$poetry$

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what’s in it for me?

This is a question I have increasingly asked various leagues, guilds, associations, societies, state associations etc…

The silence has been deafening.

In  every case, membership requires my money and in every case these guilds, societies, leagues and associations already know what’s in it for themmy money. I’ll name names. Among others I have asked, at different times: The League of Vermont Writers, The Poetry Society of Vermont, The Authors Guild, The Association of Writers and Writing Programs, The Poetry Society of America, and The National Writer’s Union.

I’ve gotten no response.

It does not stand to reason that there is nothing to be gained by joining these organizations, but their lack of response is telling.  In some cases I requested specific information. For instance, many of these organizations (each in their individual states) offer classes, conferences and workshops if you’re willing to give them more of your money. But I’m not interested in taking classes, going to seminars, conferences or taking workshops. I am, however, interested in offering the same. I asked them: If I join your organization, how could I participate in offering classes, seminars or workshops? (I think I’ve got a lot to say about poetry.)

But again, in every instance, the silence was deafening.

Bare in mind, it’s not as if I was asking them to guarantee me a workshop.  I was asking for information. What could I expect in return for my money? And the answer, in every case, was definitely not money.

It’s very hard not to draw some conclusions.

One hard to avoid conjecture is that these associations are a revenue stream for their respective in-groups. (I suspect that if I had asked them where I should send my check, they would have told me within the hour.) All these organizations, to a greater or lesser degree, already have their favorites lined up. They’re not looking to share. However, if you’re looking for workshops and seminars, then these groups might be just the thing. I admit that not every member joins for the sake of their  bottom line (nor should they). I respect that. And I’m not surprised if some readers find my attitude crassly mercenary.

But I’m done with poetry costing me money.

of talent & encouragement

Art for art’s sake? Some of us want to know the return on our investment. And knowing the answer isn’t limited to clubs, associations or guilds. Every high school student who is considering a college writing program and every post graduate who is considering an MFA ought to start asking the same question. In the case of MFAs, no college or university, to my knowledge, offers an explanation for how their programs are going to translate into future income or employment (how are you going to earn back all that money you gave to some school and some other poet)?

Here is the Iowa Writer’s Workshop:

The Program in Creative Writing is known informally as the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and these two titles suggest the duality of our purpose and function. As a “program” we offer the Master of Fine Arts in English, a terminal degree qualifying the holder to teach creative writing at the college level.

Did you know that an MFA “qualifies” one to “teach creative writing at the college level“? (That explains everything doesn’t it.) However,  they’re not making any promises because:

…we agree in part with the popular insistence that writing cannot be taught…

The “popular” insistence?  Popular? Are we talking about the unwashed masses? Why the qualification? And why the word “insistence“?  What? Is it like nagging? So… you may not learn how to write, but you’ll be qualified to teach writing at colleges. And that begs the question, just what will you be “qualified” to teach if you can’t write? But the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, sensing a dangerous cul-de-sac, goes on:

…we exist and proceed on the assumption that talent can be developed…

Phew. Are you relieved? But wait. Does that mean they can make you a good writer? Well… no.

…no processes of externally induced training can ensure that one will do it well.

I see. No, in fact, they guarantee nothing. In fact, they only guarantee success if you’re already talented enough to be successful. Which begs the question: Then why go there if you’re talented? Am I being snarky? Here is the program’s answer:

….Accordingly, the fact that the Workshop can claim as alumni nationally and internationally prominent poets, novelists, and short story writers is, we believe, more the result of what they brought here than of what they gained from us.

OK. Here’s the same sentence shorn of its excess:

Accordingly, [success], we believe, [is] more the result of what they brought… than… what they gained from us.

Right. You can’t make this stuff up. And now for the piece of resistance:

We continue to look for the most promising talent in the country, in our conviction that writing cannot be taught…(!)

And all this happens in the space of a single paragraph! This is how the Iowa Writer’s Workshop sells itself? You would think that the nation’s finest writing program (reputedly) could write a better paragraph. And here’s how the whole train wreck ends:

…but [we believe] that writers can be encouraged.

And how much(!) are you going to pay for that “encouragement”?  And encouraged to do what? Write when you’re not working 50 hour weeks to pay back your student loans? – just after your 2 year old has gone to bed? – until your Iowa Poet-in-Residence releases his death grip on that plumb job (just it time for you to take his place and croak of a heart attack)? Here is another MFA program offered by New England College:

More than a graduate course of study, the New England College MFA program strives to teach its students how to become better poets by providing a transformative experience in the study of creative writing and poetry that will enhance their professional goals.

More than a graduate course? Meaning what? In fact, this entire sentence is a beautiful example of saying nothing – otherwise known as resumé-speak. Just what is a “graduate course of study”? What do they mean by the vacuous catch-phrase “transformative experience”? And how much more imprecise can you get than “enhance professional goals”? What goals? Doesn’t the school know?

…the program is designed to help students develop strong poetic and critical skills, as well as to take bold risks in their writing.

Seems to me, the boldest risk is in not paying tens of thousands of dollars – but in striking out on ones own.

Debt free.

For what do these organizations exist but their own self-perpetuation?

what’s in it for you?

If you’re going to fork over money to an association, organization, guild, or academic institution, etc., then you have a right to ask some questions. What are you going to get besides a bi-annual glossy peddling another poet? – not you. What besides three new letters behind your name – M.F.A? What besides an annual request to buy a new membership – and a membership to what, for what and how does it benefit you? What besides more ways to support other poets – besides you?

I don’t belong to any associations, guilds or societies.

It doesn’t mean I never will, but none have offered a compelling reason to buy a membership.

And if you’re going to “study” poetry in college or get an MFA, ask what’s in it for you? Otherwise, as the Iowa Writer’s Workshop unwittingly admits, you will be bringing them more ($) than what you “gain from [them]”. Some might say it’s not their job to answer that question (or that it’s crass) but, it seems to me, if they’re going to charge thousands and thousands of dollars they damned well ought to have an answer. You’re not getting a medical degree. You’re getting an MFA and what good is it going to do you?

And if no else has an answer, answer the question yourself.

If you can’t, then stop writing checks and get back to writing poetry.

Stop sending checks to this or that Association of Self-Perpetuation, and get back to sending poetry to readers – that is the best kind of mutually beneficial relationship.

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Vermont Poetry Newsletter • September 24 2009

[The Vermont Poetry Newsletter is not issued by me but by Ron Lewis, by whose permission I post this. PLEASE NOTE: I have edited his newsletter so that links are provided rather than text.]

Vermont Poetry Newsletter

Your Poetry & Spoken Word Gateway in the Green Mountain State

September 24, 2009 – In This Issue:

  1. About VPN
  2. Newsletter Editor’s Note
  3. Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
  4. Quibbles.com
  5. League of VT Writers: David Weinstock Poetry Workshop
  6. Brighten the Barn – PSOV Anthology
  7. Writing For Radio
  8. Burlington Book Festival (With Schedule)
  9. Brattleboro Literary Festival (With Schedule)
  10. Kay Boyle Bio
  11. The Horace Greeley Writers’ Conference
  12. The Poets Forum On Contemporary Poetry
  13. Google Book Settlement
  14. Tarpaulin Sky Press & Literary Journal
  15. Robert Frost Farm Fund
  16. Boston Book Festival
  17. Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman
  18. Book King Readings
  19. Did You Know? HBO Series: Brave New Voices
  20. Poetry Quotes – Why Poetry?
  21. US Poets Laureate List
  22. Failbetter Poem
  23. Linebreak Poem
  24. Copper Canyon Press Poem
  25. American Life in Poetry Poems
  26. Vermont Poet Laureates
  27. Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
  28. Vermont Literary Journals
  29. State Poetry Society (PSOV)
  30. Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  31. Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
  32. Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
  33. Poetry Event Calendar

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1.)

About the Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network

The Vermont Poetry Newsletter Network is made up of people of all backgrounds, ages and skills who appreciate the craft of poetry and want to promote it in the beautiful state of Vermont. The network consists of a free e-mail list, an eventual web site, workshops, open mics, poetry performances and other literary events.  The network provides opportunities to meet local poets, talk about and enjoy poetry, and motivate and inspire yourself in whatever writing projects you are involved.

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2.)

Dear Friends of Poetry:

Do you realize that the Vermont Poetry Newsletter now goes to over 300 serious poets around the state?  If you’re reading this, you happen to be one of the chosen ones, to be a “word gatherer” and to bring the enjoyment of this craft to others.    If you have something poetry-related that you would like me to be aware of, something you think I would enjoy, please send it along to me.  I too am one of you, someone who searches out for the perfect word, a “word gatherer.”    I hope to someday be fortunate enough to find you at a poetry reading, or to hear you read, or you to hear my words.  I want to hear all the words, all the poetry that surrounds us.  Don’t you?

Ron Lewis VPN Publisher  247-5913

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WRITING ASSIGNMENT/SUGGESTION/EXERCISES

writing promptOpen a dictionary to a random page. Run your finger down a column of text, paying attention to the first five or ten words you see. Choose one of those words and find a way to include it in a poem you’re working on, or a paragraph of prose. As Natasha says, you can force the word into your work “like hammering open a door.” Maybe in a later revision, you’ll block it up again. But in the meantime, this randomly chosen word will have allowed you to get some “air” into your writing…

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4.)

QUIBBLES.COM

The Dead Creek Poets’ Society Leonard Gibbs,
Magister Ludi

In which Leonard Gibbs contemplates A. E. Housman’s  “The Name and Nature of Poetry.”

quibblesOver the years some writings have stayed with me, to read over and over.  As I was a preacher in the Southern Presbyterian Church, The Bible was not only required reading, as a professional handbook, but also a wildly exciting story of Olympian rages, creativity, hate, love and redemption.  I read it less now, and in pieces.  I do not see it as a single theological work, but as a testament to beauty, power, hope and massive failure….

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5.)

League of Vermont Writers
October 2 and 3, 2009 – LVW Fall Retreat
Bishop Booth Conference Center by the Lake
Burlington, Vermont  with

Registration InfoFriday Evening

Joe Citro – Reading from *The Vermont Monster Guide*

Saturday

Joe Citro – “On the Writing Life”
Jim DeFilippi – “The Ups and Downs of E-Publishing”
David Weinstock – “Write Strong:” A Hands-On Workshop (POETRY!)

Register now!

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6.)

Brighten the Barn

  • 60th Anniversary Anthology  Poetry Society of Vermont.    Forget that I’m the Reporting Secretary of the PSOV, I believe this book, all 99 pages of it, is a poetry bargain!  I have several issues in my possession, and if you’d like to have one or more issues, please send me $10 per copy, and I’ll get it out to you; I’ll even swallow the cost of postage! This is a book that every Vermont poet should have in their library, in support of their own state poetry society, the PSOV

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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7.)

  • I recently had the pleasure to meet and talk with Dave Isay, the voice behind the great work of StoryCorps, the largest and most ambitious private oral history project in American history.  I was afforded a “How To” into Writing for Radio, which is outlined below for your convenience.  Somehow I have to believe that the poet in many of you can find a way to enter this field, perhaps interviewing some of the poets or groups of poets that you know personally, and recording their voice in describing their craft, for appreciation by future generations.  At any rate, this should give you a start that might have taken you quite some time to assimilate. Ron Lewis

Writing for Radio
Radio Resources & Inspiration

Transom

The most comprehensive source of independent radio information on the web.  Everything from the nuts and bolts of basic radio creation (what equipment to use, how to get started, podcasting seminars), to interviews with the craft’s best practitioners.

Third Coast

This audio documentary festival no longer takes place, but there’s an amazing amount of material in the archives of lectures, pitch sessions, and award-winning pieces from past years, when radio producers from all over the world gathered to share their experiences and work.

The Next Big Thing

Public Radio International’s weekly radio feature program.  Storytelling, radio plays, documentaries, experimental radio, a range of writers (Rick Moody, Jonathan Ames, Steve Almond, Henry Alford, Meg Wolitzer) producing pieces that span (and deconstruct) all of radio’s genres.  No longer on the radio, but the entire 5-year archive is online.

This American Life

Ira Glass’ weekly radio program, often featuring writers (David Sedaris, David Foster Wallace) and other “non-radio” people, in an hour-long series of segments linked by a common theme.  Great comprehensive online archive.

Radiolab

Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, programs are hour-long explorations of something mysterious—Sleep, Mortality, Memory, Decision—from different angles.  Most shows pull in scientists doing research on relevant topics but anchoring personal stories are always important.

Living On Earth

Weekly environmental affairs program, featuring short and long-form reported pieces about environmental issues.

Sound Portraits

Sound Portraits is the production house for David Isay’s award-winning radio documentaries on America’s ghettos, prisons, and other neglected communities, as featured on NPR.

Story Corps

Another project of Dave Isay.  Roving story-recording booths travel the country, getting ordinary people to tell their stories on radio.  The stories are put in a public oral history archive, and the best ones are played nationally.  Based on oral history projects that were done under the New Deal WPA.

Selected Shorts

The radio Holy Grail for fiction writers.  Contemporary theater performers give dramatic readings of classic and contemporary short fiction.  Online archive of performances, great examples of how to dramatically perform a written piece without changing the text.

Public Radio Exchange

A nonprofit service for distribution, peer review, and licensing of radio pieces.  It’s a smart solution to the problem of excellent and innovative productions failing to reach wide audiences.  You can listen to pieces, and post your own for distribution.

Association of Independents in Radio

Costs $125 a year to join, but there’s an email list full of producer contacts, rates info, pitch solicitations . . . “AIR provides the producing community an array of professional development programs and resources, including mentoring, training and printed and online publications, as well as conferences and activities that expand networking, advocacy, employment and funding opportunities.”

Audio Editing Software:

The industry standard is ProTools (which requires a piece of hardware called an M-Box) and can run several hundred dollars.  But you can download an open source audio editing program called Audacity for free.  It’s compatible with Macs and PCs.

Also, if you’re a Mac user, an audio editing program called Garage Band comes standard on new Macs.

Other Links:

Chicago Public Radio
New York Public Radio
Boston Public Radio
Vermont Public Radio
Minnesota Public Radio
New Hampshire Public Radio

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8.)

(Due to the untimely death of highliner Frank McCourt, the Burlington Book Festival has added Rita Dove as their headliner for 2009!  Wow!)

WELCOME TO THE 5th ANNUAL BURLINGTON BOOK FESTIVAL

Burlington Book Festival
The 2009 Burlington Book Festival will take place in a variety of downtown Burlington venues throughout the weekend of September 25 through 27. The Queen City’s 5th annual celebration of the written word will feature readings, signings, panels, workshops, demos, musical performances, family activities and special events featuring literary luminaries from around the world-and just around the corner. Virtually all events will be free of charge.

http://www.burlingtonbookfestival.com/

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9.)

Welcome to the Brattleboro Literary Festival
October 2-4, 2009

Brattleboro Literary Festival

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10.)

  • I happened to study under the tutelage of Stan Rice, Kay Boyle and Denise Levertov.  There are many of you who are probably not aware of the fine writings of Kay Boyle.  It was her short stories that brought me to be a writer.  Kay Boyle's LifeHer poetry, however, was frosting on the cake.  I thank Kay for her generosity of time and insight to poetry while we crossed paths at San Francisco State College.  (I hope by now she’s forgiven me for falling asleep once in her class!) Ron Lewis

Kay Boyle’s Life

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Boyle grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She studied architecture at Parson’s School of Fine and Applied Arts in New York and elsewhere, took courses at Columbia, and studied violin briefly at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She married French-born engineer Richard Brault in 1922 while helping to edit the experimental literary magazine * Broom*. She moved to France with her husband the following year, and she lived mostly in France from 1923 to 1941, where she was well known among the American expatriate community.(…)

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11.)

The Horace Greeley Writers’ Conference

Horace GreeleyOctober 24-25 2009

Fox Hill Center for the Arts

Poultney, Vermont

The two day symposium will feature four authors providing inspirational presentations and interactive writing workshops designed to give voice to aspiring writers and offer an opportunity for experienced writers to renew a commitment to a narrative, a biography or an unfinished poem. Writers in all genres are welcome to spend a fall weekend in this Vermont village. Autumn in Vermont with the ambience set on high. (…)

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12.)

Poets ForumThe Academy of American Poets presents the 2009
POETS FORUM ON CONTEMPORARY POETRY

OCTOBER 15-17, 2009

NEW YORK CITY

The Academy of American Poets invites you to join us in New York City for the Poets Forum, a series of events exploring the ever-changing landscape of contemporary poetry in America. This year’s events will feature new in-depth discussions with an array of distinguished poets, readings, publication parties, and a new selection of literary walking tours, led by poets, throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.

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13.)

  • In 2005, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Authors’ Guild filed suit against Google, objecting to the company’s mass digitization of millions of books on copyright violation grounds. The parties privately settled for $125 million and devised a scheme that would permit Google to charge libraries and consumers for access to the digitized books. Under the deal, Google, the Authors Guild and the AAP would gain significant new powers to control the fledgling market for digital books.  Want to learn more about the proposed Google Book Settlement? Go to: http://www.openbookalliance.org/

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14.)

  • Another Lit Magazine right in our own backyard!

Tarpaulin Press

Tarpaulin Sky Press  & Literary Journal

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15.)

Frost Farm FundRobert Frost Farm Fund

College establishes Frost-related funds 
to maintain farm, support writer in residence

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16.)

Boston Book FestivalBoston Book Festival


Saturday, October 24th

Copley Square

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17.)

Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman Gives Chicago Reading
A public poetry reading for Chicago-area children and their parents

CHICAGO—The Poetry Foundation is pleased to announce that poet Mary Ann Hoberman will give The Chicago Reading on October 7, 2009, at 6:45 p.m. at the University of Chicago’s Ida Noyes Hall. The event is free and open to the public, and marks Hoberman’s first official reading as Children’s Poet Laureate.

In addition to the public reading, Hoberman will spend October 8, 2009, giving readings and discussing children’s poetry at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools with students, teachers, and librarians.

Findings from the Poetry Foundation’s major research study*, Poetry in America, *demonstrate that a lifelong love for poetry is most likely to result if cultivated early in childhood and reinforced thereafter. Hoberman’s popularity reflects a growing awareness that children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are an appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.

  • What: The Chicago Reading, Mary Ann Hoberman’s first official reading as Children’s Poet Laureate**
  • Where: Ida Noyes Hall, University of Chicago, 1212 East 59th Street
  • When: Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 6:45 p.m.**

Admission to The Chicago Reading is free and open to all ages. A reception and book signing with Hoberman will follow the reading. Children in attendance will receive a free poetry book bag and cap.

Mary Ann Hoberman was appointed by the Poetry Foundation to a two-year term as Children’s Poet Laureate: Consultant in Children’s Poetry to the Poetry Foundation in 2008. She is the author of over 40 children’s books and has won the National Book Award, the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, a Society of School Librarians International Best Book award, and a National Parenting Publications Awards gold medal, among other accolades. She has also been recognized by magazines such as Child and Parenting. Hoberman’s most recent publication is a moving anthology of more than one hundred poems, The Tree That Time Built. One hundred of her favorite poems are collected in The Llama Who Had No Pajama. Other popular titles include Strawberry Hill, Hoberman’s first novel; The Seven Silly Eaters; and the You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You series.

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18.)

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, at 6:00 p.m.  The next reading will be on *October 30th*.  There will be flyers at the Book King counter.

Please contact me (Ron Lewis – vtpoet@gmail.com) if you’d like to read; we need readers!

No theme this time around!  Bring your own poetry to read or someone’s poetry you enjoy.

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19.)

Did You Know?

HBO Series: Brave New Voices

  • Watch and listen to the complete performances!

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Why PoetryWhy Poetry?

One of William Stafford’s definitions, from his essay “Making a Poem/Starting a Car on Ice,” where he says that “A poem is anything said in such a way or put on the page in such a way as to invite from the hearer or reader a certain kind of attention.” That seems to locate at least part of the the poem-ness where it belongs – in the mind of the person doing the perceiving. How else to explain why some are able to find poetry where others do not? I like the implication that there is a latency in poetry which only manifests itself when “a certain kind of attention” is turned upon it. But if you don’t like Stafford’s definition, here are some others to add fuel to the fire.(…)

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21.)

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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22.)

Autumn Crocus
Kyle McCord

Autumn Crocus

The snow arrives:
handsome, high-cheek boned.
The snow assassinating insects and numb
thumbs of grass.
May I say something?
Jealousy happens all around you(….)

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23.)

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

Nocturne with SnowstormNocturne with Snowstorm and Power Outage
BY KEITH MONTESANO

Already the panic has begun. The questions: *Who will crash? What
will burn out?* Instead of generators flaring, transformers blowing up —
power shriveled and disintegrating into gray sky — lightning surges
in gunmetal bursts. No footprints on the sidewalks like those
on Mexican beaches, spring break: no sirens to rescue the helpless,
beheaded, the drug lords and headlines of shattered families
we keep reading about. I want so badly now to hold you under this sky (….)

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24.)

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

Timothy Liu Thoreau

Timothy Liu
Thoreau

My father and I have no place to go.
His wife will not let us in the house–
afraid of catching AIDS. She thinks
sleeping with men is more than a sin,
my father says, as we sit on the curb
in front of someone else’s house. (….)

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American Life in Poetry: Column 231

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

Helping my DaughterThis column originates on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and at the beginning of each semester, we see parents helping their children move into their dorm rooms and apartments and looking a little shaken by the process. This wonderful poem by Sue Ellen Thompson of Maryland captures not only a moment like that, but a mother’s feelings as well.

Helping My Daughter Move into Her First Apartment

This is all I am to her now:
a pair of legs in running shoes,
two arms strung with braided wire.
She heaves a carton sagging with CDs (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 232

Baby Wrens' VoicesI’ve built many wren houses since my wife and I moved to the country 25 years ago. It’s a good thing to do in the winter. At one point I had so many extra that in the spring I set up at a local farmers’ market and sold them for five dollars apiece. I say all this to assert that I am an authority at listening to the so small voices that Thomas R. Smith captures in this poem. Smith lives in Wisconsin.

Baby Wrens’ Voices

I am a student of wrens.
When the mother bird returns
to her brood, beak squirming
with winged breakfast, a shrill (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 233

Indian SummerDiane Glancy is one of our country’s Native American poets, and I recently judged her latest book, Asylum in the Grasslands, the winner of a regional competition. Here is a good example of her clear and steady writing.

Indian Summer

There’s a farm auction up the road.
Wind has its bid in for the leaves.
Already bugs flurry the headlights
between cornfields at night.
If this world were permanent,
I could dance full as the squaw dress (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 234

WesternThis week’s poem is by a high school student, Michelle Bennett, who lives in Tukwila, Washington, and here she is taking a look at what comes next, Western Washington University in Bellingham, with everything new about it, including opportunity.

Western

You find yourself in a narrow bed you’ve
never slept in,
on a tree-lined grassy field you’ve
never walked upon,
on a cold toilet seat you have not sat on,
in a place you now call your home, your learning, your future. (….)

American Life in Poetry: Column 235

My Father's Left HandI tell my writing students that their most important task is to pay attention to what’s going on around them. God is in the details, as we say. Here David Bottoms, the Poet Laureate of Georgia, tells us a great deal about his father by showing us just one of his hands.

My Father’s Left Hand

Sometimes my old man’s hand flutters over his knee, flaps
in crazy circles, and falls back to his leg.

Sometimes it leans for an hour on that bony ledge. (….)

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26.)

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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27.)

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 <david.weinstock@gmail.com>

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28.)

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) Vermont Literary Review

Vermont Literary ReviewA Literary and Fine Art Magazine of Castleton State College, Castleton.

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

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

6) Green Mountains Review

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

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

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

7) 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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29.)

Poetry Society of VermontSTATE 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. (….)

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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. <vsbooks@sover.net>

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

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.

BURLINGTON

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

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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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

ANYWHERE, VERMONT

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

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

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

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32.)

YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT

BURLINGTON

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

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

BURLINGTON

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

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 ( http://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!

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33.)

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.

Fri, Sep 25-Sun, Sep 27: *Burlington Book Festival*. The 2009 Burlington Book Festival will take place in a variety of downtown Burlington venues throughout the weekend. The Queen City’s 5th annual celebration of the written word will feature readings, signings, panels, workshops, demos, musical performances, family activities and special events featuring literary luminaries from around the world-and just around the corner. Virtually all events will be free of charge.  For more info, http://www.burlingtonbookfestival.com/.

Wed, Sep 30: Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, 6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Sue Burton and David Cavanagh will be providing a poetry reading as part of The Painted Word Poetry Series.  The Fleming Museum poetry series is 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.  The Burlington Poets Society will make a short presentation first from 6:15-6:30, then the poets will begin reading at 6:30.

Wed, Sep 30: Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m. Darning a Transcendental Stocking. Phyllis Larrabee will read from her poetry, Darning a Transcendental Stocking. She has worked as a community organizer, an advocate for people with disabilities and continues to write and read from her 28 poetry collections and many stories. Her work has won an award from the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.  For info, contact Rachel Senechal, 223-3338.

Wed, Sep 30: Jaquith Public Library, School Street, Marshfield, 7:00 p.m.  Poetry Reading with Susan Thomas and Samn Stockwell. Author Susan Thomas will read selections from her publications which include: State of Blessed Gluttony, The Hand Waves Goodbye; Voice of the Empty Notebook; and Last Voyage, and her new collection: My Afterlife. Samn Stockwell will read from her current manuscript, Our Common History, a series of short narrative poems for which she received a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation.  For info, 426-3581.

Thu, Oct 1: Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, 7:00 p.mPoetry Night with Lynne Knight and Kevin Pilkington. Lynne Knight is the author of four full-length collections, the most recent of which is *Again*, published by Sixteen Rivers Press in 2009. Dissolving Borders won a Quarterly Review of Literature prize in 1996; The Book of Common Betrayals won the Dorothy Brunsman Award from Bear Star Press in 2002; and Night in the Shape of a Mirror was published by David Robert Books in 2006. She has also published three prize-winning chapbooks, Deer in Berkeley (Sow’s Ear Press), Life as Weather (Two Rivers Review), and Defying the Flat Surface (The Ledge Press). A cycle of poems on Impressionist winter paintings, Snow Effects, appeared from Small Poetry Press as part of its Select Poets Series and has been translated into French by Nicole Courtet. Knight lives in Berkeley, California.  Her work has appeared in a number of journals, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ontario ReviewPoetry, and Southern Review. One of her poems appears in Best American Poetry 2000, selected by Rita Dove. Among her awards are the Theodore Roethke Award from Poetry Northwest, the Theodore Christian Hoepfner Award from Southern Humanities Review, the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and an NEA grant.Kevin is a member of the writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence Collge and teaches a workshop in the graduate department at Manhattanville College.  For info, (800) 437-3700.

Thu, Oct 1: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.  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.

Fri, Oct 2-Sun, Oct 4: Brattleboro Literary Festival. The 8th annual Brattleboro Literary Festival is a three-day celebration of those who read books, those who write books, and of the books themselves. Located in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont, the Festival includes readings, panel discussions, and special events, featuring emerging and established authors. All events are free.

Sat, Oct 3: Bishop Booth Conference Center, Burlington. *League of Vermont Writers presents David Weinstock*, *”Write Strong:” A Hands-On Poetry Workshop*.  Register at: http://www.leaguevtwriters.org/September09registration.pdf.

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 13: Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street, Montpelier.  Poet *David Cavanaugh* reads.  More on this event later.  For info, 229-1069, info@bearpondbooks.com.

Tue, Oct 20: Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, 8:00 p.m.  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.

Wed, Oct 21: Bixby Library, Vergennes, 7:00 p.m.  Poet *David Parkinson* to read from his new book, *Two Heads*.  David has teamed with poet Judith Dow Moore, both members of the Otter Creek Poets, in a remarkable new book of poetry that he will share with us tonight.  Copies will be on site to sell, and $5 of every book purchase will be going as a donation to the Bixby Library (David’s compliments!).  Come hear this remarkable poet speak to your heart!  For info, 877-2211.

Sun, Oct 25: The Brick Box Gallery at the Paramount, 30 Center Street, Rutland, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  *Out of History’s Junk Jar*. *Judy Chalmer*will read poetry from her book Out of History’s Junk Jar and talk about her own quest to understand her family’s Holocaust history.  DAVAR:The Vermont Jewish Women’s History Project.  For info, contact Sandra Gartner or Ann Buffum at 353-0001, davarvt@gmail.com, http://www.davarvt.org.

Wed, Oct 28: Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, 6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Antonello Borra and Jill Leininger will be providing a poetry reading as part of The Painted Word Poetry Series.  The Fleming Museum poetry series is 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.  The Burlington Poets Society will make a short presentation first from 6:15-6:30, then the poets will begin reading at 6:30..

Thu, Oct 29: The Galaxy Bookshop, 7 Mill Street, Hardwick, 1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.  Poetry Reading by Hazen Union Poetry Class. The Hazen Union Poetry Class would like to invite the community to enjoy a reading of the students’ works at The Galaxy Bookshop. This special reading will give the students a chance to share their poems aloud in a public setting. We also welcome local poets to join us in sharing a poem or two with the group.  Time is subject to change: please check back later to confirm, or call the bookstore for more details: 472-5533.

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, 8:00 p.m.  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.

Wed, Nov 18: Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, 6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Caroline Knox, Dorothea Lasky and Dara Wier will be providing a poetry reading as part of The Painted Word Poetry Series.  The Fleming Museum poetry series is 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.  The Burlington Poets Society will make a short presentation first from 6:15-6:30, then the poets will begin reading at 6:30.

Wed, Dec 2: Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Poetry’s Spiritual Language.  Using the poetry of Dickinson, Kenyon, Rumi, and Kabir—poets from diverse religious traditions—Dartmouth English professor Nancy Jay Crumbine examines poetry’s language of spirituality. Part of the First Wednesdays series. A Vermont Humanities Council event.  For info, 223-3338.

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, 8:00 p.m.  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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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‘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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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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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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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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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