[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:
- About VPN
- Newsletter Editor’s Note
- Writing Assignments/Suggestions/Exercises/Prompts
- League of VT Writers: David Weinstock Poetry Workshop
- Brighten the Barn – PSOV Anthology
- Writing For Radio
- Burlington Book Festival (With Schedule)
- Brattleboro Literary Festival (With Schedule)
- Kay Boyle Bio
- The Horace Greeley Writers’ Conference
- The Poets Forum On Contemporary Poetry
- Google Book Settlement
- Tarpaulin Sky Press & Literary Journal
- Robert Frost Farm Fund
- Boston Book Festival
- Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman
- Book King Readings
- Did You Know? HBO Series: Brave New Voices
- Poetry Quotes – Why Poetry?
- US Poets Laureate List
- Failbetter Poem
- Linebreak Poem
- Copper Canyon Press Poem
- American Life in Poetry Poems
- Vermont Poet Laureates
- Contact Info for Publisher of VPN: Ron Lewis
- Vermont Literary Journals
- State Poetry Society (PSOV)
- Year-Round Poetry Workshops in Vermont
- Other Poetry Workshops in Vermont
- Year-Round Poetry Writing Centers in Vermont
- Poetry Event Calendar
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.
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
Open 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…
The Dead Creek Poets’ Society Leonard Gibbs,
In which Leonard Gibbs contemplates A. E. Housman’s “The Name and Nature of Poetry.”
Over 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….
League of Vermont Writers
October 2 and 3, 2009 – LVW Fall Retreat
Bishop Booth Conference Center by the Lake
Burlington, Vermont with
Joe Citro – Reading from *The Vermont Monster Guide*
Joe Citro – “On the Writing Life”
Jim DeFilippi – “The Ups and Downs of E-Publishing”
David Weinstock – “Write Strong:” A Hands-On Workshop (POETRY!)
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
Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Weekly environmental affairs program, featuring short and long-form reported pieces about environmental issues.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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
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.
Welcome to the Brattleboro Literary Festival
October 2-4, 2009
- 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. Her 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.(…)
The Horace Greeley Writers’ Conference
Fox Hill Center for the Arts
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. (…)
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.
- 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/
- Another Lit Magazine right in our own backyard!
Tarpaulin Sky Press & Literary Journal
College establishes Frost-related funds to maintain farm, support writer in residence
Saturday, October 24th
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.
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 – email@example.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.
Did You Know?
HBO Series: Brave New Voices
- Watch and listen to the complete performances!
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.(…)
Poets Laureate of the U.S.A.
- A Net-annotated list of all the poets who have served the Library of Congress as Consultant (the old title) or Poet Laureate Consultant (the new title). Biographies & general reference sites are linked to the poets’ names — for the recent Laureates these are our own poet profiles with book-buying links at the bottom. Many of the other linked biographies are pages from the Academy of American Poets’ Find a Poet archive, a growing & invaluable resource. If there is no general information site about the poet, we have searched the Net for sample poems or other writings or recordings & listed those below the poet’s name.
- Joseph Auslander 1937-41
Allen Tate 1943-44
Robert Penn Warren 1944-45
Louise Bogan 1945-46
Karl Shapiro 1946-47
Robert Lowell 1947-48
Leonie Adams 1948-49
Elizabeth Bishop 1949-50
Conrad Aiken 1950-52 (First to serve two terms)
William Carlos WilliamsAppointed to serve two terms in 1952 but did not serve — for more on this & other Laureate controversies see the history in Jacket magazine.
Randall Jarrell 1957-58
Robert Frost 1958-59
Richard Eberhart 1959-61
Louis Untermeyer 1961-63
Howard Nemerov 1963-64
Reed Whittemore 1964-65
Stephen Spender 1965-66
James Dickey 1966-68
William Jay Smith 1968-70
William Stafford 1970-71
Josephine Jacobsen 1971-73
Daniel Hoffman 1973-74
Stanley Kunitz 1974-76
Robert Hayden 1976-78
William Meredith 1978-80
Maxine Kumin 1981-82
Anthony Hecht 1982-84
Robert Fitzgerald 1984-85 Appointed and served in a health-limited capacity, but did not come to the Library of Congress
Reed Whittemore 1984-85 Interim Consultant in Poetry
Gwendolyn Brooks 1985-86
Robert Penn Warren 1986-87 First to be designated Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry
Richard Wilbur 1987-88
Howard Nemerov 1988-90
Mark Strand 1990-91
Joseph Brodsky 1991-92
Mona Van Duyn 1992-93
Rita Dove 1993-95
Robert Hass 1995-97
Robert Pinsky 1997-2000
Stanley Kunitz 2000-2001
Billy Collins 2001-2003
Louise Glück 2003-2004
Ted Kooser 2004-2006
Donald Hall 2006-2007
Charles Simic 2007-2008
Kay Ryan 2008-Present
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(….)
- Linebreak is an online journal with a bias for good poetry. Here is a poem from their web site this week:
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 (….)
- Here’s a poem from *Copper Canyon Press*, in its “Reading Room”.
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. (….)
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
This 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 (….)
I’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 (….)
Diane 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.
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 (….)
This 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.
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. (….)
I 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. (….)
VERMONT POET LAUREATES
1) Robert Frost – 1961
2) Galway Kinnell
3) Louis Glück
4) Ellen Bryant Voigt
5) Grace Paley
6) Ruth Stone
If you ever have a need to contact me, here’s how to go about doing so:
Home: 1211 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
VERMONT LITERARY JOURNALS
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
95 North Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401
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
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
Middlebury, VT 05753
A Literary and Fine Art Magazine of Champlain College, Burlington.
Willard & Maple
163 South Willard Street
Freeman 302, Box 34
Burlington, VT 05401
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. (….)
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 (….)
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.
STATE POETRY SOCIETY
Poetry Society of Vermont
The Poetry Society of Vermont, founded in 1947, is an association of poets and supporters who join in promoting an interest in poetry through meetings, workshops, readings, contests, and contributions to the society’s chapbook. Anyone may join the society including high school and college students and non-residents of Vermont. We welcome both writers and appreciative readers.
In September 2007, The Poetry Society of Vermont will celebrated its 60th Anniversary. (….)
YEAR-ROUND POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
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: email@example.com or 454-8026.
The Burlington Poets Society, a group of “stanza scribblers” that express their love of verse, made up of UVM students and professors, have recently organized, meeting at the Fleming Museum at UVM in Burlington for their periodic “The Painted Word” series of poetry readings. I hope to have additional information on this group in the coming months.
The Guilford Poets Guild, formed in 1998, meets twice a month to critique and support each other’s work. Their series of sponsored readings by well-known poets which began at the Dudley Farm, continues now at the Women and Family Life Center.
The Otter Creek Poets offer a poetry workshop every Thursday afternoon, from 1:00 to 3:00 in the basement meeting room of the Ilsley Public Library, 75 Main Street, Middlebury. This workshop, the largest and oldest of its kind in the state, has been meeting weekly for 13 years. Poets of all ages and styles come for peer feedback, encouragement, and optional weekly assignments to get the poetry flowing. Bring a poem or two to share (plus 20 copies). The workshops are led by David Weinstock. There is considerable parking available behind the library, or further down the hill below that parking lot. For more information, call David at 388-6939 or Ron Lewis at 247-5913.
This group meets on the first Sunday of every month at the Norwich Library, 6:30 p.m.
There is another poetry workshop happening in Stowe, but unfortunately I know nothing much about this group. If you do, contact me!
The Mad River Poets consists of a handful of poets from the Route 100 corridor. More on this group in the future.
OTHER POETRY WORKSHOPS IN VERMONT
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)
- 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. (…)
YEAR-ROUND POETRY WRITING CENTERS IN VERMONT
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…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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.m. Poetry 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 Review, Poetry, 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 email@example.com 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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or call (802) 463-9404.
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
Your fellow Poet,