Vermont Poetry Newsletter • October 27 2009

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

Vermont Poetry Newsletter

Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State
October 26, 2009 – In This Issue:

  1. About VPN/How To Print
  2. Newsletter Editor’s Note
  3. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  4. Refusing at 52 To Write Sonnets (Thomas Lynch)
  5. Leaves of Grass – A History
  6. Leaves of Grass – A Rare First Edition Emerges
  7. David Budbill Poem
  8. Brighten the Barn – PSOV Anthology
  9. Ten Best Poems To Teach (& Discussion)
  10. Best Poems For High School Students
  11. Young Writers Project (Video & Audio)
  12. Dylan Thomas
  13. The Horace Greeley Writers’ Conference
  14. Mary Oliver’s Provincetown: A Poet’s Landscape
  15. Sharon Olds Letter to Laura Bush Declining Invite
  16. Robert Frost Farm Fund
  17. AudioForum Robert Frost Society Special
  18. Book King Readings
  19. Did You Know? Horny Goat Weed Is Real!
  20. Ponderings – Bones Found in Utah Aren’t of Missing Poet
  21. Poetry Quote – Paul Engle
  22. US Poets Laureate List
  23. Failbetter Poem
  24. Linebreak Poem
  25. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  26. American Life in Poetry Poems
  27. Vermont Poet Laureates
  28. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  29. Vermont Literary Journals
  30. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  31. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  32. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  33. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  34. Poetry Event Calendar


1.) About the Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network

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

2.) Dear Friends of Poetry:

Poetry events off all types are still on the calendar, week in and week out. If you want to have your blood warmed this deep fall and winter, just hear a few words from other poets. It might just get you thinking, wondering. I’m always thinking that my best poem is the one not written yet, but it’s hiding just around the bend, waiting for me to scramble up the words in an order like they’ve never been heard before, like some chef’s special omelet.

How about you? How would you like your words?

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher



I think this week you should try to cook up a cauldron of scary ideas for yourself. Try something goulish, or start mild – it was a cold Halloween night – you even have permission to add a mad scientist if you’d like! Go ahead, spill your guts!

From: Ron L.



  • Assignments, inspirations. Here is one person’s inspiration:

4.) Poet’s Choice: “Refusing at Fifty-Two to Write Sonnets” by Thomas Lynch
By Thomas Lynch

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Refusing Sonnets
In this weekly online feature, we ask a poet to describe the inspiration for a recent poem.

My mother was buried on All Hallows Eve, 20 years gone now, in a blink. I remember the sad, sunlit morning at Holy Sepulcher and the countervailing gaiety of trick-or-treaters in that evening’s dark — how grieving and feasting are so juxtaposed. Her death at 65, 11 days after my 41st birthday that October, along with the routines of leaf-fall and withering, have always conspired with the liturgical calendar to make All Saints and All Souls a memento mori for me — a time of year when I contemplate the dull math of time and mortality and their opposites.(…)


  • Can you imagine having purchased a few of these for $5 each, and tucking them away for the grandkids? Goodness, Walt!

Wiki-Leaves of Grass The title Leaves of Grass was a pun. “Grass” was a term given by publishers to works of minor value and “leaves” is another name for the pages on which they were printed

On May 15, 1855, Whitman registered the title Leaves of Grass with the clerk of the United States District Court, Southern District of New Jersey, and received its copyright. The first edition was published in Brooklyn at the Fulton Street printing shop of two Scottish immigrants, James and Andrew Rome, whom Whitman had known since the 1840s, on July 4, 1855. Whitman paid for and did much of the typesetting for the first edition himself. The book did not include the author’s name, instead offering an engraving by Samuel Hollyer depicting the poet in work clothes and a jaunty hat, arms at his side. (…)


6.) Rare first-edition ‘Leaves’ may bring in a lot of green

By Lee Shearer | | Story updated at 12:22 am on 10/22/2009

Photos By Tricia Spaulding/Staff
Leaves (First Edition)
Tom Richey looks through his first-edition copy of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” which he has put up for sale through Jackson Street Books in downtown Athens. The price of the book, which has been in Richey’s family for 60 years, is $150,000.

Tony Arnold routinely gets telephone calls at Jackson Street Books from people who think they’ve got an old book worth lots of money.
“It’s not unusual that we get a phone call and someone says, ‘I’ve got a first edition of the Bible,’ ” said Arnold, who owns the Athens store with his wife, Jennifer Janson.

Often the book is not nearly what the caller hoped. Just because a book is old doesn’t mean it’s worth much. Nothing prepared Arnold for the book a Fayetteville man brought in for appraisal a few months ago, however. (…)


  • From our good friend, David Budbill:

All the Plants That on the Deck This Summer

All the plants that on the deck this summer
gave us so much pleasure: upside down now
on the compost pile: going back to where
they came from:

out of the compost in the petunia pot, and grew,
petunias, salvia, begonia, geranium, pansy,
blossomed and bore fruit among all those flowers.
fuchsia and that volunteer tomato that came up

All that color, all that joy and light:
gone back now to darkness, back to rot,
to make fertility, fecundity, fruitfulness
for the next season of color, joy and life.

David Budbill

Brighten the Barn
60th Anniversary Anthology
Poetry Society of Vermont

  • Forget that I’m the Reporting Secretary of the PSOV, I believe this book, all 99 pages of it, is a poetry bargain! I have several issues in my possession, and if you’d like to have one or more issues, please send me $10 per copy, and I’ll get it out to you; I’ll even swallow the cost of postage! This is a book that every Vermont poet should have in their library, in support of their own state poetry society, the PSOV.



  • I find the following discussion to be most interesting – what follows, that is. The listing is ONE PERSON’S idea of the Top Ten Poems they love to teach to students. Be sure to read the comments after the article! For the teachers out there, what would you list as your Top Ten? Does this discussion make you examine your own choices? I’d love to hear back from any of you on this! (Ron Lewis, )

Ten Poems Ten Poems I Love to Teach
Surefire poetry hits for the classroom and beyond.

Some poems you love, and some you love to teach. What’s the difference? The teachable ones do half the work for you: the questions they raise and the pleasures they offer show that close reading is not, despite its chilly reputation, academia’s way of “beating it [the poem] with a hose / to find out what it really means” (Billy Collins, “ Introduction to Poetry ”). Quite the contrary: close reading is courtship, a passionate, delicate way to find out what makes this particular poem worth a second date (that is, writing a paper about) or maybe worth spending the rest of your life with (that is, memorizing).

Here are ten poems that have the moves my students want to know better, with a couple of tips on how to catch their eyes across the dance floor. (…)


  • Here’s another take on the Top Ten from

Poems for Highschoolers Poems for High School Students
Selected by Cathlin Goulding

These are some of the poems that I use in my college prep Poetry Course at Newark Memorial High School, a public school in the East San Francisco Bay Area.

We begin the year with a unit of study around poetic voice. I like to teach pieces like Nemerov’s “Because You Asked About the Line Between Prose and Poetry” and Billy Collins’ “Introduction to Poetry” to initiate conversations and thinking about the form and how it differentiates from prose. Two very spare poems by Williams Carlos Williams are very useful to model annotation of a poem, in which students break down the speaker, details, imagery, construction, and messages in a work. (…)

11.) YWP – Young Writers Project

If you’d like to experience a slam poetry reading from a “front row seat”!


12.) Dylan Thomas

Dylan ThomasDylan Marlais Thomas was born on October 27, 1914, in South Wales at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in Swansea. His father was an English Literature professor at the local grammar school and would often recite Shakespeare to Thomas before he could read. He loved the sounds of nursery rhymes, foreshadowing his love for the rhythmic ballads of Hopkins, Yeats, and Poe. Although both of his parents spoke fluent Welsh, Thomas and his older sister never learned the language, and Thomas wrote exclusively in English.

Thomas was a neurotic, sickly child who shied away from school and preferred reading on his own. He read all of D. H. Lawrence’s poetry, impressed by vivid descriptions of the natural world. Fascinated by language, he excelled in English and reading but neglected other subjects. He dropped out of school at sixteen to become a junior reporter for the South Wales Daily Post. (…)

13.) The Horace Greeley Writers’ Conference

Horace Greeley October 24-25 2009

Fox Hill Center for the Arts

Poultney, Vermont

The two day symposium will feature four authors providing inspirational presentations and interactive writing workshops designed to give voice to aspiring writers and offer an opportunity for experienced writers to renew a commitment to a narrative, a biography or an unfinished poem. Writers in all genres are welcome to spend a fall weekend in this Vermont village. Autumn in Vermont with the ambience set on high. (…)



  • The New York Times has put together a reading of Mary Oliver’s Provincetown : A Poet’s Landscape. This is a reading, in Mary’s voice, coupled with beautiful photographs near where she now lives, and so gets her inspiration. Find the pool of water covered with leaves, and select the Audio Show. It’s only a couple minutes in length.

Poems read:

  • At Blackwater Pond
  • The Sun

15.) Politics & Poetry : Sharon Olds’ Open Letter to Laura Bush
Open Letter to Bush
Dear Mrs. Bush,

I am writing to let you know why I am not able to accept your kind invitation to give a presentation at the National Book Festival on September 24, or to attend your dinner at the Library of Congress or the breakfast at the White House.
In one way, it’s a very appealing invitation. The idea of speaking at a festival attended by 85,000 people is inspiring! The possibility of finding new readers is exciting for a poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that poetry serve its constituents–all of us who need the pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it delivers. (…)

Frost Farm Fund 16.) Robert Frost Farm Fund

  • College establishes Frost-related funds to maintain farm, support writers in residence.


  • AudioForum is offering a Robert Frost Society special (among others!)

Frost Interviews This book consists of a selection of interviews spanning a period of nearly half a century: from 1915, the year Robert Frost returned to America from England, through 1962, just a few weeks before his death. These interviews have a special importance. They present Mr. Frost informally, sometimes casually, yet always in the character of a performer – for performance was ever at the heart of what he aspired to as artist and man: the seeking of an attainment, a mastery, combining both substance and form. Within these interviews is found much of significance that is nowhere else preserved. They contain an invaluable documentation centering upon the life and thought of Robert Frost: his views, impressions, and concepts at different times. The best of them capture and project his presence and manner with a directness and vividness that cannot be derived from his works alone nor from recordings of his readings and talks. 305 pgs. $19.95 ITEM# B28880
18.) 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, at 6:00 p.m. The next reading will be on October 30th. There will be flyers at the Book King counter.
Please contact me (Ron Lewis – ) if you’d like to read; we need readers!
No theme this time around! Bring your own poetry to read or someone’s poetry you enjoy.
The only stipulation this time around, however, is that you have to come in your Halloween costume!
19.) Did You Know?

That Horny Goat Weed is real? (Look out men!)
Joanna Hale

Poet Joanna Hale guilty of trying to kill husband after sex promise
Simon de Bruxelles

October 21, 2009

A poet who stabbed her husband after giving him an aphrodisiac and promising him sex in the woods was convicted of his attempted murder yesterday.
Joanna Hale, 39, of Stapleton, Bristol, and her husband, Peter, 43, ate horny goat weed in December last year before driving to Stoke Park on the edge of the city.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court heard how she lured Mr Hale into the woods and,as he grew amorous, blindfolded him and asked him to lie down.
Sitting astride him she then slit his throat and stabbed him in the chest, only narrowly missing his heart. (…)
20.) Ponderings

Utah Bones Utah bones aren’t those of wandering poet Everett Ruess after all
Tom McGhee

The Denver Post

New DNA tests contradict findings by a University of Colorado forensic team that bones discovered in the Utah desert belonged to a wandering poet who disappeared in 1934.

The bleached bones believed to be those of Everett Ruess were found tucked behind a saddle in a canyon-wall crevice near the Four Corners area. A sheepherder last saw Ruess, a poet, painter, writer and thinker, close to where the Escalante River emptied into the Colorado. (…)



Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words..
Poetry Quote by Paul Engle

22.) 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.


Dear Traveler Dear Traveler :
R.S. Armstrong

Where you are now I hope there are words.
When you hear them I hope they mean something.
In case you need it, the cave is entered by boat (…)


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

Enter the Dragon To move is to experience pain. To turn
the head, impossible. The bone shattered
as easily as the glass window, and the cord,
the spinal cord, knew its fortress of bone
had been weakened by assault. The room,

in its mottled grays, smelled like Lysol,
smelled like the bitter chemical of cleanliness.
To say “trapped” would be imprecise.
To say “restrained” would be a misnomer.
And on the television hung in the corner (…)



  • Here’s a poem from Copper Canyon Press, in its ” Reading Room “.

Lichtenberg Figures
The Lichtenberg Figures
Ben Lerner

‘Gather your marginals, Mr. Specific. The end
is nigh. Your vanguard of vanishing points has vanished
in the critical night. We have encountered a theory
of plumage with plumage. We have decentered our ties. You must quit
these Spenglerian Suites, this roomy room, this gloomy Why. (…)

American Life in Poetry: Column 236

Cecilia Woloch teaches in California, and when she’s not with her students she’s off to the Carpathian Mountains of Poland, to help with the farm work. But somehow she resisted her wanderlust just long enough to make this telling snapshot of her father at work.

The Pick

I watched him swinging the pick in the sun,
breaking the concrete steps into chunks of rock,
and the rocks into dust,
and the dust into earth again. (…)

American Life in Poetry: Column 237

An aubade is a poem about separation at dawn, but as you’ll see, this one by Dore Kiesselbach, who lives in Minnesota, is about the complex relationship between a son and his mother.


“Take me with you”
my mother says
standing in her nightgown
as, home from college,
I prepare to leave
before dawn. (…)




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:

Ronald Lewis:
Phone: 802-247-5913
Cell: 802-779-5913
Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733



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.

2) Bloodroot

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.

3) New England Review

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.

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

5) Vermont Literary Review

Vermont Literary Review A Literary and Fine Art Magazine of Castleton State College, Castleton.

The first issue of Vermont Literary Review was published in 1994. The review is published once a year. Work featured in the review includes poetry, fiction, drama, and personal essays from and about New England.

From its inception until 2006, students and professors reviewed the work submitted and selected work to be published. They used to jointly edit and design the review as well. After a brief lapse, the Vermont Literary Review has resumed publication in 2008 as a journal edited and designed solely by English Department faculty. The Literary Club, which used to help create this journal, is now putting out a publication of student work. (….)

6) Green Mountains Review

Green Mountains Review A Literary and Fine Art Magazine of Johnson State College, Johnson; in publication since 1987.

The Green Mountains Review is an international journal publishing poems, stories, and creative nonfiction by both well-known authors and promising newcomers. The magazine also features interviews, literary criticism, and book reviews. Neil Shepard is the general editor and poetry editor of the Green Mountains Review. The fiction editor is Leslie Daniels.

The editors are open to a wide range of styles and subject matter. If you would like to acquaint yourself with some of the work that we have accepted in the past, then we encourage you to order some of our back issues (….)

7) Burlington Poetry Journal

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. (…)

8.) Tarpaulin Sky
Founded in 2002 as an online literary journal, Tarpaulin Sky took the form of 12.5 internet issues (see the archive ) before its first paper edition in November 2007. The magazine continues to publish new work both online and in print, often curated by guest-editors.
Tarpaulin Sky focuses on cross-genre / trans-genre / hybrid forms as well as innovative poetry and prose. The journal emphasizes experiments with language and form, but holds no allegiance to any one style or school or network of writers (rather, we try to avoid some of the defects associated with dipping too often into the same literary gene pool, and the diversity of our contributors is evidence of our eclectic interests (…)



Poetry Society of Vermont 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. (….)




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 or <>

3) InkBlot Complex Poetry Workshop runs through the Vermont Independent Media’s Media Mentoring Project and is held at the Rockingham Public Library at 65 Westminster Street in Bellows Falls. No previous writing or journalism experience or even class attendance is required. Participants are invited to bring a project or share successful techniques. The workshop aims to lift poetry from the page and reveal how it is a living force in daily life. Originally taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago to great acclaim, its interactive nature and inclusion of multiple art forms leaves dry, academic notions of poetry behind. It functions through three tenets: 1) Presentation of the art form as a living element of our daily world, 2) individualized, personal enrichment and free range of expression for each student, and 3) artistic ecultivation through unexpected means. Taught by seasoned arts journalist, cultural critic and poet Clara Rose Thornton, this free event explores the poetry we encounter all around us – in songs we hear, the ways we express ourselves, even the advertisements we see. In the final session students then create their own works with an increased sense of connection to the way words construct meaning. All materials are provided. Instructor Clara Rose Thornton is an internationally published film, wine and visual arts critic, music journalist, poet and former book and magazine editor. Her writings on culture and the arts have appeared nationally in Stop Smiling: The Magazine for High-Minded Lowlifes, Honest Tune: The American Journal of Jam and Time Out Chicago. Currently residing in an artists’ colony in Windham County, she acts as the biweekly arts columnist for the Rutland herald, staff writer for Southern Vermont Arts && Living and a regular contributor to The Commons. A portfolio, bio and roster of writing and editing services can be found at For more information about the Media Mentoring Project, visit or call 246-6397. You can also write to Vermont Independent Media at P.O. Box 1212, Brattleboro, VT 05302.


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: or 454-8026.


The Burlington Poets Society , a group of “stanza scribblers” that express their love of verse, made up of UVM students and professors, have recently organized, meeting at the Fleming Museum at UVM in Burlington for their periodic “The Painted Word” series of poetry readings. I hope to have additional information on this group in the coming months.


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.




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.


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)

Info: (802)333-9597 or and


Inkblot Poetry Workshop Revived for the 2009 academic year is the InkBlot Complex Poetry Workshop , designed for upper-elementary and high-school-age students, grades 7-12. The curriculum functions through three tenets:

  • Innovative presentation of the art form as a living element of our daily world
  • Individualized, personal enrichment and free range of expression for each student
  • Artistic cultivation through unexpected means

The workshop debuted at the University of Illinois at Chicago, during a three-week summer program, entitled Project C.H.A.N.C.E., for underprivileged sophomore and senior students from area high schools. It was a fantastic success, and the program director requested its return. With this encouragement, I decided to expand and adapt the workshop for various age levels, as an educational/arts supplement for after-school programs and enrichment programs and an arts elective for more traditional academic settings. The response has been wonderful. (…)




The Burlington Writer’s Group (BWG) meets on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 PM and has a new home at the Unitarian Church in the church’s little white house off of Clark St., 2nd floor. They’d like to let people know and also invite anyone interested to join them whenever folks are in town or as often as they’d like.

The Burlington Writer’s Group is a free drop-in group. They decide on a prompt and write for 20 minutes, followed by a go-around reading. They can usually get in two writes depending on group size. All genres and experience levels are welcome and there really are no rules other than demonstrating courtest while people are writing (don’t interrupt). They don’t do much critiquing though some spontaneous reactions occur. Mainly it’s good practice to just show up and write for 40 minutes and share the writing, if so inclined…


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 or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or


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.


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 ( 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!



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

Tue, Oct 27: Green Mountain College, One Brennan Circle, Withey Hall, Poultney, 7:00 p.m. Poetry from Wales and Other Deep Places. Grahame Davies, a true Welsh Bard, is coming to Green Mountain College for an evening with Gary Lindorff and Doug Norford, featuring poetry, music and stories – both amusing and serious. Davies, described as “one of the clearest public poetic voices of his generation,” is a Welsh poet, novelist, editor and literary critic and winner of the Wales Book of the Year Award. Joining him for the evening will be local poet Gary Lindorff and musician Doug Norford. Refreshments will be served. For info, Kevin Coburn, .

Wed, Oct 28: Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, 6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Antonello Borra and Jill Leininger will be providing a poetry reading as part of The Painted Word Poetry Series. The Fleming Museum poetry series is hosted by Major Jackson, associate professor, UVM Dept. of English. This reading series highlights established and emergent New England poets whose work represents significant explorations into language, song, and art. The Burlington Poets Society will make a short presentation first from 6:15-6:30, then the poets will begin reading at 6:30. Additional info at: .

Thu, Oct 29: The Galaxy Bookshop, 7 Mill Street, Hardwick, 1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Poetry Reading by Hazen Union Poetry Class. The Hazen Union Poetry Class would like to invite the community to enjoy a reading of the students’ works at The Galaxy Bookshop. This special reading will give the students a chance to share their poems aloud in a public setting. We also welcome local poets to join us in sharing a poem or two with the group. Time is subject to change: please check back later to confirm, or call the bookstore for more details: 472-5533.

Fri, Oct 30: Book King, Center Street, Rutland, 6:00 p.m. Poetry Reading. Monthly reading for enthusiasts of poetry. Please contact Ron Lewis – if you’d like to read; we need readers! No theme this time around! Bring your own poetry to read or someone’s poetry you enjoy. The only stipulation this time around, however, is that you have to come in your Halloween costume!
Fri, Oct 30: Aldrich Public Library, 6 Washington Street, Barre, 6:30 p.m. An All-Ages Poetry Slam. A brief writing workshop session at 6:30 will provide opportunity for everyone to write one or two slam pieces, but slammers should also bring pre-prepared work. The slam may go 2 rounds, so bring at least 2 poems, each of which you can present in 3 minutes or less. Everyone is welcome, whether to slam or just enjoy the show! For info, 476-7550, .

Thu, Nov 5: The Hub Teen Center & Skatepark, 110 Airport Drive, Bristol, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Open Mic Night. Wordsmiths of all trades – songwriting, poetry, theater and more – contribute their audible expressions. Free. For info, 453-3678.

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 or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Nov 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. 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.

Wed, Nov 18: Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, 6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Caroline Knox, Dorothea Lasky and Dara Wier will be providing a poetry reading as part of The Painted Word Poetry Series. The Fleming Museum poetry series is hosted by Major Jackson, associate professor, UVM Dept. of English. This reading series highlights established and emergent New England poets whose work represents significant explorations into language, song, and art. The Burlington Poets Society will make a short presentation first from 6:15-6:30, then the poets will begin reading at 6:30. Additional info at: .

Wed, Dec 2: Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Poetry’s Spiritual Language. Using the poetry of Dickinson, Kenyon, Rumi, and Kabir—poets from diverse religious traditions—Dartmouth English professor Nancy Jay Crumbine examines poetry’s language of spirituality. Part of the First Wednesdays series. A Vermont Humanities Council event. For info, 223-3338.

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 or call (802) 463-9404.


Mon, Feb 22: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. 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 Humanities National 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
~ Hans-Georg Gadamer
Your fellow Poet,
Ron Lewis

One response

  1. Hi everybody.I have a question if you can help me I’ll be greetful. My question is how can we illustrate the rhythm of the poem “The Solitary Reaper”by William Wordsworth? is the tetrameter applying on all the lines of the poem?


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