Watch the PoemCity Readings

Missed a reading, now thanks to ORCA Media you can watch them from the comfort of your own home.

“TIDAL_WAVE” Poetry Reading at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on April 2.

Miraculum Monstrum with Kathline Carr at Bear Pond Books on April 3.

George Longenecker reading from Star Rout at the T.W. Wood Gallery on April 6.

Two Friends Reading with Pamela Harrison and Carol Westberg at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on April 7.

Northern New England Poets Laureate: PoemCity Keynote Reading. With Chard deNiord, Alice B. Fogel and Stuart Kestenbaum at Loss Nation Theater on April 7.

Poems in Performance: A Cure for Poemphobia with Geof Hewitt at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on April 12.

Vermont Poets at VCFA on April 15.

Alison Prine & Bianca Stone at Bear Pond Books on April 17.

Poerty Slam with Geof Hewitt on April 21.

Anything Goes Poetry Slam with Geof Hewitt at Loss Nation Theater on April 25

Daived Hinton reading poetry at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on April 26.

 

 

 

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Workshopping with Kerrin McCadden

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Workshop in progress. Photo by Ma’ayan D’Antonio

By, Ma’ayan D’Antonio

Kerrin McCadden, is the author of Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, winner of the Vermont Book Award and the New Issues Poetry Prize. As well as a resident of Montpelier. Kerrin held a workshop for reinventing poetry, a way to revise poetry. The workshop took place at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on Monday, April 16. Kerrin, humble as she was introduced, wanted to know the participants’ names and where they are with their poetry. As each in turn said their name, they all talked in depth about where they are with their poem, someone even stated that they “accidentally wrote a poem”.

Kerrin, who mostly teaches high school kids finds it wired when grownups sit so still in front of her, “adults” she stated with a laugh. Geof Hewitt and Rick Agran (other PoemCity presenters) were also in attendance. “I’m always looking for new ways to look at poetry,” Agran said when he introduced himself.

Kerrin wanted the participants to be willing to think about how to make a poem work. As well as contemplate what makes a poem work? She explained that we don’t always know what is best for our poem, and at times a poem is not its best self. So how do you make it better? The more you push it around, the more it will tell you when it is done.

She presented an exercise to flex the ‘poet muscle’. To enable contrast try to fit five words that don’t necessarily work together in a poem, this will allow more room for the subconscious creativity to surface what we tend to keep back.

She gave different ways to reinvent a poem.

– Translate the poem into more then one language, then back to English and see what the end results bring. You might be surprised.

– Create tension by shifting focus.

– Take an old poem and write it a companion.

– Consider cutting the openings and endings of a poem and see what you are left with.

– Look at the large scale of the poem to create a new poem, you may find that the small things change into something even better- deeper.

– Change the order in which you give the information to the reader.

– Shift verb tense, try from the past to the future.

– Change the point of view from the I to him or you.

McCadden also suggests to look at a thesaurus, from different publications as well as different decades, to find new and interesting words to use.

Reading Allowed: Exploring Poetic Voices, A Workshop

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Rick Agran, host of Bon Mot

Learn to appreciate the rhythm and musicality of poetry and spoken word on Monday, April 23, at Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Bon Mot host and radio producer, Rick Agran, will share recorded voices of contemporary poets to explore their sonic qualities. Anyone can come listen. Poets are invited to bring a poem to share that they’d like to develop further. We’ll explore breath, enunciation, and diction to accentuate a poem’s language. We can practice pacing with attention to lines and stanzas. Learn to minimize nervousness and enhance your presentation skills. Remain relaxed and open to poems and share their power with others. Limited to 24 participants.

6:30 pm | Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street

To register for the workshop:  Please contact the library at (802) 223-3338.

 

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Dancing Shadows of Los Lorcas: An Evening with Federico’s Reincarnations

By Bianca Viňas

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Photo by Bianca Viňa

Three hot cocoas, two coffees and an oolong tea, each one clutched by hands accustomed to ink stains and clacking keyboards. There was a table of writers waiting for a performance that could only be described as “melodic stanzas on stage,” or “poesía viva” (poetry alive). It was the fifth evening of PoemCity here in Montpelier and creatives from all over the community had gathered to listen to Los Lorcas, a band of performers reincarnating the wonder and awe of the legendary poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca. This event was held at Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Café Anna, a writers corner known to many for its warm energy and choice maple lattés.   

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Photo by Bianca Viňas

Poet Partridge Boswell took the small stage and gave a nod to his fellow band members, guitarist Nat Williams and lyricist Peter Money. Recipient of this year’s Edna St. Vincent Millay and Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prizes, Partridge Boswell is the author of Some Far Country, winner of the Grolier Poetry Prize. Boswell is also co-founder to Bookstock: The Green Mountain Festival of Words, as well as a truly gifted musician and songwriter. Before counting to three in a tongue much reminiscent of the titular poet Lorca’s homeland, Fuente Vaqueros (Spain), Boswell asked the audience to pause and marvel at the month long celebration that is PoemCity 2018, joking that “love only gets  one day (Valentine’s Day)… us, a whole month.”

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Los Lorca’s warming up. Photo by Bianca Viňa

The first song brought the Café to a thoughtful and resonant silence, an Andalusian serenade inspired by Lorca’s original poetry. It was followed by a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne, a song that captured the attention of the audience. The people sitting at my table, in a section of the Café facing the college’s frozen basketball court, was taken with the next performance, a melodious version of W.B. Yeats The Lake Isle of Innisfree. The rest of the audience was taken by an indie folk eulogy to Evil Knievel.

Of all the songs dedicated, none were more passionately unified in their inspiration than the original ballads that followed. Produced by the band and performed by Peter Money,

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Peter Money in performance. Photo by Bianca Viňas

these songs represented storytelling and an emotional lyricism that could only be reckoned by all three artists and their individual attention to performance: Boswell’s ocean-like vowel intonation, Williams’ calm out-stare to certain integral notes and Money’s sing-song of dramatized poetry.

Peter Money is both a recognized poet (author of  American Drone: New and Selected Poems, 2013) and editor of Harbor Mountain Press, a not-for-profit publishing house, with more than twenty five publications of poetry. Money is a performer of song and word that is said to have the “chops of range” (Paris Review). This was much recognized by the audience and writers that stared up at him. Money showed an almost eerie connection to the physical and vocal performance of his poetry, animating not only his hands and facial expressions, but the impression he makes on the stage beside him; it was a performance all on its own… one of shadow dancing

Los Lorcas in unity is a marvel that would silence any creative individual to awe, inspiring the quietest observer to reach for each word if they were Federico Lorca himself, meditating on song and poetry mid-stage, arms outstretched.

Hear Los Lorcas play their poetry.

 

Rick Agran Records Your Poems

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Rick Agran

Come record your PoemCity poem in your own voice on Friday, April 6 and SaturdayApril 7“Bon Mot,” WGDR-FM’s weekly poetry program at Goddard College Community Radio, will feature thirty poems from Vermont authors during April. Come record your PoemCity poem in your own voice. With simple digital recording equipment, Rick Agran will capture your poem for posterity. Participants will receive a digital recording of their poem and a chance to be included in WGDR’s broadcast day. Young voices welcomed and encouraged. Quiet listeners also welcome.

Friday’s recording will take place:

3 to 5 pm | Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street

Saturday’s recording will take place:

11 am to 1 pm  | Adamant Coop, 1313 Adamant Road, Adamant

 

MONTPELIER CELEBRATES NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

Montpelier- This April, PoemCity 2018 will present the Northern New England Poet Laureates.

PoemCity Montpelier, a National Poetry Month festival now in its ninth year, will open with a Keynote reading by award-winning poets. Join us at the Lost Nation Theater, 39 Main St., at 7pm on Saturday April 7th, for a reading by Northern New England Poet Laureates: Chard deNiord, Alice B. Fogel and Stuart Kestenbaum.

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Chard deNiord

Chard deNiord is the Vermont poet laureate. DeNiord’s poetry collections include Interstate (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015); Speaking in Turn, a collaboration with Tony Sanders (Gnomon Press, 2011); The Double Truth (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011); Night Mowing (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005); and Sharp Golden Thorn (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). DeNiord also authored Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs: Reflections and Conversations with Twentieth Century American Poets (Marick Press, 2012) a book of essays and interviews with renowned poets. The poets featured in the collection include Robert Bly, Lucille Clifton, Donald Hall, Galway Kinnell, and Maxine Kumin.

In 2002, deNiord cofounded the New England College MFA program in poetry, which he directed until 2007.  DeNiord is currently a professor of English at Providence College. He lives in Westminster West, Vermont, with his wife, Liz.

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Alice B Fogel

Alice B Fogel is the New Hampshire poet laureate. Her latest book is A Doubtful House (2017).  Interval: Poems Based on Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” (2015) won the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature and the 2016 NH Literary Award in Poetry, and her third book, Be That Empty, was a national poetry bestseller. She is also the author of Strange Terrain, on how to appreciate poetry without necessarily “getting” it. Nominated for Best of the Web & nine times for the Pushcart, Alice has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry, Spillway, Hotel Amerika, The Inflectionist, and DIAGRAM. She works one-on-one with students with learning differences at Landmark College, in Putney, VT, and hikes mountains whenever possible.

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Stuart Kestenbaum

Stuart Kestenbaum is the Maine poet laureate.  He is the author of four collections of poems, Pilgrimage (Coyote Love Press), House of Thanksgiving (Deerbrook Editions), Prayers and Run-on Sentences (Deerbrook Editions), and Only Now (Deerbrook Editions) and a collection of essays The View From Here (Brynmorgen Press).  He has written and spoken widely on craft making and creativity, and his poems and writing have appeared in numerous small press publications and magazines, including Tikkun, the Sun, the Beloit Poetry Journal, Northeast Corridor, and others and on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac.  He was appointed poet laureate of Maine in 2016.  Former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, has written “Stuart Kestenbaum writes the kind of poems I love to read, heartfelt responses to the privilege of having been given a life.  No hidden agendas here, no theories to espouse, nothing but life, pure life, set down with craft and love.”

He was the director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine for 27 years, where he established innovative programs combining craft and writing and craft and new technologies. He is an honorary fellow of the American Craft Council and a recipient of the Distinguished Educator’s Award from the James Renwick Alliance.

There will be a reception held after the reading, with offered refreshments, and plenty of time to mingle with deNiord, Fogel and Kestenbaum. This program is co-sponsored by the Lost Nation Theater and PoemCity.

Complete PoemCity information, together with updates about featured poets, can be found at poem-city.org or kellogghubbard.org. questions can be directed to the library at (802) 223-3338.

KHL logo 2013PoemCity, a presentation of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, is a month-long celebration of National Poetry Month that features a walkable anthology of contemporary Vermont poetry, workshops, presentations and readings during the month of April.

PoemCity is sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, Vermont Humanities Council, Hunger Mountain Coop, Vermont College of Fine Arts and the Poetry Society of Vermont.

For 124 years the Kellogg-Hubbard Library has been the focal point for the cultural, educational, and intellectual life in central Vermont. It serves as a resource to encourage lifelong learning, acts as a catalyst for the free exchange of ideas, and promotes literacy among all people. The library has been at the heart of our communities: preserving yesterday, informing today, and inspiring tomorrow.  kellogghubbard.org.

Call for PoemCity2018 Program Proposals

The Kellogg-Hubbard Library invites Vermont poets, writers and artists to submit proposals for public events for PoemCity 2018, a citywide event, now in its ninth year, that displays poetry on local business storefronts throughout April as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month.

Along with displayed poems, PoemCity will also offer poetry workshops, public readings, panel discussions, and visual poetry and art displays throughout downtown. The month-long schedule of events and programming is free and open to the public.

The Library welcomes proposals for events in April 2018.  All poetry-related topics and activities are of interest.  Poets, teachers, artists, musicians, editors and historians of poetry are encouraged to submit proposals in their fields of expertise.  Past events have included writers’ workshops, musical settings of poetry with live accompanists, presentations on the construction and marketing of chapbooks, workshops on improving recitation skills, and of course readings and Q&A sessions with Vermont poets.

Please visit kellogghubbardlibrary.submittable.com for information on how to submit

Deadline is December 1, 2017

Contact Rachel Senechal at rysenechal@kellogghubbard.org with any questions

ORCA Media videos available for PoemCity events

Missed something you hoped to see? ORCA Media has posted five extensive videos made at this month’s PoemCity events!

Chard deNiord at Alumni Hall, April 1

George Longenecker at the T.W. Wood Gallery, April 8

Ralph Culver and Sydney Lea at the Library, April 9

PoetryPlus+ with Danny Dover at the Unitarian Church, April 10

Francette Cerulli and Jamie Gage at the Library, April 12