Vermont Poetry Newsletter • July 14 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

July 14, 2010 (Previous issue: 06/08) – In This Issue:

  1. About VPN/How To Print
  2. Newsletter Editor’s Note
  3. Writing Assignment/Suggestion/Exercise/Prompt
  4. M.S. Merwin Selected as Next U.S. Poet Laureate
  5. M.S. Merwin
  6. 2 New Writing Workshops; April Ossmann & Joni Cole
  7. Poetry Book List for Vermont College of Fine Arts
  8. Poets @ Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2010
  9. 2010 Burlington Book Festival
  10. 2010 Brattleboro Literary Festival
  11. Tal Birdsey’s Writings for North Branch School
  12. The Salon: A New Lit Magazine
  13. Route Seven: A New Lit Magazine
  14. Does the Beat Go On? Beat Culture Survived the Beats
  15. Stanley Kunitz on PBS TV
  17. New Book by Geof Hewitt
  18. Poetry in Astronomy
  19. Collecting the Relics of a Poetic Year
  20. Ponderings: Small Press Best Sellers List
  21. Poetry Quote – Leonard Cohen
  22. Failbetter Poem
  23. Linebreak Poem
  24. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  25. American Life in Poetry Poems
  26. US Poets Laureate List
  27. Vermont Poet Laureates
  28. US Poet Laureates From Vermont
  29. New Hampshire Poet Laureates
  30. US Poet Laureates From New Hampshire
  31. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  32. Vermont Literary Journals
  33. Vermont Literary Groups’ Anthologies
  34. Vermont Poetry Blogs
  35. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  36. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  37. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  38. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  39. 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 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:

Well, I just came back from a poetry reading by David Huddle and Terri Ford, so I’ve been energized to get the next VPN finished and onto your cyberspace doorsteps! Sometimes that’s all it takes, or for me to pick out a book from my poetry library and read a few poems. At that point, I’m rollin’ to see what I can find on the internet that would entertain all my Vermont poet friends. Let’s see how I did this time around, shall we?

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher



  • Maps. That’s right, maps. Try writing a poem that has a map in it, a map that leads someone somewhere or to something. Let’s see what kind of a “treasure hunter” you end up being!

Otter Creek Poets Assignments:

In “At the Gym” Mark Doty writes about the things we do to our bodies for the sake of beauty.

What is beauty anyway? What is it good for and what does it cost? We poets are supposed to be the world’s leading authority on beauty.

EXERCISE: Write a poem that touches on beauty and shows it in a way you hadn’t thought of it before.

  • For May 6: A major publisher has noticed your finest poem, but they won’t take it as a single poem. There must be three poems just that good. Assignment: Write two more poems that go well with your best ever, and bring in all three.
  • For May 13: Too many of us think that poetry must be a safe place where nothing ad can happen. No wonder there are so many poems in which nothing whatever happens. Assignment: Write about violence in whatever form you know it, have seen it or felt it.
  • For May 20: Randall Jarrell said, “A poet is a man who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times,” Assignment: In your mind, go to the place where you are most likely to be thunderstruck. Wait. Write.
  • For May 27: We have the habit of poetry, but like all habits it can get to be the same ld thing. Assignment: For a few days, change your physical process for writing. If you use the computer, switch to pen and paper. If you talk your poems aloud, keep silent. If you write inside, go outside. Or vice versa on all points. Bring in the results, however unlike your usual.
  • For June 10: MEMORY. Write a poem about a powerful memory – one that has stayed with you and has not diminished in clarity and power. What is that memory? What mad it unforgettable? And what, if anything does it mean?
  • For June 17: MEMOIR. Nobody can tell the difference between memoir and fiction anymore, but it doesn’t really seem to matter. Write a poem that is a memoir of a particular time in yor life, real or imagined or some combination.
  • For June 24: MEMO. If you cold write a memo to anyone, anywhere, anytime, living or dead, or even to yourself at any age, what would it say? Write it in the form of a poem and the form of a memo.
  • For July 1: 56. Write a poem about turning 56, or being 56, or anything else about that year in your life.
  • For July 8. There is a lot that can be said about this poem [Vehicles – click Image at right] by W.S. Merwin, the poet just named to be the next U.S. Poet Laureate. What impresses me is how much poetry he can get out of a stack of old wheels and tires in the barn. Please visit your own stash of trash and write a poem. Feel free to steal anything from Merwin.
  • High Summer Poem for July 15. There will come a day this summer that is summer itself, the archetypal day of true summer. Write about that day, if you have ever experienced it or wished for it, here or anywhere.
  • Exact Repetition Poem for July 22. Poetry always involves repetition of something – rhythm, rhyme words, refrain lines. Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” has this startling example. “And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” Write a poem that uses exact repetition.
  • Geography Poem for July 29. Place names can be magical. Do you have a favorite or two? It could be a place you’ve lived in or only visited, or only just heard about. Last week I talked to a man in Pretty Prairie, Kansas. Start with one or more place names and take flight.
  • Repetition Avoidance Poem for August 5. Write a poem of a least 12 lines that does not repeat a single word, not even an article. If you feel even more inventive, also avoid other repetitions of sounds, rhymes, metrical figures. This won’t be easy.


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.

Good Luck!


W. S. Merwin to Be Named Poet Laureate
NY Times
Published: June 30, 2010

W. S. Merwin acknowledges that his relatively reclusive life on a former pineapple plantation built atop a dormant volcano in Maui, Hawaii, will be disturbed by the Library of Congress’s announcement on Thursday naming him the country’s poet laureate.

“I do like a very quiet life,” Mr. Merwin said by telephone after learning of his appointment. “I can’t keep popping back and forth between here and Washington.” He said he does relish “being part of something much more public and talking too much,” however, and the job of the nation’s premier poet will enable him to do both (….)


W. S. Merwin
Updated: July 01, 2010

W. S. Merwin was named poet laureate of the United States by Library of Congress in June 2010. Mr. Merwin has won just about every major award an American poet can, among them two Pulitzer Prizes, for “The Shadow of Sirius” in 2009 and for “The Carrier of Ladders” in 1971 and the National Book Award in 2005 for “Migration: New and Selected Poems.”

He is an undisputed master, having written more than 30 books of poetry, translation and prose over the course of six decades. After a string of masterly books in the late 1960’s and early 70’s filled with caustic antiwar poems and visions of the despoiled planet, and adroitly flecked with classical allusion — he took a step back from the modern world.
His remote house in Hawaii — he moved to Maui in the mid—70’s — and his interest in Zen Buddhism have sometimes made him seem like a man apart from society, a soul too pure too mix with the frantic heave of life as we know it(….)


  • The dog days of summer are the perfect time to dip your toe in a writing workshop. Below are two great new sessions offered by Joni Cole and April Ossmann. Hope to see you at the Writer’s Center soon!

Thinking Like a Poetry Editor: How to Be Your Own Best Critic (“The Ossmann Method” Poetry Workshop – Crash Course)
 Instructor: April Ossmann. 
Friday, July 23rd – 6pm – 8:30pm
Monday, August 9th – 6pm – 8:30pm
$50 (each)

Learn how to think like a poetry editor! In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. Participants will receive written editorial suggestions for both poems from the instructor. Pre-registration required; minimum enrollment 6; maximum 8. Info: (802) 333-9597 and

Creative Collective Instructor: Joni Cole. Wednesday, July 28, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

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 (time allowing), and swap insights and tips on everything from the vagaries of the creative process to the evils of adverbs. Pre-registration required. Info: or (802) 295-5526.


  • Have you ever wondered what poetry books are in your fellow poets’ libraries? I know we all have special books on our shelves that mean so much to us, find their way into the fashion of our own writings. Here is a fascinating look at Vermont College of Fine Arts Poetry Book List, revised May 2007. So many great titles! Take a walk through the web site at right.


Right around the corner:

Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference

At left is a list of the poets that are expected to be at this year’s Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. I use this list to cross reference books in my poetry library so that I can get signatures for the books that I have. You might want to use it for the same purpose.

Poets @ Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2010


2010 Burlington Book Festival
September 24-26

83 year old Sheffield poet Galway Kinnell is the dedicatee of the 6th Annual Burlington Book Festival. Kinnell, who has received a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur grant and a National Book Award, gained notice in the 1970’s for his dark lyrics inspired by the struggles for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. In 2006 he published his latest collection, Strong Is Your Hold. Kinnell will read and sign books at the fest’s Friday night kickoff.


2010 Brattleboro Literary FestivalOctober 1-3

11.) Letters From Tal

Poet Tal Birdsey writes a column six times a year for “The Current,” the newsletter of the North Branch School in Ripton, Vermont.  The Letters are reflections on the events and process of learning at the North Branch School, with poetry being at the center of this process on many an occasion. Good reading!

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.

The poetry-heavy journal offers verse from Radio Bean owner Lee Anderson; Jon Turner of the Green Door Studio; Middlebury prof and The Last Station author Jay Parini; and Bread and Puppet impresario Peter Schumann. Acerbic older poets with books under their belts, such as David Cavanagh and UVM’s David Huddle, appear alongside the sinuous Hadestown lyrics of Anaïs Mitchell. Adrie Kusserow and Edie Rhoads contributed some particularly memorable lyrics.

The two prose pieces included are both excerpts from longer works. Novelist Marc Estrin’s manifesto of a plastic surgeon who calls himself a “surrealist of the scalpel” and playwright Stephen Goldberg’s comic, meta-theatrical scene from Flying on the Bright Wings of Despair both left this reader and others curious about what comes next.

All in all, this is a literary magazine worth purchasing its first issue, later subscribing to, and even submitting to, if your poetry is worth sharing with others.


Announcing another new Vermont literary magazine – Route Seven.

Brought to life by The Saint Albans Literary Guild.

14.) Does the Beat Go On? A Vermonter’s New Book Explains Why Beat Culture Survived the Beats
State of the Arts

Just a few weeks ago, on May 30, Peter Orlovsky passed away in Williston, Vt. The death of the 76-year-old, who’d been living in St. Johnsbury, didn’t cause much of a stir in the Vermont press. But it did inspire a lengthy obituary by Bruce Weber in the New York Times. To many, Orlovsky was simply an obscure poet. To many others, he was the longtime partner and “muse” of Allen Ginsberg, one of the last genuine Beats.
The Beats are one of those groups of writers that inspire fierce fandom in some and equally fierce disdain in others. Mention them in a group of well-read people, and some will groan, while others will start quoting “Howl” or On the Road. (….)


Poet Jerry Johnson tells me that on a number of occasions he enjoyed listening to Stanley Kunitz reading his poems on PBS TV, filmed at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival during the last years of Stanley’s life.  For an incredible experience, click the link.


  • 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.


  • 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:

17.) Geof Hewitt has finally published a new book!

Announcing The Perfect Heart: Selected & New Poems by Geof Hewitt:
104 Pages from Mayapple Press. 100+ poems, 1965-2010: Flyer has details.

Special offer: Send a check for $15 (includes 1st-class postage) to:

Geof Hewitt
P.O. Box 51
Calais, VT 05648

Signed, if you request, and guaranteed!


  • Some of you might recall an article I posted in the last issue of the Vermont Poetry Newsletter, dealing with the identification of a meteor event in a Walt Whitman poem, which was actually the 7/20/1860 meteor, known as The Great Comet of 1860 (as there happened to be many comets that during 1859 and 1860!). [As an amateur astronomer myself, heading up the Green Mountain Alliance of Amateur Astronomers (a central Vermont astronomy club), this is truly interesting to me.] A forensic astronomer and physicist, Donald Olson of Texas State University, studies astronomy in literature. Read about hisShakespeare The Stars of Hamlet” or, if you’re interested, astronomy in Art or History.

19.) Collecting the Relics Of a Poetic Year
NY Times

EVERY few years poetry, like jazz or punk rock, is pre-emptively eulogized by pessimists. Contemporary culture moves quickly, and the poet conjured by the collective imagination — brooding and solitary, with a notebook and a portrait of Dylan Thomas tucked under the pillow — is rarely clutching a Smartphone or trawling Facebook.

But even strident skeptics will be softened by the tomes on display at Poets House, a 50,000-volume poetry library and literary center that for 18 years has been amassing the previous year’s poetry and poetry-related books for its annual showcase. Meticulously cataloged and presented face-forward, the exhibition proffers wondrous evidence of the genre’s vitality.(….)

20.) “Ponderings”

Small Press Distribution April Best Sellers

The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems from the San Francisco Bay Watershed Edited by Sixteen Rivers Press (Sixteen Rivers Press)
Up Jump the Boogie By John Murillo (Cypher Books)
Ten Walks/Two Talks by Jon Cotner and Andy Fitch (Ugly Duckling Presse)


“Poetry is just the evidence of life.
If your life is burning well,
poetry is just the ash.”

Poetry Quote by Leonard Cohen


After The Party
Robert VanderMolen

So the dog wakes you
The neighbor’s dog as well—
They were large Newfoundland warnings
Of a ship astray, men sweating in panic—
Raining with passion
Pieces of planking wading waves (….)


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

Jeepney to Anini-y

Originally from Arkansas, John Schellhase is serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines. Hix poetry has appeared in Unsplendid, Barnwood Poetry Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, and other publications.

We heard the fish there cursive through the coral,
That starfish prowl the boulders, that seaweed
would flay the salty diorama, and like a quarrel
dissolving, the shore-world would go to bed. (….)


Cyrus Cassells III
By M.S. Merwin

  • Excerpt from “Down From the Houses of Magic”

From autumn to autumn, teach us
How to breathe, endure,
In the shadow of the sickening weapon;

Teach us how to blossom,
If the sky is acid,
The garden marred— (….)


American Life in Poetry: Column 272

Whether we like it or not, we live with the awareness that death is always close at hand, and in this poem by Don Thompson, a Californian, a dead blackbird can’t be pushed out of the awareness of the speaker, nor can it escape the ants, who have their own yard work to do.

Yard Work

My leaf blower lifted the blackbird—
wings still spread, weightless,
floating on the loud, electric wind
almost as if it were alive. (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 273

Equipment. I like to paint and draw, and I own enough art supplies to start my own store. And for every hobby there are lots of supplies that seem essential. In this poem we get a whole tackle box full of equipment from Michael Sowder, who lives and fishes in Utah.

Fishing, His Birthday

With adams, caddis, tricos, light cahills,
blue-wing olives, royal coachmen, chartreuse trudes,
green drakes, blue duns, black gnats, Nancy quills,
Joe’s hoppers, yellow humpies, purple chutes,
prince nymphs, pheasant tails, Eileen’s hare’s ears,
telicos, flashbacks, Jennifer’s muddlers, (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 274


Alicia Suskin Ostriker is one of our country’s finest poets. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey. I thought that today you might like to have us offer you a poem full of blessings.

The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog

To be blessed
said the old woman
is to live and work
so hard
God’s love
washes right through you
like milk through a cow (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 275

I recognize the couple who are introduced in this poem by Patricia Frolander, of Sundance, Wyoming, and perhaps you’ll recognize them, too.


He called it “his ranch,”
yet each winter day found her beside him
feeding hay to hungry cows.

In summer heat
you would find her in the hayfield—
cutting, raking, baling, stacking. (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 276

I live in Nebraska, where we have a town named Homer. Such a humble, homely name and, as it happens, the poet Donal Heffernan is from Homer, and here’s his hymn to the town and its history. Long live Homer. And while we’re celebrating Nebraska towns, let’s throw in Edgar, too.

My Hometown

Oh, Homer!
Your village sleeps near the Missouri River
With your cousin Winnebago, both children of Lakotaland.
You kept your town at two stories, as flat as the surrounding prairie.
You taught the Iliad and Odyssey in honor of your namesake poet. (….)


Poets Laureate of the U.S.A.

A Net-annotated list of all the poets who have served the Library of Congress as Consultant (the old title) or Poet Laureate Consultant (the new title). Biographies & general reference sites are linked to the poets’ names — for the recent Laureates these are our own poet profiles with book-buying links at the bottom. Many of the other linked biographies are pages from the Academy of American Poets’ Find a Poet archive, a growing & invaluable resource. If there is no general information site about the poet, we have searched the Net for sample poems or other writings or recordings & listed those below the poet’s name.

Joseph Auslander 1937-41
Allen Tate 1943-44
Robert Penn Warren 1944-45
Louise Bogan 1945-46
Karl Shapiro 1946-47
Robert Lowell 1947-48
Leonie Adams 1948-49
Elizabeth Bishop 1949-50
Conrad Aiken 1950-52 (First to serve two terms)
William Carlos WilliamsAppointed to serve two terms in 1952 but did not serve — for more on this & other Laureate controversies see the history in Jacket magazine.
Randall Jarrell 1957-58
Robert Frost 1958-59
Richard Eberhart 1959-61
Louis Untermeyer 1961-63
Howard Nemerov 1963-64
Reed Whittemore 1964-65
Stephen Spender 1965-66
James Dickey 1966-68
William Jay Smith 1968-70
William Stafford 1970-71
Josephine Jacobsen 1971-73
Daniel Hoffman 1973-74
Stanley Kunitz 1974-76
Robert Hayden 1976-78
William Meredith 1978-80
Maxine Kumin 1981-82
Anthony Hecht 1982-84
Robert Fitzgerald 1984-85 Appointed and served in a health-limited capacity, but did not come to the Library of Congress
Reed Whittemore 1984-85 Interim Consultant in Poetry
Gwendolyn Brooks 1985-86
Robert Penn Warren 1986-87 First to be designated Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry
Richard Wilbur 1987-88
Howard Nemerov 1988-90
Mark Strand 1990-91
Joseph Brodsky 1991-92
Mona Van Duyn 1992-93
Rita Dove 1993-95
Robert Hass 1995-97
Robert Pinsky 1997-2000
Stanley Kunitz 2000-2001
Billy Collins 2001-2003
Louise Glück 2003-2004
Ted Kooser 2004-2006
Donald Hall 2006-2007
Charles Simic 2007-2008
Kay Ryan 2008-2010
M.S. Merwin 2010-Present


Historical List of Vermont Poets Laureate

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

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


Historical list of United States Poets Laureate from Vermont

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


Historical List of New Hampshire Poets Laureate

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


Historical list of United States Poets Laureate from New Hampshire

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

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

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


1) The Queen City Review

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

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

ATTN: Heidi Berkowitz
Burlington College
95 North Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401

2) Bloodroot

Bloodroot is a nonprofit literary magazine dedicated to publishing diverse voices through the adventure of poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. Their aim is to provide a platform for the free-spirited emerging and established writer.

The price of a single issue is $8.

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

3) New England Review

A publication of Middlebury College, a high quality literary magazine that continues to uphold its reputation for publishing extraordinary, enduring work. NER has been publishing now for over 30 years.

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

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

4) Willard & Maple

A Literary and Fine Art Magazine of Champlain College, Burlington.

Willard & Maple
163 South Willard Street
Freeman 302, Box 34
Burlington, VT 05401


5) Vermont Literary Review

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

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

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

6) Green Mountains Review

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

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

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

7) The Gihon River Review

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

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

8) Burlington Poetry Journal

The Burlington Poetry Journal is a new nonprofit publication interested in creating a means for provoking opinions, ideas, and thoughtful responses for poets in the Greater Burlington area. While there are numerous outlets for writers to gather and share privately in Vermont, there is no publication that brings together poetry of all styles and writers of all ages for the enjoyment of the general public. It is our hope that this journal will inspire writers to share their work with others who may be unaware of their talent, and for those who have never considered themselves writers to try their hand at poetry. We invite you to submit your work and share with others your thoughts and abilities with the Burlington community. The work you share will produce a dialogue as writers become aware of each other and begin to expose themselves and others to new poetry. The eclectic nature of the Burlington Poetry Journal will serve to stimulate its readers and authors.

8) Tarpaulin Sky

Founded in 2002 as an online literary journal, Tarpaulin Sky took the form of 12.5 internet issues (see the archive) before its first paper edition in November 2007. The magazine continues to publish new work both online and in print, often curated by guest-editors.

Tarpaulin Sky focuses on cross-genre / trans-genre / hybrid forms as well as innovative poetry and prose. The journal emphasizes experiments with language and form, but holds no allegiance to any one style or school or network of writers (….)

10) The Mountain Review

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

2009’s Mountain Review is over 100 pages long!

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

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, 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,, 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 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 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.



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.


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.



The Poetry Society of Vermont, founded in 1947, is an association of poets and supporters who join in promoting an interest in poetry through meetings, workshops, readings, contests, and contributions to the society’s chapbook. Anyone may join the society including high school and college students and non-residents of Vermont. We welcome both writers and appreciative readers.

In September 2007, The Poetry Society of Vermont will celebrated its 60th Anniversary. (….)




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

2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat). The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Poetry Workshops on Monday mornings (9:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.)- Jim Fowler’s sessions continue, with periodic break for a few weeks between sessions. Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at or

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


The Wayside Poets, who share their poetry publicly from time to time, have been meeting irregularly for the past 25 years. They used to be called The Academy Street Poets. Membership is by invitation only. They meet now at the Wayside Restaurant & Bakery in Berlin. Members include Diane Swan, Sherry Olson, Carol Henrikson and Sarah Hooker. You can contact them through Sherry Olson at: or 454-8026.


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


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


The Otter Creek Poets offer a poetry workshop every Thursday afternoon, from 1:00 to 3:00 in the basement meeting room of the Ilsley Public Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury. This workshop, the largest and oldest of its kind in the state, has been meeting weekly for 13 years. Poets of all ages and styles come for peer feedback, encouragement, and optional weekly assignments to get the poetry flowing. Bring a poem or two to share (plus 20 copies). The workshops are led by David Weinstock. There is considerable parking available behind the library, or further down the hill below that parking lot. For more information, call David at 388-6939 or Ron Lewis at 247-5913.


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


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


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


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




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


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

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

It is important to keep in mind that this is not a class in which the primary or even secondary concern is reading each other’s poetry and talking about it. This is a course in learning how to write poetry, which like any other art involves mastering the craft. But learning the craft of poetry is great fun in its own right because each major element of the craft reflects something about the workings of the human mind.
A text book is required, John Frederick Nims’ Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry. Multiple copies at $1.00 each are available on line through Abe Books. Go to:… and type in Nims under author and Western Wind under title. This is a great book and you will love it for all the many wonderful things it will teach you, in addition to how to make a poem. Do not buy a new copy from Amazon because it is nowhere near as good as the older edition; that new edition (co-edited by David Mason) costs over $45.00 and is not worth the money. Please buy one of the cheap 1974 or 1983 editions solely edited by Nims.

About the Instructor:

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

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

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


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

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

Info: (802)333-9597 or and


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

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

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




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

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


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


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.


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


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

  • 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

Thinking Like a Poetry Editor: How to Be Your Own Best Critic
(“The Ossmann Method” Poetry Workshop – Crash Course)

Instructor: April Ossmann
Friday, July 23rd – 6pm – 8:30pm
Monday, August 9th – 6pm – 8:30pm
$50 (each)
Learn how to think like a poetry editor! In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. Participants will receive written editorial suggestions for both poems from the instructor. Pre-registration required; minimum enrollment 6; maximum 8. Info: (802) 333-9597 or  and

Creative Collective 
Instructor: Joni Cole
Wednesday, July 28, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

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 (time allowing), and swap insights and tips on everything from the vagaries of the creative process to the evils of adverbs. Pre-registration required. Info: or (802) 295-5526.



The League of Vermont WritersThe League is open to all who make writing a part of their lives. We offer encouragement, motivation, and networking opportunities to writers with a broad range of writing experience.
You do not need to be published to join. Visit their Membership Page for more information about benefits and fees.
Founded in 1929, LVW’s mission is to:

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

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


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

Wed, Jul 14: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m.. You Come Too: British Poets. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s Executive Director, in an examination of influential British poets. Participants may read the poems in advance or read them upon arriving. Refreshments are served. RSVPs are encouraged, but spur of the moment participants are welcome. The program for July 14 will explore the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins: “God’s Grandeur”, “The Windhover”, and “Pied Beauty”. Info, 262-2626, ext. 307.

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, 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

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

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.

Sun, Jul 18: Studio Place Arts, 201 N. Main Street, Barre, 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.. “At Work In the Bridal Industry.” Poetry reading by Nadell Fishman at Studio Place Arts. Nadell Fishman’s first poetry collection is Drive. Her poems have been published in journals such as Poet Lore, The Café Review and Hunger Mountain. Ms. Fishman has been a faculty member of Union Institute & University’s B.A. program for 16 years, where she teaches literature, writing and women’s studies. At Work in the Bridal Industry is the title of her new, as yet unpublished, collection of poems. Info, Sue Higby, 479-7069,

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

Fri-Sat, Jul 23-24: Chandler Music Hall, Randolph, 7:30 p.m. ‘SLAMVermont.’ Hard-hitting poetry and live theater merge in a festival of eight original, 10-minute plays. $11-$16.

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

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.

Wed, Jul 28: St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, 1171 Main Street, 7:00 p.m.. Poets Mary Ruefle and David Hinton will read. Info, 748-8291.

Mary Ruefle (born 1952) is an American poet, essayist, and professor. She has published eleven collections of poetry, most recently, Indeed I Was Pleased with the World (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2007). Her debut collection of prose, The Most Of It was published by Wave Books in 2008.

She has been widely published in magazines and journals including The American Poetry Review, Verse Daily, The Believer, Harper’s Magazine, and The Kenyon Review, and in anthologies including Best American Poetry, Great American Prose Poems (2003), American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets (2006), and The Next American Essay (2002).

She has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Lannan Foundation residency, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her poems are featured in American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets (2006) and many other anthologies.

In describing her poetry, the poet Tony Hoagland has said, “Her work combines the spiritual desperation of Dickinson with the rhetorical virtuosity of Wallace Stevens. The result (for those with ears to hear) is a poetry at once ornate and intense; linguistically marvelous, yes, but also as visceral as anything you are likely to encounter.”

The daughter of a military officer, Ruefle was born outside Pittsburgh in 1952, but spent her early life traveling around the U.S. and Europe. She graduated from Bennington College in 1974 with a degree in Literature. She currently lives in Vermont and teaches in the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a visiting professor at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

David Hinton’s translations from Chinese include The Mountain Poems of Hsieh Ling-yun (New Directions, 2001), Mencius (1999), The Analects of Confucius (1998), Chuang Tzu: Inner Chapters (1997), Forms of Distance by Bei Dao (1994), The Selected Poems of T’ao Ch’ien (1993), and The Selected Poems of Tu Fu (1989). In 1997 he won The Academy of American Poets Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for his three volumes published in 1996: The Selected Poems of Lí Po and Bei Dao’s Landscape Over Zero (both published by New Directions), and The Late Poems of Meng Chiao (Princeton). His other recent honors include fellowships from the Witter Bynner Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He lives in East Calais, Vermont.

Sat, Jul 31: Woodstock, 11:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. The Green Mountain Festival of Words. Six poets read, including Chard deNiord (11:30 a.m.), Martha Zweig (11:30 a.m.), Jim Schley (1:00 p.m.), Jody Gladding (1:00 p.m.), Alice B. Fogel (2:30 p.m.), and Wyn Cooper (2:30 p.m.).

Peter Rousmaniere
508 Woodstock Rd.
Woodstock VT 05091
802-457-9149 voice
802-291-3843 cell
800-381-3129 fax

professional website:


Sun, Aug 1: BigTown Gallery, Rochester, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Summer Reading Series – Galway Kinnell. Fee: $15; info, 767-9670 or

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.

Wed, Aug 4: Aldrich Public Library, Milne Community Room, 6 Washington Street, Barre, 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.. Poet Cora Brooks is the author of “Poems for a Book of Hours,” “Rinds, Roots and Stars,” “The Sky Blew Blue,” and “Ransom for the Moon.” Info, Karen Lane, 476-7550.

Wed, Aug 4: St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, 1171 Main Street, 7:00 p.m.

Poet Adam Halbur will read with novelist Ron Padgett. In July and August, The Frost Place (NH) hosts a poet-in-residence who lives and writes in Frost’s farmhouse, offering three public readings during the summer. The Trustees of The Frost Place have awarded the 2010 Resident Poet fellowship to Adam Halbur. Adam Halbur was born in 1976 and grew up feeding rabbits, chickens, pigs and steers and milking goats in the rural Midwest. He is the product of German farming immigrants that stretch back five generations from Wisconsin to Nebraska to Iowa and of newer arrivals from Denmark, Lithuania, Bohemia and French Canada who included a painter, a single mother, a doctor and probably a carpenter. Much of Halbur’s first collection of poems draws on this history as well as on his time as a small-town newspaper reporter.

From the age of thirteen, he went away to school and was largely influenced by friars, monks and nuns, receiving his secondary education at Saint Lawrence Seminary, Wis., and his post-secondary at Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict, Minn. He earned a B.A. in English literature with studies in poetry in 1998 and completed his M.F.A. in 2003 at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, N.C. Though he has held various jobs as a factory worker, park attendant, home insurance audit reviewer and writer and editor, he has taught English as a second language at Japanese and American universities since 2007 to people of various origins, including Japan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, China, Vietnam, Germany and Mexico. He is currently an associate lecturer at the ESL Institute at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, but with his wife, son and daughter, continues to split his time between their two home countries of the U.S. and Japan.

Halbur published his first book of poems, Poor Manners, in July 2009 in Tokyo with Ahadada Books, the small press of Maryland native and poet Jesse Glass, a professor at Meikai University. His work has also appeared in the anthology Never Before: Poems about First Experiences (Four Way Books, 2005) and in magazines such as The Fourth River, Fauquier Poetry Journal and Dunes Review. Info, 748-8291.

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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,

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

  • Again, if you become aware of an event that isn’t posted above, please let me know. My apologies if I have left off anything of importance to any of you, but it can always be corrected in the next Vermont Poetry Newsletter.

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

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

Octavio Paz

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

Denise Levertov

Your fellow Poet,

Ron Lewis


One response

  1. Pingback: Vermont Poetry Newsletter • August 17 2010 « PoemShape

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