Vermont Poetry Newsletter • June 7 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
June 8, 2010 (Previous issue: 05/12) – In This Issue:

  1. About VPN/How To PrintNewsletter
  2. Editor’s Note
  3. Writing Assignment/Suggestion/Exercise/Prompt
  4. Alan Sillitoe (1928-2010)
  5. TLS, The Times Literary Supplement
  6. Still Crazy, Writing About Life After 50
  7. Poets @ Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2010
  8. New Book on Poet Pernette Du Guillet
  9. How to Read a Poem
  10. Sin City Poetry Review
  11. Dennis Hopper (1936-2010)
  12. The Salon: A New Lit Magazine
  13. Route Seven: A New Lit Magazine
  14. The Death of Fiction?
  15. Poems about The Moon
  16. Quibbles.org
  17. Poets for Living Waters – Call for Gulf Coast Poems
  18. When Poets Rocked Russia’s Stadiums
  19. Scientists Discover Meteor Event in Walt Whitman Poem
  20. Did You Know? Peter Orlovsky, Ginsberg Partner, Dies in VT
  21. Ponderings: Dennis Hopper Reads Kipling’s “If”
  22. Poetry Quote – Yevgeny Yevtushenko
  23. Failbetter Poem
  24. Linebreak Poem
  25. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  26. American Life in Poetry Poems
  27. US Poets Laureate List
  28. Vermont Poet Laureates
  29. US Poet Laureates From Vermont
  30. New Hampshire Poet Laureates
  31. US Poet Laureates From New Hampshire
  32. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  33. Vermont Literary Journals
  34. Vermont Literary Groups’ Anthologies
  35. Vermont Poetry Blogs
  36. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  37. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  38. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  39. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  40. Other Writing Groups in Vermont
  41. 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:

Many of you are now receiving my email that alerts you to when a new Vermont Poetry Newsletter is ready for viewing, along with a fully updated Poetz.com calendar of events. This procedure seems to be working beautifully, and seems to have had an invigorating effect on Vermont’s poetry “scene” as well as for Patrick Gillespie’s poetry blog: https://poemshape.wordpress.com/.

I must say that what many of you bring to the Vermont poetry table is really astounding to me. We have Geof Hewitt doing so much for our youth, in Slam Poetry. A David Weinstock, Joni Cole and April Ossmann making available writing seminars. Poetry groups and guilds seem to be around every corner. BigTown Gallery in Rochester coming up huge as a great new poetry venue. The list goes on and on. Now I’ve learned a little about a project that poet Martin Gil is putting together beginning this month, a 44 page one act play, 6 poems enfolded in the playscript. Believe me, I’d love to attend every poetry-related event that comes across my desk, but I guess my job is to bring the news of such events to all of you to enjoy. The VPN is my particular calling, my project. Please know, though, that I’m with all of you in making your ambitious, dedicated efforts more successful (willingly promoting it in the VPN), that I am very much interested in what you’re doing, and that I would be there with you if I could. Please accept my apologies if I can’t be right there with you bringing your remarkable gifts to the world of poetry.

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher
247-5913

3.) WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISES

CURRENT WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/ EXERCISE/PROMPT:

What could be better for a writing prompt that a dream, a really BAD dream. The Laker’s beating the Celtics, your Mom finding something out about you that you had wanted to keep secret, a blown head gasket – you name it! If you can’t think of anything worth writing about, take a nap and try recalling where your mind had been.

PREVIOUS WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/ EXERCISE/PROMPT:

April-June Poetry Challenge

In his book, Richer Entanglements, Gregory Orr suggests that there are four temperaments to a poet. He explains:
I’d like to propose that poets are born with a certain innate form-giving temperament that allows them to forge language into the convincing unities we call poems. This form-giving gift is more important than any other a poem might possess. Different poets are born with different temperaments, and the nature of their temperaments determines essential qualities of the poems they write. (….)

4.) Alan Sillitoe, 1928–2010

Lucifer’s Decision
by Alan Sillitoe;
introduced by Michael Caines

Alan Sillitoe died earlier this week, on April 25; compared to his novels, his poetry has received relatively little critical attention. The bestselling author of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner was also the author of “The Rats” (1960), a poem in which all bureaucrats are condemned as the rodents of the title. He was also married to a poet, Ruth Fainlight, and both writers contributed to the TLS, with varying degrees of regularity, over the past five decades.

“Lucifer’s Decision” is part of a verse sequence, “Snow on the North Side of Lucifer”, of which the TLS published four extracts in July 1978. (….)

5.) Looking for a great Poem-of-the-Week?

TLS, The Times Literary Supplement, offers up out-of-the-ordinary poems that tell me they’re mingling with today’s finest contemporary poets.

6.) A note from our friends at Bloodroot literary magazine:

Here’s a new publication opportunity for those of you writing about life after 50.The (electronic) literary magazine is featured in the current Poets & Writers issue, and is called Still Crazy. It’s “written by and about people over fifty.” They are looking for poetry and prose that “challenges patronizing, sentimental, or stereotyping attitudes toward aging.”

You can’t see sample poems without registering, but it’s only $3.00 to purchase the PDF version ($9 for the print version). You can also form an idea of the style of work they appreciate from their submission guidelines and the titles in the table of contents:

7.)

  • I’ve had several poets ask me which poets are expected to be at this year’s Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. Here is my personal list (to see original click on image at right), which I use to cross reference books in my poetry library so that I can get signatures on the books that I have. You might want to use it for the same purpose.

Poets @ Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2010

Marianne Boruch is the author of six collections of poetry: Grace, Fallen from; Poems: New and Selected; A Stick that Breaks and Breaks; Moss Burning; Descendant; and View from the Gazebo. Her two books of essays on poetry are Poetry’s Old Air and In the Blue Pharmacy: Essays on Poetry and Other Transformations. Her awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and residencies from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, the MacDowell Colony, and Isle Royale National Park (the country’s most isolated national park). She has received a number of teaching awards from Purdue University where she developed the graduate writing program, directing it from 1987 until 2005 and where she remains on the MFA faculty.  Since 1988, she has also taught in the low-residency Warren Wilson MFA Program.

Linda Gregerson’s fourth collection of poetry, Magnetic North, was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. Her three other collections include Fire in the Conservatory, The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep, and Waterborne. Gregerson is also the author of two volumes of criticism and numerous literary essays. Her many awards include the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, the Mellon Foundation, the Poetry Society of America, and the Modern Poetry Foundation. Gregerson is the Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English at the University of Michigan.

Jane Hirshfield’s sixth book of poetry, After, was named a “best book of 2006” by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and England’s Financial Times. Among other honors, she has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets, and her work appears in the New Yorker, Atlantic, Times Literary Supplement, New Republic, Poetry, American Poetry Review, and five editions of The Best American Poems. She has been featured in two of Bill Moyers’s PBS documentaries and her work appears frequently on Garrison Keillor’s public radio program, “The Writer’s Almanac.”

Yusef Komunyakaa is the author of Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems, 1977-1989, which won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and Thieves of Paradise, a finalist for the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award. His books include Blue Notes: Essays, Interviews & Commentaries; Talking Dirty to the Gods; Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems, 1975- 1999; Taboo, and most recently, Warhorses. Komunyakaa is Senior Distinguished Poet in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Carl Phillips is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Speak Low and Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems 1986-2006.  He has also written a book of essays, Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry and translated Sophocles’s Philoctetes. His awards include the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Foundation Poetry Prize, the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry, and awards and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Library of Congress, and the Academy of American Poets, to which he was named a Chancellor in 2007.  He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

Alberto Ríos, a recent finalist for the National Book Award, is the author of ten books and chapbooks of poetry, including The Theater of Night-winner of the 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Award-three collections of short stories, and a memoir about growing up on the border, Capirotada.  Ríos is the recipient of numerous awards and his work is included in over two hundred national and international literary anthologies.  His next book, The Dangerous Shirt, is forthcoming.  His work is regularly taught and translated and has been adapted to dance and both classical and popular music.  Ríos is a Regents’ Professor and the Katharine C. Turner Chair in English at Arizona State University.

David Rivard is the author of four books: Sugartown, Bewitched Playground, Wise Poison, winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets in 1996 and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Torque.  His poems and essays appear in the American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, and other magazines.  In 2006, Rivard was awarded the Hardison Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library, in recognition of both his writing and teaching.  Among his other awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.  A former poetry editor of the Harvard Review, he teaches in the University of New Hampshire MFA program.

Percival Everett is the author of twenty books of fiction, among them Erasure, Glyph, and I Am Not Sidney Poitier, and three volumes of poetry, the latest, Swimming Swimmers Swimming.  He has received the PEN USA Award for Fiction, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hurston/ Wright LEGACY Award, and the Hillsdale Award for Fiction. He is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California, where he also directs the PhD Program in Literature and Creative Writing.  He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.

Stanley Plumly’s most recent collection of poems, Old Heart, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography was runner-up for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. Plumly is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland. In 2009 he was appointed Poet Laureate of Maryland.

8.) Poet Pernette Du Guillet

Pernette Du Guillet (Lyon, c. 1520 – July 7, 1545) was a female French poet of the Renaissance.

She was born in a noble family and married in 1537 or 1538 a man with the last name Du Guillet. In the spring of 1536, she met the poet Maurice Scève (she was 16; he was 35), and she would serve as Scève’s poetic muse, inspiring his Délie. From this work has come the reputation of her beauty and significant culture. After her death, her poetry was published in Rymes de Gentille et Vertueuse Dame, Pernette du Guillet.

A book, Complete Poems Pernette du Guillet is forthcoming from The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Victoria College in the University of Toronto.

Edited By Karen Simroth James
Translated By Marta Rijn Finch (of the Otter Creek Poets)

(416) 585-44656
$19.50

Congratulations, Marta! This looks to be quite the book.

9.)

How to Read a Poem
By Brett Millier, Reginald L. Cook Professor of American Literature

Reading poetry is different from reading prose. A poem is a concentrated experience, and so is reading one. Because of this strict economy, poetry must use multiple strategies to convey meaning. If prose makes meaning primarily from words, poetry makes it through the shape of the poem itself, the length of the lines, rhyme, meter, rhythm, and sound, as well as the words themselves and the images and ideas they express. William Carlos Williams said that a poem is “a machine made of words.” Reading poetry involves recognizing the working parts of the machine. (….)

10.)

Sin City
Poetry review: To Join the Lost
BY AMY LILLY [05.19.10]

Dante’s Divine Comedy — that poetic tour of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise written in the 14th century — never seems to get old. The latest proof is the new video game by Electronic Arts, Dante’s Inferno.

As in the poem, the game’s Dante character and his guide, Virgil, travel down through the nine circles of Hell, hearing sinners’ stories and witnessing their horrifying punishments. But — this being a video game — Dante is armored like a Greek warrior and can choose to absolve the shades or slash them to bits.

If that raises your literary hackles, you’ll appreciate another, rather different, Dante-inspired release: the book-length poem To Join the Lost, by Seth Steinzor of South Burlington. (…)

11.)

SATURDAY, MAY 29, 2010

Dennis Hopper (1936-2010)

“This is the way the fucking world ends! Look at this fucking shit we’re in, man! Not with a bang, but with a whimper. And with a whimper, I’m fucking splitting, Jack.”

-Dennis Hopper at “The Photo-journalist” In Apocalypse Now (1979)

12.)

The Salon

The Salon is now available at Briggs Carriage Bookstore, Vermont Bookstore in Middlebury, Book King in Rutland, Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, and Crow Bookshop in Burlington, for $5, or for $6 from our website, although we prefer that folks give their business to independent bookshops.

Into what is becoming a crowded creative field of at least 14 literary journals produced in Vermont alone, comes the first issue of The Salon: A Journal of Poetry and Fiction, edited by Burlington poet Ben Aleshire. This 59-page publication is resolutely non-electronic, its cover adorned with an astonishingly bright red block print. My copy came with a personal note Aleshire appears to have hammered out on an old manual typewriter. (….)

13.)

Announcing another new Vermont literary magazine – Route Seven.

Brought to life by The Saint Albans Literary Guild.

14.)

The Death of Fiction?
Lit mags were once launching pads for great writers and big ideas. Is it time to write them off?

By Ted Genoways | January/February 2010 Issue

IT’S INEVITABLE. At a dinner party or on the sidelines of my son’s soccer game, someone well-meaning will ask what I do. “I edit the Virginia Quarterly Review [1],” I tell them. “It’s the literary magazine at the University of Virginia.” They nod politely, sometimes with the vaguest hint of recognition. Yes, they remember seeing in the local paper that we’ve won some big awards, right? It’s well respected, isn’t it? But the idea of editing a literary magazine seems, to them, only slightly more utilitarian than making buggy whips or telegraph relays. It’s the sort of arcane craft they assumed was kept alive only by a lost order of nuns in a remote mountain convent or by the Amish in some print shop in Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
And, soon enough, that may be where it winds up. After more than a century of founding and subsidizing literary magazines as a vital part of their educational missions, colleges and universities have begun off-loading their publications, citing overburdened budgets and dwindling readership.  (….)

15.) Poems about the Moon

  • Many of you know about my interest in astronomy. In fact, I head up an astronomy club in central Vermont, the Green Mountain Alliance of Amateur Astronomers. Although a lot of my viewing is for deep sky objects, the Moon offers a lifetime of objects by itself, and is often overlooked by amateur astronomers. There are quite a few wonderful poems about Earth’s favorite satellite, and Poets.org has gathered a few of these together for us this month.

16.) Quibbles

  • Leonard Gibbs, a member of the Otter Creek Poets and Poetry Society of Vermont, is the Magister Ludi of The Dead Creek Poets’ Society. Len offers this to poets (through a handout):

Dear Poet friends,

A request.

Would you be interested in sharing your poems with me, so that I may spend my time with them at leisure at my home?

This would allow me the opportunity to appreciate your art more deeply. I am slow in the group and often find myself not adding some, possibly, useful insights.

This is self-serving. I must spend much of my time sitting and thinking poetry. What better way than to “walk in beauty” with your poetry, and continue the great conversation we begin in the Group?

I promise not to intrude in your lives, except for doing the above!

Thank you.

Len

  • In other words, Len will critique a poem of yours for free. I have known Len for a number of years now, and welcome his expertise in poetry, and good-natured humor. He has had some health issues recently, so taking on something like this is great for him and for his fellow poets. This is a win/win relationship you can have with a Master Poet. Here is something Len handed out to our group (the Otter Creek Poets) last week:

I will have my standards, my dreams and desires, and my insistence that poetry is hard work, that it doesn’t get poured in one ear by the Muse and fall out the other into chapbooks. To me, poetry demands, at the very least, the following:

At least one poetic line, if not a combination of several of them. A poetic line is one that introduces music, feeling, beauty or some high-value description, a vocabulary of well chosen and possibly multi-meaning words, a general knowledge of the art, fearlessly used, and evidence that effort has gone into its structure.

A willingness to work through difficult issues. Eliot’s demand that a poem be difficult was a bit of his and Pound’s snobbery, but a demand that a poem must be well-done, and therefore difficult to compose, is quite fair. I don’t believe in natural-born poets. There are too many of them around to believe in.

A largeness of spirit and an ability to celebrate all the aspects of life, though not all in the same opus. Life, everything in between, and death are the only things worth singing about. A single flower and a collection of galaxies have the same possibilities.

A condensation. Not a few scattered remarks about the book of Romans. One topic, and rich comments on that topic.

Can be multilevel. Good ones frequently are, but this may be the work of the reader, who is always involved in the production of the poem’s final effect (a poem must be shared and read by another to be complete, y’know).

Rhythm is important . . . I would say vital. Rhyme is not good only if it comes “naturally” and smoothly. But rhythm makes the poem . . . it is the sine qua non. Moving without rhythm is staggering. A poem should not stagger.

These are some of my ideals for poetry. You are allowed to disagree, but I won’t budge, and I’ll look at your work in these lights. In passing . . . I haven’t written a poem yet that meets these standards, I’m still trying.

What else? Just this, for the moment . . . prose poetry is not poetry. It may not even be prose! Why mix up a good novel with a good poem? Plenty of ink and paper. Do one or the other, or both but on separate sheets.

  • Leonard Gibbs can be reached at: lenpoet@gmail.com

17.) Poets for Living Waters

Call for Work – Gulf Coast Poems

Poets for Living Waters is a poetry action in response to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico begun on April 20, 2010, one of the most profound human-made ecological catastrophes in history.

The first law of ecology states that everything is connected to everything else. An appreciation of this systemic connectivity suggests a wide range of poetry will offer a meaningful response to the current crisis, including work that harkens back to Hurricane Katrina and the ongoing regional effects.

This online periodical is the first in a planned series of actions.  Further actions will include a print anthology and a public reading in Washington DC.

Please submit 1-3 poems, a short bio, and credits for any previously published submissions (….)

18.) When Poets Rocked Russia’s Stadiums

By DWIGHT GARNER
NY Times
Published: June 2, 2010

Andrei Voznesensky, who died on Monday, in 2004.

Since the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991, Russian poetry has begun to resemble American poetry in ways that are both fascinating and sad. What’s fascinating is how talented, and how different from one another, Russia’s young poets are. What’s sad is how little they are read, and how little they matter. Whatever reach contemporary poetry had in Russian society has vanished like wood smoke.

The death on Tuesday of Andrei Voznesensky, a stirring poet of the post-Stalin “thaw era” in the 1950s and early 1960s, caused many to recall a time when that reach was enormous. Voznesensky’s generation of poets, which included Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Bella Akhmadulina, declaimed their work in sports stadiums to overflow crowds. A moment presented itself — the relative artistic freedom of the early Khrushchev era — and these poets pounced on the microphone. As Mr. Voznesensky put it, with a punk lip curl: “The times spat at me. I spit back at the times.” (….)

19.) Scientists identify meteor event in Walt Whitman poem

On the evening of 20 July 1860, a meteor fragmented as it grazed the Earth’s atmosphere, producing a “meteor procession” that inspired a painting by Frederic Church and a poem by Walt Whitman that ends with the following lines:

Year of comets and meteors transient and strange! – lo! even here, one equally transient and strange!

As I flit through you hastily, soon to fall and be gone, what is this book,

What am I myself but one of your meteors?

Donald Olson, a physicist at Texas State University, is the world’s leading practitioner of forensic astronomy – examining classic works of art and literature that include references to celestial phenomena.

In many of his investigations, Olson and his students use the methods of modern astronomy to determine precisely where and when a particular work of art was created or to pinpoint the event that inspired it. For example, Olson analysed Vincent van Gogh’s Moonrise, a painting depicting a glowing yellow orb looming behind the silhouette of a rocky outcrop. Olson was able to determine the exact spot in France from which van Gogh viewed the rising moon, as well as the precise time: 9:08 pm, 13 July 1889. (….)

20.) Did You Know?
Peter Orlovsky, poet and partner of Allen Ginsberg, has died (in Vermont)

Los Angeles Times
May 31, 2010

Photo: Peter Orlovsky, right, with Allen Ginsberg in 1978. Credit: Ludwig Urnig via Wikimedia Commons

Peter Orlovsky, longtime partner of Allen Ginsberg and a poet in his own right, died May 30 in Vermont of lung cancer. He was 76.

Orlovsky met Ginsberg in San Francisco in 1954, before Ginsberg wrote his seminal poem, “Howl.” Published in 1956, “Howl” was the subject of a 1957 obscenity trial that became a landmark free-expression case. Afterward, Ginsberg and Orlovsky moved to Paris, where they stayed with Gregory Corso, William Burroughs and others in a boarding house that would become known as the Beat Hotel. (….)

21.) “Ponderings”

Dennis Hopper, who passed away this week, reads a poem on The Johnny Cash Show

The poem is “If” by Rudyard Kipling (1899). The scene (audio and video) is The Johnny Cash Show, 1970. Hard to beat this…

22.)

“Poetry is like a bird;
it ignores all frontiers.”

Poetry Quote by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

23.)

Loser Flare
Heather Kirn

Winners wear
the hats, the shirts, the flare

that say so: CHAMPION
in cotton-poly neon.

And what about the other T’s?
No television sees (…)

24.) linebreak

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

Salina, Kansas
BY TREY MOODY

Trey Moody’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Best New Poets 2009, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, and Indiana Review, among others. He holds an MFA from Texas State University and is pursuing a PhD at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where he lives with his wife, Jennifer.

This flatness is a sickness.
But this sickness can be cured
with a house.

So for Susan
he built one. Till his hands were tired,
he built one, then added

on, etc.
“As much as the sky
swallows the landscape,” (….)

25.)

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

Richard Jones

Drinking with My Mother and Father

My mother and father arrive
for their annual visit.
They tell me they love me.
They open a bottle of wine.
“Salud. Health.”
We spend the day together
under trees, drinking.
My mother gets a little tipsy
and tells a dirty joke. (….)

26.)
American Life in Poetry: Column 268
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

If writers are both skilled and lucky, they may write something that will carry their words into the future, past the hour of their own deaths. I’d guess all writers hope for this, and the following poem by Peter Cooley, who lives in New Orleans and teaches creative writing at Tulane, beautifully expresses his hope, and theirs.

The One Certain Thing

A day will come I’ll watch you reading this.
I’ll look up from these words I’m writing now—
this line I’m standing on, I’ll be right here,
alive again. I’ll breathe on you this breath.
Touch this word now, that one. Warm, isn’t it? (….)
American Life in Poetry: Column 269
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

It is enough for me as a reader that a poem take from life a single moment and hold it up for me to look at. There need not be anything sensational or unusual or peculiar about that moment, but somehow, by directing my attention to it, our attention to it, the poet bathes it in the light of the remarkable. Here is a poem like this by Carolyn Miller, who lives in San Francisco.

The World as It is

No ladders, no descending angels, no voice
out of the whirlwind, no rending
of the veil, or chariot in the sky—only
water rising and falling in breathing springs
and seeping up through limestone, aquifers filling (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 270
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

We are sometimes amazed by how well the visually impaired navigate the world, but like the rest of us, they have found a way to do what interests them. Here Jan Mordenski of Michigan describes her mother, absorbed in crocheting.

Crochet

Even after darkness closed her eyes
my mother could crochet.
Her hands would walk the rows of wool
turning, bending, to a woolen music. (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 271
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
Barnyard chickens, which are little more than reptiles with feathers, can be counted on to kill those among them who are malformed or diseased, but we humans, advanced animals that we think we are, are far more likely to just turn away from people who bear the scars of misfortune. Here’s a poem by Ned Balbo, who lives and teaches in Maryland.

Fire Victim

Once, boarding the train to New York City,
The aisle crowded and all seats filled, I glimpsed
An open space—more pushing, stuck in place—
And then saw why: a man, face peeled away,
Sewn back in haste, skin grafts that smeared like wax (….)

27.)

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.

28.)

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.”

29.)

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)

30.)

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

31.)

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

32.) If you ever have a need to contact me, here’s how to go about doing so:

Ronald Lewis:
Phone: 802-247-5913
Cell: 802-779-5913
Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
Email: vtpoet@gmail.com

33.) VERMONT LITERARY JOURNALS

1) The Queen City Review

Burlington College’s The Queen City Review is a yearly journal of art and literature and accepts the work of new and established writers and artists in the areas of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, photography, and fine art, as well as essays and criticism on all aspects of the aforementioned. They seek to publish high quality work that ranges broadly in topic and genre.

The Queen City Review can be purchased by 2-year subscription or individually. The price of one issue is $8 plus shipping charges ($1) for a total of $9. Subscriptions can be purchased for #$14 plus shipping charges $2) and includes the Fall 2008 and upcoming 2009 issues. They accept cash, check, and credit cards. You can mail your payment to them or by calling (802) 862-9616 ext. 234 to place your order over the phone. If mailing your payment, mail details to:

ATTN: Heidi Berkowitz
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
email: bloodroot@wildblue.net

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

NEReview@middlebury.edu
(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

email: willardandmaple@champlain.edu

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, grr@jsc.vsc.edu.

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 colew@csdvt.org or lenoxk@csdvt.org. 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.

11) The Salon: A Journal of Poetry & Fiction

WELCOME to the temporary on-line home of the Honeybee Press, a brand-new writer’s cooperative based in Burlington, Vermont. The first book from the press will be the debut issue of its bi-annual literary magazine, The Salon: A Journal of Poetry & Fiction. The goal of the press is to produce high-quality local literature and make it more affordable and visible to the public. [….]

  • Go to web site for submission guidelines.

12) Hunger Mountain

Hunger Mountain is both a print and online journal of the arts. We publish fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, visual art, young adult and children’s writing, writing for stage and screen, interviews, reviews, and craft essays. Our print issue comes out annually in the fall, and our online content changes on a regular basis. (….)

Hunger Mountain SubscriptionsVermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Subscription Prices
One Year $12.00
Two Year $22.00
Four Year $40.00 (Save $8!)
Back issues $8.00

13) The Onion River Review

The Onion River Review is a literary journal whose annual edition features poetry, prose, and visual arts. The Onion River Review is edited by the students of Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and is committed to publishing work from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the greater community.

The Onion River ReviewWilliam Marquess, Advisor
One Winooski Park #171
Colchester, VT 05439

14) Route Seven – The St. Albans Literary Guild Magazine

The first issue of the Saint Albans Literary Guild’s magazine, Route Seven: A Vermont Literary Journal, is a 56-page publication featuring new and established writers and artists with an emphasis on Northwestern Vermont writers. Strong literary and non-fiction voices from other regions are also featured and are encouraged to submit to future issues.

ST. ALBANS: The Saint Albans Literary Guild is proud to announce the release of the premiere issue of Route 7, a new Vermont literary journal, on Sat., Feb. 20, at the STAART Gallery in St. Albans. The event will feature readings from contributing authors, as well as hors d’oeuvres and beverages.
Route 7 is a 56-page magazine featuring fiction, non-fiction, humor, poetry, and artwork. The first issue includes a wide range of moods, from the introspective and idyllic to the offbeat and humorous. The more than 20 contributors included hail from Franklin County, and across Vermont and New Hampshire. The magazine aims to highlight creative voices from across the region.

“Our hope is to enliven and nurture the writing and reading community in Northwestern Vermont by featuring writers and artists from the Guild’s backyard. But the magazine exists to promote writers, not just a specific zip code,” said Co-Editor Jedd Kettler.
     Contributors include new and established writers and artists: Gillian Ireland, Carolyn Eno, Janet Hayward Burnham, Krystal Vaughn, Jess River, Karen Day-Vath, Mathias Dubiler, Stephen Russell Payne, Rebecca Hamm, Shawna Cross, Leon Thompson, Heidi Mosher, Em Frappier, Jay Fleury, Pat O’Shea, Tammy Flanders Hetrick, Joy Perrino Choquette, Al Salzman, Jonathan Billings, Walt McLaughlin, Cynthia Messier, Barbara Beskind, Lisa Judge, and Melvin Harris.

“It’s a 56-page salon — you provide the refreshments,” said Co-Editor Launie Kettler.
     The release party for the new publication will be held at the STAART Gallery on Sat., Feb. 20 from 4-6 p.m. Copies of the magazine will be available for sale at the event, online at http://www.route7magazine.org, and at bookstores across Vermont.
     Proceeds from the $5 cover price will go to support future outreach programs of the Saint Albans Literary Guild. Even as they celebrate the release of this first issue, editors continue to accept submissions for future issues on an ongoing basis.

The Saint Albans Literary Guild organizes readings, author appearances, classes and many other book-related activities for both authors and book lovers of all kinds. To learn more about the guild or to join, check our website, http://www.SaintAlbansLiteraryGuild.org, or call 527-7243.

Submission guidelines

Route Seven: A Vermont Literary Journal, the St. Albans Literary Guild magazine, is currently accepting submissions of non-fiction, fiction, journalistic feature writing, theatrical writing, historical writing, and poetry for its premier issue. We welcome submissions from all genres.
     Writers from all regions are encouraged to submit. One of the Guild’s goals is to support and nurture the literary community in northwestern Vermont and weight will be given to northwestern Vermont writers. However, Route Seven is not looking only for writing that seeks to express the region and its history. Editors will primarily look for original voices and perspectives, and powerful writing and storytelling.
     Submit up to three poems and two prose pieces. Feature writing should be 500-1500 words in length. Short fiction should not exceed 3500 words. Excerpts from longer works and previously published works are also welcome. Submissions will be accepted for future issues on an ongoing basis.
     Send submissions to magazine@saintalbansliteraryguild.org in .rtf, .txt, .odt, or Word format. Please include “Route 7 literary magazine submissions” in the subject line. Hard copy submissions may be sent to Route 7 Magazine co/Launie and Jedd Kettler, PO Box 101, St. Albans, VT  05478. Submissions will not be returned. Provide email or SASE for results.

Contributors retain all rights to work included in Route Seven.

Artwork submissions

Route Seven: A Vermont Literary Journal, the St. Albans Literary Guild magazine, is also accepting submissions of full-color and black-and-white artwork for its premier issue.

We welcome submissions in all mediums. Color artwork will be considered for the journal’s front cover and should be vertically oriented. Black-and-white line art, illustrations, and photography will be considered for inside layout and display. There are no theme requirements for submissions. Route Seven hopes to feature the varied talents of Vermont’s visual artists. Editors will look primarily for visually compelling images to include.

Submissions should be received by December 15, but will be accepted for future issues on an ongoing basis.

Send email submissions to magazine@saintalbansliteraryguild.org in .jpeg, .tiff, .png, or .psd formats. Contact us you if you prefer sending work in other formats. Please include “Route 7 literary magazine submissions” in the subject line. Hard copy submissions may be sent to Route 7 Magazine co/Launie and Jedd Kettler, PO Box 101, St. Albans, VT  05478. Please do not send original work as submissions will not be returned. Provide email address or SASE for results.

Contributors retain all rights to work included in Route Seven.

34.)

VERMONT LITERARY GROUPS’ ANTHOLOGIES

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.

35.) VERMONT POETRY BLOGS

1) PoemShape

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.

PoemShape is now the home of the Vermont Poetry Newsletter & Poetry Event Calendar.

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

https://poemshape.wordpress.com/

36.)

STATE POETRY SOCIETY

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. (….)

37.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT


BELLOWS FALLS

1) Great River Arts Institute – See details elsewhere in this newsletter

2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat). The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. 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 vsbooks@sover.net or jfowler177@comcast.net.

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 http://www.clararosethornton.com. For more information about the Media Mentoring Project, visit http://www.commonsnews.org or call 246-6397. You can also write to Vermont Independent Media at P.O. Box 1212, Brattleboro, VT 05302.

BERLIN

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: solsonvt@aol.com or 454-8026.

BURLINGTON

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.

GUILFORD

The Guilford Poets Guild, formed in 1998, meets twice a month to critique and support each other’s work. Their series of sponsored readings by well-known poets which began at the Dudley Farm, continues now at the Women and Family Life Center.

MIDDLEBURY

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.

PANTON

This town is the home of Leonard Gibbs and his Dead Creek Poets Society. Leonard invites visitors to his web site, Quibbles.com, and subsequent comments for discussion. Leonard’s email address is: ML_Len@Quibbles.org. Interesting responses to items Leonard has posed on his site, may end up on the site itself.

NORWICH

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

STOWE

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

WAITSFIELD

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


38.)

OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BURLINGTON

Scribes in the making put pen to paper as part of an open verse-writing session at the Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street. Three consecutive Thursdays, starting January 8, 2009, 5:00-6:00 p.m. Free. Contact information: 862-1094.

SAXTONS RIVER

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: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchEntry?cmid=hp-search-advancedsearc… 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 msa@sover.net www.MainStreetArts.org

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

The Writer’s Center
58 Main Street, White River Junction, Vermont

Instructor: April Ossmann (author of Anxious Music, Four Way Books, 2007, writing, editing and publishing consultant, and former Executive Director of Alice James Books)

Info: (802)333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and http://www.aprilossmann.com.

ANYWHERE, 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. (…) Click on Typewriter for more…

39.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

BURLINGTON

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…

BURLINGTON

Women Writing for (a) Change supports the authentic experience of women who honor themselves through creative writing. Our community supports reflection as we move into our questions and awaken to change. Participants enhance expressive skills, strengthen their voices, deepen themselves as women as writers for positive change in all spheres of life. Creative writing in all genres is our shared vehicle. Women Writing for (a) Change is for women who, 1) dream of writing for self-discovery, for personal or social healing, 2) hunger for creative process in their lives, 3) yearn to explore their feminine voice, 4) crave reflective, space, and 5) are in transition. For more information, go to their web site at http://www.womenwritingVT.com/ or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or sarah@womenwritingvt.com.

SAINT ALBANS

The Saint Albans Literary Guild organizes author readings, classes on writing and literature, and other book related events.  The Guild is sponsoring a new literary magazine featuring local writers.  Finally, it promotes Vermont authors, book groups, writing groups, and literary events held in Franklin County and northwestern Vermont. Contact us for more information or join the Guild to become involved with literary endeavors in your area.

The first issue of the Saint Albans Literary Guild’s magazine, Route Seven: A Vermont Literary Journal, is a 56-page publication featuring new and established writers and artists with an emphasis on Northwestern Vermont writers. Strong literary and non-fiction voices from other regions are also featured and are encouraged to submit to future issues.

Contact them through their web site at:  or through Jay Fleury, Guild President.

SPRINGFIELD

A Writer’s Group has started to meet at the Springfield Town Library on the fourth Monday of each month, from 7 to 8 pm. For more information, call 885-3108.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

The Writer’s Center is for serious writers and nervous beginners. It’s for procrastinators who could benefit from regular deadlines – and for the prolific who could benefit from quality feedback. It’s for anyone with a manuscript hidden in a drawer, or a life story or poem waiting to be written. It’s for people who don’t know where to start or how to end. And for writers who are doing just fine on their own, but would like the company of other writers.  The Writer’s Center is for anyone who is writing or wants to write.  One of the Center’s consultants is April Ossman (www.aprilossmann.com).  Founded by Joni B. Cole and Sarah Stewart Taylor, the Writer’s Center offers instruction and inspiration through a selection of workshops, discussions, and community. We would love to see you – and your writing – at The Writer’s Center!  For more info, http://www.thewriterscenterwrj.com/.

  • Prose! Poetry! Journaling! Pitching! (I know! I know! F. Scott Fitzgerald said that using exclamation points is like laughing at your own joke… but what’s wrong with that?!!!)

And more big news! “The Writer’s Center” has a new Facebook Page that we’re now using to spread the word about workshops, offer writing tips, share publishing news, etc. If you haven’t already, be a part of the page by following the link below and clicking “like”. Write on!

Below is a list of summer writing workshops at The Writer’s Center of White River Junction. Please pre-register (asap) with the instructor to reserve your space at the writing table. (These classes are also listed at The Writer’s Center website at www.thewriterscenterwrj.com

Quick Queries and Fast Pitches

Instructor: Joni Cole

Monday, June 21 OR Tuesday, June 22

6:30 – 9 p.m.

$45

You’ve got a couple paragraphs, or maybe a page or two max to convince an agent or editor of two things… 1.) You’ve got an enticing article or book idea. And 2.) You can write. So that query better be good. (Actually, better than good, given how editors and agents are inundated these days.) In this one-session, interactive (one could even say nerve-wracking) workshop, you’re invited to share your written query or verbal pitch with the group for critique, ideas, and inspiration. Pre-registration required; limited enrollment. Info: joni.cole@alum.dartmouth.org or (802) 295-5526.

Creative Collective

Instructor: Joni Cole

Thursday, June 24, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

$20

No time for a weekly class? No worries. Here’s a one-session workshop for a quick fix of writing, sharing, and collective inspiration. Participants are invited to read aloud a few pages for verbal feedback. We’ll also do a writing exercise, and swap insights and tips on everything from the vagaries of the creative process to the evils of adverbs. Pre-registration required. Info: joni.cole@alum.dartmouth.org or (802) 295-5526.

Your Authentic Business: Journaling to Success!

Instructor: Joanna Tebbs Young

Saturday, June 26, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

$50

Learn how to use your journal as a creative business tool for self-discovery, self-confidence, organization, and stress reduction. Pre-registration required. Info and registration at wisdomwithinink.com or (802) 747-0761. Register for both journaling workshops scheduled for June 26th and get $20 off ($80 total).

Journaling for Writers: Unblock Your Creativity

Instructor: Joanna Tebbs Young

Saturday, June 26, 1 – 3 p.m.

$50

Drawing on the wisdom of experts such as Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones) and Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way), learn how to use your journal as a tool to unlock creativity, get the words flowing and to gain confidence in your own talents. Pre-registration required. Info and registration at wisdomwithinink.com or (802) 747-0761. Register for both journaling workshops scheduled for June 26th and get $20 off ($80 total).

Poetry Now: A Writing and Reading Group for Poets

Instructor: Giavanna Munafo

Mondays, 5:30 – 8 pm, June 28 – August 2 (6 weeks)

$175

Part poetry workshop, part “book” group, Poetry Now will get you connected, or re-connected, with poems — your own and those appearing in current issues of respected journals. Each week, we’ll discuss submissions from 4-5 group members and then read and respond to poems from that week’s featured journal (Threepenny Review, Poetry, Glimmer Train, Crazyhorse, and others). The workshop structure will generate feedback about what works and why, as well as suggestions about how you might more fully realize your goals. While the emphasis (and time allocation) will be more on your writing, our attention to newly published poems will provide a context of contemporary poetry. Plus, gaining an awareness of what different journals tend to publish will help poets hoping to publish, or publish more, consider where they might send their work. Pre-registration required; minimum enrollment 6; maximum 8. Info: 802-356-2492 or gmunafo@mac.com.

First Get It Written…

Instructor: Katharine Britton

Tuesdays, July 6  – July 27

Choose a morning or evening session: 10:00 AM – 12 Noon or 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

$100

…Then get it right. In this four-week workshop, participants will focus on writing and revising a piece of fiction, creative non-fiction, or memoir. We will explore aspects of the craft through exercises, reading work aloud, peer feedback, and discussions. Bring a work-in-progress or begin something new. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited. Info: Katharine.fisher.britton@dartmouth.edu or (802) 649-1873.

40.)

OTHER WRITING GROUPS IN VERMONT

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.

POETRY EVENT CALENDAR

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

Thu, Jul 1: The Hub Teen Center & Skatepark, 110 Airport Drive, Bristol, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Open Mic Night. Wordsmiths of all trades — songwriting, poetry, theater and more — contribute their audible expressions. Info, 453-3678 or thehub@gmavt.net.

Sat, Jul 10: Village Square Booksellers, 32 Square, Bellows Falls, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Open Mic Poetry. Join the River Voices in their monthly Poetry Open Mic. Read your own poetry, read from a favorite book or just listen. Everyone sits around the table and takes turns reading – no podiums, no huge crowds. A warm, friendly environment… Info, Pat Fowler @ 463-9404, http://www.villagesquarebooks.com.

Sun, Jul 11: BigTown Gallery, Rochester, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Summer Reading Series – Terri Ford and David Huddle. Free; info, 767-9670 or http://www.bigtowngallery.com/pages/reading.html.

Terri Ford is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She’s been a fellow at Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, a summer resident of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown through the Ohio Arts Council, and the recipient of several grants. She is the author of “Why the Ships Are She” (Four Way, 2001) and “Hams beneath the Firmament” (Four Way, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Conduit, Forklift Ohio and many other journals.

“Terri Ford ….seems to me someone who’s right down in it, like a healthy poetic dog, a setter, lovely bird dog, sniffing, dashing back and forth, finding everything out.”
—Richard Silberg, in a review of her first book in POETRY FLASH (No. 188)

David Huddle is an American multi-genre writer and professor. His most recent book is Glory River: Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2008). His poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in Esquire, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Story, The Autumn House Anthology of Poetry, and The Best American Short Stories. His work has also been included in anthologies of writing about the Vietnam War. He is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and currently teaches both creative fiction, poetry, and autobiography at the University of Vermont and at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Having grown up in Ivanhoe, Wythe County, Virginia, he is sometimes considered an Appalachian writer. Huddle has lived in Vermont for the past thirty-eight years.

Thu, Jul 15-Sun, 7/18: Summer 2010 Retreat: “Creating Sanctuary.” Take the time — make the time — to nurture your creativity. Give yourself the gift of exploration, connection,  writing, reflection – sharing with others and enjoying your solitude. During  four days in the inviting mountains of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, rediscover what nourishes you. Re-connect with the sacred within; create your sanctuary;  capture it in word and memory. Return home renewed, remembering who you are and what is important.

This annual July retreat is for any woman interested in exploring/playing with imagery and the written word, regardless of experience. Women new or returning to our community; women new to writing or wishing time and space to deepen into their words; the curious, the dedicated, neighbors, the far-distant – all  are welcome!

To reserve your place, download, complete and mail the  registration form at http://www.womenwritingVT.com, along with a $50 deposit to the address on the form.

Cost: $375 [room & board – $225; fees, materials, weekend anthology – $150] Space is limited to 16.

Facilitated by Sarah Bartlett, director of Women Writing for (a) Change – Vermont.
Questions? email sarah@womenwritingVT.com.

Sun, Jul 18: BigTown Gallery, Rochester, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Summer Reading Series – Janie Fink and Jay Parini. Free; info, 767-9670 or http://www.bigtowngallery.com/pages/reading.html.

Janie Fink was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia, and educated at the University of Virginia and Columbia University. Her poetry has appeared in Antaeus, Margie, Poetry East, and the Virginia Quarterly Review and her essays and reviews have appeared in The Journal and Verse. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughter.

“Janie Fink’s is a world closely observed, a world well lived in. Her poetry sparks with the details of the everyday, of the mundane, of the extraordinary sense of being alive.” 
—Daniel Halpern

Jay Parini, a poet and novelist, teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont. His novels include The Apprentice Lover, Benjamin’s Crossing, and The Last Station (soon to be a motion picture). His fifth volume of poetry was The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems (2005). He has written biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, and William Faulkner, in addition to The Art of Teaching (2005) and Why Poetry Matters (2008). His reviews and essays appear frequently in major periodicals, including The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Guardian.

Fri, Jul 23: Barre Heritage Festival, 6:30 p.m. Poetry Slam. Outdoor event, weather permitting (alternate venue: Aldrich Library).

Sun, Jul 25: BigTown Gallery, Rochester, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Summer Reading Series – Jody Gladding and Cynthia Huntington. Free; info, 767-9670 or http://www.bigtowngallery.com/pages/reading.html.

Jody Gladding is a translator as well as poet. Her translations from French to English include Sylviane Agacinski’s Time Passing (2003, Columbia University Press), Michel Pastoureau’s The Devil’s Cloth (2001, Columbia University Press), and Pierre Moinot’s As Night Follows Day (2001, Welcome Rain). Her translation of Jean Giono’s The Serpent of Stars (Archipelago, 2004) was a finalist for the 2004 French–American Translation Prize. She is the author of Stone Crop, which was the 1993 Yale Younger Poets award winner, and she has also received a Whiting Writers Award in poetry. In 2000, Gladding was selected by then Vermont State Poet Ellen Bryant Voigt to participate in a Readers Digest Foundation-funded program called “The Poet Next Door,” working directly with Vermont high school students in person and through an interactive television network. Gladding also teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College. Her most recent book is The Moon Rose (Chester Creek Press, 2006), with accompanying woodcuts by Susan Walp. She lives in Vermont.

“In cadences uncannily imbued with the exaltations, strivings, and hesitancies of human thought, Jody Gladding limns interior and exterior worlds like no other. Words atomize on the page; pacing itself becomes a radical and spiritual force, elemental as the trees, stones, landscapes, skies, which infuse these meticulously exploratory and wondrous poems. Gladding paints with great grace ‘the broken / surface where business / must go on’ and the inexplicable universe that contains it, the textures and intricacies of the human mind that strives to grasp while knowing it can only partly understand.”
—Laurie Sheck, author of Captivity

Cynthia Huntington is a poet, memoirist and a professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. She has published several books of poetry, most recently The Radiant (Four Way Books, 2003). In 2004 she was named Poet Laureate of New Hampshire. She has published poems in numerous literary journals and magazines including TriQuarterly, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Harvard Review, Cimarron Review, AGNI, Ploughshares, and Massachusetts Review, and in anthologies including The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present (Sribner, 2008) and Contemporary Poetry of New England (Middlebury College Press, 2002).Huntington has received grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, as well as two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Other awards include: the Robert Frost Prize from The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire, the Jane Kenyon Award in Poetry, and the Emily Clark Balch Prize. She was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and received her M.A. from The Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. She lives in Vermont.

“Cynthia Huntington’s poems do what the best poems do–they move us profoundly and stir our deepest longing for beauty.”
—Annie Dillard

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.

Sun, Aug 1: BigTown Gallery, Rochester, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Summer Reading Series – Galway Kinnell. Fee not yet determined, but probably between $10-$15; info, 767-9670 or http://www.bigtowngallery.com/pages/reading.html.

Galway Kinnell was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on February 1, 1927. In his youth, he was drawn to both the musicality and hermetic wisdom of poets like Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson. In 1948, he graduated from Princeton University, where he was classmates with W. S. Merwin. He later received his Master’s degree from the University of Rochester. After serving in the United States Navy, he spent several years of his life traveling, including extensive tours of Europe and the Middle East, especially Iran and France. His first book of poems, What a Kingdom It Was, was published in 1960, followed by Flower Herding on Mount Monadnock (1964). Upon his return to the United States, Kinnell joined CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) as a field worker and spent much of the 1960s involved in the Civil Rights Movement. His many experiences with social activism during this time, including an arrest while participating in a workplace integration in Louisiana, found their way into his collection Body Rags (1968), and especially The Book of Nightmares (1971), a book-length poem concerned with the Vietnam War.

Kinnell has published several more volumes of poetry, including Strong Is Your Hold (Houghton Mifflin, 2006); A New Selected Poems (2000), a finalist for the National Book Award; Imperfect Thirst (1996); When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone (1990); Selected Poems (1980), for which he received both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; and Mortal Acts, Mortal Words (1980). He has also published translations of works by Yves Bonnefroy, Yvanne Goll, François Villon, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Prose works by Kinnell include collection of interviews, Walking Down the Stairs (1978), a novel, Black Light (1966), and children’s book, How the Alligator Missed Breakfast (1982). About his work, Liz Rosenberg wrote in the Boston Globe: “Kinnell is a poet of the rarest ability, the kind who comes once or twice in a generation, who can flesh out music, raise the spirits and break the heart.” Kinnell’s honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Rockefeller Grant, the 1974 Shelley Prize of the Poetry Society of America, and the 1975 Medal of Merit from National Institute of Arts and Letters. He has served as poet-in-residence at numerous colleges and universities, including the University of California at Irvine, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence, and Brandeis, and divides his time between Vermont and New York City, where he was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University. He served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2007. He is now retired and resides at his home in Vermont.

Thu, Aug 5: The Hub Teen Center & Skatepark, 110 Airport Drive, Bristol, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Open Mic Night. Wordsmiths of all trades — songwriting, poetry, theater and more — contribute their audible expressions. Info, 453-3678 or thehub@gmavt.net.

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.

Sun, Aug 8: BigTown Gallery, Rochester, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Summer Reading Series – Vijay Seshadri. Fee not yet determined, but probably between $10-$15; info, 767-9670 or http://www.bigtowngallery.com/pages/reading.html.

Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, in 1954 and came to America at the age of five. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where his father taught chemistry at Ohio State University, and has lived in many parts of the country, including the Pacific Northwest, where he spent five years working in the fishing and logging industries, and New York’s Upper West Side, where he was a sometime graduate student in Columbia’s Ph.D. program in Middle Eastern Languages and Literature. His collections of poems include James Laughlin Award winner The Long Meadow (Graywolf Press, 2004) and Wild Kingdom (1996). His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in AGNI, The American Scholar, Antaeus, Bomb, Boulevard, Lumina, The Nation, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Shenandoah, The Southwest Review, The Threepenny Review, Verse, Western Humanities Review, The Yale Review, the Times Book Review, the Philadelphia Enquirer, Bomb, The San Diego Reader, and TriQuarterly, and in many anthologies, including Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets, Contours of the Heart, Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times, and The Best American Poetry 1997 and 2003. Seshadri has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been awarded The Paris Review’s Bernard F. Conners Long Poem Prize and the MacDowell Colony’s Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement. He holds an A.B. degree from Oberlin College and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. He currently teaches poetry and nonfiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.

Mon, Aug 9: Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, 153 Main Street, Burlington, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Speak Up! Slam Theater 101. Ages 11-16. Unite with other young writers and performers to rise above silence, speak for yourself, and make your words heard! Brave and creative self-expression is the goal as we delve into the craft of performance poetry, expanding our instinctual poetic voices and minds with new skills and ideas. Experiment, explore, and ultimately explode your work from the page to the stage. Cost: $160. Info, Suzanne Lowell, 652-4537 or flynnarts@flynncenter.org.

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.

Sat, Aug 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 Square, Bellows Falls, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Open Mic Poetry. Join the River Voices in their monthly Poetry Open Mic. Read your own poetry, read from a favorite book or just listen. Everyone sits around the table and takes turns reading – no podiums, no huge crowds. A warm, friendly environment… Info, Pat Fowler @ 463-9404, http://www.villagesquarebooks.com.

Sun, Aug 15: BigTown Gallery, Rochester, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Summer Reading Series – Cynthia Morrison Phoel. Free; info, 767-9670 or http://www.bigtowngallery.com/pages/reading.html.

Cynthia Morrison Phoel served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a Bulgarian town not unlike the one in her stories. She holds degrees from Cornell University and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Her work has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Harvard Review, and Cerise Press. She lives near Boston with her husband and three children.

“The writing is pitch-perfect; the stories are powerful and heartbreaking. There won’t be many books published this year of the same quality.” 
—Robert Boswell, author of The Heyday of Insensitive Bastards.

Sun, Aug 22: BigTown Gallery, Rochester, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Summer Reading Series – Rebecca T. Godwin and Sydney Lea. Free; info, 767-9670 or http://www.bigtowngallery.com/pages/reading.html.

Rebecca Godwin is the author of Private Parts. She received a National Endowment for the Arts grant for a portion of this novel: an excerpt also appeared in The Paris Review. A South Carolina native, she works in communications at Bennington College, and now lives in Poestenskill, New York.

“Keeper of the House is quite simply one of the most beautiful novels I have ever read. Lend your ear to the astonishing music of Minyon Manigault’s voice, yield your heart to her remarkable tale, and you will want to claim her as kin. Rebecca Godwin is a writer whose gifts go far beyond ‘talent.’ She is wise compassionate, daring; she has made a book of deep and lasting value.”
—Susan Dodd, author of Mamaw and The Mourner’s Bench

Sydney Lea’s most recent collection of poems is Ghost Pain (Sarabande Books, 2005). His second nonfiction volume, A Little Wildness: Some Notes On Rambling, was published in 2006. Lea has two collections of poetry scheduled for publication by Four Way Books: Young of the Year (2011) and I Was Thinking of Beauty (2013). He is widely known as an adept in several genres. He founded New England Review in 1977 and edited it till 1989. Of his seven previous poetry collections, Pursuit of a Wound, (University of Illinois Press, 2000), was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. The preceding volume, To the Bone: New and Selected Poems, was co-winner of the 1998 Poets’ Prize. In 1989, Lea also published the novel A Place in Mind with Scribner, and the book is still available in paper from Story Line Press. His 1994 collection of naturalist essays, Hunting the Whole Way Home, was re-issued in paper by the Lyons Press in 2003. Lea has received fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundations, and has taught at Dartmouth, Yale, Wesleyan, Vermont and Middlebury Colleges, as well as at Franklin College in Switzerland and the National Hungarian University in Budapest. His stories, poems, essays and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and many other periodicals, as well as in more than forty anthologies. He lives in Newbury, Vermont, where he is active in statewide literacy and conservation efforts.

“Sydney Lea is as fine a companion on the page as American writing about nature has to offer.”
—Michael Pollan, Harper’s

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, Aug 26: First Congregational Church, Rte. 113, Thetford, 7:30 p.m. A night of readings by the authors of  Bloodroot Literary Magazine. The authors will read a selection of their poetry or an excerpt from their stories. Info, http://www.bloodrootlm.com/readings.html.

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.

Sat, Sep 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 Square, Bellows Falls, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Open Mic Poetry. Join the River Voices in their monthly Poetry Open Mic. Read your own poetry, read from a favorite book or just listen. Everyone sits around the table and takes turns reading – no podiums, no huge crowds. A warm, friendly environment… Info, Pat Fowler @ 463-9404, http://www.villagesquarebooks.com.

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.

Sat, Oct 9: Village Square Booksellers, 32 Square, Bellows Falls, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Open Mic Poetry. Join the River Voices in their monthly Poetry Open Mic. Read your own poetry, read from a favorite book or just listen. Everyone sits around the table and takes turns reading – no podiums, no huge crowds. A warm, friendly environment… Info, Pat Fowler @ 463-9404, http://www.villagesquarebooks.com.

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, http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/380.

Sat, Nov 13: Village Square Booksellers, 32 Square, Bellows Falls, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Open Mic Poetry. Join the River Voices in their monthly Poetry Open Mic. Read your own poetry, read from a favorite book or just listen. Everyone sits around the table and takes turns reading – no podiums, no huge crowds. A warm, friendly environment… Info, Pat Fowler @ 463-9404, http://www.villagesquarebooks.com.

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.

Sat, Dec 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 Square, Bellows Falls, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Open Mic Poetry. Join the River Voices in their monthly Poetry Open Mic. Read your own poetry, read from a favorite book or just listen. Everyone sits around the table and takes turns reading – no podiums, no huge crowds. A warm, friendly environment… Info, Pat Fowler @ 463-9404, http://www.villagesquarebooks.com.

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

Poetry
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

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