Vermont Poetry Newsletter and Event Calendar May 18 2009

[The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter

Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State

May 17, 2009

  1. Newsletter Editor’s Note/Notes to Otter Creek Poets
  2. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  3. Otter Creek Poets
  4. Poetry At The White House
  5. Robert Pinsky Video: Samurai Song
  6. Robert Pack
  7. Horace Beck
  8. Presto Manifesto! Rhymed Poetry
  9. Poetic Form: Ghazal
  10. 3 Poems Selected For Pushcart Prize
  11. Certificate in Literary Publishing
  12. Poetry Readings Resume At The Book King
  13. Great River Arts Institute Writing Programs
  14. Week’s Review: Sisterhood of Homeless Women In Poetry
  15. Did You Know? Sex Pest Derek Walcott Bows Out of Race
  16. Ponderings – Notes On The Risqué
  17. Poetry Quote (Gary Snyder)
  18. US Poets Laureate List
  19. Failbetter Poem
  20. Linebreak Poem
  21. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  22. American Life in Poetry Poems (3)
  23. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
  24. Vermont Poet Laureates
  25. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  26. Vermont Literary Journals
  27. Poetry Society of Vermont
  28. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  29. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  30. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  31. Poetry Event Calendar

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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.

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1.)

Dear Friends of Poetry:

It’s time to catch your breath from this year’s National Poetry Month.  Usually by this time, there is nothing left in the bank for poetry events, but there are still many fine programs and readings left.  If you can’t get out of the house, then by golly, write!  Or read!!  (May I recommend Edward Hirsch’s Poet’s Choice to you.)

The Otter Creek Poets will have their annual Potluck and Poetry Feast at Deanna Shapiro’s on June 4th.  12:00-1:00 Potluck, 1:00-3:00 Poetry.  Directions to Deanna’s will be in the next VPN.

I’m also looking for poets to read on Friday, May 29th, at the Book King in Rutland (starting at 6:00 p.m.).  The theme is “Spring” or “Signs of Spring.”  Readings will happen at the Book King on the last Friday of every month.

Until next time!

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher
247-5913

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2.)

THIS WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:


For God’s Sake, Let Us Sit upon the Ground – 
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been deposed; some slain in war;
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poison’d by their wives; some sleeping kill’d;
All murder’d:  for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life
Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!

Richard II, III.ii.155-170 (Richard)

BLANK VERSE

“ Blank verse” in English almost always means iambic pentameter, although strictly speaking it could use other meters so long as it is unrhymed. It offers considerable metric variety within the 5-foot, usually 10-syllable line. An extra syllable or two sometimes sneaks in, especially an unstressed (“feminine”) syllable at the end of a line.

Assignment: Read 200 lines of blank verse out loud. Repeat until you have the cadence firmly in your ear. Then write 20 lines of it.

  • Hint: Use Frost’s “Death of the Hired Man,” a Shakespeare monologue.

Don’t slip into Elizabethan language. Write like yourself.

If you don’t want to stop after 20 lines, keep going.

LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

Writing is, and always will be, an art practiced in solitude.  So why would you want to write in a room full of other people?

My aim is to give you a change of scene, a safe place to try new directions, and a fun time.  This special writing marathon workshop, part of the Otter Creek Poets’ celebration of National Poetry Month, is a chance to write, write, and write some more.

No just for poets . . . work in any genre or style you choose.  There will be chances to share what you write, but that is 100% optional; feel free to keep work private.

Bring pen and paper, a bag lunch, and whatever else you will need to be comfortable for 3-1/2 hours.  Laptop computers are permitted, but bring your own extension cord.  You should also know that the library’s wireless signal does not penetrate into the meeting room.

No preparation is required.  However, if your writing life hasn’t been going your way – if you are stuck, blocked, frustrated, obsessed, or otherwise dissatisfied with your work – gather your thoughts about that difficulty in advance and I will try to address them in the group setting or privately.

The afternoon of writing went a bit differently than what was identified above.  Here is what actually took place:

National Poetry Month Writing Marathon

Ground Rules

1) NO CRITIQUES:  The purpose of this session is to generate new writing in first draft form.  We will not be critiquing, editing, or perfecting any work that is shared.

2) CONFIDENTIALITY:  In order for members to be able to write freely, please remember to treat what you hear confidentially.  What happens here, stays here.

3) TACT:  Assume that all writings shared here is imaginative, and that the characters and speakers in poems and stories are fictional.  Do this even when the writing is obviously autobiographical.

4) USING THE TIME FAIRLY:  Give everyone a chance to share and speak.

12:00 – 12:30  Introductions
Who we are and why we write

Write down brief answers to these questions.  At your turn to introduce yourself, read what you have written.

1) Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do in the world?
2) As a writer, what is your particular gift?
3) What is the hardest thing for you to write about?

12:30 – 1:00  Loosening up.
The Writer’s Body

Like it or not, we are beings who live inside bodies.  All of our consciousness, memories, and experience are stored in the body.  Get comfortable – sit, stand, move, whatever feels right.  Close your eyes and notice your body, from the inside.  Now ask your body, one part at a time, to tell you some stories.  Write down the stories.

1:00 – 1:30  Secrets and Lies

Our writing emerges over the course of a lifetime.  Some things emerge early, some later.  Today, try writing something you’ve been putting off.  Maybe something you didn’t have the skill to attempt until now.  Maybe something you weren’t free to say until recently.  Write it now.

2:00 – 2:30  Your Best Story

There is a story everybody makes you tell over and over again.  It’s the story you tell so well.  Oddly enough, you have never written it down.  Do that now.

2:30 – 3:00  Questions & Answers
3:00 – 3:30  Sharing Our Writing

Good Luck!

(All Assignments are products of David Weinstock unless otherwise indicated.)

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3.)

Otter Creek Poetry Society celebrates National Poetry Month with Writing Marathon

Middlebury Article on Otter CreekDavid Weinstock is not afraid to ask people tough questions, if poetry is what comes out of it.

On April 23, more than 20 community members gathered in the basement conference room of the Ilsley Public Library, as they do every Thursday, for the Otter Creek Poetry Society meeting. This Thursday, the group celebrated poetry month by holding a 3 1/2 hour writing workshop that Weinstock, the founder of the group, called the National Poetry Month Writing Marathon.

Over the course of the afternoon, the group – which ranged in age from nine to 89 – wrote prose and poetry to answer prompts proposed by Weinstock, such as “Who are you and what do you do in the world?” and “Write a story that you tell so well but have never written down….

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4.)

POETRY AT THE WHITE HOUSE ! (FINALLY)
Poetry, Music and Spoken Word

Last Tuesday, the President and the First Lady hosted an evening celebrating poetry, music and the spoken word. This event was designed around the theme of dialogue, showing how dialogue is important in every aspect of who we are as Americans and as human beings, and demonstrating how communication is a constant throughout the ages.  The hope was also that the evening’s gathering helped ensure that all voices are heard, particularly voices that are often not heard. We are fortunate to have a wide variety of upcoming and legendary performers such as Joshua Bennett, actor James Earl Jones, Eric Lewis, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, novelist Michael Chabon, Mayda Del Valle and Esperanza Spalding.
They invited students from American, Gallaudet, Georgetown, and Howard Universities to participate in the event.

“I have wanted to do this from Day One, the notion of standing in this room and hearing some poetry,” said Mrs. Obama. It’s no secret that President Obama is a fan of poetry. He was spotted reading some shortly after winning the election and included a poet at his inaugration ceremony.

The “poetry jam” was streamed live on the White House Web site and was broadcast on HBO. Here’s Joshua Bennett performing his work at the White House.

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5.)

Listen to Robert Pinsky read “Samurai Song”

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6.)

Robert Pack, Poet, Essayist, Former Director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference

Robert Pack is in Missoula, teaching at the University of Montana and completing a critical study of Robert Frost.

Pounding It Out, his latest verse collection, was published by the University of Chicago Press.

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7.)

HORACE BECK


  • I could find nothing to prove the rumor of the beef Robert Pack had with Horace Beck for making racial jokes, leading to Pack leading a revolt at Middlebury College, and then leaving altogether.  Here’s something, though, that I did find out about Horace:

Matt Bonnerhorace p. beck passed away at his home on tuesday, july 1st, 2003. he was 82.

horace beck was the man behind the narration of the legend of harry meyers on medicine stone’s gauge. beck was a traditional storyteller and a master of folklore who began sailing at age three. he made 28 transatlantic crossings and was the first white man allowed on the whaling ships in the west indies and in tonga in the south pacific. he spoke five languages, wrote a dozen books, and was one of the most popular professors ever to teach at middlebury college. in his youth he wrestled for ten years and had his ear torn half off, but was never pinned. he lived in his mountain home in ripton, vermont, and was a regular presence on national public radio…

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8.)

Presto Manifesto!

Poetry Manifesto - Poetry FoundationSeventh in a series of eight manifestos.
BY A.E. STALLINGS

The freedom to not-rhyme must include the freedom to rhyme. Then verse will be “free.”

All rhymed poetry must be rhyme-driven. This is no longer to be considered pejorative.

Rhyme is at the wheel. No, rhyme is the engine….

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9.)

Poetic Form: Ghazal

PoetryOrgThe ghazal is composed of a minimum of five couplets–and typically no more than fifteen–that are structurally, thematically, and emotionally autonomous. Each line of the poem must be of the same length, though meter is not imposed in English. The first couplet introduces a scheme, made up of a rhyme followed by a refrain. Subsequent couplets pick up the same scheme in the second line only, repeating the refrain and rhyming the second line with both lines of the first stanza. The final couplet usually includes the poet’s signature, referring to the author in the first or third person, and frequently including the poet’s own name or a derivation of its meaning.

Traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions, ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians. The form has roots in seventh-century Arabia, and gained prominence in the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century thanks to such Persian poets as Rumi and Hafiz. In the eighteenth-century, the ghazal was used by poets writing in Urdu, a mix of the medieval languages of Northern India, including Persian. Among these poets, Ghalib is the recognized master….

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10.)

Three Poems from Poetry Selected for The Pushcart Prize

CHICAGO – Poetry magazine is pleased to announce that three poems featured recently in its pages have been selected for inclusion in The Pushcart Prize XXXIV: Best of the Small Presses (2010 edition): David Yezzi’s “The Good News” (June 2007), Louise Glück’s “Midsummer” (February 2008), and Geoffrey Brock’s “Daddy: 1933” (June 2008).

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11.)

Certificate in Literary Publishing

[Extract] Have you been thinking or dreaming about starting your own literary magazine, or founding a press to publish books? Do you have a vision of what works you would like to bring to life? Or would you like to work for a literary magazine or small press? The Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs at Emerson College offers the Literary Publishing Program, which is open to poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and individuals who would like to learn the publishing skills needed to start and run their own literary magazines or their own book publishing ventures, or work for a larger literary publishing enterprise.
 
The program in Literary Publishing is held as a two-week intensive during Emerson College’s May intersession (5/11-5/22). Outside of classroom instruction, participants will work on a business plan on their press or magazine. Participants who complete the intensive and submit a rough business plan for their literary magazine or press will earn the Literary Publishing Certificate. This program is non-credit.
 
This non-credit program provides five two-day modules and a half-day panel designed to give the basics in starting and running a literary magazine or small press, giving those enrolled a way to avoid common, and costly, mistakes…

Click Here for Details

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12.)

Poetry Readings Resume at The Book King, Center Street, Rutland

The Book King is returning to having public poetry readings, to be held on the last Friday of each month, the first of which would be May 29th, at 6:00-7:00 p.m.  I will be organizing the readers, develop the flyers, and do the promotion of the events through the local newspapers and radio stations.  There will be flyers at the Book King in order to have available for handouts.

I am hoping to have several poets lined up for this inaugural reading.  Please contact me if you’d like to read at what should be a grand kick off.  For this reading, I am looking for poems containing the idea of “Spring” or “Signs of Spring” for a common theme.

For future readings, I am thinking along the lines of having readers from:

1) The Killington Arts Guild and their writers from the publication “A Gathering of Poets”
2) Members of the Otter Creek Poets, who have published 4 anthologies
3) Readers from the Vermont Young Writers Project
4) Youthful “Slam Poets”
5) Anti-war poets

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13.)

Great River Arts Institute 2009 Courses

Literary Programs

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14.)

THIS WEEK’S REVIEW

Beloved Community ReviewBELOVED COMMUNITY: THE SISTERHOOD OF HOMELESS WOMEN IN POETRY

edited by WHEEL
Posted by Megan under E-Reviews
Review by Anne McDuffie
[Extract] In this anthology, WHEEL—the Women’s Housing, Equality and Enhancement League— has assembled an impressive array of poems, culled from the chapbooks they publish annually. WHEEL is, by its own definition, a “scrappy little grassroots organizing effort of homeless and formerly homeless women in Seattle, Washington.” Some of the writers included in this collection have come through the classes WHEEL sponsors at day centers and through their StreetWrites program; some are workshop organizers and staff writers for Real Change, Seattle’s homeless newspaper. Their poems bring us the news from the “invisible side of the street,” as Anitra Freeman describes it in “In Memoriam,” a prose tribute to the members of WHEEL, and to all homeless women, who have died outside or by violence in King County.

There are gems here, some of them rough-edged and some of them flawed—but taken together, they dazzle. The strength of the collection is in its variety. Beloved Community allows us to know the women of WHEEL as individuals linked by circumstance rather than as “the homeless.” These poems are deeply personal and speak with exhilarating directness, delighting in strong rhythms, bold images and flashes of humor….

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15.)

Did You Know?

Sex pest file gives Oxford poetry race a nasty edge

Times - Sex PestThe race to win poetry’s most prestigious academic post has turned dirty after Oxford academics were anonymously sent a lurid dossier accusing Derek Walcott, the frontrunner and Nobel laureate, of being a sex pest.

The package was circulated last week to staff and graduates eligible to vote in next Saturday’s election for the Oxford professorship of poetry, as well as to the offices of Cherwell, a student newspaper.

The dossier recounts a sexual harassment claim against Walcott, 79, when he taught at Harvard in the 1980s.

The poet was reprimanded following the allegation that he tried to pressure a female student into sleeping with him.

Another harassment claim against Walcott dating from 1996 has also reemerged, sparking a heated debate at Oxford.

Walcott’s main challenger for the professorship is Ruth Padel, a poet and travel writer, who is seeking to become the first woman to hold the post in its 300-year history…

FOLLOW-UP:

Smears drive Walcott from Oxford poetry professor race

Guardian - Walcott Withdraws[Extract] Nobel prize winner Derek Walcott has withdrawn from the race to become Oxford’s professor of poetry following an anonymous letter campaign.

The campaign saw up to 100 Oxford academics sent photocopied pages from a book detailing a sexual harassment claim made against Walcott by a Harvard student in 1982. The student alleged that Walcott asked her to, “Imagine me making love to you. What would I do? … Would you make love with me if I asked you?”, and claimed that after she turned him down, she was given a C grade in his class.

Walcott was one of three candidates in the running for the position – the most influential in poetry in the UK behind that of the laureateship – alongside Ruth Padel and the Indian poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. He was backed by major names in the literary world, including Booker winner Alan Hollinghurst, Graham Robb, Marina Warner, poet Jenny Joseph, and professor Hermione Lee, and was seen as the frontrunner for the post. Oxford graduates are due to vote for their choice of poetry professor on 16 May.

But the Nobel laureate said today that he was withdrawing from the election, hitting out at the “low tactics”, and the “low and degrading attempt at character assassination” it had become….

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16.)

“Ponderings”

Notes on the Risqué
by Jerry Garcia

Notes on RisqueOn the discount table at one of those chain bookstores that I really should boycott, I found a collection of cartoons that had been rejected by the New Yorker. Titled The Rejected Collection – Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See in the New Yorker, this book was full of “risqué, silly and weird cartoons.” Since the first cartoon made me chuckle and the book was heavily discounted, I bought it. In this book, along with a collection of clunkers, were some funny cartoons that were written and/or drawn in bad taste.

This editorial is not a book review. The book has inspired some conflicting thoughts I have about good taste and spoken word. As a middle-aged man ensconced in the pop culture and entertainment trends of my lifetime, I often enjoy the risqué and the prurient…

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17.)

How Poetry Comes To Me

It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the
Edge of the light

Poetry Quote by Gary Snyder

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18.)

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.

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19.)

Failbetter.com – Lorca in Eden

Lorca in Eden

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20.)

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

Somewhere South of Miles City
By Joe Wilkins

Stop the car. There. Now
breathe with me. That broken

Ford needs only a swift kick
to set it right. Listen. The radio

man says For Sale, says Believe.
You believed in me. I believed… [Extract]

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21.)

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

An Introduction to the Mechanics of Deformable Bodies: Christ Martin

When Erica says
I am feeling myself and jovial
I think of the orange

Tipped trees between
The buildings out
My window, their penknife

Leaves grazing like air-bound anemones
Haunted by the jellyfish
Forms of black plastic bags, today… [Extract]

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22.)

American Life in Poetry: Column 214

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

Sometimes I wonder at my wife’s forbearance. She’s heard me tell the same stories dozens of times, and she still politely laughs when she should. Here’s a poem by Susan Browne, of California, that treats an oft-told story with great tenderness.

On Our Eleventh Anniversary

You’re telling that story again about your childhood,
when you were five years old and rode your blue bicycle

from Copenhagen to Espergaerde, and it was night
and snowing by the time you arrived,

and your grandparents were so relieved to see you,
because all day no one knew where you were… [Extract]

American Life in Poetry: Column 215

To commemorate Mother’s Day, here’s a lovely poem by David Wojahn of Virginia, remembering his mother after forty years.

Walking to School, 1964

Blurring the window, the snowflakes’ numb white lanterns.
She’s brewed her coffee, in the bathroom sprays cologne
And sets her lipstick upright on the sink.
The door ajar, I glimpse the yellow slip,

The rose-colored birthmark on her shoulder.
Then she’s dressed–the pillbox hat and ersatz fur,
And I’m dressed too, mummified in stocking cap
And scarves, and I walk her to the bus stop… [ Extract]

American Life in Poetry: Column 216

Judy Loest lives in Knoxville and, like many fine Appalachian writers, her poems have a welcoming conversational style, rooted in that region’s storytelling tradition. How gracefully she sweeps us into the landscape and the scene!

Faith

Leaves drift from the cemetery oaks onto late grass,
Sun-singed, smelling like straw, the insides of old barns.
The stone angel’s prayer is uninterrupted by the sleeping
Vagrant at her feet, the lone squirrel, furtive amid the litter.

Someone once said my great-grandmother, on the day she died,
rose from her bed where she had lain, paralyzed and mute
For two years following a stroke, and dressed herself–the good
Sunday dress of black crepe, cotton stockings, sensible, lace-up shoes… [Extract]

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23.)

KEEP PAST VERMONT POETS ALIVE!  I’M SOLICITING YOUR HELP:
POETS OF VERMONT PAST AND PRESENT PROJECT

I’m looking for a copy of:

1) The Literature of Vermont: A Sampler – FOUND!
2) Poets and Poetry of Vermont, by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1858
3) “Driftwood,” a poetry magazine begun in 1926 by Walter John Coates

If you have any books of poetry, chapbooks, or just poems written by Vermont poets, dating 1980 and earlier, famous or not, I’d like to know about them.  I’m beginning a project that deals strictly with Vermont poets, from Vermont’s past, with summaries of the poets themselves, a portrait photo or drawing of the poet, along with a small sampling of poems.  If you think you can help, you probably can!  Please contact me by replying to this newsletter.

Ronald Lewis

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24.)

VERMONT POET LAUREATES

1) Robert Frost – 1961
2) Galway Kinnell
3) Louis Glück
4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
5) Grace Paley
6) Ruth Stone

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25.)

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

Ronald Lewis:
Phone: 802-247-5913
Cell: 802-779-5913

Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
Email: vtpoet@gmail.com

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26.)

VERMONT LITERARY JOURNALS

1) The Queen City Review

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

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

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

2) Bloodroot

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

The price of a single issue is $8.

Editor, “Do” Roberts
Bloodroot Literary Magazine
PO Box 322
Thetford Center, VT  05075
(802) 785-4916
email: bloodroot@wildblue.net

3) New England Review

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

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

New England Review
Attn: Orders
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

NEReview@middlebury.edu
(800) 450-9571

4) Willard & Maple

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

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

email: willardandmaple@champlain.edu

5) Burlington Poetry Journal

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

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27.)

STATE POETRY SOCIETY
Poetry Society of Vermont

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

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

Membership in PSOV

Benefits:

  • 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 – 2008 – Curl up with 44 pages of 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.

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28.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BELLOWS FALLS

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

2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat).  The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Poetry Workshops on Monday mornings (9:30-12:30 I believe)- Jim Fowler’s sessions continue, with periodic break for a few weeks between sessions.  Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at vsbooks@sover.net or  jfowler177@comcast.net.

BERLIN

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

GUILFORD

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

MIDDLEBURY

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

NORWICH

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

STOWE

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

WAITSFIELD

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

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29.)

OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BURLINGTON

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

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

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

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

  • Note: If you know of any others, or have personal information about the workshop in Stowe and Guilford, please send me that information.  I realize that there are several smaller groups or workshops around the state.  However, because of their intimacy, they are not posted above, allowing them to offer “memberships” to close friends or acquaintances that they feel would be most appropriate.

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30.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

SPRINGFIELD

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

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

UNDERHILL

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

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31.)

POETRY EVENT CALENDAR

Poetry Event

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

Thu, May 21: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Wed, May 27: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

Thu, May 28: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Thu, May 28: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Fri, May 29: The Book King, Center Street, Rutland, 6:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  Inaugural reading at their new location, under new ownership.  Theme will be “Spring” or “Signs of Spring.”  Contact Ron Lewis in order to sign up to read.  vtpoet@gmail.com, or 247-5913.

Mon, Jun 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eamon Grennan to read.  Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated at UCD, where he studied English and Italian, and Harvard, where he received his PhD in English. His volumes of poetry include What Light There Is & Other Poems, (North Point Press, 1989), Wildly for Days (1983), What Light There Is (1987), As If It Matters (1991), So It Goes (1995), Selected and New Poems (2000) and Still Life with Waterfall (2001). His latest collection, The Quick of It, appeared in 2004 in Ireland, and in Spring 2005 in America. His books of poetry are published in the United States by Graywolf Press, and in Ireland by Gallery Press. Other publications include Leopardi: Selected Poems (Princeton 1997), and Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century, a collection of essays on modern Irish poetry. His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in many magazines both in Ireland and the US.  Grennan has given lectures and workshops in colleges and universities in the US, including courses for the graduate programs in Columbia and NYU. During 2002 he was the Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University. His grants and prizes in the United States include awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Leopardi: Selected Poems received the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and Still Life with Waterfall was the recipient of the 2003 Lenore Marshall Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Poets. His poems have been awarded a number of Pushcart prizes. Grennan has taught since 1974 at Vassar College where he is the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English.

Thu, Jun 4: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Thu, Jun 4: Howe Library, Mayer Room, Hanover, NH, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Author Reading & Book Signing: April Ossmann.  April reads from Anxious Music.  For info, (603) 643-4120, Ellen.Lynch@TheHowe.org.

Wed, Jun 10: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s spring poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Wed, Jun 10: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

Thu, Jun 11: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Thu, Jun 11: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Sat, Jun 13: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Jun 18: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Sat, Jun 20: 7:00, Ball and Chain Cafe at the Briggs Carriage Bookstore, 16 Park St., Brandon, 7:00 p.m.  Poetry/Music Performance.  David Cavanagh reads poems from his new book, Falling Body (Salmon Poetry, Ireland), interspersed, entangled with and accompanied by the music of Blackbird (Bob DeMarco and Rachel Clark).

Wed, Jun 24: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

Thu, Jun 25: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Thu, Jun 25: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Thu, Jul 2: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Thu, Jul 9: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Thu, Jul 9: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Thu, Jul 9: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Ryan to read.  Michael Ryan has published three collections of poetry, including In Winter, Threats Instead of Trees, has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and God Hunger, as well as A Difficult Grace: On Poets, Poetry, and Writing, and the memoir Secret Life. His work has appeared in Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, New Republic, and elsewhere. Ryan has been honored by the Lenore Marshall Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and a Guggenheim. Ryan is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UC, Irvine.

Sat, Jul 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Jul 16: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Thu, Jul 23: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Thu, Jul 23: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Mon, Jul 27: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Doreen Gilroy to read.  Doreen Gilroy’s first book, The Little Field of Self  (The University of Chicago Press, 2002), won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares.  Her second book, Human Love, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2005.  Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Slate, TriQuarterly and many other magazines.

Thu, Jul 30: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Otter Creek Poets.  The best-known poetry critique workshop in the state.  Operating weekly for the past 12 years under the directorship of David Weinstock.

Sat, Aug 8: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Aug 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Cole Swensen to read.  Cole Swensen is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. She is the author of five collections of poems, including Try (University of Iowa Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Poetry Prize; Noon (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), which won a New American Writing Award; and Numen (Burning Deck Press, 1995) which was nominated for the PEN West Award in Poetry. Her translations include Art Poetic’ by Olivier Cadiot (Sun & Moon Press, Green Integer Series, 1999) and Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun & Moon, 1995). She splits her time among Denver, San Francisco and Paris.

Thu, Sep 3: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Marge Piercy to read.  Marge Piercy has published 17 books of poetry, including What Are Big Girls Made Of, Colors Passing Through Us, and most recently her 17th volume, The Crooked Inheiritance, all from Knopf. She has written 17 novels, most recently SEX WARS in Perennial paperback now.  Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is also in Harper Collins Perennial.  Last spring, Schocken published Pesach for the Rest of Us.  Her work has been translated into 16 languages. Her CD Louder We Can’t Hear You Yet contains her political and feminist poems. She has been an editor of Leapfrog Press for the last ten years and also poetry editor of Lilith.

Sat, Sep 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Oct 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Pattiann Rogers to read.  Pattiann Rogers has published ten books of poetry, a book-length essay, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, and A Covenant of Seasons, poems and monotypes, in collaboration with the artist Joellyn Duesberry. Her 11th  book of poetry, Wayfare, will appear from Penguin in April, 2008.   Rogers is the recipient of two NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation, and five Pushcart Prizes.  In the spring of 2000 she was in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.  Her papers are archived in the Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community and the Natural World at Texas Tech University.  She has taught as a visiting professor at various universities, including the Universities of Texas, Arkansas, and Montana, Houston University, and Washingon University.  She is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s MFA in Writing Program.  Rogers has two sons and three grandsons and lives with her husband in Colorado.

Sat, Oct 10: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Oct 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Major Jackson to read.  “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.

Sat, Nov 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Nov 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Sebastian Matthews to read.  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.

Sat, Dec 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

2010:


Mon, Feb 22:
Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet David Shapiro to read.  David Shapiro (born January 2, 1947) is an American poet, literary critic, and art historian and . Shapiro has written some twenty volumes of poetry, literary, and art criticism. He was first published at the age of thirteen, and his first book was published at the age of eighteen. Shapiro has taught at Columbia, Bard College, Cooper Union, Princeton University, and William Paterson University. He wrote the first monograph on John Ashbery, the first book on Jim Dine’s paintings, the first book on Piet Mondrian’s flower studies, and the first book on Jasper Johns’ drawings. He has translated Rafael Alberti’s poems on Pablo Picasso, and the writings of the Sonia and Robert Delaunay. Shapiro has won National Endowment for the HumanitiesNational Endowment for the Arts fellowships, been nominated for a National Book Award, and been the recipient of numerous grants for his work. Shapiro lives in Riverdale, The Bronx, New York City, with his wife and son.

  • 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.

our finitude as human beings
is encompassed by the infinity of language

Hans-Georg Gadamer

Your fellow Poet,

Ron Lewis

Vermont Poetry Newsletter & Event Calendar April 30 2009

[The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter

Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State
April 29, 2009

  1. Newsletter Editor’s Note/Notes to Otter Creek Poets
  2. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  3. Putting Life Into Words – Ruth Stone
  4. A Few Thoughts On Why I Write
  5. Brad Leithauser
  6. Why Poets Should Own Their Domain Names
  7. Shakespeare Portrait Unveiled
  8. Literary Publishing Workshops
  9. Poetry Readings Resume At The Book King
  10. Poetry Readings at “51 Main” in Middlebury
  11. In Memoriam: Chris “Doc” White
  12. Great River Arts Institute Writing Programs
  13. Wordsworth Aficionados Have A New Destination
  14. This Week’s Review (1): M.S. Merwin
  15. This Week’s Review (2): Susanne Dubroff
  16. Did You Know? Iowa Summer Writing Festival
  17. Ponderings – Breyten Breytenbach
  18. Poetry Quote (Robert Frost)
  19. US Poets Laureate List
  20. Failbetter Poem
  21. Linebreak Poem
  22. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  23. American Life in Poetry Poems (3)
  24. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
  25. Vermont Poet Laureates
  26. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  27. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  28. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  29. Writer’s Prompt Anyone?
  30. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  31. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  32. Poetry Event Calendar

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  • 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.

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1.)

Dear Friends of Poetry:

I hope all of you are enjoying the feast of readings during National Poetry Month.  I think the two most exciting months for me are April, for obvious reasons, and the month of August, when I attend the readings at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference.  If you’ve never attended Bread Loaf before, make a commitment this year!  As soon as I know who’s reading, I will post them in the Vermont Poetry Newsletter.

The Otter Creek poets, 15 of them, recently hosted a visit by poet Tom Smith.  Tom mentioned that poetry was a product of rescuing language, that is was about sequestering opposites.  You should be able to “taste the words.”  Another comment of Tom’s to think about: “The butterfly remains a worm when you look at it.”

Take care!

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher
247-5913

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2.)

THIS WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

Writing is, and always will be, an art practiced in solitude.  So why would you want to write in a room full of other people?

My aim is to give you a change of scene, a safe place to try new directions, and a fun time.  This special writing marathon workshop, part of the Otter Creek Poets’ celebration of National Poetry Month, is a chance to write, write, and write some more.

No just for poets . . . work in any genre or style you choose.  There will be chances to share what you write, but that is 100% optional; feel free to keep work private.

Bring pen and paper, a bag lunch, and whatever else you will need to be comfortable for 3-1/2 hours.  Laptop computers are permitted, but bring your own extension cord.  You should also know that the library’s wireless signal does not penetrate into the meeting room.

No preparation is required.  However, if your writing life hasn’t been going your way – if you are stuck, blocked, frustrated, obsessed, or otherwise dissatisfied with your work – gather your thoughts about that difficulty in advance and I will try to address them in the group setting or privately.

The afternoon of writing went a bit differently than what was identified above.  Here is what actually took place:

National Poetry Month Writing Marathon: Ground Rules

1)   NO CRITIQUES:  The purpose of this session is to generate new writing in first draft form.  We will not be critiquing, editing, or perfecting any work that is shared.
2)   CONFIDENTIALITY:  In order for members to be able to write freely, please remember to treat what you hear confidentially.  What happens here, stays here.
3)   TACT:  Assume that all writings shared here is imaginative, and that the characters and speakers in poems and stories are fictional.  Do this even when the writing is obviously autobiographical.
4)   USING THE TIME FAIRLY:  Give everyone a chance to share and speak.

12:00 – 12:30  Introductions

Who we are and why we write

Write down brief answers to these questions.  At your turn to introduce yourself, read what you have written.

1)          Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do in the world?
2)          As a writer, what is your particular gift?
3)          What is the hardest thing for you to write about?

12:30 – 1:00  Loosening up.  The Writer’s Body

Like it or not, we are beings who live inside bodies.  All of our consciousness, memories, and experience are stored in the body.  Get comfortable – sit, stand, move, whatever feels right.  Close your eyes and notice your body, from the inside.  Now ask your body, one part at a time, to tell you some stories.  Write down the stories.

1:00 – 1:30  Secrets and Lies

Our writing emerges over the course of a lifetime.  Some things emerge early, some later.  Today, try writing something you’ve been putting off.  Maybe something you didn’t have the skill to attempt until now.  Maybe something you weren’t free to say until recently.  Write it now.

2:00 – 2:30  Your Best Story

There is a story everybody makes you tell over and over again.  It’s the story you tell so well.  Oddly enough, you have never written it down.  Do that now.

2:30 – 3:00  Questions & Answers

3:00 – 3:30  Sharing Our Writing

LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

Epistolary Poetry.  Writer John McPhee has said that every one of his books began with the phrase “Dear Mother” – although those words do not actually appear in the books.  Letter writing reframes us, puts us into a different part of our writerly brains.  In letters often we can or may say what we cannot say otherwise.  Letters can be chatty, or seductive, or loving, or angry, or deceptive.

Assignment: Write an epistolary poem, a poem in the form of a letter, or an exchange of letters.

Good Luck!

(All Assignments are products of David Weinstock unless otherwise indicated)

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3.)

Putting life into words

By JOSH O’GORMAN

[Extract] Ruth Stone, the state poet of Vermont, expresses surprise when told it is National Poetry Month.

“Oh, really? That’s nice,” she says, although it is certainly possible she’s just having fun with a reporter one-third her age. For half a century, Stone, now 93, has written and taught, publishing 13 volumes of poetry and leading classes at colleges and universities from New York to California.

“It came when she was pretty old,” says Stone’s daughter Marcia Croll of her mother’s appointment in 2007 as state poet, following the likes of Grace Paley and Robert Frost. “If it had come earlier she might have done more with it.”

Stone no longer gives readings. Her vision is poor, and she doesn’t venture beyond her Middlebury apartment without an escort. What she still does is what she has perhaps always done best, and that is write. Her newest collection, “What Love Comes To: New and Selected Poems,” was one of three finalists for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize….

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4.)

  • This seemed like a timely article, from Poetix, Poetry for Southern California, after reading through the Otter Creek Poets assignment:

Having the Conversation: A Few Thoughts on Why I Write

by Frankie Drayus

[Extract] Why do I write? Why does anyone write?

I write in order to have what I call “the conversation”— to create an exchange with my reader, even if I’ll never meet her. I try to leave enough space in my work for this unknown other to answer. I do the same with other people’s written art— I listen, and then I answer. Then perhaps I ask them something, too.

I used to think that everyone else wrote for the same reason, all of us carefully folding and sliding our little messages into little bottles and dropping them into the water from the islands where we’d marooned ourselves. But I have since learned that this is not the case. When I was teaching undergrads, I discovered that most of them had no idea why they wrote…

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5.)

New Book from Brad Leithauser – Curves and Angles

About this book (per Random House)

In his first collection since the widely acclaimed Darlington’s Fall, Brad Leithauser takes the reader on a bracing poetic journey. Curves and Angles begins in a warm, soft, populated world (these are the curves of the human body, as well as the elliptical pathways of human motivation), and it concludes in a cooler, sharper, more private place—the less-giving angles of an inanimate universe.

The first section, “Curves,” introduces us to a couple of passionate young lovers, indoors in the city on a rainy afternoon; to a vociferous cluster of children playing on a Midwestern summer evening; to a godlike scuba diver, “all long gold limbs and a restless halo of long gold hair.” In a pair of long poems, two aging men—one a science-fiction writer of the 1950s, the other a traveler in an airport bar—confront their mortality.

“Angles” guides us to a rarely opened north-looking attic room, made brilliant by a nearby maple in full fall orange; to a sunny Louisiana kitchen, where two bowls—one brimming with semiprecious stones, one filled with seashells—are locked in an eternal silent beauty contest; to a frozen Icelandic lake; and to a narrow unmarked entryway that possibly leads to our “true and unbounded kingdom.”

Curves and Angles wanders from the balmy waters of the South Pacific to the crystalline wastes of the Arctic, unified throughout by an embracing love of the natural world in all its inexhaustible variety—whether lush or spare, peopled or solitary, curved or angled. It’s a journey made unforgettable by these wise and exuberant poems.

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6.)

Why Poets Should Own Their Domain Names

26 April 2009, the poet @ 9:35 pm

[Extract] I was one of those Geocitizens with a presence in the little community that came to be owned by Yahoo! The year was 1997. I thought it would be cool to publish some of my poetry on a website so Geocities was a nice place to stack my pens. It really didn’t last long. I went on to buy my own domain name and built an actual website using HTML (though I won’t reveal what that website is because it’s just too much an embarrassment). But I was cool for about a year.Imagine my surprise when I read the other day that Yahoo! was shutting down Geocities. They weren’t even selling it. Or replacing it with anything. Not even a plan to revamp it. Just killing it. Splat! (…)

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7.)

Shakespeare Portrait Unveiled

APTOPIX BRITAIN SHAKESPEARE PORTRAIT[Extract] The Bard, or not the Bard? That is the question posed by Monday’s unveiling of a centuries-old portrait of a dark-eyed, handsome man in Elizabethan finery.

Experts say it is the only portrait of William Shakespeare painted during his lifetime _ in effect, the sole source of our knowledge of what the great man looked like.

But they can’t be certain. In the shifting sands of Shakespeare scholarship, where even the authorship of the plays is sometimes disputed, nothing is written in stone. (…)

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8.)

Certificate in Literary Publishing

[Extract] Have you been thinking or dreaming about starting your own literary magazine, or founding a press to publish books? Do you have a vision of what works you would like to bring to life? Or would you like to work for a literary magazine or small press? The Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs at Emerson College offers the Literary Publishing Program, which is open to poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and individuals who would like to learn the publishing skills needed to start and run their own literary magazines or their own book publishing ventures, or work for a larger literary publishing enterprise.
 
The program in Literary Publishing is held as a two-week intensive during Emerson College’s May intersession (5/11-5/22). Outside of classroom instruction, participants will work on a business plan on their press or magazine. Participants who complete the intensive and submit a rough business plan for their literary magazine or press will earn the Literary Publishing Certificate. This program is non-credit.
 
This non-credit program provides five two-day modules and a half-day panel designed to give the basics in starting and running a literary magazine or small press, giving those enrolled a way to avoid common, and costly, mistakes…

Click Here for Details

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9.)

Poetry Readings Resume at The Book King, Center Street, Rutland

The Book King is returning to having public poetry readings, to be held on the last Friday of each month, the first of which would be May 29th, at 6:00-7:00 p.m.  I will be organizing the readers, develop the flyers, and do the promotion of the events through the local newspapers and radio stations.  There will be flyers at the Book King in order to have available for handouts.

I am hoping to have several poets lined up for this inaugural reading.  Please contact me if you’d like to read at what should be a grand kick off.  For this reading, I am looking for poems containing the idea of “Spring” or “Signs of Spring” for a common theme.

For future readings, I am thinking along the lines of having readers from:

1) The Killington Arts Guild and their writers from the publication “A Gathering of Poets”
2) Members of the Otter Creek Poets, who have published 4 anthologies
3) Readers from the Vermont Young Writers Project
4) Youthful “Slam Poets”
5) Anti-war poets

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10.)

  • Another new place to read poetry is at “51 Main.”  This is both the address and the name of a new coffee house of Middlebury College students.  Although I haven’t yet visited this establishment, I believe it to be, based on the events that have taken place there, much like Carol’s Hungry Mind Café.  For instance, yesterday, April 28th, they had an 8:00 p.m. poetry reading that included the likes of:

Kellam Ayres
Jennifer Bates
Lucas Farrell
Karin Gottshall
(“Whose book of poetry, Crocus, is a must read.” – Ron Lewis)

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11.)

  • Castleton State College’s glossy magazine, Castleton, recently had a beautiful article about the late Chris White.  I ended up typing it into the Poetry Society of Vermont’s web site (I’m their Webmaster), and have copied it over here for you to read.

In Memoriam

Remembering Professor Chris “Doc” White, 1937-2009

Retired mathematics professor Chris White died January 14 in his home next to campus.  He taught full-time at Castleton from 1970 until spring 2007, and since then has been teaching advanced courses part-time and tutoring upper level math students.  He was looking forward to teaching Calculus III this spring.

Professor’ White’s nephew, Stuart Linden, told the Castleton community, “As everyone was aware, Chris’s life revolved around the college.  It was his ‘family.’  He was brilliant, eccentric, kind, funny, thoughtful, dedicated, generous — and sometimes he acted like a young kid.”

He was on campus daily to visit friends among the faculty and staff, to eat in the snack bar, or to take long walks.  His jacket pocket always held biscuits for the dogs he met.

Meg Thompson, a senior mathematics major who studied geometry and advanced Calculus with White last summer, remembers his excitement when he got an interesting idea.  “It was a look in his eye.  It was like he perked up.  If he explained it, you probably couldn’t follow him.”  Students learned to respect and enjoy these private moments of brilliance.

Thompson says that math students have started to refer to White when confronted with a difficult problem.  She heard the saying first from her roommate and it’s catching on: “What would Dr. White do?”

White was working on a book on identities of Pascal’s Triangle with Professor Chris Schwaner, a former student and now a colleague in the Mathematics Department.  Schwaner is now looking for a publisher.

White was a man of many talents.  He played the violin.  He wrote reviews for a leading mathematics journal and translated articles from Russian.  He was a poet and was president of the Poetry Society of Vermont for ten years.  He continued to serve on the society’s board of trustees, helping to promote a creative writing contest for young people.

Last spring White donated his house and property to Castleton as a life estate.  Under the terms of the gift, he continued to live in the house, which was maintained by the college.

“He was always happy, always had a smile, and always had nice things to say about everyone,” recalls Rita Geno, administrative assistant in the Dean’s Office.  White stopped in to see Geno and Karen Craig, administrative assistant to the President, nearly every day.  They made sure his birthday was celebrated in Woodruff Hall.  “We lost a wonderful member of the Castleton family when we lost our dear Chrissy.”

  • Taken from Castleton Magazine, Spring 2009, Campus News, Page 4
  • PS:  What the article didn’t mention was Chris’s ties to another activity of mine, table tennis (ping pong).  He was the first player in Vermont to use “smooth rubber.”  While everyone else was using “pips out” rubber, Chris was able to beat them all with this new type of rubber, which brought a great new element to the game: SPIN.  From Chris’s family I was able to secure his famous paddle, which I have framed.  It is now hanging in our club’s (the Green Mountain Table Tennis Club’s) storeroom, as a true momento of the past, and Chris’s legendary status.

If you have any desire to donate money in Chris’s memory, you can do so to two separate enterprises:

1) Alumni & Development Office, Woodruff Hall, Castleton State College, Castleton, VT 05735-9987.  Specifically mention that you would like your gift to go in the memory of Chris White, so that it can be applied to a specific area that Chris’s family would feel it should go toward.  For additional info, phone Liz Garside in the Development and Alumni Office, 468-1240; you can also go online at http://www.alumni.castleton.edu, and make gifts with a credit card on line.
2) Green Mountain Table Tennis Club, 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733.  The club has established a special youth fund that finances table tennis equipment for teen members of the local Boys & Girls Club, with which the GMTTC has partnered.

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12.)

Great River Arts Institute 2009 Courses

Literary Programs

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13.)

Wordsworth Aficionados Have a New Destination
By ALAN COWELL
Published: June 21, 2005 – New York Times

Wordsworth HouseOWN END, England, June 15 – The season for daffodils is past and there is a bitter edge to what should be a gentle breeze on the lake called Grasmere, but the people at the Wordsworth Trust seem untroubled by what their namesake poet called “the business of the elements.”
A fresh batch of poets in residence have arrived for sabbaticals of up to six months, escaping “the vast city, where I long had pined, a discontented sojourner,” as William Wordsworth described a similar journey in his autobiographical poem, “The Prelude.”
A program of poetry readings, initiated this year by the Irish poet Paul Muldoon, who won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, continued June 14 with Fleur Adcock, an English-New Zealand poet. But most notable, alongside Dove Cottage – the home of Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, from 1799 to 1808 – and the Wordsworth Museum, a new center was opened this month by the Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney to offer scholars access to a collection of manuscripts, books and other material that gathers 90 percent of Wordsworth’s known papers….

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14.)

THIS WEEK’S REVIEW (1)

Poetry Pulitzer Goes to W. S. Merwin

pulitzer-merwin[Extract] Port Townsend, WA—W.S. Merwin has been awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his most recent book of poetry, The Shadow of Sirius, published by Copper Canyon Press. The $10,000 cash award honors the best book of poetry published by an American during the given year. The prizes were established in 1917 as an incentive to excellence in journalism and the arts….

“It is an honor to publish William Merwin’s poetry,” Said Michael Wiegers, Executive Director of Copper Canyon Press, “and we couldn’t do it without the support of the donors and other poets who make Copper Canyon Press possible. We are thrilled by the recognition another Pulitzer brings to the organization and are pleased that we’ve been a part of William’s most recent awards. This critical recognition helps to further our mission of fostering the work of poets at every stage in their career.” (…)

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15.)

THIS WEEK’S REVIEW (2)

  • I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to receive two wonderful books that somehow eluded my grasp, until now:

1) The One Remaining Star

This is a recent book of poems by Susanne Dubroff, of Hanover, NH.  Her others are chapbook size, one of which is internal with Mid-American Review 1999, translations and her own small first collection of published poems, all out of print.  She’s been published widely for some time in good journals (even some translations of her work have come out in French and Belgian journals), but not as much in New England as other parts of the country.  Here’s one poem from the book:

The Sweetest Smile

I spotted you the way I
first spot a poem –

limp, out of breath
thread of self’s how

it starts.  Hold the line,
you told us. Tip it right

and you’ve got the fish.
Goad, mystery you don’t

like in poems.  You’ve got
the sweetest smile, I said

that last night, as we dropped
into chairs, side by side, listening

to all that blind piano player’s
jazz about surviving pain.

I think, no, I know for sure that you will love this book even more than Robert Bly mentions on the back cover.  She has a tight closure on each poem, and that’s important, and difficult.  You only need to flip through the pages, pick any poem to read, and realize the poet’s grasp of language and thought.  You will not put the book down again until you’re telling the cashier that you’d like to purchase it.

2) This Smoke That Carried Us

The poems here are from translations of René Char, by Susanne Dubroff.  Susanne shows her high level of skill in making you see the way Char had seen things in the terror of his experiences in France during WW II.  Char, one of France’s key poets of the 20th century, is laid bare here, instead of being lost to many of us who are unable to read French.  Take this one with you:

Divergence

The horse with his narrow head
has condemned his enemy,
the lazy-heeled poet,
to harsher winds
than those drifting in his voice.
The ruined earth recovers,
although a sword keeps wounding her.

Go back to your farms, gentle ones,
age and youth stream
in Spring in the almond trees.
Death smiles at the edge of time,
which gives him some magnificence.

The poet rebels in high summer,
draws his vision and his madness
from the inferno of harvest.

If you’d like to get the books directly from the author, Susanne Dubroff, who will sign them for you, then go ahead and give her a shout.

Susanne Dubroff
42 Lebanon St. 8C
Hanover, NH  03755

“Susanne Dubroff” <dovetree1830@yahoo.com>

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16.)

Did You Know?

  • Iowa – the City of Literature.  Don’t we all secretly wish we had gone to college at the University of Iowa?  Well, go hide your BS in Business Administration, and sign up to go to the Summer Writing Festival, June 7th through July 24th!” – Ron Lewis

Iowa Writing Festival

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17.)

“Ponderings”

  • “In case you missed the Middlebury College reading back in December 2008, and pondered what it was like, here’s the write up that was done in the college’s newspaper” – Ron Lewis

Middlebury Article about Renowned PoetSay what you will about the word “networking,” but sometimes it really is about who you know. In this case, it was Melissa Hammerle who proved to be a useful connection; this local resident put D.E. Axinn Professor of English & Creative Writing Jay Parini in contact with her a friend of hers, none other than Breyten Breytenbach, the world-famous poet, fiction writer, painter and activist. Breytenbach graciously accepted an invitation to come to the College, which culminated in a standing-room only reading in the Axinn Center’s Abernethy Room on Nov. 20.

Interspersed between riveting introductions brimming with anecdotes seemingly out of the movies, Breytenbach read selections from “Windcatcher: New and Selected Poems, 1964-2006” and “Lady One: Of Love and Other Poems.”

Said Parini, “He has a wonderful sense of language: highly particular, musical, and full of vivid images. He has an appealing sense of place, and he has a strong political angle…

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18.)

A poem begins with a lump in the throat.

Poetry Quote by Robert Frost

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19.)

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.

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20.)

A Parting
Don Pomerantz

I have bitten a little too closely
into a Bartlett Pear
and there are the seeds, three, four
on the other side…

failbetter.com is an online journal that publishes original works of fiction, poetry and art

Sign up in order to get their online newsletter: http://failbetter.com/29/AboutUs.php

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21.)

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

Caddyshackesque
by Daniel Nester

The main plotlines are never important.
As in Shakespeare, it’s merely the précis
Over which laureate neighbors quiver.
Remember the Judge, crying, indignant…

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22.)

Hiding Our Lo
by
Carolyn Kizer


Never believe I leave you
From any desire to go.
Never believe I live so far away
Except from necessity….

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23.)

American Life in Poetry: Column 211

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

Some of you are so accustomed to flying that you no longer sit by the windows. But I’d guess that at one time you gazed down, after dark, and looked at the lights below you with innocent wonder. This poem by Anne Marie Macari of New Jersey perfectly captures the gauziness of those lights as well as the loneliness that often accompanies travel.

From the Plane

It is a soft thing, it has been sifted
from the sieve of space and seems
asleep there under the moths of light…

We’ve published this column about American life for over four years, and we have finally found a poem about one of the great American pastimes, bowling. “The Big Lebowski” caught bowling on film, and this poem by Regan Huff of Georgia captures it in words.

Occurrence on Washburn Avenue

Alice’s first strike gets a pat on the back,
her second a cheer from Betty Woszinski
who’s just back from knee surgery. Her third–
“A turkey!” Molly calls out–raises everyone’s eyes…

American Life in Poetry: Column 213

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

Bill Holm, one of the most intelligent and engaging writers of our northern plains, died on February 25th. He will be greatly missed. He and I were of the same generation and we shared the same sense of wonder, amusement, and skepticism about the course of technology. I don’t yet own an Earbud, but I won’t need to, now that we have Bill’s poem.

Earbud

Earbud–a tiny marble sheathed in foam
to wear like an interior earring so you
can enjoy private noises wherever you go,
protected from any sudden silence…

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24.)

KEEP PAST VERMONT POETS ALIVE!  I’M SOLICITING YOUR HELP:

POETS OF VERMONT PAST AND PRESENT PROJECT

I’m looking for a copy of:

1) The Literature of Vermont: A Sampler – FOUND!
2) Poets and Poetry of Vermont, by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1858
3) “Driftwood,” a poetry magazine begun in 1926 by Walter John Coates

  • If you have any books of poetry, chapbooks, or just poems written by Vermont poets, dating 1980 and earlier, famous or not, I’d like to know about them.  I’m beginning a project that deals strictly with Vermont poets, from Vermont’s past, with summaries of the poets themselves, a portrait photo or drawing of the poet, along with a small sampling of poems.  If you think you can help, you probably can!  Please contact me by replying to this newsletter.

Ronald Lewis

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25.)

VERMONT POET LAUREATES

1) Robert Frost – 1961
2) Galway Kinnell
3) Louis Glück
4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
5) Grace Paley
6) Ruth Stone

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26.)

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

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

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27.)

VERMONT LITERARY JOURNALS

1) The Queen City Review

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

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

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

2) Bloodroot

www.bloodrootlm.com

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

The price of a single issue is $8.

Editor, “Do” Roberts
Bloodroot Literary Magazine
PO Box 322
Thetford Center, VT  05075
(802) 785-4916
email: bloodroot@wildblue.net

3) New England Review

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

http://www.nereview.com/index.html

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

New England Review
Attn: Orders
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

NEReview@middlebury.edu
(800) 450-9571

4) Willard & Maple

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

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

email: willardandmaple@champlain.edu

5) Burlington Poetry Journal

A low-tech literary journal of only 20 pages, but it seems to be gaining speed and popularity.  You can find it free at small cafés, etc.

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28.)

VERMONT STATE POETRY SOCIETY

Poetry Society of Vermont

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

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

Membership in PSOV Benefits:

  • 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
  • opportunity for publication in upcoming anniversary anthology

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 – 2008 – Curl up with 44 pages of 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.

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29.)

WRITER’S PROMPTS, ANYONE?

Looking for more writer’s prompts?  Go to The Young Writers Project web site!

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30.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BELLOWS FALLS

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

2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat).  The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Poetry Workshops on Monday mornings (9:30-12:30 I believe)- Jim Fowler’s sessions continue, with periodic break for a few weeks between sessions.  Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at vsbooks@sover.net or  jfowler177@comcast.net.

BERLIN

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

GUILFORD

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

MIDDLEBURY

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

NORWICH

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

STOWE

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

WAITSFIELD

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

OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BURLINGTON

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

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

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

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

Hi All,

Here are my workshop offerings for the next couple of months. These are both one-day workshops, and generative as well as critical (if you don’t want to perform the exercise, it’s fine to bring any new (one-page) poem. The deadline for sending poems and checks is ten days in advance of the workshop dates which are May 9th or 12th, so if you want to participate, signing up soon will give you more time to perform the exercise.

Yours,
April

The Ossmann Method Poetry Workshop: Building Your Tool Kit
(“Crash Course”)
Instructor: April Ossmann
Saturday, May 9th from1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. OR
Tuesday, May 12th from 9:30am – 12:00pm
$45 (each date)

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

  • Note: If you know of any others, or have personal information about the workshop in Stowe and Guilford, please send me that information.  I realize that there are several smaller groups or workshops around the state.  However, because of their intimacy, they are not posted above, allowing them to offer “memberships” to close friends or acquaintances that they feel would be most appropriate.

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31.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

SPRINGFIELD

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

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

UNDERHILL

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 www.womenwritingVT.com/ or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or sarah@womenwritingvt.com.

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32.)

POETRY EVENT CALENDAR

Poetry Event

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

Wed, Apr 29: The Fleming Museum, 61 Colchester Avenue, Burlington, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  The Painted Word Poetry Series Poetry Readings: Poets Katy Lederer & Jill McDonough. The Fleming Museum presents a poetry series hosted by Major Jackson, associate professor, UVM Dept. of English. This reading series highlights established and emergent New England poets whose work represents significant explorations into language, song, and art. 

Co-sponsored with the English Department and funded in part by the James and Mary Buckham Fund.  Kay Lederer is the author of the poetry collections The Heaven-Sent Leaf (BOA Editions, 2008), Winter Sex (Verse Press, 2002) and the memoir Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers (Crown, 2003), which Publishers Weekly included on its list of the Best Nonfiction Books of the Year and Esquire Magazine named one of its eight Best Books of the Year. Lederer is the daughter of bestselling non-fiction author Richard Lederer and the sister of world-class poker players Howard Lederer and Annie Duke. Katy Lederer’s poems and prose have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Harvard Review, GQ, and elsewhere. She has been anthologized in Body Electric (Norton), From Poe to the Present: Great American Prose Poems (Scribner), and State of the Union (Wave Books), among other compilations.

Educated at the University of California at Berkeley and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she serves as a Poetry Editor of Fence Magazine. Her honors and awards include an Academy of American Poets Prize, fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a Discover Great New Writers citation from Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers Program.  Jill McDonough has taught incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program since 1999. Her poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, The New Republic, and Slate. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center, the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and the Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.  In her first book, “Habeas Corpus”, acclaimed poet Jill McDonough gives us fifty sonnets, each about a legal execution in American history. From four hundred years of documentation she conjures – and honors – a chorus of the dead. The sonnets, headed meticulously by name, date, and place, are poignant with the factual, with words and actions reported by eyewitnesses and spoken by the condemned – so limpidly framed that at moments one forgets the skill that tautens and crystallizes all this into authentic poetry.  With a rare control of indignation by sorrow, of subjectivity by the subject’s own truth, McDonough’s unsparing sonnets reveal the enormity that is the death penalty in America.  Taking the words of fifty out of the nearly 20,000 men and women executed since 1608, she reflects them back to us in works of self-effacing artistry. Resurrected from their obscurity these individuals speak our secret history.  For info, 656-2090.

Wed, Apr 29: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

Thu, Apr 30: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m.  Stephen Donadio talks about editing the New England Review and the role of literary journals.

Thu, Apr 30: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Thu, Apr 30: Borders Bookstore, Church Street, Burlington, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  PSOV POETRY READING.  If you’re a member of the PSOV, then you’re invited to read.  Please contact Yvette Mason at (ymason@bsdvt.org) if you are wishing to read. Also, if you have books that have been published and the contact at Borders can order some from your publisher, let Yvette know ASAP as they need turn-around time to make sure they can get books IN THE STORE in time.  Note to PSOV members: you are not allowed to SELL your own books, but you can have a display.

Sun, May 3: Parima’s Restaurant, Acoustic Lounge, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 4:00 p.m. David Cavanagh Poetry Reading.  Burlington resident David Cavanagh waxes poetical (and political) with readings from his dark new collection, Falling Body. The book is just out from Salmon Poetry of Ireland. The painting featured on the cover (below) is by Gail Salzman of Fairfield.  For info, 864-7917.

Wed, May 6: Shoreham Historical Society, Shoreham.  David Weinstock, Director of the Otter Creek Poets, will be reading from his collection of poetry.  More details as I learn them.

Sat, May 9: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, May 12: The Galaxy Bookshop, 7 Mill Street, Hardwick, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Jody Gladding will be at The Galaxy Bookshop to read from and sign copies of her new book, Rooms and Their Airs.Drawn from the environments of northern Vermont and the South of France, the poems in “Rooms and Their Airs” explore the interface of the human and natural worlds, further eroding that distinction with each poem. The verse here merges subject and object, often giving voice to natural phenomena — a vernal pool, a fossil, a beam of light. These poems sparkle with humor, sophisticated word play, and intellectual examination, reflecting an elegant and contagious curiosity about history, language, and the world. Linked poems give voice to garden vegetables while drawing inspiration from the archival illustrations in “The Medieval Handbook.” A mother and daughter’s trip to see France’s cave paintings uncovers living vestiges in prehistoric depictions and reaffirms the enduring nature of art. With this collection, Jody Gladding cements her reputation as the literary heir to A. R. Ammons, Gustaf Sobin, and Lorine Niedecker.

Wed, May 13: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s spring poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Vermont Poetry Newsletter & Event Calendar April 1 2009

[The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter
Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State
April 1, 2009

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  1. Newsletter Editor’s Note/Notes to Otter Creek Poets
  2. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  3. Poem-a-Day, Knopf Style
  4. 30 Poets/30 Days, Kids’ Style
  5. Manchester Writers’ Weekend
  6. Literary Publishing Program – Emerson College
  7. Burlington Poetry Journal – Mud Season 2009 Issue
  8. Red Hen Reading
  9. Burlington Poetry Journal – Seven Days Article
  10. Great River Arts Institute Writing Programs
  11. “poet.” T-Shirt
  12. April 18th Poetry Party!
  13. Collected Poets Series
  14. Did You Know? Children’s Literacy Foundation
  15. Ponderings – Writing as Refuge
  16. Poetry Quote (Gustave Flaubert)
  17. US Poets Laureate List
  18. Failbetter Poem
  19. Linebreak Poem
  20. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  21. American Life in Poetry Poem
  22. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
  23. Vermont Poet Laureates
  24. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  25. Vermont Literary Journals
  26. Vermont State Poetry Society
  27. Writer’s Prompts Anyone?
  28. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  29. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  30. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  31. Poetry Event Calendar

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  • 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.

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1.)

Dear Friends of Poetry:

National Poetry Month is finally here!  This is the month that generally receives the most interesting of events, so I haven’t had to dig as deeply as I usually do in finding the excitement of poetry happenings around the state.  Be sure to take in the smell of spring, the smell of words tumbling from every corner of the state.  If April 09 is anything close to what April 08 was, you should all be in for some pleasant surprises.

The first April surprise for me was that the Rutland Co-op and I have parted ways, leaving me more time to get my poetry life on track, I suppose.  All I can say about that month’s worth of experiences, including a burglary, is that I wish the next General Manager the best of luck, because they’ll definitely need it!  Working 55 hours a week was going to kill me anyway, so it’s best I’m no longer there, answering to a dozen Board members and a dozen employees, 2 of which I can only guess had it in for me.  When you walk in, 1st day mind you, and you hear your bookkeeper say to you, “Oh you’re that hotshot accountant that wants to be a general manager!,” then you know you’re in trouble. And the relationship went downhill, if that’s possible, from there!

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher
247-5913

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2.)

THIS WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

Epistolary Poetry.  Writer John McPhee has said that every one of his books began with the phrase “Dear Mother” – although those words do not actually appear in the books.  Letter writing reframes us, puts us into a different part of our writerly brains.  In letters often we can or may say what we cannot say otherwise.  Letters can be chatty, or seductive, or loving, or angry, or deceptive.
Assignment: Write an epistolary poem, a poem in the form of a letter, or an exchange of letters.

LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:


Believe it or not, your assignment is to write one poem about every human being you have ever met.  (This may require two weeks.  Extensions will be granted.)

Good luck!

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3.)

Poem-a-Day, Knopf Style, Dedicated for 2009 to John Updike

Check out the Knopf site (http://poem-a-day.knopfdoubleday.com/) for a poem each day during National Poetry Month, starting a few hours early with today’s offering of “Half Moon, Small Cloud” from John Updike. Sign up on the site to have each day’s poem sent to you via e-mail!

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4.)

30 Poets/30 Days — Kids’ Style

Check out the blog of Gregory K. Pincus, GottaBook, where there will be a previously unpublished poem aired on each day of April from the top folks in children’s poetry. The series starts with one from Jack Prelutsky on April 1. I’m expecting some memorable poems, as well as plenty of giggles and gasps.

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5.)

Manchester and the Mountains 2nd Annual Emerging Poets and Writers Weekend

April 24 – 26, 2009

A note from Clemma Dawsen, board member of The Greater Manchester Arts Council, and co-founder of The Annual Manchester and the Mountains Poets and Writers Weekend: 

A couple of winters ago I called Jay Hathaway, executive director of The Manchester and the Mountains Chamber of Commerce, and asked what he thought of forming an arts council to serve our community. Turns out, the idea had been on Jay’s mind for quite some time. And so it was that the Greater Manchester Arts Council—GMAC–came into being, with Beth Meachem as president of the board. 

  As a writer, my own interest in an arts council was support for the founding of a yearly literary festival. As president, Beth turned out to be not only a mover and shaker, but a visionary as well. While others cautioned us to wait a year, Beth was willing to go forward with just a few weeks of planning. Together, we envisioned a small, high quality weekend of classes, readings, panels and events with an emphasis on new work, small house publishing and the writer’s craft. We hoped as well to enliven the business community at a slow time of year. We geared our offerings towards unknown or unpublished writers, and had as our theme, The Emerging Writer. 

   The First Annual Manchester and the Mountains Poets and Writers Weekend was launched in April of 2008.We were astounded by our success.  
  We are indebted to our local businesses, as well as the well-known poets, writers, agents and publishers, who loved our ideas and helped us get started. Their support inspired others to join us this year in offering our second annual weekend, appropriately titled, Building Momentum. 

Special thanks to writer Gretel Ehrlich, author of many books including Islands, The Universe, Home and The Solace of Open Spaces for her endless good humor and invaluable advice.

Click Here for Details

At:

The Rice House and Old Forge
Located Directly Behind Ye Olde Tavern
Main Street, Historic Route 7A, Manchester Center, Vt
802-362-6313
gmarts06@myfairpoint.net
www.greatermanchesterarts.org

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6.)

Certificate in Literary Publishing

[Extract] Have you been thinking or dreaming about starting your own literary magazine, or founding a press to publish books? Do you have a vision of what works you would like to bring to life? Or would you like to work for a literary magazine or small press? The Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs at Emerson College offers the Literary Publishing Program, which is open to poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and individuals who would like to learn the publishing skills needed to start and run their own literary magazines or their own book publishing ventures, or work for a larger literary publishing enterprise.
 
The program in Literary Publishing is held as a two-week intensive during Emerson College’s May intersession (5/11-5/22). Outside of classroom instruction, participants will work on a business plan on their press or magazine. Participants who complete the intensive and submit a rough business plan for their literary magazine or press will earn the Literary Publishing Certificate. This program is non-credit.
 
This non-credit program provides five two-day modules and a half-day panel designed to give the basics in starting and running a literary magazine or small press, giving those enrolled a way to avoid common, and costly, mistakes…

Click Here for Details

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7.)

Burlington Poetry Journal

Mud Season Issue 2009

On Mar 3, 2009, at 10:15 PM, Editors wrote:

The Mud Season issue of the Burlington Poetry Journal is out.  Copies are in the usual Burlington locations now:  Uncommon Grounds, Muddy Waters, and Radio Bean.  We’ll be making runs to other locations, including Montpelier and Middlebury,  later this week and will e-mail exact locations when we know them.  We hope that you enjoy this issue.  Thanks again to each one of you.

Eds.
Burlington Poetry Journal

  • PUBLISHER’S NOTE (RON): Congratulations to the rather exclusive list of poets who made it into this little lit journal.  These poets include Crow Cohen, Jesse Wide (2 poems), Emily Eschener, Caylin Capra-Thomas (2 poems), J.L. McCoy, Johanna Hiller, Ann Day, Suzanne Lunden, Elizabeth Melcher, Sarah Carpenter, Heather Tuck, David Weinstock, Ben Aleshire, Mike Wheeler, Ray Hudson (2 poems), and even Ron Lewis (me!)

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8.)

National Poetry Month:  April

Celebrate with Us at the Red Hen Bakery & Café

Sunday, April 26, 7:00 pm
Middlesex Village, off of Route 2

Come and read poetry — your own or your favorites — or listen to others.

More info? Call Earline at 223-6777

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9.)

An article in Seven Days:

POSTED BY MARGOT HARRISON ON JANUARY 15, 2009

[Extract] Unless you’re a poet or a hardcore poetry geek, it’s kind of hard to decide to sit down and read poetry, because it seems so removed from everyday language. But when you do, you usually find something cool — a turn of phrase you won’t forget, a snappy refrain, or just a clever way of using the space on the page…

Read more at the Burlington Poetry Journal

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10.)

Great River Arts Institute 2009 Courses

Newsense Collage Poetry
Lesle Lewis 
June 6 – 7, 2009

Tuition: $300

This will be two days of writing and sharing poems using the principles of “new sense.” We’ll make poems with collage techniques. We’ll investigate a variety of materials (subject matter and language and forms) and a variety of glues that hold a poem together. Participants will be expected to do a read a small packet of materials before the workshop weekend, to bring a poem of their own to share, and to bring an open, curious mindset.

The workshop will be led by Lesle Lewis, author of Small Boat, a collection of poetry that was awarded the 2002 Iowa Poetry Prize, and Landscapes I & II (2006). Lesle has also published in numerous journals, and she currently teaches writing at Landmark College in Vermont….

Click Here for Details

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11.)

EXPRESS YOUR LOVE OF POETRY!

For those duotrope fans, or for poets in general, duotrope has a great shirt that has the design “poet.” on the shirt face.  If you’re interested, go to: http://www.zazzle.com/duotrope
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12.)

THIS WEEK’S REVIEW

National Poetry Month: Calendar Alerts

Kingdom Books is hosting our annual POETRY PARTY on Saturday April 18 — full details tomorrow. Meanwhile, here’s some great news from Leah Banks and the Collected Poets Series in Shelburne Falls, MA:

PRIMER & KICK OFF FOR NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

Please come to help celebrate with these four fine fierce poets!

On Sunday, March 29th, at 7:30 pm, prizewinning poets Martha Collins, author of five books of poetry including the recent Blue Front, and Lynne Thompson, author of the poetry collection Beg No Pardon, will read from their work. This program is a Primer for National Poetry Month and sponsored by the Collected Poets Series and Mocha Maya’s.

Also, to help kick off National Poetry Month, poets Anne Marie Macari with her latest collection, She Heads Into Wilderness will read along with Carey Salerno, author of Shelter on Thursday, April 2nd, at 7:30 pm. Free. Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370, 413-625-6292. Wheelchair accessible. See www.collectedpoets.com or www.mochamayas.com for more information.

The Collected Poets Series highlights the work of established and emerging poets. Every event showcases the remarkable local poets of Western Massachusetts and the finest regional, national, and international talent. The series is usually held every first Thursday of the month.

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13.)

MORE FROM THE COLLECTED POETS 2009 SERIES

May 7 Genie Zeiger, Dorianne Laux, and Kerry O’Keefe
May 24 Maxine Kumin and Sydney Lea
June 4 Two Massachusetts Poet Laureates: Gertrude Halstead of Worcester and Lesléa Newman of Northampton
July 2 Dara Wier, Lesle Lewis, and Elizabeth Hughey
— no CPS for August and Sept.—
Oct. 1 Annie Finch and Special Guest
Nov. 5 April Ossman, Peter Waldor, and Pamela Stewart
Dec. 3 Mary Koncel and Kate Greenstreet

POSTED BY BETH KANELL; for more Blogs, go to http://kingdombks.blogspot.com

  • (Beth Kanell is from Kingdom Books, which is a specialty mystery, poetry and fine press shop in Vermont.  Beth Kanell, Co-Owner with her husband Dave, is a published author and regularly reviews books for the Vermont Review of Books.  Kingdom Books offers mostly first editions, many signed, and often hosts author events.)

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14.)

Did You Know about CLiF?

Children’s Literacy Foundation

Nurturing a love of reading and writing among children throughout New Hampshire and Vermont
www.clifonline.org

ABOUT CLiF

The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to nurture a love of reading and writing among children throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Since 1998 CLiF has served more than 75,000 children in more than 320 communities across every region of the Twin States.
CLiF targets two groups of children from birth to age 12:

  • Children in rural communities where resources are limited
  • Children who are at high risk of growing up with low literacy skills

Through 15 free programs, CLiF serves young readers and writers who have the greatest needs including: children in shelters; children in low-income housing; children of prison inmates; refugee children; migrant children; children from low-income families; children in Head Start; children in communities undergoing severe economic challenges; and many other at-risk youth.

CLiF does not receive any state or federal funds. Our programs are supported entirely by donations from individuals, companies, foundations, and social organizations. We hope you will support CLiF’s important work. Thank you!

Since 1998, CLiF has touched the lives of 75,000 children in 312 towns across New Hampshire and Vermont. CLiF provides sponsorships to rural public libraries as well as to children served by homeless shelters, women’s shelters, low-income housing, and bookmobiles. CLiF works with children’s book authors and illustrators to provide presentations to children in rural areas. We send writer-in-residence to elementary schools, award Rainy Day sponsorships to towns facing severe economic challenges, and provide new books and literacy support to children of prison inmates, migrant children, refugee children, children in poverty, Head Start children, daycare children and families with newborns.

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15.)

“Ponderings”

WRITING AS REFUGE, ART AS STORY

In this two-hour drop-in session, we’ll explore art and writing that reduces stress.  Using simple exercises, we will draw and write stories that carry us through the challenges of healing, and share them.

No writing or art experience necessary!
Free and open to all those touched by cancer or chronic illness.

Tuesdays, 10 am-12 noon

Frymoyer Community Resource Center
Main Floor, Fletcher Allen HealthCare, 847-8821

Wednesdays, 10 am-12 noon

Hope Lodge
237 East Avenue, Burlington, 658-0649

MARCH 10-APRIL 28
(No classes 3/18, 3/24-25, 4/7-8)

Patricia Fontaine has taught expressive art and writing course for many years.  With Masters in Counseling Psychology and Transformative Language Arts, she loves this work.  She survives a medley of cancers.

Please try 985-5691 or pfont@together.net if you have questions.

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16.)

Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.

Poetry Quote by Gustave Flaubert


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17.)

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.

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18.)

failbetter.com

The Last Ever Ventriloquist Poem
Mark DeCarteret for Charles Simic

[Extract] He hated those openings so much
usually sat slumped in his dressing room

throwing his voice at the black sock called Beast
while a red light forewarned him of the hour…

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19.)

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

This week’s poem from Linebreak

Past Perfect
by Christina Olson

[Extract] Already what I knew to be true
is all tenses: has changed, is changing,
will change. No more planet
Pluto. Welcome Nunavut….

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20.)

Here’s a poem from Copper Canyon Press, in its “Reading Room” (http://www.coppercanyonpress.org/).

Patricia Goedicke

Alma de Casa

[Extract] For last night, in your faded photograph album of a voice,
you sang us both to sleep.

Then I scratched your back for you
this morning, slowly, listening to your little grunts…

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21.)

American Life in Poetry: Column 208

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

To have a helpful companion as you travel through life is a marvelous gift. This poem by Gerald Fleming, a long-time teacher in the San Francisco public schools, celebrates just such a relationship.

Long Marriage

You’re worried, so you wake her
& you talk into the dark:
Do you think I have cancer, you
say, or Were there worms
in that meat…

American Life in Poetry: Column 209

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

I’ve gotten to the age at which I am starting to strain to hear things, but I am glad to have gotten to that age, all the same. Here’s a fine poem by Miller Williams of Arkansas that gets inside a person who is losing her hearing.

Going Deaf

[Extract] No matter how she tilts her head to hear
she sees the irritation in their eyes.
She knows how they can read a small rejection,
a little judgment, in every What did you say?…

American Life in Poetry: Column 210

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

My father was the manager of a store in which chairs were strategically placed for those dutiful souls waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for shoppers. Such patience is the most exhausting work there is, or so it seems at the time. This poem by Joseph O. Legaspi perfectly captures one of those scenes.

At the Bridal Shop

The gowns and dresses hang
like fleece in their glaring
whiteness, sheepskin-softness,
the ruffled matrimonial love in which the brides…

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22.)

KEEP PAST VERMONT POETS ALIVE!  I’M SOLICITING YOUR HELP:

POETS OF VERMONT PAST AND PRESENT PROJECT

I’m looking for a copy of:

1) The Literature of Vermont: A Sampler – FOUND!
2) Poets and Poetry of Vermont, by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1858
3) “Driftwood,” a poetry magazine begun in 1926 by Walter John Coates

  • If you have any books of poetry, chapbooks, or just poems written by Vermont poets, dating 1980 and earlier, famous or not, I’d like to know about them.  I’m beginning a project that deals strictly with Vermont poets, from Vermont’s past, with summaries of the poets themselves, a portrait photo or drawing of the poet, along with a small sampling of poems.  If you think you can help, you probably can!  Please contact me by replying to this newsletter.

Ronald Lewis

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23.)

VERMONT POET LAUREATES

1) Robert Frost – 1961
2) Galway Kinnell
3) Louis Glück
4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
5) Grace Paley
6) Ruth Stone

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24.)

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

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

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25.)

VERMONT LITERARY JOURNALS

1) The Queen City Review

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

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

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

2) Bloodroot

www.bloodrootlm.com

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

The price of a single issue is $8.

Editor, “Do” Roberts
Bloodroot Literary Magazine
PO Box 322
Thetford Center, VT  05075
(802) 785-4916
email: bloodroot@wildblue.net

3) New England Review

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

http://www.nereview.com/index.html

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

New England Review
Attn: Orders
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

NEReview@middlebury.edu
(800) 450-9571

4) Willard & Maple

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

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

email: willardandmaple@champlain.edu

5) Burlington Poetry Journal

A low-tech literary journal of only 20 pages, but it seems to be gaining speed and popularity.  You can find it free at small cafés, etc.

www.burlingtonpoetryjournal.blogspot.com

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26.)

VERMONT STATE POETRY SOCIETY

Poetry Society of Vermont

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

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

Membership in PSOV Benefits:

  • 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
  • opportunity for publication in upcoming anniversary anthology

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 – 2008 – Curl up with 44 pages of 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.

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27.)

WRITER’S PROMPTS, ANYONE?

Looking for more writer’s prompts?  Go to The Young Writers Project web site: http://youngwritersproject.org/node/17417

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28.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BELLOWS FALLS

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

2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat).  The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Poetry Workshops on Monday mornings (9:30-12:30 I believe)- Jim Fowler’s sessions continue, with periodic break for a few weeks between sessions.  Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at vsbooks@sover.net or  jfowler177@comcast.net.

GUILFORD

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

MIDDLEBURY

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

NORWICH

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

PLAINFIELD

The Wayside Poets share their poetry publicly from time to time.  They meet at the Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street, Plainfield.  Members include Diane Swan, Sherry Olson, Carol Henrikson and Sarah Hooker.  You can contact them through Sherry Olson at: solsonvt@aol.com or 454-8026.

STOWE

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

WAITSFIELD

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

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OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BURLINGTON

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

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

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

The Writer’s Center
58 Main Street, White River Junction, Vermont
1pm – 3:30pm, Saturday, March 14th OR Saturday, April 11th
$45 (for each workshop date–you may attend one or both)

Learn how to think like a poetry editor!  In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. Participants are invited to send two poems (no more than two pages total) prior to the workshop and will be provided with preparation instructions. We will address one or both poems in the class (depending on time constraints/number of participants). Participants will receive written editorial suggestions for both poems from the instructor.

Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8.
Info: (802)333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and http://www.aprilossmann.com

The following event has already happened, but I’ve listed it here because it will probably be held again in 2010.

The Ossmann Method Poetry Workshop: Building Your Tool Kit
Instructor: April Ossmann

The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT  05001
Sundays, 8 weeks, January 18th – March 8th (2009)
2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
$200

Build or improve your poetic techniques tool kit and learn how to think like a poetry editor!  In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. This workshop will be both critical and generative, so I will assign reading and generative exercises meant to teach or improve writing skills. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8 (minimum enrollment for the course to proceed is 4). Info: (802) 333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and www.aprilossmann.com

  • Note: If you know of any others, or have personal information about the workshop in Stowe and Guilford, please send me that information.  I realize that there are several smaller groups or workshops around the state.  However, because of their intimacy, they are not posted above, allowing them to offer “memberships” to close friends or acquaintances that they feel would be most appropriate.

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YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

SPRINGFIELD

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

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

UNDERHILL

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

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POETRY EVENT CALENDAR

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

Wed, Apr 1: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

Thu, Apr 2: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m.  Marta Finch reads from her soon-to-be published translations of French trobaritz (female troubadour) Pernette du Guillet.

Thu, Apr 2: Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m. James Facos.  In honor of National Poetry month, Vermont author, playwright and award-winning poet James Facos will give a reading of his work.  For info, 223-3338, rysenechal@kellogghubbard.org.

Thu, Apr 2: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Thu, Apr 2: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Rosanna Warren to read.  Rosanna Warren was born in Connecticut in 1953. She was educated at Yale (BA 1976) and Johns Hopkins (MA 1980). She is the author of one chapbook of poems (Snow Day, Palaemon Press, 1981), and three collections of poems:  Each Leaf Shines Separate (Norton, 1984), Stained Glass (Norton, 1993, Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets), and Departure (Norton, 2003).  She edited and contributed to The Art of Translation:  Voices from the Field (Northeastern, 1989), and has edited three chapbooks of poetry by prisoners. She has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace Readers’ Digest Fund, among others.  She has won the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lavan Younger Poets’ Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Award of Merit in Poetry from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She is Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities at Boston University.

Fri, Apr 3: Misty Valley Books, On The Green, Chester, 7:00 p.m. Celebrate Poetry Month with Two Celebrated Poets: Wendy Mnookin and Baron Wormser.  In her book, The Moon Makes It’s Own Plea, Mnookin explores the idea of self and how that self is strengthened and abraded by relationships. Anchored in everyday life, the narrative is fluid and the poems coalesce around the condition of mortality. Her poems probe this question with bravado, defiance, fear, anger, humor and hope. Mnookin graduated from Radcliffe College and the Vermont College MFA Program. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts.  For info, 875-3400.

Sun, Apr 5: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m. Poet Wesley McNair.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  Wesley McNair is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Foundations and a United States Artists Fellowship to “America’s finest living artists.” Other honors include the Robert Frost Prize; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry (for Fire); the Theodore Roethke prize from Poetry Northwest; the Pushcart Prize and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal.  McNair is currently Professor Emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine at Farmington.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

Tue, Apr 7: Aldrich Library, Milne Community Room, 7:00 p.m.  Poets at the Aldrich.  Paul Paparella, educator, world traveler – On Waking Up All Over the World.  For info, 476-7550, www.aldrich.lib.vt.us.

Wed, Apr 8: Middlebury College, Axinn Center Abernathy Room, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Reading by Major Jackson.  Sponsored by Creative Writing Program, The Office for Institutional Planning and Diversity and The Academic Enrichment Fund.  For info, 443-5276.

Thu, Apr 9: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m.  Jay Parini reads poems and discusses his book Why Poetry Matters.

Sat, Apr 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Apr 14: Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m.  12th Annual Open Poetry.  Yes, we have been doing this for twelve years, and the event never fails to draw a lively crowd of bards. You do need to sign up, and you do need to limit your poetry to five minutes. Sign up by phone (802) 229-0774 or come into the store and put your name on the list.

Tue, Apr 14: Aldrich Library, Milne Community Room, 7:00 p.m.  Poets at the Aldrich.  Granite City Poets.  Poets of Barre: Pat Belding, Diane Swan and friends.  Welcome Spring!  For info, 476-7550, http://www.aldrich.lib.vt.us.

Tue, Apr 14: Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m.  12th Annual Open Poetry Reading.  Yes, we have been doing this for twelve years, and the event never fails to draw a lively crowd of bards.  You do need to sign up, and you do need to limit your poetry to five minutes. Sign up by phone (802) 229-0774 or come into the store and put your name on the list.

Wed, Apr 15: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s spring poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Wed, Apr 15: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

Thu, Apr 16: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m.  Tom Smith reads poems from Cow’Sleap: A Nightbook.

Thu, Apr 16: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Fri, Apr 17: Carol’s Hungry Mind Café, 24 Merchant’s Row, Middlebury, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Burlington Poetry Journal is hosting a poetry reading.  Support independent art–come and read your poetry!

Sat, Apr 18: Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street, Plainfield, 11:00 a.m.  Poetry Morning.  Poems with Phyllis Larabee.  For info, Mary Wheeler, Librarian, bandwheeler@juno.com, 454-8504.

Sat, Apr 18: Kingdom Books, 283 East Village Road, Waterford, 11:00 a.m.  Poetry Party.  Award-Winning Poet Laura Davies Foley Salutes National Poetry Month.  April is National Poetry Month, when lilacs begin to blossom and mud season finally dries up and vanishes.

At Kingdom Books, award-winning New Hampshire poet Laura Davies Foley will read her work for the annual Poetry Party, on Saturday April 18, starting at 11 a.m. Introducing Foley will be Vermont poet and editor of poetry April Ossmann.

Foley is the author of two books of poetry: “Syringa” and “Mapping the Fourth Dimension.” She lives and writes on the wide banks of the Connecticut River in Cornish, New Hampshire, and was recently awarded the grand prize in the “Atlanta Review” international poetry competition. Foley holds graduate degrees in English Literature from Columbia University. In addition, she does chaplaincy work in hospitals and prisons, and has completed a training course at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care.

Her poems offer an acute eye for the poignant and powerful in the natural world and in ourselves. Here is the opening of “It Is Time”: “It is time to gather sticks of wood / so we can cook the sap that / we have drawn from the earth. / We will bore holes into the maple trees / collect buckets, stir the froth as it boils. / Then we’ll finish it on the stove in the barn.” From this quiet opening, Foley tests the strength of love and life, and the forces of time and aging.

April Ossmann, long the director of Alice James Books in Maine, brought her passion for teaching and editing with her in her recent relocation to Vermont. Her work in shaping poetry collections continues to connect her with New England’s poets.

After the reading, there will be time for questions and discussion, and light refreshments will be served. The event is free; books will be on hand for purchase. Kingdom Books is a poetry and mystery specialty shop at 283 East Village Road, Waterford, Vermont.

For directions, see http://www.KingdomBks.com or call 802-751-8374. More of Foley’s poetry can be found at www.LauraDaviesFoley.com.

Mon, Apr 20: Sherburne Memorial Library, River Road, Killington, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Spring Gathering of Poets.  The Killington Arts Guild presents its annual reading of friends of the Arts Guild.  Jeff Bender will lead the group.  Readers may recite their own poetry of that of others.  “Poetry in Your Pocket” (very short poem) invited.  Listeners welcomed!  Open to the public.  Refreshments served.  Call to inquire or register at 422-3824.

Mon, Apr 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eric Pankey to read.  Eric Pankey is the author of six books of poetry: Reliquaries, Cenotaph, The Late Romances, Apocrypha, Heartwood and For the New Year. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NEA Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award, and an Ingram Merrill Grant. His work has appeared in many journals, including Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Triquarterly, DoubleTake and The New England Review. He teaches at George Mason University and lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Tue, Apr 21: Aldrich Library, Milne Community Room, 7:00 p.m.  Poets at the Aldrich.  Pete Sutherland, poet, musician, songwriter – The Wilderness Road.  For info, 476-7550, http://www.aldrich.lib.vt.us.

Thu, Apr 23: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 12:00 p.m – 3:30 p.m.  David Weinstock leads a creative writing marathon.  Bring brown-bag lunch, pen and paper, or your laptop.

Thu, Apr 23: Middlebury College, Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  A talk by Adina Hoffman, on her new book, My Happiness Bears no Relation to Happiness: Poet Taha Muhammad Ali and the Palestinian Century, (Yale University Press), the first biography of a Palestinian poet, and the first portrayal of Palestinian literature and culture in the 20th Century. Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Middle East Studies Program.  For info, 443-5151, E-mail: schine@middlebury.edu.

Sat, Apr 25: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Sun, Apr 26: Red Hen Bakery & Café, Middlesex Village, Route 2, 7:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  Come and read poetry – your own or your favorites – or listen to others.  For info, call Earline at 223-6777.

Tue, Apr 28: Aldrich Library, Milne Community Room, 7:00 p.m.  Poets at the Aldrich.  Patricia Belding, poet, historian. – Slide presentation, Emily Dickinson of Amherst: A Poet’s Life.  For info, 476-7550, http://www.aldrich.lib.vt.us.

Wed, Apr 29: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

Thu, Apr 30: Ilsley Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury, 1:00 p.m.  Stephen Donadio talks about editing the New England Review and the role of literary journals.

Thu, Apr 30: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Thu, Apr 30: Borders Bookstore, Church Street, Burlington, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  PSOV POETRY READING.  If you’re a member of the PSOV, then you’re invited to read.  Please contact Yvette Mason at (ymason@bsdvt.org) if you are wishing to read. Also, if you have books that have been published and the contact at Borders can order some from your publisher, let Yvette know ASAP as they need turn-around time to make sure they can get books IN THE STORE in time.  Note to PSOV members: you are not allowed to SELL your own books, but you can have a display.

Wed, May 6: Shoreham Historical Society, Shoreham.  David Weinstock, Director of the Otter Creek Poets, will be reading from his collection of poetry.  More details as I learn them.

Sat, May 9: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, May 12: The Galaxy Bookshop, 7 Mill Street, Hardwick, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Jody Gladding will be at The Galaxy Bookshop to read from and sign copies of her new book, Rooms and Their Airs.Drawn from the environments of northern Vermont and the South of France, the poems in “Rooms and Their Airs” explore the interface of the human and natural worlds, further eroding that distinction with each poem. The verse here merges subject and object, often giving voice to natural phenomena — a vernal pool, a fossil, a beam of light. These poems sparkle with humor, sophisticated word play, and intellectual examination, reflecting an elegant and contagious curiosity about history, language, and the world. Linked poems give voice to garden vegetables while drawing inspiration from the archival illustrations in “The Medieval Handbook.” A mother and daughter’s trip to see France’s cave paintings uncovers living vestiges in prehistoric depictions and reaffirms the enduring nature of art. With this collection, Jody Gladding cements her reputation as the literary heir to A. R. Ammons, Gustaf Sobin, and Lorine Niedecker.

Wed, May 13: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s spring poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Thu, May 14: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Harper to read.  Michael S. Harper was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1938. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from what is now known as California State University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He has taught at Brown since 1970.  Harper has published more than 10 books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems (ARC Publications, 2002); Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems (2000); Honorable Amendments (1995); and Healing Song for the Inner Ear (1985). A new poetry collection, Use Trouble, is forthcoming in fall 2008 from The University of Illinois Press.  His other collections include Images of Kin (1977), which won the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America and was nominated for the National Book Award; Nightmare Begins Responsibility (1975); History Is Your Heartbeat (1971), which won the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award for poetry; and Dear John, Dear Coltrane (1970), which was nominated for the National Book Award.  Harper edited the Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980); he is co-editor with Anthony Walton of The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) and Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (1994), and with Robert B. Stepto of Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship (1979).  Harper was the first poet laureate of Rhode Island (1988-1993) and has received many other honors, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. Harper is also a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow, and the recipient of numerous distinctions, including the Robert Hayden Poetry Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Melville-Cane Award, the Claiborne Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

Mon, Jun 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eamon Grennan to read.  Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated at UCD, where he studied English and Italian, and Harvard, where he received his PhD in English. His volumes of poetry include What Light There Is & Other Poems, (North Point Press, 1989), Wildly for Days (1983), What Light There Is (1987), As If It Matters (1991), So It Goes (1995), Selected and New Poems (2000) and Still Life with Waterfall (2001). His latest collection, The Quick of It, appeared in 2004 in Ireland, and in Spring 2005 in America. His books of poetry are published in the United States by Graywolf Press, and in Ireland by Gallery Press. Other publications include Leopardi: Selected Poems (Princeton 1997), and Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century, a collection of essays on modern Irish poetry. His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in many magazines both in Ireland and the US.  Grennan has given lectures and workshops in colleges and universities in the US, including courses for the graduate programs in Columbia and NYU. During 2002 he was the Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University. His grants and prizes in the United States include awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Leopardi: Selected Poems received the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and Still Life with Waterfall was the recipient of the 2003 Lenore Marshall Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Poets. His poems have been awarded a number of Pushcart prizes. Grennan has taught since 1974 at Vassar College where he is the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English.

Wed, Jun 10: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s spring poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Sat, Jun 13: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Jul 9: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Ryan to read.  Michael Ryan has published three collections of poetry, including In Winter, Threats Instead of Trees, has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and God Hunger, as well as A Difficult Grace: On Poets, Poetry, and Writing, and the memoir Secret Life. His work has appeared in Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, New Republic, and elsewhere. Ryan has been honored by the Lenore Marshall Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and a Guggenheim. Ryan is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UC, Irvine.

Sat, Jul 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Jul 27: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Doreen Gilroy to read.  Doreen Gilroy’s first book, The Little Field of Self  (The University of Chicago Press, 2002), won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares.  Her second book, Human Love, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2005.  Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Slate, TriQuarterly and many other magazines.

Sat, Aug 8: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Aug 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Cole Swensen to read.  Cole Swensen is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. She is the author of five collections of poems, including Try (University of Iowa Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Poetry Prize; Noon (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), which won a New American Writing Award; and Numen (Burning Deck Press, 1995) which was nominated for the PEN West Award in Poetry. Her translations include Art Poetic’ by Olivier Cadiot (Sun & Moon Press, Green Integer Series, 1999) and Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun & Moon, 1995). She splits her time among Denver, San Francisco and Paris.

Thu, Sep 3: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Marge Piercy to read.  Marge Piercy has published 17 books of poetry, including What Are Big Girls Made Of, Colors Passing Through Us, and most recently her 17th volume, The Crooked Inheiritance, all from Knopf. She has written 17 novels, most recently SEX WARS in Perennial paperback now.  Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is also in Harper Collins Perennial.  Last spring, Schocken published Pesach for the Rest of Us.  Her work has been translated into 16 languages. Her CD Louder We Can’t Hear You Yet contains her political and feminist poems. She has been an editor of Leapfrog Press for the last ten years and also poetry editor of Lilith.

Sat, Sep 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Oct 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Pattiann Rogers to read.  Pattiann Rogers has published ten books of poetry, a book-length essay, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, and A Covenant of Seasons, poems and monotypes, in collaboration with the artist Joellyn Duesberry. Her 11th  book of poetry, Wayfare, will appear from Penguin in April, 2008.   Rogers is the recipient of two NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation, and five Pushcart Prizes.  In the spring of 2000 she was in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.  Her papers are archived in the Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community and the Natural World at Texas Tech University.  She has taught as a visiting professor at various universities, including the Universities of Texas, Arkansas, and Montana, Houston University, and Washingon University.  She is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s MFA in Writing Program.  Rogers has two sons and three grandsons and lives with her husband in Colorado.

Sat, Oct 10: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Oct 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Major Jackson to read.  “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.

Sat, Nov 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Nov 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Sebastian Matthews to read.  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.

Sat, Dec 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

2010:

Mon, Feb 22: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet David Shapiro to read.  David Shapiro (born January 2, 1947) is an American poet, literary critic, and art historian and . Shapiro has written some twenty volumes of poetry, literary, and art criticism. He was first published at the age of thirteen, and his first book was published at the age of eighteen. Shapiro has taught at Columbia, Bard College, Cooper Union, Princeton University, and William Paterson University. He wrote the first monograph on John Ashbery, the first book on Jim Dine’s paintings, the first book on Piet Mondrian’s flower studies, and the first book on Jasper Johns’ drawings. He has translated Rafael Alberti’s poems on Pablo Picasso, and the writings of the Sonia and Robert Delaunay. Shapiro has won National Endowment for the HumanitiesNational Endowment for the Arts fellowships, been nominated for a National Book Award, and been the recipient of numerous grants for his work. Shapiro lives in Riverdale, The Bronx, New York City, with his wife and son.

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.

our finitude as human beings
is encompassed by the infinity of language

Hans-Georg Gadamer

Your fellow Poet,

Ron Lewis

Vermont Poetry Newsletter & Event Calendar March 15 2009

[The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter
Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State

March 14, 2009 – In This Issue:

  1. Newsletter Editor’s Note/Notes to Otter Creek Poets
  2. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  3. John Engels Memorial Reading
  4. April Ossmann
  5. New Vermont Lit Journal – The Queen City Review
  6. 2 Publications for Sale by PSOV
  7. Bowdoin College Poetry Link
  8. Burlington Poetry Journal – Mud Season 2009 Issue
  9. Red Hen Reading
  10. Greg Delanty
  11. White House Poetry Reading-2003
  12. Love and the Night Sky Poetry Contest
  13. All Around the World the Same Song
  14. “poet.” T-Shirt
  15. Joni B. Cole Writing Workshop
  16. This Week’s Review: Poetry Matters-NBCC Picks 2 Books
  17. Did You Know? Twitter Shuts Down Angelou Impostor
  18. Ponderings – Letter To The Editor
  19. Poetry Quote (Yevgeny Yevtushenko)
  20. US Poets Laureate List
  21. Linebreak Poem
  22. American Life in Poetry Poem
  23. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
  24. Vermont Poet Laureates
  25. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  26. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  27. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  28. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  29. Poetry Event Calendar

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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.

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1.)

Dear Friends of Poetry:

With National Poetry Month (April) right around the corner, be sure to clear your calendar for what should be a tremendous month of readings and activities.  Last year was truly unforgettable, with the written and spoken word gaining momentum year after year.  I hope many of you who receive the Vermont Poetry Newsletter will be reading, and if you do, please send me the information, and I will be glad to post it!

I know that many of you were chomping at the bit to get this latest copy of your VPN; thank you all for your patience and kind words.  My new job as General Manager of the Rutland Co-op has left me little time to attend to my favorite things in my personal life, but I will slowly make the necessary amendments to my schedule.  I happen to work at a place I love and which is important to our community, so it deserves all the attention I can give it without going absolutely crazy.  Sitting here writing to all the poets who receive and read the VPN is my therapy from going headlong into that craziness.  Thank you for your understanding.

As it turns out, I will be scheduling myself for a half-day at work on Thursdays so that I can get back to the Otter Creek Poets poetry workshop on Thursday afternoons.  If you’d like to join us, then meet us at the Middlebury public library, the Ilsley, between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 (parking in the rear).  Bring a poem to be read and critiqued.  See you there!

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher
247-5913

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2.)

THIS WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:
Assignment: Inspired by the I Ching
In the ancient Chinese divination practice of I Ching, one of the outcomes is this hexagram.

18. Ku / Work on what has been spoiled

Work on what has been spoiled
Has supreme success.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
Before the starting point, three days.
After the starting point, three days.

From a commentary on this image:

What has been spoiled through man’s fault can be made good again through man’s work. IT is not immutable fate, as in the time of STANDSTILL, that has caused the state of corruption, but rather the abuse of human freedom. Work toward improving conditions promises well, because it accords the possibilities of the time. We must not recoil from work and danger- symbolized by crossing of the great water-but must take hold energetically. Success depends, however, on proper deliberation. This is expressed by the lines, “Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three days”….

Assignment: Think about your world, your life, your mind, your art.  Write a poem that works on what has been spoiled. For extra credit: Make it a true poem, not an exercise or a lark.

Good luck!

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3.)

For those who missed the John Engels Memorial Reading, a St. Michaels College Lecture Series, you missed family and friends (David Huddle) reading many of John’s work, work that described our feelings for the man, the poet, the fly tyer and fly fisherman.  For a last time, we were again friends on the stream, casting to brookies, connected by our incredible love of words and beauty.

We’ll miss you, John!

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4.)

Q&A: April Ossmann’s Alice James Fix by Kevin Larimer (For Poets & Writers)

[Extract]

April Ossmann recently stepped down as executive director of Alice James Books, the Farmington, Maine–based nonprofit cooperative poetry press founded in 1973; after more than eight years in the post, she left to begin working as a freelance editor and small press consultant. Carey Salerno has since been named acting director. The author of the poetry collection Anxious Music (Four Way Books, 2004), Ossmann spoke about her time at Alice James from her home in Post Mills, a snowy hamlet in eastern Vermont….

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5.)

New Vermont Lit Journal
The Queen City Review

  • Burlington College’s Queen City Review, whose inaugural issue is labeled as Fall 2008, is a true Vermont gem, as much as is our fall foliage, or a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.  The founding editor, Heidi Berkowitz, who teaches in the college’s Interdisciplinary Studies program and coordinates its writing center, sent me three complementary copies, and I cherish each one.  Dartmouth lecturer Kevin McCarthy, who oversees the poetry, has gone out of his way to make ensure there are no loose gems in this first collection.  The familiar names, or at least they should be familiar to anyone who follows poetry closely, ring out clearly: poetry slam champ Geof Hewitt, fast-rising star Oregonian Matthew Dickman (he was just declared the winner of the 2009 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for his first book All-American Poem, which also won the APR/Honikman First Book Prize, and the inaugural awarding of the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences), and several others, including some nice surprises.  Between the lovely color cover, drawn by Aaron Mitton, and its last many brief bios, is a collection that will keep you entertained to the point of energizing you to submit your best unpublished work to them, or pick up your writer’s journal and get to it!  This is a lit journal that I will be glad to share with my close fellow poets, but one they will grudgingly give back to me. – Ron Lewis

Submission Guidelines

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

All submissions and queries should be emailed to:queencityreview@burlington.edu by April 20, 2009.

Their submission period is rolling and accepted writers and artists will be notified by email. All submissions must be in English, formatted in WORD or RTF, and previously unpublished. Please submit no more than three poems at a time, fiction and screenplays under 5000 words, and photography and artwork in JPEG format. Simultaneous submissions are also acceptable as long as they are notified immediately if the manuscript or artwork is accepted for publication elsewhere. Be sure to include phone, address, and e-mail contact information.

The Fall 2008 issue is on sale now. The 2009 issue is slated to come out in early autumn.

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6.)

Support your state poetry association!
PSOV (Poetry Society of Vermont) has 2 current books available for sale

1) The Mountain Troubadour – 2008 – Curl up with 44 pages of 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.

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6.)

POETS CAREY MCHUGH & LYTTON SMITH

Even though we’ve missed this live broadcast, you can still listen to it through internet magic and the link from Bowdoin College.  Follow the link below:

From the Fishouse and the Poetry Society of America (PSA) are pleased to present a reading by poets Carey McHugh and Lytton Smith, PSA’s 2008 New York Chapbook Fellows, this Thursday, February 26, 2009, at 7:30 p.m., which will be broadcast live on the Web: http://www.bowdoin.edu/video/campus-live.shtml

Simply visit the above link any time after 7:30 and watch the reading as it happens from the comfort of wherever you may be.

For more information, and to listen to poems by McHugh and Smith, visit From the Fishouse: www.fishousepoems.org

Thank you,

Matt

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7.)
Matt O’Donnell
Editor & Executive Director
From the Fishouse

Other webcasts at the Bowdoin College site are:

1) Poetry and Social Activism in Latin America
Enrique Yepes, Bowdoin’s Peter M. Small Associate Professor of Romance Languages, examines the vibrant emergence of new poetic voices in “Poetry and Social Activism in Latin America.”

2) Excerpts of Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha

February 27, 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Bowdoin Class of 1825, a native Mainer, and one of the College’s most illustrious graduates. The occasion is being celebrated on campus, locally, and around the country during the entire month of February. Among the holdings of the George J. Mitchell Archives & Special Collections in Bowdoin’s Hawthorne-Longfellow Library are various translations of Longfellow’s epic poem “The Song of Hiawatha” in six languages.

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8.)
Burlington Poetry Journal
Mud Season Issue 2009

On Mar 3, 2009, at 10:15 PM, Editors wrote:

The Mud Season issue of the Burlington Poetry Journal is out.  Copies are in the usual Burlington locations now:  Uncommon Grounds, Muddy Waters, and Radio Bean.  We’ll be making runs to other locations, including Montpelier and Middlebury,  later this week and will e-mail exact locations when we know them.  We hope that you enjoy this issue.  Thanks again to each one of you.

Eds.
Burlington Poetry Journal

PUBLISHER’S NOTE (RON): Congratulations to the rather exclusive list of poets who made it into this little lit journal.  These poets include Crow Cohen, Jesse Wide (2 poems), Emily Eschener, Caylin Capra-Thomas (2 poems), J.L. McCoy, Johanna Hiller, Ann Day, Suzanne Lunden, Elizabeth Melcher, Sarah Carpenter, Heather Tuck, David Weinstock, Ben Aleshire, Mike Wheeler, Ray Hudson (2 poems), and even Ron Lewis (me!)

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9.)

National Poetry Month: April

Celebrate with us at the Red Hen

Sunday, April 26, 7:00 pm
Come and read poetry — your own or your
favorites — or listen to others.

More info? Call Earline at 223-6777

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10.)

Sometimes we forget that we are blessed in this small state, beyond the natural beauty, maple syrup and autumn leaves.  I’m referring to all the wonderful poetry being read and written all around us.  Let’s not take for granted the great poets that make their homes in the state.  One such poet is Greg Delanty, who teaches at St. Michael’s College, Vermont.  For a part of the year he lives in Derrynane, County Kerry.  His recent books are The Ship of Birth (Carcanet Press 2003), The Blind Stitch (Carcanet) and The Hellbox (Oxford University Press 1998). His Collected Poems 1986-2006 is out from the Oxford Poet’s series of Carcanet Press.  He has received many awards, most recently a Guggenheim for poetry.  The Guggenheim is to assist him in with his next book of poems The Greek Anthology, Book XVII– a selection of his owm poem using the template of the sixteen books of The Greek Anthology.  I invite all of you to let Greg Delanty into your lives, to purchase one of his lovely books.  You know, as a general manager of a co-op, I find myself professing on buying local, sustaining the “little guy.”  In that same vein, I say to you, “keep your poetry purchases local.”  Here in Vermont, we have many “small farms” of poetry, many poets of distinction.  Support them by purchasing their books.  You can’t go wrong.  Try Greg for starters.

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11.)

Remember this event?  My thanks to Galway Kinnell (see below).
POETRY REVIEW: Ambiguity Is a Guest At a Readers’ Evening
New York Times
By KELEFA SANNEH
February 19, 2003

[Extract] The event was called ”Poems Not Fit for the White House,” and the idea seemed simple enough: a few dozen poets went to Avery Fisher Hall on Monday night to read poems and express their opposition to an attack on Iraq.
This was an entertaining show, well packaged and paced, and the hall was nearly full, despite the blizzard. But all night an uncomfortable question hung in the air: Do poets have some sort of special moral authority? And if so, why? ….

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12.)

  • Most poets I know have some poems dedicated to the topic of the night sky.  Being an amateur astronomer myself, I can’t help but write about all the wonders I see through my telescopes.  I happened across a very interesting poetry contest in Maine that some of you might want to explore further.

The Southworth Planetarium at the University of Southern Maine presents

AMOR ET ASTRA: A Poetry Contest on the theme “Love and the Night Sky.” Deadline April 1, 2009.

Love comes in many forms, and there are no restrictions – the love in the poem might be for a parent or a place, a friend or even for the sky itself. (Adult poets are asked to keep their poems PG-rated.) Prizes will be given in the following age categories: Grade 4 and younger; Grades 5 through 8; Grades 8 through 12; Adult. Winning poets will receive: An invitation to read publicly Friday, May 1, at “Beltane Fires,” one of three annual poetry events held at the planetarium; a commemorative booklet of poetry from the contest. (By entering the contest, you agree to permit Southworth Planetarium to publish your work in this booklet.) How to enter: Each poet enter up to three poems. The entry fee, which benefits educational programs at the planetarium, is $2 per poem or three for $5. Poems will not be submitted for judging until the fee is received. All entry fees must be submitted by check or money order to the address below. Please indicate clearly name of the poet. Poets may submit work electronically to: starpoetry@branchbrookmedia.com in Word, Rich Text Format (RTF), plain text or in the body of an e-mail. Poets may also submit work on paper to: Poetry Contest, c/o Southworth Planetarium, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300. Questions, contact Planetarium Manager Edward Gleason, egleason@usm.maine.edu, Jane Raeburn, jane@janeraeburn.com.

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13.)

All Around the World the Same Song
How globe-trotting poetries may not beat scrawls in a cave.

BY C. K. WILLIAMS

[Extract] A few years ago, when I gave a reading at one of a series of conferences an old friend of mine organizes for people from various fields—scientists, inventors, architects, designers, show-biz folk, and even one poet, me—my friend said to the audience, after I was finished, something about how moved he was to think of all the years I’d spent, had to spend, working by myself, all alone and, he implied, lonely. I was startled: I’m quite a gregarious person, and sometimes I do become lonely, but it’s something that never happens to me during the hours I’m at work. When I’m at my desk, my room is filled, overflowing with the presence of a vast number of poets I love, and some others I don’t know at all, whose books or poems have recently arrived but who are there waiting for me to become acquainted with and possibly love, too. ….

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14.)

EXPRESS YOUR LOVE OF POETRY!

For those duotrope fans, or for poets in general, duotrope has a great shirt that has the design “poet.” on the shirt face.  If you’re interested, go to: http://www.zazzle.com/duotrope

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15.)


How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier Workshop at the Grist Mill

Joni B. Cole will be returning to Chester on Sunday, March 29th to facilitate another incredible workshop at the Grist Mill Wellness Center on Route 103.

How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier: Workshop Intensive, will take place from 10 am to 4 pm in the beautiful Sun Room at the Grist Mill.

This fun, interactive session will feed your creative process, help you sharpen your writing skills, and push you to start a new piece or make solid progress on an existing work.  You’ll be doing in-class writing exercises to uncover new material and overcome blocks.  You’re also encouraged to bring in a work-in-progress (up to four double-spaced pages) to read aloud to the group for constructive feedback and appreciation.

Open to beginners or experienced writers.  Limited enrollment.  Preregistration required.  Recommended reading: Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive (available wherever books are sold, or $17 at the workshop).

Joni Cole is the author of Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive.  “Strongly recommended” by Library Journal for all writers, teachers, and workshop participants, the book also earned praise from American Book Review, which reported, “I can’t imagine a better guide to (writing’s) rewards and perils than this fine book.”

Joni is also the creator of the acclaimed This Day book series, including the recent release Water Cooler Diaries: Women across America Share Their Day at Work, described as “both fascinating and eye-opening” by Publisher’s Weekly.  Joni’s essays appear in literary journals, and in her monthly newspaper column “Life as I Know It.”  She is also a contributor to The Writer magazine, and is the co-founder of The Writer’s Center of White River Junction, Vermont, http://www.thewriterscenterwri.com.

For more information, visit http://www.toxicfeedback.com or www.thisdayinthelife.com.

Please call or email Joni at 295-5526 or email joni.cole@Alum.Dartmouth.org with questions about the workshop content.

Registration is required.  Please send your name, phone number, email address along with a $20 check made out to Joni B. Cole to R. Salem, 693 Lovers Lane, Chester, VT 05143 to reserve your spot.  A confirmation letter and schedule will be sent upon receipt of your deposit.

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16.)

THIS WEEK’S REVIEW

Poetry Matters: NBCC Chooses Two Books for Award

[Extract] When the National Book Critics Circle announced its annual award in poetry yesterday, two poets shared the honor — a situation new to the NBCC but resulting from strong feelings for both books among the selection committee members. The co-winners were Juan Felipe Herrera’s Half the World in Light: New and Selected Poems(University of Arizona Press) and August Kleinzahler’s Sleeping It Off in Rapid City (Farrar, Strauss), which the NBCC called “capstone books to important careers—works that were resonant, weighty, and accomplished.”

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17.)
Did You Know?

Twitter Shuts Down Angelou Impostor

[Extract] The Twitter user claiming to be Maya Angelou has come clean as an impostor, David Sarno reported yesterday on the L.A. Times technology blog. Several weeks after Angelou’s agent, David LaCamera, discovered the fraudulent account and alerted Twitter, the impersonator, whose tweets were followed by 2,495 Twitter users, revealed himself yesterday as a twenty-year-old male artist named Lee….

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“Ponderings”

Letter to the Editor

[Extract] I was interested in your November portfolio of visual poetry. I believe that visual poetry began with the invention of the printing press. Writers were challenged to work within the confines of what the press would allow, just as today they are challenged to work within the confines of the computer….

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19.)

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

Poetry Quote by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

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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.

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Linebreak is an online journal with a bias for good poetry. Here is a link to this week’s featured poem:

Argument From Design by T.R. Hummer

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22.)

American Life in Poetry: Column 207

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

People singing, not professionally but just singing for joy, it’s a wonderful celebration of life. In this poem by Sebastian Matthews of North Carolina, a father and son happen upon a handful of men singing in a cafe, and are swept up into their pleasure and community.

Barbershop Quartet,  East Village Grille

Inside the standard lunch hour din they rise, four
seamless voices fused into one, floating somewhere
between a low hum and a vibration, like the sound
of a train rumbling beneath noisy traffic.
The men are hunched around a booth table…. [Extract]

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23.)
KEEP PAST VERMONT POETS ALIVE!  I’M SOLICITING YOUR HELP:

POETS OF VERMONT
PAST AND PRESENT PROJECT

I’m looking for a copy of:

1) The Literature of Vermont: A Sampler – FOUND!
2) Poets and Poetry of Vermont, by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1858
3) “Driftwood,” a poetry magazine begun in 1926 by Walter John Coates
If you have any books of poetry, chapbooks, or just poems written by Vermont poets, dating 1980 and earlier, famous or not, I’d like to know about them.  I’m beginning a project that deals strictly with Vermont poets, from Vermont’s past, with summaries of the poets themselves, a portrait photo or drawing of the poet, along with a small sampling of poems.  If you think you can help, you probably can!  Please contact me by replying to this newsletter.

Ronald Lewis

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VERMONT POET LAUREATES

1) Robert Frost – 1961
2) Galway Kinnell
3) Louis Glück
4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
5) Grace Paley
6) Ruth Stone

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25.)

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

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

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26.)
YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

BELLOWS FALLS

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

2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat).  The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at vsbooks@sover.net or  jfowler177@comcast.net.

GUILFORD

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

MIDDLEBURY

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.

NORWICH

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

PLAINFIELD

The Wayside Poets share their poetry publicly from time to time.  They meet at the Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street, Plainfield.  Members include Diane Swan, Sherry Olson, Carol Henrikson and Sarah Hooker.  You can contact them through Sherry Olson at: solsonvt@aol.com or 454-8026.

STOWE

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

WAITSFIELD

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

BURLINGTON

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

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

The following event has already happened, but I’ve listed it here because it will probably be held again in 2010.

The Ossmann Method Poetry Workshop: Building Your Tool Kit
Instructor: April Ossmann

Build or improve your poetic techniques tool kit and learn how to think like a poetry editor!  In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. This workshop will be both critical and generative, so I will assign reading and generative exercises meant to teach or improve writing skills. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8 (minimum enrollment for the course to proceed is 4). Info: (802) 333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and www.aprilossmann.com



Note: If you know of any others, or have personal information about the workshop in Stowe and Guilford, please send me that information.  I realize that there are several smaller groups or workshops around the state.  However, because of their intimacy, they are not posted above, allowing them to offer “memberships” to close friends or acquaintances that they feel would be most appropriate.

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YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

UNDERHILL

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 www.womenwritingVT.com/ or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or sarah@womenwritingvt.com.

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29.)

POETRY EVENT CALENDAR

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

Poetry EventSat, Mar 14: 51 Main, At The Bridge, Middlebury, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Poetry Readings.  Featuring a collection of student-poets from Champlain and Middlebury Colleges.  For info, 388-8209.

Wed, Mar 18: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

Thu, Mar 19: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

Sat, Mar 21: Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street, Plainfield, 11:00 a.m.  Poetry Morning.First Day of Spring, poems with Cora Brooks.  For info, Mary Wheeler, Librarian, bandwheeler@juno.com, 454-8504.

Wed, Mar 25: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s spring poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Thu, Apr 2: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Rosanna Warren to read.  Rosanna Warren was born in Connecticut in 1953. She was educated at Yale (BA 1976) and Johns Hopkins (MA 1980). She is the author of one chapbook of poems (Snow Day, Palaemon Press, 1981), and three collections of poems:  Each Leaf Shines Separate (Norton, 1984), Stained Glass (Norton, 1993, Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets), and Departure (Norton, 2003).  She edited and contributed to The Art of Translation:  Voices from the Field (Northeastern, 1989), and has edited three chapbooks of poetry by prisoners. She has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace Readers’ Digest Fund, among others.  She has won the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lavan Younger Poets’ Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Award of Merit in Poetry from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She is Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities at Boston University.

Fri, Apr 3: Misty Valley Books, On The Green, Chester, 7:00 p.m. Celebrate Poetry Month with Two Celebrated Poets: Wendy Mnookin and Baron Wormser.  In her book, The Moon Makes It’s Own Plea, Mnookin explores the idea of self and how that self is strengthened and abraded by relationships. Anchored in everyday life, the narrative is fluid and the poems coalesce around the condition of mortality. Her poems probe this question with bravado, defiance, fear, anger, humor and hope. Mnookin graduated from Radcliffe College and the Vermont College MFA Program. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts.  For info, 875-3400.

Sun, Apr 5: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Wesley McNair.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  Wesley McNair is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Foundations and a United States Artists Fellowship to “America’s finest living artists.” Other honors include the Robert Frost Prize; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry (for Fire); the Theodore Roethke prize from Poetry Northwest; the Pushcart Prize and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal.  McNair is currently Professor Emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine at Farmington.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

Tue, Apr 8: Middlebury College, Axinn Center Abernathy Room, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.  Reading by Major Jackson.  Sponsored by Creative Writing Program, The Office for Institutional Planning and Diversity and The Academic Enrichment Fund.  For info, 443-5276.

Sat, Apr 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Apr 14: Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m.  12th Annual Open Poetry.  Yes, we have been doing this for twelve years, and the event never fails to draw a lively crowd of bards. You do need to sign up, and you do need to limit your poetry to five minutes. Sign up by phone (802) 229-0774 or come into the store and put your name on the list.

Wed, Apr 15: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s spring poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Sat, Apr 18: Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street, Plainfield, 11:00 a.m.  Poetry Morning.  Poems with Phyllis Larabee.  For info, Mary Wheeler, Librarian, bandwheeler@juno.com, 454-8504.

Mon, Apr 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eric Pankey to read.  Eric Pankey is the author of six books of poetry: Reliquaries, Cenotaph, The Late Romances, Apocrypha, Heartwood and For the New Year. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NEA Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award, and an Ingram Merrill Grant. His work has appeared in many journals, including Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Triquarterly, DoubleTake and The New England Review. He teaches at George Mason University and lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Thu, Apr 23: Middlebury College, Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  A talk by Adina Hoffman, on her new book, My Happiness Bears no Relation to Happiness: Poet Taha Muhammad Ali and the Palestinian Century, (Yale University Press), the first biography of a Palestinian poet, and the first portrayal of Palestinian literature and culture in the 20th Century. Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Middle East Studies Program.  For info, 443-5151, E-mail: schine@middlebury.edu.

Wed, May 6: Shoreham Historical Society, Shoreham.  David Weinstock, Director of the Otter Creek Poets, will be reading from his collection of poetry.  More details as I learn them.
Sat, May 9: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, May 12: The Galaxy Bookshop, 7 Mill Street, Hardwick, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Jody Gladding will be at The Galaxy Bookshop to read from and sign copies of her new book, Rooms and Their Airs.Drawn from the environments of northern Vermont and the South of France, the poems in “Rooms and Their Airs” explore the interface of the human and natural worlds, further eroding that distinction with each poem. The verse here merges subject and object, often giving voice to natural phenomena — a vernal pool, a fossil, a beam of light. These poems sparkle with humor, sophisticated word play, and intellectual examination, reflecting an elegant and contagious curiosity about history, language, and the world. Linked poems give voice to garden vegetables while drawing inspiration from the archival illustrations in “The Medieval Handbook.” A mother and daughter’s trip to see France’s cave paintings uncovers living vestiges in prehistoric depictions and reaffirms the enduring nature of art. With this collection, Jody Gladding cements her reputation as the literary heir to A. R. Ammons, Gustaf Sobin, and Lorine Niedecker.

Wed, May 13: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s spring poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Thu, May 14: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Harper to read.  Michael S. Harper was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1938. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from what is now known as California State University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He has taught at Brown since 1970.  Harper has published more than 10 books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems (ARC Publications, 2002); Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems (2000); Honorable Amendments (1995); and Healing Song for the Inner Ear (1985). A new poetry collection, Use Trouble, is forthcoming in fall 2008 from The University of Illinois Press.  His other collections include Images of Kin (1977), which won the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America and was nominated for the National Book Award; Nightmare Begins Responsibility (1975); History Is Your Heartbeat (1971), which won the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award for poetry; and Dear John, Dear Coltrane (1970), which was nominated for the National Book Award.  Harper edited the Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980); he is co-editor with Anthony Walton of The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) and Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (1994), and with Robert B. Stepto of Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship (1979).  Harper was the first poet laureate of Rhode Island (1988-1993) and has received many other honors, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. Harper is also a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow, and the recipient of numerous distinctions, including the Robert Hayden Poetry Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Melville-Cane Award, the Claiborne Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

Mon, Jun 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eamon Grennan to read.  Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated at UCD, where he studied English and Italian, and Harvard, where he received his PhD in English. His volumes of poetry include What Light There Is & Other Poems, (North Point Press, 1989), Wildly for Days (1983), What Light There Is (1987), As If It Matters (1991), So It Goes (1995), Selected and New Poems (2000) and Still Life with Waterfall (2001). His latest collection, The Quick of It, appeared in 2004 in Ireland, and in Spring 2005 in America. His books of poetry are published in the United States by Graywolf Press, and in Ireland by Gallery Press. Other publications include Leopardi: Selected Poems (Princeton 1997), and Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century, a collection of essays on modern Irish poetry. His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in many magazines both in Ireland and the US.  Grennan has given lectures and workshops in colleges and universities in the US, including courses for the graduate programs in Columbia and NYU. During 2002 he was the Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University. His grants and prizes in the United States include awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Leopardi: Selected Poems received the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and Still Life with Waterfall was the recipient of the 2003 Lenore Marshall Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Poets. His poems have been awarded a number of Pushcart prizes. Grennan has taught since 1974 at Vassar College where he is the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English.

Wed, Jun 10: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s spring poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

Sat, Jun 13: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Jul 9: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Ryan to read.  Michael Ryan has published three collections of poetry, including In Winter, Threats Instead of Trees, has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and God Hunger, as well as A Difficult Grace: On Poets, Poetry, and Writing, and the memoir Secret Life. His work has appeared in Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, New Republic, and elsewhere. Ryan has been honored by the Lenore Marshall Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and a Guggenheim. Ryan is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UC, Irvine.

Sat, Jul 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Jul 27: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Doreen Gilroy to read.  Doreen Gilroy’s first book, The Little Field of Self  (The University of Chicago Press, 2002), won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares.  Her second book, Human Love, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2005.  Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Slate, TriQuarterly and many other magazines.

Sat, Aug 8: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Mon, Aug 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Cole Swensen to read.  Cole Swensen is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. She is the author of five collections of poems, including Try (University of Iowa Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Poetry Prize; Noon (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), which won a New American Writing Award; and Numen (Burning Deck Press, 1995) which was nominated for the PEN West Award in Poetry. Her translations include Art Poetic’ by Olivier Cadiot (Sun & Moon Press, Green Integer Series, 1999) and Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun & Moon, 1995). She splits her time among Denver, San Francisco and Paris.

Thu, Sep 3: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Marge Piercy to read.  Marge Piercy has published 17 books of poetry, including What Are Big Girls Made Of, Colors Passing Through Us, and most recently her 17th volume, The Crooked Inheiritance, all from Knopf. She has written 17 novels, most recently SEX WARS in Perennial paperback now.  Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is also in Harper Collins Perennial.  Last spring, Schocken published Pesach for the Rest of Us.  Her work has been translated into 16 languages. Her CD Louder We Can’t Hear You Yet contains her political and feminist poems. She has been an editor of Leapfrog Press for the last ten years and also poetry editor of Lilith.

Sat, Sep 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Thu, Oct 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Pattiann Rogers to read.  Pattiann Rogers has published ten books of poetry, a book-length essay, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, and A Covenant of Seasons, poems and monotypes, in collaboration with the artist Joellyn Duesberry. Her 11th  book of poetry, Wayfare, will appear from Penguin in April, 2008.   Rogers is the recipient of two NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation, and five Pushcart Prizes.  In the spring of 2000 she was in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.  Her papers are archived in the Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community and the Natural World at Texas Tech University.  She has taught as a visiting professor at various universities, including the Universities of Texas, Arkansas, and Montana, Houston University, and Washingon University.  She is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s MFA in Writing Program.  Rogers has two sons and three grandsons and lives with her husband in Colorado.

Sat, Oct 10: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Oct 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Major Jackson to read.  “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.

Sat, Nov 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

Tue, Nov 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Sebastian Matthews to read.  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.

Sat, Dec 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

2010:

Mon, Feb 22: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet David Shapiro to read.  David Shapiro (born January 2, 1947) is an American poet, literary critic, and art historian and . Shapiro has written some twenty volumes of poetry, literary, and art criticism. He was first published at the age of thirteen, and his first book was published at the age of eighteen. Shapiro has taught at Columbia, Bard College, Cooper Union, Princeton University, and William Paterson University. He wrote the first monograph on John Ashbery, the first book on Jim Dine’s paintings, the first book on Piet Mondrian’s flower studies, and the first book on Jasper Johns’ drawings. He has translated Rafael Alberti’s poems on Pablo Picasso, and the writings of the Sonia and Robert Delaunay. Shapiro has won National Endowment for the HumanitiesNational Endowment for the Arts fellowships, been nominated for a National Book Award, and been the recipient of numerous grants for his work. Shapiro lives in Riverdale, The Bronx, New York City, with his wife and son.

  • 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.

our finitude as human beings
is encompassed by the infinity of language
Hans-Georg Gadamer


Your fellow Poet,

Ron Lewis

Vermont Poetry Newsletter February 23 2009

[The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter
Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State
February 23, 2009 – In This Issue:

  1. Newsletter Editor’s Note/Notes to Otter Creek Poets
  2. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  3. John Engels Memorial Reading
  4. Tony Hoagland Reading in Arlington
  5. New Vermont Lit Journal – The Queen City Review
  6. 2 Publications for Sale by PSOV
  7. Killington Arts Guild Anthology for Sale
  8. St. Michael’s College Visiting Writers Reading Series
  9. “Picture That Poem” Exhibit at SPA
  10. Love and the Night Sky Poetry Contest
  11. New Yorker Magazine Article on John Updike
  12. New York Times Article “The Greatness Game” by David Orr
  13. This Week’s Review: Adrian Blevins
  14. Did You Know? David Budbill – Honorary Doctorate
  15. Ponderings – Funny Vermont Poem
  16. Poetry Quote (Dante)
  17. US Poets Laureate List
  18. Failbetter Poem
  19. Linebreak Poem
  20. American Life in Poetry Poem
  21. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
  22. Vermont Poet Laureates
  23. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  24. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  25. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  26. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  27. Poetry Event Calendar

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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.

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1.)

Dear Friends of Poetry:

Some of you are still using my old email address of sshortpt@verizon.net or sshortpt@myfairpoint.net, but I’d like all further correspondence to go to my new permanent email address of:

vtpoet@gmail.com

Don’t forget to support your newest additions to Vermont literary magazines, Bloodroot and Queen City Press.  The people behind these sparkling gems have tried very hard to improve the literary world we now enjoy in Vermont.

National Poetry Month (April) is right around the corner.  David Weinstock of the Otter Creek Poets is now asking for suggestions for guest speakers, guest poets, and other events in celebration of the art and its special month.  They writing group has four Thursdays to plan for, April 2, 16, 23 and 30. (April 9 is the first night of Passover.) If you have any interesting program ideas for us to mull over, please let me know and I will pass them on to David.  If you’re a poet and would consider providing a reading or program to the group, again, contact me.

I have begun my new job as the General Manager of Rutland Natural Food Market: The Co-op.  In fact, I’ve already completed my first week of training, with one more to go before the store is handed off to me.  The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is roughly a 6-8 hour exercise for me, so I will be producing it every other week from this date forward.  To put it together and publish it more often than that would simply not be as enjoyable for me, and I fear is that the newsletter might outwardly show that.  I want it to be a source of enjoyment and enlightenment for all of us!

Ron Lewis
VPN Publisher
247-5913

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2.)

THIS WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

EPILOGUE

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme—
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter’s vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.
But sometimes everything I write
with the threadbare art of my eye
seems a snapshot,
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All’s misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun’s illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.

–Robert Lowell,  Day by Day © 1977

ASSIGNMENT: SAY WHAT HAPPENED.

In this late poem, which probably refers to Vermeer’s painting “Officer and Laughing Girl,” American poet Robert Lowell tries to move beyond techniques that no longer serve him and put his faith in clear vision and straight reporting.
Assignment:

1. Start with a sharp, clear, external vision: a memory, a photograph, or a painting.
2. Pray for the grace of accuracy.
3. Say what happened.

(PS: Gracing this assignment was the 1655-1660 oil painting by Jan Vermeer, Officer and Laughing Girl.)

David Weinstock
Feb. 19, 2009

LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

ASSIGNMENT: JUST-SO STORIES, or, HOW THINGS GOT THIS WAY.

The oldest stories we know are an attempt to explain how the world got the way it is. Genesis contains several stories of creation, including a flood story that may have come from earlier Babylonian sources.
Kipling wrote his whimsical Just-So stories about How the Elephant Got His Trunk, and How the Camel Got His Hump.

WRITE ONE YOURSELF: Take something, anything, about the world, or your life, and write a poem or story that tells how things got that way. Feel free to remember, feel free to invent.

HINT: Keep the poem free of apologies, winks, or other tip-offs that you don’t really mean it, because you do.

David Weinstock
02/12/09

Good luck!

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3.)

  • Don’t miss this very important event!  (. . . nor the reading listed immediately after this one!)
  • Please note the change of time for this event (from a 7:00 start, to 7:30)

John Engels Memorial Reading

Wed, Mar 11: Hoehl Welcome Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, 7:30 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  John Engels Memorial Reading.  In memory of longtime English Department member (and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet), John Engels (1931-2007) the Department has established an annual  poetry reading. Poet, novelist and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s reading.  The first reading, in 2008, featured former Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt.  The English Department Reading Series invites poets, fiction writers, theater troupes, filmmakers, and the like to campus to give readings, talks, performances, screenings etc. In the last few years for example, they’ve hosted the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, novelists including Julia Alvarez, Russell Banks, and Pulitzer-Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, and poets including Pulitzer-Prize winner Louise Gluck, Chase Twitchell, Joy Harjo, and Galway Kinnell. Students are invited to these events, free of charge, and often have the chance to meet and talk to those visitors.  Sponsored by the Lecture Series.

Vermont had a few losses in 2007 and 2008, which were also losses to the entire poetry community.  John Engels, a professor for 45 years at St. Michael’s College, was one of those great losses.  For those of you lucky enough to have clutched a copy for yourself and read through “Remembering John Engels,” you will believe yourself a friend of John’s, as an admirer of his words.  I feel fortunate to have been been both a poet friend of his, as well as a friend of the stream, both of us maintaining a love of fly fishing and fly tying.  If you want to connect or reconnect with John Engels, I would invite you to come to this event, which is sure to be one of those incredible poetry moments.
Directions: FROM EXIT 15, INTERSTATE 89:

Main Entrance – Hoehl Welcome Center

Bear right off of exit 15, Interstate 89. Stay in right lane and follow Route 15 through two lights. After second light bear right into “jug handle” and go through intersection to campus.

The Office of Admission is located in the Hoehl Welcome Center on the left, with visitor’s parking at the entrance.

Attention GPS Users:  If you are using a GPS to direct you to the Office of Admission, please use the address, “One College Parkway Colchester, VT.”  After turning into campus onto Campus Road, bear left, take a left at the stop sign, follow the road through campus going straight through a second stop sign and you will see the Hoehl Welcome Center on the right.

South Entrance

Bear right off of exit 15, Interstate 89 and get into left lane. At first set of lights, take left into parking lot. McCarthy Arts Center is on your right. Ross Sports Center is on the left at the back of the parking lot.

The Hoehl Welcome Center is located at the main entrance of the College, near the College chapel and Alliot Student Center.  If you’ve been on campus, but are unsure where the Welcome Center is, go to this site: http://www.smcvt.edu/tour/campus/hoehl.htm in order to take a virtual tour taken outside of the big bay windows of the Welcome Center.  Seeing this, you should be able to ascertain the correct location of the building for the reading.  See you there!

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4.)
Tony Hoagland coming to Vermont this Friday!!!

Thu, Feb 26: Arlington Memorial High School, Mack Performing Arts Center, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Tony Hoagland.  Tony will be reading from his book, “What Narcissism Means to Me.” The event is free and open to the community. On Friday, February 27, Hoagland will meet with students in the AMHS Poetry class to share stories of his life’s work.  A professor at the University of Houston, Hoagland’s published works include A Change in Plans, Talking to Stay Warm, History of Desire, Sweet Ruin, Donkey Gospel and What Narcissism Means to Me, which was a finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award.  Hoagland has said that “if I were going to place myself on some aesthetic graph, my dot would be equidistant between Sharon Olds and Frank O’Hara, between confessional (where I started) and the social (where I have aimed myself).”  Hoagland is the recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s 2005 Mark Twain Award in recognition of his contribution to humor in American poetry.  The Poetry Foundations’ Stephen Young says of Hoagland’s writings, “There is nothing escapist or diversionary about Tony Hoagland’s poetry.  Here’s misery, death, envy, hypocrisy, and vanity.  But the still sad music of humanity is played with such a light touch on an instrument so sympathetically tuned that one can’t help but laugh.  Wit and morality rarely consort these days; it’s good to see them happily, often hilariously reunited in this winner’s poetry.”  Arlington Poetry and English teacher Hank Barthel invited Hoagland to speak.  “Tony Hoagland’s poetry speaks to young and old alike.  I heard him speak at the Dodge Poetry Festival, and knew he would bring to AMHS an excitement and attitude that the community can appreciate.”  The recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a fellowship to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Hoagland has received numerous accolades for his work including the 2008 Jackson poetry Prize, James Laughlin Award, Brittingham Prize in Poetry and O.B. Hardison, Jr. Poetry Prize, recognizing a poet’s contribution to teaching as well as to his art.  His Poems and critical writings have appeared in such publications as Poetry Magazine, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, American Poetry Review and Harvard Review.  For more information about Hoagland’s poetry reading, contact Hank Barthel at barthelh@bvsu.org or 375-2589.

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5.)

New Vermont Lit Journal
The Queen City Review

Burlington College’s Queen City Review, whose inaugural issue is labeled as Fall 2008, is a true Vermont gem, as much as is our fall foliage, or a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.  The founding editor, Heidi Berkowitz, who teaches in the college’s Interdisciplinary Studies program and coordinates its writing center, sent me three complementary copies, and I cherish each one.  Dartmouth lecturer Kevin McCarthy, who oversees the poetry, has gone out of his way to make ensure there are no loose gems in this first collection.  The familiar names, or at least they should be familiar to anyone who follows poetry closely, ring out clearly: poetry slam champ Geof Hewitt, fast-rising star Oregonian Matthew Dickman (he was just declared the winner of the 2009 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for his first book All-American Poem, which also won the APR/Honikman First Book Prize, and the inaugural awarding of the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences), and several others, including some nice surprises.  Between the lovely color cover, drawn by Aaron Mitton, and its last many brief bios, is a collection that will keep you entertained to the point of energizing you to submit your best unpublished work to them, or pick up your writer’s journal and get to it!  This is a lit journal that I will be glad to share with my close fellow poets, but one they will grudgingly give back to me.

Ron Lewis

Submission Guidelines

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

All submissions and queries should be emailed to:queencityreview@burlington.edu by April 20, 2009.
Their submission period is rolling and accepted writers and artists will be notified by email. All submissions must be in English, formatted in WORD or RTF, and previously unpublished. Please submit no more than three poems at a time, fiction and screenplays under 5000 words, and photography and artwork in JPEG format. Simultaneous submissions are also acceptable as long as they are notified immediately if the manuscript or artwork is accepted for publication elsewhere. Be sure to include phone, address, and e-mail contact information.

The Fall 2008 issue is on sale now. The 2009 issue is slated to come out in early autumn.

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6.)

Support your state poetry association!
PSOV (Poetry Society of Vermont)
Has 2 current books available for sale

1) The Mountain Troubadour – 2008 – Curl up with 44 pages of 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.

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7.)
KILLINGTON ARTS GUILD POETRY BOOK

Order Form

What one reviewer said about A Gathering of Poets:

“This is a lyrical collection that I will return to read time and again.  Vermont’s striking landscape permeates many of the poems and creates a frame for insightful questions about the paradoxical nature of our lives, here and else- where.  With a great range of subject and technique, they do what poetry does best:  they help me see the exquisiteness of everyday things.”

Ray Hudson, author, Moments Rightly Placed: An Aleutian Memoir

A Gathering of Poets-A Vermont Anthology, 22 poets,  80 pages, 9 x 6, fully bound, color cover by  watercolorist Maurie Harrington based on nature and Killington with pen sketches.

Available pre-publication to the poets and to members of the Killington Arts Guild for
$9.00 plus $2.00 postage (may be purchased at the April 15th KAG meeting for $9 but must
be ordered in advance).  Afterwards, books will retail for $12.00 each plus postage from KAG and at stores and lodges in the area for $12.00 plus tax.

Please send me ___ copies of  A Gathering of Poets for the pre-publication price of $9.00.

Please mail them to me for $2.00 each___ or I will pick up the books in Killington on
April 15th___.and not pay postage.

I  am willing to help with distribution _____.

Name_________________________________

Address_______________________________

Email/Phone___________________________

Call (802) 786-9920 or (802) 422-3824 for more information.
Return this order form with a check made out to KAG, P.O. Box 784, Killington, Vt. 05751

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8.)

St. Michael’s College

THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH PRESENTS
Visiting Writers, Spring 2009

FEBRUARY 10.

Poet Verandah Porche will read from her work. 4 pm, Farrell Room.

FEBRUARY 11.

Verandah Porche returns for a workshop titled Told Poetry/Shared Narrative. 5-7 pm, the Center for Women and Gender. Open to students, faculty, and staff. Space limited; email kswartz@smcvt.edu to reserve. Cosponsored by the English Department and the Center for Women and Gender.

FEBRUARY 27.

Novelist Valerie Miner will read from her new novel After Eden. 12 noon, Farrell Room. Cosponsored by the Center for Women and Gender and the English Department.

MARCH 3.

Poet David Cavanagh will read from his work. 4:30 pm, Farrell Room.

MARCH 11.

Poet, novelist, and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s John Engels Memorial Poetry Reading. 7 pm, Hoehl Welcome Center. Sponsored by the Lecture Series.

All readings are free and open to the public.
For more information, call 654-2536.

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9.)
Talking Pictures

“Picture That Poem,” multi-media show examining the relationship between visual imagery and poetry.

Main Floor Gallery, Studio Place Arts, Barre. Through February 28.

By Marc Awodey

The nexus of poetry and visual art encompasses more than vivid verbal imagery. “Picture That Poem,” at Studio Place Arts in Barre, demonstrates how diverse and thought provoking the two arts’ links can be.
SPA is known for strongly curated theme shows, and a great idea makes for a fascinating group exhibition. “Picture That Poem” is built on a fresh notion that gave artists plenty of room for creativity in addressing the call for entries, which requested visual art “utterances” and the poems that inspired them.

Read the rest of the article here.

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10.)

Most poets I know have some poems dedicated to the topic of the night sky.  Being an amateur astronomer myself, I can’t help but write about all the wonders I see through my telescopes.  I happened across a very interesting poetry contest in Maine that some of you might want to explore further.

The Southworth Planetarium at the University of Southern Maine presents:

AMOR ET ASTRA: A Poetry Contest on the theme “Love and the Night Sky.” Deadline April 1, 2009.
Love comes in many forms, and there are no restrictions – the love in the poem might be for a parent or a place, a friend or even for the sky itself. (Adult poets are asked to keep their poems PG-rated.) Prizes will be given in the following age categories: Grade 4 and younger; Grades 5 through 8; Grades 8 through 12; Adult. Winning poets will receive: An invitation to read publicly Friday, May 1, at “Beltane Fires,” one of three annual poetry events held at the planetarium; a commemorative booklet of poetry from the contest. (By entering the contest, you agree to permit Southworth Planetarium to publish your work in this booklet.) How to enter: Each poet enter up to three poems. The entry fee, which benefits educational programs at the planetarium, is $2 per poem or three for $5. Poems will not be submitted for judging until the fee is received. All entry fees must be submitted by check or money order to the address below. Please indicate clearly name of the poet. Poets may submit work electronically to: starpoetry@branchbrookmedia.com in Word, Rich Text Format (RTF), plain text or in the body of an e-mail. Poets may also submit work on paper to: Poetry Contest, c/o Southworth Planetarium, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300. Questions, contact Planetarium Manager Edward Gleason, egleason@usm.maine.edu, Jane Raeburn, jane@janeraeburn.com.

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11.)

New worker magazine article on John updike

POSTSCRIPT JOHN UPDIKE
by Adam Gopnik FEBRUARY 9, 2009

John Updike (1932-2009) once said that his first publication and nearly sixty-year-long relationship with this magazine was the great professional event of his life—no, he called it the ecstatic event of his professional life—and he never tired (for younger writers, it was inspiring to see how he never tired) of seeing his prose in Caslon type, his name for all those decades appended to, or, later, preambling, a story or a review in these pages. It was part of the great good luck of this magazine that he needed, or indulged, us, and that his appetites and ambitions matched the dreams of the editors…

Read the rest of the article here.

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12.)
ON POETRY

The New York Times
Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Great(ness) Game

By DAVID ORR

In October, John Ashbery became the first poet to have an edition of his works released by the Library of America in his own lifetime. That honor says a number of things about the state of contemporary poetry — some good, some not so good — but perhaps the most important and disturbing question it raises is this: What will we do when Ashbery and his generation are gone? Because for the first time since the early 19th century, American poetry may be about to run out of greatness…

Read the rest of the article here.

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13.)
THIS WEEK’S REVIEW
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2009
Poetry That Seizes the Heart and the Funny Bone in a Single Gasp: Adrian Blevins

David Orr’s article in today’s New York Times bemoans the lack of (identifiable) “Great Poets” in today’s writing pantheon. It’s worth reading; my husband Dave and I heard Donald Hall and Liam Rector say much the same thing a couple of years ago at Plymouth State University (NH). I don’t buy the premise — I think that in 25 years, there will be a handful of today’s poets that are consistently held up as the finest, deepest, most rewarding to read. But our vision of that time may be fuzzy…

Read the rest of the article here.

POSTED BY BETH KANELL; for more Blogs, go to http://kingdombks.blogspot.com

(Beth Kanell is from Kingdom Books, which is a specialty mystery, poetry and fine press shop in Vermont.  Beth Kanell, Co-Owner with her husband Dave, is a published author and regularly reviews books for the Vermont Review of Books.  Kingdom Books offers mostly first editions, many signed, and often hosts author events.)

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14.)

Did You Know?

Vermont’s very own David Budbill received an honorary doctorate recently!

An Excerpt from

ON RECEIVING AN HONORARY DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS FROM  NEW ENGLAND COLLEGE

Henniker, New Hampshire
27 January 2009
by
David Budbill

I
I never thought I’d be in a situation like this, not to mention seen in public in a get-up like this. I never thought I’d be a doctor of anything, except maybe Dr. of Nothing, of Emptiness…

Read the rest of the post here.

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15.)

“Ponderings”

Vermont Poem

It’s winter in Vermont
and the gentle breezes blow
seventy miles an hour
at thirty-five blow;
Oh how I love Vermont
when the snow’s up to your butt!
You take a breath of winter air
and your nose gets frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful
so I guess I’ll hang around.
I could never leave Vermont
cause I’m frozen to the ground!!

This poem was forwarded to the Vermont News Guide by Doreen Mach.  Hey, we can’t write serious poetry all the time!

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16.)

‘Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.’

Poetry Quote by Dante

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17.)

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 Williams Appointed 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-Present

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    18.)

    failbetter.com

    Once Upon a Time
    By Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

    there was a girl who started reading
    and couldn’t stop. Holed up
    with a stack of books, she laid them out
    where the other girls had dolls, heads…

    Read the rest of the poem here.
    failbetter.com is an online journal that publishes original works of fiction, poetry and art

    Sign up in order to get their online newsletter: http://failbetter.com/29/AboutUs.php

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    19.)

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

    Mother’s Day Omen
    by Michelle Bitting

    Come, love, undress me anyway,
    let your fingers fly
    to my ruddy buttons,
    my lips to your opened
    underworld….

    Read the rest of the poem here.

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    20.)

    American Life in Poetry: Column 204

    BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
    Memories form around details the way a pearl forms around a grain of sand, and in this commemoration of an anniversary, Cecilia Woloch reaches back to grasp a few details that promise to bring a cherished memory forward, and succeeds in doing so. The poet lives and teaches in southern California.

    Anniversary

    Didn’t I stand there once,
    white-knuckled, gripping the just-lit taper,
    swearing I’d never go back?
    And hadn’t you kissed the rain from my mouth?

    Read the rest of the poem here.

    American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2008 by Cecilia Woloch. Reprinted from “Narcissus,” by Cecilia Woloch, Tupelo Press, Dorset, VT, 2008, by permission of Cecilia Woloch.  Introduction copyright (c) 2009 by The Poetry Foundation.  The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.  We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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    21.)


    KEEP PAST VERMONT POETS ALIVE!  I’M SOLICITING YOUR HELP:

    POETS OF VERMONT PAST AND PRESENT PROJECT

    I’m looking for a copy of:

    1) The Literature of Vermont: A Sampler, University Press of New England, Arthur W. Biddle and Paul A. Eschholz, Editors, 1973
    2) Poets and Poetry of Vermont, by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1858
    3) “Driftwood,” a poetry magazine begun in 1926 by Walter John Coates
    If you have any books of poetry, chapbooks, or just poems written by Vermont poets, dating 1980 and earlier, famous or not, I’d like to know about them.  I’m beginning a project that deals strictly with Vermont poets, from Vermont’s past, with summaries of the poets themselves, a portrait photo or drawing of the poet, along with a small sampling of poems.  If you think you can help, you probably can!  Please contact me by replying to this newsletter.

    Ronald Lewis

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    22.)

    VERMONT POET LAUREATES

    1) Robert Frost – 1961
    2) Galway Kinnell
    3) Louis Glück
    4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
    5) Grace Paley
    6) Ruth Stone

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    23.)
    If you ever have a need to contact me, here’s how to go about doing so:
    Ronald Lewis:
    Phone: 802-247-5913
    Cell: 802-779-5913
    Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
    Email: vtpoet@gmail.com

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    24.)
    YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

    BELLOWS FALLS

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

    2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat). The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at vsbooks@sover.net or jfowler177@comcast.net.

    GUILFORD

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

    MIDDLEBURY

    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.

    NORWICH

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

    PLAINFIELD

    The Wayside Poets share their poetry publicly from time to time. They meet at the Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street, Plainfield. Members include Diane Swan, Sherry Olson, Carol Henrikson and Sarah Hooker. You can contact them through Sherry Olson at: solsonvt@aol.com or 454-8026.

    STOWE

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

    WAITSFIELD

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

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    25.)
    YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

    UNDERHILL

    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 www.womenwritingVT.com/ or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or sarah@womenwritingvt.com.

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    26.)

    POETRY EVENT CALENDAR

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

    Poetry EventJan 27-May 10: More Than Bilingual: William Cordova and Major Jackson.  Another Language, Another Soul.  What happens when two languages and two fine arts mingle?  Although Peruvian-born visual artist William Cordova and African-American poet Major Jackson come from divergent backgrounds, both artists find inspiration and common ground in music, literature and the urban aesthetic. The fluency with which they navigate cultural signifiers and media, results in a shared visual multilingualism. The two artists have long admired one another’s work; the Fleming Museum is pleased to bring them together in a collaborative venture for the first time.  Robert Hull Fleming Museum, University of Vermont Campus, 61 Colchester Avenue, www.uvm.edu/~fleming.

    Wed, Feb 25: Peabody Library, Route 113, Post Mills.  Reception and book signing by the authors of the literary magazine, Bloodroot.  Bloodroot Literary Magazine is a nonprofit publication released each December. Their mission is to provide a journal of high production values and quality material by established and emerging authors.  The 2009 issue of Bloodroot features cover art by Christy Hale and poems, short stories and creative nonfiction by 28 outstanding authors, many of them familiar names here in Vermont – Regina Brault, Carol Milkuhn and Nancy Means Wright.  The book is scheduled to be out and about in mid-December 2008.

    Thu, Feb 26: Arlington Memorial High School, Mack Performing Arts Center, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Tony Hoagland.  Tony will be reading from his book, “What Narcissism Means to Me.” The event is free and open to the community. On Friday, February 27, Hoagland will meet with students in the AMHS Poetry class to share stories of his life’s work.  A professor at the University of Houston, Hoagland’s published works include A Change in Plans, Talking to Stay Warm, History of Desire, Sweet Ruin, Donkey Gospel and What Narcissism Means to Me, which was a finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award.  Hoagland has said that “if I were going to place myself on some aesthetic graph, my dot would be equidistant between Sharon Olds and Frank O’Hara, between confessional (where I started) and the social (where I have aimed myself).”  Hoagland is the recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s 2005 Mark Twain Award in recognition of his contribution to humor in American poetry.  The Poetry Foundations’ Stephen Young says of Hoagland’s writings, “There is nothing escapist or diversionary about Tony Hoagland’s poetry.  Here’s misery, death, envy, hypocrisy, and vanity.  But the still sad music of humanity is played with such a light touch on an instrument so sympathetically tuned that one can’t help but laugh.  Wit and morality rarely consort these days; it’s good to see them happily, often hilariously reunited in this winner’s poetry.”  Arlington Poetry and English teacher Hank Barthel invited Hoagland to speak.  “Tony Hoagland’s poetry speaks to young and old alike.  I heard him speak at the Dodge Poetry Festival, and knew he would bring to AMHS an excitement and attitude that the community can appreciate.”  The recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a fellowship to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Hoagland has received numerous accolades for his work including the 2008 Jackson poetry Prize, James Laughlin Award, Brittingham Prize in Poetry and O.B. Hardison, Jr. Poetry Prize, recognizing a poet’s contribution to teaching as well as to his art.  His Poems and critical writings have appeared in such publications as Poetry Magazine, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, American Poetry Review and Harvard Review.  For more information about Hoagland’s poetry reading, contact Hank Barthel at barthelh@bvsu.org or 375-2589.

    Sun, Mar 1: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet C.D. Wright.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  A compelling and idiosyncratic poet, C.D. Wright has twelve collections including Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008), a weaving of deeply personal and politically ferocious poems;  Deepstep Come Shining and Cooling Time.  Her collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana was awarded the Dorothea Lange-Paul Tayor Prize.  Her new and selected poems Steal Away was on the shortlist for the Griffin Trust Award.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the Israel J. Kapstein Professor at Brown University.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.
    Tue, Mar 3: Farrell Room, St. Michael’s College, 4:30 p.m.  David Cavanaugh.  Local poet David Cavanaugh will read from his work.

    Wed, Mar 4: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

    Thu, Mar 5: Middlebury College, Abernathy Room, Axinn Center, 4:30-6:30.  Richard Chess was born in Los Angeles. He spent most of his childhood and youth in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is the author of three books of poetry, Third Temple (2007), Chair in the Desert (2000), and Tekiah (1994). His poems have appeared in many journals as well as several anthologies, including Best American Spiritual Writing 2005 and Telling and Remembering: A Century of American-Jewish Poetry.  An award-winning and much-sought after teacher, he is professor of literature and language at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  He directs UNCA’s Center for Jewish Studies as well as UNCA’s Creative Writing Program.  He has been a member of the low-residency MFA faculties at Warren Wilson College and Queens College.  He served for a number of years as writer-in-residence at the Brandeis Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, California.  He is now assistant director of The Jewish Arts Institue at Elat Chayyim, located at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center, where he will be teaching creative writing in a two-year training institute that begins in August of 2007.  He is poetry editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture.  He lives in Asheville with his wife, Laurie, and son, Gabe.  His two step-daughters, Alice and Margaret, are currently pursuing their careers elsewhere.  For more info, 443-5276.
    Thu, Mar 5: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

    Fri, Mar 6: Outer Space Café, FlynnDog Gallery, 208 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, 7:00 p.m.  Poet’s Night.  Join in the growing popularity of this continuing series!

    Sun, Mar 8: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Winter Readings in the National Park.  Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided.  Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center.  For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

    Wed, Mar 11: Hoehl Welcome Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, 7:30 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  John Engels Memorial Reading.  In memory of longtime English Department member (and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet), John Engels (1931-2007) the Department has established an annual  poetry reading. Poet, novelist and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s reading.  The first reading, in 2008, featured former Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt.  The English Department Reading Series invites poets, fiction writers, theater troupes, filmmakers, and the like to campus to give readings, talks, performances, screenings etc. In the last few years for example, they’ve hosted the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, novelists including Julia Alvarez, Russell Banks, and Pulitzer-Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, and poets including Pulitzer-Prize winner Louise Gluck, Chase Twitchell, Joy Harjo, and Galway Kinnell. Students are invited to these events, free of charge, and often have the chance to meet and talk to those visitors.  Sponsored by the Lecture Series.

    Vermont had a few losses in 2007 and 2008, which were also losses to the entire poetry community.  John Engels, a professor for 45 years at St. Michael’s College, was one of those great losses.  For those of you lucky enough to have clutched a copy for yourself and read through “Remembering John Engels,” you will believe yourself a friend of John’s, as an admirer of his words.  I feel fortunate to have been been both a poet friend of his, as well as a friend of the stream, both of us maintaining a love of fly fishing and fly tying.  If you want to connect or reconnect with John Engels, I would invite you to come to this event, which is sure to be one of those incredible poetry moments.

    Sat, Mar 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Wed, Mar 18: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

    Thu, Mar 19: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

    Thu, Apr 2: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Rosanna Warren to read.  Rosanna Warren was born in Connecticut in 1953. She was educated at Yale (BA 1976) and Johns Hopkins (MA 1980). She is the author of one chapbook of poems (Snow Day, Palaemon Press, 1981), and three collections of poems:  Each Leaf Shines Separate (Norton, 1984), Stained Glass (Norton, 1993, Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets), and Departure (Norton, 2003).  She edited and contributed to The Art of Translation:  Voices from the Field (Northeastern, 1989), and has edited three chapbooks of poetry by prisoners. She has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace Readers’ Digest Fund, among others.  She has won the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lavan Younger Poets’ Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Award of Merit in Poetry from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She is Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities at Boston University.

    Sun, Apr 5: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Wesley McNair.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  Wesley McNair is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Foundations and a United States Artists Fellowship to “America’s finest living artists.” Other honors include the Robert Frost Prize; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry (for Fire); the Theodore Roethke prize from Poetry Northwest; the Pushcart Prize and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal.  McNair is currently Professor Emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine at Farmington.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

    Sat, Apr 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Mon, Apr 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eric Pankey to read.  Eric Pankey is the author of six books of poetry: Reliquaries, Cenotaph, The Late Romances, Apocrypha, Heartwood and For the New Year. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NEA Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award, and an Ingram Merrill Grant. His work has appeared in many journals, including Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Triquarterly, DoubleTake and The New England Review. He teaches at George Mason University and lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

    Thu, Apr 23: Middlebury College, Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  A talk by Adina Hoffman, on her new book, My Happiness Bears no Relation to Happiness: Poet Taha Muhammad Ali and the Palestinian Century, (Yale University Press), the first biography of a Palestinian poet, and the first portrayal of Palestinian literature and culture in the 20th Century. Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Middle East Studies Program.  For info, 443-5151, E-mail: schine@middlebury.edu.

    Wed, May 6: Shoreham Historical Society, Shoreham.  David Weinstock, Director of the Otter Creek Poets, will be reading from his collection of poetry.  More details as I learn them.

    Sat, May 9: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Thu, May 14: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Harper to read.  Michael S. Harper was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1938. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from what is now known as California State University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He has taught at Brown since 1970.  Harper has published more than 10 books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems (ARC Publications, 2002); Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems (2000); Honorable Amendments (1995); and Healing Song for the Inner Ear (1985). A new poetry collection, Use Trouble, is forthcoming in fall 2008 from The University of Illinois Press.  His other collections include Images of Kin (1977), which won the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America and was nominated for the National Book Award; Nightmare Begins Responsibility (1975); History Is Your Heartbeat (1971), which won the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award for poetry; and Dear John, Dear Coltrane (1970), which was nominated for the National Book Award.  Harper edited the Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980); he is co-editor with Anthony Walton of The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) and Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (1994), and with Robert B. Stepto of Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship (1979).  Harper was the first poet laureate of Rhode Island (1988-1993) and has received many other honors, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. Harper is also a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow, and the recipient of numerous distinctions, including the Robert Hayden Poetry Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Melville-Cane Award, the Claiborne Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

    Mon, Jun 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eamon Grennan to read.  Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated at UCD, where he studied English and Italian, and Harvard, where he received his PhD in English. His volumes of poetry include What Light There Is & Other Poems, (North Point Press, 1989), Wildly for Days (1983), What Light There Is (1987), As If It Matters (1991), So It Goes (1995), Selected and New Poems (2000) and Still Life with Waterfall (2001). His latest collection, The Quick of It, appeared in 2004 in Ireland, and in Spring 2005 in America. His books of poetry are published in the United States by Graywolf Press, and in Ireland by Gallery Press. Other publications include Leopardi: Selected Poems (Princeton 1997), and Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century, a collection of essays on modern Irish poetry. His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in many magazines both in Ireland and the US.  Grennan has given lectures and workshops in colleges and universities in the US, including courses for the graduate programs in Columbia and NYU. During 2002 he was the Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University. His grants and prizes in the United States include awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Leopardi: Selected Poems received the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and Still Life with Waterfall was the recipient of the 2003 Lenore Marshall Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Poets. His poems have been awarded a number of Pushcart prizes. Grennan has taught since 1974 at Vassar College where he is the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English.

    Sat, Jun 13: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Thu, Jul 9: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Ryan to read.  Michael Ryan has published three collections of poetry, including In Winter, Threats Instead of Trees, has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and God Hunger, as well as A Difficult Grace: On Poets, Poetry, and Writing, and the memoir Secret Life. His work has appeared in Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, New Republic, and elsewhere. Ryan has been honored by the Lenore Marshall Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and a Guggenheim. Ryan is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UC, Irvine.

    Sat, Jul 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Mon, Jul 27: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Doreen Gilroy to read.  Doreen Gilroy’s first book, The Little Field of Self  (The University of Chicago Press, 2002), won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares.  Her second book, Human Love, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2005.  Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Slate, TriQuarterly and many other magazines.

    Sat, Aug 8: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Mon, Aug 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Cole Swensen to read.  Cole Swensen is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. She is the author of five collections of poems, including Try (University of Iowa Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Poetry Prize; Noon (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), which won a New American Writing Award; and Numen (Burning Deck Press, 1995) which was nominated for the PEN West Award in Poetry. Her translations include Art Poetic’ by Olivier Cadiot (Sun & Moon Press, Green Integer Series, 1999) and Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun & Moon, 1995). She splits her time among Denver, San Francisco and Paris.

    Thu, Sep 3: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Marge Piercy to read.  Marge Piercy has published 17 books of poetry, including What Are Big Girls Made Of, Colors Passing Through Us, and most recently her 17th volume, The Crooked Inheiritance, all from Knopf. She has written 17 novels, most recently SEX WARS in Perennial paperback now.  Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is also in Harper Collins Perennial.  Last spring, Schocken published Pesach for the Rest of Us.  Her work has been translated into 16 languages. Her CD Louder We Can’t Hear You Yet contains her political and feminist poems. She has been an editor of Leapfrog Press for the last ten years and also poetry editor of Lilith.

    Sat, Sep 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Thu, Oct 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Pattiann Rogers to read.  Pattiann Rogers has published ten books of poetry, a book-length essay, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, and A Covenant of Seasons, poems and monotypes, in collaboration with the artist Joellyn Duesberry. Her 11th  book of poetry, Wayfare, will appear from Penguin in April, 2008.   Rogers is the recipient of two NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation, and five Pushcart Prizes.  In the spring of 2000 she was in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.  Her papers are archived in the Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community and the Natural World at Texas Tech University.  She has taught as a visiting professor at various universities, including the Universities of Texas, Arkansas, and Montana, Houston University, and Washingon University.  She is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s MFA in Writing Program.  Rogers has two sons and three grandsons and lives with her husband in Colorado.

    Sat, Oct 10: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Tue, Oct 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Major Jackson to read.  “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.

    Sat, Nov 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Tue, Nov 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Sebastian Matthews to read.  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.

    Sat, Dec 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    2010:

    Mon, Feb 22: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet David Shapiro to read.  David Shapiro (born January 2, 1947) is an American poet, literary critic, and art historian and . Shapiro has written some twenty volumes of poetry, literary, and art criticism. He was first published at the age of thirteen, and his first book was published at the age of eighteen. Shapiro has taught at Columbia, Bard College, Cooper Union, Princeton University, and William Paterson University. He wrote the first monograph on John Ashbery, the first book on Jim Dine’s paintings, the first book on Piet Mondrian’s flower studies, and the first book on Jasper Johns’ drawings. He has translated Rafael Alberti’s poems on Pablo Picasso, and the writings of the Sonia and Robert Delaunay. Shapiro has won National Endowment for the HumanitiesNational Endowment for the Arts fellowships, been nominated for a National Book Award, and been the recipient of numerous grants for his work. Shapiro lives in Riverdale, The Bronx, New York City, with his wife and son.

    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.

    That’s about it for now. Again, keep your eyes peeled for poetry events.  I hope this email finds you all with good health and sharp pencils.

    Your fellow Poet,

    Ron Lewis

    Vermont Poetry Newsletter February 14 2009

    [The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this.]

    Vermont Poetry Newsletter
    Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State
    February 13, 2009 – In This Issue:

    1. Newsletter Editor’s Note/Notes to Otter Creek Poets
    2. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
    3. John Engels Memorial Reading
    4. New Vermont Lit Journal – The Queen City Review
    5. Geof Hewitt’s Slam Poetry Book
    6. Poetry Can Be Any Damn Thing It Wants
    7. Valentine Broadside from Copper Canyon Press
    8. Vermont Poet Plumbs Lake Champlain For Inspiration
    9. Talking Pictures
    10. Amazon in Big Push For New Kindle Model
    11. This Week’s Review: Khaled Mattawa
    12. This Week’s Review: Seido Ray Ronci
    13. Did You Know? Lucille Clifton’s Use of Punctuation
    14. Ponderings – How Can You Become a Poet?
    15. Poetry Quote (Carl Sandburg)
    16. US Poets Laureate List
    17. failbetter.com Poem
    18. Linebreak Poem
    19. Copper Canyon Press Poem
    20. American Life in Poetry Poem
    21. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
    22. Vermont Poet Laureates
    23. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
    24. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
    25. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
    26. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
    27. Poetry Event Calendar

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    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.

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    1.)

    Dear Friends of Poetry:

    Please note that my email address has changed again!  Sorry to do this to everyone.  My first couple of choices were taken, but another one of my top choices, which is being used by my poet friend Patrick Gillespie (but his host is different than mine), was available.  I decided to go with it.  So, my new email address is:

    vtpoet@gmail.com

    Vermont has added a wonderful new lit journal to its collection, The Queen City Review.  It was nice to see so many members of the Otter Creek Poets gobble up subscription applications after passing around a couple of samples of this fine journal.  Please see my description of the QCR below.

    The Burlington Poetry Journal has indicated that at least 3 members of the Otter Creek Poets have had poems accepted for their 2009 issue.  Those poets are Ann Day, Ray Hudson and myself.  Congratulations to all!

    April is National Poetry Month and it is sooner than you think.  David Weinstock of the Otter Creek Poets is now taking suggestions for guest speakers, guest poets, and other events in celebration of the art and its month.  They have four Thursdays to plan for, April 2, 16, 23 and 30. (April 9 is the first night of Passover.) If you have any interesting program ideas for us to mull over, please let me know and I will pass them on to David.  If you’re a poet and would consider providing a reading or program to the group, again, contact me.

    I begin my new job as the General Manager of Rutland Natural Foods: The Co-op this coming Monday.  Trying to fit another 2,500 hours into my already difficult schedule will be an exercise in time management.  The Vermont Poetry Newsletter will probably become a bi-monthly publication from this date forward.  Wish me luck on both fronts.

    I won’t be back with the Otter Creek Poets for some time.  At least I got to go out with a “bang,” you might say, after the reading of my poem, “Let’s Build a Bomb.”  I will indeed miss all the friendships I developed with the Otter Creekers.

    Ron Lewis
    VPN Publisher
    247-5913

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    2.)
    THIS WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

    ASSIGNMENT: JUST-SO STORIES, or, HOW THINGS GOT THIS WAY.
    The oldest stories we know are an attempt to explain how the world got the way it is. Genesis contains several stories of creation, including a flood story that may have come from earlier Babylonian sources.
    Kipling wrote his whimsical Just-So stories about How the Elephant Got His Trunk, and How the Camel Got His Hump.
    WRITE ONE YOURSELF: Take something, anything, about the world, or your life, and write a poem or story that tells how things got that way. Feel free to remember, feel free to invent.
    HINT: Keep the poem free of apologies, winks, or other tip-offs that you don’t really mean it, because you do.
    David Weinstock
    02/12/09

    LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

    Bring in a poem “suitable for framing.”  Make it a good one, as you’ll be asked to read your poem, and the group will be listening to it with an ear bent to visualize it on a Broadside under framed under glass.

    David Weinstock
    01/29/09

    Good luck!

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    3.)

    Please note the change of time for this event (from a 7:00 start, to 7:30)

    John Engels Memorial Reading

    Wed, Mar 11: Hoehl Welcome Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, 7:30 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  John Engels Memorial Reading.  In memory of longtime English Department member (and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet), John Engels (1931-2007) the Department has established an annual  poetry reading. Poet, novelist and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s reading.  The first reading, in 2008, featured former Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt.  The English Department Reading Series invites poets, fiction writers, theater troupes, filmmakers, and the like to campus to give readings, talks, performances, screenings etc. In the last few years for example, they’ve hosted the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, novelists including Julia Alvarez, Russell Banks, and Pulitzer-Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, and poets including Pulitzer-Prize winner Louise Gluck, Chase Twitchell, Joy Harjo, and Galway Kinnell. Students are invited to these events, free of charge, and often have the chance to meet and talk to those visitors.  Sponsored by the Lecture Series.
    Vermont had a few losses in 2007 and 2008, which were also losses to the entire poetry community.  John Engels, a professor for 45 years at St. Michael’s College, was one of those great losses.  For those of you lucky enough to have clutched a copy for yourself and read through “Remembering John Engels,” you will believe yourself a friend of John’s, as an admirer of his words.  I feel fortunate to have been been both a poet friend of his, as well as a friend of the stream, both of us maintaining a love of fly fishing and fly tying.  If you want to connect or reconnect with John Engels, I would invite you to come to this event, which is sure to be one of those incredible poetry moments.

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    4.)

    New Vermont Lit Journal
    The Queen City Review

    • Burlington College’s Queen City Review, whose inaugural issue is labeled as Fall 2008, is a true Vermont gem, as much as is our fall foliage, or a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.  The founding editor, Heidi Berkowitz, who teaches in the college’s Interdisciplinary Studies program and coordinates its writing center, sent me three complementary copies, and I cherish each one.  Dartmouth lecturer Kevin McCarthy, who oversees the poetry, has gone out of his way to make ensure there are no loose gems in this first collection.  The familiar names, or at least they should be familiar to anyone who follows poetry closely, ring out clearly: poetry slam champ Geof Hewitt, fast-rising star Oregonian Matthew Dickman (he was just declared the winner of the 2009 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for his first book All-American Poem, which also won the APR/Honikman First Book Prize, and the inaugural awarding of the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences), and several others, including some nice surprises.  Between the lovely color cover, drawn by Aaron Mitton, and its last many brief bios, is a collection that will keep you entertained to the point of energizing you to submit your best unpublished work to them, or pick up your writer’s journal and get to it!  This is a lit journal that I will be glad to share with my close fellow poets, but one they will grudgingly give back to me.

    Ron Lewis

    Submission Guidelines

    The Queen City Review is a yearly journal of art and literature and accepts the work of new and established writers and artists in the areas of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, photography, and fine art, as well as essays and criticism on all aspects of the aforementioned. They seek to publish high quality work that ranges broadly in topic and genre.
    All submissions and queries should be emailed to:queencityreview@burlington.edu by April 20, 2009.
    Their submission period is rolling and accepted writers and artists will be notified by email. All submissions must be in English, formatted in WORD or RTF, and previously unpublished. Please submit no more than three poems at a time, fiction and screenplays under 5000 words, and photography and artwork in JPEG format. Simultaneous submissions are also acceptable as long as they are notified immediately if the manuscript or artwork is accepted for publication elsewhere. Be sure to include phone, address, and e-mail contact information.
    The Fall 2008 issue is on sale now. The 2009 issue is slated to come out in early autumn.

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    5.)

    Geof Hewitt’s Guide to Slam Poetry and Poetry Slam with DVD (Paperback)

    In case you weren’t aware of or hadn’t seen this book, here’s what has helped to nuture (besides the Vermont poet himself) Slam Poetry.  If you want to grasp Slam, teach it, or write it, grab a copy of Geof’s book!

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    6.)

    Here’s a most-interesting article from The Poetry Foundation.  At the conclusion, you will find some hilarious blogs, commenting on the article.

    Poetry Can Be Any Damn Thing It Wants

    Introduction to a collection of eight manifestos commemorating the centennial of Italian futurists.

    BY MARY ANN CAWS

    In 1909, pamphlets were dropped over the town of Milan containing Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto, the centennial of which we are celebrating. Everything about this piece was exciting, its pace, its over-the-top scenery:
    We had stayed up all night, my friends and I, under hanging mosque lamps with domes of filigreed brass, domes starred like our spirits. . . .

    An immense pride was buoying us up, because we felt ourselves alone at that hour, alone, awake, and on our feet, like proud beacons or forward sentries against an army of hostile stars.
    Nothing is slow in this manifesto of speedy Futurism: “‘Let’s go!’ I said. ‘Friends, away! Let’s go!'” I love that kind of exalted certainty about a showy (manifest) endeavor. Of course, we have the right to ironize about the over-the-topness — who among us would so exaggerate the style and so magnify the substance as to make a larger-than-life-size poster, pointing at itself as a deictic genre? Look! Here! Now!

    The rest of the article can be read here.

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    7.)

    Valentine’s Day

    Yes, that’s today!  Many of you know me as a poet, or just the publisher of the Vermont Poetry Newsletter.  Well, another one of my hobbies is that of collecting antique Valentine cards.  I have one of the largest collections on the east coast, numbering 4,000-6,000 cards (I admit, it’s hard to count them all!).

    With that, you might be interested in downloading a Valentine broadside from Copper Canyon Press, at http://www.coppercanyonpress.org/VDayBroadside/.  It’s a poem by Gregory Orr.

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    8.)

    Vermont Poet Plumbs Lake Champlain for Inspiration

    BY MIKE IVES

    Lake Champlain is so picturesque that its effect on viewers can defy description. But that doesn’t stop any number of writers from trying. To that number add Daniel Lusk. Since last spring, the poet and University of Vermont English lecturer has been reading maritime lit and visiting shipwrecks with guides from theLake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes. With financial support from the Vermont Community Foundation, Lusk plans to translate his experience and knowledge into a collection of poems tentatively called “Lake Studies: Meditations on Lake Champlain.”

    Read the rest of the article here.

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    9.)

    Talking Pictures

    “Picture That Poem,” multi-media show examining the relationship between visual imagery and poetry.

    Main Floor Gallery, Studio Place Arts, Barre. Through February 28.

    By Marc Awodey

    The nexus of poetry and visual art encompasses more than vivid verbal imagery. “Picture That Poem,” at Studio Place Arts in Barre, demonstrates how diverse and thought provoking the two arts’ links can be.
    SPA is known for strongly curated theme shows, and a great idea makes for a fascinating group exhibition. “Picture That Poem” is built on a fresh notion that gave artists plenty of room for creativity in addressing the call for entries, which requested visual art “utterances” and the poems that inspired them.

    Read the rest of the article here.

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    10.)

    Amazon in big push for new Kindle model

    By Brad Stone and Motoko Rich
    Escalating its efforts to dominate the fledgling industry for electronic books, Amazon.com introduced on Monday a new version of its electronic book reader, called Kindle 2.
    Amazon said the upgraded device had seven times the memory as the original version, allowed faster page-turns and had a crisper, though still black-and-white, display. The Kindle 2 also features a new design with round keys and a short, joysticklike controller — a departure from the previous version’s design, which some buyers had criticized as awkward. The new device will ship on Feb. 24. Amazon did not change the price for the device, which remains $359.

    Read the rest of the article here.

    POSTED BY BETH KANELL; for more Blogs, go to http://kingdombks.blogspot.com

    • (Beth Kanell is from Kingdom Books, which is a specialty mystery, poetry and fine press shop in Vermont.  Beth Kanell, Co-Owner with her husband Dave, is a published author and regularly reviews books for the Vermont Review of Books.  Kingdom Books offers mostly first editions, many signed, and often hosts author events.)

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    11.)

    THIS WEEK’S REVIEW (1 OF 2)

    Khaled Mattawa

    AMORISCO: To Enter Another World

    Narrative, whether as prose or poetry, can paint another world in vivid colors, and can transport the emotions into new places, new situations. But how can a writer perform the complex alchemy of assisting the reader to let go of the existing self, in order to sample another tongue entirely?

    Rarely leaving the English language, but twisting the verse forms and the continuities and jumps of imagery, Libyan-born Khaled Mattawa calls forth an edgily foreign experience in the poems of AMORISCO (Ausable Press).

    Read the rest of the article here.

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    12.)

    THIS WEEK’S REVIEW (2 OF 2)

    American Zen: The Poetry of Seido Ray Ronci

    On a lifetime journey that led to the Naropa Institute and the metaphorical feet of Allen Ginsburg, and later to his present position as director of Hokoku-an Zendo in Columbia, Missouri, Seido Ray Ronci has shaped a trail of poetry and poetics as markers along the road. With the Ausable Press publication of THE SKELETON OF THE CROW: New & Selected Poems, 1978-2008, comes a map to that territory … or at least a wide selection of those markers.

    Boston poet/publisher William Corbett wrote for the back of the book that reading it from first poem to last shows Ronci’s process of “shedding the impulse to tell stories while skillfully paring his poems to that he comes to say in the fewest words what is his to say.”

    Read the rest of the article here.

    POSTED BY BETH KANELL

    For more Blogs, go to http://kingdombks.blogspot.com

    • (Beth Kanell is from Kingdom Books, which is a specialty mystery, poetry and fine press shop in Vermont.  Beth Kanell, Co-Owner with her husband Dave, is a published author and regularly reviews books for the Vermont Review of Books.  Kingdom Books offers mostly first editions, many signed, and often hosts author events.)

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    13.)

    Did You Know?
    In Lucille Clifton’s (an absolute legend of a poet) latest book, Voices,
    there is not a comma, period, colon, or semi-colon throughout.

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    14.)
    “Ponderings”
    Reply to the Question: “How Can You Become a Poet?”

    by Eve Merriam (1916-1992)

    take the leaf of a tree
    trace its exact shape
    the outside edges
    and inner lines
    memorize the way it is fastened to the twig
    (and how the twig arches from the branch)
    how it springs forth in April
    how it is panoplied in July
    by late August
    crumple it in your hand
    so that you smell its end-of-summer sadness
    chew its woody stem
    listen to its autumn rattle
    watch as it atomizes in the November air
    then in winter
    when there is no leaf left
    invent one

    from Rainbow Writing © 1976 by Eve Merriam.

    • Eve Merriam was a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction for both children and adults. Her awards were many and varied, including the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 1946, the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1981, and an Obie for playwriting in 1977. Ms. Merriam’s favorite genre was poetry, however. Of her writing career she said in Something About the Author,”I think one is chosen to be a poet. You write poems because you must write them; because you can’t live your life without writing them.”

    Although Eve Merriam died in 1992, her poems are still being published in picture books for very young children.

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    15.)

    ‘Poetry is the achievement of the synthesis
    of hyacinths and biscuits .’

    Poetry Quote by Carl Sandburg

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    16.)
    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.

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    17.)


    failbetter.com

    Leave It All Up to Me

    By Major Jackson
    All we want is to succumb to a single kiss…

    Lorca in Eden

    By Major Jackson

    Squat by a roadside near Eden, prairie flowers…

    • Major Jackson is the author of two collections of poetry: Hoops and Leaving Saturn. His third volume of poetry, Holding Company, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. A recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, he is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at the University of Vermont, and a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. He serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review.

    failbetter.com is an online journal that publishes original works of fiction, poetry and art

    Sign up in order to get their online newsletter: http://failbetter.com/29/AboutUs.php

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    18.)
    Linebreak is an online journal with a bias for good poetry. Here is a poem from their web site this week:

    Dear Atamasco Lily
    by Susan Meyers

    Nothing else in the swamp rises beyond…

    http://linebreak.org/

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    19.)
    Here’s a poem from Copper Canyon Press, not in its “Reading Room” (http://www.coppercanyonpress.org/) as I usually reprint in the Newsletter, but from another source.  It was such a find that I felt you should read it in this space usually reserved for a Copper Canyon poem.

    Carolyn Kizer

    Bits of Reminiscence
    A toppled wine-cup,
    A stone path floating beneath the moon
    Where the grass was trampled:
    One azalea branch left lying there…

    The rest of the poem can be read here.

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    20.)
    American Life in Poetry: Column 203

    BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

    To read in the news that a platoon of soldiers has been killed is a terrible thing, but to learn the name of just one of them makes the news even more vivid and sad. To hold the name of someone or something on our lips is a powerful thing. It is the badge of individuality and separateness. Charles Harper Webb, a California poet, takes advantage of the power of naming in this poem about the steady extinction of animal species…
    Read the rest of the post here.

    American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2006 by Charles Harper Webb. Reprinted from “Amplified Dog,” by Charles Harper Webb, published by Red Hen Press, 2006, by permission of the author and publisher.  Introduction copyright (c) 2009 by The Poetry Foundation.  The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.  We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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    21.)

    KEEP PAST VERMONT POETS ALIVE!  I’M SOLICITING YOUR HELP:

    POETS OF VERMONT: PAST AND PRESENT PROJECT

    I’m looking for a copy of:
    1) The Literature of Vermont: A Sampler, University Press of New England, Arthur W. Biddle and Paul A. Eschholz, Editors, 1973
    2) Poets and Poetry of Vermont, by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1858
    3) “Driftwood,” a poetry magazine begun in 1926 by Walter John Coates
    If you have any books of poetry, chapbooks, or just poems written by Vermont poets, dating 1980 and earlier, famous or not, I’d like to know about them.  I’m beginning a project that deals strictly with Vermont poets, from Vermont’s past, with summaries of the poets themselves, a portrait photo or drawing of the poet, along with a small sampling of poems.  If you think you can help, you probably can!  Please contact me by replying to this newsletter.

    Ronald Lewis

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    22.)

    VERMONT POET LAUREATES

    1) Robert Frost – 1961
    2) Galway Kinnell
    3) Louis Glück
    4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
    5) Grace Paley
    6) Ruth Stone

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    23.)

    If you ever have a need to contact me, here’s how to go about doing so:
    Ronald Lewis:
    Phone: 802-247-5913
    Cell: 802-779-5913
    Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
    Email: vtpoet@gmail.com

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    24.)

    YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

    BELLOWS FALLS

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

    2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat).  The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at vsbooks@sover.net or  jfowler177@comcast.net.

    GUILFORD

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

    MIDDLEBURY

    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.

    NORWICH

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

    PLAINFIELD

    The Wayside Poets share their poetry publicly from time to time.  They meet at the Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street, Plainfield.  Members include Diane Swan, Sherry Olson, Carol Henrikson and Sarah Hooker.  You can contact them through Sherry Olson at: solsonvt@aol.com or 454-8026.

    STOWE

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

    WAITSFIELD

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

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    25.)
    OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

    BURLINGTON

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

    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

    Thinking Like a Poetry Editor:  How to Be Your Own Best Critic
    (“The Ossmann Method” Poetry Workshop – Crash Course)
    Instructor: April Ossmann
    The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT  05001
    Saturday, January 17th OR Saturday, February 14th
    2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    $45

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

    The Ossmann Method Poetry Workshop: Building Your Tool Kit
    Instructor: April Ossmann
    The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT  05001
    Sundays, 8 weeks, January 18th – March 8th
    2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    $200

    Build or improve your poetic techniques tool kit and learn how to think like a poetry editor!  In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. This workshop will be both critical and generative, so I will assign reading and generative exercises meant to teach or improve writing skills. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8 (minimum enrollment for the course to proceed is 4). Info: (802) 333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and www.aprilossmann.com

    • Note: If you know of any others, or have personal information about the workshop in Stowe and Guilford, please send me that information.  I realize that there are several smaller groups or workshops around the state.  However, because of their intimacy, they are not posted above, allowing them to offer “memberships” to close friends or acquaintances that they feel would be most appropriate.

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    26.)
    YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

    UNDERHILL


    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 www.womenwritingVT.com/ or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or sarah@womenwritingvt.com.

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    27.)

    Poetry EventPOETRY EVENT CALENDAR

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

    Tue, Jan 27-May 10: Another Language, Another Soul

    Another Soul

    What happens when two languages and two fine arts mingle? Find out by attending:

    OPENING RECEPTION: JANUARY 28th 5:30pm – 7:30pm
    The Robert Hull Fleming Museum invites you to the opening reception of their spring semester exhibits. Cash bar and free hors d’oeuvres.

    January 27-May 10: More Than Bilingual: William Cordova and Major Jackson
    Although Peruvian-born visual artist William Cordova and African-American poet Major Jackson come from divergent backgrounds, both artists find inspiration and common ground in music, literature and the urban aesthetic. The fluency with which they navigate cultural signifiers and media, results in a shared visual multilingualism. The two artists have long admired one another’s work; the Fleming Museum is pleased to bring them together in a collaborative venture for the first time.

    Robert Hull Fleming Museum
    University of Vermont Campus
    61 Colchester Avenue
    http://www.uvm.edu/~fleming

    Sat, Feb 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 1:00p.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Leigh Marthe Poetry Reading.  Westmoreland poet Leigh Marthe will read from her first published collection of poems, The Exact Life.  Marthe serves as President of the Monadnock Writer’s Group and has been on the Board of Directors for that organization for seven years.  Her work has been published in Cold River Review, New England Writer’s Anthology, Wind in the Timothy Press online, and Summit Avenue Express.  Marthe has had a career in higher education and is completing her PhD in Education with a focus on leadership for higher education.  She teaches part-time at River Valley Community College. To reserve a place at the reading, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Sat, Feb 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.
    Sun, Feb 15: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Winter Readings in the National Park.  Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided.  Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center.  For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

    Wed, Feb 18: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  “You Come, Too”: Winter with Robert Frost.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity.  Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s winter poems.  Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving.  Refreshments served; free.  RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

    Wed, Feb 18: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

    Thu, Feb 19: Studio Place Arts, 201 N. Main Street, Barre, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Teen Slam.  Directed by poet Geof Hewitt.  Everyone is welcome, but only teens will slam!  Modest prizes and glory for all!  Teachers, please tell your students!

    Thu, Feb 19: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

    Fri, Feb 20: Outer Space Café, FlynnDog Gallery, 208 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, 7:00 p.m.  Poet’s Night.  Join in the growing popularity of this continuing series!

    Mon, Feb 23: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Waters to read. Michael Waters’ eight books of poetry include Darling Vulgarity (2006—finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize), Parthenopi: New and Selected Poems (2001), and Green Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum (1997) from BOA Editions, and Bountiful (1992), The Burden Lifters (1989), and Anniversary of the Air (1985) from Carnegie Mellon UP. His several edited volumes include Contemporary American Poetry (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) and Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois UP, 2003). In 2004 he chaired the poetry panel for the National Book Award. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright Foundation, Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and four Pushcart Prizes, he teaches at Monmouth University in New Jersey and in the Drew University MFA Program.

    Wed, Feb 25: Peabody Library, Route 113, Post Mills.  Reception and book signing by the authors of the literary magazine, Bloodroot.  Bloodroot Literary Magazine is a nonprofit publication released each December. Their mission is to provide a journal of high production values and quality material by established and emerging authors.  The 2009 issue of Bloodroot features cover art by Christy Hale and poems, short stories and creative nonfiction by 28 outstanding authors, many of them familiar names here in Vermont – Regina Brault, Carol Milkuhn and Nancy Means Wright.  The book is scheduled to be out and about in mid-December 2008.

    Sun, Mar 1: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet C.D. Wright.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  A compelling and idiosyncratic poet, C.D. Wright has twelve collections including Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008), a weaving of deeply personal and politically ferocious poems;  Deepstep Come Shining and Cooling Time.  Her collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana was awarded the Dorothea Lange-Paul Tayor Prize.  Her new and selected poems Steal Away was on the shortlist for the Griffin Trust Award.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the Israel J. Kapstein Professor at Brown University.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

    Tue, Mar 3: Farrell Room, St. Michael’s College, 4:30 p.m.  David Cavanaugh.  Local poet David Cavanaugh will read from his work.

    Wed, Mar 4: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.

    Thu, Mar 5: Middlebury College, Abernathy Room, Axinn Center, 4:30-6:30.  Richard Chess was born in Los Angeles. He spent most of his childhood and youth in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is the author of three books of poetry, Third Temple (2007), Chair in the Desert (2000), and Tekiah (1994). His poems have appeared in many journals as well as several anthologies, including Best American Spiritual Writing 2005 and Telling and Remembering: A Century of American-Jewish Poetry.  An award-winning and much-sought after teacher, he is professor of literature and language at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  He directs UNCA’s Center for Jewish Studies as well as UNCA’s Creative Writing Program.  He has been a member of the low-residency MFA faculties at Warren Wilson College and Queens College.  He served for a number of years as writer-in-residence at the Brandeis Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, California.  He is now assistant director of The Jewish Arts Institue at Elat Chayyim, located at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center, where he will be teaching creative writing in a two-year training institute that begins in August of 2007.  He is poetry editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture.  He lives in Asheville with his wife, Laurie, and son, Gabe.  His two step-daughters, Alice and Margaret, are currently pursuing their careers elsewhere.  For more info, 443-5276.

    Thu, Mar 5: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

    Fri, Mar 6: Outer Space Café, FlynnDog Gallery, 208 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, 7:00 p.m.  Poet’s Night.  Join in the growing popularity of this continuing series!

    Sun, Mar 8: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Winter Readings in the National Park.  Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided.  Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center.  For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

    Wed, Mar 11: Hoehl Welcome Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, 7:30 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  John Engels Memorial Reading.  In memory of longtime English Department member (and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet), John Engels (1931-2007) the Department has established an annual  poetry reading. Poet, novelist and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s reading.  The first reading, in 2008, featured former Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt.  The English Department Reading Series invites poets, fiction writers, theater troupes, filmmakers, and the like to campus to give readings, talks, performances, screenings etc. In the last few years for example, they’ve hosted the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, novelists including Julia Alvarez, Russell Banks, and Pulitzer-Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, and poets including Pulitzer-Prize winner Louise Gluck, Chase Twitchell, Joy Harjo, and Galway Kinnell. Students are invited to these events, free of charge, and often have the chance to meet and talk to those visitors.  Sponsored by the Lecture Series.
    Vermont had a few losses in 2007 and 2008, which were also losses to the entire poetry community.  John Engels, a professor for 45 years at St. Michael’s College, was one of those great losses.  For those of you lucky enough to have clutched a copy for yourself and read through “Remembering John Engels,” you will believe yourself a friend of John’s, as an admirer of his words.  I feel fortunate to have been been both a poet friend of his, as well as a friend of the stream, both of us maintaining a love of fly fishing and fly tying.  If you want to connect or reconnect with John Engels, I would invite you to come to this event, which is sure to be one of those incredible poetry moments.
    Sat, Mar 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.
    Wed, Mar 18: Monkey House, 30 Main Street, Winooski, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading.  A new place for poets to read and hear new work.  This is a continuing series happening on alternate Wednesdays.
    Thu, Mar 19: Parima, 185 Pearl Street, Burlington, 8:45 p.m. -10:00 p.m.  Poetry Jam.  This is a continuing series, happening on alternate Thursdays.

    Thu, Apr 2: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Rosanna Warren to read.  Rosanna Warren was born in Connecticut in 1953. She was educated at Yale (BA 1976) and Johns Hopkins (MA 1980). She is the author of one chapbook of poems (Snow Day, Palaemon Press, 1981), and three collections of poems:  Each Leaf Shines Separate (Norton, 1984), Stained Glass (Norton, 1993, Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets), and Departure (Norton, 2003).  She edited and contributed to The Art of Translation:  Voices from the Field (Northeastern, 1989), and has edited three chapbooks of poetry by prisoners. She has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace Readers’ Digest Fund, among others.  She has won the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lavan Younger Poets’ Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Award of Merit in Poetry from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She is Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities at Boston University.

    Sun, Apr 5: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Wesley McNair.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  Wesley McNair is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Foundations and a United States Artists Fellowship to “America’s finest living artists.” Other honors include the Robert Frost Prize; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry (for Fire); the Theodore Roethke prize from Poetry Northwest; the Pushcart Prize and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal.  McNair is currently Professor Emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine at Farmington.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

    Sat, Apr 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Mon, Apr 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eric Pankey to read.  Eric Pankey is the author of six books of poetry: Reliquaries, Cenotaph, The Late Romances, Apocrypha, Heartwood and For the New Year. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NEA Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award, and an Ingram Merrill Grant. His work has appeared in many journals, including Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Triquarterly, DoubleTake and The New England Review. He teaches at George Mason University and lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

    Thu, Apr 23: Middlebury College, Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  A talk by Adina Hoffman, on her new book, My Happiness Bears no Relation to Happiness: Poet Taha Muhammad Ali and the Palestinian Century, (Yale University Press), the first biography of a Palestinian poet, and the first portrayal of Palestinian literature and culture in the 20th Century. Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Middle East Studies Program.  For info, 443-5151, E-mail: schine@middlebury.edu.

    Sat, May 9: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Thu, May 14: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Harper to read.  Michael S. Harper was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1938. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from what is now known as California State University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He has taught at Brown since 1970.  Harper has published more than 10 books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems (ARC Publications, 2002); Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems (2000); Honorable Amendments (1995); and Healing Song for the Inner Ear (1985). A new poetry collection, Use Trouble, is forthcoming in fall 2008 from The University of Illinois Press.  His other collections include Images of Kin (1977), which won the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America and was nominated for the National Book Award; Nightmare Begins Responsibility (1975); History Is Your Heartbeat (1971), which won the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award for poetry; and Dear John, Dear Coltrane (1970), which was nominated for the National Book Award.  Harper edited the Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980); he is co-editor with Anthony Walton of The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) and Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (1994), and with Robert B. Stepto of Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship (1979).  Harper was the first poet laureate of Rhode Island (1988-1993) and has received many other honors, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. Harper is also a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow, and the recipient of numerous distinctions, including the Robert Hayden Poetry Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Melville-Cane Award, the Claiborne Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

    Mon, Jun 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eamon Grennan to read.  Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated at UCD, where he studied English and Italian, and Harvard, where he received his PhD in English. His volumes of poetry include What Light There Is & Other Poems, (North Point Press, 1989), Wildly for Days (1983), What Light There Is (1987), As If It Matters (1991), So It Goes (1995), Selected and New Poems (2000) and Still Life with Waterfall (2001). His latest collection, The Quick of It, appeared in 2004 in Ireland, and in Spring 2005 in America. His books of poetry are published in the United States by Graywolf Press, and in Ireland by Gallery Press. Other publications include Leopardi: Selected Poems (Princeton 1997), and Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century, a collection of essays on modern Irish poetry. His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in many magazines both in Ireland and the US.  Grennan has given lectures and workshops in colleges and universities in the US, including courses for the graduate programs in Columbia and NYU. During 2002 he was the Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University. His grants and prizes in the United States include awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Leopardi: Selected Poems received the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and Still Life with Waterfall was the recipient of the 2003 Lenore Marshall Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Poets. His poems have been awarded a number of Pushcart prizes. Grennan has taught since 1974 at Vassar College where he is the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English.

    Sat, Jun 13: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Thu, Jul 9: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Ryan to read.  Michael Ryan has published three collections of poetry, including In Winter, Threats Instead of Trees, has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and God Hunger, as well as A Difficult Grace: On Poets, Poetry, and Writing, and the memoir Secret Life. His work has appeared in Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, New Republic, and elsewhere. Ryan has been honored by the Lenore Marshall Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and a Guggenheim. Ryan is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UC, Irvine.

    Sat, Jul 11: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Mon, Jul 27: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Doreen Gilroy to read.  Doreen Gilroy’s first book, The Little Field of Self  (The University of Chicago Press, 2002), won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares.  Her second book, Human Love, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2005.  Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Slate, TriQuarterly and many other magazines.

    Sat, Aug 8: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Mon, Aug 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Cole Swensen to read.  Cole Swensen is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. She is the author of five collections of poems, including Try (University of Iowa Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Poetry Prize; Noon (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), which won a New American Writing Award; and Numen (Burning Deck Press, 1995) which was nominated for the PEN West Award in Poetry. Her translations include Art Poetic’ by Olivier Cadiot (Sun & Moon Press, Green Integer Series, 1999) and Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun & Moon, 1995). She splits her time among Denver, San Francisco and Paris.

    Thu, Sep 3: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Marge Piercy to read.  Marge Piercy has published 17 books of poetry, including What Are Big Girls Made Of, Colors Passing Through Us, and most recently her 17th volume, The Crooked Inheiritance, all from Knopf. She has written 17 novels, most recently SEX WARS in Perennial paperback now.  Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is also in Harper Collins Perennial.  Last spring, Schocken published Pesach for the Rest of Us.  Her work has been translated into 16 languages. Her CD Louder We Can’t Hear You Yet contains her political and feminist poems. She has been an editor of Leapfrog Press for the last ten years and also poetry editor of Lilith.

    Sat, Sep 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Thu, Oct 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Pattiann Rogers to read.  Pattiann Rogers has published ten books of poetry, a book-length essay, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, and A Covenant of Seasons, poems and monotypes, in collaboration with the artist Joellyn Duesberry. Her 11th  book of poetry, Wayfare, will appear from Penguin in April, 2008.   Rogers is the recipient of two NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation, and five Pushcart Prizes.  In the spring of 2000 she was in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.  Her papers are archived in the Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community and the Natural World at Texas Tech University.  She has taught as a visiting professor at various universities, including the Universities of Texas, Arkansas, and Montana, Houston University, and Washingon University.  She is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s MFA in Writing Program.  Rogers has two sons and three grandsons and lives with her husband in Colorado.

    Sat, Oct 10: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Tue, Oct 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Major Jackson to read.  “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.

    Sat, Nov 14: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Tue, Nov 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Sebastian Matthews to read.  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.

    Sat, Dec 12: Village Square Booksellers, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    2010:

    Mon, Feb 22: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet David Shapiro to read.  David Shapiro (born January 2, 1947) is an American poet, literary critic, and art historian and . Shapiro has written some twenty volumes of poetry, literary, and art criticism. He was first published at the age of thirteen, and his first book was published at the age of eighteen. Shapiro has taught at Columbia, Bard College, Cooper Union, Princeton University, and William Paterson University. He wrote the first monograph on John Ashbery, the first book on Jim Dine’s paintings, the first book on Piet Mondrian’s flower studies, and the first book on Jasper Johns’ drawings. He has translated Rafael Alberti’s poems on Pablo Picasso, and the writings of the Sonia and Robert Delaunay. Shapiro has won National Endowment for the HumanitiesNational Endowment for the Arts fellowships, been nominated for a National Book Award, and been the recipient of numerous grants for his work. Shapiro lives in Riverdale, The Bronx, New York City, with his wife and son.

    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.

    That’s about it for now. Again, keep your eyes peeled for poetry events.  I hope this email finds you all with good health and sharp pencils.

    Your fellow Poet,

    Ron Lewis

    Vermont Poetry Newsletter – February 4 2009

    [The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this.]

    Vermont Poetry Newsletter
    Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State
    February 4, 2009 – In This Issue:

    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.
    1. Newsletter Editor’s Note/Notes to Otter Creek Poets
    2. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
    3. John Engels Memorial Reading
    4. Most Popular Poets: Contemporary & Historical
    5. Poetry & The Creative Mind – NYC Festival
    6. The Intersection of Poetry & Politics
    7. Parsing the (Inauguration) Poem
    8. Picture That Poem – Studio Place Arts, Barre Exhibit
    9. New Lit Journal in Vermont! The Queen City Review
    10. Cop Couplets: Police in Maine Make Poetry Calendar
    11. Litlist.net
    12. Poetry Foundation – Year (2008 ) in Review
    13. Did You Know? In Praise of the Chapbook
    14. Ponderings – Governor Rod Blagojevich
    15. Poetry Quote (John Longenbach)
    16. US Poets Laureate List
    17. Linebreak Poem
    18. Copper Canyon Press Poem
    19. American Life in Poetry Poem
    20. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
    21. Vermont Poet Laureates
    22. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
    23. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
    24. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
    25. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
    26. Poetry Event Calendar

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    1.)
    Dear Friends of Poetry:

    For the Otter Creek Poets, I have ordered 10 free copies of Poetry as part of their offer for National Poetry Month.  The issue they will be sending is the April 2009 copy, usually the special Translation Issue.  It is promised that we will be discussing this copy of Poetry on some level, after which I complete a form they provide and then return it to them.

    April is National Poetry Month and it is sooner than you think.  David Weinstock of the Otter Creek Poets is now taking suggestions for guest speakers, guest poets, and other events in celebration of the art and its month.  They have four Thursdays to plan for, April 2, 16, 23 and 30. (April 9 is the first night of Passover.) If you have any interesting program ideas for us to mull over, please let me know and I will pass them on to David.

    The Otter Creek Poets have begun discussion of some type of publication of their new poetry.  These discussions are very preliminary and are certain to take many twists and turns before anything is settled.  So far, we have ideas to publish in the following formats:

    • 1. In individual Broadsides
    • 2. Anthology
    • 3. Individual chapbooks
    • 4. Audio CD

    Please note that I have a new email address as of February 1st.  It has changed from sshortpt@verizon.net to sshortpt@myfairpoint.net.  Emails sent to the old address will still get through until the end of March.

    Ron Lewis
    VPN Publisher
    247-5913

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    2.)


    THIS WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

    Bring in a poem “suitable for framing.”  Make it a good one, as you’ll be asked to read your poem, and the group will be listening to it with an ear bent to visualize it on a Broadside under framed under glass.

    David Weinstock
    01/29/09

    LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

    THE LINES OF TRIBE

    “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.  We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and nonbelievers.  We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.” — Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address

    My favorite line in Obama’s speech is “. . . the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve.”

    Not only is it vivid, prophetic, and unlikely, it is perfect iambic tetrameter.  It made me think about the tribe I was born into, the several tribes I have joined, and the tribe I’d like to be a part of.

    Assignment:  Write a poem about tribe, or tribes, or tribal feelings or conflicts, however you see it.

    David Weinstock

    Good luck!

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    3.)


    John Engels Memorial Reading

    Wed, Mar 11: Hoehl Welcome Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, 7:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  John Engels Memorial Reading.  In memory of longtime English Department member (and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet), John Engels (1931-2007) the Department has established an annual  poetry reading. Poet, novelist and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s reading.  The first reading, in 2008, featured former Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt.  The English Department Reading Series invites poets, fiction writers, theater troupes, filmmakers, and the like to campus to give readings, talks, performances, screenings etc. In the last few years for example, they’ve hosted the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, novelists including Julia Alvarez, Russell Banks, and Pulitzer-Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, and poets including Pulitzer-Prize winner Louise Gluck, Chase Twitchell, Joy Harjo, and Galway Kinnell. Students are invited to these events, free of charge, and often have the chance to meet and talk to those visitors.  Sponsored by the Lecture Series.
    Vermont had a few losses in 2007 and 2008, which were also losses to the entire poetry community.  John Engels, a professor for 45 years at St. Michael’s College, was one of those great losses.  For those of you lucky enough to have clutched a copy for yourself and read through “Remembering John Engels,” you will believe yourself a friend of John’s, as an admirer of his words.  I feel fortunate to have been been both a poet friend of his, as well as a friend of the stream, both of us maintaining a love of fly fishing and fly tying.  If you want to connect or reconnect with John Engels, I would invite you to come to this event, which is sure to be one of those incredible poetry moments.

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    4.)

    Most Popular Contemporary Poets

    2008

    1. Billy Collins
    2. Gwendolyn Brooks
    3. Charles Simic
    4. Nikki Giovanni
    5. Gary Soto
    6. Allen Ginsberg
    7. Kay Ryan
    8. Rita Dove
    9. Adrienne Rich
    10. Naomi Shihab Nye
    11.Mary Oliver
    12. John Ashbery
    13. Donald Hall
    14. Louise Glück
    15. Lucille Clifton
    16. Sharon Olds
    17. Yusef Komunyakaa
    18. Sonia Sanchez
    19. Jane Kenyon
    20. Mark Strand

    Most Popular Historical Poets

    2008

    1. Langston Hughes
    2. Emily Dickinson
    3. Walt Whitman
    4. Robert Frost
    5. E.E. Cummings
    6. Edgar Allan Poe
    7. William Carlos Williams
    8. Sylvia Plath
    9. William Blake
    10. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    11. Pablo Neruda
    12. W.H. Auden
    13. William Shakespeare
    14. T.S. Eliot
    15. Dylan Thomas
    16. Ezra Pound
    17. W.B. Yeats
    18. Elizabeth Bishop
    19. William Wordsworth
    20. Robert Browning

    The above were from the results of a survey through Poets.org

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    5.)

    Celebrate National Poetry Month this year in NYC!

    gala_inviteOn April 1, 2009, the Academy of American Poets will present its seventh annual benefit, Poetry & The Creative Mind, at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. Some of America’s leading artists, scholars, and public figures will participate in this extraordinary evening celebrating the role of contemporary poetry in American culture. Each year, Poetry & The Creative Mind kicks off National Poetry Month, which was established by the Academy in 1996 and is now the largest literary celebration in the world.
    Guest readers are to include Meryl Streep, Liz Smith, Dianne Reeves, John Guare, Jonathan Demme, Philippe de Montebello, Katie Couric, Graydon Carter, Robert Caro, and Candace Bushnell. Each read poems by some of America’s best-loved poets.
    Tickets are now available and can be purchased through the Lincoln Center web site, the Lincoln Center box office, or by phone at (212) 721-6500.  Prices are $40-$75
    A limited number of VIP tickets are available. VIP tickets include the performance followed by a cocktail buffet supper with the special guest readers and begin at $450. For information about VIP tickets, contact Beth Harrison at bharrison@poets.org.

    If you’ve never been to this event, and in order to get a flavor of what it’s like, below is the itinerary from the 2008 event:
    Opening Remarks

    • Tree Swenson, Executive Director, Academy of American Poets

    Yusef Komunyakaa

    • Robert Hayden, Names
      Robert Hayden, Sphinx
      Robert Hayden, Monet’s Waterlilies

    Jonathan Demme

    • Randall Jarrell, The Lost Children

    Graydon Carter

    • Dorothy Parker, Our Office: A Hate Song

    Liz Smith

    • Langston Hughes, Let America Be America Again
      Edward Arlington Robinson, Miniver Cheevy

    Philippe de Montebello

    • Theodore Roethke, The Geranium
      Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man
      Edna St.Vincent Millay, Dirge Without Music
      Edgar Allan Poe, The Valley of Unrest
      Ezra Pound, The Garden
      W.H. Auden, Musee des Beaux Arts
      Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fable

    Candace Bushnell

    • Gertrude Stein, from A Grammarian
      Gertrude Stein, Stanzas in Meditation

    Robert Caro

    • Robert Frost, The Bearer of Evil Tidings
      Emily Dickinson, Hope is the thing with feathers
      Emily Dickinson, A Man may make a Remark
      Edward Hirsch, Branch Library
      Edward Hirsch, Special Orders
      Edward Hirsch, Elegy for the Jewish Villages

    Dianne Reeves

    • Gwendolyn Brooks, A Song in the Front Yard
      Gwendolyn Brooks, Queen of the Blues
      James Weldon Johnson, Go Down Death

    John Guare

    • William Carlos Williams, from Asphodel, That Greeny Flower

    Katie Couric

    • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Anti-Suffragists
      Emily Dickinson, I measure every Grief I meet
      E. E. Cummings, Maggie and Milly and Molly and May

    Meryl Streep

    • Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning
      Walt Whitman, Miracles
      Walt Whitman, A noiseless patient spider

    Closing Remarks

    Eunice J. Panetta, Chairman, Academy of American Poets

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    6.)

    The Intersection of Poetry and Politics
    By DWIGHT GARNER
    New York Times

    Summoning artists to participate
    In the august occasions of the state
    Seems something artists ought to celebrate.

    Those are pleasant thoughts, but awful poetry — probably the worst three lines Robert Frost ever put to paper. Tellingly it was work for hire: the opening lines of ”Dedication,” the poem Frost composed for John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration.

    Famously, and perhaps blessedly, Frost never had the chance to declaim them. The high wind and strong sun that day conspired to make his typescript unreadable. Unruffled, he pulled a mighty poem from memory, his own “Gift Outright,” with its ringing first line: “The land was ours before we were the land’s.”

    Read the rest of the article here.

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    7.)

    Parsing the Poem
    By Tobin Harshaw

    While plying their art in front of millions of viewers was nothing new for Itzhak Perlman or Yo-Yo Ma, it must have been more than a tad unsettling for Elizabeth Alexander, the inaugural poetess. And while Rick Warren was the controversial choice for the day’s events, Ms. Alexander’s selection also led to conflicting anticipations. Writing shortly after the announcement in December, the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates was thrilled.

    Elizabeth Alexander is going to present a poem at the inauguration. I don’t want to disrespect anyone here with what I’m about to say. But there is an interesting parallel, here again, in the Obama and Clinton selections. Maya Angelou is a very inspirational writer who, I think, has helped a lot of young women through some tough times.

    Read the rest of the article here.

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    8.)

    artreview_59
    Talking Pictures
    “Picture That Poem,” multi-media show examining the relationship between visual imagery and poetry. Main Floor Gallery, Studio Place Arts, Barre. Through February 28.
    BY Marc Awodey

    Mark Awodey
    “The Only Secret” by R.G. Solbert

    The nexus of poetry and visual art encompasses more than vivid verbal imagery. “Picture That Poem,” at Studio Place Arts in Barre, Vermont demonstrates how diverse and thought provoking the two arts’ links can be.
    SPA is known for strongly curated theme shows, and a great idea makes for a fascinating group exhibition. “Picture That Poem” is built on a fresh notion that gave artists plenty of room for creativity in addressing the call for entries, which requested visual art “utterances” and the poems that inspired them.
    Many of the poems posted in the show were written by the visual artists themselves. Mark Markowitt is an octogenarian who’s been writing poetry for about three-quarters of a century. He’s been stricken with dementia and is losing his ability to speak. Markowitt’s painting “Tribute to a Lost Love” reflects on a poem entitled “Lament for a Lost Love” that he composed 60 years ago. He completed the accompanying mixed-media abstraction — involving green patches and black dots — with the assistance of an art therapist. Yet, despite his handicap, Markowitt was able to specify that the poem and the painting are integrally linked. “Tribute to a Lost Love” seems like the map of a mysterious tropical atoll.
    Markowitt’s wife, Suzy, contributed a 2008 mixed-media watercolor with collage dominated by blue hues, in which the upward movement culminates in a translucent lavender peak. Called “Parallel,” her painting is associated with a 1948 poem by her husband entitled “Inspiration,” which references the Matterhorn.
    Janet Van Fleet’s 2009 sculptural construction with text also quotes a family member’s poem, which appears along the edges of the freestanding 38-by-12-by-51-inch sculpture. “Heaven’s Chop Shop” features a tableau in which Lilliputian figures made of bolts, rusty nails and gold thread dismantle a Gulliver-sized skeleton of sticks, laid out like an archaeological burial. Van Fleet uses the poem “Reincarnation,” written by her mother Sandy McKinney, which begins with the lines: The part that arrives at heaven’s chop-shop / doesn’t leave much to work with / but you’re one of the lucky ones . . . To read the whole text, a viewer must circle the sculpture several times — a potentially dizzying experience.
    The title of “The Only Secret,” by R.G. Solbert, alludes to two lines of Emily Dickinson: “The only secret people keep / Is Immortality.” Solbert’s 23-by-28-by-5-inch wall sculpture illustrates the Massachusetts poet with an object akin to the winged soul effigies on early New England gravestones. Solbert crafted copper wings and hung an antique wooden shoe stretcher beneath. The shoe element is a graceful and expressive object in the Marcel Duchamp “ready-made” tradition, from about the same era as his 1913 “Bicycle Wheel.”
    Three exquisite paintings by Middlesex painter and textile artist Pria Cambio were inspired by the famous Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) poem “Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment.” Much like the Romantic British poet did with words in his opulent masterpiece, Cambio layered color upon color as if they were silken threads in a sumptuous Oriental tapestry. Her 12-by-12-inch “Xanadu: Gate to the City” is a jumble of overlapping gates, walls and domes. The 12-by-24-inch vertical “Xanadu: The Abyss” portrays mountains and lush greenery reminiscent of the opium-induced visions by which Coleridge claimed his pen was fueled.
    The artists selected for “Picture That Poem” all produced pieces that inadvertently speak to a saying of Paul Gauguin: “Literary poetry in a painter is something special, and is neither illustration nor the translation of writing by form.” While the poet’s and the visual artist’s tools are quite different, their two mediums may actually be inseparable.

    Beautifully said.

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    9.)
    New Lit Journal Draws Authors from Afar
    BY MARGOT HARRISON

    New literary magazines sprout in college towns like mushrooms. But Burlington College’s Queen City Review, whose inaugural issue appeared in December, is more than a forum for students and the folks who put it out. (The founding editor is Heidi Berkowitz, who teaches in the college’s Interdisciplinary Studies program and coordinates its writing center; Dartmouth lecturer Kevin McCarthy oversees the poetry.) Though students, faculty and local writers — such as poetry slam champ Geof Hewitt — are well represented in its pages, the QCR also offers art and lit from across the country. There are love poems by Matthew Dickman, an Oregonian whose work has appeared in The New Yorker. Black-and-white drawings by Dallas artist Michael Savoie, who used to live and exhibit in Burlington, evoke the suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina.
    The local stuff is well chosen, too. Anna Blackmer, Burlington College’s Chair of Arts and Humanities, contributed a poem called “A Middle-Aged Woman Reaches into Her New Purse” that has some killer lines: “ . . . I repeat the same ten actions every morning / and go to work like an armored car on fire inside. / No one seems to notice.”
    Two prose works have user-friendly vignette structures, with bite-sized pieces ushering the browser into a longer narrative. BC student Aaron Mitton’s story “Smoky Vignettes” is a mini-cultural history of smokers, both famous and obscure. And Alice Eckles, who teaches printmaking at the college, tells her life story through a series of ill-fated vehicles in the dryly funny essay “The Cars She Drives.” It ends with a classified ad of sorts, offering a deal on her current Kia Sportage.
    While the car may no longer be on sale, the magazine is — $8 from Burlington College, or call Berkowitz at 862-9616 to request a mailed copy. She accepts submissions until April 20 at queencityreview@burlington.edu.

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    10.)

    Cop couplets: Police in Maine make poetry calendar

    CLARKE CANFIELD

    PORTLAND, Maine — Officer Alissa Poisson graces the January page of the 2009 Portland police calendar, baring her … soul.

    The calendar features poems and photographs by members of the police department in Maine’s largest city.

    Poetry has given Poisson an emotional outlet while opening her eyes to the world around her. In “The Things I Carry,” a poem on the January page, Poisson writes about her feelings as she equips herself for each shift with a .45-caliber Glock, a knife, pepper spray, handcuffs, a baton and two clips of bullets.

    Read the rest of the article here.

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    11.)

    LitList

    http://www.litlist.net/

    LitList has fast become one of the most popular sources of information surrounding small publishing, editing, and writing.
    LitList is a dynamic list of literary journals, independent book publishers, and e-magazines. It also gives small publishers new ways to interact with readers and writers. Built on the idea that updating information about small publishers online is often a tedious task, LitList gives publishers the power to update their own information, including contest deadlines and contact information.

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    12.)
    Poetry Foundation
    Year in Review
    January 2009

    The Poetry Foundation, like many, will remember 2008 as the year of the great financial crisis. From poets and their publishers, to schools and literary organizations, this year’s economic collapse has afflicted everyone in the poetry community in ways that are both far-reaching and painfully individual. The Foundation’s own challenge was to protect the value of its endowment and continue its work to support poetry and poets.

    The U.S. stock market finished 2008 down 34% for the year. Losses on other types of investments, including real estate, private equity, and international, were similar. Thanks to the cadre of prudent fund managers who are responsible for investing the Foundation’s endowment, our resources were not directly affected by defaults in the mortgage market, the failures of Wall Street firms and custodial banks, or the more recent losses of charitable foundations that were invested with Bernard Madoff. Although the value of the Foundation’s portfolio has declined in line with the markets in which it is invested, there were no write-offs or permanent losses, and the endowment is positioned to participate fully in the eventual market recovery.

    As a matter of prudent management the Foundation has adopted a budget for 2009 that will not exceed 5% of the value of the endowment, a common policy in the foundation world and one that the Poetry Foundation has heeded in its five years of operations. At the same time, we are doing everything possible to maintain our work on behalf of the field and to preserve our direct payments to poets and writers, publishers, and prizewinners.

    The lean economic times notwithstanding, the Foundation continues to develop a broader and more engaged audience for poetry. All of the Foundation’s programs, including its new initiatives, enter 2009 intact. The site for building the Foundation’s permanent home in Chicago has been purchased and prepared, and a beautiful design by John Ronan Architects awaits the groundbreaking. When market conditions turn more favorable, we look forward to the sale of a bond issue and the start of construction. And the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute, a think tank dedicated exclusively to issues of intellectual and practical importance to poetry, will see 2009 as its first formal year. Katharine Coles, poet laureate of Utah, former head of the creative writing program at the University of Utah, and founding director of the Utah Symposium in Science and Literature, is already at work as the Institute’s inaugural director. She has selected as a first field of study for the Institute “Poetry and the New Media.”

    While tending to its responsibilities on the business side of the house — the necessary left-brain activity of an arts organization — the Foundation continued its mission to discover the best poetry and to celebrate it through publication, prizes, and criticism. This year the Foundation increased its number of Lilly Fellowships, our annual awards for emerging poets, from two to five. Providing $15,000 to each of five fellows, the fellowships provide no-strings-attached assistance to young poets at a formative time in their careers.

    Poetry, for its part, published many first-time contributors (over two hundred of them in the past five years). To quote just one of the spirited and articulate poems from these newcomers, Sarah Lindsay’s “Zucchini Shofar” begins:

    No animals were harmed in the making of this joyful noise:
    A thick, twisted stem from the garden
    is the wedding couple’s ceremonial ram’s horn.
    Its substance will not survive one thousand years,
    nor will the garden, which is today their temple,
    nor will their names, nor their union now announced
    with ritual blasts upon the zucchini shofar.
    Shall we measure blessings by their duration?

    And it ends:

    This moment’s chord of earthly commotion
    will never be struck exactly so again —
    though love does love to repeat its favorite lines.
    So let the shofar splutter its slow notes and quick notes,
    let the nieces and nephews practice their flutes and trombones,
    let the living room pianos invite unwashed hands,
    let glasses of different fullness be tapped for their different notes,
    let everyone learn how to whistle,
    let the girl dawdling home from her trumpet lesson
    pause at the half-built house on the corner,
    where the newly installed maze of plumbing comes down
    to one little pipe whose open end she can reach,
    so she takes a deep breath
    and makes the whole house sound.

    Discovery and celebration: they are apparent in each new issue of Poetry, and they are a legacy going back to the magazine’s very beginnings. Harriet Monroe and Ezra Pound, her “foreign correspondent,” chose the poets they published with a combination of personal enthusiasm, neighborhood familiarity, and a perfect willingness to go against the grain. Publishing the new talents of their day — Eliot, Stevens, Moore, and Williams, among many — they tapped into a reservoir of underground energy that came to be known as Modernism. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Speaking of underground energy, the Foundation tapped into a load of that this year through our blog, Harriet, and through the Printers’ Ball. Inspired by Harriet Monroe’s “Open Door” policy*, the blog has become an agora where, with suitable noise and excitement, aesthetically diverse poets come to debate the art form. The Printers’ Ball, in a parallel way, showcases Chicago’s independent publishing scene. One might think of the Printers’ Ball and Harriet together as a kind of Salon des Refusés, that historic exhibition where the Impressionists found their identity in opposition to the French Academy. Whether any poet-descendants of Rimbaud, Dylan Thomas, or Ginsberg were present at the recent Printers’ Ball, I don’t know, but the fact that the police showed up at the prior year’s ball is a positive sign. It seems more than merely appropriate that the Foundation remain open in every way possible to the emergent talents and the underground energies of the moment.

    Across our programs we continue to cultivate new poetry readers among the youngest members of our culture. This year Poetry Out Loud, the national recitation contest, reached more than 250,000 high school students across the country. The Foundation appointed the second Children’s Poet Laureate, the renowned and delightful Mary Ann Hoberman. Our growing collection of successful audio programs, available on poetryfoundation.org, includes the popular monthly podcast featuring the editors of Poetry. In 2008 listeners downloaded our audio content more than five million times. The multifaceted Poetry Everywhere project received a Parents’ Choice Award for its online educational curriculum. Classical Baby (I’m Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show — our collaboration with HBO and a kind of poetry primer for young children and their parents — premiered on television in April and received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program.

    Looking around at the widespread effects of the financial crisis, it seems that the old models, both business and social, are broken. At such moments in history, when there is no going back, poetry can intuit the future. As Yeats wrote after the failed Easter Rising of 1916:

    All changed, changed utterly:
    A terrible beauty is born.
    A few years later the Republic of Ireland was formally established.

    Sincerely,

    John Barr

    * The Open Door will be the policy of this magazine. . . . To this end the editors hope to keep free of entangling alliances with any single class or school. They desire to print the best English verse which is being written today, regardless of where, by whom, or under what theory of art it is written.

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    13.)

    Did You Know?

    In praise of the chapbook
    Independent press excels at creating small poetry samplers
    Daniel A. Olivas / Special to the Times

    You might have seen them at a library, in a classroom or perhaps at your local coffee shop. They’re small, maybe 50 pages in length, with unexpected titles and edgy artwork.

    Welcome to the world of the chapbook, mini-collections of poetry, fiction or essays that can whet the appetite of adventurous readers at a reasonable cost. You usually cannot buy a chapbook from a traditional bookstore, but they are readily available from the publishers’ Web sites.

    The rest of the article can be read at:

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/living/ci_11600006

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    14.)

    “Ponderings”
    Governor Rod Blagojevich

    Until a few weeks ago the story of Rod Blagojevich—the foul-mouthed, thick-haired governor of Illinois accused of (among other corrupt activities) trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat—didn’t seem to have much poetry in it: suspense, yes, and farce (How did he get elected?), but little of the dignity or verbal nuance we associate with serious poems. W.H. Auden defined poetry as “memorable speech”; the most memorable words from the disgraced governor were words most newspapers would never print.

    Blagojevich changed that in December, when he quoted Rudyard Kipling’s “If -” in a defiant press conference; journalists took note—some even learned the history of that frequently quoted poem. The governor looked to another British poet in another speech on Friday, January 9. Again, he made national news. Just impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives, but not yet convicted by the state senate, “Blago” said that he would fight to remain in office, just as he fought for ordinary Americans. He concluded with a ringing quotation from Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the Victorian poet laureate who also wrote “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” (Some headlines read “Gov. Rod Blagojevich Quotes Tennyson.”) The governor used the same poem, he noted, that Senator Ted Kennedy cited in 1980, after losing the Democratic presidential nomination: “Ulysses.”

    The governor quoted lines from the end of the poem, in which the hero of Homer’s Odyssey declares, in resonant blank verse, that he and his comrades still have strength to fight:

    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will,
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
    Resolute, determined, unwearied—appropriate, no?

    Yet for anyone who knows the poem, Blagojevich might as well have quit on the spot. Tennyson’s great monologue is not a show of defiance but a speech of resignation from office, by a ruler who admits he is unfit to rule.

    How could a resignation sound so defiant? How could Blagojevich’s speechwriter get this famous poem so wrong? Tennyson’s poem does not take place during the Odyssey. Nor does it take place during the Trojan War, in which Ulysses (whom Homer calls “crafty,” polu-metis) distinguished himself for inventive tactics (or, from the Trojan point of view, for dirty tricks): he was the Greek who devised the Trojan Horse. This Ulysses speaks years after the Odyssey ends, after he has rejoined his queen, Penelope, and his son, Telemachus, and re-established himself as the ruler of his native Ithaca. Ulysses begins by explaining that he no longer enjoys his job:

    It little profits that an idle king,
    By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
    Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
    Unequal laws unto a savage race,
    That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

    He’s bored with his work and his home. (Blagojevich, who became governor six years ago, allegedly considered sending himself to Washington if he could not make the right deal for that Senate seat.) “I cannot rest from travel,” Ulysses says: he is famous all over Greece (“I am become a name”) “for always roaming with a hungry heart.” So, he says, he will give up his throne to his son,

    mine own Telemachus,
    To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—
    Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
    This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
    A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
    Subdue them to the useful and the good.
    Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere
    Of common duties, decent not to fail
    In offices of tenderness, and pay
    Meet adoration to my household gods,
    When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

    Telemachus has just the virtues that Ulysses lacks: put simply, Telemachus will follow the law.

    Having resigned, Ulysses and his fellow sailors (“Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me”) will take to the seas in search of new adventures: they will “follow knowledge like a sinking star,” and “sail beyond the sunset, and the baths / Of all the western stars, until I die.” He may never come back—not until he has found and conquered all the secret places of the world. The end of the poem (the part Blagojevich quoted) indeed amounts to a show of defiance—but what Tennyson’s Ulysses defies is neither a host of enemies, nor a volley of accusations, so much as the limits to all human life.

    Tennyson did not take this story from Homer, but neither did he make it all up: the British poet found his material in canto XXVI of Dante’s Inferno, where Ulysses explains to Dante and to Virgil how lust for discovery kept him from staying home. Dante’s Ulysses died, with all his sailors, in a shipwreck at the edge of the known world. He belongs in the Inferno, not for seeking knowledge, but for sins committed during the Trojan War—for tricking the Trojans by building the Trojan Horse, and for stealing the Palladium, a magic statue that protected Troy.

    Widely believed to harbor corrupt ambitions, impeached, and accused of soliciting bribes, the governor of Illinois has defended himself by quoting a poem that amounts to a resignation from executive office, spoken by a character who declares himself no longer fit to rule, who says he will leave his home state and never return, and who will, soon after he finishes speaking, probably go to hell for theft and fraud.

    If that’s not dramatic irony, I don’t know what is—and dramatic irony is exactly what Tennyson’s sort of poem invites. Published in 1842, Tennyson’s poem helped invent the genre of poetry now called dramatic monologue: in it, we hear only the voice of a single character, explaining his life and justifying his ways. Sometimes (as in Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess”) the character is flat-out evil: sometimes (as in Browning’s great “Andrea del Sarto” or Tennyson’s “St. Simeon Stylites”) he might be self-deluded, or insane. As we listen to speakers in dramatic monologue, we learn things about them that they themselves cannot know: we acquire perspectives that they cannot have, seeing motives they hide from themselves, or else condemning the very actions they praise. (W.S. di Piero explained how to read Browning’s monologues here.)

    Few readers of Tennyson condemn Ulysses. After all, courage has value, and there is something noble in Ulysses’ determination to follow his nature, even if we think that nature (as Dante did) incompatible with virtue, and even if it leads to his doom. And few readers think Ulysses ought to stay and rule Ithaca: Ulysses himself knows that it is time to resign. Most Illinois voters want Blagojevich to resign too—a few weeks ago, according to one poll, 84% did. If only the governor read his Tennyson closely, he might have learned what Ulysses already knew.

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    15.)

    ‘A good poem teaches the writer how to write it.’

    Poetry Quote by James Longenbach

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    16.)

    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.

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    17.)

    ashtonRenaming Wonder
    by Sally Ashton

    Sally Ashton is author of These Metallic Days. Her poetry and reviews have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Parthenon West Review, Sentence: a journal of prose poetics, and Poet Lore. She was a guest blogger for the Best American Poetry blog in July ’08 and is editor of the DMQ Review, an online journal featuring poetry and art.

    World gets chance to name new 7 wonders

    What are the new seven wonders, a wren
    in a hedge, a hummingbird’s red-feathered throat,
    wild elk that return to bugle at night…

    Read & hear the rest of the poem here.

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    18.)

    Here’s a poem from Copper Canyon Press, not in its “Reading Room” (http://www.coppercanyonpress.org/) as I usually reprint in the Newsletter, but from another source.  It was such a find that I felt you should read it in this space usually reserved for a Copper Canyon poem.

    The Gift of Tongues


    Everything I steal, I give away.
    Once, in pines almost as tall as these,
    same crescent moon sliding gently by,
    I sat curled on my knees, smoking with a friend,
    sipping tea, swapping coyote tales and lies.

    He said something to me
    about words, that each is a name,
    and that every name is God’s. I who have
    no god sat in the vast emptiness silent
    as I could be. A way that can be named

    is not the way. Each word reflects
    the Spirit which can’t be named. Each word
    a gift, its value in exact proportion
    to the spirit in which it is given.
    Thus spoken, these words I give

    by way of Lao Tzu’s old Chinese, stolen
    by a humble thief twenty-five centuries later.
    The Word is only evidence of the real:
    in the Hopi tongue, there is no whale;
    and, in American English, no Fourth World.

    Sam Hamill, editor

    The Gift of Tongues: Almost Paradise: New & Selected Poems & Translations (Shambhala Publications)

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    19.)


    American Life in Poetry: Column 202

    BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

    David Wagoner, who lives in Washington state, is one of our country’s most distinguished poets and the author of many wonderful books. He is also one of our best at writing about nature, from which we learn so much. Here is a recent poem by Wagoner that speaks to perseverance.

    The Cherry Tree

    Out of the nursery and into the garden
    where it rooted and survived its first hard winter,
    then a few years of freedom while it blossomed,
    put out its first tentative branches, withstood…

    Read the rest of the poem here.

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    20.)

    KEEP PAST VERMONT POETS ALIVE!  I’M SOLICITING YOUR HELP:

    POETS OF VERMONT
    PAST AND PRESENT
    PROJECT

    I’m looking for a copy of:

    • 1) The Literature of Vermont: A Sampler, University Press of New England, Arthur W. Biddle and Paul A. Eschholz, Editors, 1973
    • 2) Poets and Poetry of Vermont, by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1858
    • 3) “Driftwood,” a poetry magazine begun in 1926 by Walter John Coates

    If you have any books of poetry, chapbooks, or just poems written by Vermont poets, dating 1980 and earlier, famous or not, I’d like to know about them.  I’m beginning a project that deals strictly with Vermont poets, from Vermont’s past, with summaries of the poets themselves, a portrait photo or drawing of the poet, along with a small sampling of poems.  If you think you can help, you probably can!  Please contact me by replying to this newsletter.

    Ronald Lewis

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    21.)

    VERMONT POET LAUREATES

    1) Robert Frost – 1961
    2) Galway Kinnell
    3) Louis Glück
    4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
    5) Grace Paley
    6) Ruth Stone

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    22.)
    If you ever have a need to contact me, here’s how to go about doing so:
    Ronald Lewis:
    Phone: 802-247-5913
    Cell: 802-779-5913
    Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
    Email: sshortpt@verizon.net

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    23.)

    YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

    BELLOWS FALLS

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

    2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat).  The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at vsbooks@sover.net or  jfowler177@comcast.net.

    GUILFORD

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

    MIDDLEBURY

    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.

    NORWICH

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

    PLAINFIELD

    The Wayside Poets share their poetry publicly from time to time.  They meet at the Cutler Memorial Library, 151 High Street, Plainfield.  Members include Diane Swan, Sherry Olson, Carol Henrikson and Sarah Hooker.  I will publish more about this group after I contact one of their members.

    STOWE

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

    WAITSFIELD

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

    OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

    BURLINGTON

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

    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

    Thinking Like a Poetry Editor:  How to Be Your Own Best Critic
    (“The Ossmann Method” Poetry Workshop – Crash Course)
    Instructor: April Ossmann
    The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT  05001
    Saturday, January 17th OR Saturday, February 14th
    2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    $45

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

    The Ossmann Method Poetry Workshop: Building Your Tool Kit
    Instructor: April Ossmann
    The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT  05001
    Sundays, 8 weeks, January 18th – March 8th
    2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    $200

    Build or improve your poetic techniques tool kit and learn how to think like a poetry editor!  In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. This workshop will be both critical and generative, so I will assign reading and generative exercises meant to teach or improve writing skills. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8 (minimum enrollment for the course to proceed is 4). Info: (802) 333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and http://www.aprilossmann.com

    • Note: If you know of any others, or have personal information about the workshop in Stowe and Guilford, please send me that information.  I realize that there are several smaller groups or workshops around the state.  However, because of their intimacy, they are not posted above, allowing them to offer “memberships” to close friends or acquaintances that they feel would be most appropriate.

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    24.)

    YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

    UNDERHILL

    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 www.womenwritingVT.com/ or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or sarah@womenwritingvt.com.

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    26.)

    unknownPOETRY EVENT CALENDAR

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

    Tue, Jan 27-May 10: Another Language, Another Soul
    Another Soul

    What happens when two languages and two fine arts mingle? Find out by attending:

    OPENING RECEPTION: JANUARY 28th 5:30pm – 7:30pm
    The Robert Hull Fleming Museum invites you to the opening reception of their spring semester exhibits. Cash bar and free hors d’oeuvres.

    January 27-May 10: More Than Bilingual: William Cordova and Major Jackson
    Although Peruvian-born visual artist William Cordova and African-American poet Major Jackson come from divergent backgrounds, both artists find inspiration and common ground in music, literature and the urban aesthetic. The fluency with which they navigate cultural signifiers and media, results in a shared visual multilingualism. The two artists have long admired one another’s work; the Fleming Museum is pleased to bring them together in a collaborative venture for the first time.

    Robert Hull Fleming Museum
    University of Vermont Campus
    61 Colchester Avenue
    http://www.uvm.edu/~fleming

    Thu, Feb 5: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Cleopatra Mathis to read.  Cleopatra Mathis was born and raised in Ruston, Louisiana. Her first five books of poems were published by Sheep Meadow Press. A sixth collection, White Sea, was published by Sarabande Books in 2005. Her work has appeared widely in anthologies, textbooks, magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Tri-Quarterly, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry, The Extraordinary Tide: Poetry by American Women, and The Practice of Poetry. Various prizes for her work include two National Endowment for the Arts grants, in 1984 and 2003; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poems in 2001; the Peter Lavin Award for Younger Poets from the Academy of American Poets; two Pushcart Prizes (1980 and 2006); The Robert Frost Resident Poet Award; a 1981-82 Fellowship in Poetry at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts; The May Sarton Award; and Individual Artist Fellowships in Poetry from both the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey State Arts Council. She is the Frederick Sessions Beebe Professor of the Art of Writing at Dartmouth College, where she has directed the Creative Writing Program since 1982.

    Fri, Feb 6: Firehouse Gallery, 135 Church Street, Burlington, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading and Drumming.  As part of the Burlington Art Walk, poet and artist Terry Hauptman will provide a poetry reading accompanied by  Jerry Geier’s drumming on his sculptural slit drums will entertain all.  While you’re at the Firehouse Gallery, you can visit these two artists’ exhibits, titled Veiled Lineage.  It features two Vermont artists investigating concepts of ancestry, heritage and tradition; using sculpture, painting, and installation. Jerry Geier’s assembly of sculptures, or totems, feature carved faces of wood and clay derived from indigenous and modern societies. The totems are hollowed and act as functional drums. Terry Hauptman’s Songline Scrolls feature colorful multi-cultural processions on wall-sized scrolls of paper. These scrolls are a metaphor for life, representing a continual unfolding revelation of change and celebration. In this 400th anniversary of European arrival in the Champlain Valley, this exhibit highlights our evolving notions of cultural and spiritual identity, and exposes the paradox of searching for meaning in the very same cultures that were supplanted by our own colonialist history.

    Sat, Feb 7: Studio Place Arts, 201 N. Main Street, Barre, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Teen Poetry Workshop.  High-school-aged scribes get guidance from Geof Hewitt in a survey of works by contemporary New England writers.  This workshop for high school students includes reading and group discussion that challenges participants’ perceptions of poetry with poems by contemporary New England writers. The goal is to increase each participants’ awareness of the quick and dirty, direct expression awaiting anyone who goes looking for a few good poems. Participants should arrive early and spend time in the main floor gallery enjoying the “Picture that Poem” exhibit. Call SPA at 802-479-7069 to register.  Free.

    Mon, Feb 9: Grafton Library, Main Street, Grafton, 7:00 p.m.  Robert Frost: Poetry and Prose.  Third of three-part book discussion series led by Dr. Deborah Luskin from the Vermont Humanities Council.  For info, Linda Montecalvo at 843-1444.

    Tue, Feb 10: Farrell Room, St. Michael’s College, 4:00 p.m.  Verandah Porche.  Verandah Porche will read from her work.

    Wed, Feb 11: Center for Women and Gender, St. Michael’s College, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Verandah Porche.  Verandah Porche returns for a workshop titled Told Poetry/Shared Narrative.  Open to students, faculty, and staff.  Co-sponsored by the English Department and the Center for Women and Gender.

    Sat, Feb 14: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Sun, Feb 15: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Winter Readings in the National Park.  Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided.  Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center.  For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

    Wed, Feb 18: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  “You Come, Too”: Winter with Robert Frost.  Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity.  Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s winter poems.  Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving.  Refreshments served; free.  RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

    Mon, Feb 23: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Waters to read. Michael Waters’ eight books of poetry include Darling Vulgarity (2006—finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize), Parthenopi: New and Selected Poems (2001), and Green Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum (1997) from BOA Editions, and Bountiful (1992), The Burden Lifters (1989), and Anniversary of the Air (1985) from Carnegie Mellon UP. His several edited volumes include Contemporary American Poetry (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) and Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois UP, 2003). In 2004 he chaired the poetry panel for the National Book Award. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright Foundation, Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and four Pushcart Prizes, he teaches at Monmouth University in New Jersey and in the Drew University MFA Program.

    Wed, Feb 25: Peabody Library, Route 113, Post Mills.  Reception and book signing by the authors of the literary magazine, Bloodroot.  Bloodroot Literary Magazine is a nonprofit publication released each December. Their mission is to provide a journal of high production values and quality material by established and emerging authors.  The 2009 issue of Bloodroot features cover art by Christy Hale and poems, short stories and creative nonfiction by 28 outstanding authors, many of them familiar names here in Vermont – Regina Brault, Carol Milkuhn and Nancy Means Wright.  The book is scheduled to be out and about in mid-December 2008.

    Sun, Mar 1: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet C.D. Wright.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  A compelling and idiosyncratic poet, C.D. Wright has twelve collections including Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008), a weaving of deeply personal and politically ferocious poems;  Deepstep Come Shining and Cooling Time.  Her collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana was awarded the Dorothea Lange-Paul Tayor Prize.  Her new and selected poems Steal Away was on the shortlist for the Griffin Trust Award.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the Israel J. Kapstein Professor at Brown University.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

    Tue, Mar 3: Farrell Room, St. Michael’s College, 4:30 p.m.  David Cavanaugh.  Local poet David Cavanaugh will read from his work.

    Thu, Mar 5: Middlebury College, Abernathy Room, Axinn Center, 4:30-6:30.  Richard Chess was born in Los Angeles. He spent most of his childhood and youth in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is the author of three books of poetry, Third Temple (2007), Chair in the Desert (2000), and Tekiah (1994). His poems have appeared in many journals as well as several anthologies, including Best American Spiritual Writing 2005 and Telling and Remembering: A Century of American-Jewish Poetry.  An award-winning and much-sought after teacher, he is professor of literature and language at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  He directs UNCA’s Center for Jewish Studies as well as UNCA’s Creative Writing Program.  He has been a member of the low-residency MFA faculties at Warren Wilson College and Queens College.  He served for a number of years as writer-in-residence at the Brandeis Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, California.  He is now assistant director of The Jewish Arts Institue at Elat Chayyim, located at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center, where he will be teaching creative writing in a two-year training institute that begins in August of 2007.  He is poetry editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture.  He lives in Asheville with his wife, Laurie, and son, Gabe.  His two step-daughters, Alice and Margaret, are currently pursuing their careers elsewhere.  For more info, 443-5276.

    Sun, Mar 8: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Winter Readings in the National Park.  Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided.  Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center.  For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

    Wed, Mar 11: Hoehl Welcome Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, 7:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  John Engels Memorial Reading.  In memory of longtime English Department member (and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet), John Engels (1931-2007) the Department has established an annual  poetry reading. Poet, novelist and essayist David Huddle will give this year’s reading.  The first reading, in 2008, featured former Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt.  The English Department Reading Series invites poets, fiction writers, theater troupes, filmmakers, and the like to campus to give readings, talks, performances, screenings etc. In the last few years for example, they’ve hosted the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, novelists including Julia Alvarez, Russell Banks, and Pulitzer-Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, and poets including Pulitzer-Prize winner Louise Gluck, Chase Twitchell, Joy Harjo, and Galway Kinnell. Students are invited to these events, free of charge, and often have the chance to meet and talk to those visitors.  Sponsored by the Lecture Series.
    Vermont had a few losses in 2007 and 2008, which were also losses to the entire poetry community.  John Engels, a professor for 45 years at St. Michael’s College, was one of those great losses.  For those of you lucky enough to have clutched a copy for yourself and read through “Remembering John Engels,” you will believe yourself a friend of John’s, as an admirer of his words.  I feel fortunate to have been been both a poet friend of his, as well as a friend of the stream, both of us maintaining a love of fly fishing and fly tying.  If you want to connect or reconnect with John Engels, I would invite you to come to this event, which is sure to be one of those incredible poetry moments.

    Sat, Mar 14: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Thu, Apr 2: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Rosanna Warren to read.  Rosanna Warren was born in Connecticut in 1953. She was educated at Yale (BA 1976) and Johns Hopkins (MA 1980). She is the author of one chapbook of poems (Snow Day, Palaemon Press, 1981), and three collections of poems:  Each Leaf Shines Separate (Norton, 1984), Stained Glass (Norton, 1993, Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets), and Departure (Norton, 2003).  She edited and contributed to The Art of Translation:  Voices from the Field (Northeastern, 1989), and has edited three chapbooks of poetry by prisoners. She has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace Readers’ Digest Fund, among others.  She has won the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lavan Younger Poets’ Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Award of Merit in Poetry from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She is Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities at Boston University.

    Sun, Apr 5: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m.  Poet Wesley McNair.  2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series.  Wesley McNair is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Foundations and a United States Artists Fellowship to “America’s finest living artists.” Other honors include the Robert Frost Prize; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry (for Fire); the Theodore Roethke prize from Poetry Northwest; the Pushcart Prize and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal.  McNair is currently Professor Emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine at Farmington.  Free.  (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

    Sat, Apr 11: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Mon, Apr 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eric Pankey to read.  Eric Pankey is the author of six books of poetry: Reliquaries, Cenotaph, The Late Romances, Apocrypha, Heartwood and For the New Year. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NEA Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award, and an Ingram Merrill Grant. His work has appeared in many journals, including Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Triquarterly, DoubleTake and The New England Review. He teaches at George Mason University and lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

    Thu, Apr 23: Middlebury College, Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  A talk by Adina Hoffman, on her new book, My Happiness Bears no Relation to Happiness: Poet Taha Muhammad Ali and the Palestinian Century, (Yale University Press), the first biography of a Palestinian poet, and the first portrayal of Palestinian literature and culture in the 20th Century. Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Middle East Studies Program.  For info, 443-5151, E-mail: schine@middlebury.edu.

    Sat, May 9: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Thu, May 14: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Harper to read.  Michael S. Harper was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1938. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from what is now known as California State University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He has taught at Brown since 1970.  Harper has published more than 10 books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems (ARC Publications, 2002); Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems (2000); Honorable Amendments (1995); and Healing Song for the Inner Ear (1985). A new poetry collection, Use Trouble, is forthcoming in fall 2008 from The University of Illinois Press.  His other collections include Images of Kin (1977), which won the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America and was nominated for the National Book Award; Nightmare Begins Responsibility (1975); History Is Your Heartbeat (1971), which won the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award for poetry; and Dear John, Dear Coltrane (1970), which was nominated for the National Book Award.  Harper edited the Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980); he is co-editor with Anthony Walton of The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) and Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (1994), and with Robert B. Stepto of Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship (1979).  Harper was the first poet laureate of Rhode Island (1988-1993) and has received many other honors, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. Harper is also a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow, and the recipient of numerous distinctions, including the Robert Hayden Poetry Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Melville-Cane Award, the Claiborne Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

    Mon, Jun 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Eamon Grennan to read.  Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated at UCD, where he studied English and Italian, and Harvard, where he received his PhD in English. His volumes of poetry include What Light There Is & Other Poems, (North Point Press, 1989), Wildly for Days (1983), What Light There Is (1987), As If It Matters (1991), So It Goes (1995), Selected and New Poems (2000) and Still Life with Waterfall (2001). His latest collection, The Quick of It, appeared in 2004 in Ireland, and in Spring 2005 in America. His books of poetry are published in the United States by Graywolf Press, and in Ireland by Gallery Press. Other publications include Leopardi: Selected Poems (Princeton 1997), and Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century, a collection of essays on modern Irish poetry. His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in many magazines both in Ireland and the US.  Grennan has given lectures and workshops in colleges and universities in the US, including courses for the graduate programs in Columbia and NYU. During 2002 he was the Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University. His grants and prizes in the United States include awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Leopardi: Selected Poems received the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and Still Life with Waterfall was the recipient of the 2003 Lenore Marshall Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Poets. His poems have been awarded a number of Pushcart prizes. Grennan has taught since 1974 at Vassar College where he is the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English.

    Sat, Jun 13: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Thu, Jul 9: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Michael Ryan to read.  Michael Ryan has published three collections of poetry, including In Winter, Threats Instead of Trees, has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and God Hunger, as well as A Difficult Grace: On Poets, Poetry, and Writing, and the memoir Secret Life. His work has appeared in Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, New Republic, and elsewhere. Ryan has been honored by the Lenore Marshall Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and a Guggenheim. Ryan is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UC, Irvine.

    Sat, Jul 11: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Mon, Jul 27: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Doreen Gilroy to read.  Doreen Gilroy’s first book, The Little Field of Self  (The University of Chicago Press, 2002), won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares.  Her second book, Human Love, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2005.  Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Slate, TriQuarterly and many other magazines.

    Sat, Aug 8: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Mon, Aug 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Cole Swensen to read.  Cole Swensen is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. She is the author of five collections of poems, including Try (University of Iowa Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Poetry Prize; Noon (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), which won a New American Writing Award; and Numen (Burning Deck Press, 1995) which was nominated for the PEN West Award in Poetry. Her translations include Art Poetic’ by Olivier Cadiot (Sun & Moon Press, Green Integer Series, 1999) and Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun & Moon, 1995). She splits her time among Denver, San Francisco and Paris.

    Thu, Sep 3: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Marge Piercy to read.  Marge Piercy has published 17 books of poetry, including What Are Big Girls Made Of, Colors Passing Through Us, and most recently her 17th volume, The Crooked Inheiritance, all from Knopf. She has written 17 novels, most recently SEX WARS in Perennial paperback now.  Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is also in Harper Collins Perennial.  Last spring, Schocken published Pesach for the Rest of Us.  Her work has been translated into 16 languages. Her CD Louder We Can’t Hear You Yet contains her political and feminist poems. She has been an editor of Leapfrog Press for the last ten years and also poetry editor of Lilith.

    Sat, Sep 12: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Thu, Oct 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Pattiann Rogers to read.  Pattiann Rogers has published ten books of poetry, a book-length essay, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, and A Covenant of Seasons, poems and monotypes, in collaboration with the artist Joellyn Duesberry. Her 11th  book of poetry, Wayfare, will appear from Penguin in April, 2008.   Rogers is the recipient of two NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation, and five Pushcart Prizes.  In the spring of 2000 she was in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.  Her papers are archived in the Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community and the Natural World at Texas Tech University.  She has taught as a visiting professor at various universities, including the Universities of Texas, Arkansas, and Montana, Houston University, and Washingon University.  She is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s MFA in Writing Program.  Rogers has two sons and three grandsons and lives with her husband in Colorado.

    Sat, Oct 10: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Tue, Oct 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Major Jackson to read.  “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.

    Sat, Nov 14: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    Tue, Nov 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet Sebastian Matthews to read.  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.

    Sat, Dec 12: Village Square Books, 32 The Square, Bellows Falls, In the Café, 2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Open Mic River Voices Poetry Reading on the second Saturday of each month.  The session is open mic, with individuals reading their own poetry or poems from their favorite poet.  Listeners are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments are served.  To reserve a place at the table, e-mail vsbooks@sover.net or call (802) 463-9404.

    2010:

    Mon, Feb 22: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined.  Poet David Shapiro to read.  David Shapiro (born January 2, 1947) is an American poet, literary critic, and art historian and . Shapiro has written some twenty volumes of poetry, literary, and art criticism. He was first published at the age of thirteen, and his first book was published at the age of eighteen. Shapiro has taught at Columbia, Bard College, Cooper Union, Princeton University, and William Paterson University. He wrote the first monograph on John Ashbery, the first book on Jim Dine’s paintings, the first book on Piet Mondrian’s flower studies, and the first book on Jasper Johns’ drawings. He has translated Rafael Alberti’s poems on Pablo Picasso, and the writings of the Sonia and Robert Delaunay. Shapiro has won National Endowment for the HumanitiesNational Endowment for the Arts fellowships, been nominated for a National Book Award, and been the recipient of numerous grants for his work. Shapiro lives in Riverdale, The Bronx, New York City, with his wife and son.

    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.

    That’s about it for now. Again, keep your eyes peeled for poetry events.  I hope this email finds you all with good health and sharp pencils.

    Your fellow Poet,

    Ron Lewis

    Vermont Poetry Newsletter: January 16 2009

    [This is a newsletter I receive on a regular basis from Ron Lewis. I did not write this. But I am posting it here as a resource for others interested in Vermont happenings.]

    Vermont Poetry Newsletter
    Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State

    Newsletter Editor’s Note

    • 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.

    January 16, 2009 – In This Issue:

    1. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
    2. Inauguration PoemsInauguration Poem Story – Robert Frost
    3. JFK Library Gets Famous Frost Inauguration Poem
    4. April Ossmann’s Poetry Workshops
    5. Poetry Reading at Red Hen Bakery & Café
    6. Carol Muske-Dukes California Poet Laureate
    7. Hayden Carruth Memorial Fund
    8. In Memoriam: Chris White
    9. In Memoriam: W.D. Snodgrass
    10. A Green Mountain Idyll-Poems for Hayden Carruth
    11. Did You Know? Poet Sonia Sanchez was in Middlebury?
    12. Ponderings – Latest Broadway Play “Romantic Poetry”
    13. Poetry Quote (Maxwell Bodenheim)
    14. US Poets Laureate List
    15. Linebreak Poem
    16. Copper Canyon Press Poem
    17. American Life in Poetry Poem
    18. Vermont Poets Past and Present Project
    19. Vermont Poet Laureates
    20. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
    21. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
    22. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
    23. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
    24. Poetry Event Calendar

    Dear Friends of Poetry:

    The Otter Creek Poets will be meeting in the Ilsley Library’s Vermont
    Room (upstairs) on Thursday, January 22nd. If you’re interested in
    joining the Otter Creek Poets, please see the information on
    workshops, found near the tail end of this email.

    Speaking of new members, poets Kelly Moss Chitwood and Fay Levitt
    have become the newest members of the Otter Creek group. We welcome
    them into this wonderful association of writers. New members have to
    ask themselves in reading their first poem to the group, “What do you
    look for in bringing a poem to a workshop?” or “What part in the poem
    do you say to yourself, I’ve said it, or that’s what I was trying to
    get out.” Food for thought.

    April is National Poetry Month and it is sooner than you think.
    David Weinstock of the Otter Creek Poets is now taking suggestions
    for guest speakers, guest poets, and other events in celebration of
    the art and its month. They have four Thursdays to plan for, April
    2, 16, 23 and 30. (April 9 is the first night of Passover.) If you
    have any interesting program ideas for us to mull over, please let me
    know and I will pass them on to David.

    There has already been serious discussion about an Otter Creek Poets
    Anthology, which will be it’s 4 such collection. For OCP’s, it’s
    time to begin getting your best 3 or 4 poems together for possible
    publication. From what I’ve seen during the past year, this should
    be an amazing compilation.

    For those OCP members thinking about writing a poem about slide
    rules, and I’ve heard the subject batted around a bit, there will be
    a slide rule lesson in Middlebury at the Ilsley Public Libary on
    Sunday, January 25th, at 2:00. Learn how to do complex calculations
    with the tool that predates the calculator. Bring your old slide
    rule, if you can find it; look next to the lava lamp! Led by John
    Wesley; for additional info, 388-4095.

    Ron Lewis
    VPN Publisher
    247-5913

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    1.)

    THIS WEEK’S
    WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:


    WRITE ABOUT MONEY

    • The best way to find an original poem is to take up a new subject, one that formerly has been considered unsuitable for poetry. In the 1950s, the personal lives of American men became possible to write about. In the 1960s and 70s, the lives of women joined the list of topics. Which topics are still out of bounds? I suggest that for nextweek, you write a poem about money, in any of its roles and disguises.


    LAST WEEK’S
    WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISE:

    • Poet Elizabeth Alexander has been chosen to read a poem at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. She’s a good sport for taking the gig, because no matter how good she is, other poets will make fun of her until the end of time. Not to mention all the things that might go wrong. Remember how Robert Frost forgot his reading glasses and could not read the poem he had composed for JFK’s inauguration in 1961? Of course, inauguration organizers have a backup plan. It’s YOU..

    Assignment:

    • If Ms. Alexander cannot read her inauguration poem for whatever reason, you have been selected as her understudy. Please write a poem to suit (or disrupt) the occasion and bring it on Jan. 15. Limit: 100 lines.

    Good luck!

    divider

    In thinking about the inauguration poem you’ll be hearing on the
    20th, or if you’re trying to do last week’s Otter Creek Poets
    assignment, you might be interested in these 9 inauguration poems by
    9 prominent poets, and how they handled it.

    Odes to Obama: A poem or 2 for the new president

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON – Poets don’t typically write to order. You can’t just call them up and ask them for a poem. Not even for an inauguration. But The Associated Press did ask. And they did write.The inauguration of a new president just seems to be a fitting time for poetry, and so 10 American poets accepted the AP’s invitation to come up with a little something to mark Barack Obama’s ascension to the presidency.

    The poems came from an eclectic assortment of American wordsmiths, ranging from a former poet laureate and a Pulitzer Prize winner to a self-described “cowboy poet.”

    Billy Collins, U.S. poet laureate from 2001 to 2003, submitted “launch,” containing shimmery imagery of a boat set afloat under “the sun’s golden rafters.”

    In “Making the News,” Californian Gary Soto wrote about setting a match to the newspaper and letting “the bad years go up in a question mark of smoke.”

    Novelist and poet Julia Alvarez, who spent her first 10 years in the Dominican Republic, wrote a rebuttal to the poem that Robert Frost had recited at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. Alvarez remembers watching Kennedy’s inauguration and being fascinated with the “old, cranky, white-haired man” who recited “The Gift Outright.” Later, she studied the poem and came to see it as overlooking huge swaths of the U.S. population.

    Frost’s poem focused on the American colonists from England and stated that “The land was ours before we were the land’s.” Alvarez countered that “The land was never ours, nor we the land’s: no, not in Selma, with the hose turned on, nor in the valley picking the alien vines. Nor was it ours in Watts, Montgomery – no matter what the frosty poet said.”

    Themes of change and hope were everywhere in the poems.

    In “The Procession,” Yusef Komunyakaa wrote that “Each question uncurls a little whip in the air. Can we change tomorrow?”

    In “The World Has Changed,” Alice Walker, who won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Color Purple,” exhorted readers to “wake up & smell the possibility.”

    Almost as poetic as some of the poems that arrived were the comments of poets who either said they’d give it a try, or who wouldn’t think of it.

    Nathaniel Mackey explained that writing an inaugural ode would be a challenge because “I tend to write in a rather dark vein.” Nothing came of his pledge to try.

    Sandra Cisneros wouldn’t make any promises, writing that “I just go to sleep, and it’s just born or it’s not.” It wasn’t.

    Charles Simic, another former poet laureate, said “it’s impossible to say yes or no. … I can’t write to order. … When do you need it by?” His good intentions didn’t bear fruit.

    New Yorker Sharon Olds deemed her efforts unworthy. “It’s as I suspected,” she e-mailed. “I’m not able to come up with anything near good enough, tho I used a lot of paper!”

    Andrei Codrescu, who was born in Romania and became a U.S. citizen in 1981, wasn’t one even to venture a try. “I voted for Obama, but I grew up under Ceausescu,” Codrescu wrote of the former Romanian dictator. “The idea of writing poems for people in power gives me the creeps.”

    There was some modesty among those who did venture to write something.

    Soto – winner of too many poetry prizes to list – sent his in with the instructions: “feel free to edit.”

    Alvarez sent hers along with the caveat that “it’s in the nature of occasion poems to be somewhat disposable.”

    The AP set no ground rules for the poems. But poet David Lehman, editor of the Best American Poetry series, decided his should meet the same guidelines as those established for an inaugural ode contest sponsored by the poetry series that he edits. Writers were required to use at least three of six designated words (integrity, faith, change, hope, power and honor.) Lehman managed to work five into a poem that offered Obama the wish that “May God, in this winter hour, shine on your countenance and teach you to balance the heart’s poetry and the mind’s power.”

    Digital poet Christopher Funkhouser bypassed the whole words-on-paper realm to create a swirl of bouncing letters and words that form and re-form on a video screen. He ended up creating three poems, explaining: “I couldn’t manage to do just one!” You can see them at: http://wepress.org/inauguration/

    Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, happened to be in West Africa filming a documentary on oral storytellers when the request for a poem arrived. He drew inspiration from his surroundings to write “Africa goes for Obama!”

    Cowboy poet Ted Newman penned a plea to Obama to “be the president our country needs.”

    Amiri Baraka, former poet laureate of New Jersey, took a short cut and sent in something he’d written about Obama last February: “Imagine Obama Talking To A Fool.”

    One of the poets who didn’t respond to the AP’s invitation was poet Elizabeth Alexander. It turns out she’ll be reciting an original poem at the inauguration.

    Apparently, Obama’s invitation took priority over the AP’s.

    Poems for the inauguration of Barack Obama

    Launch

    A boat is sliding into the water today
    to test the water and the boat

    which glides down a grassy bank
    the prow touching the wavelets

    then another push
    and the length of it up and buoyant

    the tapered length of it floating
    toward the middle on its own

    as we watch from the shore
    pointing to the heavy clouds coming in

    from every side
    but now above us only the sun’s golden rafters

    and the boat afloat
    out there on the bright surface of the water.

    by Billy Collins.

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    The land was never ours, nor we the land’s:
    no, not in Selma, with the hose turned on,
    nor in the valley picking the alien vines.
    Nor was it ours in Watts, Montgomery–
    no matter what the frosty poet said.
    We heard the crack of whips, the mothers’ moans
    in anthems like an undertow of grief.
    The land was never ours but we believed
    a King’s dream might some day become a deed
    to what we did not own, though it owed us.
    (Who had the luxury to withhold himself?)
    No gift outright for us, we earned this land
    with sorrows currency: our hands, our backs,
    our Rosas, Martins, Jesses our Baracks.
    Today we give our land what we withheld:
    the right at last to call itself one nation

    –By Julia Alvarez.

    Copyright (c) 2009 by Julia Alvarez. By permission of Susan Bergholz Literary Services, New York and Lamy, NM. All rights reserved.

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    Making the News

    It’s not right to burn newsprint,
    The stink of ink in the air,
    But I have to crumple at least a few pages
    And strike a match in the fireplace–
    The bad years go up in a question mark of smoke.

    Or should I make confetti from the sports section,
    Or shape a dunce hat from the business page–
    I, the investor in rubber bands
    That shot me in the foot.

    Or should I cut out coupons–
    Two cans of soup for the price of one.
    Or, for a laugh, should I spread open the comics
    On the kitchen table and string a macaroni necklace,
    The playground craft I could master.

    I choose smoke and fire,
    The sting in my eyes on this January day,
    And poke a wreath of newspaper
    Until it crackles with a steady fire.

    Let’s air out the square and oval rooms.
    Let’s wave at a dog frolicking on the lawn.
    Let’s hear children and the tap of rain on a tulip.
    Let’s welcome the new resident to our house,
    His handshake strong from the clasp of so many.

    –By Gary Soto.


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    The Procession

    Yes, the dust of the Great Migration
    is in our dreams & on the soles of our feet,
    but we can foxtrot into this bandaged season
    limping toward us from the fog. Each question
    uncurls a little whip in the air. Can we change
    tomorrow? Can we love what’s in the deep mirror
    & trace fault lines beneath nocturnal streets?
    Loneliness & anger always know the road home.
    Now the long-lost ones stand at the threshold
    & gaze into our eyes. Please don’t turn away,
    don’t retreat into caves of artificial light
    & borrowed lowly laughter brimming up.
    There’s a hard, long road ahead. Nights
    &days ahead, one foot in front of the other.

    Days ahead, one foot in front of the other
    is how we ascend Jacob’s tangled ladder.
    Bring your lantern & philosopher’s stone,
    your pick & shovel, ball of twine, hook
    & sinker, your slide ruler & plumb bob.
    There’s some faithful work to be done
    on this hill & down in the valley, too.
    Bring your running shoes & baseball cap.
    I tell you, I’m no one’s Benjamin Banneker,
    but I know a cul-de-sac is a whiplash
    & slipknot. Sometimes you have to bow
    to self-given thorns, or weave around a body
    of water. Some things you argue against
    or for, & then you go straight through bedrock.

    You have to go straight through bedrock
    to find hope, I said. You can’t kill the past
    to erase a page. Cut out a tongue singing delta,
    & still a windy lamentation crests the hilltop.
    Burn odes into ash to smear on the forehead,
    but still the laconic cricket calls the night
    to sing deeds, blasphemies, & allegories
    droning beneath the earth’s blueprint.
    Yes, even if we parade in secondhand garb
    as priestly nobodies, the Daylight Boys,
    or other heretical truth-seekers, we know
    weeping isn’t a fly in a spider’s web.
    If you can’t see hunger on our streets,
    at least remember hard songs left behind.

    At least remember hard songs left behind
    on fields from Concord to the Green Zone.
    Our maps go to the edge of a lost frontier,
    following every unsolved riddle & tributary,
    indigenous souls still in the drizzle & bog
    grass, behind hedgerows–beyond imagination.
    Now there’s one sky, with holes in the ozone.
    Limitless steps across snow recast star charts.
    All the old gods gaze at us like deathwatch
    beetles, waiting to see what we do with this hour.
    Let Walt Whitman put his lips to your ear
    as he rocks the dead of north & south in his arms.
    Words taproot down to what we are made of,
    & these hosannas are ours to surrender to.

    These hosannas are ours to surrender to
    till laurel & olive branch into our footpath,
    an eruption of blooms overtaking our heads.
    We’re here to honor those who came before,
    who gladly or sadly gave themselves back
    to earth. You know their names. We know
    who stood & never lost ground. We know
    who knelt beside their contraband drums
    & depended on hawthorn to guard them.
    Sunlight & water draw roots deep as seed
    & oath; their sway & pull can bend an oak
    over a grand monument. Evermore pours
    from a beggar’s tin cup as one thousand
    clocks strike inside the stone base.

    Clocks strike inside the stone base.
    The mainsprings are about to be adjusted
    & oiled. For the first time in decades
    the blindfold has slipped off her face,
    & we are now seeing her true reflection
    on the harbor. The shortcuts tell us, no,
    the winding road isn’t a second guess,
    & one could risk one’s life getting here.
    Where I stand in splendor, at this point
    of view, surely, it is already Springtime.
    How could it not be? The Sunday-go-to-
    meeting clothes, the bright hats cocked
    at the true angle that slays blue devils.
    How could it not be? This is the hour.

    How could it not be? This is the hour
    beckoning the North Star & drinking gourd,
    waist-deep shadows crossing the Ohio River,
    & I hear Fredrick Douglass’ voice in a brisk
    shiver of dry leaves, saying, “When the dogs
    in your streets, when the fowls of the air,
    when the cattle on your hills, when the fish
    of the sea, & then reptiles that crawl”
    The rattle of night pods is the only shaman
    at this late hour. Secret markers run
    from flatland to river town, pale desert
    to mountain, grassland to autumn skyline.
    From here I see a lighthouse, love of the planet
    bringing a polar bear back to its ice floe.

    By Yusef Komunyakaa.

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    The World Has Changed

    The World Has Changed:
    Wake up & smell
    The possibility.
    The world
    Has changed:
    It did not
    Change
    Without
    Your prayers
    Without
    Your faith
    Without
    Your determination
    To
    Believe
    In liberation

    Kindness;
    Without
    Your
    Dancing
    Through the years
    That
    Had
    No
    Beat.
    The world has changed:
    It did not
    Change
    Without
    Your
    Numbers
    Your
    Fierce
    Love
    Of self

    Cosmos
    It did not
    Change
    Without
    Your
    Strength.

    The world has
    Changed:
    Wake up!
    Give yourself
    The gift
    Of a new
    Day.

    The world has changed:
    This does not mean
    You were never
    Hurt.
    The world
    Has changed:
    Rise!
    Yes

    Shine!
    Resist the siren
    Call
    Of
    Disbelief.
    The world has changed:
    Don’t let
    Yourself
    Remain
    Asleep
    To
    It.

    By Alice Walker
    (Copyright (c) 2008 by Alice Walker.)

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    Poem for Obama

    We want a hero, an uncommon one,
    The common wisdom being that integrity
    In an age of irony is as unlikely as fun
    On jury duty and equally as vital to the city,

    The state, and the nation. Put the likelihood
    Of rejection and the inevitability
    Of injustice on one side; the ability
    Of free people to choose their livelihood

    On the other; and though hope is genteel
    And faith obsolete, yet breathes there
    A man or woman who cannot feel
    The charge of the change in the air?

    May God, in this winter hour,
    Shine on your countenance
    And teach you to balance
    The heart’s poetry and the mind’s power.

    By David Lehman.

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    PLEA TO THE PRES

    BAILOUTS FOR THE BIG GUYS
    BUY BACK THEIR ROTTED FRUIT
    FORGET THE CANOPY OF GOLD
    IT’S THE PLATINUM PARACHUTE.

    NO ONE INDICTS THE AUTHORS
    GUYS LIKE FRANK AND DODD
    THEY SAY SHOW ME THE MONEY
    WE’LL BAIL YOU OUT BY GOD.

    THE FRED AND FANNY WATCHDOGS
    WITH OUR MONEY PLAY SO LOOSE
    THEY BORROW US INTO SERFDOM
    AS THEY KILL THE GOLDEN GOOSE.

    THEY POSTURE AND PONTIFICATE
    AS THEY DIVIDE THE LOOT
    THEN REWARD THE BIG CONTRIBUTORS
    WITH PLATINUM PARACHUTES.

    THE DOUBLESPEAK AND DOUBLETALK
    OF LEADERS PSUEDO-BRAVE
    MORTAGAGE CHILDREN’S FUTURES
    AS THEY TAX US TO THE GRAVE.

    THANKS TO CORRUPT LEADERSHIP
    AND IGNORANCE TO BOOT
    THEY’LL SAVE US THE UNWASHED MASSESS
    WITH PURE LEAD PARACHUTES.

    SO PLEASE MR. OBAMA
    DON’T LET THEM PLAY THEIR GAMES
    DON’T LET THE LIES CONTINUE
    DON’T LET THEM HIDE THE BLAME.

    BE THE PRESIDENT OUR COUNTRY NEEDS
    LET’S REALLY REARRANGE
    THE POLITICAL HYPOCRACY
    KEEP YOUR WORD AND BRING US CHANGE.

    By Ted Newman

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    Imagine Obama Talking To A Fool

    To Lead, is what
    We fought We fighting now, We been
    At war For equality, equal citizenship
    Rights. Are those ours, No, no yet.
    Our struggle Self Determination
    Is always by the moment, is on us
    Always, as our skin is, gleaming
    Inside & outside w/ the fulfilled beauty
    Of promise, as an eye arrow streaks
    Through the darkness toward itself at
    Thousands of miles an hour.
    We are ourselves always
    Full of ourselves. What we know
    Is boundless as our everybody
    All our hands & muscles, our swiftness
    Is itself a thought & not a thought
    But a being, a seeing, that, yes,
    We want to lead, we are not fools
    Or forever weaker than that self that cd
    Be him, them, her, they, we can raise this
    Stupid filthy place, we can strangle foolishness
    Where it lurks and hurl it into hah hahs
    Of imbecility. Why wd you taunt a person
    With skeletons challenged by
    The enlightenment?
    So they turn the hood backwards
    &now can see nothing
    But how their weak breath
    Makes the bedsheet soggy.
    Yes, we can. Lead! We will anyway.
    But we want to lead. Whats wrong
    With that? We can!
    And with all this mountain pile
    Of wrong, backward, dumb,
    Dishonest, boring, filthy
    Thing you or they have created
    This thing that we us I have
    Hated, It can not be a surprise
    That someone else shd see this world
    Through their own eyes. Yes,
    I want to lead. You have
    Already failed.
    We have all heard those songs
    Those tales. I want to lead
    You have already failed!

    By Amiri Baraka
    Feb. 10, 2008

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    Africa Goes for Obama!

    In Bamako, the koras can’t stop singing praises
    Of the African king named Barack Obama.
    You can talk all you want
    in the courtyard
    under the mango tree,
    But these harps know their stories, revel
    In contradiction’s harmony.
    A song that consumes history.

    Meanwhile, in Timbuktu
    The shirt off my back
    Spirited off in high-fived exuberance
    Barack Obama’s face
    Lifted in 2008 Sahara sandstorm

    Lifting off from Dakar, Leopold
    Senghor – they name their airports
    After Poet-Presidents here —
    An “I Made it to Timbuktu
    And Back!” t-shirt on my back

    Back to Union Square, 14th Street,
    New York City, flying Middle Passage
    Route of Bones Fair Trade Agreement

    By Bob Holman

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    2.)

    And, if you didn’t know the story behind our own Robert Frost, and his own attempt at an inaugural poem, here you are:

    FROST DEDICATES JFK OUTRIGHT

    For John F Kennedy’s inauguration as President of the United States Robert Frost wrote a new poem entitled, “Dedication”. Like many others he conceived the new president as young Lochinvar, the perfect combination of spirit and flesh, passion and toughness, poetry and reality:

    “… The glory of a next Augustan age
    Of a power leading from its strength and pride,
    Of young amibition eager to be tried,
    Firm in our free beliefs without dismay,
    In any game the nations want to play.
    A golden age of poetry and power
    Of which this noonday’s the beginning hour.”

    But the poet was old (87) and he couldn’t see the words because of the sun’s glare that bright, cold January day. The poem’s newness to him and his unfamiliarity with and uncertainty about the way it went caused him to stumble uncertainly with his voice and tone and he gave up. Instead he fell back on an old one he knew perfectly, and in the most splendidly commanding of voices, recited it impeccably:

    ~ The Gift Outright ~

    The land was ours before we were the land’s.
    She was our land more than a hundred years
    Before we were her people. She was ours
    In Massachusetts, in Virginia.
    But we were England’s, still colonials,
    Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
    Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
    Something we were withholding made us weak.
    Until we found out that it was ourselves
    We were withholding from our land of living,
    And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
    Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
    (The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
    To the land vaguely realizing westward,
    But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
    Such as she was, such as she would become.
    ~ Robert Frost; 1874-1963 ~

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    3.)

    And, here’s a little more history for you – very interesting! What’s in blue is truly unforgettable.

    JFK Library Gets Famous Frost Poem
    By NANCY RABINOWITZ
    The Associated Press
    Friday, April 21, 2006; 5:38 PM

    BOSTON — The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum has obtained the original version of the poem that Robert Frost prepared for the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, but never read in its entirety because of the glare of the sun.

    At Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration, Frost, who was 86 at the time, stood at the podium reading the beginning of “Dedication,” a poem he wrote by hand, then typed for easier reading at the inauguration. But after trying to use a hat borrowed from Vice President Lyndon Johnson to shield the page from bright sun glancing off the snow, Frost recited his poem, “The Gift Outright,” from memory.

    Frost had intended to deliver a full reading of “Dedication” before reciting “The Gift Outright.”

    The museum received the original handwritten poem this week from the estate of Frederick Holborn, one of President Kennedy’s special assistants, who died last June.

    “It is such a remarkable piece of American history and culture. It is just wonderful to have it back home,” said Deborah Leff, the museum’s director.

    The poem speaks of the rise of American democracy and its affect on the world. At the bottom of the original version of the poem, Frost wrote, “To John F. Kennedy, At his inauguration to be president of this country. January 20th, 1961. With the Heart of the World,” followed by, “Amended copy, now let’s mend our ways.”
    The document is being sent to a conservator because the material used to frame it is causing acid damage, said Brent Carney, a spokesman for the JFK Library and Museum. After it is returned to the museum, officials plan to display it in one of the museum’s galleries, though they aren’t yet certain which one.

    Jacqueline Kennedy had the poem framed for the president to hang in the White House and wrote a now barely legible note to the president on brown paper on the back of the frame. The note was not discovered until museum archivist James M. Roth removed the paper from the frame this week.

    Roth said the note reads, “For Jack, January 23, 1961. First thing I had framed to put in your office. First thing to be hung there.”

    “There is no signature but it’s definitely her handwriting,” Roth said.

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    4.)

    Thinking Like a Poetry Editor: How to Be Your Own Best Critic

    (“The Ossmann Method” Poetry Workshop – Crash Course)

    Instructor: April Ossmann
    The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT 05001
    Saturday, January 17th OR Saturday, February 14th
    2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    $45

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

    The Ossmann Method Poetry Workshop: Building Your Tool Kit
    Instructor: April Ossmann
    The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT 05001
    Sundays, 8 weeks, January 18th – March 8th
    2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    $200

    Build or improve your poetic techniques tool kit and learn how to think like a poetry editor! In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. This workshop will be both critical and generative, so I will assign reading and generative exercises meant to teach or improve writing skills. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8 (minimum enrollment for the course to proceed is 4). Info: (802) 333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and www.aprilossmann.com

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    5.)

    Please join us!
    Poetry Reading at the Red Hen Bakery & Café
    Celebrate Robert Burns’ 250th Birthday with our own Scottish Poet Len Irving

    Sunday
    January 25, 6:30 pm
    Route 2 in Middlesex Village

    Come and read poetry – your own or your favorites – or listen to others.

    More info? Call Earline at 223-6777
    The Red Hen Bakery is open at this time only for the poetry reading.

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    6.)

    Carol Muske-Dukes, California’s new poet laureate, on her post alifornia’s new poet laureate considers the seeming contradictions of the post and how to approach its potential.

    By Carol Muske-Dukes
    December 12, 2008

    Could there be an honorific less American-sounding than poet laureate? The title conjures images of a laurel wreath askew on the pale brow of a loitering bard — scribbling couplets beside a throne (“I am his Highness’ dog at Kew; / Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?”) British poets laureate write occasional verse to celebrate royal birthdays, ship christenings and Tube station openings. As California’s new poet laureate, I haven’t been asked to write a sonnet or triolet in honor of Gov. Schwarzenegger, who appointed me last month, nor a pantoum in honor of Maria Shriver — and I don’t expect to have to honor such a request. The governor and first lady clearly admire the idea of the poet laureate without insisting on a job description or the odd panegyric.

    In Britain, the poet laureate remains a half-jester, half-noble figure. In the U.S., we remain “half-cracked,” as Emily Dickinson said. We have a poetry tradition — a “Body Electric” anarchic romance — which gives rise to our present poetry polyglot: neo-formalist, plain style, abstract, imagist, l-a-n-g-u-a-g-e, ethnic, feminist, mystical, abcderian, post-colonial, lyric-narrative or minimalist, William-Carlos-Williams-take-the damn-refrigerator-note- down-and-mix-me-a-plum-daiquiri schools of poetry.
    Poetry is, like prayer, spun from the imagination — from ultimate contradiction — like the idea of a democratic crown. Who’s lucky or brazen enough to wear this headgear? I’m brazen enough to bow my head and gratefully accept the honor. Born in Minnesota, I teach creative writing at the University of Southern California, have written books of poems and, for years, wrote a poetry review column for this newspaper. Our governor was born in Austria and his first lady was born into an American “royal” family sprung from Irish immigrants. Each of us, with our homegrown or immigrant souls, has an idea of what sort of poetry should come out of the state — whether it should sound like Gary Snyder, Robinson Jeffers, Kenneth Rexroth or Robert Frost (born in San Francisco), or like Sor Juana, Carolyn Kizer, Jane Hirschfield, Marilyn Chin or Harryette Mullen. In a letter, Maria Shriver told me that California women are “trailblazers” in everything they do. I agree — in particular about poets, those psychic pioneers.
    There’s the answer, I think, to who or what a “poet laureate” is in this republic: There are no rules, the path is open. The first California poet laureate (appointed in 1915) was Ina Coolbrith, who blazed a way through the wilderness, literally. She was born in Nauvoo, Ill., as Josephine Donna Smith. Her father was Don Carlos Smith, a brother of the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith. Her mother fled Mormon polygamy with her second husband and her young daughter, traveling by covered wagon to California. (In the Golden State, Josephine Donna Smith reinvented herself as Ina Coolbrith to escape the history of the Smith name.) Coolbrith was outspoken, generous — a librarian and a teacher-mentor to the young Jack London — and fast friends with writers like Joaquin Miller, but her poems were steeped in a high tea lavender style. Even a poem called “California Poppy” sounded a bit like hapless British laureate Colley Cibber:

    Not all proud Sheba’s queenly offerings
    Could match the golden marvel of thy blooms.

    She was most certainly a trailblazer — and she was free to write about whatever she wished, in whatever style she chose. California was her refuge and source of her literary reputation. And yet, her 21st century reader cannot help but wonder what a poem about fleeing polygamy, crossing the Sierras in the first wagon in a caravan coming into California, about standing before the Pacific (as Frost’s “Once By the Pacific”) might have sounded like in her “un-miked” voice. The lordly office of British Poet Laureate colonized the voice of Coolbrith, pioneer and passionate advocate, yet California remained her inspiration.

    We’ve entered a new America in the last few months: We are redefining ourselves. If “poet laureate” sounds like a contradiction in terms here in California, the last frontier, then I accept that contradiction, just as I accept the extremely high standards that the outgoing poet laureate, Al Young, has set. But here’s what I most hope to do. I hope to speak in a voice that is in touch with California, about California — perhaps to children reading poetry for the first time, hospital patients, inmates of prisons or anyone fascinated or intimidated by its unlikely power.

    To speak about the state of mind which is California and the words swirling in the wind — desert by the sea, one hundred tongues, snow-peaked, blowing fire, homeless under the freeway, homeboy jewel in the lotus, Inland Empire, pool-blue aftershock, silver screen, aerospace grasslands, grapevined aqueduct air base on the Pacific Rim . . . You see where this is going. Perhaps finally, and with great respect, to readdress the ordinary California poppy — waiting there, egalitarian in the golden marvel of its blooms.

    Muske-Dukes is professor of English and creative writing at USC and the author of several books, including “Channeling Mark Twain,” “Sparrow” and “An Octave Above Thunder.”
    You can find out more about Carol at: http://www.carolmuskedukes.com/

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    7.)

    Dear Friends of Hayden Carruth,

    As you may imagine, the loss of Hayden Carruth has left his immediate family with some financial strains. Anyone wishing to help may send a check payable to HAYDEN CARRUTH MEMORIAL FUND c/o Paul V. Noyes, Esq. 131 Sherrill Rd, Sherrill, NY 13461. The fund will remain active until January 15, 2009; you may request anonymity or your name will be added (without the amount of your gift) to a list of contributors when Mr. Noyes gives Joe-Anne the proceeds (and any messages included with the donations) shortly after January 15. Please accept your canceled check as notification that your gift has been received.

    The Hayden Carruth Memorial Fund Committee

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    8.)

    In Memoriam:

    We’ve lost 2 wonderful poets this past week, one a member of the PSOV, Poetry Society of Vermont, and the other an internationally-known poet.

    Here’s what information I have at the moment for the first of two:

    Christopher Clarke White (“Doc White”)

    CASTLETON – The memorial service for Christopher Clarke White, 71, who died Jan. 14, 2009, will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at the Ducharme Funeral Home in Castleton. The Rev. Robert Noble, pastor of Castleton Federated Church, will officiate.

    A full obituary will be published in a future edition of the Rutland Herald.

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    9.)

    And , the 2nd:

    W.D. Snodgrass

    Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.D. Snodgrass dies

    W.D. Snodgrass, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who had a nearly 40- ear teaching career, died at his upstate New York home after a four- onth battle with inoperable lung cancer. He was 83.

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. —

    W.D. Snodgrass, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who had a nearly 40- ear teaching career, died at his upstate New York home after a four- onth battle with inoperable lung cancer. He was 83.

    His family said he died Tuesday at his home in Madison County, just east of Syracuse. Snodgrass won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1960 for his first book, “Heart’s Needle,” which grew from heartbreak at losing custody of his daughter in a bitter divorce.

    Although widely credited as a founding member of the “confessional” school of poetry, Snodgrass himself dismissed the label.

    Born William DeWitt Snodgrass in Wilkinsburg, Pa., on Jan. 5, 1926, he was known to friends throughout his life as “De,” pronounced “dee.” He briefly attended Geneva College in Pennsylvania before he was drafted into the Navy during World War II.

    Although he aspired to a career in music before the war, Snodgrass enrolled afterward in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, hoping to become a playwright. Instead, he drifted into some poetry classes and studied with such greats as John Crowe Ransom, Karl Shapiro, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell and Robert Lowell.

    After receiving two master’s degrees in writing, Snodgrass embarked in 1955 on a nearly 40-year teaching career, which included stints at Cornell University, the University of Rochester, Wayne State University, Old Dominion University and, from 1968 to 1977, Syracuse University. He retired from teaching in 1994.
    Snodgrass was the author of more than 30 books of poetry and translations.

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    10.)
    FROM POETS.ORG:

    W. D. Snodgrass

    William De Witt Snodgrass was born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, on January 5, 1926. He attended Geneva College and then served in the United States Navy until 1946. He then attended the State University of Iowa, where he earned his M.F.A. in 1953. His early work was compared to the work of Robert Lowell and Randall Jarrell, both of which were his teachers.

    His first collection of poetry, Heart’s Needle, was published in 1959 and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. Since then, he has published numerous books of poetry, including Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions, 2006); The Führer Bunker: The Complete Cycle (1995); Each in His Season (1993); Selected Poems, 1957-1987; The Führer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress (1977), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and produced by Wynn Handman for The American Place Theatre; and After Experience (1968).

    He is often credited as being one of the founding members of the “confessional” movement, though he does not consider his poetry as fitting in that school. About his own work, Snodgrass has said, “I first became known for poems of a very personal nature, especially those about losing a daughter in a divorce. Many of those early poems were in formal metres and had an ‘open’ surface. All through my career, however, I have written both free verse and formal metres.”

    He has also produced two books of literary criticism, To Sound Like Yourself: Essays on Poetry (2003) and In Radical Pursuit (1975), and six volumes of translation, including Selected Translations (BOA Editions, 1998), which won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award.

    His honors include an Ingram Merrill Foundation award and a special citation from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He lived in upstate New York and died on January 13, 2009.
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    11.)

    From Bob & Susan Arnold at Longhouse, a fine Vermont press that not only issues gorgeous, incredible letterpress work, but also has served as a nerve center for poets and political activism for southeastern Vermont and sometimes for all of New England, I found this beautiful section of poetry, which centers around friendships with Hayden Carruth. I think they’re worth reading:

    http://www.longhousepoetry.com/carruth.html

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    11.)

    Did You Know? . . . that even I can miss posting a poetry event?

    Yes, it happens once in awhile. That’s why I appreciate emails from poets who receive the VPN about possibly obscure poetry-related events around the state. I can’t find them all by myself, although I certainly try. The VPN is your resource, so contribute when you can – events, anything!

    What I missed, only because it was posted late at Middlebury College, was a poetry reading at the college on Thursday evening, January 15th, in honor of Martin Luther King day, the 19th. The special event was headed by nationally-known poet, Sonia Sanchez, who was at my college, San Francisco State, in the years just before I got there.

    Here’s Ms. Sanchez’ bio:

    Sonia Sanchez was born Wilsonia Benita Driver on September 9, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama.

    Her mother died a year later, and Sanchez lived with her paternal grandmother and other relatives for several years. In 1943 she moved to Harlem with her sister to live with their father and his third wife. She earned a B.A. in political science from Hunter College in 1955. She also did postgraduate work at New York University and studied poetry with Louise Bogan. Sanchez formed a writers’ workshop in Greenwich Village, attended by such poets as Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), and Larry Neal. Along with Madhubuti, Nikki Giovanni, and Etheridge Knight, she formed the “Broadside Quartet” of young poets, introduced and promoted by Dudley Randall. She married and divorced Albert Sanchez, a Puerto Rican immigrant whose surname she has used when writing, and the poet Etheridge Knight, with whom she had three children. During the early 1960s she was an integrationist, supporting the philosophy of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

    But after considering the ideas of Black Muslim leader Malcolm X, who believed blacks would never be truly accepted by whites in the United States, she focused more on her black heritage from a separatist point of view. Sanchez began teaching in the San Francisco area in 1965 and was a pioneer in developing black studies courses at what is now San Francisco State University, where she was an instructor from 1968 to 1969. In 1971 she joined the Nation of Islam, but by 1976 she had left the Nation, largely because of its repression of women.
    Sonia Sanchez is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including Homegirls and Handgrenades (White Pine Press, 2007), Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems (1999); Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums: Love Poems (1998); Does your house have lions? (1995), which was nominated for both the NAACP Image and National Book Critics Circle Award; Wounded in the House of a Friend (1995); Under a Soprano Sky (1987); Homegirls & Handgrenades (1984), which won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; I’ve Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems (1978); A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women (1973); Love Poems (1973); Liberation Poem (1970); We a BaddDDD People (1970); and Homecoming (1969).
    Her published plays are Black Cats Back and Uneasy Landings (1995), I’m Black When I’m Singing, I’m Blue When I Ain’t (1982), Malcolm Man Don’t Live Here No Mo’ (1979), Uh Huh: But How Do It Free Us? (1974), Dirty Hearts ’72 (1973), The Bronx Is Next (1970),and Sister Son/ji (1969). Her books for children include A Sound Investment and Other Stories (1979), The Adventures of Fat Head, Small Head, and Square Head (1973), and It’s a New Day: Poems for Young Brothas and Sistuhs (1971). She has also edited two anthologies: We Be Word Sorcerers: Twenty-five Stories by Black Americans (1973) and Three Hundred Sixty Degrees of Blackness Comin”at You (1971).
    Among the many honors she has received are the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Outstanding Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.
    Sonia Sanchez has lectured at more than five hundred universities and colleges in the United States and had traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, Norway, and Canada. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she began teaching in 1977, and held the Laura Carnell Chair in English there until her retirement in 1999. She lives in Philadelphia.

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    12.)

    “Ponderings”

    Repressed whimsy, it seems, can build up and fester in a person, the way unexpressed rage or resentment does. The time comes when, to save your sanity, you just have to get it out of your system in one big, cleansing blast. The evidence is in “Romantic Poetry,” a marmalade-sticky musical that opened recently on Broadway, at the Manhattan Theater Club.

    Ruby Washington/The New York Times

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    13.)

    ‘Poetry is the impish attempt to paint the color of wind.’

    Poetry Quote by Maxwell Bodenheim

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    14.)

    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.

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    15.)

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

    Head First
    BY KRISTINE ONG MUSLIM

    Kristine Ong Muslim has stories and poems published or forthcoming in more than three hundred publications worldwide, including Adbusters, Bellevue Literary Review, and Narrative Magazine. She has received a nomination for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award, three nominations for the Pushcart Prize, and several Honorable Mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.


    “We have seen that the members of the same class, independently of their habits of life, resemble each other in the general plan of their organisation.”

    — Charles Darwin, “On the Origin of Species”

    Start from scratch.
    There goes the cult of
    the sleepless late twenties,
    all burned out matchsticks.
    The orbs of their heads
    are darker when seen
    from above.
    Their posture is the arc
    of sunset. Beautifully bent.

    http://linebreak.org/

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    16.)

    Here’s a poem from Copper Canyon Press, not in its “Reading Room” (http://www.coppercanyonpress.org/) as I usually reprint in the Newsletter, but from another source. It was such a find that I felt you should read it in this space usually reserved for a Copper Canyon poem.

    Sascha Feinstein
    Blues Knowledge

    Rain fizzles to electric portraits
    of dazzling glitter and soot
    as whorls of sparkled static shade
    a flock of pigeons that circle
    the cupola where stained glass
    from a fire in the pews expanded
    and blasted to the pavement
    rosettes and shields
    long since swept to the gutters
    to grind in the silt of the Hudson
    stirring now from a Southern hurricane’s
    humid tumult of newspapers and necklaces
    silhouetted against cherry trees
    far above this unimaginable city below
    where the worn yellow lines
    like unboarded bath houses
    hold no one from leaning into death
    as if our eyes could summon those lights
    that always turn the same bend
    before machinery blossoms
    and children hold their ears
    and the crowd shifts awkwardly
    into this time of need
    so desperate in its planetary pull
    no one allows themselves to feel
    beyond the urgent discomfort of steam
    that slicks hair to the skull
    until despair becomes the steel bolts
    blurring perfect circles to ovals and sinking
    into paint thicker than most lives
    and browner than cave paintings
    or dogs from Lenox Avenue
    and everything tenants kill
    to purify apartments or boulevards
    which is why this man dragging
    tin and plastic knows for sure only that
    his token had a hole in its center the way I
    know this train will take me
    not to my wife and child
    but to the blues knowledge of departure
    that makes everyone hold their sweat
    and turn strangely now to watch
    a huge woman bespangled
    in a full-length dress and cushioned beret
    the color of cranberries in ginger ale
    as she loops her microphone cord
    and clicks the cassette into its groove
    of Mississippi guitar
    over the backbeat of Aretha’s gospel
    singing Can’t find nobody like you
    to another who could be her sister
    but stands with tears so full and fluid
    her cheeks reflect the scarlet sequins
    and beside me the man’s black bags
    bloom into silver stamens as he raises
    both palms into fingers and fists
    and fingers blinking amen
    and honey you’ve got to believe me
    when I tell you on this platform
    of people all living
    in this city of got-to-get-there-yesterday
    half of us let our trains roll on by

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    17.)

    American Life in Poetry: Column 198
    BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

    This column has had the privilege of publishing a number of poems by young people, but this is the first we’ve published by a young person who is also a political refugee. The poet, Zozan Hawez, is from Iraq, and goes to Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington. Seattle Arts & Lectures sponsors a Writers in the Schools program, and Zozan’s poem was encouraged by that initiative.

    Self-Portrait

    Born in a safe family
    But a dangerous area, Iraq,
    I heard guns at a young age, so young
    They made a decision to raise us safe
    So packed our things
    And went far away.
    Now, in the city of rain,
    I try to forget my past,
    But memories never fade.
    This is my life,
    It happened for a reason,
    I happened for a reason.

    American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-
    Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2007 by Seattle Arts & Lectures. Reprinted from “We Will Carry Ourselves As Long As We Gaze Into The Sun,” Seattle Arts & Lectures, 2007, by permission of Zozan Hawez and the publisher. Introduction copyright (c) 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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    18.)

    KEEP PAST VERMONT POETS ALIVE!

    I’M SOLICITING YOUR HELP:

    POETS OF VERMONT
    PAST AND PRESENT
    PROJECT

    I’m looking for a copy of:

    1) The Literature of Vermont: A Sampler, University Press of New England, Arthur W. Biddle and Paul A. Eschholz, Editors, 1973
    2) Poets and Poetry of Vermont, by Abby Maria Hemenway, 1858
    3) “Driftwood,” a poetry magazine begun in 1926 by Walter John Coates
    If you have any books of poetry, chapbooks, or just poems written by Vermont poets, dating 1980 and earlier, famous or not, I’d like to know about them. I’m beginning a project that deals strictly with Vermont poets, from Vermont’s past, with summaries of the poets themselves, a portrait photo or drawing of the poet, along with a small sampling of poems. If you think you can help, you probably can! Please contact me by replying to this newsletter.

    Ronald Lewis

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    19.)

    VERMONT POET LAUREATES

    1) Robert Frost – 1961
    2) Galway Kinnell
    3) Louis Glück
    4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
    5) Grace Paley
    6) Ruth Stone

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    20.)

    If you ever have a need to contact me, here’s how to go about doing so:
    Ronald Lewis:
    Phone: 802-247-5913
    Cell: 802-779-5913
    Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
    Email: sshortpt@verizon.net

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    21.)

    YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

    MIDDLEBURY

    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.

    BELLOWS FALLS


    1) Great River Arts Institute – See details elsewhere in this newsletter
    2) Poetry Workshop at Village Square Booksellers with Jim Fowler (no relation to owner Pat). The goal of this course is to introduce more people to the art of writing poetry and will include a discussion of modern poetry in various forms and styles. Each week, the course will provide time to share and discuss participant’s poetry. Students should bring a poem and copies to the first class. The course will be limited to 5 to 8 students to allow adequate time to go through everyone’s poetry contributions and will meet in the cafe at Village Square Booksellers. James Fowler, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science with a major in Nature Writing. He was the editor of Heartbeat of New England, a poetry anthology. Fowler has been widely published since 1998 in such journals as Connecticut Review, Quarterly of Light Verse, and Larcom Review. Fowler is a founding member of the River Voices Writer’s Circle, and a regular reader at Village Square Booksellers-River Voices Poetry Readings. The fee for this 6 week Workshop is $100, payable to Mr. Fowler at the first class. Pre-registration for the Poetry Workshop is suggested and may be made by calling Village Square Booksellers at 802-463-9404 or by email at vsbooks@sover.net or jfowler177@comcast.net.

    GUILFORD

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

    WAITSFIELD

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

    STOWE

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

    NORWICH

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

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    22.)

    OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT

    BURLINGTON

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

    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

    The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT 05001
    Saturday, January 17th OR Saturday, February 14th
    2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    $45

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

    The Ossmann Method Poetry Workshop: Building Your Tool Kit
    Instructor: April Ossmann
    The Writer’s Center, 58 North Main Street, White River Jct., VT 05001
    Sundays, 8 weeks, January 18th – March 8th
    2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    $200

    Build or improve your poetic techniques tool kit and learn how to think like a poetry editor! In this workshop we’ll turn the usual workshop model on its head and not only allow the poet being critiqued to speak, but to speak first and critique their own poem, discussing correlations between the criticisms s/he has for other participants’ poems and her/his own before group discussion begins. This will offer a taste of what it means to be both poet and poetry editor, a position in which it becomes easier to objectively assess your own work; to spot dull vs. energetic syntax, generic vs. original imagery and other strengths and weaknesses you may have overlooked. It also empowers the poet in the process, and engenders an unusually positive and congenial workshop atmosphere. This workshop will be both critical and generative, so I will assign reading and generative exercises meant to teach or improve writing skills. Pre-registration required; enrollment limited to 8 (minimum enrollment for the course to proceed is 4). Info: (802) 333-9597 or aprilossmann@hotmail.com and www.aprilossmann.com

    Note: If you know of any others, or have personal information about the workshop in Stowe and Guilford, please send me that information. I realize that there are several smaller groups or workshops around the state. However, because of their intimacy, they are not posted above, allowing them to offer “memberships” to close friends or acquaintances that they feel would be most appropriate.

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    23.)

    YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

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

    UNDERHILL

    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 www.womenwritingVT.com/ or contact Sarah Bartlett at either 899-3772 or sarah@womenwritingvt.com.

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    24.)

    POETRY EVENT CALENDAR

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

    Fri, Jan 16: Outer Space Café in the Flynndog Gallery, 208 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, 7:00 p.m. Poet’s Night. First of this year’s series.

    Fri, Jan 16: Deadline for Studio Place Arts exhibit. See Jan. 23rd event below.

    Tue, Jan 20: Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Charles Barasch. Celebrate Inauguration Week with UVM linguistics teacher and the Plainfield town moderator, Charles Barasch, who will present Dreams of the Presidents, a collection of dream poems – one for each American president. Humorous, and laced with events of historical interest, each poem gives insight into the presidents’ lives. This book offers a well-timed look at politicians, as well some much-needed laughs. For info, 229-1069.

    Wed, Jan 21: Robert Hull Fleming Museum, UVM Campus, 61 Colchester Avenue, Burlington, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Art and Poetry: The Painted Word featuring poets Myronn Hardy and Matthew Miller. The Robert Hull Fleming Museum presents a poetry series hosted by Major Jackson, associate professor in the University of Vermont’s Department of English. This reading series highlights established and emergent New England poets whose work represents significant explorations into language, song, and art. Info, www.uvm.edu/
    ~fleming/
    . Co-sponsored with the English Department and funded in part by the James and Mary Buckham Fund.

    Thu, Jan 22: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. “You Come, Too”: Winter with Robert Frost. Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s winter poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served; free. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

    Thu, Jan 22: Briggs Carriage Bookstore, 16 Park Street, Brandon, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Charles Barasch. Celebrate Inauguration Week with UVM linguistics teacher and the Plainfield town moderator, Charles Barasch, who will present Dreams of the Presidents, a collection of dream poems – one for each American president. Humorous, and laced with events of historical interest, each poem gives insight into the presidents’ lives. This book offers a well-timed look at politicians, as well some much-needed laughs. For info, Peter Marsh at 247-0050.

    Fri, Jan 23: Studio Place Arts (SPA), 201 N. Main Street, Barre, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Opening Reception – Poetry Reading. Studio Place Arts (SPA, http://www.studioplacearts.com) is having an exhibit in its main gallery from January20 – February 28, 2009 entitled Picture That Poem. Visual artists will be showing work that responds to poetry and/or incorporates poetry directly in the artwork.

    At the same time, I am curating an exhibit in the second floor Student and Community artspace that will display published books of poetry. I am planning to display the books in a way that will allow visitors to browse the books and spend some time with them (which means that the volume on display may get some wear). I am looking for poets to exhibit one to three different books of poetry during that time. I would need two copies of each book, one to display and one to keep for sale. When a book sells, we will contact the poet to replace the sold volume, or we can take orders and fulfill them at the conclusion of the exhibit (for those big sellers!). SPA takes a 35% commission on sold works.

    The opening reception for these two exhibits will be on Friday, January 23 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. We would like to have a reading during that time when those who are interested (and able to attend) could read one or two of their works. SPA is a great place with lots of energy and well-attended shows and receptions.

    *PLEASE HELP ME TO BROADCAST THIS CALL FOR PARTICIPATION* by forwarding to poets you think may be interested, or posting in appropriate places, and respond to me (or Studio Place Arts) before the end of December indicating:

    * How many different books of your poetry you would like to display
    in the January 20 – February 28 exhibit
    * Whether you would be interested in reading at the opening
    reception on January 23

    We will need to have the books in hand by Friday, January 16, 2009. Mail or deliver to SPA at 201 North Main Street, Barre, VT 05641. Return postage SASE is appreciated by this non-profit arts center!

    Janet Van Fleet
    32 Thistle Hill Road, Cabot, VT 05647
    802 563 2486

    Check out my blog at http://janetvanfleet.blogspot.com/
    Fri, Jan 23: Salisbury Library, Salisbury, 7:30 p.m. Spring Street Poets. The six members of the Spring Street Poets will be providing a rare reading. Hear the quality work of Jennifer Bates, Janet Fancher, Karin Gottshall, Ray Hudson, Mary Pratt and David Weinstock.

    Sun, Jan 25: Red Hen Baking Company & Café, Route 2, Middlesex Village, 6:00 p.m. Poetry reading. Celebrate Robert Burns’ 250th birthday with our own Scottish Poet Len Irving! Come and read poetry – your own or your favorites – or listen to others. Info, Earline Marsh at 223-6777. (Red Hen readings are quarterly).

    Mon, Jan 26: Grafton Library, Main Street, Grafton, 7:00 p.m. Robert Frost: Poetry and Prose. Second of three-part book discussion series led by Dr. Deborah Luskin from the Vermont Humanities Council. For info, Linda Montecalvo at 843-1444.

    Mon, Jan 26: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Eileen Myles to read. Of Sorry, Tree Eileen Myles most recent volume Chicago Review says: “Her politics are overt, her physicality raw, yet it is the subtle gentle noticing in her poems that overwhelms.” Eileen Myles is among the ranks of the officially restless, a poet who writes fiction (Chelsea Girls, Cool for You) an art writer and journalist whose essays and reviews have appeared in Art Forum, and Book Forum, The Believer, Parkett, The Nation and a libretticist whose opera “Hell” (w composer Michael Webster) was performed on both coasts in 2004 and again in 2006. Her first full collection of nonfiction writings, The Importance of Being Iceland, for which she received a Warhol/Creative Capital grant will come out in spring 09 from Semiotext(e)/MIT.

    Wed, Jan 28: Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m – 8:00 p.m. Poetry reading. Celebrate Robert Burns’ 250th birthday with Scottish Poet Len Irving! Widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, this 18th century poet has left a legacy in song and poetry that endures to this day. Join a modern Scottish poet, Leonard Irving, for a salute to the author of Auld Lang Syne.

    Thu, Feb 5: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Cleopatra Mathis to read. Cleopatra Mathis was born and raised in Ruston, Louisiana. Her first five books of poems were published by Sheep Meadow Press. A sixth collection, White Sea, was published by Sarabande Books in 2005. Her work has appeared widely in anthologies, textbooks, magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Tri-Quarterly, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry, The Extraordinary Tide: Poetry by American Women, and The Practice of Poetry. Various prizes for her work include two National Endowment for the Arts grants, in 1984 and 2003; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poems in 2001; the Peter Lavin Award for Younger Poets from the Academy of American Poets; two Pushcart Prizes (1980 and 2006); The Robert Frost Resident Poet Award; a 1981-82 Fellowship in Poetry at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts; The May Sarton Award; and Individual Artist Fellowships in Poetry from both the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey State Arts Council. She is the Frederick Sessions Beebe Professor of the Art of Writing at Dartmouth College, where she has directed the Creative Writing Program since 1982.

    Fri, Feb 6: Firehouse Gallery, 135 Church Street, Burlington, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Poetry Reading and Drumming. As part of the Burlington Art Walk, poet and artist Terry Hauptman will provide a poetry reading accompanied by Jerry Geier’s drumming on his sculptural slit drums will entertain all. While you’re at the Firehouse Gallery, you can visit these two artists’ exhibits, titled Veiled Lineage. It features two Vermont artists investigating concepts of ancestry, heritage and tradition; using sculpture, painting, and installation. Jerry Geier’s assembly of sculptures, or totems, feature carved faces of wood and clay derived from indigenous and modern societies. The totems are hollowed and act as functional drums. Terry Hauptman’s Songline Scrolls feature colorful multi-cultural processions on wall-sized scrolls of paper. These scrolls are a metaphor for life, representing a continual unfolding revelation of change and celebration. In this 400th anniversary of European arrival in the Champlain Valley, this exhibit highlights our evolving notions of cultural and spiritual identity, and exposes the paradox of searching for meaning in the very same cultures that were supplanted by our own colonialist history.

    Mon, Feb 9: Grafton Library, Main Street, Grafton, 7:00 p.m. Robert Frost: Poetry and Prose. Third of three-part book discussion series led by Dr. Deborah Luskin from the Vermont Humanities Council. For info, Linda Montecalvo at 843-1444.

    Sun, Feb 15: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Winter Readings in the National Park. Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided. Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center. For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

    Wed, Feb 18: Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. “You Come, Too”: Winter with Robert Frost. Robert Frost’s poetry is known, among other things, for its ability to evoke the seasons of New England in all their complexity. Join Peter Gilbert, the Vermont Humanities Council’s executive director and the executor of Frost’s estate, in reading and discussing some of Frost’s winter poems. Participants are invited to either read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Refreshments served; free. RSVPs are encouraged at 802.262.2626 x307. Walk-ins welcome.

    Mon, Feb 23: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Michael Waters to read. Michael Waters’ eight books of poetry include Darling Vulgarity (2006—finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize), Parthenopi: New and Selected Poems (2001), and Green Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum (1997) from BOA Editions, and Bountiful (1992), The Burden Lifters (1989), and Anniversary of the Air (1985) from Carnegie Mellon UP. His several edited volumes include Contemporary American Poetry (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) and Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois UP, 2003). In 2004 he chaired the poetry panel for the National Book Award. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright Foundation, Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and four Pushcart Prizes, he teaches at Monmouth University in New Jersey and in the Drew University MFA Program.

    Wed, Feb 25: Peabody Library, Route 113, Post Mills. Reception and book signing by the authors of the literary magazine, Bloodroot. Bloodroot Literary Magazine is a nonprofit publication released each December. Their mission is to provide a journal of high production values and quality material by established and emerging authors. The 2009 issue of Bloodroot features cover art by Christy Hale and poems, short stories and creative nonfiction by 28 outstanding authors, many of them familiar names here in Vermont – Regina Brault, Carol Milkuhn and Nancy Means Wright. The book is scheduled to be out and about in mid-December 2008.

    Sun, Mar 8: Warming hut log cabin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 54 Elm Street, Woodstock, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Winter Readings in the National Park. Join a park ranger in sharing short stories and poetry about winter at the ski shelter warming cabin. Bring your own stories and poetry to share or just listen to others readings while enjoying the warmth of the cabin’s woodstove. Hot chocolate will be provided. Cost: $5.00 trail pass from the Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center. For info, Tim Maguire at 457-3368 X22 or Tim_maguire@nps.gov.

    Sun, Mar 9: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m. Poet C.D. Wright. 2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series. A compelling and idiosyncratic poet, C.D. Wright has twelve collections including Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008), a weaving of deeply personal and politically ferocious poems; Deepstep Come Shining and Cooling Time. Her collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana was awarded the Dorothea Lange-Paul Tayor Prize. Her new and selected poems Steal Away was on the shortlist for the Griffin Trust Award. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the Israel J. Kapstein Professor at Brown University. Free. (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.
    Thu, Apr 2: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Rosanna Warren to read. Rosanna Warren was born in Connecticut in 1953.

    She was educated at Yale (BA 1976) and Johns Hopkins (MA 1980). She is the author of one chapbook of poems (Snow Day, Palaemon Press, 1981), and three collections of poems: Each Leaf Shines Separate (Norton, 1984), Stained Glass (Norton, 1993, Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets), and Departure (Norton, 2003). She edited and contributed to The Art of Translation: Voices from the Field (Northeastern, 1989), and has edited three chapbooks of poetry by prisoners. She has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace Readers’ Digest Fund, among others. She has won the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lavan Younger Poets’ Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Award of Merit in Poetry from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She is Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities at Boston University.

    Sun, Apr 5: Plymouth State University, Smith Recital Hall, Johnson, NH, 7:00 p.m. Poet Wesley McNair. 2008 – 2009 Eagle Pond Author’s Series. Wesley McNair is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Foundations and a United States Artists Fellowship to “America’s finest living artists.” Other honors include the Robert Frost Prize; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry (for Fire); the Theodore Roethke prize from Poetry Northwest; the Pushcart Prize and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal. McNair is currently Professor Emeritus and Writer in Residence at the University of Maine at Farmington. Free. (603) 535-5000 to reserve spaces.

    Mon, Apr 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Eric Pankey to read. Eric Pankey is the author of six books of poetry: Reliquaries, Cenotaph, The Late Romances, Apocrypha, Heartwood and For the New Year. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NEA Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award, and an Ingram Merrill Grant. His work has appeared in many journals, including Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Triquarterly, DoubleTake and The New England Review. He teaches at George Mason University and lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

    Thu, Apr 23: Middlebury College, Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A talk by Adina Hoffman, on her new book, My Happiness Bears no Relation to Happiness: Poet Taha Muhammad Ali and the Palestinian Century, (Yale University Press), the first biography of a Palestinian poet, and the first portrayal of Palestinian literature and culture in the 20th Century. Sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Middle East Studies Program. For info, 443-5151, E-mail: schine@middlebury.edu.

    Thu, May 14: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Michael Harper to read. Michael S. Harper was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1938. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from what is now known as California State University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He has taught at Brown since 1970. Harper has published more than 10 books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems (ARC Publications, 2002); Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems (2000); Honorable Amendments (1995); and Healing Song for the Inner Ear (1985).

    A new poetry collection, Use Trouble, is forthcoming in fall 2008 from The University of Illinois Press. His other collections include Images of Kin (1977), which won the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America and was nominated for the National Book Award; Nightmare Begins Responsibility (1975); History Is Your Heartbeat (1971), which won the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award for poetry; and Dear John, Dear Coltrane (1970), which was nominated for the National Book Award. Harper edited the Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980); he is co-editor with Anthony Walton of The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) and Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (1994), and with Robert B. Stepto of Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship (1979).

    Harper was the first poet laureate of Rhode Island (1988-1993) and has received many other honors, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. Harper is also a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow, and the recipient of numerous distinctions, including the Robert Hayden Poetry Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Melville-Cane Award, the Claiborne Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

    Mon, Jun 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Eamon Grennan to read. Eamon Grennan was born in Dublin in 1941 and educated at UCD, where he studied English and Italian, and Harvard, where he received his PhD in English. His volumes of poetry include What Light There Is & Other Poems, (North Point Press, 1989), Wildly for Days (1983), What Light There Is (1987), As If It Matters (1991), So It Goes (1995), Selected and New Poems (2000) and Still Life with Waterfall (2001). His latest collection, The Quick of It, appeared in 2004 in Ireland, and in Spring 2005 in America. His books of poetry are published in the United States by Graywolf Press, and in Ireland by Gallery Press. Other publications include Leopardi: Selected Poems (Princeton 1997), and Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century, a collection of essays on modern Irish poetry.

    His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in many magazines both in Ireland and the US. Grennan has given lectures and workshops in colleges and universities in the US, including courses for the graduate programs in Columbia and NYU. During 2002 he was the Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University. His grants and prizes in the United States include awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Leopardi: Selected Poems received the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and Still Life with Waterfall was the recipient of the 2003 Lenore Marshall Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Poets. His poems have been awarded a number of Pushcart prizes. Grennan has taught since 1974 at Vassar College where he is the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English.

    Thu, Jul 9: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Michael Ryan to read. Michael Ryan has published three collections of poetry, including In Winter, Threats Instead of Trees, has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and God Hunger, as well as A Difficult Grace: On Poets, Poetry, and Writing, and the memoir Secret Life. His work has appeared in Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, New Republic, and elsewhere. Ryan has been honored by the Lenore Marshall Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, and a Guggenheim. Ryan is Professor of English and Creative Writing at UC, Irvine.

    Mon, Jul 27: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Doreen Gilroy to read. Doreen Gilroy’s first book, The Little Field of Self (The University of Chicago Press, 2002), won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares. Her second book, Human Love, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2005. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Slate, TriQuarterly and many other magazines.

    Mon, Aug 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Cole Swensen to read. Cole Swensen is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. She is the author of five collections of poems, including Try (University of Iowa Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Poetry Prize; Noon (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), which won a New American Writing Award; and Numen (Burning Deck Press, 1995) which was nominated for the PEN West Award in Poetry. Her translations include Art Poetic’ by Olivier Cadiot (Sun & Moon Press, Green Integer Series, 1999) and Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun & Moon, 1995). She splits her time among Denver, San Francisco and Paris.

    Thu, Sep 3: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Marge Piercy to read. Marge Piercy has published 17 books of poetry, including What Are Big Girls Made Of, Colors Passing Through Us, and most recently her 17th volume, The Crooked Inheiritance, all from Knopf. She has written 17 novels, most recently SEX WARS in Perennial paperback now. Her memoir Sleeping With Cats is also in Harper Collins Perennial. Last spring, Schocken published Pesach for the Rest of Us. Her work has been translated into 16 languages. Her CD Louder We Can’t Hear You Yet contains her political and feminist poems. She has been an editor of Leapfrog Press for the last ten years and also poetry editor of Lilith.

    Thu, Oct 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Pattiann Rogers to read. Pattiann Rogers has published ten books of poetry, a book-length essay, The Dream of the Marsh Wren, and A Covenant of Seasons, poems and monotypes, in collaboration with the artist Joellyn Duesberry. Her 11th book of poetry, Wayfare, will appear from Penguin in April, 2008. Rogers is the recipient of two NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation, and five Pushcart Prizes. In the spring of 2000 she was in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy. Her papers are archived in the Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community and the Natural World at Texas Tech University. She has taught as a visiting professor at various universities, including the Universities of Texas, Arkansas, and Montana, Houston University, and Washingon University. She is currently on the faculty of Pacific University’s MFA in Writing Program. Rogers has two sons and three grandsons and lives with her husband in Colorado.

    Tue, Oct 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Major Jackson to read. “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.

    Tue, Nov 17: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet Sebastian Matthews to read. 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.

    2010

    Mon, Feb 22: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, exact time not yet determined. Poet David Shapiro to read. David Shapiro (born January 2, 1947) is an American poet, literary critic, and art historian and . Shapiro has written some twenty volumes of poetry, literary, and art criticism. He was first published at the age of thirteen, and his first book was published at the age of eighteen. Shapiro has taught at Columbia, Bard College, Cooper Union, Princeton University, and William Paterson University. He wrote the first monograph on John Ashbery, the first book on Jim Dine’s paintings, the first book on Piet Mondrian’s flower studies, and the first book on Jasper Johns’ drawings. He has translated Rafael Alberti’s poems on Pablo Picasso, and the writings of the Sonia and Robert Delaunay. Shapiro has won National Endowment for the HumanitiesNational Endowment for the Arts fellowships, been nominated for a National Book Award, and been the recipient of numerous grants for his work. Shapiro lives in Riverdale, The Bronx, New York City, with his wife and son.

    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.

    That’s about it for now. Again, keep your eyes peeled for poetry events. I hope this email finds you all with good health and sharp pencils.

    Your fellow Poet,
    Ron Lewis