[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
May 17, 2009
- Newsletter Editor’s Note/Notes to Otter Creek Poets
- Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
- Otter Creek Poets
- Poetry At The White House
- Robert Pinsky Video: Samurai Song
- Robert Pack
- Horace Beck
- Presto Manifesto! Rhymed Poetry
- Poetic Form: Ghazal
- 3 Poems Selected For Pushcart Prize
- Certificate in Literary Publishing
- Poetry Readings Resume At The Book King
- Great River Arts Institute Writing Programs
- Week’s Review: Sisterhood of Homeless Women In Poetry
- Did You Know? Sex Pest Derek Walcott Bows Out of Race
- Ponderings – Notes On The Risqué
- Poetry Quote (Gary Snyder)
- US Poets Laureate List
- Failbetter Poem
- Linebreak Poem
- Copper Canyon Press Poem
- American Life in Poetry Poems (3)
- Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
- Vermont Poet Laureates
- Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
- Vermont Literary Journals
- Poetry Society of Vermont
- Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
- Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
- Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
- Poetry Event Calendar
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.
Dear Friends of Poetry:
It’s time to catch your breath from this year’s National Poetry Month. Usually by this time, there is nothing left in the bank for poetry events, but there are still many fine programs and readings left. If you can’t get out of the house, then by golly, write! Or read!! (May I recommend Edward Hirsch’s Poet’s Choice to you.)
The Otter Creek Poets will have their annual Potluck and Poetry Feast at Deanna Shapiro’s on June 4th. 12:00-1:00 Potluck, 1:00-3:00 Poetry. Directions to Deanna’s will be in the next VPN.
I’m also looking for poets to read on Friday, May 29th, at the Book King in Rutland (starting at 6:00 p.m.). The theme is “Spring” or “Signs of Spring.” Readings will happen at the Book King on the last Friday of every month.
Until next time!
THIS WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:
For God’s Sake, Let Us Sit upon the Ground – William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been deposed; some slain in war;
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poison’d by their wives; some sleeping kill’d;
All murder’d: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life
Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
Richard II, III.ii.155-170 (Richard)
“ Blank verse” in English almost always means iambic pentameter, although strictly speaking it could use other meters so long as it is unrhymed. It offers considerable metric variety within the 5-foot, usually 10-syllable line. An extra syllable or two sometimes sneaks in, especially an unstressed (“feminine”) syllable at the end of a line.
Assignment: Read 200 lines of blank verse out loud. Repeat until you have the cadence firmly in your ear. Then write 20 lines of it.
- Hint: Use Frost’s “Death of the Hired Man,” a Shakespeare monologue.
Don’t slip into Elizabethan language. Write like yourself.
If you don’t want to stop after 20 lines, keep going.
LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:
Writing is, and always will be, an art practiced in solitude. So why would you want to write in a room full of other people?
My aim is to give you a change of scene, a safe place to try new directions, and a fun time. This special writing marathon workshop, part of the Otter Creek Poets’ celebration of National Poetry Month, is a chance to write, write, and write some more.
No just for poets . . . work in any genre or style you choose. There will be chances to share what you write, but that is 100% optional; feel free to keep work private.
Bring pen and paper, a bag lunch, and whatever else you will need to be comfortable for 3-1/2 hours. Laptop computers are permitted, but bring your own extension cord. You should also know that the library’s wireless signal does not penetrate into the meeting room.
No preparation is required. However, if your writing life hasn’t been going your way – if you are stuck, blocked, frustrated, obsessed, or otherwise dissatisfied with your work – gather your thoughts about that difficulty in advance and I will try to address them in the group setting or privately.
The afternoon of writing went a bit differently than what was identified above. Here is what actually took place:
National Poetry Month Writing Marathon
1) NO CRITIQUES: The purpose of this session is to generate new writing in first draft form. We will not be critiquing, editing, or perfecting any work that is shared.
2) CONFIDENTIALITY: In order for members to be able to write freely, please remember to treat what you hear confidentially. What happens here, stays here.
3) TACT: Assume that all writings shared here is imaginative, and that the characters and speakers in poems and stories are fictional. Do this even when the writing is obviously autobiographical.
4) USING THE TIME FAIRLY: Give everyone a chance to share and speak.
12:00 – 12:30 Introductions
Who we are and why we write
Write down brief answers to these questions. At your turn to introduce yourself, read what you have written.
1) Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do in the world?
2) As a writer, what is your particular gift?
3) What is the hardest thing for you to write about?
12:30 – 1:00 Loosening up.
The Writer’s Body
Like it or not, we are beings who live inside bodies. All of our consciousness, memories, and experience are stored in the body. Get comfortable – sit, stand, move, whatever feels right. Close your eyes and notice your body, from the inside. Now ask your body, one part at a time, to tell you some stories. Write down the stories.
1:00 – 1:30 Secrets and Lies
Our writing emerges over the course of a lifetime. Some things emerge early, some later. Today, try writing something you’ve been putting off. Maybe something you didn’t have the skill to attempt until now. Maybe something you weren’t free to say until recently. Write it now.
2:00 – 2:30 Your Best Story
There is a story everybody makes you tell over and over again. It’s the story you tell so well. Oddly enough, you have never written it down. Do that now.
2:30 – 3:00 Questions & Answers
3:00 – 3:30 Sharing Our Writing
(All Assignments are products of David Weinstock unless otherwise indicated.)
Otter Creek Poetry Society celebrates National Poetry Month with Writing Marathon
On April 23, more than 20 community members gathered in the basement conference room of the Ilsley Public Library, as they do every Thursday, for the Otter Creek Poetry Society meeting. This Thursday, the group celebrated poetry month by holding a 3 1/2 hour writing workshop that Weinstock, the founder of the group, called the National Poetry Month Writing Marathon.
Over the course of the afternoon, the group – which ranged in age from nine to 89 – wrote prose and poetry to answer prompts proposed by Weinstock, such as “Who are you and what do you do in the world?” and “Write a story that you tell so well but have never written down….
POETRY AT THE WHITE HOUSE ! (FINALLY)
Poetry, Music and Spoken Word
Last Tuesday, the President and the First Lady hosted an evening celebrating poetry, music and the spoken word. This event was designed around the theme of dialogue, showing how dialogue is important in every aspect of who we are as Americans and as human beings, and demonstrating how communication is a constant throughout the ages. The hope was also that the evening’s gathering helped ensure that all voices are heard, particularly voices that are often not heard. We are fortunate to have a wide variety of upcoming and legendary performers such as Joshua Bennett, actor James Earl Jones, Eric Lewis, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, novelist Michael Chabon, Mayda Del Valle and Esperanza Spalding.
They invited students from American, Gallaudet, Georgetown, and Howard Universities to participate in the event.
“I have wanted to do this from Day One, the notion of standing in this room and hearing some poetry,” said Mrs. Obama. It’s no secret that President Obama is a fan of poetry. He was spotted reading some shortly after winning the election and included a poet at his inaugration ceremony.
The “poetry jam” was streamed live on the White House Web site and was broadcast on HBO. Here’s Joshua Bennett performing his work at the White House.
Listen to Robert Pinsky read “Samurai Song”
Robert Pack, Poet, Essayist, Former Director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference
Robert Pack is in Missoula, teaching at the University of Montana and completing a critical study of Robert Frost.
Pounding It Out, his latest verse collection, was published by the University of Chicago Press.
- I could find nothing to prove the rumor of the beef Robert Pack had with Horace Beck for making racial jokes, leading to Pack leading a revolt at Middlebury College, and then leaving altogether. Here’s something, though, that I did find out about Horace:
horace beck was the man behind the narration of the legend of harry meyers on medicine stone’s gauge. beck was a traditional storyteller and a master of folklore who began sailing at age three. he made 28 transatlantic crossings and was the first white man allowed on the whaling ships in the west indies and in tonga in the south pacific. he spoke five languages, wrote a dozen books, and was one of the most popular professors ever to teach at middlebury college. in his youth he wrestled for ten years and had his ear torn half off, but was never pinned. he lived in his mountain home in ripton, vermont, and was a regular presence on national public radio…
The freedom to not-rhyme must include the freedom to rhyme. Then verse will be “free.”
All rhymed poetry must be rhyme-driven. This is no longer to be considered pejorative.
Rhyme is at the wheel. No, rhyme is the engine….
Poetic Form: Ghazal
The ghazal is composed of a minimum of five couplets–and typically no more than fifteen–that are structurally, thematically, and emotionally autonomous. Each line of the poem must be of the same length, though meter is not imposed in English. The first couplet introduces a scheme, made up of a rhyme followed by a refrain. Subsequent couplets pick up the same scheme in the second line only, repeating the refrain and rhyming the second line with both lines of the first stanza. The final couplet usually includes the poet’s signature, referring to the author in the first or third person, and frequently including the poet’s own name or a derivation of its meaning.
Traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions, ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians. The form has roots in seventh-century Arabia, and gained prominence in the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century thanks to such Persian poets as Rumi and Hafiz. In the eighteenth-century, the ghazal was used by poets writing in Urdu, a mix of the medieval languages of Northern India, including Persian. Among these poets, Ghalib is the recognized master….
Three Poems from Poetry Selected for The Pushcart Prize
CHICAGO – Poetry magazine is pleased to announce that three poems featured recently in its pages have been selected for inclusion in The Pushcart Prize XXXIV: Best of the Small Presses (2010 edition): David Yezzi’s “The Good News” (June 2007), Louise Glück’s “Midsummer” (February 2008), and Geoffrey Brock’s “Daddy: 1933” (June 2008).
Certificate in Literary Publishing
[Extract] Have you been thinking or dreaming about starting your own literary magazine, or founding a press to publish books? Do you have a vision of what works you would like to bring to life? Or would you like to work for a literary magazine or small press? The Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs at Emerson College offers the Literary Publishing Program, which is open to poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and individuals who would like to learn the publishing skills needed to start and run their own literary magazines or their own book publishing ventures, or work for a larger literary publishing enterprise. The program in Literary Publishing is held as a two-week intensive during Emerson College’s May intersession (5/11-5/22). Outside of classroom instruction, participants will work on a business plan on their press or magazine. Participants who complete the intensive and submit a rough business plan for their literary magazine or press will earn the Literary Publishing Certificate. This program is non-credit. This non-credit program provides five two-day modules and a half-day panel designed to give the basics in starting and running a literary magazine or small press, giving those enrolled a way to avoid common, and costly, mistakes…
Click Here for Details
Poetry Readings Resume at The Book King, Center Street, Rutland
The Book King is returning to having public poetry readings, to be held on the last Friday of each month, the first of which would be May 29th, at 6:00-7:00 p.m. I will be organizing the readers, develop the flyers, and do the promotion of the events through the local newspapers and radio stations. There will be flyers at the Book King in order to have available for handouts.
I am hoping to have several poets lined up for this inaugural reading. Please contact me if you’d like to read at what should be a grand kick off. For this reading, I am looking for poems containing the idea of “Spring” or “Signs of Spring” for a common theme.
For future readings, I am thinking along the lines of having readers from:
1) The Killington Arts Guild and their writers from the publication “A Gathering of Poets”
2) Members of the Otter Creek Poets, who have published 4 anthologies
3) Readers from the Vermont Young Writers Project
4) Youthful “Slam Poets”
5) Anti-war poets
THIS WEEK’S REVIEW
edited by WHEEL
Posted by Megan under E-Reviews
Review by Anne McDuffie
[Extract] In this anthology, WHEEL—the Women’s Housing, Equality and Enhancement League— has assembled an impressive array of poems, culled from the chapbooks they publish annually. WHEEL is, by its own definition, a “scrappy little grassroots organizing effort of homeless and formerly homeless women in Seattle, Washington.” Some of the writers included in this collection have come through the classes WHEEL sponsors at day centers and through their StreetWrites program; some are workshop organizers and staff writers for Real Change, Seattle’s homeless newspaper. Their poems bring us the news from the “invisible side of the street,” as Anitra Freeman describes it in “In Memoriam,” a prose tribute to the members of WHEEL, and to all homeless women, who have died outside or by violence in King County.
There are gems here, some of them rough-edged and some of them flawed—but taken together, they dazzle. The strength of the collection is in its variety. Beloved Community allows us to know the women of WHEEL as individuals linked by circumstance rather than as “the homeless.” These poems are deeply personal and speak with exhilarating directness, delighting in strong rhythms, bold images and flashes of humor….
Did You Know?
“Sex pest file gives Oxford poetry race a nasty edge”
The race to win poetry’s most prestigious academic post has turned dirty after Oxford academics were anonymously sent a lurid dossier accusing Derek Walcott, the frontrunner and Nobel laureate, of being a sex pest.
The package was circulated last week to staff and graduates eligible to vote in next Saturday’s election for the Oxford professorship of poetry, as well as to the offices of Cherwell, a student newspaper.
The dossier recounts a sexual harassment claim against Walcott, 79, when he taught at Harvard in the 1980s.
The poet was reprimanded following the allegation that he tried to pressure a female student into sleeping with him.
Another harassment claim against Walcott dating from 1996 has also reemerged, sparking a heated debate at Oxford.
Walcott’s main challenger for the professorship is Ruth Padel, a poet and travel writer, who is seeking to become the first woman to hold the post in its 300-year history…
“Smears drive Walcott from Oxford poetry professor race”
The campaign saw up to 100 Oxford academics sent photocopied pages from a book detailing a sexual harassment claim made against Walcott by a Harvard student in 1982. The student alleged that Walcott asked her to, “Imagine me making love to you. What would I do? … Would you make love with me if I asked you?”, and claimed that after she turned him down, she was given a C grade in his class.
Walcott was one of three candidates in the running for the position – the most influential in poetry in the UK behind that of the laureateship – alongside Ruth Padel and the Indian poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. He was backed by major names in the literary world, including Booker winner Alan Hollinghurst, Graham Robb, Marina Warner, poet Jenny Joseph, and professor Hermione Lee, and was seen as the frontrunner for the post. Oxford graduates are due to vote for their choice of poetry professor on 16 May.
But the Nobel laureate said today that he was withdrawing from the election, hitting out at the “low tactics”, and the “low and degrading attempt at character assassination” it had become….
Notes on the Risqué
by Jerry Garcia
On the discount table at one of those chain bookstores that I really should boycott, I found a collection of cartoons that had been rejected by the New Yorker. Titled The Rejected Collection – Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See in the New Yorker, this book was full of “risqué, silly and weird cartoons.” Since the first cartoon made me chuckle and the book was heavily discounted, I bought it. In this book, along with a collection of clunkers, were some funny cartoons that were written and/or drawn in bad taste.
This editorial is not a book review. The book has inspired some conflicting thoughts I have about good taste and spoken word. As a middle-aged man ensconced in the pop culture and entertainment trends of my lifetime, I often enjoy the risqué and the prurient…
How Poetry Comes To Me
It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the
Edge of the light
Poetry Quote by Gary Snyder
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.
- Joseph Auslander 1937-41
Allen Tate 1943-44
Robert Penn Warren 1944-45
Louise Bogan 1945-46
Karl Shapiro 1946-47
Robert Lowell 1947-48
Leonie Adams 1948-49
Elizabeth Bishop 1949-50
Conrad Aiken 1950-52 (First to serve two terms)
William Carlos WilliamsAppointed to serve two terms in 1952 but did not serve — for more on this & other Laureate controversies see the history in Jacket magazine.
Randall Jarrell 1957-58
Robert Frost 1958-59
Richard Eberhart 1959-61
Louis Untermeyer 1961-63
Howard Nemerov 1963-64
Reed Whittemore 1964-65
Stephen Spender 1965-66
James Dickey 1966-68
William Jay Smith 1968-70
William Stafford 1970-71
Josephine Jacobsen 1971-73
Daniel Hoffman 1973-74
Stanley Kunitz 1974-76
Robert Hayden 1976-78
William Meredith 1978-80
Maxine Kumin 1981-82
Anthony Hecht 1982-84
Robert Fitzgerald 1984-85 Appointed and served in a health-limited capacity, but did not come to the Library of Congress
Reed Whittemore 1984-85 Interim Consultant in Poetry
Gwendolyn Brooks 1985-86
Robert Penn Warren 1986-87 First to be designated Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry
Richard Wilbur 1987-88
Howard Nemerov 1988-90
Mark Strand 1990-91
Joseph Brodsky 1991-92
Mona Van Duyn 1992-93
Rita Dove 1993-95
Robert Hass 1995-97
Robert Pinsky 1997-2000
Stanley Kunitz 2000-2001
Billy Collins 2001-2003
Louise Glück 2003-2004
Ted Kooser 2004-2006
Donald Hall 2006-2007
Charles Simic 2007-2008
Kay Ryan 2008-Present
Failbetter.com – Lorca in Eden
Linebreak is an online journal with a bias for good poetry. Here is a poem from their web site this week:
Somewhere South of Miles City
By Joe Wilkins
Stop the car. There. Now
breathe with me. That broken
Ford needs only a swift kick
to set it right. Listen. The radio
man says For Sale, says Believe.
You believed in me. I believed… [Extract]
Here’s a poem from Copper Canyon Press, in its “Reading Room”.
An Introduction to the Mechanics of Deformable Bodies: Christ Martin
When Erica says
I am feeling myself and jovial
I think of the orange
Tipped trees between
The buildings out
My window, their penknife
Leaves grazing like air-bound anemones
Haunted by the jellyfish
Forms of black plastic bags, today… [Extract]
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
Sometimes I wonder at my wife’s forbearance. She’s heard me tell the same stories dozens of times, and she still politely laughs when she should. Here’s a poem by Susan Browne, of California, that treats an oft-told story with great tenderness.
On Our Eleventh Anniversary
You’re telling that story again about your childhood,
when you were five years old and rode your blue bicycle
from Copenhagen to Espergaerde, and it was night
and snowing by the time you arrived,
and your grandparents were so relieved to see you,
because all day no one knew where you were… [Extract]
To commemorate Mother’s Day, here’s a lovely poem by David Wojahn of Virginia, remembering his mother after forty years.
Walking to School, 1964
Blurring the window, the snowflakes’ numb white lanterns.
She’s brewed her coffee, in the bathroom sprays cologne
And sets her lipstick upright on the sink.
The door ajar, I glimpse the yellow slip,
The rose-colored birthmark on her shoulder.
Then she’s dressed–the pillbox hat and ersatz fur,
And I’m dressed too, mummified in stocking cap
And scarves, and I walk her to the bus stop… [ Extract]
Judy Loest lives in Knoxville and, like many fine Appalachian writers, her poems have a welcoming conversational style, rooted in that region’s storytelling tradition. How gracefully she sweeps us into the landscape and the scene!
Leaves drift from the cemetery oaks onto late grass,
Sun-singed, smelling like straw, the insides of old barns.
The stone angel’s prayer is uninterrupted by the sleeping
Vagrant at her feet, the lone squirrel, furtive amid the litter.
Someone once said my great-grandmother, on the day she died,
rose from her bed where she had lain, paralyzed and mute
For two years following a stroke, and dressed herself–the good
Sunday dress of black crepe, cotton stockings, sensible, lace-up shoes… [Extract]
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 – FOUND!
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.
VERMONT POET LAUREATES
1) Robert Frost – 1961
2) Galway Kinnell
3) Louis Glück
4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
5) Grace Paley
6) Ruth Stone
If you ever have a need to contact me, here’s how to go about doing so:
Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
VERMONT LITERARY JOURNALS
1) The Queen City Review
Burlington College’s 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.
The Queen City Review can be purchased by 2-year subscription or individually. The price of one issue is $8 plus shipping charges ($1) for a total of $9. Subscriptions can be purchased for #$14 plus shipping charges $2) and includes the Fall 2008 and upcoming 2009 issues. They accept cash, check, and credit cards. You can mail your payment to them or by calling (802) 862-9616 ext. 234 to place your order over the phone. If mailing your payment, mail details to:
ATTN: Heidi Berkowitz
95 North Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401
Bloodroot is a nonprofit literary magazine dedicated to publishing diverse voices through the adventure of poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. Their aim is to provide a platform for the free-spirited emerging and established writer.
The price of a single issue is $8.
Editor, “Do” Roberts
Bloodroot Literary Magazine
PO Box 322
Thetford Center, VT 05075
A publication of Middlebury College, a high quality literary magazine that continues to uphold its reputation for publishing extraordinary, enduring work. NER has been publishing now for over 30 years.
Cost: $8 for a single issue
$30 for a single year (4 issues)
$50 for two years (8 issues)
New England Review
Middlebury, VT 05753
4) Willard & Maple
A Literary and Fine Art Magazine of Champlain College, Burlington.
Willard & Maple
163 South Willard Street
Freeman 302, Box 34
Burlington, VT 05401
The Burlington Poetry Journal is a new nonprofit publication interested in creating a means for provoking opinions, ideas, and thoughtful responses for poets in the Greater Burlington area. While there are numerous outlets for writers to gather and share privately in Vermont, there is no publication that brings together poetry of all styles and writers of all ages for the enjoyment of the general public. It is our hope that this journal will inspire writers to share their work with others who may be unaware of their talent, and for those who have never considered themselves writers to try their hand at poetry. We invite you to submit your work and share with others your thoughts and abilities with the Burlington community. The work you share will produce a dialogue as writers become aware of each other and begin to expose themselves and others to new poetry. The eclectic nature of the Burlington Poetry Journal will serve to stimulate its readers and authors.
STATE POETRY SOCIETY
Poetry Society of Vermont
The Poetry Society of Vermont, founded in 1947, is an association of poets and supporters who join in promoting an interest in poetry through meetings, workshops, readings, contests, and contributions to the society’s chapbook. Anyone may join the society including high school and college students and non-residents of Vermont. We welcome both writers and appreciative readers.
In September 2007, The Poetry Society of Vermont will celebrated its 60th Anniversary.
Membership in PSOV
- 2 luncheon/ workshops a year where a professional poet critiques your poems
- one hands- on writing workshop and reading under the direction of a professional poet
- the opportunity to enter contests judged by professional poets and to win awards
- fellowship with appreciative readers and writers of poetry
- opportunity for publication in the PSOV chapbook, The Mountain Troubadour
How to join:
- mail dues of $20.00 to Membership Chairman, P.O. Box 1215, Waitsfield, VT 05673
- include your name, mailing address, telephone, and e-mail address for Membership List
- memberships are renewed by January 1 of each year
The PSOV has 2 current books available for sale:
1) The Mountain Troubadour – 2008 – Curl up with 44 pages of interesting, award-winning poetry from a wonderful group of poets. This book is only $8 (+$1 to mail). To get yourself a copy, call or write to Betty Gaechter, 134 Hitzel Terrace, Rutland, VT 05701, 773-8679. This little booklet may be just the thing to get you involved with the PSOV for a lifetime of friendships.
2) Brighten the Barn – 60th Anniversary Anthology – 1947-2007 – An Anthology of Poems by Members of the Poetry Society of Vermont. 99 pages of quality poetry; that’s a lot of beautiful poetry for only $12. If you get it through me (Ron Lewis), it’s only $12. If you want it shipped to you, the PSOV wants an extra amount to cover tax and shipping ($0.72 + $3.00). This book retails for $15, but a reduced price is now in play to unload the few remaining copies.
YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT
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. Poetry Workshops on Monday mornings (9:30-12:30 I believe)- Jim Fowler’s sessions continue, with periodic break for a few weeks between sessions. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Wayside Poets, who share their poetry publicly from time to time, have been meeting irregularly for the past 25 years. They used to be called The Academy Street Poets. Membership is by invitation only. They meet now at the Wayside Restaurant & Bakery in Berlin. Members include Diane Swan, Sherry Olson, Carol Henrikson and Sarah Hooker. You can contact them through Sherry Olson at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 454-8026.
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.
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.
This group meets on the first Sunday of every month at the Norwich Library, 6:30 p.m.
There is another poetry workshop happening in Stowe, but unfortunately I know nothing much about this group. If you do, contact me!
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
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
The Writer’s Center
58 Main Street, White River Junction, Vermont
Instructor: April Ossmann (author of Anxious Music, Four Way Books, 2007, writing, editing and publishing consultant, and former Executive Director of Alice James Books)
- 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.
YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT
A Writer’s Group has started to meet at the Springfield Town Library on the fourth Monday of each month, from 7 to 8 pm. For more information, call 885-3108.
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!
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 http://www.womenwritingVT.com/ or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or email@example.com.
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.
Thu, May 21: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
Wed, May 27: 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, May 28: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
Thu, May 28: 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, May 29: The Book King, Center Street, Rutland, 6:00 p.m. Poetry Reading. Inaugural reading at their new location, under new ownership. Theme will be “Spring” or “Signs of Spring.” Contact Ron Lewis in order to sign up to read. firstname.lastname@example.org, or 247-5913.
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, Jun 4: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
Thu, Jun 4: Howe Library, Mayer Room, Hanover, NH, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Author Reading & Book Signing: April Ossmann. April reads from Anxious Music. For info, (603) 643-4120, Ellen.Lynch@TheHowe.org.
Wed, Jun 10: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 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 spring poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.
Wed, Jun 10: 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, Jun 11: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
Thu, Jun 11: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m. Poetry Jam. This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.
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 email@example.com or call (802) 463-9404.
Thu, Jun 18: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
Sat, Jun 20: 7:00, Ball and Chain Cafe at the Briggs Carriage Bookstore, 16 Park St., Brandon, 7:00 p.m. Poetry/Music Performance. David Cavanagh reads poems from his new book, Falling Body (Salmon Poetry, Ireland), interspersed, entangled with and accompanied by the music of Blackbird (Bob DeMarco and Rachel Clark).
Wed, Jun 24: 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, Jun 25: 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, Jun 25: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
Thu, Jul 2: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
Thu, Jul 9: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
Thu, Jul 9: 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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802) 463-9404.
Thu, Jul 16: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
Thu, Jul 23: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
Thu, Jul 23: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m. Poetry Jam. This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.
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.
Thu, Jul 30: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets. The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state. Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
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 email@example.com or call (802) 463-9404.
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.
our finitude as human beings
is encompassed by the infinity of language
Your fellow Poet,