2013 Schedule



  • Click here to download a PDF of the PoemCity 2013 calendar grid. Print it out and put it on your fridge!
  • Click here to download the events descriptions (pasted below)


Mon 1

PoemCity Kick-off with Ellen Bryant Voigt

Vermont State House, 115 State Street | 7 PM

Ellen Bryant Voigt will give a poetry reading to mark the beginning of PoemCity 2013. The reading will be held in the Vermont State House Chambers and will be followed by a reception in the Cedar Creek Room.

Wed 3

Carol Johnson Collins

Capitol Grounds Cafe, 27 State Street | 4 PM

Carol Johnson Collins will read poems she has written about her life on Vermont farms, and about Vermonters. Carol will have musical accompaniment. Expect delight.

Thu 4

Poems to Bear the Unbearable

College Hall, Room 205, VCFA, 36 College Street | noon

For individuals facing trauma, and for whole peoples facing cruel historic realities, poetry offers a way to respond to the experience. We’ll look at some poems about the Holocaust and personal trauma to see how poetry can serve us — not necessarily to change or resolve anything, but to put it into words and explore its deeper resonance. Led by VCFA alum Mary Fillmore.

Fri 5

Paintings and Poems

Bagitos Bagel & Burrito Café, 28 Main Street | 4:30–5:30 p.m

Celebrate the Montpelier Art Walk and PoemCity with a poetry reading by Pamela Ahlen, Cara Armstrong, Kyle Cushman, and Merry Gangemi. Paintings by Cara Armstrong from her new series, the 15th Letter, and her trilingual children’s book, Counting with Cats who Dream/Compte avec les Chats qui Revent/Contando con Gatos que Suenan. Live music 6–8 p.m.

What We Know Now

Montpelier Senior Activity Center, 58 Barre Street | 5 PM

Members of the MSAC poetry class, led by poet Sherry Olson, will present readings of their work, including Rebecca Singer and Sylvia Walker with musical arrangements of their original poems. Also on view: Still Learning to See, an exhibit of John Snell’s photography. Q&A follows. Refreshments will be served. Info at 223-2518.

Poetry Slam with Geof Hewitt

Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street | 7 PM

Join Vermont’s Slam Master in an all-ages poetry slam. Come prepared to perform three poems up to 3 minutes in length. This fun, engaging event offers prizes for all slammers.

Sat 6

Poetry and Collage Playshop

Children’s library, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street, Montpelier | 1 PM

Young poets and poets young at heart create a unique blend of words, colors, textures. Voila! It’s a poem. It’s a collage.

Poetry on the Spot

Local 64, 5 State Street | workshop 3–5 PM, presentation 7–8:30 PM

Join Gary Miller and Deb Fleishman of Write Mondays for a fast-moving poetry writing workshop and reading. We’ll use quick writing prompts to generate poems on the spot. We’ll supportively critique each other’s work, then revise. Then we’ll return in the evening to give a public reading. It’s friendly, frantic, and fun, so don’t miss it! Please bring either a laptop or a pen and paper. (For more info, visit writemondays.wordpress.com; for ages 12+). This venue is not wheelchair accessible.

Sun 7

Poems for Puddles: Story Time with Amy

Onion River Kids, 7 Langdon Street | 10:30 AM

Join outdoor enthusiast Amy Trafford for poems that reflect and inspire puddle jumping, forest frolicking, and rock skipping. Perfect for preschoolers; children of all ages are welcome.

Tue 9

Three Vermont Poets

Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street | 7 PM

Poetry reading featuring Pamela Harrison, Cleopatra Mathis, and Neil Shepard.

Wed 10

You Come, Too: Robert Frost

Vermont Humanities Council, 11 Loomis Street | 5:30 PM

In the wake of the 50th anniversary of Robert Frost’s death (January 29), Vermont Humanities Council executive director Peter Gilbert will lead a discussion of these five beloved Frost poems: “The Gift Outright,” “Meeting and Passing,” “To Earthward,” “The Need of Being Versed in Country Things,” and “Birches.” Read the poems in advance or upon arriving. Light refreshments. RSVPs encouraged but not required: 262-2626, ext. 307.

Thu 11


Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street | 7 PM

UVM professor Tony Magistrale will be reading from his new collection, Entanglements (Fomite Press). Magistrale’s fine poems sizzle. The tones may vary, from the moodiness to playfulness but constant throughout are the intellectual alertness, the satisfying structures, and the vivid descriptions.

Fri 12

Brown Bag Lunch

Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street | noon

Share your favorite poems in a small group setting with other local poets. Come meet other poetry lovers during your lunch hour.

Sat 13

Poetry-Themed Story Time

Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street | 10 AM

Come celebrate National Poetry Month upstairs in the children’s room at Bear Pond Books! Join Carrie Fitz as she shares fingerplays, songs, and an eclectic assortment of her favorite poetry for young children.

George Lisi Reading

Tulsi Tea Room, 34 Elm Street | 2–3 PM

Naturalist and educator George Lisi of Woodbury will share his nature-centered poetry, which celebrates beauty, depth, and immediacy of connection with all life, keen observation, inner integration, and spiritual awakening.

Mon 15

Recitation Workshop

Westview Meadows, 171 Westview Meadows Road | 2 PM

Call it elocution, speaking pieces, or recitation, by any name it’s a chance to share your favorite poem from the podium, or simply listen as others do. A childhood favorite, a classic sonnet, a just-discovered contemporary piece . . . anything goes. Led by actor and poetry performer Morgan Irons. Recitations should be 5 minutes or less. Note: This is intended for sharing work of other poets, not your own.

Wed 17


Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street | 7 PM

Reading with Steven Cramer. Schizophrenia may be characterized by a surfeit of language, a refurbishment of our used up words with musical connections every day speech and sense cannot provide. These riffs are “clangings,” and Steven Cramer imagines them into a poetic narrative that exults in both aural richness and words’ power to evoke an interior landscape whose strangeness is intimate, unsteady, and stirring.

Sat 20

Summit Songs

Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street | 11 AM

Join the Summit School for a showcase of poems set to music. Summit School teachers and students turn original poems into a song and perform them. See how musical words can be.

Poetry that Heals

Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street | 3 PM

Join poet and teacher Mary Rose Dougherty for a poetry therapy workshop. Participants will explore how poetry can help us to realign ourselves when we are thrown by life. By allowing the words, feelings, and images of another person’s experience to touch us or by using language to give voice to our own deep inner experience in our own writing, we can access and release our feelings toward a deeper, more congruent expression of our life. Poetry therapy is an expressive arts modality that uses literature and poetry to help people resolve the emotional and spiritual distress that arises from difficult life passages. Space is limited; please preregister with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library at 223-3338.

Sun 21

The Yoga of Poetry; The Poetry of Yoga

Yoga Mountain Center, 7 Main Street | 11:30 AM–1:30 PM

Cultivating the arts of attention and intention, conscious of cadence, pause, breath, and balance — yoga and poetry are not so dissimilar. In this workshop led by Lydia Russell-McDade, we will explore the fluid poetry of our own bodies in motion, as well as the poetry that arises from this practice of concise, efficient articulation, creative self-expression, and literal inspiration. This will be an intermediate-level yoga asana workshop. Bring a journal or notebook and a pen. Please preregister online at yogamountaincenter.com. Sliding scale, $10–$30.

Mon 22

Writing Nature Poetry: Workshop and Readings

Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street | 7 PM

This workshop and reading with Andrew Hepburn requires participants to use their imaginations and senses to capture the natural world in verse. Hepburn will also read from his collection, The Loons of Holland Pond. Families are encouraged to attend. Please bring writing supplies with you. Limited to 30 participants; preregister at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

Tue 23

Goddard Writers Read

Capitol Grounds, 27 State Street | 6:30 PM

Enjoy some coffee or tea while listening to Goddard College BFA faculty read their poetry. Wendy Call will read translations from the work of Mexican poets Irma Pineda and Jose Alfredo Escobar Martinez. Janet Sylvester will read poems from The Mark of Flesh (Norton) and Breakwater (forthcoming), her most recent books. This reading is sponsored by the Goddard College BFA in Creative Writing Program.

The Other Wish

Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street | 7 PM

Vermont poet Diane Swan reads from her new book of poetry. The Other Wish is Swan’s first full-length collection, her chap book Jewelweed having been published in 1994. Swan’s elegantly crafted work has appeared in publications ranging from Alaska Quarterly Review to Yankee Magazine.

Fri 26


Storefront Gallery, 6 Barre Street | 7 PM

Jon Turner will read from his new collection of poems, Voicing Place/ Placing Voice, and Death Bed. He will also discuss the healing transformation that occurred from writing after his time at war in Iraq.

Sat 27

The Chapbook: Reading and Writing the Slender Book with Jim Schley and Julia Shipley

Snelling Room, Vermont Historical Society, 109 State Street | 10 AM–noon

In this hands-on class, we’ll cover a brief history of chapbooks as well as examine and handle a variety of chapbooks. We will consider production techniques, from photocopiers and staplers to letterpresses and hand-sewn bindings, and we will discuss and participate in the process of assembling a chapbook manuscript and finding a venue for publishing it (from small presses and contests to do-it-yourself options). A chapbook is a book of fewer than 50 pages, an ideal vessel for a group of related poems, an essay, or a short story. Class limited to 15 participants; preregister at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

Chapbook Publishing Roundtable

Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street | 2 PM

Why publish a chapbook? How are they designed and marketed? How do chapbooks serve their readers? Come hear Vermont chapbook publishers and authors: Ann Aspell of Chapiteau Press, Benjamin Aleshire of Honeybee Press, Andrew Miller-Brown of Plowboy Press and poet Neil Shepard, whose chapbook was recently published by Big Table Press. They will discuss their love of writing, designing, and selling the slender book. The panel will be moderated by Julia Shipley, poet and cofounder of the Montpelier-based Chickadee Chaps and Broads.

Three Chaps Reading

Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street | 3:30–4:30 PM

A trio of Burlington, Vermont-based poets reading from their chapbooks, featuring Ben Aleshire, Ralph Culver, and Nicholas Spengler.

Sun 28

Thinking Like a Poetry Editor: How to Be Your Own Best Critic

Storefront Studio, 6 Barre Street | 1–4 PM

Join April Ossmann to learn to objectively identify strengths and weaknesses in your poetry. This workshop empowers the poet in the process and engenders a collegial atmosphere. Participants receive editorial suggestions for their one-page poem from the instructor and typed comments from participants. Preregistration required; space is limited. $25 per person. Register at the Kellogg- Hubbard Library or e-mail info@poem-city.org or call 223-3338. Registration deadline is Thursday, April 11. More info about the workshop at aprilossmann.com.

Mon 29

Until Nothing More Can Break

Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street | 7 PM

Kate Fetherston of Montpelier reads from her latest book of poems, Until Nothing More Can Break (Antrim House). Kate Fetherston’s poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including North American Review, Hunger Mountain, Nimrod, and Third Coast. Co-editor of Manthology: Poems on the Male Experience and Open Book: Essays from the Postgraduate Writers’ Conference, Fetherston has received several Pushcart nominations and was a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize in 2008 and 2010. A psychotherapist in private practice in Montpelier, Vermont, she holds an MFA from Vermont College.

Tue 30

Annual Open Poetry

Bear Pond Books, 77 Main Street | 7 PM

The highly anticipated annual event is open to the community, though you must sign up in advance and you must limit your reading to 5 minutes so that everyone has a chance to read. This is always a fun night of reading, laughter, and encouragement! Stop in at Bear Pond Books or call 229-0774 to register. Space is limited.


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