The Vermont Poetry Newsletter • January 12 2010

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

Vermont Poetry Newsletter

Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State

January 11, 2010 – In This Issue:

  1. About VPN/How To Print
  2. Newsletter Editor’s Note
  3. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  4. 2000-2009: The Decade in Poetry
  5. Bridges: New Book by David Parkinson
  6. A Poetry Handbook for the Reluctant Reader (A. Fogel)
  7. Help the Fishouse
  8. In Memoriam: Ruth Lilly 1915-2009
  9. Ruth Lilly: Drug Heiress & Poetry Patron
  10. Lilly Makes $100M Bequest to Poetry Magazine
  11. Brighten the Barn – PSOV Anthology
  12. 2009 NH Writer’s Handbook/Writers’ Day?
  13. 10th Anniversary of Valparaiso Poetry Review
  14. Marilyn L. Taylor Book Review
  15. Book That Poet!
  16. Poets: Laziest, Stupidest People (Christian Bök)
  17. The Women Poets Reader Dictionary
  18. Time to Revive the Christmas Chapbook?
  19. Audio & Podcasts
  20. You Say You Want a Resolution?
  21. The Raymond Danowski Poetry Library
  22. Did You Know? Metrophobia (Are We Afraid of Poetry?)
  23. Ponderings: Invictus: Worst Famous Poem Ever?
  24. Poetry Quote – Paul Muldoon
  25. US Poets Laureate List
  26. Failbetter Poem
  27. Linebreak Poem
  28. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  29. American Life in Poetry Poems
  30. Vermont Poet Laureates
  31. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  32. Vermont Literary Journals
  33. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  34. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  35. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  36. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  37. Other Writing Groups in Vermont
  38. Poetry Event Calendar

1.) About the Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network

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

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

2.) Dear Friends of Poetry:

Another long “intermission” between newsletters.  With 2010 now upon us, it’s time to look back at the decade behind us.  Did you accomplish what you had wanted or expected during the last 10 years?  Did poetry, in general, undergo significant changes?  We’ll all have a look back in this newsletter, as well as get off to a good start for the next 10.

My resolution this year is not to have any more resolutions, which means I guess, that I’ve already broken my resolution!

Let’s celebrate in the poetry that was given to us by all the great poets who died during the past decade. Let’s make the effort to pull out their books, and read at least a poem from each of them.

Please note that we have 2 poetry workshops beginning this week: one at Main Street Arts in Saxtons River, taught by John Wood, and one at the Village Square Booksellers, taught by John Fowler.  Also, Nick Flynn is in Vermont at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester on January 21st.

Well, let’s get rollin’.  I’m glad you’re a member of the Vermont Poet Family.  I’ll try my best to keep you entertained.

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher



At a workshop with Carolyn Forché many years ago, she suggested, quite simply, free-writing by way of getting the imagination going. She called this revving of the mind’s engine “releasing spillage.” It was the letting go of the weaker, not yet matured material—words, images, clauses, and any other configurations of language in its “green state.” But unlike other instructors who suggested a similar method, Forché actually suggested saving the “spillage.”
It gets better: besides a writing implement and paper, the students were to have within reach a pair of scissors and a box. After the students exhausted themselves with drafts of poems, all of those snippets of language that didn’t make their way into the later drafts were to be cut out of the page and stored in the box like a small collection of misplaced dialogue bubbles from cartoon strips. Students were to use a more discriminating lens however, when sifting through the rubble of “spillage,” and they were to single out the more promising gems. This way, the next time they could either choose to go through the process of “releasing spillage” all over again, or go through their tangible language in a box. Either way they were picking their brains.

Exercise by Rigoberto González

Good Luck!


2000-2009: The Decade in Poetry
How has poetry changed in the past ten years?

The past ten years have changed poetry in ways that have shocked and delighted even the most forward-thinking readers and writers. Online communities have flourished, dominant paradigms have shifted, and readers have found new solace in traditional forms. Poetry—and poetry communities—will never be the same. We asked poets and critics whose work has had a wide influence over the art form to describe the poetry “event” that most shaped their view of the decade. They focused on events both private and public, and their responses reveal that poetry in the new decade will continue to be a living, breathing, and ever-changing thing.(…)

5.) In the last VPN, I told you about the book that my two good friends, David Parkinson and Judith Dow Moore, both fellow members of the Otter Creek Poets, had published together, entitled “Two Heads.” I hope you made an effort to locate this book, available at either Carol’s Hungry Mind Café in Middlebury, or through RA Press, 100 Kennedy Drive #53, S. Burlington, VT 05403.

David has another new book out, entitled “Bridges.”  The cover of the book has a photo of a bridge that spans the river Tweed between Scotland and England at Coldstream.  What’s inside spans a lifetime of wordsmithing for David, who came to Vermont by way of Scotland.

Like trying to pick out a perfect piece of straw in a bale of hay, there are just darn too many good poems to select one from this book that demonstrates David’s skill.  I know he’ll wonder why I picked the following poem, but I had my reasons:

First Love

Was it Rita Hayworth or Doris Day?
Lola Albright, Sonja Heine, such an array.

Lauren Bacall, all smoky and sex
I watched open-mouthed her lips, cigarette.

Deanna Durbin sang ‘til I burst
(Nelson Eddy got to her first).

Eleanor Parker’s tear-glinted smile;
Ruth Roman’s voice a husky surprise.

But I fell in love with the eyes of a horse,
Roy Roger’s Trigger, palomino, of course.

Like David, Roy Rogers was a boyhood hero of mine.  I recall wearing his genuine six-shooters all over the neighborhood, keeping the peace until I moved out of the city badlands at age 7 (San Leandro, California).  In fact, all my friends called me “Roy,” and luckily for me, I could beat up the bullies that came “abullyin.”  Anyway, you’ll have a lot of enjoyment reading the poems of David Parkinson, and if you don’t, get outta’ Dodge City before high noon!

6.) A Poetry Handbook for the Reluctant Reader
by Alice B. Fogel

Strange Terrain fills an empty place. It is an essential resource for anyone who wants to feel more comfortable with reading poetry: individuals, reading groups, teachers, even friends and families of poets. In eight simple steps, award-winning poet and teacher Alice B. Fogel offers readers the tools they need to make their own confident way through poetry’s strange terrain.

“Readers who have followed the steps of this guide carefully will not reach Step 8 feeling cheated because they still don’t have a formula for unlocking every poetry secret. Rather, armed with knowledge of how a poem’s shape, words, sound, images, emotions, thoughts, and literary devices work to build, communicate, and deepen the mystery, readers are likely to sigh with relief that there still is plenty in poetry to wonder about, to feel but not articulate, to sense but not say.”
—From the Foreword by Brock Dethier, Director, Utah State University Writing (…)

7.) Help The Fishouse

Dear Friend of Fishouse,

When Camille Dungy asked me to submit my poems for From the Fishouse, I was ecstatic. It had been around a few years, and I knew some of the featured poets personally but I was impressed with Camille and Matt O’Donnell’s vision for the site, and what it could mean for emerging poets.

Fishouse poets know what a thrill it is when they receive the recorder from Matt, with the instructions and guidelines for recording their poems and comments.  And when Matt announces that new recordings are posted on the site, you know how exciting it is to discover new poets.

With 200 poets currently featured on the site and over 200 more waiting in the “recommended” queue, From the Fishouse is the leading, most comprehensive collection of emerging poets in America. With the website being adopted by educators, its readings all over the country, and its recent print anthology, From the Fishouse has reached a new level of success, thanks to its bold, simple mission, talented contributors, and a very hard-working director.

This winter, the board and Matt will be meeting to develop a long range plan for the organization, and I’m sure there will be amazing ideas to emerge, and many goals to reach in the next three years.

One goal that every nonprofit faces is funding, and some of you may work in nonprofits or teach as an adjunct or struggle with your own finances every year, so you know what I’m talking about. We’re poets; we’re not rich; we don’t write to get rich. We believe in words and the power of words and the money will work itself out.
I volunteered to write this letter because I believe so strongly in the Fishouse mission and believe that we, as the benefactors of that mission, can help. If every recipient of the Fishouse newsletter  were able to give or get somebody to give $30, we would raise almost $20,000!

It’s awkward to ask for money, especially from those whom the Fishouse serves, but I also believe that we, as avid fans of Fishouse, are the best ambassadors of this organization and can most easily explain why it’s important, why it’s necessary to keep emerging poets visible and heard (literally, in this case).

So I’m asking you to give $30 to keep Fishouse vibrant, to keep the list of featured poets growing and representing the best of emerging poetry.

Our goal is to raise $4,500 by December 31 – that’s 150 donations in the next 3 days!

You can make a secure online donation here through PayPal.

Or you can send a check to 87 Stage Road, Pittston, Maine 04345.

And if you have a Facebook page or a website, please send a note to your friends and family about the site, and ask them to support it.  Do you need another sweater from Aunt Clara? Probably not, but she might get a real thrill about supporting the careers of young poets.

The thing about literary nonprofits is that a small amount can go a long way – we’re not asking for $1,000 gifts, we’re asking for $30 (or twice that if you can afford it), and you know exactly where your money is going and how it’s being spent: to bring more poets online, and into the classrooms, libraries, and homes of America. Seriously.

I hope you’ll join me in this cause – and if not this year, when you can afford to give back. And if you’re can’t spare the $30, ask your friends and family, tell them what you really want this holiday season: more poetry, more poets sharing their work.

Best wishes,
Charles Flowers

8.) In Memoriam: Ruth Lilly, 1915-2009

The staff and trustees of the Poetry Foundation are greatly saddened by Ms. Lilly’s death and honor her extraordinary legacy.

CHICAGO—The Poetry Foundation is grateful for Ruth Lilly’s extraordinary generosity and kindness. The staff and trustees of the Poetry Foundation are greatly saddened by Ms. Lilly’s death and extend their condolences to her family. Thanks to Ms. Lilly’s munificence, the programs of the Poetry Foundation bring poems to 19 million Americans who would not otherwise read or hear them. From the annual $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize honoring a contemporary poet’s lifetime accomplishment, to five Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships that go to aspiring poets, to ensuring Poetry magazine continues publishing in perpetuity, to a host of new programs and prizes established by the Poetry Foundation.(…)

9.) Ruth Lilly, Drug Heiress and Poetry Patron, Dies at 94

Published: December 31, 2009

Ruth Lilly, the reclusive philanthropist who, as the last surviving great-grandchild of the pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly, gave away an estimated $800 million, most notably — and perhaps quixotically — in a nine-figure gift to Poetry magazine, died Wednesday in Indianapolis. She was 94.

A family spokesman confirmed the death, The Associated Press reported.
Ms. Lilly was a major donor in the fields of education, medicine and the arts, mostly focused in Indianapolis and around Indiana. But in 2002, her generosity became much more widely known when she pledged a gift, largely in stock, to Poetry, a monthly magazine with a staff of four, a circulation of 12,000 or so and an annual budget of less than $700,000. The gift was estimated, at the time, at $100 million. (…)

10.) Lilly Heir Makes $100 Million Bequest to Poetry Magazine

Published: November 19, 2002

CHICAGO, Nov. 18— An ailing heir who tried but failed to have her poems published in a small literary journal has given that journal an astonishing bequest that is likely to be worth more than $100 million.

Ruth Lilly, 87, an heir to the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical fortune, submitted several poems to Poetry magazine in the 1970’s and was rewarded only with handwritten rejection notes from the editor, Joseph Parisi. Evidently she did not take the rejections to heart. Mr. Parisi announced her gift at the magazine’s 90th-anniversary dinner on Friday.

”Its a real mind-blower,” said the United States’ poet laureate, Billy Collins, who was at the dinner. ”Poetry has always had the reputation as being the poor little match girl of the arts. Well, the poor little match girl just hit the lottery.”

This gift has suddenly turned Poetry from a struggling journal little known outside literary circles to one of the world’s richest publications. Mr. Parisi said it was by far the largest single donation ever made to an institution devoted to poetry. (…)

11.) 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.


The New Hampshire Writer’s Project has a new publication out, and if you live in NH, you should invest $14 into this booklet. 2009 NH Writer’s Handbook is a vital resource for Granite State writers. This 30 page booklet includes more than 400 listings covering information about conferences, retreats, directories of publishers and agents, young writers’ resources, and many other topics.  This new edition, published June 2009, also includes five articles about the business of writing, from creating your own Web site to promoting your book, and more.

The NH Writers Project was kind enough to send me a few of their newsletters, and to put it mildly, I was very impressed.  Each was 16 pages of information I simply didn’t want it to end!  We have nothing quite the same as this, here in Vermont, as much as the Vermont Humanities Council tries hard to convince us in the way of naming various literary resources.  The Council’s “foot soldiers,” us that is, should start insisting that they go ahead with what I’m sure are many of its writers’ expressed ideas.  Why does it seem to me that the visual artists always seem to get the added exposure and recognition from their simple ideas?  Take their Open Studio idea, and what a success that has been!  Can’t the writers of Vermont band together with an equivalent?  Say, just for an instance, and I’m just shooting from the hip here remind you, how about a Writers’ Day?  Think about it.  If you have what you feel is an idea worth massaging, send it to me and I’ll be happy to broadcast the idea (giving you full credit) and solicit conversation about it.


Contemporary Poetry and Poetics


Ten years ago, in October of 1999, the initial issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review premiered as an online journal designed to introduce new, emerging, and established poets to the larger audience available on the Internet. Much has changed since that publication of Valparaiso Poetry Review’s first issue. At the time, the concept of an online literary journal was still a fairly novel idea and relatively untested.(…)


Certainly one of my favorite poets is Marilyn L. Taylor.  In fact, I told her so myself as we emailed each other a few years ago.  I was pleased to find a review of one of her books in Valparaiso Poetry Review, so I’ve placed it here for you to read.  If you’ve never heard of Ms. Taylor, I would highly recommend her books, any one of the eight she’s published!  I believe she is also the Contributing Editor of The Writer Magazine, where her articles on poetic craft appear bi-monthly.

Review of Marilyn L. Taylor’s Book of Poetry


Although English is a difficult language in which to rhyme, 
what Taylor does, and does so well, is mute her exact rhymes 
with slant and half rhymes, increasing the music, 
and doubling the delight.  We have to stop and go back 
over a stanza to realize that what at first seems to be 
free verse does, in fact, rhyme; again Taylor’s 
light touch and good ear hard at work (…)


Are you looking for a poet to conduct a workshop, address your historical society board of trustees, or give a reading at the local library? Welcome to the website that lists poets of the United States whom you can book to do readings and give workshops. BOOKTHATPOET™.com is sponsored by Woodrow Hall Editions, a small publishing company that is responsible for the Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf program based in Madison, Wisconsin.

Poets are listed by state and by last name. Select the state in which you wish to locate a poet or select their name from the drop-down menus at right.

Each poet’s page lists personal information and qualifications, a sample poem, and their contact information. All arrangements must be made directly with the individual poet.

BookThatPoets have received invitations to do readings and/or workshops in coffee houses, libraries and classrooms. They’ve been contacted to appear on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Higher Ground, Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know, and Wisconsin Public Television. They have sold their books, been interviewed by journalists, and asked by editors to submit their work for publication. BookThatPoet enables poetry event coordinators to locate you—even when they don’t know you by name!


Poets: Really, they’re the laziest, stupidest people I know.

The following words are from Christian Bök, responding during a Q&A session  at Kelly Writers House, UPenn, November 18, 2009:

“I think that my poetics makes it viable for me to excuse a whole variety of obsessive compulsive disorders. It’s not Asperger syndrome; it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Half the battle of being a poet is trying to transform what would otherwise be dismissed as a weakness into a strength, trying to find ways in which something that should fail under other circumstances finds an ecology within which it can succeed. I think that the more mechanistic and regimented aspects of my work constitute a kind of intellectual crutch used to evaluate the merits of the work upon its completion — at the very least I know when it’s done — and I can see the outcome of the experiment and be relatively satisfied that it fulfills the constraints of this procedural program, this set of algorithms that I’ve established in advance(…)

  • On the Blog where this appears, there are 67 responses to Bok’s comments.  It makes for entertaining reading!





Is it time to revive the Christmas tradition of the chapbook?

In these straitened times, how about taking a leaf out of the Victorians’ book and presenting friends and family with pamphlets of our own literary endeavours during the festive season?
Last year at Christmas, feeling a little credit crunched along with most of the population, I watched a seasonal TV show that advocated making your own gifts – probably presented by Kirstie Allsop. I liked the idea, but fiddly, mistletoe-festooned table decorations have never been my forte. So I decided to give the only homemade gift I had at my fingertips – writing.
I wrote a short story called Christmas Blues, a gentle, seasonal ghost story, ran off 25 copies, and put them in green card covers. Channelling Julie Andrews, I tied them up with string, signed and numbered each one, and gave them to friends and family. (…)

19.) Audio & Podcasts

An incredible amount of poetry, from Poems of the Day, Poetry Radio Project, Poetry Magazine, Essential American Poets, Poetry Lectures, Avant-Garde All the Time, Poem Talk & Chicago Poetry Tour Podcasts.


Ask a Poet
You Say You Want a Resolution
Advice and insight from a professional poet.
By Kristen Hoggatt

Do you have any advice on how to stick to New Year’s resolutions? How do poets do it?
— Carl

My impulse is to say that if a poet breaks a New Year’s Resolution, she reflects on it, maybe writing a few lines of verse in private, and then realizes that it never should have been a New Year’s resolution in the first place. Just read the first stanza from Alfred Nicol’s “New Year” (…)


The Raymond Danowski Poetry Library

  • This is an incredible story, of an incredible new collection that every poet must visit (Emory University in Atlanta) some day!

Raymond Danowski Has Your Chapbook
Amassing the world’s largest collection of 20th century poetry was easy. Finding a home for it was a different story.

The more librarians catalog and curate Raymond Danowski’s vast collection of 20th-century poetry books, manuscripts, and periodicals, the more inscrutable it becomes to him.
“I don’t really know how to lay my hands on stuff anymore,” the heavy-set 65-year-old art dealer and book collector whispers, ruffling his hands through his gray hair. He’s trailing a graduate student through the quiet, orderly corridors of a library at Atlanta’s Emory University. (…)


Did You Know?
Are We Afraid Of Poetry?

Kim Rosen
Author of Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words
Posted: January 6, 2010 11:24 AM

Metrophobia (otherwise known as the fear of poetry), an American pandemic more tenacious than Swine Flu, is finally on the wane. And not a moment too soon.

For the last few generations, our nation has managed to marginalize poetry, an art that is and always has been central to the species. Since the earliest hominids sounded their pre-literate, poetic musilanguage to one another, since ancient Greek orators recited poems at the Olympic Games, since the first Griot in Mali turned the history of his tribe into poetry, igniting a tradition carried on by his descendants today, since Sappho’s lyrics, Basho’s haikus and Rumi’s ghazals, poetry has been known to be a necessary nutrient in the human diet, as essential as breath or music. 




‘Invictus’: worst famous poem ever?

Prompted by a moviehouse visit to see the Clint Eastwood film “Invictus,” my son and I talked about the poem that provided the title and apparently proved so inspirational to Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) during his 27-year imprisonment on Robben Island that, as president of South Africa, he hand-copies it to give to the national rugby team captain (Matt Damon) to jolt his leadership up a few notches.
My son was shocked to discover I think “Invictus” is simply a lousy poem; he finds it stirring. Many people do. It’s much anthologized; lots of people have memorized it and used it as a talisman. (…)


Among the poetry books that particularly recommended themselves this past year is Don Paterson’s “Rain,” which will be published in the U.S. in 2010 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. We’re very pleased to report that the title poem first appeared here in The New Yorker. Don Paterson is simply the most interesting mid-career poet at work in the U.K., and he is a treat in store for American readers not yet familiar with his exceptional gifts. Another major publication of this past year was Frederick Seidel’s “Poems: 1959-2009,” also from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Seidel’s name derives from the German for a “beer mug” and it’s no accident, perhaps, that his poems are abrim with an intoxicating brew. Seidel is chatty, catty, eminently catchy. On the translation front, two major publications this past year were Daniel Mendelsohn’s translations of C. P. Cavafy’s “The Unfinished Poems,” published by Knopf, and Keith Waldrop’s translations of “Paris Spleen: Little Poems in Prose,” by Charles Baudelaire, published by Wesleyan University Press. Each of these books forces us to look anew at a writer we might have come to take ever so slightly for granted.

Poetry Quote by Paul Muldoon

25.) 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.

26.) Failbetter.Com

Sally Ashton

Christ returned, there in the middle of 6th Avenue at West 54th in front of the New York Hilton. She stood in the intersection, right in traffic, and tried to flag down a taxi. God decided to send the daughter this time. She stood with her arm raised, unperturbed by the rush of cars on either side or the cacophony of horns that blared rapid-fire. No one stopped (…)

27.) Linebreak

By Andrea Scarpino

“… she sent spectres, ruled the ghosts, and carried into effect the curses of men.” — 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

So it’s you, all along, to whom I should have prayed,
ruler of ghosts, curses. I dreamed of my father night after night,
wished when I opened my eyes he would be sitting on my bed,
waking me to eat. Each turn down a grocery aisle, I looked
for his cart filled with fruit, coffee. (…)

28.) Copper Canyon Press

Monkey Mind
Steve Orlen

When I was a child I had what is called an inner life.
For example, I looked at that girl over there
In the second aisle of seats and wondered what it was like
To have buck teeth pushing out your upper lip
And how it felt to have those little florets the breasts (….)

29.) American Life in Poetry: Column 243
Lots of contemporary poems are anecdotal, a brief narration of some event, and what can make them rise above anecdote is when they manage to convey significance, often as the poem closes. Here is an example of one like that, by Marie Sheppard Williams, who lives in Minneapolis.

I stood at a bus corner
one afternoon, waiting
for the #2. An old
guy stood waiting too.
I stared at him. (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 244

Love predated the invention of language, but love poetry got its start as soon as we had words through which to express our feelings. Here’s a lovely example of a contemporary poem of love and longing by George Bilgere, who lives in Ohio.

Night Flight
I am doing laps at night, alone
In the indoor pool. Outside
It is snowing, but I am warm
And weightless, suspended and out
Of time like a fly in amber(….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 245

I love the way the following poem by Susie Patlove opens, with the little rooster trying to “be what he feels he must be.” This poet lives in Massachusetts, in a community called Windy Hill, which must be a very good place for chickens, too.

Poor Patriarch
The rooster pushes his head
high among the hens, trying to be
what he feels he must be, here
in the confines of domesticity.
Before the tall legs of my presence,
he bristles and shakes his ruby comb (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 246

Childhood is too precious a part of life to lose before we have to, but our popular culture all too often yanks our little people out of their innocence. Here is a poem by Trish Crapo, of Leyden, Massachusetts, that captures a moment of that innocence.

Back Then
Out in the yard, my sister and I
tore thread from century plants
to braid into bracelets, ate
chalky green bananas (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 247

Family photographs, how much they do capture in all their elbow-to-elbow awkwardness. In this poem, Ben Vogt of Nebraska describes a color snapshot of a Christmas dinner, the family, impatient to tuck in, arrayed along the laden table. I especially like the description of the turkey.

Grandpa Vogt’s—1959

The food is on the table. Turkey tanned
to a cowboy boot luster, potatoes mashed
and mounded in a bowl whose lip is lined
with blue flowers linked by grey vines faded
from washing. Everyone’s heads have turned
to elongate the table’s view—a last supper twisted (…)

American Life in Poetry: Column 248

Many if not all of us have had the pleasure of watching choruses of young people sing. It’s an experience rich with affirmation, it seems to me. Here is a lovely poem by Tim Nolan, an attorney in Minneapolis.

At the Choral Concert
The high school kids are so beautiful
in their lavender blouses and crisp white shirts.

They open their mouths to sing with that
far-off stare they had looking out from the crib.

Their voices lift up from the marble bed
of the high altar to the blue endless ceiling (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 249
One of the wonderful things about small children is the way in which they cause us to explain the world. “What’s that?” they ask, and we have to come up with an answer. Here Christine Stewart-Nunez, who lives and teaches in South Dakota, tries to teach her son a new word only to hear it come back transformed.

Through the bedroom window
a February sunrise, fog suspended
between pines. Intricate crystals—
hoarfrost lace on a cherry tree.
My son calls out, awake. We sway (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 250

I’m very fond of poems that demonstrate their authors’ attentiveness to the world about them, as regular readers of this column have no doubt noticed. Here is a nine-word poem by Joette Giorgis, who lives in Pennsylvania, that is based upon noticing and then thinking about something so ordinary that it might otherwise be overlooked. Even the separate words are flat and commonplace. But so much feeling comes through!

children grown—
dust accumulates
on half the kitchen table


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

31.) 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.

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
Burlington College
95 North Avenue
Burlington, VT  05401

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.

The price of a single issue is $8.

Editor, “Do” Roberts
Bloodroot Literary Magazine
PO Box 322
Thetford Center, VT  05075
(802) 785-4916

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.

Cost: $8 for a single issue
$30 for a single year (4 issues)
$50 for two years (8 issues)

New England Review
Attn: Orders
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753
(800) 450-9571

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


Vermont Literary Review5) 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. (….)

Green Mountains Review6) 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) The Gihon River Review

“The name of the second river is Gihon. No sooner has it come out of Paradise than it vanishes beneath the depths of the sea . . .” –Moses Bar Cepha

The Gihon River Review, published biannually, was founded in the fall of 2001 as a production of the BFA program at Johnson State College.  Issues are $5 each. Submissions in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction are read from September to May. Poetry submissions may not exceed five poems; fiction and nonfiction may not exceed twenty-five pages. Send all correspondence to The Gihon River Review, Johnson State College, Johnson, Vermont 05656. Please enclose a SASE.  For further info by email,

8) 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 (….)

10) The Mountain Review

Colchester High School’s English Department has been publishing an interesting literary magazine: The Mountain Review.  The Mountain Review is sponsored by the Vermont Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (VCTELA).  Generally, the mission is to publish work from Vermont students, K-12.  The Mountain Review has published poems, essays, short stories, excerpts from larger works, and art work.  Wayland Cole and Katie Lenox have been the editors for several years; both teach at Colchester.  Before them, Shelia Mable, a South Burlington teacher, was the editor for many years.

2009’s Mountain Review is over 100 pages long!

Students at all Vermont schools can enter the competition to be published in the Mountain Review.  If you have questions, feel free to call them at (802) 264-5700 or email at or  Send orders for copies of The Mountain Review to Katie Lenox at: Colchester High School, PO Box 900, Colchester, VT 05446.  Send $5 per book; $2 postage to ship 1-3 books.  Checks payable to the VCTELA.

33.) Poetry Society of VermontSTATE 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 town is the home of Leonard Gibbs and his Dead Creek Poets Society.  Leonard invites visitors to his web site,, and subsequent comments for discussion.  Leonard’s email address is:  Interesting responses to items Leonard has posed on his site, may end up on the site itself.


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.


Introduction to the Writing of Poetry – Instructor: John Wood-   7 week class
Begins January 14, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

This course is designed for older adults through younger adult high school students who might be interested in learning how poetry is made and how to make it. It will involve an intensive study of poetry’s nuts and bolts (assonance, alliteration, metaphor, meter, forms, and so forth) in conjunction with reading a good bit of poetry that demonstrates these devices. If there is time toward the end of the course, and there may not be [or in a second course if there is interest], you will put what you have learned into practice. At that point it will function like a graduate-level poetry workshop with the poems submitted anonymously for critique by the instructor and the students who will by then have developed their critical skills well-enough to make useful critical comments from having been exposed to the form and theory of poetry.

It is important to keep in mind that this is not a class in which the primary or even secondary concern is reading each other’s poetry and talking about it. This is a course in learning how to write poetry, which like any other art involves mastering the craft. But learning the craft of poetry is great fun in its own right because each major element of the craft reflects something about the workings of the human mind.

A text book is required, John Frederick Nims’ Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry. Multiple copies at $1.00 each are available on line through Abe Books. Go to Abe Books and type in Nims under author and Western Wind under title. This is a great book and you will love it for all the many wonderful things it will teach you, in addition to how to make a poem. Do not buy a new copy from Amazon because it is nowhere near as good as the older edition; that new edition (co-edited by David Mason) costs over $45.00 and is not worth the money. Please buy one of the cheap 1974 or 1983 editions solely edited by Nims.

About the Instructor:

John Wood, who holds both the MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in English literature, lives in Saxtons River and is a poet and art critic whose books in both fields have won national and international awards. For 25 years he was the Director of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at McNeese University where he taught the writing of poetry. Several of his students have received the $20,000 NEA Poetry Fellowship, others the Ruth Lilly Fellowship in Poetry, still others a MacDowell Residency, an Amy Clampitt Fellowship, and a variety of other awards. And many of his former students have published books from leading presses. John and his teaching were the subjects of a Los Angeles Times front page article in 1999 and a full page article in 2005 in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Intro. to the Writing of Poetry John Wood Thursday 6—7:30 PM 7 weeks
$60 Members / $80 Non-Members
Basic introduction to the writing of poetry. See website for additional details.

Main Street Arts, Main Street, P.O. Box 100 Saxtons River, VT 05154
(802) 869-2960


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 WorkshopANYWHERE, VERMONT

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 courtesy 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 at 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!


The League of Vermont Writers

The League is open to all who make writing a part of their lives. We offer encouragement, motivation, and networking opportunities to writers with a broad range of writing experience.

You do not need to be published to join. Visit their Membership Page for more information about benefits and fees.

Founded in 1929, LVW’s mission is to:

  1. Help writers develop their skills
  2. Promote responsible and ethical writing and writing practices
  3. Increase communication between professional writers and publishers

Promote an enduring appreciation for the power of the word


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, 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.  All events are advertised as free unless indicated otherwise.

Thu, Jan 14: Main Street Arts, Main Street, Saxtons River, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Introduction to the Writing of Poetry.  John Wood leads this 7-week class.  For full class description, see above under Year-Round Poetry Writing Workshops in Vermont – Saxtons River.

Thu, Jan 14: 51 Main, Middlebury, 8:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.  “Verbal Onslaught Spoken Word.”  Poetic verse inspired by the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. flows from an open mic.  For info, 443-3168.

Fri, Jan 15: Outer Space, 208 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, 7:00 p.m. Poet’s Night.  Pen-and-paper scribblers share aloud their sonnets, haikus, short prose and more.  For info, 864-6106.

Wed, Jan 20: The Norwich Bookstore, 291 Main Street, Norwich, 7:00 p.m. Special Celebration Honoring Grace Paley. A special celebration of the life and writing of our dear friend…

Postponed until January 20 (from 12/9) due to the snow storm. We have started a new reservation list.
Grace Paley was born on December 11, 1922 and we mark the date with readings of her poetry and stories. Grace gave much to our community and the society at large with her powerful use of words. She was wise and witty, tough and gentle, humble and strong – all at the same time.

Come hear a selection of her work read by members of her family and a few chosen friends.

(Reservations recommended.)

Thu, Jan 21: Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, 7:00 p.m.  Nick Flynn. Author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Nick Flynn takes the art of the memoir another step forward with his uncompromising new memoir, The Ticking is the Bomb. It’s May of 2004 and Nick Flynn’s life is breaking apart. He’s involved with two women, and he’s deeply aware that he’s fast approaching the age his mother was when she committed suicide, which is the same age his father was when he robbed his first bank. Simultaneously, the Abu Ghraib photographs have been leaked to the world, revealing the undeniable fact that Flynn’s country tortures people. Three years later, these realities haunt Flynn more than ever as he stands at the brink of fatherhood, struggling to reconcile the persistent demons of his tumultuous past and the uncertainty of America’s controversial present with the knowledge of his daughter’s imminent arrival.  A meditation on the intricacies of human relationships – the bonds shared by lovers, husband and wife, parent and child, soldier and prisoner, and a man and himself – this heartfelt book takes us along Flynn’s journey to emancipate himself from his wanderings and reclaim his identity after years of being lost. Nick Flynn is winner of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Sat, Jan 23: DoubleTree Hotel, South Burlington.  League of Vermont Writers Annual Meeting, with Tim Brooks, David Dobbs and Ron Powers.  Info and registration at:

Mon, Jan 25: Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, 21 Library Lane, Williston, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Poetry Writing Workshop.  John Powell directs this weekly workshop for poetry writing techniques, suggestions, critiquing, etc., to help develop one’s own poetry.  If there is interest, this gathering could well develop into a regular weekly group meeting.  For info, 878-4918,

Mon, Feb 1: Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, 21 Library Lane, Williston, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Poetry Writing Workshop.  John Powell directs this weekly workshop for poetry writing techniques, suggestions, critiquing, etc., to help develop one’s own poetry.  If there is interest, this gathering could well develop into a regular weekly group meeting.  For info, 878-4918,

Mon, Feb 8: Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, 21 Library Lane, Williston, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Poetry Writing Workshop.  John Powell directs this weekly workshop for poetry writing techniques, suggestions, critiquing, etc., to help develop one’s own poetry.  If there is interest, this gathering could well develop into a regular weekly group meeting.  For info, 878-4918,

Sat, Feb 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 usually open mic: hear local poets from the River Voices Writing Group, or bring your own original work to share or read from a favorite poet, or just come as a listener.  Sessions might be Open Mic Sessions, or Readings by published authors. The tables in the cafe are gathered together as each member of the group takes a turn reading poetry aloud in a fun environment.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail or call (802) 463-9404.

Wed, Feb 17: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. “You Come, Too.” Spend winter lingering on the cultivated lines of selected British poets, from John Donne to T.S. Eliot, with Peter Gilbert’s readings and discussion.  For info, 262-2626.

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 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.

Mar 6: Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier. State semi-finals and Vermont State Poetry Out Loud Final competition.  I will have more specific times later, but likely it will be morning semi-finals and an afternoon final. Each school will also be having a final competition at their school to choose the competitor to go on to the state semi-finals — many of these are open to the public.  I will pass on those dates as I receive them. (March 13 snow date).

Wed, Mar 10: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. “You Come, Too.” Spend winter lingering on the cultivated lines of selected British poets, from John Donne to T.S. Eliot, with Peter Gilbert’s readings and discussion.  For info, 262-2626.

Sat, Mar 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 usually open mic: hear local poets from the River Voices Writing Group, or bring your own original work to share or read from a favorite poet, or just come as a listener.  Sessions might be Open Mic Sessions, or Readings by published authors. The tables in the cafe are gathered together as each member of the group takes a turn reading poetry aloud in a fun environment.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Apr 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Poet Carol Frost.  Carol Frost, director of Winter with the Writers, A Festival of the Literary Arts at Rollins College, is the author of ten books of poems. The Queen’s Desertion, I Will Say Beauty, Love and Scorn: New and Selected Poems, all from Northwestern University Press, are her recent volumes. Her poems have appeared in four Pushcart Prize anthologies, and she has been a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. The Poets’ Prize and Elliston Award committees have also honored her work.

Mon, Apr 19: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Poet Alice Notley.  Alice Notley is the author of more than twenty books of poetry including The Descent of Alette and Mysteries of Small Houses. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the L.A. Times Book Award for Poetry. In 2001, she received an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Poetry Society of America’s Shelly Memorial Award. Born in Arizona, Notley grew up in California. She was an important force in the eclectic second generation of the New York school of poetry.

Thu, May 13: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.  Poet Fanny Howe. Fanny Howe has written numerous books of poetry including Gone, (University of California Press, 2003), Selected Poems (UC Press, 2000), On the Ground (Graywolf Press, 2004), and The Lyrics (Graywolf, 2007). She has also written novels, five of them collected in one volume called Radical Love. At seventeen Howe left her home in Boston for California and has since spent her life there and in England, Ireland, and Massachusetts. In recent years she has won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and an award from the Academy of Arts and Letters. She has written two collections of essays, The Wedding Dress (UC Press, 2003) and The Winter Sun (Graywolf, 2009). Howe has three grown children and six little grandchildren; she currently lives on Martha’s Vineyard.

Mon May 31: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.  Poet and writer Anne Waldman. Waldman has written more than 40 books, including the legendary Fast Speaking Woman, the innovative Marriage: A Sentence; and the meditative Structure of the World Compared to a Bubble. Her most recent is Manatee Humanity (2009), a hybrid-poem that explores the nuances of inter-species communication and compassion. It draws on animal lore and encounters, dreams, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and Buddhist ritual. Outrider, a collection of poems, essays, and interviews, is a look at what poetry and the role of the poet can be. Waldman is cofounder, with Allen Ginsberg, of the celebrated Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. Recipient of many awards, she is the Artistic Director for Naropa’s Summer Writing Program, and teaches in New England College’s MFA program.

Mon, Jul 26: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.  Poet Marilyn Hacker.  Marilyn Hacker is the author of a dozen collections of poems, including ESSAYS ON DEPARTURE (Carcanet, 2006) , DESESPERANTO, (Norton, 2003) and WINTER NUMBERS which received the Lenore Marshall Award of the Academy of American Poets.  NAMES will be published by W.W. Norton in the fall of 2009. She has also published ten collections of translations from the French, including Marie Etienne’s KING OF A HUNDRED HORSEMEN (Farrar Strauss and Giroux 2008) which received the Robert Fagles Translation Prize and the 2009 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2008.

Thu, Aug 5: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Poet Arthur Sze.  Arthur Sze is the author of nine books of poetry, including The Ginkgo Light (2009), Quipu (2005), The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese (2001), and The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998 (1998), all from Copper Canyon Press. He is also the editor of Chinese Writers on Writing (forthcoming from Trinity University Press in 2010). His poems have been translated into Albanian, Bosnian, Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, and Turkish. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he served, from 2006-2008, as the city’s first poet laureate.

Mon, Aug 23: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Poet Carol Moldaw. Carol Moldaw’s lyric novel, The Widening, was published by Etruscan Press last spring. She is the author of four books of poetry, The Lightning Field (2003), which won the 2002 FIELD Poetry Prize, Through the Window (2000), Chalkmarks on Stone (1998), and Taken from the River (1993). A recipient of a Lannan Foundation Marfa Writer’s Residency, an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize, Moldaw was born in Oakland, California, and lives outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. So Late, So New: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming from Etruscan Press in 2010.

Thu, Sep 2: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Poet Carl Phillips. Carl Phillips is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Speak Low (FSG, 2009) and Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems 1986-2006 (FSG, 2007).  His awards and honors include the Kingsley Tufts Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Academy of American Poets, to which he was named a Chancellor in 2006.  He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

Mon, Sep 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Poet Adam Zagajewski. Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov in 1945, a largely Polish city that became a part of the Soviet Ukraine shortly after his birth. A major figure of the Polish New Wave literary movement of the early 1970s and of the anti-Communist Solidarity movement of the 1980s, Zagajewski is today one of the most well-known and highly regarded contemporary Polish poets in Europe and the United States. Zagajewski’s most recent books in English are Eternal Enemies (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2008) and Without End: New and Selected Poems (2002), which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. He is also the author of a book of essays and literary sketches, Two Cities: On Exile, History and the Imagination (1995), and Solidarity, Solitude: Essays. When, after September 11, The New Yorker published his poem, “Try to Praise the Mutilated World,” on its back page—a rare departure from the cartoons and parodies that usually occupy that space—it resonated with many readers. He now spends part of the year in Krakow, the city he lived in during the 1960s and ’70s; and he teaches in Chicago.

Thu, Sep 30: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Poet Rikki Ducornet. Rikki Ducornet is the author of seven novels, three collections of short fictions including The One Marvelous Thing (Dalkey Archive 2008), a collection of essays and five books of poetry. She has received a Lannan Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction and an Academy Award from the American Adademy of Arts and Letters. Her paintings have been exhibited widely, most recently at the Museo de la Solidaridad in Santiago, Chile.

Thu, Nov 25: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Poet Forrest Gander. A translator, essayist, and the editor of two anthologies of Mexican poetry, Gander is the author of more than a dozen books, including collaborations with notable artists and photographers. His many books include his first novel As A Friend (2008); the poetry collections Eye Against Eye (with photographs by Sally Mann), Torn Awake, and Science & Steepleflower; and the essay collection, Faithful Existence: Reading, Memory & Transcendence. Translations include Firefly Under the Tongue: Selected Poems of Coral Bracho and, with Kent Johnson, The Night by Jaime Saenz. Gander’s essays have appeared in many national magazines including The Nation, The Boston Review, and American Poetry Review. Gander is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim, Howard, and Whiting Foundations, and he has received two Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry. With poet C.D. Wright, Gander lives in Rhode Island, where he is professor of English and Comparative Literature at Brown University.

Mon, Dec 13: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Poet Susan Mitchell. Susan Mitchell has won many awards for her poetry, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  She has authored three books, most recently Erotikon and Rapture, which won the Kingsley Tufts Book Award and was a National Book Award finalist.  Her poems have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The American Poetry Review, The Yale Review, and Fence, as well as in seven volumes of the Best American Poetry series, and have been awarded three Pushcart prizes.  Mitchell lives in Boca Raton, and teaches in the MFA Writing Program at Florida Atlantic University.

  • 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.

To have great poets, there must be great audiences too.

Your fellow Poet,
Ron Lewis

2 responses

  1. Pingback: The Vermont Poetry Newsletter • January 12 2010 « PoemShape | Castleton, Vermont - 05735

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