Vermont Poetry Newsletter • March 25 2010

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

Vermont Poetry Newsletter

Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State
March 25, 2010 (Previous issue: 02/17) – In This Issue:

  1. About VPN
  2. Newsletter Editor’s Note
  3. Writing Assignment/Suggestion/Exercise/Prompt
  4. The Salon – A New Vermont Literary Magazine
  5. All Things Kunitz
  6. David Barber, The Atlantic’s Poetry Editor
  7. Panhala: Where Poetry and Picture Capture Laughter
  8. David Budbill Poem
  9. Burlington Poetry Journal Update
  10. PSOV Spring Luncheon, Featuring Baron Wormser
  11. A Surge of Language, By Baron Wormser and David Cappella
  12. Intro Prize in Poetry, Four Way Books
  13. 2010 Indiana Review Poetry Prize
  14. Kay Ryan’s Latest Book: The Best Of It
  15. A Poet Who Doesn’t Do Lofty: Tina Chang
  16. 40 Poems That T.S. Eliot Wanted to Hide
  17. Celebrated Poet and OSU Professor Ai Ogawa Dies
  18. Blog Memoriam to Ai Ogawa
  19. Huu Loan, Vietnamese Poet Dies
  20. Did You Know? Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference
  21. Ponderings: 2010 Olympic Games Opens With Poem
  22. Poetry Quote – C.K. Williams (Plus Article)
  23. Failbetter Poem
  24. Linebreak Poem
  25. American Life in Poetry Poems
  26. US Poets Laureate List
  27. Vermont Poet Laureates
  28. US Poet Laureates From Vermont
  29. New Hampshire Poet Laureates
  30. US Poet Laureates From New Hampshire
  31. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  32. Vermont Literary Journals
  33. Vermont Literary Groups’ Anthologies
  34. Vermont Poetry Blogs
  35. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  36. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  37. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  38. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  39. Other Writing Groups in Vermont
  40. Poetry Event Calendar

Newsletter Editor’s Note

1.) About the Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network

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

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

2.) Dear Friends of Poetry:

It’s said that Spring Training can even make cynical old men into poets. Yes, spring has a way of doing that to us; I can say that now that I’ll be evolving into one of those “old men” on the 29th of March, when at long last, I turn 60 years of age.

What happened to those days of our youth, when everything I wrote sounded so alive, so wonderful? I long for those days of “unprotected” verse, that is, until I happen to run across some of those old writings, only to realize how mature my poetry has become.

So it’s spring, and March Madness is upon us. I feel like filling out my bracket with 64 of my best poems, filtering down from 4 top seeds, to a final winner. Could you do that? Do you have a Best Poem? Hasn’t your last poem that you finished seemed like your Numero Uno? Then you go on to write another, then another. If your poems could “play it out” for the Championship, would the poem you picked to win, actually win?

It’s been over a month since the last Vermont Poetry Newsletter; I hope it doesn’t take me a month to put the next one together. If I was to make a guess, and if I make the VPN a bit smaller, you might be able to have a Newsletter every 2-3 weeks.


What’s going to help from this point forward is that I will now be emailing all the poets on my list (over 350) that the next Vermont Poetry Newsletter and Poetry Event Calendar is finished and ready for viewing. I will then let you know where to go on the internet in order to see the Newsletter. It will now be hosted by PoemShape, a blog maintained by poet Patrick Gillespie. In some cases, articles will be links to their residence on the internet. Partnering with Patrick will mean that you will no longer have difficulties in loading the Newsletter, and you will be able to see the images and photos that I’ve been placing in the Newsletter. Until recently, I had no idea that some readers were not getting the images, or that some readers were getting them all stacked together at the end of the Newsletter! I’m so surprised none of you spoke up about your troubles! I know you’ll love the new way to read the VPN. As a bonus, you’ll be able to read some very interesting work by Patrick Gillespie.

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher



Tupelo Press
A note on Writing Prompts:

Some people dislike prompts, while others enjoy them and use them with students and in writers’ groups. We’re interested in hosting an ongoing discussion of the utility and pleasures of writing in response to arbitrary or serendipitous occasions. Please feel welcome to send us your thoughts. Recently we posted three prompts from poet Karen An-hwei Lee, which elicited a circumspect response from poet Dan Beachy-Quick, whose comment sparked poet Paul Bone to reply in defense of prompts. Follow the links to read these commentaries.

What do you think?

Karen An-hwei Lee: “Ten Prompts for Writers” (excerpted from the *Reader’s Companion* for the book Ardor

1) Poetry Project: Ardor Writing Prompts

A selection of writing prompts from the dozen featured in the Reader’s Companion for Karen Ah-hwei Lee’s book Ardor. That guide can be downloaded for free here. [Or click on image at right.]

2) Dan Beachy: Quick: Poetry Project: Some (Skeptical) Thoughts on Prompts

I should admit to a long and increasingly ambivalent relationship to the use of “prompts” in the classroom, as well as in my own writing practice, to the point where now I exclude them almost completely. I’m sure my fear isn’t unique—that offering students a method by which to produce language exacerbates talent at the cost of subtler difficulties. They do have a benefit, of course. A prompt well-used, in my mind, introduces a student to a poetic problem from the inside-out: image, symbol, rhythm, and so on. Better, in one-on-one conference, a prompt, or a suggestion of writing in a particular mode, with a particular purpose, might open a student’s eyes to a latent possibility in his or her own verse that might not be apprehended otherwise…. [Read the rest here…]

3) Paul Bone: Poetry Project: A Defense of Writing Prompts (In reply to Dan Beachy-Quick)

(…) It’s probably inadvertent, but it mystifies the poetic impulse in the wrong way to create yet another image of the anguished poet hunched over the page. Certainly there is a non-rational, compelling voice driving poetry and its composition. Attempts to wrestle poems into prose have been successful, and we need to combat this. To be fair to Plumly and Beachy-Quick, I am probably coming at the teaching of poetry from a different angle. The kinds of classes I teach are hybrids; they are neither workshop entirely (in which I, too, would not assign prompts) nor poetry-appreciation courses. They are poetry-writing classes, and my approach is to practice in the tradition for a good part of the course. (…) [Read the rest here.]


1) Now that Valentine’s Day has come and passed, perhaps there’s a bit of time in your schedule to write a Valentine poem. If you count the inscriptions on Valentine’s Day cards as poems, which I suppose they are, then I have about 6,000 stored away in my attic! Yes, I collect antique Valentine’s Day cards as a hobby, having one of the largest collections in the Eastern US. Every year, in getting ready for various exhibits, I get many of them down, and spend several hours reading through and delighting in them. Like Christmas, it gives me that extra something I need to get me in the mood for the season. Now that the excitement from the Big Day has died down (remember, if it hasn’t, see your doctor), perhaps its time to sit down and write some words of love while those feelings are still fresh.

2) By now, you’ve all heard about tweets and the social networking site, Twitter. Tweets are text posts that are short messages, no longer than 140 characters long, which includes spaces. Perfect for poetry, no? So, your second exercise this week is to build a poem out of a tweet.

Good Luck!

4.) A New Literary Magazine in Vermont!

On Sun, Mar 21, 2010 at 1:19 PM, The Salon wrote:


Hello there – My name is Ben Aleshire; I used to host a radio program devoted to poetry on 105.9, which is probably how I ended up on your email list. Thank you for the newsletter, which I enjoy and I’m sure is a great resource for writers in the region – I’m very suspicious of the internet, but it always makes me happy when its used for the powers of good.

I wanted to let you know that I’m founding a literary magazine, based in Burlington, Vermont, called The Salon: A Journal of Poetry & Fiction. Submissions are currently open for the first issue, due in late April, 2010. The goal of the publication is to provide a middle ground between the gutter and the ivory tower, and to make high-quality local literature more affordable and visible for the general public. More information about subscriptions, advertising and submission guidelines are available online at:

Hope you are well, Ron. I’ll keep you posted about the upcoming release party in late April.


Ben Aleshire

5.) All Things Kunitz

Well, quite a collection, anyway. If you’d like to review the poetic life, and then some, of Stanley Kunitz, I would suggest you get in your pajamas and expect to spend a few hours at a shot looking over what this web site has accumulated on Mr. Kunitz.

6.) Poet in Residence

St. Michael’s College is having a series of poetry readings that includes the likes of Kathryn Maris, Maurice Riordain, Galway Kinnell and David Barber.

David Barber will also be visiting the Otter Creek Poets in April. I recall listening to him speak as part of a panel with the likes of literary magazine editors, and I was surprised by him. Here’s a little homework for you to read, in the event you go hear him talk, or even if you don’t.

7.) Panhala: Where Poetry and Picture Capture Laughter

For those of you who would like something less technical and have some time to yourselves, this site is for you and those times! So, sit back and enjoy yourselves. Guys, tip your chair back and crack your knuckles. Ladies, get your hairbrushes!

The site is “Panhala.” It consists of long lists of great poems, all with musical links found at the bottom of each poem (and some prose), all with gorgeous photos that truly take your breath away. Try a couple!

  • By the way, “Panhala” is Hindi for ‘source of fresh water’ (more or less).

8.) Little Poem Written at Five O’clock in the Morning

All this violence: wars and cruelties–
collective and individual–
carnage of all kinds,
now as always
back to the beginning of time.

Our kind endlessly slaughters itself;
its appetite for self-destruction is boundless.

Yet and still every day the sun rises,
white clouds roll across the sky,
vegetables get planted and grow,
and late in the afternoon someone
sits quietly with a cup of tea.

David Budbill

9.) An update from the Editor of the Burlington Poetry Journal:

Dear Readers of the Burlington Poetry Journal,

I cannot believe how long it has been since our last correspondence, our apologies. Since the publication of “Mud Season”, we have been forced to take an unforeseen hiatus from our duties as editors of the BPJ due to some unfortunate personal events. However, we are back on track and expecting to publish the newest edition of the Journal shortly. We have decided, to be fair to everyone interested in the Journal, to publish on a set tri-yearly calendar with Journals being distributed on the 15th of May, September, and January. I hope that we will continue to be able to share your wonderful poetry. Thank you for your enthusiasm and participation, without your contributions and readership we would not be able to have the Burlington Poetry Journal. I apologize again for the time that it has taken us to complete this last journal. I hope all remains well in your lives,

Heather, Editor BPJ

Hi again,

After receiving many emails, I realize now that I should have mentioned the status of the recent submissions. We are still using the submissions from a while ago, as long as we still have permission to do so. Letters should be emailed in about two weeks regarding which ones we have chosen.

Take care, and thank you for your words of encouragement.

Heather, Editor BPJ

10.) Special Note: PSOV Spring Luncheon on May 1st Featuring Poet Baron Wormser

The PSOV (Poetry Society of Vermont) will be having its annual Spring Luncheon at a new location, central to many of our fine member poets. That location is the Huntington House Inn in Rochester, Vermont, the very heart of our state. This beautiful inn is along the easternmost edge of the 4-acre central park in the middle of town (look for a tall white gazebo). Go online and take a look at the inn before you leave, then you’ll easily recognize it when you get there:.

PSOV members will be receiving a notice in the coming weeks explaining the details of the Spring Luncheon, along with a fine menu selection. We hope you’ll make this Spring Luncheon a huge success again by bringing your friends, family and future PSOV members!

Of course, the main feature of the Spring Luncheon will be the opportunity to listen to and rub shoulders with poet Baron Wormser, now a resident of Cabot, Vermont. Baron is the author of seven acclaimed collections of poetry and co-author of two influential books on teaching poetry. In 2000, Baron was appointed Poet Laureate of the State of Maine. He is currently the Associate Director for the 2010 Conference on Poetry and Teaching at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire.

See you on the 1st!

Go to the PSOV web site for further details and for contacts in order to make your reservations.

11.) A Surge of Language

Interestingly enough, poet Baron Wormser is loved so much by a Vermont innkeeper (Mt. Philo Inn) that they maintain a gallery of his work on their web site.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Baron is also the brother-in-law of the innkeepers, too!

12.) Intro Prize in Poetry

2010 Intro Prize in Poetry
Judge: Alan Shapiro

Submission Dates: January 1 – March 31, 2010 : Electronic or mail submissions accepted.

Awarding publication of a book-length collection and $1000.00

Open to any poet writing in English who has not previously published a book-length poetry collection

For Complete Guidelines please visit:
Four Way Books
P.O. Box 535 Village Station
New York, New York 10014

13.) 2010 Indiana Review Poetry Prize


Please forward to all interested parties the following information regarding our upcoming poetry prize.

Circle your calendars! April 16th is the deadline for the 2010 Indiana Review Poetry Prize. Aimee Nezhukumatathil will be judging. The winner will receive publication in the magazine and $1,000. All entries will be considered for publication and all entrants will receive a one-year subscription to IR…


Stealthy Insights Amid Short Phrases

Published: March 4, 2010

Kay Ryan’s poems are as slim as runway models, so tiny you could almost tweet them. Their compact refinement, though, does not suggest ease or chic. Her voice is quizzical and impertinent, funny in uncomfortable ways, scuffed by failure and loss. Her mastery, like Emily Dickinson’s, has some awkwardness in it, some essential gawkiness that draws you close. (…)

15.) A Poet Who Doesn’t Do Lofty


AFTER Tina Chang puts her 7-month-old son, Roman, to bed, she pads, barefoot, about three feet over to her office, where a desk cohabits with the changing table. She opens the window to take in the sights and sounds of her neighborhood, Park Slope — men arguing on the street, neighbors sipping wine on fire escapes, apartment lights twinkling. She opens a spiral notebook from the 99-cent store and begins scribbling. One night she started with a recipe for black bean sauce, another with the first line of a rejection letter from a literary journal, another with a to-do list. (….)

  • Whether or not to publish the work of J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye) posthumously is not a new quandary. Back in 1996, the argument surrounded the work of T.S. Eliot, as described in the article below.

16.) 40 Poems That Eliot Wanted to Hide, Including Some on the Bawdy Side
Published: September 23, 1996

LONDON, Sept. 22— The poet’s instructions could not have been more clear. ”I beg you fervently to keep them to yourself and see that they are never printed,” T. S. Eliot wrote in 1922. He was 34, and he was preparing to sell a notebook full of early poems to a friend named John Quinn, for $140.
For 74 years, Eliot’s wishes were respected, more or less. Although several of the poems have appeared in published letters, and several others in an anthology of off-color verse, the notebook itself turned up in the New York Public Library in the late 1960’s. Since then, scholars have been allowed to read and refer to the poems, but have been forbidden to quote from them directly.
That has all just changed, however. With the publication here of Eliot’s notebook in a thickly annotated volume called ”Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909-1917,” more than 40 poems never before seen by the public have been made available. The title is Eliot’s, written on the first page of the brown leather notebook, then crossed out. (….)

17.) Celebrated poet and OSU professor Ai Ogawa dies

By Kristen McConnaughey
Administration Reporter
Published: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

OSU creative writing professor and poet Ai Ogawa, 62, died from illness Saturday.

“She was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday,” said Carol Moder, OSU English department head.

According to her obituary, Ai received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in Oriental Studies and a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of California-Irvine. (….)

18.) Here is Jerry William’s blog:
In Memoriam to Ai (1947 – 2010) by Jerry Wiliams

When I was in high school and college I started seeing work in literary magazines by a woman with this exotic name who wrote what every other poet seemed too afraid to write—disturbing poems, violent, sexy, unspeakably moving, grief-stricken, harrowing, cutting, beautiful, and yet the verse seemed skillfully controlled and peaceable. For me, most other poets sat in the back seat and Ai drove (which is ironic because she never in her life, from what I understand, possessed a driver’s license). I sort of mythologized her, and I knew I wanted to be her kind of poet—if the world would let me be one—fearless. I know it might sound extreme, but why waste time on flowers when you have knives? As I learned more about Ai, I read her many books, felt her influence growing in me. Years and years later, I ended up at Oklahoma State University where Ai taught creative writing. She blurbed my first collection of poems, served on my dissertation committee. (….)

19.) Vietnamese Poet Dies


HANOI—Huu Loan, a Vietnamese poet best known for an autobiographical epic of love and the cruelty of war, has died at the age of 95 in his home village in the northern province of Thanh Hoa.

His most famous work, “The Purple Color of Sim Flowers” (in Vietnamese, “Mau Tim Hoa Sim”), describes a love story set against the background of war and conflict.
It became popular in both the Communist North and the U.S.-backed South during the Vietnam War (1959-75).

The poem was based on Huu Loan’s own love affair with his first wife, Nguyen Thi Ninh, and tells the story of a young Vietcong officer who learns of his young wife’s death when he passes through his home village on the way to war. (….)

20.) Did You Know?

That the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference is one of America’s most valuable literary institutions?

For the past 85 years, the workshops, lectures, and classes, held in the shadow of the Green Mountains, have introduced generations of participants to rigorous practical and theoretical approaches to the craft of writing, and given America itself proven models of literary instruction. Bread Loaf is not a retreat—not a place to work in solitude. Instead it provides a stimulating community of diverse voices in which are tested our own assumptions regarding literature and seek advice about our progress as writers.

21.) “Ponderings”

The opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C. included a ceremonies poem. Here is the text of that poem:

We Are More
By Shane Koyczan

Define Canada
You might say the home of the Rocket
Or The Great One
Who inspired little No. 9s and little No. 99s
But we’re more than just hockey and fishing lines
Off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes
And some say what defines us (….)

22.) Poetry Quote by C.K. Williams

“A poem begins with a sound, idea, (perhaps) the sounds of a few words . . . it’s like a process. I get into it.”

  • My sincere apologies to all who read the Vermont Poetry Newsletter, as I missed a reading and lecture by poet C.K. Williams at Middlebury College on March 10th. Here’s the college newspaper’s article about the reading, which is the least I can do for you C.K. enthusiasts. Ron Lewis


Venus in Furs
Monica Ferrell

A dream of zebras breaks up
In the eye of morning the way the image
On a well scatters with one thrown coin.
I’ve said before, I don’t mind living alone. (….)

24.) Linebreak

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

Sussing Out
BY Will Schutt

Wednesday’s garbage.
Swearing off the good stuff.
Watching early-birds rile a mist
from the slope (a trail of a trail of last car out). (….)


American Life in Poetry: Column 253

Animals are incapable of reason, or so we’ve been told, but we imaginative humans keep talking to our dogs and cats as if they could do algebra. In this poem, Ann Struthers looks into the mystery of instinctive behavior.

Not Knowing Why

Adolescent white pelicans squawk, rustle,
flap their wings,
lift off in a ragged
spiral at imaginary danger.
What danger on this island in the middle
of Marble Lake? They’re off to feel (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 255

A honeymoon. How often does one happen according to the dreams that preceded it? In this poem, Wesley McNair, a poet from Maine, describes a first night of marriage in a tawdry place. But all’s well that ends well.

For My Wife

How were we to know, leaving your two kids
behind in New Hampshire for our honeymoon
at twenty-one, that it was a trick of cheap
hotels in New York City to draw customer
like us inside by displaying a fancy lobby?
Arriving in our fourth-floor room, we found
a bed, a scarred bureau, and a bathroom door
with a cut on one side the exact shape (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 257

Often when I dig some change out of my jeans pocket to pay somebody for something, the pennies and nickels are accompanied by a big gob of blue lint. So it’s no wonder that I was taken with this poem by a Massachusetts poet, Gary Metras, who isn’t embarrassed.


It doesn’t bother me to have
lint in the bottoms of pant pockets;
it gives the hands something to do,
especially since I no longer hold
shovel, hod, or hammer
in the daylight hours of labor (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 258

This marks the fourth time we’ve published a poem by David Baker, one of my favorite writers. Baker lives in Granville, Ohio, and teaches at Denison University. He is also the poetry editor for the distinguished Kenyon Review.

Old Man Throwing a Ball

He is tight at first, stiff, stands there atilt
tossing the green fluff tennis ball down
the side alley, but soon he’s limber, 
he’s letting it fly and the black lab

lops back each time. These are the true lovers,
this dog, this man, and when the dog stops
to pee, the old guy hurries him back, then
hurls the ball farther away. Now his mother (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 259

Wisconsin writer Freya Manfred is not only a fine poet but the daughter of the late Frederick Manfred, a distinguished novelist of the American west. Here is a lovely snapshot of her father, whom I cherished among my good friends.

Green Pear Tree in September
On a hill overlooking the Rock River
my father’s pear tree shimmers,
in perfect peace,
covered with hundreds of ripe pears
with pert tops, plump bottoms (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 260

This column marks our fifth anniversary, and we send you our thanks for supporting what we try to accomplish here.

These days are brim full of bad news about our economy—businesses closing, people losing their houses, their jobs. If there’s any comfort in a situation like this, it’s in the fact that there’s a big community of sufferers. Here’s a poem by Dana Bisignani, who lives in Indiana, that describes what it feels like to sit through a bankruptcy hearing.

Bankruptcy Hearing

They have us corralled
in the basement of the courthouse.
One desk and a row of folding chairs—
just like first grade, our desks facing Teacher
in neat little rows. (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 261
All over this country, marriage counselors and therapists are right now speaking to couples about unspoken things. In this poem, Andrea Hollander Budy, an Arkansas poet, shows us one of those couples, suffering from things done and undone.


They decide finally not to speak
of it, the one blemish in their otherwise
blameless marriage. It happened

as these things do, before the permanence
was set, before the children grew
complicated, before the quench (….)

26.) 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.


Historical List of Vermont Poets Laureate

July 26, 2007-Present: Ruth Stone, Goshen (b. June 8, 1915)
March 5, 2003 – July 25, 2007: Grace Paley, Thetford (b. December 11, 1922, d. August 22, 2007 of breast cancer)
1999-2002: Ellen Bryant Voigt, Cabot (b. May 9, 1943)
1994-1998: Louise Glück, Cambridge, MA (b. April 22, 1943)
1989-1993: Galway Kinnell, Sheffield (b. February 1, 1927)
July 22, 1961-1963: Robert Frost, Ripton (b. March 26, 1874, d. January 29, 1963 of pulmonary embolism)

Position History:
 According to a February 7, 2003 press release from the Vermont Arts Council, “Robert Frost was declared Poet Laureate in 1961 [upon the adoption of Joint House Resolution 54 by the General Assembly]. In 1988 Governor Kunin re-established the position. (Reference: Executive Order No 69, 1988) Galway Kinnell was the first State Poet named for a term of 4 years as a result of this order in 1989.” The Arts Council further notes that “at the direction of the Governor [it] conducts the selection process for the State Poet by convening an advisory/selection panel. The Vermont State Poet is a person whose primary residence is in Vermont; whose poetry manifests a high degree of excellence; who has produced a critically acclaimed body of work; and who has a long association with Vermont.”


Historical list of United States Poets Laureate from Vermont

1958-1959: Robert Frost, Ripton (b. March 26, 1874, d. January 29, 1963 of pulmonary embolism)
August, 2003-2004: Louise Glück, Cambridge, MA (b. April 22, 1943)


Historical List of New Hampshire Poets Laureate

March 2004 – Present: Charles E. Butts
January 2006 – March 2009: Patricia Fargnoli
March 2004 – December 2005: Cynthia Huntington
October, 1999 – March 2004: Marie Harris, Barrington
December 1995 – March 1999: Donald Hall, Wilmot
January 1995 – March 1999: Jane Kenyon, Wilmot
March 1989 – March 1994: Maxine Kumin, Warner
June, 1984 – January 1989: Donald Hall, Danbury
January 1979 – January 1984: Richard G. Eberhart, Hanover
August 1972 – December 1978: Eleanor Vinton, Concord
September 1968 – July 1972: Paul Scott Mowrer


Historical list of United States Poets Laureate from New Hampshire

2007-2008: Charles Simic, Strafford
2006-2007: Donald Hall, Wilmot
1981-1982: Maxine Kumin, Warner
1959-1961: Richard Eberhart
1958-1959: Robert Frost, Derry


  • 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


5) 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

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.


1) Vermont Voices, An Anthology

Published by the League of Vermont Writers periodically. They have just published their 3rd anthology.

  • Vermont Voices I (published in 1991)
  • Vermont Voices II (published in 1995)
  • Vermont Voices III (published in 1999)

2) *See Below

Published by the Otter Creek Poets periodically. They have just published their 3rd volume.

  • By the Waterfall (published in 1999)
  • Maps and Voyages (published in 2004)
  • Line By Line (published in 2006)

No web site to date. All editions and issues out of print and no longer available.

3) League of Vermont Writers

Published by the Mad River Poets periodically. They have just published their 3rd volume.

  • Pebbles from the Stream (published in 2002)
  • Maps and Voyages (published in 2004)
  • Line By Line (published in 2006)

4) The Mountain Troubadour

  • Published by the Poetry Society of Vermont annually.


Patrick Gillespie maintains a bright, intelligent blog. There is a decided bias in favoring poetry that is written in meter, that uses form, or that plays with language in ways that separate poetry from prose – rhetoric, imagery, simile, metaphor, conceit, rhyme, meter — Traditional Poetry.

One can subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new postings by email.


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 a.m. -12:00 p.m.)- 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:… 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


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. (…) Click on Typewriter for more…



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! For more info,


The League of Vermont WritersThe 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:

  • Help writers develop their skills
  • Promote responsible and ethical writing and writing practices
  • Increase communication between professional writers and publishers
  • Promote an enduring appreciation for the power of the word

The LVW publishes Vermont Voices, An Anthology, at irregular times. They have published 3 separate volumes to date.

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.
Tue, Mar 30: Library and Learning Center, 337 College Hill, Johnson State College, Johnson, 4:00 p.m. Multilingual Poetry Jam. Lovers of language share excerpts of favorite works from all cultures. Ellsworth Room. Info, 635-1476,
Tue, Mar 30: St. Michael’s College, Colchester, Pomerleau Alumni Center, 4:30 p.m. The first in a series of poetry readings: Kathryn Maris & Maurice Riordain. Sponsored by the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers, along with Saint Michael’s Student Life. The (Antonio and Rita) Pomerleau Alumni Center, dedicated in 2009, is located on Route 15, but entered from Lime Kiln Road, in Colchester. If you come from Winooski, or I-89, take Exit 15 and head east on Route 15, turn right at the traffic lights onto Lime Kiln Road and then take the first right turn into the Alumni Center (it’s near the corner of Route 15 and Lime Kiln Road). It sits between the President’s Residence and the Holcomb Observatory. All readings are free and open to the public. For info, 654-2536. For map of campus,

Wed, Mar 31:
Fleming Museum, 61 Colchester Avenue, UVM, 6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ‘The Painted Word’ – Stanza scribblers express their love of verse at a Burlington Poets Society meeting, followed with readings by Isaac Cates and Abby Paige. Admission, $3-$5. Info, 656-0750.
Wed, Mar 31: Phoenix Books (at the Essex Shoppes & Cinema), 21 Essex Way, #407, Essex, 6:30 p.m. “Our Community Writes Poetry.” Kicking off National Poetry Month, Vermonters step up to an open mic with original or favorite lines. Hosted by Yvette Gottshall. Info, 872-7111, Please call 872-7111 to sign up.

Thu, Apr 1:
Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, Meeting Room, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Heath Rumble, Sorryll Suter and Ben Weinstock, co-editors of Calliope, the literary magazine of Middlebury Union High School, will share this year’s publications and their own work with the Otter Creek Poets during their regular weekly meeting time.

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.

Fri: Apr 2:
Waterbury American Legion Post 59, 16 Stowe Street, Waterbury, 7:00 p.m. Poetry Slam. “All Ages”! Slammers bring 2 original poems, each of which they can present in 3 minutes or less. All-ages audience also warmly invited! Slammers sign up ten minutes before posted start time. Co-sponsored by the Waterbury Public Library with Harwood Union High School.

Wed, Apr 6:
The Galaxy Bookshop, 7 Mill Street, Hardwick, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Peggy Sapphire. Celebrate Poetry Month with a reading by Craftsbury poet Peggy Sapphire. Her latest book of poems is titled In the End a Circle. Info, 472-5533.

Thu, Apr 7:
Norwich Bookstore, 291 Main Street, Norwich, 7:00 p.m. Selected Readings from Bloodroot Literary Magazine. The third edition of the Bloodroot Literary Magazine features the diverse prose and poetry of 50 writers from across the country. Eight contributors – Scott Atkins, Andrea Bates, Danny Dover, Jack Gundy, Susan Kowalsky, Marjorie N. Matthews, Ivy Schweitzer, and Suzie Woods – who live in or have ties to the region will read from their work, including recipients of the first annual Bloodroot Poetry Award.

(This event will be held at the Norwich Bookstore, reservations are recommended, 802-649-1114 or
Thu, Apr 8: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, Meeting Room, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. David Weinstock, leader of the Otter Creek Poets, will read from his current project, Life List, with the Otter Creek Poets during their regular weekly meeting time.
Thu, Apr 8: St. Michael’s College, Colchester, Hoehl Welcome Center, 7:00 p.m. The second in a series of poetry readings, and the second annual reading in John Engels; memory. The John Engels’ Memorial Reading: Galway Kinnell. From Exit 15, Interstate 89: Main Entrance – Hoehl Welcome Center
Bear right off of exit 15, Interstate 89. Stay in right lane and follow Route 15 through two lights. After second light bear right into “jug handle” and go through intersection to campus. South Entrance
Bear right off of exit 15, Interstate 89 and get into left lane. At first set of lights, take left into parking lot. McCarthy Arts Center is on your right. Ross Sports Center is on the left at the back of the parking lot. All readings are free and open to the public. For info, 654-2536. For map of campus,
Thu, Apr 8: New Haven Public Library, 50 North Street, New Haven, 7:00 p.m. The Spring Street Poets, including New Haven residents Janet Fancher and Mary Pratt, will read, along with several other Spring Street members.
Fri, Apr 9: The Vermont Book Shop, 38 Main Street, Middlebury, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. A Middlebury Arts Walk event. Hear each of 8 local poets read and talk about the writers they most admire.
Sat, Apr 10: The Art House, Middlebury Marble Works, 99 Maple Street, #202, 8:00 p.m. Come celebrate National Poetry Month with these Five Spice Poets of high acclaim: Lois Adams, author of Body and Soul, Patricia Markert, author of Watched You Disappear, and Constance Norgren, author of Same Boat. They will read from their chapbooks as well as new unpublished work. All three authors contributed to the anthology To Genesis, published by 5 Spice Press of Brooklyn, New York. Presenter will be Mary Swanson. For info, 458-0464,,
Mon, Apr 12: Warren Public Library, 42 Cemetery Road, Warren, 6:30 p.m. Poetry Slam. “All Ages”! Slammers bring 2 original poems, each of which they can present in 3 minutes or less. All-ages audience also warmly invited! Slammers sign up ten minutes before posted start time.
Tue, Apr 13: Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m.. Three Vermont Poets: Ossman, Sapphire and Wormser. For info, 229-1069.
Wed, Apr 14: Marlboro College, 2582 South Road, Marlboro, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Senior Amanda DeBisschop will read selections from the poetry she has written for her Plan of Concentration. As a poet, she is interested in memory, ordinary life, and the emotional geography of human experience. Her work has been influenced by authors like Galway Kinnell and Plato. Info,
Thu, Apr 15: Ilsley Library, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Poet Leonard Gibbs to give a reading. Leonard Gibbs will give a presentation of his poetry. Gibbs has been a member of the Otter Creek Poets and the Poetry Society of Vermont for several years. The program will include readings of sixteen poems, each introduced by the poet and read by Kathleen McKinley Harris, Page Hudson, Ronald Lewis and David Parkinson. All are invited. Please join us at this event, honoring sixty years of the poet’s work.
Thu, Apr 15: St. Michael’s College, Colchester, St. Edmund’s Hall, Farrell Room, 7:00 p.m. The third and last in a series of poetry readings. David Barber. Take Exit 15, Interstate 89 to get to campus. St. Edmund’s Hall is near Jeanmarie Hall and Klein Center. All readings are free and open to the public. For info, 654-2536. For map of campus,
Fri, Apr 16: 51 “51 Main @ The Bridge,” 51 Main Street, Middlebury, 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. “Verbal Onslaught” Open Mic. Who: Shy, Outspoken, Comedic, Sad, Loud, Quiet, Urban, Rural, and Fly poets welcome. Hosted by Dane Verret “12 and The Trusion Project.”
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.
Tue, Apr 20: Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m.. Poets Pamela Harrison and Gary Margolis read. For info, 229-1069.

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Pamela Harrison is a 1968 graduate of Smith College, and the Vermont College Master of Fine Arts in Writing. Her first chapbook, Noah’s Daughter, won the 1988 Panhandler Prize from the University of West Florida, and Pudding House Press published her Greatest Hits in 2002. That same year, Ms. Harrison won the PEN Northern New England Discovery Poet Award. She was invited to read in the Poetry-at-Noon Reading Series at the Library of Congress in 2003. Her first full length collection, Stereopticon, was published by David Robert Books of Cincinnati in 2004. Her second collection, Okie Chronicles (also from David Robert Books, 2005), is a novel in poems recounting the misadventures of an extended farming family on the plains of Oklahoma during the 1950’s. Adjunct faculty in English Literature and Creative Writing for the University System of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College, Ms. Harrison has won fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and the Vermont Studio Center. Ms. Harrison has lived abroad in Finland, England, Uganda, Canada, Carriacou, and Mexico. Recently, she collaborated with her husband, Dr. Dennis McCullough, on My Mother,

Your Mother, an anticipatory guide for families caring for frail elders, from Harper Collins, 2008.
Gary Margolis is Executive Director of College Mental Health Services and Associate Professor of English and American Literatures (part-time) at Middlebury College. A former Robert Frost Fellow and staff member at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, he is a recipient of a Vermont Council on the Arts award. Saint Michael’s College Department of Clinical Psychology selected him for the first annual Sam Dietzel Award for mental health practice in Vermont. His poems have been featured on National Public Radio’s “The Story” and Boston’s Channel Five “The Chronicle.” His books have been published by the University of Georgia and Autumn House Presses. He lives with his wife in Cornwall, Vermont.

Tue, Apr 20: The Galaxy Bookshop, 7 Mill Street, Hardwick, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Open Mic Night. Info, 472-5533.

Wed, Apr 21: The Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m. Vermont Poet Tim Mayo and former New Hampshire Poet Laureate Patricia Fargnoli will read from their recently published collections: The Kingdom of Possibilities

(Mayapple Press) and Then, Something (Tupelo Press).

Thu, Apr 22: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, Meeting Room, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Poet Sara London will read from and sign copies of her new collection, The Tyranny of Milk (2010, Four Way Books), sharing her work with the Otter Creek Poets during their regular weekly meeting time. Sara London was born in San Francisco, grew up in California and Vermont, and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has worked as an editor in New York, and as a journalist on Cape Cod. Currently she teaches creative writing and literature at Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges, and has previously taught at Amherst College. Her poems have appeared in such venues as The Iowa Review, Poety East, Hudson Review, the Poetry Daily anthology, AGNI Online, Salamander, Mid-American Review and elsewhere. She is also the author of two children’s books (pub. by HarperCollins and Scholastic). She lives with her husband, writer Dean Albarelli, in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Wed Apr 23-25: 3rd Annual Manchester Poets & Writers Weekend: Text in Motion, Image, Story and Song. Sponsored by the Greater Manchester Arts Council. The weekend will include readings, seminars and workshops on a variety of topics including: memoir writing, Journalism, writing children’s literature, writing fiction, play writing, story telling and more. The Northshire Bookstore will be hosting three sessions: Faculty and Guest Readings, a Publishing Panel, and Publishing on Demand; other locations in Manchester are also involved. For more information about or to register for the Poets and Writers Weekend visit the Greater Manchester Arts Council at or call 802-867-0272.

Sat, Apr 24:
Poet Nancy Means Wright and Documentary Film Maker Holly Stadler. Spring meeting of the League of Vermont Writers. Location TBD. For info,

Tue, Apr 27:
Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m.. Open Poetry Reading. For info, 229-1069. Info, 223-3338.
Tue, Apr 27: Thu, Apr 7: Norwich Bookstore, 291 Main Street, Norwich, 7:00 p.m. An Evening of Poetry & Dessert! The Upper Valley abounds with wordsmiths and so each April, in celebration of National Poetry Month, we host an Evening of Poetry. This year we are joining forces with the Norwich Public Library. Bring a treat to share and a poem to read or just come and listen, and enjoy a pot-luck dessert… 

(This event will be held at the Norwich Public Library. Please call 802-649-1114 or for more information.)

Tue, Apr 27: Wallingford Town Hall, 7:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. An Evening of Vermont Poetry. To celebrate National Poetry Month, the Wallingford Historical Society will hold a coffee house evening of poetry. We encourage you to bring a poem about Wallingford or Vermont to be read. Participation is not required for attendance. Info, Chris Bannerman, 446-3560.

Thu, Apr 28:
Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, Meeting Room, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. David Barber. David, this year’s Robert Frost Fellow at Middlebury College and the poetry editor of The Atlantic, will read from his latest collection, Wonder Cabinet (2006, Triquarterly Press) with the Otter Creek Poets during their regular weekly meeting time. David Barber is the poetry editor of The Atlantic. His first book, The Spirit Level, won the Terrence Des Pres Prize. Barber’s poetry and criticism have appeared in such publications as Field, The New England Review, The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly Review.

Wed, Apr 28:
The Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m.
“The Music of Poetry,” Michael Arnowitt’s newest lecture-demonstration, explores the musical aspects of poetry, song lyrics, and literature. The talk offers a musician’s insights on the elements of sound and time in literary composition and the parallels he hears between the creations of great writers and the music of past and present classical composers and jazz and pop songwriters.

Fri, Apr 30:
Middlebury College, Axinn Center Abernethy Room, 4:30 p.m. Jennifer Grotz reads. Jennifer Grotz has published her work frequently in New England Review, with new poems forthcoming this spring, and she is the assistant director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her second book of poems, THE NEEDLE, is forthcoming in Spring 2011. Her first book of poems, CUSP, was chosen by Yusef Komunyakaa for the Bakeless Prize and also received the Natalie Ornish Best First Book Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. Her poems, essays, and translations from both the French and Polish appear widely in journals such as NEW ENGLAND REVIEW, KENYON REVIEW, PLOUGHSHARES, and AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW, and in anthologies such as BEST AMERICAN POETRY and LEGITIMATE DANGERS. She teaches poetry and translation at the University of Rochester. Info, Carolyn Kuebler, 443-2195.

Fri, Apr 30:
Aldrich Public Library, 6 Washington Street, Barre, 6:30 p.m. Poetry Slam. “All Ages”! Slammers bring 2 original poems, each of which they can present in 3 minutes or less. All-ages audience also warmly invited! Slammers sign up ten minutes before posted start time.

Sat, May 1:
Huntington House Inn, Rochester, 12:00 Noon. PSOV Spring Luncheon. Go to the PSOV (Poetry Society of Vermont) web site for further details and for contacts in order to make your reservations:

Sat, May 8:
Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, Meeting Room, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Writing What Matters. Writers in all genres learn how to put their own strongest drives and feelings into your writing in an all day workshop. Led by David Weinstock, sponsored by the League of Vermont Writers. $40 includes refreshments; bring your own lunch.

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.

Wed, Aug 11
– Sat, Aug 21: Ripton. Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Bread Loaf is the oldest writers’ conference in America. Since 1926–a generation before “creative writing” became a course of study in educational settings–it has convened in mid-August at the Bread Loaf campus of Middlebury College. Faculty includes Marianne Boruch, Linda Gregerson, Jane Hirshfield, Carl Phillips, Alberto Rios, David Rivard, Stanley Plumly, Martha Rhodes and C. Dale Young.

Set in the Green Mountain National Forest in Ripton, Vermont, the land was acquired in the nineteenth century by Joseph Battell, breeder of Morgan horses, proprietor of the local newspaper, and spirited lover of nature. He added a cupola and three-story wings to an existing Victorian farmhouse, and built a series of cottages to house his summer guests. Ultimately, Battell purchased more than 30,000 acres of forest and farmland in the mountains, and in 1915, willed all of it to Middlebury College. The College established a graduate school of English and American literature-still in session for six weeks every summer-and housed it on the Bread Loaf campus.

The impulse to establish the “Conferences on Writing” came initially from Robert Frost, who loved the inspiring setting. Willa Cather, Katherine Lee Bates, and Louis Untermeyer–all of whom taught at the School of English in 1922–also suggested that the campus be used for a writers’ conference when it was vacant at the end of each August. The idea took hold. At Middlebury College’s request, the young editor John Farrar organized a teaching staff and program.

The writers John Farrar attracted to the campus in the first few years-among them Stephen Vincent Benet and Hervey Allen-helped established the reputation of what came to be called the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. They were followed by a long line of writers with established reputations, as well as writers in more formative years, for whom Bread Loaf was a source of encouragement.
The buildings at Bread Loaf have been modernized in the years since Joseph Battell stood near the horse-block, welcoming guests as they alighted from carriages. The old stage route up the steep pitches and hairpin twists of the Ripton Gorge has been paved. Despite concessions to convenience, the campus has changed little in the last half century. The old wood-shingled Bread Loaf Inn, the huge Barn with its fieldstone fireplace, the outlying buildings with their porches and wicker chairs, the stillness of the surrounding forest-all are much as they were in 1926 when the Conference began.

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.

Fri, Oct 15
– Sun, Oct 17: New York City, New York. Poets Forum. The Academy of American Poets invites you to join them in New York City for the Poets Forum, a series of events exploring the ever-changing landscape of contemporary poetry in America. This year’s events will feature new in-depth discussions with an array of distinguished poets, readings, publication parties, and a new selection of literary walking tours, led by poets, throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Info,

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.

La poesía
es la ruptura instantánea
instantáneamente cicatrizada
abierta de nuevo
por la mirada de los otros

is a sudden rupture
suddenly healed
and torn open again
by the glances of the others
Octavio Paz

“One of the obligations of the writer, and
perhaps especially of the poet, is
to say or sing all that he or she can,
to deal with as much of the world as
becomes possible to him or her in language.”
Denise Levertov

Your fellow Poet,
Ron Lewis
Bye until next month!

4 responses

  1. Great Newsletter Ron

    the printer lulls my mind
    asleep with poetic pauses
    clauses in my consciousness
    which break the lines
    into volumes of words
    woven to form
    a prize winning poem


  2. Thank you for your kind words, Pacuna. The Newsletter has a little something for everyone, and in your case, something very stimulating. Get that journal out! I hope to hear more of your work in the near future.

  3. This is an amazing newsletter, and organized! I have not found anything as inclusive or extensive here in South Carolina.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: