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. 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, 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. 

Call for Submissions for April 2017!

The Kellogg-Hubbard Library is putting out a call for poetry submissions for PoemCity 2017. Submissions will be accepted through February 8th, 2017. During the month of April, selected poems will be displayed in shop windows throughout downtown Montpelier. More than just a text display, PoemCity is a month long celebration featuring poetry/art installations, as well poetry-related workshops and readings. Last year, the PoemCity calendar included 36 events.

Poetry submissions are open to Vermonters of all ages and VCFA/Norwich students.

Submission Guidelines Below:

  1. Deadline EXTENDED: February 8, 2017
  2. Please send 1 to 3 poems as MS Word attachments. Poems must be submitted as separate documents but in one account.
  3. Each poem must not exceed 24 lines.

Submit poems here!

Call for Submissions: Poems for PoemTown St. Johnsbury


PoemTown St. Johnsbury, a collaboration between Catamount Arts, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, and the St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce, celebrates poetry through the posting of poems on business windows, poetry readings and slams, writing workshops, and more. PoemTown St. Johnsbury is a satellite site for Montpelier’s PoemCity, a month-long celebration of National Poetry Month in April.

Poets are invited to submit one or two original poems on the theme “A Sense of Place.” “As our committee discussed potential events and featured poets to read in April, we talked a lot about such ideas as identity and belonging, and about what makes the Northeast Kingdom a special place,” said Anne Campbell, Education Director of Catamount Arts. “We hope poets can use the theme as a point of departure for their writing. “

Poems must be submitted to Catamount Arts by midnight on February 15, 2017. Submission guidelines are posted on the Catamount Arts website ( and may also be picked up at the Catamount Arts box office, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, and the St. Johnsbury Welcome Center. Poetry submissions are not limited to professional or published poets; PoemTown St. Johnsbury welcomes all Vermonters, of any age, who wish to have a forum for their writing.

Montpelier’s PoemCity, formerly Poetry Alive!, has celebrated poetry for 7 years. In addition to PoemTown St. Johnsbury, there are two other satellites: PoemTown Randolph and PoemCampus at Norwich University. Details about PoemTown St. Johnsbury’s poetry postings and events will be announced at a later date. For more information about poetry submissions, please contact Anne Campbell at Catamount Arts, 802-748-2600, extension 108.

PoemCity Continues to Bring Poetry into the Community after April

The Budding Poets Garden, a display of colorful painted wooden flowers on posts, has moved from the Hunger Mountain Coop parking lot to East Montpelier Elementary School. Students at EMES stop to read poems written by first and fourth graders at their own school as they walk down the sidewalk and come to the front door. The display created for PoemCity and National Poetry Month continues to bring poetry to the communities of Central Vermont. We hope to have the display move to The Gary Home in Montpelier after school gets out.

A big thanks to Jason Miles, Barbara Austin-Hutchins, Matt McLane and the terrific students at Montpelier High School and Main Street Middle School for cutting, painting, and assembling the flowers for the Budding Poets Garden. Thanks to East Montpelier Elementary staff and teachers who helped to set it up and are hosting this wonderful display.imageimageimageMany individuals, first-time poets, high school carpenters, teachers, and staff, had a hand in this amazing project.


Poets and friends of poetry: thanks to all of you!


Another beautiful (if surprisingly snowy) National Poetry Month has come to a close, and with it PoemCity 2016. We truly appreciate the Montpelier businesses and foundations that make this possible for us every year.

We want to thank every last one of the poets who sent us their work. We could not do this without your wholehearted participation. Beginning on May 3, the Library will have all of your posted poems here for you to pick up.

We also want to thank everyone who turned out for a PoemCity event. Your enjoyment and enrichment are what PoemCity is all about!

Please check out our links to our featured poets and presenters, who have been so generous with their time and their art, and support their fantastic work!

The above poem by Reuben Jackson is written on the Hunger Mountain Coop Cafe window.  Click on the photo to enlarge the poem for easier reading.

Reading at VCFA – Rigoberto González and Matthew Dickman

This Friday, April 29, at 5 pm, VCFA will host a reading and discussion with Rigoberto Gonzalez and Matthew Dickman. Come to Cafe Anna (1st floor, College Hall, 36 College St) for a snack, and enjoy!

rigobertogonzalez2Rigoberto González is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His ten books of prose include two bilingual children’s books, the three young adult novels in the Mariposa Club series, the novel Crossing Vines, the story collection Men Without Bliss, and three books of nonfiction, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the L.A. Times.

Dickman_Nortoncopy300Matthew Dickman is the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review/ Copper Canyon Press, 2008), 50 American Plays (co-written with his twin brother Michael Dickman, Copper Canyon Press, 2012), and Mayakovsky’s Revolver (W.W. Norton & Co, 2012). He is the recipient of the Honickman First Book Prize, the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, and the 2009 Oregon Book Award from Literary Arts of Oregon. His poems have appeared in McSweeney’s, The Believer, The London Review of Books, Esquire and The New Yorker among others. He is a 2015 Guggenheim recipient. Matthew Dickman is the Poetry Editor of Tin House Magazine.

Norwich University: Poetry Posts Art Walk

In the words of Laura Foster, “A poetry post (or poetry pole, or poetry box) is a wooden pole, usually mounted on private property, so that it faces pedestrians. On top of the pole is a box, with a glass or clear face and a lid. Inside the box is a sheet of paper containing a poem.”

Tomorrow morning at 10 am in Chaplin Hall, Norwich University visual design students will begin a walking presentation on their exhibition of poetry posts. Twenty-four students have created posts inspired by a wide range of poems — works by Pablo Neruda, Theodore Roethke, J.R.R. Tolkien, and more.

You can see the posts through May 1 as part of PoemCampus at Norwich.