Vermont Poetry Newsletter • July 1 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

July 1, 2012 (Previous issue: 04/07) –
In This Issue:

  1. About VPN
  2. Newsletter Editor/Publisher’s Note
  3. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  4. Poem Store: POEMS – Your Topic, Your Price
  5. Bookstock 2012 (Woodstock, VT)
  6. Natasha Trethewey, U.S. Poet Laureate
  7. NPR Interview of Natasha Trethewey
  8. Do Poets Really Care About Slams?
  9. An Artist Makes Words (Poems) From Wire
  10. Interview: Jorie Graham’s Poetry
  11. Wesley McNair’s 10 Tips for Breaking Lines in Free Verse
  12. A Bit of Fry and Laurie – “Prize Poem”
  13. Upcoming Events of Ivy Page
  14. The Writer’s Center Current Offerings
  15. Original William Stafford Poem Discovered
  16. Carl Sandburg at Chicago NATO Summit
  17. The Poetry and Translations of William Carlos Williams
  18. How Not to Take Rejection
  19. Vermont State Poet Laureate Sydney Lea’s Calendar
  20. ’Space Is My Mistress’ Writes Astronaut Poet
  21. Poetry Helping Alzheimer’s Patients, Families Cope
  22. How a Poem Happens – Stephen Dunn
  23. Spotlight: Typecast Publishing
  24. What I Look For In an Online Journal, Diane Lockward
  25. Appealing Online Journals, Diane Lockward
  26. Allan Wolf
  27. Great Poetry Links: typewriter poetry
  28. Poetry Quote – Jack Spicer
  29. Linebreak Poem
  30. American Life in Poetry Poem
  31. US Poets Laureate List
  32. Vermont Poet Laureates
  33. US Poet Laureates From Vermont
  34. New Hampshire Poet Laureates
  35. US Poet Laureates From New Hampshire
  36. Contact Info for Editor/Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  37. Vermont Literary Journals
  38. Vermont Literary Groups’ Anthologies
  39. Vermont Poetry Blogs
  40. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  41. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  42. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  43. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  44. Other Writing Groups in Vermont
  45. 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.

2.) Dear Friends of Poetry:

It’s been much too long since I last sat down and polished off another newsletter for my friends of the Vermont poetry community. I’ve been busy on what I thought were more important things, but looking back, weren’t. Believe me, I’ll budget my time so that I’ll be more timely with the next newsletter.

Of course, all I’ve accomplished in the past couple of months wasn’t a waste of time, either! As the head of a large amateur astronomy club here in central Vermont, I was able to enjoy the sight of a lifetime, the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. Of course, clouds played havoc with me; one minute the event was on, the next minute, it was cancelled. Astronomy is not the kindest of hobbies when living in Vermont!

A friend of mine and I were able to pan some gold in “them thar hills” in Rutland County, but believe me, we’ll never get rich panning or sluicing for the yellow stuff! We know better than to think that the next shovelful of dirt will bring us some nuggets that actually clink inside our glass jars!

I hope you “strike it rich” with this new issue!

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


Poem and Prompt

  • Here’s one from Ted Kooser’s column, “American Life in Poetry.” The poet, Denise Low, is the former Poet Laureate of Kansas. In the poem her speaker does what we so often do, that is, she looks back at the person she once was.

Two Gates

I look through glass and see a young woman
of twenty, washing dishes, and the window
turns into a painting. She is myself thirty years ago.
She holds the same blue bowls and brass teapot
I still own. I see her outline against lamplight;
she knows only her side of the pane. The porch
where I stand is empty. Sunlight fades. I hear
water run in the sink as she lowers her head,
blind to the future. She does not imagine I exist.

I step forward for a better look and she dissolves
into lumber and paint. A gate I passed through
to the next life loses shape. Once more I stand
squared into the present, among maple trees
and scissor-tailed birds, in a garden, almost
a mother to that faint, distant woman.

What might you look into that would reflect your image—pond, store window, glass frame over a painting, tv screen, someone’s sunglasses, someone’s eyes? Put yourself in front of that reflector and bring forth the person you used to be. Imagine a younger you. What might you be doing? Bring in some images from the earlier scene. Remember that you, as speaker, look with full knowledge. But the younger self does not see you or know of your existence. Then return to the present and bring in some images from that scene.

Notice the format that Low uses. The poem is 15 lines, sonnet-like with its two-part division. There is a logical break or turn that separates the two stanzas. See if you can achieve that.

Previous Writing Assignment

Good Luck!

4.) A Poem Store Open For Business, In The Open Air by CINDY CARPIEN

Zach Houston runs his Poem Store (on any given sidewalk) with these items: a manual typewriter, a wooden folding chair, scraps of paper, and a white poster board that reads: “POEMS — Your Topic, Your Price.”
Houston usually gets from $2 to $20 for a poem, he says. He’s received a $100 bill more than once. The Oakland, Calif., resident has been composing spontaneous street poems in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2005. Five years ago, it became his main source of income.

“I quit my last conventional job on April Fools’ Day, 2007,” says Houston, 29. “They didn’t believe me, because I said I was going to write poems, on the street, with a typewriter — for money.” It was no April Fools’ joke.
On most Saturdays, you can find Houston at San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Passersby eye his sign and watch intently as Houston types away on his Swiss-made, green 1968 Hermes Rocket.
“Straight out of Switzerland, man,” Houston says. “And it’s my purse full of language. I love it.”

A woman visiting from Olympia, Wash., gives Houston three ideas for her poem: spring break; road trip; and Olympia. Houston starts typing away immediately. In roughly 60 seconds, he pulls out the small, asymmetrical piece of white paper from the typewriter and reads it aloud:

“Where the Greek gods live with history and trees
protecting patience of rainforest
where it doesn’t rain
simmers, fog, moisture
worship her, mother nature, newly wed
every year to visit a season
is called spring
forever returning to its source”

5.) Bookstock 2012

Bookstock 2012 will take place on Friday, July 27th through Sunday, July 29th.

The 4th Annual Bookstock, the Green Mountain Festival of Words, will take place on Friday, July 27, through Sunday, July 29, 2012 in the beautiful village of Woodstock, Vermont.

Our community-sponsored day celebrates the diverse ways that books and authors, especially those connected with Vermont and the Upper Valley, helping us explore a wide range of human experience for all ages,
All events are free and open to the public!

Here are coming poetry highlights of Bookstock 2012

Here are only some of the many presenters and events:

  • Poetry Readings Saturday, July 28, in Saint James Church Parish Hall, On the Green

Dara Wier Noon – 12:40pm “Wier’s poems explode with variety, particularity, whirlwinds of detail and mystery . . . memoirs, dialogues, choral performances witnessing scenes both weird and familiar.”—Rain Taxi
Dara Wier is the author of many collections of poetry, and her work has been included in recent volumes of Best American Poetry and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She directs the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Most recent work: Selected Poems (2009)

Sidney Lea. Saturday, 1:00 – 1:40 pm. Poet Laureate of Vermont Sydney Lea has been described as “a man in the woods with his head full of books, and a man in books with his head full of woods.” His affection for story, an affection derived in no small measure from men and women elders in New England, colors his poetry, just as a relish for the musical properties of the word colors his prose. His lifelong passion for the natural world informs almost his every utterance. Lea’s most recent collection of poems is Six Sundays Toward a Seventh: Selected Spiritual Poems. His stories, poems, essays and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and many other periodicals, as well as in more than forty anthologies. He lives in Newbury, Vermont. Sydnea’s web site:

Marie Howe. Saturday, 2:00 – 2:40 pm. Stanley Kunitz has described Howe’s poetry as “luminous, intense, and eloquent, rooted in an abundant inner life. Her long, deep-breathing lines address the mysteries of flesh and spirit, in terms accessible only to a woman who is very much of our time and yet still in touch with the sacred.” Margaret Atwood wrote,” Marie Howe’s poetry doesn’t fool around…these poems are intensely felt, sparely expressed, and difficult to forget; poems of obsession that transcend their own dark roots.” Marie’s web site:

James Vincent Tate. Saturday, 3:00 – 3:40 pm. A Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Jim’s first collection of poems, The Lost Pilot (1967), was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets while Tate was still a student at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, making him one of the youngest poets to receive the honor. Tate’s other awards have included the National Book Award. About his work, the poet John Ashbery wrote: “Local color plays a role, but the main event is the poet’s wrestling with passing moments, frantically trying to discover the poetry there and to preserve it, perishable as it is. I return to Tate’s books more often perhaps than to any others when I want to be reminded afresh of the possibilities of poetry.” James has published 17 full-length poetry collections and 8 chapbooks. More on James at:

Poetry on the Land: An exhibition of sculpture, site specific installations, sound pieces, to open Saturday (4 – 7 PM) at the King Farm. The event will honor the naming of “The Poet’s Trail” which begins at the King Farm property and leads into the wider trail system of the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Park trails of Mount Tom.

April Ossmann: Friday, July 27, 12-2PM Norman Williams Public Library History Room
Title: Pen and Shovel: A Generative Poetry Workshop

Imagine the unconscious as a garden where you never know what will pop-up…once, in barren yard, it was a shade of columbine I didn’t know existed—the genesis for extensive perennial beds. We’ll write two poems using a prompt which will dig up surprising associations, and share our first poems before digging into the second. Bring a pen and shovel! Poet and former executive director of Alice James Books April Ossmann will help you germinate two new poems. April Ossmann is the author of Anxious Music (Four Way Books, 2007), an independent editor, and former executive director of Alice James Books. Her Web site is

6.) New Laureate Looks Deep Into Memory

The Library of Congress is to announced that the next poet laureate is Natasha Trethewey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of three collections and a professor of creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta. Ms. Trethewey, 46, was born in Gulfport, Miss., and is the first Southerner to hold the post since Robert Penn Warren, the original laureate, and the first African-American since Rita Dove in 1993.

“I’m still a little in disbelief,” Ms. Trethewey said on Monday.

Unlike the recent laureates W. S. Merwin and her immediate predecessor, Philip Levine, both in their 80s when appointed, Ms. Trethewey, who will officially take up her duties in September, is still in midcareer and not well-known outside poetry circles. Her work combines free verse with more traditional forms like the sonnet and the villanelle to explore memory and the racial legacy of America. Her fourth collection, “Thrall,” is scheduled to appear in the fall. She is also the author of a 2010 nonfiction book, “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

“The appointment of Natasha Trethewey is a very welcome event,” said Dana Gioia, a former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and an early admirer of her work. “She writes out of the complicated history of the region, and even from her own complicated history.” In a phone interview explaining his choice James Billington, the librarian of Congress, said: “We’re not necessarily on some kick to find a younger poet. The more I read of it, American poetry seems extremely rich in diversity, talent and freedom of expression, and she has a voice that is already original and accomplished. I have an affinity for American individuals who are absolutely unique, and I think that this is one.” (….)


  • Listen to a short NPR Natasha Trethewey interview, along with a reading of a couple of her poems:

Editor’s Note: I met with Ms. Trethewey last summer during the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and I believe she was locked into coming to this year’s Conference as well, so make plans to see and talk to her yourselves this August. Get your books ready to have her sign, as you might not have this opportunity again for some time!

8.) Do Poets Really Care About Slams?
By James Bunting, Huffington Post

For one reason or other, lately I’ve been having the same conversation: do poets really care about slams? It got me thinking because I help run the Hammer + Tongue Bristol arm – which features a monthly slam – and I’m a part of the team behind the National Team Poetry Slam run by Jack Dean. On top of that, I’ve competed in my fair share of slams over the last couple of years with varied success.
This repeated conversation got me thinking about whether I care about slams. Ultimately, I do – it’s the competitive nature in me – but, I never mind losing or getting a low score. When I try to explain this to people I compare it to speed dating: the evening comprises a snippet view of a multitude of different poets and you, the audience, choose your favourite to see more of. It’s a great way to see lots of poets without having to see too much of someone you don’t like. And it’s a great way for poets to meet each other and get their names out. But, is putting a score on a piece of art wrong?
I asked the two current national slam champions Adam Kammerling, Hammer + Tongue National Slam Champion, and Harry Baker, Farrago National Slam Champion, what they thought about it all. (….)

9.) Love, poetry and life: An artist makes words from wire in real time on Lincoln Road
By Margaux Herrera,
The Miami Herald

David Zalben looks ready for a lazy day as he sits on a lawn chair with his feet propped up, fan on and bottle of Peroni beer in hand. But instead of high noon by the pool, it’s 9:30 p.m. and Zalben is sitting inside a tiny white display window in Miami Beach.

Zalben is spending 40 nights through July 16 crafting poetry from wire as part of his installation titled, “A Love You Cannot Live Without,” at ArtCenter at 800 Lincoln Rd. The artist uses his hands and a pair of pliers to twist the wire into readable cursive type, which he then hangs from the ceiling. He spends from 8:30 to 10 p.m. each night sculpting out his stream-of-conscious thoughts, though he sometimes begins earlier and ends later.

What looks like Christmas tinsel at first glance transforms into phrases like “I want your scent of Chanel number five that feels mmmmmmmm…” or “my day of celebrating weed day started off with little sleep,” when read carefully.

Zalben, whose hands are black with oil from the wire by the end of the night , said the response from passers-by has been amazing. In the last 20 minutes he worked Monday night, at least 30 people stopped to admire the work.

“I think they can feel the love,” Zalben said. (….)

10.) Interview: Jorie Graham’s Poetry
By JP O’Malley

Possessing a meticulously detailed and layered style, as well as having an exceptional ability to describe nature, Jorie Graham’s poetry is primarily concerned with how we can relate our internal consciousness to the exterior natural world we inhabit.

In 1996, The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems, 1974-1994, earned Graham the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. She is currently the Boylston professor of poetry at Harvard University. Her forthcoming book, Place will be her twelfth collection to date. She spoke to the Spectator about why poetry needs to be reclaimed to the oral tradition, how technology is corrupting our imagination, and why her work is laced with contradictions and paradoxes.

What sort of ideas/ themes are you dealing with in your new collection, Place?

The feeling of being in an uneasy lull before an unknowable, potentially drastic change, charges the poems. What ‘place’ is it we live in now? What do we need to know about our ‘place’ in the order of living things? What ‘place’ shall we come to consider the new normal, the new ‘earth’? So much of what scientists ask artists to do, at present, is to help people imagine the ‘unimaginable’. We are told to try think of the way we use water, land, resources, in relation to beings who will live 10,000 years from now, who might not even resemble us, but whose ability to live at all depends on our actions, right here, right now, in this place. It is this zone the poems inhabit. They try to find a right balance between fear, hope and love.

With each collection, do you try and reinvent the process of your writing, is this a difficult process? (….)

11.) Wesley McNair’s 10 Tips for Breaking Lines in Free Verse

Wesley McNair has received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. A teacher for several decades, he is currently professor emeritus and writer in residence at the University of Maine at Farmington. He has authored nine collections of poetry, most recently, Lovers of the Lost: New and Selected Poems. In March 2011 he became Poet Laureate of Maine. He is the master of the narrative poem.

Where to break the line? Certainly, that is one of the most challenging issues we poets face, especially if we are writing free verse. In formal verse there are rules to guide us, and rhymes to achieve. But in free verse the breaks must be guided by other principles. Most of us wrestle with this issue as we revise and revise. Wesley McNair offers us some useful tips.

Ten Tips for Breaking Lines in Free Verse

  1. Break your lines to suggest the mind at work shaping the poem, because every poem is a process of thought.
  2. The poem is also about things that happen. Break to increase your reader’s anticipation about what will happen next.
  3. Break to suggest your poem’s mood. For an openness of expression, try a long, end-stopped line. To create uncertainty or suspense, combine short lines with a long sentence, revealing and concealing as you go. For a mood of agitation or excitement, try a variable line-length with a jagged margin
  4. Break to create a tension between the line and the sentence, remembering that the interplay of the two is the central drama of free verse, each having a different purpose. Charles Simic: “The line is Buddha; the sentence is Socrates.”
  5. Think of your poem as a musical score, in the way Denise Levertov recommended, using lines to emphasize vocal rhythm and the pitch of intonation, and line breaks as short intervals of silence or rest.
  6. Break so your reader sees how to say your poem.
  7. But don’t forget the wordlessness around the poem, which can be made articulate by a line break or by an artful arrangement of lines.
  8. Break mainly on nouns, verbs, and the words that describe them; they carry the sentence’s essential meaning.
  9. In your line breaking imitate the stresses of meditation and feeling, which are present in every earnest and intimate conversation and are the true source of the line break.
  10. Believe these tips and don’t believe them. Let the feeling life of your poem be the final authority.

12.) A Bit of Fry and Laurie – “Prize Poem”

  • English teacher Stephen is quite alarmed by the depressing poem Hugh wrote, a poem full of stark imagery that he doesn’t get. Hugh has to explain the metaphors and point out the references to songs by David Bowie. In the end Stephen writes his own poem, using far-fetched images.

Go to:

13.) Upcoming Events of Ivy Page

These are events that I am hosting, or featuring in. Please feel free to contact me if you would like me to come and run a workshop for you, do a reading, or schedule a book signing for next Spring! ivylpage [at] gmail [dot] com I would love to hear from you!

Listed by date:

Reading Your Poems
The Writer’s Center
58 North Main Street
White River Junction , VT 05001
Saturdays, June 30, July 14, July 21, August 4
1 – 3 p.m.
Instructor: Ivy Page

This workshop will focus on improving your presence when reading your work aloud. Discussion will center on line breaks and how we read them, tone, and diction. We will experiment with “character” on the stage, the sounds that occur in your work, and how to use these things to your advantage. At the end of the course we will have a public reading, location TBA. All levels of writing experience required, as you will need to bring work you have produced to read. Registration is required. Minimum enrollment 5; max. 15. To confirm your place in the class or for more info, contact

From Poem to Printed Page
The Writer’s Center
58 North Main Street
White River Junction , VT 05001
Saturdays, June 30, July 14, July 21, August 4
3:30 – 5:30p.m.
Instructor: Ivy Page

Do you know how to read your work as an editor and send your work out to journals? Can you organize your manuscript, and evaluate publishers to send it out to? In this workshop we will work from any level to get your work published. We will explore the world of publication, motivations for publication, and what sort of publication you want to see your work in. While I cannot promise you will get published, you will be given the tools to start your journey! All experience levels welcome! Registration is required. Minimum enrollment 5; max. 15. To confirm your place in the class or for more info, contact

On the Farm: A Poets Retreat
Applewood Farm, Warren NH
Friday – Sunday, July 27 – 29
12 p.m. Friday – 2 p.m. Sunday
Instructor: Ivy Page

Bring your tent and join us for a retreat on a 15 acre organic farm in the White Mountains. We will be working on writing new material, discussing new ways to inspire and inform your work, and we will have a brief review of where to go to get published. As a poet and editor, I will offer you insight into the process that one journal uses to evaluate work. Dinner will be provided on the 27th and 28th. If you have special dietary restrictions, please let us know when you register. No writing experience required at all. Registration, however, is required. Minimum enrollment 7; max. 40. To confirm your spot or for more info, contact

July 12th, 2011
7:30PM- 9:30PM
Mill Fudge Factory Reading Series and Poetry Open Mic, Bristol, NH

There will be an open mic for poets that would like to share their original work in a warm and welcome atmosphere! Sign-up will begin at 6:45PM. After the open mic, our featured poet, Derek J.G. Williams, will perform. Cost:FREE
A student of America’s shorthand history, Derek JG Williams grew up studying comic books and the backs of baseball cards. His writing has been featured at venues throughout the country and been published both in print and on the web. He has poems published or forthcoming in the Bellingham Review, RHINO, and Palooka Literary Journal, among others. He is a proponent of handclaps in songs, thinks the designated hitter should be banned from baseball, and is celebrating all the time, anytime. Find him at

August 9th, 2011
7:30PM- 9:30PM
Mill Fudge Factory Reading Series and Poetry Open Mic, Bristol, NH

There will be an open mic for poets that would like to share their original work in a warm and welcome atmosphere! Sign-up will begin at 6:45PM. After the open mic, our featured poet, Ewa Chrusciel, will perform. Cost:FREE
Ewa Chrusciel writes both in Polish and English. In 2003 Studium published her first book in Polish. Her second book in Polish: Sopilki came out in Dec 2009. She has won the 2009 international book contest for her book in English, Strata, which was published with Emergency Press in March 2011 in the United States. Her second book in English Contraband of Hoopoe will come out with Omnidawn Press in Sep 2014. Her poems were featured in Jubilat, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Lana Turner, Spoon River Review, Aufgabe among others. Her translations of poetry appeared in numerous journals and two anthologies of Polish poetry in English translations: Carnivorous Boy, Carnivorous Bird and Six Polish Poets. She is a Professor of Humanities at Colby-Sawyer College.

September 13th, 2011 7:30PM- 9:30PM
Mill Fudge Factory Reading Series and Poetry Open Mic, Bristol, NH

There will be an open mic for poets that would like to share their original work in a warm and welcome atmosphere! Sign-up will begin at 6:45PM. After the open mic, our featured poet, Christina Cook, will perform. Cost: FREE
Christina Cook is the author of Lake Effect (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her most recent work has appeared in New Ohio Review, Crab Orchard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Cimarron Review. She is a contributing editor for Cerise Press and an assistant editor of Inertia Magazine, as well as the senior writer for the president of Dartmouth College.


The Writer’s Center Current Offerings
Register early to assure a place at the writing table!

15.) Original William Stafford poem discovered in APSU library

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – On a Wednesday morning in April, Kentucky journalist and author Carol Niswonger was busy combing through the archives at Austin Peay State University’s Woodward Library, conducting research for her new book on Land Between The Lakes, when she discovered something a bit unusual. Tucked away in a thin, manila folder was a short, hand-written poem titled “The Land Between the Rivers.”

“When I started to read it, I said, ‘that’s it perfectly,’” Niswonger said. “The poem, it epitomized the feelings of that area. It had such an emotional attachment to the land and the surroundings. I thought the poet was someone who lived there.”
But Niswonger didn’t recognize the name signed at the bottom of the poem. Maybe it wasn’t by a local poet, she thought. So one afternoon, she decided to Google the name, “William Stafford.” That’s when she realized she might have discovered an original copy of a poem by one of the 20th century’s great American poets.

“There it was – William Stafford, poet extraordinaire,” she said. “It just can’t be him, I thought. It didn’t have written down there, ‘I am a famous poet.’”

Stafford, who died in 1993, was the 20th Poet Laureate of the United States and the author of 62 books of poetry. A non-profit organization, The Friends of William Stafford, maintains an extensive archive of the poet’s works and personal journals. Niwonger emailed the Oregon-based group a scanned copy of the poem, and Dennis Schmidling, the organization’s board chair, authenticated the handwriting as belonging to Stafford. The poem was also confirmed as being one of Stafford’s, published in the journal Plainsong, and in his collection, “An Oregon Message.”

16.) Carl Sandburg at Chicago NATO Summit

Carl Sandburg made an appearance at the Chicago NATO Summit — at least in name. As featured in the Chicago Sun-Times, columnist and Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet displayed a photo gallery which includes a “one-of-a-kind lamp shade” bearing the “Chicago” poem by Galesburg’s native son and poet Carl Sandburg.

The poem reads:

HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

“Chicago” first appeared in Sandburg’s first collection of poems, Chicago Poems, published in 1916.

17.) “One by one I Proclaim your Songs”: The Poetry and Translations of William Carlos Williams
By Greer Mansfield

Ezra Pound in a letter to William Carlos Williams, 1908: “Perhaps you like pictures painted in green and white and gold and I paint in black and crimson and purple?”

Pound had a point. He was right to imagine his friend’s poems — even at the beginning of both of their careers — in light, fresh colors: the colors of marigolds, asphodels, and seawater. Whatever the “colors” of a Williams poem, he painted them sharply and vividly, giving his work a rare vividness and a compact, graceful energy. The freshness and youthfulness of his poetry corresponded to his wider vision of literature and culture: his emphasis on “American speech,” his desire to cleanse American poetry of worn-out European affectations, and the complex notions about the New World that he develops in the beautifully strange essays of In the American Grain.

A recent New Directions collection of his translations of Spanish poetry, By Word of Mouth: Poems from the Spanish, is (besides being a book of wonderful poems) a reminder that Williams’s call for “American speech” in American poetry wasn’t mere United States-ian nationalism. It was a vision of poetry that encompassed the entire New World. As Octavio Paz wrote, “whether he speaks Spanish, English, Portuguese, or French, American man speaks a language different from the European original.” Williams realized this more than any of the other great American modernists. He didn’t want American poets to disown English poetry (Williams worshipped Keats, among others) and certainly not to swear off European influences (which Williams had in abundance), but rather to shape their poems in a way that corresponded to the American reality. A European language transplanted to a different land — with a different climate and topography, different flora and fauna, different social relationships — could never remain quite the same language that set off from Cadiz or Lisbon or Portsmouth. (….)


  • See how not to take rejection, from comedian Dylan Moran.

Go to:


Vermont State Poet Laureate Sydney Lea
Go to:

Calendar 2012

June 28 – Old Town Hall 7 p.m.
……………Brookfield, Vermont

August 9 – Vermont Festival of the Arts
……………Joslin Memorial Library
……………Waitsfield, Vermont

August 23 – Strafford Meeting House
……………Strafford, Vermont

September 21 – Burlington Book Festival 7 p.m.

September 26 – Newfane Library 7 p.m.
……………Newfane, Vermont

November 9 – Next Stage Theater (w/Victoria Redel) 7 p.m.
Putney, Vermont

20.) ‘Space Is My Mistress’ Writes Astronaut Poet

Don Pettit, on space station, pens a piece for National Poetry Month

Call him the cosmic Renaissance man: American Don Pettit is an astronaut, a scientist, and now, a poet.

Pettit, who has a reputation for oddball space experiments and is currently living 240 miles (386 km) above the Earth on the International Space Station, has written an ode to orbit called “Space Is My Mistress.”

The poem, written for National Poetry Month in April, was posted on NASA’s website and on Pettit’s blog at the website for Smithsonian’s Air & Space Magazine.

“We dance on the swirls of cloud tops, while skirting the islands of blue. You know my heart beats fast for you,” the astronaut wrote.

Pettit, a chemical engineer who became an astronaut in 1996, has been living on the space station since December. In addition to his science and space handyman duties, Pettit has made a name for himself as a space photographer and out-of-this-world blogger.

And this isn’t even his first trip beyond Earth.

21.) HealthWatch: Poetry Helping Alzheimer’s Patients, Families Cope

NOVATO (CBS 5) – Bay Area families who struggle with the impact of Alzheimer’s disease are using poetry to help rekindle memories and create moments of joy for patients and families alike.
The Brooklyn, New York-based Alzheimer’s Poetry Project is based on a simple idea: Poetry can have a powerful and positive impact on people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
The project is derived in part from studies that show people with dementia can remember words and lines from poems they learned in childhood. Reciting those poems can facilitate creativity and spark memories that may be buried.

“You see (people) start to be more expressive — their facial expressions are brighter, they’re smiling, they’re laughing, they’re playing with you,” said Gary Glazner, founder and Executive Director of the APP. who began working with people living with dementia at the Marin Adult Day Health Center in Novato in 1997. Since that time the APP has served more than 15,000 people in 20 states living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. (….)

22.) How a Poem Happens
Contemporary Poets Discuss the Making of Poems

Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn was born in New York City in 1939. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Different Hours (Norton, 2000), Dunn’s other honors include the Academy Award for Literature, the James Wright Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Dunn has worked as a professional basketball player, an advertising copywriter, and an editor, as well as professor of creative writing. His most recent book is What Goes On – Selected and New Poems: 1995 – 2009 (Norton, 2009). Dunn lives in Frostburg, Maryland.


And so you call your best friend
who’s away, just to hear his voice,
but forget his recording concludes
with “Have a nice day.” (….)

When was this poem composed? How did it start?

It was written three years ago at Yaddo, and started much as you now see it, the major difference being that it didn’t begin with “And so.”

How many revisions did this poem undergo? How much time elapsed between the first and final drafts?

Not many revisions, which is unusual for me. It came rather fast. Certainly I had a viable draft after a morning’s work. Maybe about two months later, with just minor tinkerings, I felt that I had it. (….)

23.) spotlight: Typecast Publishing
Interview by Ken L. Walker

I first met Jennifer Woods in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky while she was working for Sarabande Books. I constantly popped into the Sarabande offices to see friends and it quickly became apparent that whatever space Jen occupied was the room that everyone should have been in, or, wanted to be in. Right after I moved to New York for graduate school and Jen left (on good terms, of course) Sarabande, she began publishing a letterpressed magazine devoted to new poetry called Lumberyard. The magazine, due to its high-quality letterpressing and edgy, sometimes twisted, mostly moving poetry, took off. (….)

KW: What was the impetus to begin Lumberyard and, then, at what point did Typecast Publishing come into the fore?
JW: The inspiration for Lumberyard was pretty simple: I was dissatisfied with what I felt was a resignation in the literary world, in particular that poetry was “a lost cause” to our culture-at-large and there was no hope that publishing poetry could be a self-sustaining, profitable enterprise. With a new presentation, one that considered the habits and preferences of the modern world, I felt confident people of all stripes would willingly digest and enjoy poetry in the same way humans have for hundreds of years, especially if the marketing behind it refused to accept conventional wisdom as truth, going after pockets of readers written off by the literary community long ago. After all, I certainly didn’t come from a family of academics, nor did I have any friends growing up who loved poetry, and yet I do. What sold me on poetry was poetry itself—nobody had to teach me to love it, I just always did. Surely I wasn’t that much of an anomaly.
My brother was about five years into effectively building a letterpress and design studio, Firecracker Press, and his work made me think we could combine our two loves and produce something really amazing—after all, we both worked in “print” at the end of the day. So, I immediately called him with this idea and we began brainstorming (which continued for nearly a year before the first issue of Lumberyard was ever released). The nature of his very specialized printing business served as a model to show how the application of thoughtful, creative business practices can and do affect the trajectory of a for-profit enterprise. And listening to advice from those who had a defeatist attitude towards the arts—or those who felt uncomfortable mixing the arts and business—was a surefire way to fail at what I had in mind. Honestly, his guidance and advice in the beginning proved to be my personal saving grace. He said many smart things to me in those early days that I still keep in the forefront of my mind. (….)

24.) What I Look for in an Online Journal
By Diane Lockward

I’m sure you’ve noticed, as I have, the demise of a number of print journals or their transition to an online format. At the same time, I’ve also noticed the proliferation of online journals. There are several factors contributing to this proliferation—money, ease of building and maintaining, the ability to reach a wider audience, ability to respond in a timelier manner, and so on. But because anybody can create an online journal—even for free—not all of these journals are of equal quality. Because I believe that it’s a good idea for a poet to have both a print and an online presence, I’ve been gathering a list of online journals I like.

But first I want to share with you the criteria I used in assembling my list:

1. No blogs masquerading as websites. The blog format doesn’t have the feel of commitment and permanence that a real website has.

2. Absolutely no scrolling down in order to find the next poet and his / her poems. Each poet must have his / her own page. Scrolling is one problem frequently found in the blog masquerading as a journal. (….)

25.) Appealing Online Journals
By Diane Lockward

Following is the list of online journals that I’ve assembled from my recent search. I was already familiar with a number of these, but I also posted a query at Facebook and received some suggestions for journals I was not familiar with. I checked out each suggestion but did not include all of them. I excluded online versions of print journals, those with unattractive aesthetics, those that require a download, those that appear as pdf’s, those that do not notify of rejection. I included a number that violated one or two of the items on my list of What I Look for in an Online Journal because they were strong in other areas. There are a few here that desperately need navigation buttons, Share Buttons, and breathing space between poems and sidebar information or contents. Two have cumbersome guidelines which I hope they’ll trim down.

I also kept in mind that I’m imposing my own criteria. This list should not be construed as a Best Of list. It’s not; nor do I have the credentials to create such a list. But I present these as the journals which I now find appealing and which others might want to consider. I should also mention that I have not included a number of fine but more innovative kinds of journals.

The Collagist—monthly
Each issue contains short fiction, poetry, essays, book reviews, and one or more excerpts from novels.

Connotation Press—monthly
Lots of good material in this journal. Most of the poems are preceded by an interview with the poet. Lots of reviews.

Devil’s Lake Review—2x
Limited number of poets, some reviews and interviews. (….)


Here are a few poems for your enjoyment. Feel free to make copies but remember to always include the author name and acknowledgement information.

Hello PO-FOLKS! I know it’s been a while since I changed the poems on this page. I’ve been crazy busy with travel and writing. Thanks for your patience. I’ll be attempting to change the poems here about once every two weeks. I get a LOT of poems sent my way from both kids and adults. My aim is not to offer you examples of the very BEST poems, but rather to just offer them to you as they were offered to me. When possible I’ll make comments on them, not to evaluate them, but rather just to use them as conversation starters.

The poems I’ve collected here are mostly from students 6th grade through 12th. I recently conducted author visits to Boiling Springs High School (Boiling Springs, SC), Myrtle Grove Middle School (Wilmington, NC), and Carroll Middle School (Raleigh, NC). I can’t tell you how much fun these visits were. Not only were the teachers and kids “crazy beautiful;” they also wrote some smashing poems. I’ve included a few of their poems below with comments when I felt moved to speak. There are two or three other poems I’ll be adding in later. (….)

27.) Great Poetry Links:
typewriter poetry“: waxing poetic against the backdrop of heavyset keystrokes

Typewriter Poetry is the transient dance between poetry and performance, where public space and intimate conversation are juxtaposing environments. Replacing monetary and literary value with something a little bit…more, The Poet (me) and The Stranger (you) come together in a single moment to celebrate all that is human, consciousness, and life.

In other words…I type free poems for strangers using my vintage typewriter. I ask people passing by for poetry prompts, then type out a poem based on their subject. Most of the poems on this website are “orphans,” or poems whose owners forgot to pick them up. Occasionally, you’ll see a picture or a scanned copy of a poem, thanks to a reader who decided to email me a copy…but most of the time, participants keep the one and only copy of the poem–a symbolic fit for a project such as this.
With that being said. All of these poems are merely first drafts, birthed in abandon without literary consequence. I think that is one of the hardest parts about this project: being comfortable showing others an extremely vulnerable and self-conscious process. We only see the result of hard work and labor when people publish their work. In order for poetry to lovingly penetrate the “masses”, I feel/think we should recognize that humans, in general, respond in amazing ways to honest, raw, and flawed situations.


“Poets think they are pitchers, but they are really catchers.”

Poetry Quote by Jack Spicer



When your bed is too well-made
to be any kind of invitation, we spill
ourselves on the kitchen floor,
my hairy torso your mop, though
cleanliness is last on our minds — first
comes the music of the throat, percussive
bones, skin taut to the neck, the wood. (….)


American Life in Poetry: Column 376


Though most of us are not formally known as diplomats, many of us learn to be experts at domestic diplomacy, and the sorts of complex negotiations we find ourselves in can require a lot of patience. Here’s Dan Gerber, who lives in California, showing us some of that patience.


When you are angry it’s your gentle self
I love until that’s who you are.
In any case, I can’t love this anger any more
than I can warm my heart with ice. (….)

31.) 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.

37.) 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.

Thu, Jun 28: Brookfield Old Town Hall, Brookfield, 7:00 p.m. Vermont State Poet Laureate Sydney Lea reading.

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.

Wed, Jul 4: College Hall, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, 7:15 p.m. Visiting Writers Series. Virginia Commonwealth University professor Kathleen Graber shares her works of award-winning poetry. Info, 828-8599.

Thu, Jul 5: Canann Town Library, Canaan, 7:30 p.m. A grassroots literary series offers readings by voices in American fiction, poetry and narrative nonfiction. Info, (603) 523-9650.

Sun, Jul 8: Shiretown Books, 9 Central Street, Woodstock, 4:00 p.m.  Poetry readings by several important central Vermont and New Hampshire poets.  Info, Ron at 457-2996,

Thu, Jul 12: Canann Town Library, Canaan, 7:30 p.m. A grassroots literary series offers readings by voices in American fiction, poetry and narrative nonfiction. Info, (603) 523-9650.

Sat, Jul 14: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 2nd Saturday Open Mic – Poetry & Prose. 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. Call for a reservation. Info, 463-9404.

Wed, Jul 17: Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m.

Poetry reading with Jane Shore. That Said continues Shore’s lifelong, vivid exploration of
memory—her childhood in New Jersey, her Jewish heritage, her adult years in
Vermont. JANE SHORE is the author of five books of poetry, including her most
recent, A Yes or No Answer, and Music Minus One,
 which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is a
frequent customer at Bear Pond Books along with her husband, Howard Norman. They
live in Vermont and near Washington, DC where she is a professor at The
George Washington University.

Thu, Jul 19: Canann Town Library, Canaan, 7:30 p.m. A grassroots literary series offers readings by voices in American fiction, poetry and narrative nonfiction. Info, (603) 523-9650.

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 2: Green Mountain Writers Conference, 12:00 p.m. David Budbill reading/performance with music followed by a writing workshop at The Green Mountain Writers Conference, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., Tinmouth, VT. For more information contact Yvonne Daley at:

Thu, Aug 9: Vermont Festival of the Arts, Joslin Memorial Library, 4391 Main Street, Waitsfield. Vermont State Poet Laureate Sydney Lea reading.

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.

Wed, Aug 15 – Sat, Aug 25: Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Ripton.

Note: We would like to congratulate Natasha Trethewey on her recent appointment as the next poet laureate of the United States. Trethewey first attended the Conference as a fellow in 2001 and in more recent years as a workshop leader and faculty member. We are pleased to note that Trethewey will return to the Bread Loaf campus this summer as a member of the 2012 poetry faculty.

Thu, Aug 23: Strafford Meeting House, Strafford. Vermont State Poet Laureate Sydney Lea reading.

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, Aug 30: First Congregational Church, 2596 Route 113, Thetford, 7:30 p.m. Bloodroot Literary Magazine readings. Info, 785-2915.

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.”

Fri, Sep 21: Burlington Book Festival, Burlington, 7:00 p.m. Vermont State Poet Laureate Sydney Lea reading.

Wed, Sep 26: Moore Free Library, 23 West Street, Newfane, 7:00 p.m. Vermont State Poet Laureate Sydney Lea reading.

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.

Fri, Nov 9: Next Stage Theater, 15 Kimball Hill, Putney, 7:00 p.m. Vermont State Poet Laureate Sydney Lea reading with Victoria Redel. Info, 387-8500.

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

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