Vermont Poetry Newsletter · October 30 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

October 29, 2010 (Previous issue: 09/18)

In This Issue:

  1. About VPN/How To Print
  2. Newsletter Editor’s Note
  3. Writing Assignment/Suggestion/Exercise/Prompt
  4. A Reading: Seven Champlain Valley Poets
  5. A Reading: Tim Mayo and April Ossmann
  6. Was Shakespeare Mary Sidney?
  7. The Joe Milford Poetry Show – Audio Archive
  8. Galway Kinnell NPR Interview
  9. Poetry Workshop Quote
  10. Invitation to Vermont Poets – Leonard Gibbs Offer
  11. Revision Strategies and Exercises
  12. Ralph Nading Hill Writing Contest (Nov 15 Deadline)
  13. Joni B. Cole/Julia Shipley Workshops
  14. New Open Mic Venue: The Block Gallery in Winooski
  15. New Facebook/Twitter Addresses for David Budbill
  16. Queen City Review: Fall Issue Now Available
  17. Ginsberg’s Howl to Franco’s Ginsberg
  18. Poetry Workshop With James Fowler (Bellows Falls)
  19. Poems for Peace: Building a Collection
  20. Virginia Quarterly Review Staffer Dies By Own Hand
  21. VQR Audit: No Bullying on Record
  22. Halloween Poems
  23. Letters From a Young Poet: Ted Berrigan
  24. Book Review: Vinland, By Jamie Ross
  25. A Dust-Up Over Reading Fees
  26. “Ashes to Ashes” Origin
  27. Collective Nouns/Venereal Terms
  28. Great Poetry Links: South African Poetry
  29. Poetry Quote – Ron Carlson
  30. Failbetter Poem
  31. Linebreak Poem
  32. American Life in Poetry Poems
  33. US Poets Laureate List
  34. Vermont Poet Laureates
  35. US Poet Laureates From Vermont
  36. New Hampshire Poet Laureates
  37. US Poet Laureates From New Hampshire
  38. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  39. Vermont Literary Journals
  40. Vermont Literary Groups’ Anthologies
  41. Vermont Poetry Blogs
  42. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  43. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  44. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  45. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  46. Other Writing Groups in Vermont
  47. 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.

Dating from 2009, the Vermont Poetry Newsletters are being archived on a blog maintained by poet Patrick Gillespie at Poemshape.

2.) Dear Friends of Poetry:

I know many of you have been waiting patiently for the next issue of the Vermont Poetry Newsletter, and I truly appreciate that patience. I have been busy with an unusual number of things, and trying to juggle everything is quite the balancing act. I find myself so backlogged, that any hope of catching up is just a pipe dream; I’ll just do the best I can, and not worry about being Mr. Perfect.

When I get going on what I consider an interesting poem, I can spend a minimum of 2 or 3 days doing nothing else but ponder on the words and thoughts I’ve chosen for that poem. With all my obligations in tow, it does seem like I’m letting others down by doing something so self-centered, but this is something I know for which one poet can forgive another poet. And this has been the case a few times this month, where a poem overtakes me, and I can think of nothing else. And, if I don’t spend time on my own poetry, I tend to lose that “edge” that it takes me so long to develop. I know you know what I’m talking about, and I know you’ll forgive me for that indulgence. Thank you!

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher




  1. Where are my Gardens of Eden? Think of your physical, your emotional and your geographical Gardens.
  2. Take your least favorite body part, and let it be the speaker of your poem.

Thanks to Gary Margolis for these 2 assignments, suggested recently at the PSOV Fall Luncheon/Workshop.


See Previous Issue

These Prompts brought to you by:
David Weinstock / 240 Woodland Park / Middlebury, VT 05753
Phone 802-388-6939

Good Luck!


  • There is an exciting upcoming poetry reading in Vergennes, at the Bixby Library.

Seven Champlain Valley Poets: A Collection of Voices

Wednesday, Oct. 27th, at 7 p.m.
Bixby Library, Main Street, Vergennes

The following poets will read:

Libby Van Buskirk
Janet Fancher (also a member of the Spring Street Poets)
Kathleen McKinley Harris
Rachel Plant (Head Librarian of the Bixby Library)
Deanna Shapiro
Elizabeth Stabler
Nancy Means Wright


  • And another reading on the same day, same time in Putney! Tim Mayo (The Kingdom of Possibilities) and April Ossmann (Anxious Music) will read both from their books and from new work at the Putney Public Library:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 7:00pm
April Ossmann & Tim Mayo
Putney Public Library
Author Reading & Book Signing
55 Main Street
Putney, VT
Phone: (802) 387-4407

6.) Was Shakespeare Mary Sidney?

A friend sent me a copy of Robin P. Williams’ book Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare? (Wilton Circle Press, 2002). Skeptical at first, of course, I read the book with a growing fascination. We have yet another candidate for the “Authorship Question”: Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (1561-1621). Although Ms. Williams does not really set out to prove that Mary Sidney wrote the plays, she offers us a great deal of documented evidence that opens up lines of investigation not thought of before. She hopes that future scholars will use only documented evidence regarding the Authorship Question.

Where does one begin? “If the argument for William Shakespeare’s authorship were sound, two hundred years’ worth of books, articles, debates and films about this question would not exist.” ‘Tis true, ‘tis pity ‘tis true, but she has a point. When I look at the dense rhetorical complexities and tortured iambic pentameter of the language in The Winter’s Tale, and then compare that to the profound, complex simplicity of The Tempest, which was written at the same time, I get this shudder of doubt that the same writer is at work. It’s not just the language in the two plays, but also the sensibility and vision of the author that seem so extremely different and essentially contradictory. I arrived at this conclusion by trying to cut The Winter’s Tale for a children’s production, and I found myself cutting out whole speeches, whole gobs of rhetorical flourishes, whole tortured, extraneous figures of speech. It was not just in speeches by Leontes, the tortured, jealous soul whose anger drives the plot. In the end I gave up and did The Tempest instead with only a few cuts. What does this mean? I’m not sure because I doubt more than one person wrote different plays, or that a group of writers wrote the plays together. But something is going on when Mark Rylance, an actor and the Director of the new Globe Theatre in London, resigned his position because he no longer believes Shakespeare wrote the plays.

What Williams says makes sense: “There is no contemporary evidence that definitely indicates that William Shakespeare, the man from Stratford-upon-Avon, wrote the plays attributed to him. We have lots of documentation for the man named William Shakespeare, but none of this actually indicates that he himself was a playwright because only the works are referred to, not the man.” According to Williams, what is missing from the documentation is the following:

1) There is no evidence he was ever paid as a writer.
2) There is no evidence he was recognized by a patron.
3) There is no evidence of an education in French, Italian, or Latin, languages in which the author was obviously fluent.
4) There is no original manuscript or even a piece of one.
5) There are no records from anyone in which Shakespeare is personally referred to as a writer (the contemporary mentions of Shakespeare refer to the works, not the man).
6) Neither Shakespeare, his family, nor anyone in Stratford is recorded as having mentioned he was a writer.
7) There is no evidence that he owned or borrowed any books or ever used a nobleman’s private library.
8) There is no evidence he was ever present in the royal court except as an actor.
9) There is no correspondence extant from Shakespeare, and only one unsent business letter to him; that letter makes no literary reference.
10) There is nothing in Shakespeare’s handwriting except six signatures (one illegible), all on legal documents, all spelled differently.
11) There is no evidence that anyone noticed when he died.

For a writer of this stature to be so completely undocumented in his own time is exceptionally unusual, even bizarre. These facts combine with what we know of the author based on the content of the plays. For instance, we know the author was fluent in Latin, French, and Italian; was a musician; an avid falconer; loved the game of bowls; was familiar with sailing ships; had a thorough knowledge of sewing, cooking, alchemy, gardening, medicine, heraldry, law, and politics; and was intimate with the royal court and aristocracy.

The point Williams makes is that Mary Sidney in fact had a very lively intelligence, was obviously acquainted with the royal court and her fellow aristocrats, was a published poet and playwright herself, was an advocate for the enriching of English literature (in fact, she led the Wilton Circle, a group of poets and others dedicated to that end), and also, by the way, was adept at all the activities mentioned in the previous paragraph. Another interesting aspect of this argument is that scholars have been studying the sources of every play, line, and image in the canon. As a result they know that the author read at least 160 books as sources for the plays, ranging from Apuleius to Thomas Kyd, Lucian to Henry Wotton, not to mention other books and authors. Geoffrey Bullough’s famous and exhaustive Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare runs to eight volumes. The sources accumulated for Ben Jonson, Shakespeare’s famous contemporary, could be contained in one. Mary Sidney, moreover, would have had access to all these books in her own extensive library at Wilton House, and there is no evidence of Shakespeare coming anywhere near such sources. In fact, there’s very little evidence that the man himself was even known as a writer since neither his family nor anyone else referred to him as such.

The above evidence alone is pretty compelling, but the book travels further and in greater detail over a whole landscape of other evidence. For example, a river called Avon runs through Pembroke’s 14,000 acre estate, so when Ben Jonson, who was a friend of Mary, writes of the “Sweet Swan of Avon” in his elegy, it is more likely that he is secretly addressing Mary Sidney, whose totem was a swan. If the plays were in fact written by a woman, that would explain a good deal about the author’s profound understanding of and insight into the great women characters, from Rosalind to Portia, Lady Macbeth to Cordelia, and Beatrice to Miranda. It could throw new light on all the gender bending in many plays—or at least all the women disguised as men, one of the author’s favorite plot features. It would also suggest a different and perhaps more cogent explanation for the poet who addresses the younger, male lover/poet in the sonnets. The speaker/poet may in fact not be a man at all.

One critic points out that “Shakespeare is the only alleged writer of any consequence from the period who left no personal contemporaneous records revealing that he wrote for a living.” But in the end it is no wonder that the entire Authorship Question has often been dismissed as “poppycock.” With professional scholars like A.L. Rowse, Michael Wood, and Stephen Greenblatt contributing fanciful, speculative interpretations and embellishments, public knowledge of Shakespeare’s life remains a field of petrified assumptions. What Robin Williams has accomplished nicely is that by using documented facts she has opened up a whole new vein of possibilities that other scholars can pursue.
In this fascinating book she does not say that the remarkable Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, wrote Shakespeare, but she does leave us with an almost overwhelming amount of evidence that she could have.

–Jeremiah Evarts, Editor in Brief
(As reported in The Complete Hoot, a bi-weekly newspaper of the Upper Valley Arts, Life & Entertainment)

(Reprinted by Permission)


The Joe Milford Poetry Show archives readings and interviews from acclaimed and established poets as well as up-and-coming poets from all around the world. The Joe Milford Poetry Show prides itself on its candid and organic nature infused with a lively discussion of poetics, genre, the writing process, and myriad theories and movements of poetry.

This archive has nearly 200 interviews (look at the links here, too)!

8.) Poet Galway Kinnell

Northeast Kingdom poet Galway Kinnell has won a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and has served as Vermont’s Poet Laureate. NPR reporter Jane Lindholm interviewed the longtime Sheffield resident in 2009, which was rebroadcast on August 17, 2010. He discusses his life in verse and explains why poetry matters.


  • Overheard at a recent poetry workshop:

“When a poem works, I have no idea how it works. If it doesn’t work, then we apply the tools of analysis.”

10.) Invitation to Vermont Poets!

  • Leonard Gibbs, a member of the Otter Creek Poets and Poetry Society of Vermont, the Magister Ludi of The Dead Creek Poets’ Society and webmaster of and author of the Poet’s Corner, a regular monthly column in the Addison Independent, has an invitation to Vermont poets! The newspaper has recently informed Len that they would like to have more poetry published in their newspaper, so Len is asking poets from anywhere in Vermont to send him material for him to review for future articles in Poet’s Corner. Leonard’s email address is:

11.) Revision Strategies and Exercises

Poets get better by learning to revise more often, more completely, and more intelligently, by line-editing or polishing, development, re-structuring, and revision. Some strategies worth trying are:

Expand – Open out the time frame, open passages of summary into scene, add scenes, increase the number of characters, increase the number of character points of view.

Contract – Shorten the time frame, compress scenes into summary, delete scenes and/or passages of summary, remove selected characters or story elements, remove a character point of view.

Rearrange – Add or delete a framing element, invert the chronology, break a linear chronology into fragments or render the fragmented linear, start the story earlier or later.

Change perspectives – Increase or decrease narrative distance in time, switch from one character’s point of view to another, change voice from first- to third-person or the reverse.

Complicate – Add more story elements, more characters, more points of view, additional plot turns, additional narrators, more complicated and devious narrative devices and language without necessarily lengthening the poem.

Simplify – Prune away any and all of the complicating elements above.

Credit goes to Professor Barrett in a Structural Revision Class at the 2010 Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference . These strategies and exercises were meant for novel-writing, but I modified them to mean something toward the poets’ process of revision. I find them most appropriate for our craft, especially for those poets not fortunate enough to be in a group of other poets to look at your work. Try filtering your new poem through these strategies and exercises, and see if they don’t help.

12.) Ralph Nading Hill Writing Contest

Want to turn Vermonters on with your good ideas? Enter the Ralph Nading Hill, Jr. Literary Contest and shine your verbal light. You could be the winner of the $1,500 cash prize.

Co-sponsored by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Life, the contest is open to any student or resident of Vermont. Submit your thoughts on “Vermont, Its People, The Place, Its History, or Its Values” as an essay, short story, play, or poem. Your entry must be 1,500 words or less.

Your work must be previously unpublished and postmarked by November 15 each year for consideration. Do not print your name on your work. Provide your name, address, and phone number on a separate sheet, and mail your submission to:

Corporate Development
Green Mountain Power
163 Acorn Lane
Colchester, VT 05446

All participants will be notified of the contest results in early April.

For more information, call Corporate Development at (802) 655-8410.

13.) Greetings from Joni B. Cole!

  • If your life could use more fun; if you’re looking for inspiration or to inspire; or if you’re relentlessly pursuing self-actualization, consider the following….

Animal, Vegetable, Small Rubber Alien: Reading and Writing Object Poems (This workshop even includes a field trip to the Main Street Museum of WRJ)
Saturday, October 30, 9 a.m. –  3 p.m.
Instructor: Julia Shipley
We’ll examine object poems by modern and classic poets, as a springboard to drafting our own poems about the mystic and mundane material in our purses and pockets. Participants are encouraged to bring some of their own evocative or humble objects to write about. This workshop includes a field trip to view and write about the unique object-specimens in the Main Street Museum collection in WRJ. Participants will each receive a bibliography of sources and packet of sample object poems by various poets compiled by the instructor. Pre-registration required; minimum enrollment 4; maximum enrollment 10. Info: (802) 586 7733 or (Bring lunch or plan to purchase lunch nearby.)

Page Producer Workshops
Thursdays, November 11 – December 23 (Choose day or evening class: 10 a.m. – 12:30 or 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
Instructor: Joni Cole
This workshop (fiction and creative non-fiction writers of all levels welcome) is a great way to push your writing forward thanks to ongoing deadlines, encouragement, reader response, and writing within a supportive community. Launch a project or make solid progress on an existing work. Pre-registration required. This class tends to fill up quickly. Info: or (802) 295-5526.

Creative Collective
Instructor: Joni Cole
Wednesday, December 1, 6:30 – 9 p.m. $20
 No time for a weekly class? No worries. Here’s a one-session workshop for a quick fix of writing, sharing, and collective inspiration. Participants are invited to read aloud a few pages for verbal feedback. We’ll also do a writing exercise, and swap insights and tips on everything from the vagaries of the creative process to the evils of adverbs. Pre-registration required.

Info: or (802) 295-5526.

14.) New Poetry and Open Mic Venue!

At what is reputed to be the most poetic coffee shop in Vermont, The Block Gallery & Coffeehouse in Winooski is offering a new venue for local poets, fiction writers and musicians to share words, lyrics, rhythms and thoughts. This is an open time for listening, sharing, creating and forming thought-provoking moments between Vermont’s finest minds. Bring your own, listen to others, find an inspiration to start re-creating, or learn a new talent. And, of course, plenty of espresso, lattes, mochas, teas and organic treats to keep your mouth busy while your mind runs wild!

Sundays, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Block Gallery & Coffeehouse
1 East Allen Street
Winooski, VT

Sources of images:


  • A little note from our friend, David Budbill:

Dear Friends,

After years–and I mean years–of resisting, avoiding, ignoring Facebook and Twitter, I have finally joined both. Visit me at Facebook. Sign up.

I’m also at Twitter.

With these two new addresses you will be able to get more updates from me, but only if you want them.

Best, David

All the Plants That on the Deck This Summer

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

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

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

David Budbill


The Queen City Review

  • The new issue of this impressive literary magazine is out – Fall 2010 –and awaiting your purchase! (I’ve read all the poems, and am now going back for the fiction.) See how to go about ordering it in the section on Vermont Literary Magazines below.


Ginsberg’s Howl to Franco’s Ginsberg
How a famous poem became a remarkable movie.

Howl, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s take on Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem, is a film unlike any other. Slate called it an “affectionate and artistically audacious movie” and Newsweek dubbed it “a response to a work of art that is art itself,” which, according to this interview, is exactly what the filmmakers hoped for. The following conversation between poet D.A. Powell and the film directors Epstein and Friedman was conducted via telephone on September 10, 2010. Howl opens this Friday.
* * *

Poetry Workshop Fall 2010

Start: Mon, 11/01/2010 – 9:30am
End: Mon, 12/20/2010 – 12:30pm

Poetry Workshop with James Fowler
6 Week Workshop starting Sept 13th  postponed to November
$100 payable to James Fowler (no relation to owners Pat & Alan Fowler)

Jim gives a short lecture on some aspect of poetry and give examples, then everyone critiques the student’s poems for that week.

The workshop meets in the cafe. Coffee and tea are available for sale.

Please note that Free Parking on the Square is only for two hours. Students & instructors must park in the Town’s long term parking lots (Bridge St, or at the Waypoint Center on Depot Street, each is one-two blocks from the bookstore). Moving a car during the break is NOT acceptable as license plate numbers are written down by the parking officer. Tickets are $20, so it’s not worth taking the “risk”.


Village Square Booksellers
32 The Square
Bellows Falls, Vermont 05101-0245


Poems for Peace
How to build a collection that moves beyond anti-war poetry.

In May 2009, in a backyard in Portland, Oregon, a few poets and artists found themselves possessed by what appeared to be a simple question: if we were to suggest that bookstores have a “peace shelf” of books, what should it carry? We were in Portland for “Another World Instead: William Stafford Peace Symposium,” and Kim Stafford, the poet’s son, posed the question.
I began scribbling furiously as Kim and Jeff Gundy, Fred Marchant, Paul Merchant, Haydn Reiss, and I widened the imagined shelf until it was a whole bookcase (….)


Virginia Quarterly Review staffer died by his own hand, but he reached out first
By Daniel de Vise

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Charlottesville offices of the Virginia Quarterly Review are dark. The locks have been changed. Most of the staff have resigned or taken leave. There were two competing drafts of the fall issue, one assembled by the journal’s editor, the other by members of his estranged staff. The winter issue has been canceled.

There are two divergent accounts, as well, of why the managing editor of the University of Virginia’s esteemed literary journal walked to a lonely coal tower on a July morning and shot himself in the head. (….)


UVA issues Virginia Quarterly Review audit: No bullying on record
October 20, 2010

The University of Virginia issued its audit of the Virginia Quarterly Review on Wednesday. The audit, which focused on finances and management issues at the award-winning magazine, was spurred by the suicide of Managing Editor Kevin Morrissey on July 30.
In a key finding, the audit found “no specific allegations of bullying or harassment prior to July 30th.”

This statement seems designed to put to rest charges of workplace bullying that had been leveled at Editor Ted Genoways after Morrissey’s death, made primarily by Morrissey’s estranged sister.

Yet the report doesn’t let Genoways off the hook, recommending “appropriate corrective action” be taken for his management style. (….)


Halloween Poems
A collection of classic and contemporary poems from the Poetry Foundation archive to celebrate Halloween.


If you dare, feast your eyes and ears upon this selection of poems, articles, and audio clips designed to give goose bumps and curdle the blood. Thomas Moore, Edgar Allan Poe, and Christina Rossetti tell rhyming tales perfect for chilling spines around the campfire. Shakespeare’s singing charmers from Macbeth and Sexton’s “lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind” are some of poetry’s most infamous witches. We’ll never look at tree branches with an innocent eye again, thanks to Paul Laurence Dunbar and Louise Glück; Adelaide Crapsey and Mary Karr ensure the same for darkened windows. Michael Collier and Michael Waters mischievously depict the gender play and genial debauchery of costumes, while W.S. Di Piero and Carl Sandburg warn us that Halloween is a day when real danger might look fake, and vice versa. We get a peek into the demons and spirits of other cultures via Annie Finch and Rae Armantrout: whether you say ghost, genie, or djinn, the tingle in the spine is universal. (….)


Letters from a Young Poet
Lawyers and cops took Ted Berrigan’s wife away. Here’s how he got her back.


The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan runs 749 pages, and yet I find that almost all discussion of Berrigan’s poetry begins with page 27 and ends with page 76—which is to say that people mostly talk about The Sonnets, or else they don’t talk about his work at all. Which is not to say that they don’t talk about him. In discussions of contemporary poetry and its major figures, Ted Berrigan is often mentioned, brought up, name-checked, or otherwise invoked.
He was a dedicated champion of the small journal and the chapbook press, editor and publisher of C magazine and C Press Books, and an early and active participant in the now-venerable St. Mark’s Poetry Project. There’s not an unworthy cause in that list, or anything that could be described as other than “a labor of love.” (….)


Book Review:
Vinland, By Jamie Ross

“Vinland assembles itself around the reader from different directions and dimensions the way the world assembles itself around an individual, through time and the trickeries of time, through weather and through thought, through experiences of many kinds, those of one person and those common to all, large experiences, and those that seem small but hold, lambs crying, or the play of light and shadow on a wall, […] cattails exploding, or the slow fall of snow, through the ebb and flow of memory, and the convolutions of history, through fast and feast, gearshift and tuning fork, flood and drought, through numbers and through dreams, dreams of the day and dreams of the night, through the night and through the day, through the griefs that harrow us, and the visions that silence us, and the bonds of desire that bind us, first and last, lover to lover, man to the land, father to son, son to his beloved father.”

—Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Judge, Four Way Books Intro Prize


A Call for Poetry Citizenship And a Dust Up Over Reading Fees

Jason Schneiderman
September 15, 2010

A minor blogosphere dust-up over reading fees has made me think a lot about the economy of money and attention—particularly as it relates to poetry. The blog battle went something like this—The New England Review had announced that it would be charging $2 to read submissions that were sent via the internet. The NER has been struggling financially, and I daresay institutionally. I responded to a call to write letters in the summer of 2009 asking the administration of Middlebury College not to withdraw their funding, and Middlebury College did not close the doors… but it did demand that The New England Review find a way to become solvent. (….)


  • At a recent meeting of the Otter Creek Poets, the saying “Ashes to ashes” came up in a conversation. There seemed to be some confusion as to whether or not it was mentioned in the Bible. Here’s an answer to that:

Ashes to ashes

Meaning: We come from dust; we return to dust.


Ashes to ashes‘ derives from the English Burial Service. The text of that service is adapted from the Biblical text, Genesis 3:19 (King James Version):

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

The 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer indicated the manner and text of the burial service:

Then, while the earth shall be cast upon the Body by some standing by, the Priest shall say, Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.


  • On more than one occasion during a gathering of the Otter Creek Poets, it was asked what the term was called, when we encountered, for instance, the following:

A chain of islands
A round of drinks
A convoy of trucks
A pod of whales

These are called “Collective Nouns” or “Venereal Terms.” Of course, one can get quite creative with them, even making up your own, such as:

A shiver of penguins
A zipper of flycatchers
A stand of flamingo
A handful of palm readers
A hum of bees
A prickle of porcupines
A mob of kangaroo

I’ve even tucked a collective noun/venereal term away that I want to use for the title of my chapbook (if I live that long). A great writing assignment would be to make up a new collective noun/venereal term, and use it in a poem – Try It!


“Great Poetry Links”
Welcome to South African Poetry

About Poetry International Web (PIW)

Welcome to Poetry International Web, a worldwide forum for poetry on the internet. PIW brings you news, essays, interviews and discussion, but, first and foremost, hundreds of poems by acclaimed modern poets from all around the world, both in the original language and in English translation.


“I always write from my own experiences whether I’ve had them or not.”

Poetry Quote by Ron Carlson


Previous Theories on the Body
Matthew Olzmann

First, you thought the body was shackles you needed
to break. Each night, you smashed
it in a smoky room with Dean on the jukebox
and a tumbler of anger in your hand. (….)



When we were children we wanted to be orphans.
The snow came early and halved the treeline.
Branches still flush with leaves heaved with ice and snow
and split at the waist. The sky was then a curtain (…)


American Life in Poetry: Column 287

I love to sit outside and be very still until some little creature appears and begins to go about its business, and here is another poet, Robert Gibb, of Pennsylvania, doing just the same thing.

For the Chipmunk in My Yard
I think he knows I’m alive, having come down
The three steps of the back porch
And given me a good once over. (…)
American Life in Poetry: Column 288

I’ve spent my seventy years on The Great Plains and have lived all that time amidst vivid and touching stories about the settlement of our area, lots of them much like this one, about a long ago courtship and marriage, offered to us in a poem by James Doyle, who lives in Colorado.

Love Story

The kitchen door opens onto dirt
and the second half of the country
all the way to the Pacific. Rusted
prairie trains out of the tall weeds
elbow the last century aside, rumble
from every direction towards Chicago. (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 289

There’s only so much we can do to better ourselves, and once we’ve done what we can, it still may not have been enough. Here’s a poem by Michelle Y. Burke, who lives in N.Y., in which a man who does everything right doesn’t quite do everything right.


A man can give up so much,
can limit himself to handwritten correspondence,
to foods made of whole grains,
to heat from a woodstove, logs
hewn by his own hand and stacked neatly
like corpses by the backdoor. (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 290

During our more than four years of publishing this column we’ve shown you a number of poems about motherhood. Here’s another, beautifully observed by Liz Rosenberg, who lives in New York State.

I Leave Her Weeping

I leave her weeping in her barred little bed,
her warm hand clutching at my hand,
but she doesn’t want a kiss, or to hug the dog goodnight—
she keeps crying mommy, uhhh, mommy,
with her lovely crumpled face (….)
American Life in Poetry: Column 291

I have three dogs and they are always insisting on one thing or another. Having a dog is like having a dictator. In this poem by Mark Smith-Soto, who teaches in North Carolina, his dog Chico is very much like my dogs, demanding human company on whatever mission they choose to pursue.

Night Watch

Chico whines, no reason why. Just now walked,
dinner gobbled, head and ears well scratched.
And yet he whines, looking up at me as if confused
at my just sitting here, typing away, while darkness
is stalking the back yard. (….)
American Life in Poetry: Column 292

Here’s our Halloween poem for this year, in the thin dry voice of a ghost, as captured by Katie Cappello who lives in Northern California.

A Ghost Abandons the Haunted

You ignore the way light filters through my cells,
the way I have of fading out—still
there is a constant tug, a stretching,
what is left of me is coming loose. Soon, (….)


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

38.) 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 Gibbs is a member of the Otter Creek Poets and Poetry Society of Vermont, is the Magister Ludi of The Dead Creek Poets’ Society. Leonard invites visitors to his web site,, and subsequent comments for discussion; send him some of your poetry for free critiques! He’s really very good. 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!



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, Oct 27: Bixby Library, Main Street, Vergennes, 7:00 p.m.. Seven Champlain Valley Poets: A Collection of Voices. Poets from the Otter Creek Poets and the Spring Street Poets will be sharing their muse in this wonderful setting of books: Libby Van Buskirk, Janet Fancher, Kathleen McKinley Harris, Rachel Plant (Head Librarian of the Bixby Library), Deanna Shapiro, Elizabeth Stabler, and Nancy Means Wright. Don’t miss this great collection of poets!

Wed, Oct 27: Putney Public Library, 55 Main Street, Putney, 7:00 p.m.. Tim Mayo and April Ossmann will read both from their books and from new work. Tim’s latest book, The Kingdom of Possibilities, and April’s book, Anxious Music, will both be available for purchase and signing. Info, 387-4407.

Thu, Nov 4: The Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.. Three Writers Read on the Fourth. Join three local Vermont authors for a night of literary pleasure! Cora Brooks, Merry Gangemi, and Patty Joslyn will read their poems and selective works. A Q&A session will follow the readings. Info, 223-3338,

Fri, Nov 5: The Champlain Mill, 1 Main Street, Winooski, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.. All Ages Poetry Slam. When you enter the Mill, head for the basement and look for a roomful of writers at the Young Writers Project! There will be a dramatic reading during the break.

Sat, Nov 6: Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio, 18 Langdon Street, Montpelier, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.. Guest Artist Series: Improvisation: Movement-Storytelling with Lida Winfield. In this workshop, we will explore the world of talking, expressing and moving together, and look at theater/dance/art and spoken word in a creative and new way. We will explore the link between slam poetry, dance, storytelling and performance writing. Creativity and an open mind are all that are needed to enjoy this workshop; no prior experience necessary. Teens and adults of all sizes and abilities welcome. Please register by October 22nd or call studio for space availability. $18 per class, $36 per workshop. Info, Hanna Satterlee, 229-4676,

Wed, Nov 10: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.. You Come Too: British Poets. Examine selected works of influential British poets with Vermont Humanities Council Executive Director Peter Gilbert. The November 10 discussion will include the poems of William Butler Yeats (1865-1939): “Easter 1916,” “The Second Coming,” and “Sailing to Byzantium.” Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Sat, Nov 13: Noble Hall Reading Room (VCFA), 36 College Street, Montpelier, 5:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.. Pacem Poetry Slam and Literary Extravaganza: A Benefit for Pacem Learning Community. Performers and poetry-lovers are invited to the Pacem Poetry Slam and Literary Extravaganza on Saturday November 13th, 5:15pm-8:30pm, at Noble Hall Reading Room (VCFA), for a night of candlelight, storytelling, poetry, and raucous audience participation. No entrance fee. Suggested donation for dinner: $15/person. To perform, please call Pacem Learning Community at 223-1010 and sign up. Info,,

Sat, Nov 13: Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio, 18 Langdon Street, Montpelier, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.. Guest Artist Series: Improvisation: Movement-Storytelling with Lida Winfield. In this workshop, we will explore the world of talking, expressing and moving together, and look at theater/dance/art and spoken word in a creative and new way. We will explore the link between slam poetry, dance, storytelling and performance writing. Creativity and an open mind are all that are needed to enjoy this workshop; no prior experience necessary. Teens and adults of all sizes and abilities welcome. Please register by October 22nd or call studio for space availability. $18 per class, $36 per workshop. Info, Hanna Satterlee, 229-4676,

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, 80 Pearl Street, 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.

Wed, Dec 8: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.. You Come Too: British Poets. Examine selected works of influential British poets with Vermont Humanities Council Executive Director Peter Gilbert. The December 8 discussion will include the poems of T.S. Eliot: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “The Hollow Men,” “Little Gidding (from The Four Quartets).” Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

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, 80 Pearl Street, 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.


Fri, Jan 6: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Brigit Pegeen Kelly. Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s book The Orchard (BOA Editions, 2004) was named a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry, and a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. Kelly’s other poetry collections are Song (BOA Editions), the 1994 Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets and a Finalist for the 1995 Los Angeles Times Book Award, and To the Place of Trumpets (Yale University Press), selected by James Merrill for the 1987 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. She is a recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award and the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Additional awards and honors include a Discovery/The Nation award, the Cecil Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from the Whiting Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Kelly teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois, and has also taught at the University of California at Irvine, Purdue University, and Warren Wilson College, as well as numerous writers’ conferences in the United States and Ireland.

Tue, Jan 24: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Ilya Kaminsky. Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former USSR and arrived in the USA in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He is the author of Dancing In Odessa, which won Whiting Writers Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry magazine, Dorset Prize and was named 2004 Best Poetry Book of the Year by ForeWord Magazine. He was also awarded Lannan Fellowship in 2008. He is also the translator of Polina Barskova’s Selected Poems (Tupelo 2010) and co-editor of Ecco Book of International Poetry (Ecco/Harper Collins, 2010). He teaches at San Diego State University.

Wed, Feb 2: Rutland Free Library, 10 Court Street, Rutland, 7:00p.m.. Poetry of the Earth: Re-imagining Nature. New Hampshire Poet Laureate and Dartmouth professor Cynthia Huntington examines poetry’s changing language of nature and spirit in contemporary times, referencing the work of Mary Oliver, Jane Kenyon, and Mark Doty. A program of the Vermont Humanities Council. Info,, 262-2626, or 773-1860 (library).

Wed, Mar 2: Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00p.m.. The Soul Selects Her Own Society: The Life and Work of Emily Dickinson. Reclusive poet Emily Dickinson published only a fraction of her poetry during her lifetime. Dartmouth professor Colleen Boggs looks at Dickinson’s life and how we should consider her writings in our highly public modern age. A program of the Vermont Humanities Council. Info,, 262-2626, or 223-3338 (library).

Mar 31: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Rosanna Warren. Rosanna Warren is the author of one chapbook of poems (Snow Day, Palaemon Press, 1981), and three collections of poems: Each Leaf Shines Separate (Norton, 1984), Stained Glass (Norton, 1993), and Departure (Norton, 2003). Her new book of poems, Ghost in a Red Hat, is due out from Norton in 2011. Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, a book of literary criticism, appeared from Norton in 2008. She edited and contributed to The Art of Translation: Voices From the Field (Northeastern, 1989), and has edited three chapbooks of poetry by prisoners.She has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace Readers’ Digest Fund, among others. Stained Glass won the Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets. She has won the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lavan Younger Poets’ Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Award of Merit in Poetry from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 – 2005. You can view some of her published books on the Norton website.

Wed, Apr 6: Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street, Burlington, 7:00p.m.. They Still Do Write Them The Way They Used To. Refuting the notion that modern poetry is formless and self-absorbed, poet Michael Palma considers contemporary poets who use rhyme, meter, and figurative language to explore timeless, universal themes. A program of the Vermont Humanities Council. Info,, 262-2626, or 865-7211 (library).

Wed, Apr 6: Norwich Public Library, 368 Main Street, Norwich, 7:00p.m.. Poems of Faith and Doubt. Dartmouth professor Peter Saccio discusses belief and disbelief and issues of moral choice and divine grace as they appear in one poem each by Wallace Stevens, Philip Larkin, W.H. Auden, and George Herbert. A program of the Vermont Humanities Council. Info,, 262-2626, or 388-4095 (library).

Wed, Apr 6: Ilsley Public Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 7:00p.m.. An Evening of Latin American Poetry. Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans reads poems by Ruben Dario, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, and others – parts of a tradition in which words are mechanisms of resistance against oppression. A program of the Vermont Humanities Council. Info,, 262-2626, or 649-1184 (library).

Apr 18: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Stephen Dunn. Stephen Dunn is the author of sixteen collections of poetry, including Here and Now, which will be published by Norton in May, 2011. His Different Hours was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2001. Among his many other awards are The Paterson Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement, an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, but spends most of his time these days in Frostburg, Maryland, with his wife, the writer Barbara Hurd.

Wed, May 4: Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street, Burlington, 7:00p.m.. The Passages of Herman Melville. College professor Jay Parini reflects on Melville’s various voyages and how each led to a particular book or series of books.. A program of the Vermont Humanities Council. Info,, 262-2626, or 865-7211 (library).

May 12: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. David Ferry. David Ferry is Sophie Chantal Hart Professor of English, Emeritus, Wellesley College; Visiting Lecturer, Graduate Creative Writing Program, Boston University. His most recent book of poems is Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems (University of Chicago Press, 1999). His translations are (all of them published by Farrar Straus and Giroux): Gilgamesh: A New Rendering in English Verse (1992), The Odes of Horace (1997), The Eclogues of Virgil (1999), The Epistles of Horace (2001), The Georgics of Virgil (2005). Currently, he is completing a new set of collected poems and is translating The Aeneid of Virgil. Of No Country I Know received the Lenmore Marshall Prize, Academy of American Poets, and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, Library of Congress. For The Epistles of Horace, Ferry was awarded the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Honorary Fellow, Academy of American Poets, and has received an Academy Award for Literature, American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received an honorary degree, D.Litt, from Amherst College.

May 30: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Jane Hirshfield. Jane Hirshfield is the author six poetry collections, most recently After (HarperCollins), named a best book of 2006 by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and England’s Financial Times. Other honors include major fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations. Her seventh poetry collection will be published by Knopf in August, 2011. Hirshfield is also the author of a now-classic collection of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry and three equally classic books collecting the work of women poets of the past. Her work appears in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the TLS, The New Republic, Poetry, and five editions of The Best American Poems. For more information on Jane Hirshfield, visit Barclay Agency’s website.

Jun 9: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Natasha Trethewey. Natasha Trethewey is author of Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin), for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf, 2002) which was named a Notable Book for 2003 by the American Library Association; and Domestic Work (Graywolf, 2000). She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Her poems have appeared in such journals and anthologies as American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, and several volumes of Best American Poetry. At Emory University she is Professor of English and holds the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry.

Jun 27: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Ray Gonzalez. Ray Gonzalez is the author of twelve books of poetry including Faith Run (University of Arizona Press, 2009), Cool Auditor: Prose Poems (BOA Editions, 2009) The Hawk Temple at Tierra Grande (2003 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry), and Consideration of the Guitar: New and Selected Poems (2005). Turtle Pictures (Arizona, 2000) received the 2001 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry. His poetry has appeared in the 1999, 2000, and 2003 editions of The Best American Poetry. He is Director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

July 25: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Marie Howe. Marie Howe is the author of three volumes of poetry, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (2008); The Good Thief (1998); and What the Living Do (1997), and is the co-editor of a book of essays, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic (1994). Stanley Kunitz selected Howe for a Lavan Younger Poets Prize from the American Academy of Poets. She has, in addition, been a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College and a recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, Agni, Ploughsahres, Harvard Review, and The Partisan Review, among others. Currently, Howe teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia, and New York University.

Aug 22: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Tim Seibles. Tim Seibles is the author of several poetry collections including, Hurdy-Gurdy, Hammerlock, and Buffalo Head Solos. He was the poet-in-residence at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania for the spring semester of 2010. Most recently, his poems were featured in the Cortland Review and Ploughshares. His work was also published in the newly released anthologies, Black Nature and Seriously Funny. His next collection, Fast Animal, will be released from Cleveland State University Press in spring 2011. He lives in Virginia where he teaches writing at Old Dominion University. He is also visiting faculty for the Stonecoast MFA program in Maine.

Sep 29: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Patrizia Cavalli. Patrizia Cavalli was born in Todi, Umbria, and lives in Rome. Since 1974, she has published five volumes of poetry with Einaudi, including Sempre aperto teatro, 1999 (Theatre Always Open) which won the prestigious Premio Viareggio Repaci and Pigre divinità e pigra sorte, 2006 (Lazy Gods and Lazy Fate) for which she received the Premio Internazionale Pasolini. Bilingual editions of her poems have been published in France, Canada, Mexico, and Germany. She has contributed to numerous magazines and reviews, including Poetry and The New Yorker. Describing her work in The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Verse (1996), J.D. McClatchy observed “her style is hard-bitten, on the edge. The circumstances of a poem, although private, are never merely personal, they reach out to larger, more abiding and vulnerable realities.” Giorgio Agamben has characterized her verses as “a prosody…expressed in the most fluent, seamless, and colloquial language of 20th century Italian poetry.” Cavalli also has translated Moliere’s Amphytrion, Wilde’s Salome, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Othello.

Oct 17: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. D. A. Powell. D. A. Powell is the author of Tea, Lunch and Cocktails. His most recent collection, Chronic, was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle and the National Book Critics Circle Awards. Along with David Trinidad and a cast of hundreds, he is the co-author of By Myself: An Autobiography (Turtle Point, 2009). Powell’s honors have included fellowships from the Millay Colony, the National Endowment for the Arts and the James Michener Foundation, as well as a Pushcart Prize, the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America and an Academy of American Poets Prize. In 2010, he received the Kingsley Tufts Prize from Claremont University. D. A. Powell’s work appears in numerous anthologies, including Norton’s American Hybrids, Legitimate Dangers: Poets of the New Century and Best American Poetry 1998. His recent poems appear in Kenyon Review, Quarterly West, American Poetry Review, New England Review and Virginia Quarterly Review. Powell has taught at Columbia University, the University of Iowa’s Iowa Writers’ Workshop and New England College. A former Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Poetry at Harvard University, he now teaches full-time in the English Department at University of San Francisco.

Dec 12: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.. Cyrus Cassells. Cyrus Cassells is the author of four acclaimed books of poetry: The Mud Actor, Soul Make a Path through Shouting, Beautiful Signor, and More Than Peace and Cypresses. His fifth book, The Crossed-Out Swastika, and a translation manuscript, Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas, are forthcoming. Among his honors are a Lannan Literary Award, a William Carlos Williams Award, a Pushcart Prize, two NEA grants, and a Lambda Literary Award. He is a tenured Professor of English at Texas State University-San Marcos and has served on the faculty of Cave Canem, the African American Poets Workshop. He divides his time between Austin, New York City, and Paris, and works on occasion in Barcelona as a translator of Catalan poetry.

  • 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

2 responses

  1. Thanks for a great newsletter…I am trying to submit work every other month or sol…keeps me writing, but not bites yet…still, I write for the audience of me.


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