Vermont Poets at VCFA

Come listen to some of Vermont’s finest voices as they read their poetry on Thursday,

VCFA logo 2013

April 27, in the Chapel (second floor, College Hall) on the VCFA campus at 7 p.m. Spend the evening with Didi Jackson, Major Jackson, Alison Prine, Karla Van Vliet and Diana Whitney. This is an amazing opportunity to hear a number of amazing poets in one setting.

Correction/update: Kerrin McCadden and Elizabeth Powell will not be able to join us at this time

Painting With Words with Reuben Jackson

On Wednesday, April 26, the Montpelier Bridge will host “Painting With Words,” a poetry writing workshop led by Reuben Jackson. (Limit 15 participants. Pre-registration required by emailing

Reuben was curator of the Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. for more than 20 years. His music reviews have been published in The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, All About Jazz, Jazz Times, Jazziz, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Reuben is also a poet, a mentor, and an educator.


Reuben will utilize a few short but wildly disparate instrumentals as vehicles for self expression. Come on and join the band! 6 pm at the Montpelier Bridge office, Stone Science Building (VCFA campus), 62 Ridge Street, Montpelier.

Poetry for Everyone

PoemCity 2017 continues to offer numerous readings and workshops. Thursday, April 20, is no exception with two events that cover the age spectrum. From 2–5 p.m. at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, Librarian Nicole Westbom will host an Introduction to Poetry Slams for Kids. Learn about the fun and expressive world of slams and write your own slam poem! Participants can then sign up for the Poetry Slam at the Center for Arts and Learning on April 29 if they want to have the chance to try their poem out.

Later in the day, the Vermont Humanities Council, at 11 Loomis Street in Montpelier, will host You Come Too: The Poetry of Robert Frost with Peter Gilbert at 5:30 p.m. Peter Gilbert is the Vermont Humanities Council Executive Director and Executor of the Estate of Robert Frost. He will read and lead discussion of three of Frost’s poems, each related to spring in northern New England: “Two Tramps in Mud-Time,” “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” and “Mending Wall.” Light refreshments will be served.

Two great events for National Poetry Month!petergilbert

Irish Piper & A Poet

Once again, Bagitos Bagel & Burrito Cafe at 28 Main Street in downtown Montpelier is adding poetry to their Irish Saturdays in honor of PoemCity. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, enjoy award-winning poet Angela Patten’s poetry together with the Irish Traditional Session hosted by Sarah Blair, Hilari Farrington, Benedict Koehler, Rob Ryan and regulars at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 15. This is always a delightful afternoon. Please note that this venue is not accessible.

Bus Stop Poems

PoemCity partners with many local organizations to bring poetry everywhere in April. We are grateful to work again with Green Mountain Transit to present poems at bus stops in downtown Montpelier. Keep an eye out for local poets Ralph Culver, Sara Norton, Susan Bauchner and others while you’re waiting for the bus or just walking by. Thanks again for your support, Green Mountain Transit!logo_final

Nature Poems, Favorite Poems

April 8: Join us in exploring the poems that have influenced and inspired our lives. Diana Whitney, the poetry columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of the prizewinning poetry debut WANTING IT, and Dede Cummings, publisher and editor at Green Writers Press, will host a lively discussion of some of their favorite nature poetry. We’ll read classics like Wordsworth, Yeats, and Frost, as well as contemporary poets like Jane Kenyon and Cleopatra Mathis, and then talk openly about why and how their voices speak to us. Bring a copy of your favorite poem if you wish to the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, at 2 p.m.dede-diana-600


Bear Pond’s 20th Annual Open Mic

Bear Pond Books, at 77 Main Street in Montpelier, has been celebrating National Poetry Month with an open poetry reading for 20 years! It’s always a great evening when poets of all ages and ilk come and read their original work. This is a locals favorite and to celebrate 20 years of the community coming together to read poems, there will cake and refreshments! As always, readings have a five-minute time limit. Sign-up is at the door and readings will take place by lottery on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 7 p.m.BPB Watercolor Full Size.jpg

Feeding the Soul with Poetry

Down Home Kitchen is once again hosting an after-hours poetry reading at their restaurant on Main Street in Montpelier. Join us on Monday, April 3, 2017 for food for the soul, mind, and body! Enjoy a delicious light supper made with local ingredients while listening to local published poets Mary Elder Jacobsen, Reuben Jackson, Darren Higgins, and Julia Shipley. Supper begins at 6pm and the reading at 6:45pm. Be sure to come early as last year’s event was standing room only!

PoemCity2017 Kick-Off Event

PoemCity 2017 is upon us and is looking to be yet another amazing month-long, city-wide celebration of poetry. I can’t imagine any other small town doing National Poetry Month better than Montpelier! In addition to hundreds of poems written by Vermont poets in the windows of shops downtown, PoemCity will offer a month’s worth of lectures, workshops, and readings.

PoemCity’s kick-off event will feature music and poetry by youth and will be held at Lost Nation Theater (39 Main Street), making it a true intersection of the arts. Join us Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 1:30PM for music by the Capitol Jazz quartet followed by the poetry of teens from the Young Writers Project, hosted by Chard deNiord, Vermont’s Poet Laureate.

We hope to see you there! Visit for more information. 

Celebrating the Poetry of Parenthood

We had a fun and engaging workshop on the poetry of parenthood last night. We read poems about parents, about children, and about parenting across the ages and looked at what makes a poem Great: contrasting light and dark, surprise, and connecting the personal to the universal. The generative prompt yielded amazing work and we were inspired by all the poetry of the evening.

It seemed so fitting that today’s poem from The Writer’s Almanac was a poem about a parent, one of the very categories we talked about. Enjoy the poem here: (“Vocational Training” by Carrie Shipers on April 12, 2106).

Also enjoy this poem by Billy Collins that we read aloud as a closing last night. (Read “The Landyard” here.)

lanyardSamantha Kolber was able to proudly display her very own lanyard that her son made her at camp and that she carries on her key ring to this day.