Vermont Poetry Newsletter • January 28 2012

[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

January 28, 2012 (Previous issue: 11/19) –
In This Issue:

  1. About VPN
  2. Newsletter Editor/Publisher’s Note
  3. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  4. Fry & Laurie – The Poem
  5. Vermont Writes Day 2.07.2012
  6. Young Writers Project 3rd Friday Poetry Slam & Open Mic
  7. YWP/Young Writers Project Workshops
  8. Nikky Finney’s Award Speech
  9. Bloodroot Reading
  10. Craft Tip From Diane Lockward
  11. Book — The Poetry Gymnasium: 94 Proven Exercises to Shape Your Best Verse
  12. Books Recommended by Valparaiso Poetry Review
  13. Programmers Make Time to Rhyme in Silicon Valley
  14. The Art of Elizabeth Bishop: Poetry in Paint
  15. Curbside Haiku
  16. Peter Reading Obituary
  17. Singer Jessica French, People of Walmart Lyrics
  18. Poet Frost’s Home Illegally Converted to Apartments
  19. Sonia Sanchez Becomes Philly’s First Poet Laureate
  20. Bukowski’s 1971 Letter Outlines Terms for Poetry Reading
  21. Burning Deck: Introducing an Appreciation
  22. A Poem A Day: Portable, Peaceful and Perfect
  23. Politics and Poetry: Do They Really Ever Meet in America?
  24. A Poetry Reading by Kay Boyle (Audio)
  25. A Poetry Reading by Clark Coolidge (Audio)
  26. What Rhymes With ‘Undead’? Some Poets Know
  27. Poetry Pairing: January
  28. Urban Beat for Poetry Festival
  29. Poetry Magazine Celebrates 100 Years
  30. 7 Recommendations by Ron Lewis: Books and Music
  31. Great Poetry Links: Wordle
  32. Poetry Quote – Robert Frost
  33. Poem: I’m Explaining a Few Things (Pablo Neruda)
  34. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  35. Linebreak Poem
  36. American Life in Poetry Poem
  37. US Poets Laureate List
  38. Vermont Poet Laureates
  39. US Poet Laureates From Vermont
  40. New Hampshire Poet Laureates
  41. US Poet Laureates From New Hampshire
  42. Contact Info for Editor/Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  43. Vermont Literary Journals
  44. Vermont Literary Groups’ Anthologies
  45. Vermont Poetry Blogs
  46. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  47. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  48. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  49. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  50. Other Writing Groups in Vermont
  51. 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, home to more writers and poets per capita than any other state in the nation. 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.


Dear Friends of Poetry:

My sincere apologies for not providing you with a newsletter before now. Sadly, my time gets consumed by so very many things. I have over 3,000 emails in my inbox that need some type of attention; I can’t tell how often I’ve felt I should just delete all of them and start from zero. If I went ahead and did that, at least I’d find out what was important and if not, I didn’t need to know about them!

If you’re ever over my way, in the town of Brandon, stop by and see my display of antique Valentine cards, upstairs at the Brandon Library. The library has an unusually large display case, some 100 square feet of space, allowing me to put out probably close to 200 cards. I have several thousand in my collection.

With Valentine’s Day fast upon us, now’s the time to write your special person a nice poem. Mine are usually so glum and dark that I don’t dare give one to my wife, unless I want her to leave me!

Take care; I hope you enjoy the Newsletter!

Ron Lewis
VPN Editor/Publisher
(802) 247-5913


Take a look at these sad homes in the Detroit area. There are an estimated 12,000 abandoned homes in this area, and this web site only shows a small sampling. I think there’s a poem in all this, buried in the walls of these houses. So, it’s your job to make these walls talk!

Previous Writing Assignment (See previous issue.)

Good Luck!

4.) A bit of Fry & Laurie – The Poem

5.) Vermont Writes Day 2.07.2012

The Third Vermont Writes Day will take place Tuesday Feb. 7, 2012 (the birthdays of Charles Dickens, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Sinclair Lewis, by the way). On that day, YWP (Youth Writers Project) encourages schools (and businesses and organizations) across the state to take a moment out of their day to get EVERYONE — students, teachers, administrators, staff and guests — to write to a prompt (or their own ideas) for 7 minutes. Just seven minutes!

We are also asking everyone to arrange time for feedback and public display. And we hope, if you or your school wants, you will use a special site we are creating that day: (It’ll be available that day for writing and onward for reading.)

So get your schools to participate! Prompts are below. (click Read More) Poster and info are attached and can be downloaded to give to a parent or a teacher. And stay tuned for some other announcements related to this fun event.
Our first year of doing this, 2008, we had over 20,000 participants. CAN WE DOUBLE THAT?

~ The YWP Crew

The PROMPTS (or write about anything in 7 minutes):

  • Irene: Pick a recent moment that reminded you of the impact of Tropical Storm Irene. Share a story.
  • Wildest excuse ever: You’ve just remembered that a homework assignment is due in an hour. Craft the wildest excuse ever that someone would believe.
  • First lines: Choose one and write a story, essay or poem:

“Walking to school yesterday, I discovered the most amazing . . .”
“The first thing I remember . . .”
“It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs. Shears’ house . . .” — (The opening of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon)

Conversation: Imagine you are meeting someone famous – from present day or the past – describe the encounter. What would you say and do?


  • Let’s Support the YWP/Young Writers Project!!! See what all the Hoopla is about.

3rd Friday Poetry Slam and Open Mic

Event Date and Time:

Fri, 02/17/2012 – 6:00pm – 8:30pm
YWPs Third Friday Poetry Slam and Open Mic. All ages!

New Location:

Block Gallery coffee shop at the top of the Winooski Traffic Circle in the Winooski Block Building
Open Mic at 6:15. Theme: Lonely Hearts Club!

  • Whether an anti-Valentines Day rant, poem, short story, or 10-minute play, come to our YWP Open Mic Lonely Hearts Club and speak your lovelorn, lovesick lovewriting from the YWP stage.

10-minute time limit. PG-13 rules apply.

Poetry slam at 6:45. Slam poets sign up at 6:15.

  • Bring 2 original poems to slam. 3-minute time limit.

All ages! PG-13 rules apply.

For more info go to

7.) YWP/Young Writers Project

Join us for two great workshops:
Sat, 02/04/2012 – 10:00am – 2:00pm

  • 10 a.m. Selena Salfen and Geoff Gevalt lead a Photo Story Workshop with tips on photo taking, writing and podcasting
  • Noon — Poet, teacher and Jazz Archivist Reuben Jackson leads the group in Jazz Poetry.

8.) Nikky Finney’s Award Speech Tops Record Year for Black Women Writers

Nikky Finney’s acceptance speech for her 2011 National Book Award for Poetry deserves an honor all by itself. The award-winning poet is a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky and was being honored for her recent poetry collection, “Head Off & Split.” Presenter John Lithgow, who’s been to dozens, if not hundreds of awards ceremonies himself, called Finney’s acceptance speech “the best acceptance speech for anything that [I’ve] ever heard in [my] life.”

Shortly after her incredible acceptance speech, her book sold out across many bookstores including
Out the four honorees at this year’s National Book Awards, three of them were women of color. Along with Finney was novelist Jesmyn Ward, who won the fiction award for “Salvage the Bones,” and Thanhha Lai, a Vietnamese author who won in the young adult category for “Inside Out & Back Again.” Stephen Greenblatt won the nonfiction award for “The Swerve.”

When Finney won her award she read a poem she prepared in anticipation of winner the award. Her acceptance speech, along with each one of her poems, draws from the history of slavery, she told the audience.

“Black people were the only people in the United States ever explicitly forbidden to become literate,” she told the audience. “I am now officially speechless.”

Watch her acceptance speech at the top of this page. Finney’s speech begins around the 4:30 minute mark.


Place this date in your PDA. Why not enjoy a day in Norwich, perhaps spend a little time at the awesome store at King Arthur Flour, and even perhaps the Montshire Museum, then mosey on over to the Norwich Public Library for a poetry reading of some of the poets who have their work in the current issue of Bloodroot. Support for poets should be something we all should encourage. That’s the whole reason for the 2nd half of the Vermont Poetry Newsletter: the Poetry Event Calendar! Without the PEN, all of us would be on an island, just with ourselves. The PEN allows you to know what’s happening all over our lovely state, and to reach out and meet, listen to, and pass creative juices from other poets to yourself. Let’s face it, the VPN & PEN has brought us all a bit closer to each other!

Bloodroot reading date:

Norwich Public Library
Wed March 21, 7pm to 9pm
Community Room
PO Box 290 368 Main St.
Norwich, VT 05055

  • free, open to the public, light refreshments, book sales

10.) Craft Tip

Saving the Savory

“Letting go” is not, and never has been, something I do easily. Downsizing, three years ago, from a 1900 square foot house to just over 1000 sq. ft., nearly did me in. When it comes to poetry, though, I’ve somehow managed to accept—most of the time—the fact that crafting a diamond out of the rough draft of a poem often means leaving out certain gorgeous lines, or wonderful words, or stunning metaphors, or brilliant images, that do (sigh) overburden the poem and so must be cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Isn’t that what we always hear from writing instructors, ourselves (sometimes) included? (….)

11.) Book Recommendation

The Poetry Gymnasium: 94 Proven Exercises to Shape Your Best Verse might seem a bit pricey at $35, but it’s a textbook and is priced as such. If you’re a teacher looking for a good poetry textbook, this could be the very one. However, if you’re a poet working on your own but hoping to expand your knowledge, this book really does contain the classroom. Its structure and format make it ideal for poets who are looking for instruction and stimulation.

The book is organized into five sections, the five canons of classical rhetoric: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. If I were in the classroom, that arrangement might have mattered to me, but working outside of the classroom, I found that it didn’t. I was primarily interested in the exercises and craft instruction. Hunley offers a very generous 94 exercises, but there’s more, much more. Each exercise is preceded by an objective, a brief background (tons of information here), and a rationale. Then comes the exercise, followed by model poems.

I marked a number of the prompts and have already used a few. I especially liked the sections on revision strategies, a few of which helped me bring a few poems-in-progress to the next level. I think you’ll also find much in this book to stimulate your own work.

(Recommendation by Diane Lockward)

12.) Recent & Recommended Books

13.) Programmers make time to rhyme in Silicon Valley

By Donald Brooke

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — A year ago last July, Freeman Ng set out to write one haiku a day. Now, 514 poems later, he’s still writing, and more than 4,500 people are following his daily verse through Twitter, Facebook and email.
Ng is not a poet by profession, but he is a paid writer — of computer code.

In Silicon Valley‘s world of algorithms, binary translation and complex equations, some people find time to rhyme as well as reason. From engineering students at local universities to programmers at big tech companies, practitioners of iambic pentameter dot the landscape. (….)

14.) The art of Elizabeth Bishop

Poetry in paint
HAD Elizabeth Bishop got her way, she may never have become one of North America’s finest modern poets. “How I wish I’d been a painter,” she once wrote, “that must really be the best profession—none of this fiddling with words.”

“Objects and Apparitions”, an exhibition of Bishop’s artwork at the Tibor de Nagy gallery in New York, lends a glimpse of her private life as a painter. The show gathers together a selection of the relatively unknown pieces she produced in her lifetime—for friends, lovers or as gifts, never intended for public display—along with some of the objects she adorned her homes with in Brazil and America. (….)

15.) Curbside Haiku

DOT uses / Money from drunk driver fines / To buy new haikus!

Today DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan unveiled the first of 216 safety signs featuring colorful artwork and haikus. The signs will be installed at a dozen high-crash locations near cultural institutions and schools citywide, using state money collected from DWI fines. Haikus for safer streets! We can’t wait to hear what cantankerous NY Post columnist Steve Cuozzo has to say about this! (“In the good old days / Cars ran poets down like dogs / Wrote rhymes with their blood.”)

16.) Peter Reading Obituary

Poet whose bleak, pessimistic works led him to be called the laureate of grot

17.) Jessica French

  • This is a hysterical song that you just have to hear and read the lyrics to at the same time. Seems Jessica won a song contest to do a Hundai commercial after the powers that be saw and heard this song.

18.) Poet Frost’s Home Illegally Converted to Apartments

Lawrence, MA

Authorities report that the late poet Robert Frost’s home in this historic mill city is being used by a church group for illegal apartments. City Inspector Gregory Arvanitis said he discovered four apartments in the Frost homestead had no electrical, plumbing or gas permits and inadequate exit. He said the home, highlighted on the Robert Frost Walking Trail, is owned by the Anchor Baptist Church of Woburn, Mass. (….)

19.) Sonia Sanchez Becomes Philly’s First Poet Laureate

Mayor Michael Nutter and the City of Philadelphia are embracing poetry as a powerful means of communication and artistic expression by creating a citywide position for poet laureate.

And West Philadelphia resident Sonia Sanchez will be the first artist named to the post.

According to this article from the Associated Press, the activist and poet was appointed to the newly created position Thursday. Mayor Nutter called Sanchez “the longtime conscience of the city.” (….)

20.) Charles Bukowski’s 1971 letter outlines terms for poetry reading.

  • You will die laughing when you read this one!

21.) Burning Deck: Introducing an Appreciation by Mathew Timmons

Most poetry insiders and experimental prose aficionados know The Burning Deck Press, if not by name then at least by the lovely, simple design of their books. In fact, any small press that lasts 50 years tends to generate name recognition beyond the otherwise often insular boundaries of the experimental writing community. Even I had a fair knowledge of the press before beginning research for this project. I knew it was edited by Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop in Providence or Boston, and if hard pressed I would have guessed Providence. I’d have been right, of course, and I really lament the fact that I didn’t know about the Waldrops when I lived there in 1998 – 99. I guessed the press had been around since the early 1970s (wrong! 1961, to be exact) and that the design of their books and their obviously good eye for typography was to be much appreciated. I’d thought that poetry was the main focus of the press, and, maybe, work in translation from the French. (Actually they publish a fair amount of prose and a good amount of work in translation from German as well.) Otherwise, Burning Deck seemed, to me, a real old school small press publisher with a well-focused aesthetic behind their publishing—an aesthetic I deeply appreciate and, in my mind, associate with another great small press, The Figures. The first Burning Deck book I ever owned was given to me by my good friend Harold Abramowitz, Trial Impressions by Harry Mathews (1977), a book which I will talk more about in the next installment of this series. (….)

22.) A Poem A Day: Portable, Peaceful and Perfect by Alan Heathcock

I hadn’t slept well, had to get my three kids to three different schools in three different cities, had deadlines piled on deadlines. I leaned my head against my bookcases and there, at eye-level, was a book of poetry by Mary Oliver.

I randomly opened to the poem “Egrets.” Like magic, I was pushing through catbrier to the edge of a pond, where I watched “a spindle of bleached reeds” become egrets and “unruffled, sure, by the laws of their faith not logic, they opened their wings softly and stepped over every dark thing.”

I closed the book, transformed, bolstered from the inside out.

From that day forward, each morning I read a poem. Even with a crazed daily docket, I can manage a minute or two for the words, reading while waiting for the bread to toast, sitting in a school parking lot. I’ve read poems at jury duty. At Jiffy Lube. Once, at a football tailgate, I read a poem in a Portajohn. (….)

23.) Politics And Poetry: Do They Really Ever Meet In America?

When Bay Area poets Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, and Geoffery G. O’Brien were beaten by police during a peaceful protest at Occupy Berkeley, the answer to the question the headline poses was answered in dramatic fashion.

The news spread quickly in the poetry community. We were astonished, horrified, and concerned. This is not Chile. This is not Turkey. This is not Russia. We are not a country that imprisons or brutalizes its writers because of their writings; in fact,

Americans are not really used to writers — especially poets — placing themselves at the forefront of political issues or political protests. When Hass published a smart and measured op-ed about the incident in The New York Times, it was a rare moment when American poetry and politics met on a grand stage. (….)

Go to:

24.) A Poetry Reading by Kay Boyle

Recorded at the KPFA studios on August 25, 1986 Kay Boyle reads a selection of her poems. One of America’s most important writers of the 20th century, and a close friend of James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, William Carlos Williams, and many others, Kay Boyle was one of the longest surviving member of those American artists and writers that lived in Paris during the 1920’s. She was also quite politically active in the support of pacifism and political prisoners and was even blacklisted during the McCarthy era. This however only encouraged her and she also became heavily involved in the civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, and nuclear disarmament movements. Many of these political concerns found there way into her stories and poetry, as the selections heard here will clearly attest to.

Go to:

  • P.S. Anytime I can find new material by Kay Boyle, who was one of my main poetry mentors in college, along with Denise Levertov and Stan Rice, I am always delighted to share it with my readers. – Ron Lewis

25.) A Poetry Reading by Clark Coolidge

Clark Coolidge reads a number of his poems, many of which were unpublished at the time of this recording. Coolidge, was perhaps more than any other person, responsible for inspiring the entire experimental field of Language Poetry, which became popular among avant-garde, mostly American poets, during the 1960s and 70s. This type of poetry was partially inspired by the work of Gertrude Stein, John Cage, and others who sometimes used mathematical sequences and other aleatoric or logical constructs to organize their poetry or music. The work of the Language Poets often forced the audience to participate in the extraction or creation of meaning from the text, separate from the authors intent. This reading occurred in April or May of an undetermined year (but probably in the 1970s) at the home of Michael Palmer, 17 Beaver Street in San Francisco.

Go to:

26.) What Rhymes With ‘Undead’? Some Poets Know

Times may be tough, but if you happen to be a zombie, the future looks bright. Never have the undead seemed more alive.
In television series like “The Walking Dead” and video games like Zombie Panic, lurching corpses swarm the land, feasting on flesh. The zombie apocalypse, an end-of-days fantasy in which the dead hunt the living and consume their brains, has infected the popular imagination the way the threat of a nuclear holocaust did in the 1950s.

Writers like Max Brooks have filled in the grim details in “The Zombie Survival Guide,” and even the Centers for Disease Control and Preparedness, spotting an educational opportunity, have decided to address the zombie threat. Last May, as a teaching aid for real disease outbreaks, they issued a graphic novel showing how to deal with a zombie pandemic. (….)

27.) Poetry Pairing | ‘January’

This week’s Poetry Pairing matches W. S. Merwin’s “January” with a 2011 story about enjoying the season despite the cold — “Snow Forecast? Set Up the Patio.”

After reading the poem and article, tell us what you think — or suggest other Times content that could be matched with the poem instead. (….)

28.) Urban Beat for Poetry Festival

Count Philip Roth, Allen Ginsberg and Amiri Baraka among the native sons of Newark, a place more often associated with urban woes than with distinguished wordsmiths. But from Thursday through Sunday, the backdrop for the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival will be the downtown Newark arts district, the first urban setting for this celebration, the largest poetry event in North America. That choice for the 13th festival underlines the hope — helped also by the recent $100 million pledged to Newark schools by the Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg — that the city is on the upswing. It also bows to the idea that poetry can flow from the rhythms of the streets as well as from more sedate settings. (….)

29.) Poetry Celebrates 100 Years

Monthly magazine has published continuously in Chicago since its founding in 1912

CHICAGO — Poetry magazine, published by the Poetry Foundation, celebrates its centennial in 2012. First published in Chicago in October 1912 by founding editor Harriet Monroe, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. As the magazine turns 100, it holds fast to the principles that guided it from the beginning: to discover new voices, present new work by internationally recognized poets, and enliven discussion about and readership for contemporary poetry.

“Only a handful of literary magazines are still publishing after 100 years; a poetry magazine that reaches that milestone is a rarity indeed,” said Poetry Foundation president John Barr. “Poetry remains, as T.S. Eliot wrote in 1954, ‘an American Institution.’”
Poetry established its reputation early and published the first important poems of T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg, and other now-classic authors. In recent years, more than a third of the poems published in each issue are submitted by writers who have never before appeared in Poetry’s pages. By showcasing both established and emerging poets alongside provocative reviews, essays, and criticism, Poetry sparks conversation and brings new readers to the art form. (….)


  • I seldom have so many wonderful books to suggest to my readers, but I have come across real dynamite this time around. Take a look for yourselves, numbered 1 through 7. ~ Ron Lewis
  • In talking with the author of the next title, Colleen S. Harris, she describes this book as a little book of wisdom and collected lessons from some brilliant female poets. After looking over the authors of these essays, I’d have to say that she’s understated it a bit. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this! ~ Ron Lewis

2.) Women on Poetry

3) (T)ravel/Un(t)ravel: Poems by Neil Shepard

As the title implies, this fourth collection of poetry by Neil Shepard is about travel and stasis, journeying to and sojourning in such far-flung places as French Polynesia, Indonesia, and China, as well as in more familiar environs such as England, France, and Spain. As the parentheses of the title suggest, it’s also about the unraveling of identity as a traveler crosses boundaries, tries to make sense of new languages and lifestyles, and loses his cultural bearings, Finally, it’s about the reintegration (or raveling) of identity, as the traveler stops long enough in some foreign place to regain his bearings, integrate new cultural information, and make it feel like some semblance of ‘home.’

  • Poetry Daily recently featured a poem from the book, and the Academy of American Poets featured the poem “Blustery” on their Poem-A-Day website, which you can access here.
4.) Into the Great Blue: Meditations of Summer

Sarah W. Bartlett
Finishing Line Press
P. O. Box 1626
Georgetown, KY 40324

Correction: Go to for more information or phone 802-310-1770

  • Part of Finishing Line’s critically acclaimed Chapbook Series, this collection of poems is by Vermont author Sarah W. Bartlett. Her poems arise from the particulars of locale and connect experience with lyric spirituality.

5.) Lake Studies: Meditations on Lake Champlain by Daniel Lusk

Maritime Museum Publishes Vermont Poet’s Lake Studies Poetry Collection

A new collection of poems by Vermont poet Daniel Lusk—Lake Studies: Meditations on Lake Champlain—has been published by Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM). The 37 poems in this volume are works of imagination inspired by the passion of archaeologists, divers, historians, naturalists, and the poet’s own experiences of the lake. A selection of images enhances the richness and complexity of these explorations. Lusk ponders the region’s prehistory, recalls maritime tragedies, and evokes underwater mysteries and lore in language that will enrich the experience of readers whether or not they are familiar with the dramatic beauty of Lake Champlain.

Lake Studies can be ordered through LCMM’s online store and at local bookstores. Daniel can be reached at .

6.) Music CD (Poems into Music)

  • Jerry Johnson (Lyrics)
  • Jon Gailmor (Melodies)
  • Pete Sutherland (Melodies)
  • Take it from me, your Vermont Poetry Newsletter Editor, anyone, young and old, will love this CD collaboration. I’ve heard many of the songs, and found myself hitting the replay button over and over again. I truly believe, given time, that “Noah’s Song” will be a children’s classic. With 16 lively songs, this is a true bargain, and a great gift for anyone, especially yourself! Click on the Image at Right to see full size. ~ Ron Lewis

7.) A Bed of Leaves by Jerry Johnson

  • Jerry also has a few copies left of his previous book of poetry, A Bed of Leaves. The book is only $12, and as above, a check should be made payable to Jerry Johnson, and sent to PO Box 44, Irasburg, VT 05845; be sure to include your shipping address.

31.) Great Poetry Links


  • Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends. Personally, Wordle is one of the best internet sites I’ve ever found! I dare any of my readers to get on the site and not “waste” at least 15 minutes of their time!


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
Poetry Quote by Robert Frost

33.) I’m Explaining a Few Things

By Pablo Neruda

You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
and the poppy-petalled metaphysics?
and the rain repeatedly spattering
its words and drilling them full
of apertures and birds?
I’ll tell you all the news.
I lived in a suburb,
a suburb of Madrid, with bells,
and clocks, and trees.
From there you could look out
over Castille’s dry face:
a leather ocean.
My house was called
the house of flowers, because in every cranny
geraniums burst: it was
a good-looking house
with its dogs and children.
Remember, Raul?
Eh, Rafel? Federico, do you remember
from under the ground
my balconies on which
the light of June drowned flowers in your mouth?
Brother, my brother!
loud with big voices, the salt of merchandises,
pile-ups of palpitating bread,
the stalls of my suburb of Arguelles with its statue
like a drained inkwell in a swirl of hake:
oil flowed into spoons,
a deep baying
of feet and hands swelled in the streets,
metres, litres, the sharp
measure of life,
stacked-up fish,
the texture of roofs with a cold sun in which
the weather vane falters,
the fine, frenzied ivory of potatoes,
wave on wave of tomatoes rolling down the sea.
And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings —
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood.
Jackals that the jackals would despise,
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate!
Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives!
see my dead house,
look at broken Spain :
from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers,
from every socket of Spain
Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes,
and from every crime bullets are born
which will one day find
the bull’s eye of your hearts.
And you’ll ask: why doesn’t his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land?
Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
The blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
In the streets!


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

Bank Fishing for Bluegills
Ted Kooser

A breeze nudges the empty aluminum boat
as it drifts at the end of its rope,
its lightness wallowing within it like a fat man
who has fished all day and fallen asleep (….)


Digging In

by Donna Vorreyer
after the letters of Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

Cherry blossoms are over; there are no bears or cats or dogs among the roses.
There are three nests in my two apple trees, and now the robins are shrieking.

It is time to move north, back to the proper table. It worries me, a minute’s
dreadful blackout, at times a torment. There is luxury in putting off, but only (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 354

A wise friend told me that since the Age of Reason we’ve felt we had to explain everything, and that as a result we’ve forgotten the value of mystery. Here’s a poem by Lisel Mueller that celebrates mystery. Mueller is a Pulitzer Prize winning poet from Illinois.

Sometimes, When the Light
By Lisel Mueller

Sometimes, when the light strikes at odd angles
and pulls you back into childhood

and you are passing a crumbling mansion
completely hidden behind old willows
or an empty convent guarded by hemlocks (….)

37.) 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

November 4, 2011-Present: Sydney Lea, Newbury (b. December 22, 1942)
July 26, 2007-November 3, 2011:
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


All Past National Book Critics Circle Award Winners and Finalists

Every year, the National Book Critics Circle presents awards for the finest books published in English. Below are the past winners and finalists for all National Book Critics Circle annual awards, from 1975 to present.

43.) 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

The QCR is also on FacebookBurlington 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 3) 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 2010 and upcoming 2011 issues. Copies can also be purchased in the Writing Center or at the front desk. They accept cash, check, and credit cards (Visa and Mastercard). 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 Sadler
Faculty, Interdisciplinary Studies
Coordinator, The Writing Center
Editor, The Queen City Review
Burlington College
95 North Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401

If you have any further questions, you can contact Heidi at:
T: 802-862-9616

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: $10 for a single current 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. One of two literary journals published by the college, the other being The Gihon River Review (below).

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. The Burlington Poetry Journal is an independent publication that is dedicated to the concept that art should be free and accessible to everyone. In a world with so many voices we believe in a community based, eclectic approach to the publication of poetry. Therefore, the BPJ will always welcome any form or style within its pages.

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. They are currently working towards achieving a non-profit 501(c)3 status.

9) 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, and the magazine continues to publish new work both online and in print. In addition to these issues, Tarpaulin Sky publishes work by individual authors in its “chronic content” section, as well as online-only book reviews

Tarpaulin Sky focuses on cross-genre / trans-genre / hybrid forms as well as innovative poetry and prose. The journal is not allied with any one style or school or network of writers; rather, we try to avoid some of the defects associated with dipping too often into the same literary gene pool, and the diversity of our contributors is evidence of our eclectic interests (….)

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

The Honeybee Press is a brand-new writer’s cooperative based in Burlington, Vermont. The first book from the press is 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. To submit to The Salon, see the guidelines listed on its web address.

  • Click on link 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 Subscriptions

Vermont 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. (….)

15) Vantage Point

Vantage Point is the arts and literary journal at the University of Vermont. VP is a student-run journal, supported by generous funding from the Student Government Association at UVM, which allows them to circulate the journal to students and the general public for free. They also receive funding from the Mary Brigham Buckham Fund, through UVM’s English Department.

Vantage Point was established in 2002 by a group of students in the Honors College who felt that UVM needed a literary journal. In the past, they have published strictly student work, however this past semester they opened up the submission pool to faculty and to the general public. They are continuing to go that route this semester as well.

16) est

est is a publication of literary and visual art.

It serves as an outlet for creative people to share their work freely with others.

With technology affirming its ever-present role in media and communication, it can be difficult to find an alternative that is as accessible and timely. Contrary to the endless supply of self proclaimed material from bloggers and youtubers, est works to sustain the precious art form of a handmade publication. All issues are of a limited edition and offer a unique perspective on the fears, humor and sensitivities of our world. Peer revision and interactive projects at the release events also help introduce and network contributors with each other. Past issues of est feature poetry, short fiction, drawing, photography, comics, DIY instructions and interactive projects. Each edition of 100 zines are hand numbered and bound by a pamphlet stitch.

Hard copies are available at select retailers as well as online via mail order. 
Subscriptions are also available.

est is available for viewing and purchase at these locations:

Speaking Volumes – Burlington, VT
Boutilier’s – Burlington, VT
Battery Street Jeans – Burlington, VT
Earth Prime Comics – Burlington, VT
Village Wine & Coffee – Shelburne, VT
Brown Dog Books – Hinesburg, VT

Direct correspondence to Heather Bischoff, Solicitor/Editor, at



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.Membership in PSOV

  • 2 luncheon/ workshops a year where a professional poet critiques your poems
  • one hands- on writing workshop and reading under the direction of a professional poet
  • the opportunity to enter contests judged by professional poets and to win awards
  • fellowship with appreciative readers and writers of poetry
  • opportunity for publication in the PSOV chapbook, The Mountain Troubadour
How to join:
mail dues of $20.00 to Membership Chairman, P.O. Box 1215, Waitsfield, VT 05673
include your name, mailing address, telephone, and e-mail address for Membership List
memberships are renewed by January 1 of each year
The PSOV has 2 current books available for sale:
1) The Mountain Troubadour – 2010 – Curl up with interesting, award-winning poetry from a wonderful group of poets. This book is only $8 (+$1 to mail). To get yourself a copy, call or write to Betty Gaechter, 134 Hitzel Terrace, Rutland, VT 05701, 773-8679. This little booklet may be just the thing to get you involved with the PSOV for a lifetime of friendships.
2) Brighten the Barn – 60th Anniversary Anthology – 1947-2007 – An Anthology of Poems by Members of the Poetry Society of Vermont. 99 pages of quality poetry; that’s a lot of beautiful poetry for only $12. If you get it through me (Ron Lewis), it’s only $12. If you want it shipped to you, the PSOV wants an extra amount to cover tax and shipping ($0.72 + $3.00). This book retails for $15, but a reduced price is now in play to unload the few remaining copies.



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 café 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 cultivation 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.

For more on the InkBlot Complex Poetry Workshop, see description under Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont (Anywhere, VT).


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 Cherry Lane Poets are a small group (7-8) of poets that meet on the first Thursday of every month. The membership has been kept to a minimum so that poets will have all the time they need during critiques. Each poet has been or is a member of another poetry critiquing group, so the information passed to each other is more professional than that of most poetry groups. The primary goal of this group is to polish their work, get it submitted, and have it published. Each member brings a new poem with them, with enough copies to pass around, and reads it aloud to the group; it gets critiqued by each member during the following month, and those critiques are presented at the next meeting. Regina Brault is the contact person, (802) 860-1018; membership is by invitation only.

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.


The Johnson Writer’s Group, newly formed on January 26, 2011, meets weekly on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00, at the Johnson Public Library on Railroad Street, in the front room. This is a free drop-in prompt writing group modeled after the Burlington Writing Group that’s been going strong for many years now. The writers themselves decide on a prompt and write for 20 minutes, followed by a go-around reading. They usually get in two writes depending on the group’s size. All genres and experience levels are welcomed and there really are no rules other than not interrupting folks while they are writing. They don’t really do much critiquing though some spontaneous reactions do occur! This group believes that it’s just good practice to show up and write for 40 minutes and share the writing if so inclined… Feel free to join this group on a perpetual basis or whenever you’re in town. Contact is Cynthia Hennard at (802) 363-5541 or (802) 730-8125.


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.


1.) 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.

2) The Spring Street Poets. This group is by invite only and consists of six members, Jennifer Bates, Janet Fancher, Karin Gottshall, Ray Hudson, Mary Pratt and David Weinstock.

MONTPELIER: Vermont College of Fine Arts

Established in 1981, the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program was one of the first low-residency programs in the country. The Atlantic named it one of the top five low-residency programs nationwide. At each MFA in Writing residency, a renowned poetry or prose writer joins the program for a substantial portion of the residency. The author gives a reading and/or talk, meets with numerous students individually, and is available in many informal ways throughout the residency to interact with students. The College publishes Hunger Mountain: the VCFA Journal of the Arts and writers may choose to attend a summer residency in Slovenia, in lieu of Vermont.


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.

Leonard also publishes the Poet’s Corner, a regular monthly column in the Addison Independent. 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.


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


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 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.


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. Contact information: 862-1094.


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 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




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


Vermont Studio Center

Founded by artists in 1984, the Vermont Studio Center is the largest international artists’ and writers’ Residency Program in the United States, hosting 50 visual artists and writers each month from across the country and around the world.

The Vermont Studio Center offers four-to-twelve-week studio residencies year-round to 600 painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, and writers (50 residents per month). VSC’s 30-building campus is set on the banks of the Gihon River in rural Johnson, Vermont, a town of 3,000 located in the heart of the northern Green Mountains. Each Studio Center residency features undistracted working time, the companionship of fifty artists and writers from across the country and around the world, and access to a roster of prominent Visiting Artists and Writers. All residencies include comfortable housing, private studio space, and excellent food. Two Visiting Writers per month are in residence for one week each to offer readings, a craft talk, and optional conferences with each of the 10-14 writers in residence each month.


Vermont College of Fine Arts

Established in 1981, the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program was one of the first low-residency programs in the country. The Atlantic named it one of the top five low-residency programs nationwide. At each MFA in Writing residency, a renowned poetry or prose writer joins the program for a substantial portion of the residency. The author gives a reading and/or talk, meets with numerous students individually, and is available in many informal ways throughout the residency to interact with students. The College publishes Hunger Mountain: the VCFA Journal of the Arts and writers may choose to attend a summer residency in Slovenia, in lieu of Vermont.


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!

  • 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?!!!)

The Writer’s Center website is at‭ ‬

  • 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!



1.) The League of Vermont Writers.

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

  • 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.

2) Write Action
Greater Brattleboro Area

Write Action is a community-based, grass-roots writer’s organization formed in 1999 “to strengthen a community of writers in Brattleboro and the surrounding area; and to nurture, encourage, and promote the literary arts in the at-large community”.

We exist because of an activist, vibrant base of writers in southeastern Vermont, and because of an engaged community of readers. In this, we feel very fortunate – Vermont is fertile ground for writers!

An important part of “strengthening a community of writers” is Write Action’s email newsletter. Now going out to over 300 people, the newsletter highlights literary events in the tri-state region. There are also updates on writing groups, and writer’s opportunities. Intrinsic to this effort are the open readings, held in various venues throughout the downtown, that take place several times a year. (….)

Contacting Write Action:

Write Action
P.O. Box 822
Brattleboro, Vt 05302

Or email us at:

Write Action Email Newsletter
If you are not now part of our email network, but would like to be, enabling you to receive notices about area readings, writing groups, and other literary opportunities and events, please send your email address to Eric Blomquist at, and you will be added to the subscriber list.



  • 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.

Fri, Jan 27: Memorial Building, Hardwick, 7:00 p.m. Poetry Reading by Peggy Sapphire, Jerry Johnson, and Cheryl Ives. Each poet will read for approximately 30 minutes each. Jerry Johnson will be reading some poems from his next book and also playing a number of them, which have been put to music by Jon Gailmor and Pete Sutherland. Refreshments to follow. If you have youngsters, bring them! Although kids from 9 to 99 understand Jerry’s poems, he promises to play Jon Gailmor’s wonderful rendition of one of his poems specifically geared for kids! Top Secret!!! Not to be played until the 27th!!!

Thu, Feb 2: Champlain Senior Center, McClure Multigenerational Center, 241 North Winooski Avenue, Burlington, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Poetry & Creative Writing Group. Scribes come together for an artistic exploration of the inner voice led by lit-lover Janie Mardis. Info, 658-3585. First of four meetings.

Wed, Feb 8: Jaquith Public Library, 122 School Street, Marshfield, 7:00 p.m. Poetry reading. The literati take in words from local authors Sherry Olson, Carol Henrikson and Sarah Hooker. Info, 426-3581.

Thu, Feb 9: Champlain Senior Center, McClure Multigenerational Center, 241 North Winooski Avenue, Burlington, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Poetry & Creative Writing Group. Scribes come together for an artistic exploration of the inner voice led by lit-lover Janie Mardis. Info, 658-3585. Second of four meetings.

Sat, Feb 11: 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Open Mic. Open Mic hosted by the River Voices. Read your own poetry or short story (1-2 pages), read from a favorite book or just listen to poetry. Refreshments. Info, 463-9404.

Thu, Feb 16: Champlain Senior Center, McClure Multigenerational Center, 241 North Winooski Avenue, Burlington, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Poetry & Creative Writing Group. Scribes come together for an artistic exploration of the inner voice led by lit-lover Janie Mardis. Info, 658-3585. Third of four meetings.

Fri, Feb 17: WMRW station (above the East Warren Market) on 42 Roxbury Mountain Rd., East Warren, 6:00 p.m. Slam at 7 PM! Sponsored by Rootworks, the Warren Public Library and WMRW-95.1 FM. This slam will be broadcast and, in all likelihood, call-in slammers will be welcome!

Sun, Feb 19: Shiretown Books, 9 Central Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. Poetry reading. Bring your own work to read, another poem you like, or just come to listen. We have a group of poetry lovers that meets regularly at Shiretown to share poems, and it’s always open to new or curious attendees. Info, 457-2996,

Thu, Feb 23: Champlain Senior Center, McClure Multigenerational Center, 241 North Winooski Avenue, Burlington, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Poetry & Creative Writing Group. Scribes come together for an artistic exploration of the inner voice led by lit-lover Janie Mardis. Info, 658-3585. Fourth of four meetings.

Fri, Feb 24: Aldrich Library, Barre, 6:00 p.m. All Ages Slam. Bring 2 original poems to perform or write ’em on site! 6pm – free pizza, 6:30 – Slam! 3-minute time limit. P.S. Enter through back door!

Mon, Feb 27: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Evie Shockley.

Evie Shockley is the author of two poetry collections, the new black (Wesleyan University Press, 2011) and a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006), and two chapbooks, 31 words * prose poems (2007) and The Gorgon Goddess (2001). Also a scholar, she has written a critical study entitled Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (forthcoming, University of Iowa Press). Since 2007, she has co-edited the journal jubilat. Shockley teaches African American literature and creative writing (poetry) at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Visit her site on Red Room at

Tue, Mar 6: Middlebury College. Poet C. Dale Young. C. Dale Young is the author of three collections of poetry: The Day Underneath the Day (2001); The Second Person (2007); and Torn (2011). He practices medicine full-time as an oncologist and teaches creative writing in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program. He serves as poetry editor of New England Review, and his poems have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including The Best American Poetry. He lives in San Francisco.

Wed, Mar 7: St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, 7:00 p.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 at how we should consider her writings in our highly public modern age. A Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesdays lecture hosted by the St Johnsbury Athenaeum. Info. Lisa Von Kann, 748-8291.

Wed, Mar 21: Norwich Public Library Community Room, 368 Main Street, Norwich, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Bloodroot reading. Reading from some of the poets selected for the current issue of the literary journal, Bloodroot. Info, 802-649-1184. Free, open to the public, light refreshments, book sales.

Wed, Apr 4: Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main Street, Brattleboro, 7:00 p.m. An Evening of Latin American Poetry. Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans considers poems by Rubén Darío, 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 First Wednesdays lecture. Hosted by the Brooks Memorial Library. Info, Jerry Carbone, (802) 254-5290 x101.

Wed, Apr 4: Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m. They Do Still 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 First Wednesdays lecture. Hosted by the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Info, Rachel Senechal, (802) 223-3338.

Wed, Apr 4: Rutland Free Library, 10 Court St, Rutland, 7:00 p.m. Poetry’s Spiritual Language. Using the poetry of Dickinson, Kenyon, Rumi, and Kabir—poets from diverse religious traditions—poet Nancy Jay Crumbine examines poetry’s language of spirituality. A First Wednesdays lecture. Hosted by the Rutland Free Library. Info, Paula Baker, 773-1860.

Sat, Apr 7: Middlebury College, Dana Auditorium, 1) 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and 2) 8:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Hirschfield Film Series: Poetry. A 60-something woman, faced with the discovery of a heinous family crime and in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class. This latest film from South Korean director Chang-dong Lee won best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival. In Korean with English subtitles. Sponsored by the Hirschfield International Film Series. Free. Info, Francisca Drexel, 443-3190.

Thu, May, 17: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Bernadette Mayer.

Bernadette Mayer’s poetry has been praised by John Ashbery as “magnificent.” Brenda Coultas calls her a master of “devastating wit.” Mayer is the author of more than two dozen volumes of poetry, including Midwinter Day, Sonnets, The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters, and Poetry State Forest. A former director of the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery and co-editor of the conceptual magazine 0 to 9 with Vito Acconci, Mayer has been a key figure on the New York poetry scene for decades.

Thu, May, 31: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Donald Revell.

Donald Revell has authored six collections of poetry, the most recent of which is There Are Three. His poems have appeared widely in journals and reviews, as have his essays. He has also published ALCOOLS, a translation of poems of Guillaume Apollinaire. His awards include two NEA Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram-Merrill Fellowship, and several appearances in the Best American Poetry anthologies. Revell has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop and currently teaches at the University of Utah.

Thu, Jun 14: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Srikanth Reddy.

Srikanth Reddy grew up in Chicago. He is the author of two books of poetry, Facts for Visitors and Voyager, both published by the University of California Press. A scholarly study, Changing Subjects: Digressions in Modern American Poetry, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Reddy earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa and a PhD in English Literature from Harvard University, and he has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and the Mellon Foundation. Hi is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago.

Mon, Jul 2: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Matthea Harvey.

Matthea Harvey is the author of Sad Little Breathing Machine (Graywolf, 2004) and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the HumanForm (Alice James Books, 2000). Her third book of poems, Modern Life (Graywolf, 2007) was a finalist for the National Book Critics CirlcleAward and a New York Times Notable Book. Her first children’s book, TheLittle General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by ElizabethZechel, was published byTin House Books in 2009. An illustrated erasure, titled Of Lamb, with images by Amy Jean Porter, will be published byMcSweeney’s in 2010. Matthea is a contributing editor to jubilat, Meatpaper and BOMB. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in Brooklyn.

Thu, Jul, 26: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Chris Abani.

Chris Abani is the author of two novels: GraceLand and Masters of the Board. His poetry collections include Dog Woman, Daphne’s Lot and Kalakuta Republic. Abani is the recipient of the 2001 PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the 2001 Prince Claus Award and a 2003 Lannan Literary Fellowship. He teaches in the MFA Program at Antioch University, and is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of California, Riverside.

Thu, Aug, 9: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Jean Valentine.

Jean Valentine is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently Door in the Mountain, New & Collected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2004) which won the National Book Award for 2004. Earlier books are Dream Barker, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1965, The River at Wolf (Alice James Books, 1992) and The Cradle of the Real Life (Wesleyan, 2002). Valentine has taught at Barnard College, Columbia U., Sarah Lawrence College, NYU, Hunter College, and the 92nd Street Y. She lives and works in New York City.

Mon, Aug 27: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Emmanuel Moses.

Emmanuel Moses was born in Casablanca in 1959, the son of a French-educated German Jew and a French Jew: an historian of philosophy and a painter. He spent his early childhood in France, lived in Israel from the ages of ten to eighteen, and then returned to Paris, where he still lives. He is the author of eight collections of poems, most recently L’Animal (Flammarion, 2010) and D’un perpetuel hiver (Gallimard 2009), and of six novels. He is a translator of contemporary Hebrew fiction and poetry, notably of Yehuda Amichai. He also translates from the German and from the English. Last News of Mr. Nobody, a collection of Moses’ poems translated into English by Kevin Hart, Marilyn Hacker, C. K. Williams and others, was published by The Other Press in 2005. He and I, a collection translated by Marilyn Hacker, was published by the Oberlin College Press FIELD Translation Series in 2009.

A polyglot whose experience of the world comes as much from travel and human intercourse as from books, from an interrogation of the past which coexists with his experience of the present, Emmanuel Moses is a kind of Poète sans frontières. While some contemporary French poets eschew geographical specificity, a perennial subject of Moses’ poems is the crossing and the porosity of actual borders, geographical and temporal. A (Proustian?) train of thought set in motion by the placement of a park bench, the stripe of sunlight on a brick wall, will move the speaker and the poem itself from Amsterdam to Jerusalem, from a boyhood memory to a 19th century chronicle, from Stendhal to the Shoah. A subtle irony permeates Moses’ work, even (or especially) at moments meant to be self-reflective or romantic, an irony applied to the events of history as readily as to the events of a single young or aging man’s life. It is clear in Moses’ poems as in his fiction that the macro-events of “history” are made up of the miniscule events individual existence, or must be perceived as such to be understood. The breadth of the poet’s reading and his intimate relationship with architecture, music and painting inform his work and populate it with unexpected interlocutors: Chopin, Buxtehude, Fragonard, Breughel – or a London barman, or a woman pharmacist in Istanbul.

Thu, Sep 20: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Kwarne Dawes.

Dawes has published fifteen collections of poetry. His most recent titles include Back of Mount Peace (2009); Hope’s Hospice (2009); Wisteria, finalist for the Patterson Memorial Prize; Impossible Flying (2007); and Gomer’s Song (2007). Progeny of Air (Peepal Tree, 1994) was the winner of the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection in the UK. Other poetry collections include Resisting the Anomie (Goose Lane, 1995); Prophets (Peepal Tree, 1995); Jacko Jacobus, (Peepal Tree, 1996); and Requiem, (Peepal Tree. 1996), a suite of poems inspired by the illustrations of African American artist, Tom Feelings in his landmark book The Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo; and Shook Foil (Peepal Tree, 1998), a collection of reggae-inspired poems. His book, Midland, was awarded the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize by the Ohio University Press (2001). In 2001, Dawes was a winner of a Pushcart Prize for the best American poetry of 2001 for his long poem, “Inheritance.”

Thu, Oct, 4: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Robert Wrigley.

Robert Wrigley has published six collections of poetry including his latest, Earthly Meditations. He has published widely in anthologies and journals, including the Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, and The Partisan Review. Among his many awards are a Guggenheim, two Pushcart Prizes, and two NEA Fellowships. He is Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at Lewis and Clark State College. He lives in Idaho.

Thu, Oct 18: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.

Claudia Rankine. Rankine co-edited the anthology American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language, and her work is included in several anthologies, including Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, Best American Poetry 2001, Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of the Century, and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry. Her work has been published in numerous journals including Boston Review, TriQuarterly, and The Poetry Project Newsletter. She lives and teaches in California.

Thu, Nov 1: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Edward Hirsch.

Edward Hirsch was born in Chicago in 1950 and educated both at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. in folklore.

His first collection of poems, For the Sleepwalkers, was published in 1981 and went on to receive the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University. His second collection, Wild Gratitude (1986), received the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Since then, he has published several books of poems, most recently Special Orders (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008); Lay Back the Darkness (2003); On Love (1998); Earthly Measures (1994); and The Night Parade (1989).

He is also the author of the prose volumes The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration (Harcourt, 2002), Responsive Reading (1999), and the national bestseller How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry (1999), which the poet Garrett Hongo called “the product of a lifetime of passionate reflection” and “a wonderful book for laureate and layman both.” Most recently, he published Poet’s Choice (Harcourt, 2007), which collects two years’ worth of his weekly essay-letters running in the Washington Post Book World.

Mon, Nov 19: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Alice Noltey.

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

Thu, Dec 13: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Simon Ortiz.

On May 27, 1941, Simon J. Ortiz was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He attended Fort Lewis College and the University of New Mexico for undergraduate studies. He received his MFA as an International Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa’s Writer’s School in 1969.

His books of poetry include: Telling and Showing Her: The Earth, The Land (Just Buffalo Literary Center, 1995); After and Before the Lightning (1994); Woven Stone (1992); From Sand Creek: Rising In This Heart Which Is Our America (1981), for which he received a Pushcart Prize; A Good Journey (1977); Going for the Rain (1976); and Naked in the Wind (1971).

He has also published children’s books, memoirs, non-fiction, and short stories, and served as editor of various books and anthologies.

Ortiz is a recipient of the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award, the New Mexico Humanities Council Humanitarian Award, the National Endowment for the Arts Discovery Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and was an Honored Poet at the 1981 White House Salute to Poetry. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Returning the Gift Festival of Native Writers.

Ortiz lives in the Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, where he was lieutenant governor and a consulting editor of the Pueblo of Acoma Press. He has taught writing and Native American literature at various institutions, and currently teaches at the University of Toronto.


Thu, Feb, 7: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Major Jackson.

“Jackson knows the truth of black magic. It is a magic as simple as the belief in humanity that subverts racism, or the esoteric and mystical magic of making jazz, the music of hope and love.” —Aafa Weaver

Major Jackson is the author of two collections of poetry, Hoops (Norton: 2006), a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry. and Leaving Saturn (University of Georgia: 2002), winner of the 2000 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

Poems by Major Jackson have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Boulevard, Callaloo, Post Road, Triquarterly, The New Yorker, among other literary journals and anthologies. He is a recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has received critical attention in The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Parnassus, Philadelphia Inquirer, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Jackson is an Associate Professor of English at University of Vermont and a faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. In 2006-2007, he was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Thu, Feb, 21: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. B. Fritz Goldberg.

Beckian Fritz Goldberg holds an MFA from Vermont College and is the author of several volumes of poetry, Body Betrayer(1991), In the Badlands of Desire (1993), Never Be the Horse(1999), winner of the University of Akron Poetry Prize selected by Thomas Lux, and Twentieth Century Children/, a limited edition chapbook, (1999). Her work has appeared widely in anthologies and journals including The American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry 1995, Field, The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, The Iowa Review, New American Poets of the 90’s, and The Massachusetts Review. She has been awarded the Theodore Roethke Poetry Prize, The Gettysburg Review Annual Poetry Award, The University of Akron Press Poetry Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. Her newest volume of poems, The Book of Accident, will appear in fall, 2002, from Invisible Cities Press. Currently, Goldberg directs the MFA Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University.

Fri, Mar 8: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, 8:00 p.m. Sebastian Mathews.

Sebastian Matthews is the author of the poetry collection We Generous (Red Hen Press) and a memoir, In My Father’s Footsteps (W. W. Norton). He co-edited, with Stanley Plumly, Search Party: Collected Poem s of William Matthews. Matthews teaches at Warren Wilson College and serves on the faculty at Queens College Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing. His poetry and prose has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Georgia Review, New England, Review, Poetry Daily, Poets & Writers, Seneca Review, The Sun, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review and The Writer’s Almanac, among others. Matthews co-edits Rivendell, a place-based literary journal, and serves as poetry consultant for Ecotone:
Re-Imagining Place.

  • 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.

Yours in ink,
Ron Lewis

2 responses

  1. Dear Ron Lewis,

    Birchsong: Poetry Centered in Vermont, has been published by The Blueline Press, Danby, Vermont. The anthology includes 56 poets from Vermont and the region; editors are Alice Wolf Gilborn, Rob Hunter, Carol Cone, Brenda Nicholson, and Monica Stillman. A reading will be held at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, on April 14, and another reading at the library in Woodstock on June 6. For more information, e-mail Alice Gilborn at or visit

    Alice Gilborn


  2. Pingback: Vermont Poetry Newsletter • April 7 2012 « PoemShape

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