ The Gift Outright ~

The land was ours before we were the land’s.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia.
But we were England’s, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak.
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.
~ Robert Frost; 1874-1963 ~

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3.)

And, here’s a little more history for you – very interesting! What’s in blue is truly unforgettable.

JFK Library Gets Famous Frost Poem
By NANCY RABINOWITZ
The Associated Press
Friday, April 21, 2006; 5:38 PM

BOSTON — The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum has obtained the original version of the poem that Robert Frost prepared for the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, but never read in its entirety because of the glare of the sun.

At Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration, Frost, who was 86 at the time, stood at the podium reading the beginning of “Dedication,” a poem he wrote by hand, then typed for easier reading at the inauguration. But after trying to use a hat borrowed from Vice President Lyndon Johnson to shield the page from bright sun glancing off the snow, Frost recited his poem, “The Gift Outright,” from memory.

Frost had intended to deliver a full reading of “Dedication” before reciting “The Gift Outright.”

The museum received the original handwritten poem this week from the estate of Frederick Holborn, one of President Kennedy’s special assistants, who died last June.

“It is such a remarkable piece of American history and culture. It is just wonderful to have it back home,” said Deborah Leff, the museum’s director.

The poem speaks of the rise of American democracy and its affect on the world. At the bottom of the original version of the poem, Frost wrote, “To John F. Kennedy, At his inauguration to be president of this country. January 20th, 1961. With the Heart of the World,” followed by, “Amended copy, now let’s mend our ways.”
The document is being sent to a conservator because the material used to frame it is causing acid damage, said Brent Carney, a spokesman for the JFK Library and Museum. After it is returned to the museum, officials plan to display it in one of the museum’s galleries, though they aren’t yet certain which one.

Jacqueline Kennedy had the poem framed for the president to hang in the White House and wrote a now barely legible note to the president on brown paper on the back of the frame. The note was not discovered until museum archivist James M. Roth removed the paper from the frame this week.

Roth said the note reads, “For Jack, January 23, 1961. First thing I had framed to put in your office. First thing to be hung there.”

“There is no signature but it’s definitely her handwriting,” Roth said.

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4.)

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

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5.)

Please join us!
Poetry Reading at the Red Hen Bakery & Café
Celebrate Robert Burns’ 250th Birthday with our own Scottish Poet Len Irving

Sunday
January 25, 6:30 pm
Route 2 in Middlesex Village

Come and read poetry – your own or your favorites – or listen to others.

More info? Call Earline at 223-6777
The Red Hen Bakery is open at this time only for the poetry reading.

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6.)

Carol Muske-Dukes, California’s new poet laureate, on her post alifornia’s new poet laureate considers the seeming contradictions of the post and how to approach its potential.

By Carol Muske-Dukes
December 12, 2008

Could there be an honorific less American-sounding than poet laureate? The title conjures images of a laurel wreath askew on the pale brow of a loitering bard — scribbling couplets beside a throne (“I am his Highness’ dog at Kew; / Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?”) British poets laureate write occasional verse to celebrate royal birthdays, ship christenings and Tube station openings. As California’s new poet laureate, I haven’t been asked to write a sonnet or triolet in honor of Gov. Schwarzenegger, who appointed me last month, nor a pantoum in honor of Maria Shriver — and I don’t expect to have to honor such a request. The governor and first lady clearly admire the idea of the poet laureate without insisting on a job description or the odd panegyric.

In Britain, the poet laureate remains a half-jester, half-noble figure. In the U.S., we remain “half-cracked,” as Emily Dickinson said. We have a poetry tradition — a “Body Electric” anarchic romance — which gives rise to our present poetry polyglot: neo-formalist, plain style, abstract, imagist, l-a-n-g-u-a-g-e, ethnic, feminist, mystical, abcderian, post-colonial, lyric-narrative or minimalist, William-Carlos-Williams-take-the damn-refrigerator-note- down-and-mix-me-a-plum-daiquiri schools of poetry.
Poetry is, like prayer, spun from the imagination — from ultimate contradiction — like the idea of a democratic crown. Who’s lucky or brazen enough to wear this headgear? I’m brazen enough to bow my head and gratefully accept the honor. Born in Minnesota, I teach creative writing at the University of Southern California, have written books of poems and, for years, wrote a poetry review column for this newspaper. Our governor was born in Austria and his first lady was born into an American “royal” family sprung from Irish immigrants. Each of us, with our homegrown or immigrant souls, has an idea of what sort of poetry should come out of the state — whether it should sound like Gary Snyder, Robinson Jeffers, Kenneth Rexroth or Robert Frost (born in San Francisco), or like Sor Juana, Carolyn Kizer, Jane Hirschfield, Marilyn Chin or Harryette Mullen. In a letter, Maria Shriver told me that California women are “trailblazers” in everything they do. I agree — in particular about poets, those psychic pioneers.
There’s the answer, I think, to who or what a “poet laureate” is in this republic: There are no rules, the path is open. The first California poet laureate (appointed in 1915) was Ina Coolbrith, who blazed a way through the wilderness, literally. She was born in Nauvoo, Ill., as Josephine Donna Smith. Her father was Don Carlos Smith, a brother of the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith. Her mother fled Mormon polygamy with her second husband and her young daughter, traveling by covered wagon to California. (In the Golden State, Josephine Donna Smith reinvented herself as Ina Coolbrith to escape the history of the Smith name.) Coolbrith was outspoken, generous — a librarian and a teacher-mentor to the young Jack London — and fast friends with writers like Joaquin Miller, but her poems were steeped in a high tea lavender style. Even a poem called “California Poppy” sounded a bit like hapless British laureate Colley Cibber:

Not all proud Sheba’s queenly offerings
Could match the golden marvel of thy blooms.

She was most certainly a trailblazer — and she was free to write about whatever she wished, in whatever style she chose. California was her refuge and source of her literary reputation. And yet, her 21st century reader cannot help but wonder what a poem about fleeing polygamy, crossing the Sierras in the first wagon in a caravan coming into California, about standing before the Pacific (as Frost’s “Once By the Pacific”) might have sounded like in her “un-miked” voice. The lordly office of British Poet Laureate colonized the voice of Coolbrith, pioneer and passionate advocate, yet California remained her inspiration.

We’ve entered a new America in the last few months: We are redefining ourselves. If “poet laureate” sounds like a contradiction in terms here in California, the last frontier, then I accept that contradiction, just as I accept the extremely high standards that the outgoing poet laureate, Al Young, has set. But here’s what I most hope to do. I hope to speak in a voice that is in touch with California, about California — perhaps to children reading poetry for the first time, hospital patients, inmates of prisons or anyone fascinated or intimidated by its unlikely power.

To speak about the state of mind which is California and the words swirling in the wind — desert by the sea, one hundred tongues, snow-peaked, blowing fire, homeless under the freeway, homeboy jewel in the lotus, Inland Empire, pool-blue aftershock, silver screen, aerospace grasslands, grapevined aqueduct air base on the Pacific Rim . . . You see where this is going. Perhaps finally, and with great respect, to readdress the ordinary California poppy — waiting there, egalitarian in the golden marvel of its blooms.

Muske-Dukes is professor of English and creative writing at USC and the author of several books, including “Channeling Mark Twain,” “Sparrow” and “An Octave Above Thunder.”
You can find out more about Carol at: http://www.carolmuskedukes.com/

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7.)

Dear Friends of Hayden Carruth,

As you may imagine, the loss of Hayden Carruth has left his immediate family with some financial strains. Anyone wishing to help may send a check payable to HAYDEN CARRUTH MEMORIAL FUND c/o Paul V. Noyes, Esq. 131 Sherrill Rd, Sherrill, NY 13461. The fund will remain active until January 15, 2009; you may request anonymity or your name will be added (without the amount of your gift) to a list of contributors when Mr. Noyes gives Joe-Anne the proceeds (and any messages included with the donations) shortly after January 15. Please accept your canceled check as notification that your gift has been received.

The Hayden Carruth Memorial Fund Committee

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8.)

In Memoriam:

We’ve lost 2 wonderful poets this past week, one a member of the PSOV, Poetry Society of Vermont, and the other an internationally-known poet.

Here’s what information I have at the moment for the first of two:

Christopher Clarke White (“Doc White”)

CASTLETON – The memorial service for Christopher Clarke White, 71, who died Jan. 14, 2009, will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at the Ducharme Funeral Home in Castleton. The Rev. Robert Noble, pastor of Castleton Federated Church, will officiate.

A full obituary will be published in a future edition of the Rutland Herald.

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And , the 2nd:

W.D. Snodgrass

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.D. Snodgrass dies

W.D. Snodgrass, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who had a nearly 40- ear teaching career, died at his upstate New York home after a four- onth battle with inoperable lung cancer. He was 83.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. —

W.D. Snodgrass, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who had a nearly 40- ear teaching career, died at his upstate New York home after a four- onth battle with inoperable lung cancer. He was 83.

His family said he died Tuesday at his home in Madison County, just east of Syracuse. Snodgrass won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1960 for his first book, “Heart’s Needle,” which grew from heartbreak at losing custody of his daughter in a bitter divorce.

Although widely credited as a founding member of the “confessional” school of poetry, Snodgrass himself dismissed the label.

Born William DeWitt Snodgrass in Wilkinsburg, Pa., on Jan. 5, 1926, he was known to friends throughout his life as “De,” pronounced “dee.” He briefly attended Geneva College in Pennsylvania before he was drafted into the Navy during World War II.

Although he aspired to a career in music before the war, Snodgrass enrolled afterward in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, hoping to become a playwright. Instead, he drifted into some poetry classes and studied with such greats as John Crowe Ransom, Karl Shapiro, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell and Robert Lowell.

After receiving two master’s degrees in writing, Snodgrass embarked in 1955 on a nearly 40-year teaching career, which included stints at Cornell University, the University of Rochester, Wayne State University, Old Dominion University and, from 1968 to 1977, Syracuse University. He retired from teaching in 1994.
Snodgrass was the author of more than 30 books of poetry and translations.

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10.)
FROM POETS.ORG:

W. D. Snodgrass

William De Witt Snodgrass was born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, on January 5, 1926. He attended Geneva College and then served in the United States Navy until 1946. He then attended the State University of Iowa, where he earned his M.F.A. in 1953. His early work was compared to the work of Robert Lowell and Randall Jarrell, both of which were his teachers.

His first collection of poetry, Heart’s Needle, was published in 1959 and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. Since then, he has published numerous books of poetry, including Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions, 2006); The Führer Bunker: The Complete Cycle (1995); Each in His Season (1993); Selected Poems, 1957-1987; The Führer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress (1977), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and produced by Wynn Handman for The American Place Theatre; and After Experience (1968).

He is often credited as being one of the founding members of the “confessional” movement, though he does not consider his poetry as fitting in that school. About his own work, Snodgrass has said, “I first became known for poems of a very personal nature, especially those about losing a daughter in a divorce. Many of those early poems were in formal metres and had an ‘open’ surface. All through my career, however, I have written both free verse and formal metres.”

He has also produced two books of literary criticism, To Sound Like Yourself: Essays on Poetry (2003) and In Radical Pursuit (1975), and six volumes of translation, including Selected Translations (BOA Editions, 1998), which won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award.

His honors include an Ingram Merrill Foundation award and a special citation from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He lived in upstate New York and died on January 13, 2009.
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11.)

From Bob & Susan Arnold at Longhouse, a fine Vermont press that not only issues gorgeous, incredible letterpress work, but also has served as a nerve center for poets and political activism for southeastern Vermont and sometimes for all of New England, I found this beautiful section of poetry, which centers around friendships with Hayden Carruth. I think they’re worth reading:

http://www.longhousepoetry.com/carruth.html

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11.)

Did You Know? . . . that even I can miss posting a poetry event?

Yes, it happens once in awhile. That’s why I appreciate emails from poets who receive the VPN about possibly obscure poetry-related events around the state. I can’t find them all by myself, although I certainly try. The VPN is your resource, so contribute when you can – events, anything!

What I missed, only because it was posted late at Middlebury College, was a poetry reading at the college on Thursday evening, January 15th, in honor of Martin Luther King day, the 19th. The special event was headed by nationally-known poet, Sonia Sanchez, who was at my college, San Francisco State, in the years just before I got there.

Here’s Ms. Sanchez’ bio:

Sonia Sanchez was born Wilsonia Benita Driver on September 9, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Her mother died a year later, and Sanchez lived with her paternal grandmother and other relatives for several years. In 1943 she moved to Harlem with her sister to live with their father and his third wife. She earned a B.A. in political science from Hunter College in 1955. She also did postgraduate work at New York University and studied poetry with Louise Bogan. Sanchez formed a writers’ workshop in Greenwich Village, attended by such poets as Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), and Larry Neal. Along with Madhubuti, Nikki Giovanni, and Etheridge Knight, she formed the “Broadside Quartet” of young poets, introduced and promoted by Dudley Randall. She married and divorced Albert Sanchez, a Puerto Rican immigrant whose surname she has used when writing, and the poet Etheridge Knight, with whom she had three children. During the early 1960s she was an integrationist, supporting the philosophy of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

But after considering the ideas of Black Muslim leader Malcolm X, who believed blacks would never be truly accepted by whites in the United States, she focused more on her black heritage from a separatist point of view. Sanchez began teaching in the San Francisco area in 1965 and was a pioneer in developing black studies courses at what is now San Francisco State University, where she was an instructor from 1968 to 1969. In 1971 she joined the Nation of Islam, but by 1976 she had left the Nation, largely because of its repression of women.
Sonia Sanchez is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including Homegirls and Handgrenades (White Pine Press, 2007), Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems (1999); Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums: Love Poems (1998); Does your house have lions? (1995), which was nominated for both the NAACP Image and National Book Critics Circle Award; Wounded in the House of a Friend (1995); Under a Soprano Sky (1987); Homegirls & Handgrenades (1984), which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; I’ve Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems (1978); A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women (1973); Love Poems (1973); Liberation Poem (1970); We a BaddDDD People (1970); and Homecoming (1969).
Her published plays are Black Cats Back and Uneasy Landings (1995), I’m Black When I’m Singing, I’m Blue When I Ain’t (1982), Malcolm Man Don’t Live Here No Mo’ (1979), Uh Huh: But How Do It Free Us? (1974), Dirty Hearts ’72 (1973), The Bronx Is Next (1970),and Sister Son/ji (1969). Her books for children include A Sound Investment and Other Stories (1979), The Adventures of Fat Head, Small Head, and Square Head (1973), and It’s a New Day: Poems for Young Brothas and Sistuhs (1971). She has also edited two anthologies: We Be Word Sorcerers: Twenty-five Stories by Black Americans (1973) and Three Hundred Sixty Degrees of Blackness Comin”at You (1971).
Among the many honors she has received are the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.
Sonia Sanchez has lectured at more than five hundred universities and colleges in the United States and had traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, Norway, and Canada. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she began teaching in 1977, and held the Laura Carnell Chair in English there until her retirement in 1999. She lives in Philadelphia.

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12.)

“Ponderings”

Repressed whimsy, it seems, can build up and fester in a person, the way unexpressed rage or resentment does. The time comes when, to save your sanity, you just have to get it out of your system in one big, cleansing blast. The evidence is in “Romantic Poetry,” a marmalade-sticky musical that opened recently on Broadway, at the Manhattan Theater Club.

Ruby Washington/The New York Times

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‘Poetry is the impish attempt to paint the color of wind.’

Poetry Quote by Maxwell Bodenheim

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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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15.)

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

Head First
BY KRISTINE ONG MUSLIM

Kristine Ong Muslim has stories and poems published or forthcoming in more than three hundred publications worldwide, including Adbusters, Bellevue Literary Review, and Narrative Magazine. She has received a nomination for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award, three nominations for the Pushcart Prize, and several Honorable Mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.


“We have seen that the members of the same class, independently of their habits of life, resemble each other in the general plan of their organisation.”

— Charles Darwin, “On the Origin of Species”

Start from scratch.
There goes the cult of
the sleepless late twenties,
all burned out matchsticks.
The orbs of their heads
are darker when seen
from above.
Their posture is the arc
of sunset. Beautifully bent.

http://linebreak.org/

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16.)

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.

Sascha Feinstein
Blues Knowledge

Rain fizzles to electric portraits
of dazzling glitter and soot
as whorls of sparkled static shade
a flock of pigeons that circle
the cupola where stained glass
from a fire in the pews expanded
and blasted to the pavement
rosettes and shields
long since swept to the gutters
to grind in the silt of the Hudson
stirring now from a Southern hurricane’s
humid tumult of newspapers and necklaces
silhouetted against cherry trees
far above this unimaginable city below
where the worn yellow lines
like unboarded bath houses
hold no one from leaning into death
as if our eyes could summon those lights
that always turn the same bend
before machinery blossoms
and children hold their ears
and the crowd shifts awkwardly
into this time of need
so desperate in its planetary pull
no one allows themselves to feel
beyond the urgent discomfort of steam
that slicks hair to the skull
until despair becomes the steel bolts
blurring perfect circles to ovals and sinking
into paint thicker than most lives
and browner than cave paintings
or dogs from Lenox Avenue
and everything tenants kill
to purify apartments or boulevards
which is why this man dragging
tin and plastic knows for sure only that
his token had a hole in its center the way I
know this train will take me
not to my wife and child
but to the blues knowledge of departure
that makes everyone hold their sweat
and turn strangely now to watch
a huge woman bespangled
in a full-length dress and cushioned beret
the color of cranberries in ginger ale
as she loops her microphone cord
and clicks the cassette into its groove
of Mississippi guitar
over the backbeat of Aretha’s gospel
singing Can’t find nobody like you
to another who could be her sister
but stands with tears so full and fluid
her cheeks reflect the scarlet sequins
and beside me the man’s black bags
bloom into silver stamens as he raises
both palms into fingers and fists
and fingers blinking amen
and honey you’ve got to believe me
when I tell you on this platform
of people all living
in this city of got-to-get-there-yesterday
half of us let our trains roll on by

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17.)

American Life in Poetry: Column 198
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

This column has had the privilege of publishing a number of poems by young people, but this is the first we’ve published by a young person who is also a political refugee. The poet, Zozan Hawez, is from Iraq, and goes to Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington. Seattle Arts & Lectures sponsors a Writers in the Schools program, and Zozan’s poem was encouraged by that initiative.

Self-Portrait

Born in a safe family
But a dangerous area, Iraq,
I heard guns at a young age, so young
They made a decision to raise us safe
So packed our things
And went far away.
Now, in the city of rain,
I try to forget my past,
But memories never fade.
This is my life,
It happened for a reason,
I happened for a reason.

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) 2007 by Seattle Arts & Lectures. Reprinted from “We Will Carry Ourselves As Long As We Gaze Into The Sun,” Seattle Arts & Lectures, 2007, by permission of Zozan Hawez and the 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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18.)

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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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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20.)

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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YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

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.

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.

WAITSFIELD

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

STOWE

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

NORWICH

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

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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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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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24.)

POETRY 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.

Fri, Jan 16: Outer Space Café in the Flynndog Gallery, 208 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, 7:00 p.m. Poet’s Night. First of this year’s series.

Fri, Jan 16: Deadline for Studio Place Arts exhibit. See Jan. 23rd event below.

Tue, Jan 20: Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Charles Barasch. Celebrate Inauguration Week with UVM linguistics teacher and the Plainfield town moderator, Charles Barasch, who will present Dreams of the Presidents, a collection of dream poems – one for each American president. Humorous, and laced with events of historical interest, each poem gives insight into the presidents’ lives. This book offers a well-timed look at politicians, as well some much-needed laughs. For info, 229-1069.

Wed, Jan 21: Robert Hull Fleming Museum, UVM Campus, 61 Colchester Avenue, Burlington, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Art and Poetry: The Painted Word featuring poets Myronn Hardy and Matthew Miller. The Robert Hull Fleming Museum presents a poetry series hosted by Major Jackson, associate professor in the University of Vermont’s Department of English. This reading series highlights established and emergent New England poets whose work represents significant explorations into language, song, and art. Info, www.uvm.edu/
~fleming/
. Co-sponsored with the English Department and funded in part by the James and Mary Buckham Fund.

Thu, Jan 22: 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.

Thu, Jan 22: Briggs Carriage Bookstore, 16 Park Street, Brandon, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Charles Barasch. Celebrate Inauguration Week with UVM linguistics teacher and the Plainfield town moderator, Charles Barasch, who will present Dreams of the Presidents, a collection of dream poems – one for each American president. Humorous, and laced with events of historical interest, each poem gives insight into the presidents’ lives. This book offers a well-timed look at politicians, as well some much-needed laughs. For info, Peter Marsh at 247-0050.

Fri, Jan 23: Studio Place Arts (SPA), 201 N. Main Street, Barre, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Opening Reception – Poetry Reading. Studio Place Arts (SPA, http://www.studioplacearts.com) is having an exhibit in its main gallery from January20 – February 28, 2009 entitled Picture That Poem. Visual artists will be showing work that responds to poetry and/or incorporates poetry directly in the artwork.

At the same time, I am curating an exhibit in the second floor Student and Community artspace that will display published books of poetry. I am planning to display the books in a way that will allow visitors to browse the books and spend some time with them (which means that the volume on display may get some wear). I am looking for poets to exhibit one to three different books of poetry during that time. I would need two copies of each book, one to display and one to keep for sale. When a book sells, we will contact the poet to replace the sold volume, or we can take orders and fulfill them at the conclusion of the exhibit (for those big sellers!). SPA takes a 35% commission on sold works.

The opening reception for these two exhibits will be on Friday, January 23 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. We would like to have a reading during that time when those who are interested (and able to attend) could read one or two of their works. SPA is a great place with lots of energy and well-attended shows and receptions.

*PLEASE HELP ME TO BROADCAST THIS CALL FOR PARTICIPATION* by forwarding to poets you think may be interested, or posting in appropriate places, and respond to me (or Studio Place Arts) before the end of December indicating:

* How many different books of your poetry you would like to display
in the January 20 – February 28 exhibit
* Whether you would be interested in reading at the opening
reception on January 23

We will need to have the books in hand by Friday, January 16, 2009. Mail or deliver to SPA at 201 North Main Street, Barre, VT 05641. Return postage SASE is appreciated by this non-profit arts center!

Janet Van Fleet
32 Thistle Hill Road, Cabot, VT 05647
802 563 2486

Check out my blog at http://janetvanfleet.blogspot.com/
Fri, Jan 23: Salisbury Library, Salisbury, 7:30 p.m. Spring Street Poets. The six members of the Spring Street Poets will be providing a rare reading. Hear the quality work of Jennifer Bates, Janet Fancher, Karin Gottshall, Ray Hudson, Mary Pratt and David Weinstock.

Sun, Jan 25: Red Hen Baking Company & Café, Route 2, Middlesex Village, 6:00 p.m. Poetry reading. Celebrate Robert Burns’ 250th birthday with our own Scottish Poet Len Irving! Come and read poetry – your own or your favorites – or listen to others. Info, Earline Marsh at 223-6777. (Red Hen readings are quarterly).

Mon, Jan 26: Grafton Library, Main Street, Grafton, 7:00 p.m. Robert Frost: Poetry and Prose. Second of three-part book discussion series led by Dr. Deborah Luskin from the Vermont Humanities Council. For info, Linda Montecalvo at 843-1444.

Mon, Jan 26: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Eileen Myles to read. Of Sorry, Tree Eileen Myles most recent volume Chicago Review says: “Her politics are overt, her physicality raw, yet it is the subtle gentle noticing in her poems that overwhelms.” Eileen Myles is among the ranks of the officially restless, a poet who writes fiction (Chelsea Girls, Cool for You) an art writer and journalist whose essays and reviews have appeared in Art Forum, and Book Forum, The Believer, Parkett, The Nation and a libretticist whose opera “Hell” (w composer Michael Webster) was performed on both coasts in 2004 and again in 2006. Her first full collection of nonfiction writings, The Importance of Being Iceland, for which she received a Warhol/Creative Capital grant will come out in spring 09 from Semiotext(e)/MIT.

Wed, Jan 28: Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m – 8:00 p.m. Poetry reading. Celebrate Robert Burns’ 250th birthday with Scottish Poet Len Irving! Widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, this 18th century poet has left a legacy in song and poetry that endures to this day. Join a modern Scottish poet, Leonard Irving, for a salute to the author of Auld Lang Syne.

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.

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.

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 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.

Sun, Mar 9: 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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

One response

  1. Pingback: Occasional Poetry — Mike Snider’s Formal Blog

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