For eight years, the Kellogg-Hubbard Library has been the main force in bringing PoemCity to life every April. Hundreds of poems by Vermonters grace the windows downtown and almost every day of the month there is a poetry-focused event to attend. What a gift! KHL’s Program and Development Coordinator, Rachel Senechal, is the powerhouse behind it all with a lot of help from volunteers, library staff, and local partners. Let the library, National Life Group, Vermont Humanities Council, Hunger Mountain Coop, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts, as well as all the local businesses who host poems and programs know how much you enjoy PoemCity. Happy National Poetry Month!
We all went home aglow from an evening of fellowship, nourishment, and inspiration. A big thank you to Carla Occaso and the Bridge for hosting a wonderful PoemCity workshop on Wednesday, April 26, with the one-and-only Reuben Jackson. We listened to music, ate sandwiches, and shared our “variations on a theme.” We began the evening with gratitude for the month-long poetry programming of PoemCity and ended deeply grateful for the chance to be in a room with others who, as Jackson says, “have fallen in love with language.” Thank you to Reuben Jackson and all who attended and gave us “a vacation for our ears.”
Here’s the poem I wrote in response to “Morgan’s Motion” with Cecil Taylor on piano and Tony Williams on drums.
PoemCity loves to pair up with local businesses and organizations. The Vermont Humanities Council, Hunger Mountain Coop, National Life Group, and VCFA have been important partners to PoemCity and we appreciate their support and collaboration. It takes a village to celebrate poetry right!
April 29: Join Slam Master Geof Hewitt at the Center for Arts and Learning for an evening of poetry performed by participants age 8 and above, including adults. This is a traditional slam with original writing only and a 3-minute time limit. Participants should be prepared with two pieces of writing. Look forward to a spirited, fun competition!
5 pm | River Rock School, North Group classroom, Center for Arts and Learning, 46 Barre Street
“Tunnel of Green on Buck Mountain Trail,” Alan Levine
April 28: Vermont is rich with natural beauty. Learn how to turn environmental images into meaningful poems that accurately reflect the natural world. Each participant will leave the workshop with the first draft of a poem.
Limit 12 participants. Pre-registration required by calling the library at 802-223-3338.
Come listen to some of Vermont’s finest voices as they read their poetry on Thursday,
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
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 email@example.com.)
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.
April 24: a rumination and discussion of some best practices for the care and feeding of poetry. Come with questions, qualms, curiosity. Leave with inspiration, tools and resources for making verse a vital, viable part of your crazy, over-full life.
Julia Shipley is the author of a debut collection, The Academy of Hay, winner of the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2016 Vermont Book Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Barrelhouse, Green Mountains Review, Harvard Review online, North American Review, Poetry, Salamander, and Verse Daily. An independent journalist, contributing writer to Seven Days, and columnist for Yankee Magazine, she raises animals, vegetables and poetry on her six-acre homestead in Craftsbury, VT.
April 22: This concert will mark the world premiere of “Songs From a Mountain Recluse,” a song cycle by Evan Premo set to poems by the beloved Vermont poet David Budbill, who died in 2016. It will also feature other classical pieces inspired by poetry, including works by Debussy, Liszt, Handel and Fauré, performed by pianist Jeffrey Chappell, soprano Mary Bonhag, bassist Evan Premo, and flutist Karen Kevra.
Tickets are $15 to $25. They may be purchased at the door, at Bear Pond Books (77 Main Street) for cash or check only, or at capitalcityconcerts.org (+$1 processing).
7:30 pm | Unitarian Church of Montpelier, 130 Main Street
Hunger Mountain Coop‘s annual Earth Day Celebration on April 22 (at 623 Stone Cutters Way) will feature two PoemCity events this year — one for kids to drop in all day, and one for grownups to enjoy in the evening! … Continue reading →