Last But Not Least: Environmental Reading

By Ma’ayan D’Antonio

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Down Home Kitchen. Photo by Ma’ayan D’Antonio

As the rain tapped on the windows of Down Home Kitchen, the inside was abuzz with excitement and chatter. Down Home Kitchen, once a book store, was a fitting location for the last event of poetry month. On the menu was a hot cup of soup with a side of fresh corn bread, green salad and a large chocolaty brownie. The diners sat around the long wooden table enjoying the family style dining.

James Crews, Julia Shipley, Sean Prentiss and Jody Gladding are environmental poets, letting the place shape them as writer and as humans.

The first to step up to read was James Crews, as he took the mic, he nervously adjusted it admitting that mics stress him out. James read poetry for his husband who is a farmer as well as poetry about the places he has been to.

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From left to right, Sean Prentiss, Jody Gladding, Julia Shipley and James Crews. Photo by Rachel Senechal

As passersby walked past, they glanced curiously through the window to see Julia Shipley thank the captivated audience for taking part in PoemCity. She was kind enough to take into account that people were still eating. She chose to read “poems that one can hear while eating.” She laughed nervously. She admitted that she “is too in love with my puns” as she read us her new poem Glass Eye Factory, with a line that reads ‘blink and you miss it’.

Sean Prentiss, charming as ever, was kind enough to thank both his students from Norwich University and VCFA for coming down to support PoemCity. “Throw the double chocolate cookies at me” he said, in truth tomatoes just wouldn’t do. Sean read from his new poetry collection, poems that mostly read as love poems to nature and his wife.

Jody Gladding was the last poet to read that night, as the rain stopped and plates emptied, she handed out the poems that she was going to read from. Her new poetry looks strange and unconventional but the reading is beautiful and ever changing. With words spread out on the page there is no right or wrong way to read it, just the will to let it take you where it may.

After all that is what poetry is all about.

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Environmental Poetry Reading with Sean Prentiss, Julia Shipley, James Crews, and Jody Gladding at Down Home Kitchen

down home kitchenJoin us on Monday, April 30, for our PoemCity finale at Down Home Kitchen in downtown Montpelier. During “Environmental Poetry,” four poets will share poetry that deals with how place affects us as humans and writers. The poems read by Jody Gladding, James Crews, Julia Shipley, and Sean Prentiss will be infused with language that evokes landscapes, people, animals, and plant life. These poems aim to bring thereader intimately into a single spot on this earth.

A delicious Down Home supper is available at this event: a cup of homemade soup (veggie, gluten-free, meat options), bread, a side salad, and scratch-made dessert for $20. All beverages extra. You can attend without buying food. 

6:30 pm | Down Home Kitchen, 100 Main Street

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Jody Gladding

Jody Gladding’s work explores the places where language and landscape converge. Translations from Bark Beetle (2014) is her most recent poetry collection and a new book, the spiders my arms, is forthcoming. Gladding has also translated thirty books from French. Gladding directs the Writing Program at the Vermont Studio Center and lives in East Calais, Vermont.

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James Crews

James Crews‘s work has appeared in Ploughshares, Raleigh Review, Crab Orchard Review and The New Republic, among other journals, and he is a regular contributor to The London Times Literary Supplement. He is the author of two collections of poetry, The Book of What Stays (2011) and Telling My Father (2016), and is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology of LGBTQ environmental poetry, Queer Nature. Crews lives on an organic farm in Shaftsbury and teaches at Southern Vermont College and Community College of Vermont.

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Julia Shipley

Julia Shipley is the author of a debut collection, The Academy of Hay (2015) which won the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. Her story “The Giving Tree” was selected as a notable narrative in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2017. Her prose book Adam’s Mark: Writing from the Oxhouse (2014) was named a 2014 best book about New England by the Boston Globe. She is a recipient of fellowships from The Frost Place and The Studios of Key West. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Collagist, FIELD, Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review online, North American Review, Orion Magazine, Poetry, Utne Reader and Verse Daily. Shipley holds an MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars and works as an independent journalist.

Sean Prentiss is the award-winning author of Finding Abbey: A Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave, a memoir about Edward Abbey and the search for home. Finding Abbey won the 2015 National Outdoor Book Award for History/Biography, the Utah Book Award for Nonfiction, and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Biography.

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Sean Prentiss

It was also a Vermont Book Award and Colorado Book Award finalistPrentiss is the co-author of the environmental writing textbook Environmental and Nature Writing: A Craft Guide and Anthology, the forthcoming textbook, Advanced Creative Nonfiction, and the co-editor of The Far Edges of the Fourth Genre: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction, a creative nonfiction craft anthology. Prentiss is also the series editor of the Bloomsbury Publishing Writers Guide Series. This textbook line includes a variety of forthcoming textbooks all focused on creative writing. Prentiss and his family live on a small lake in northern Vermont and he teaches at Norwich University and in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Vermont Studio Center Poets

Join us on Thursday, April 19 for a group reading by poets with ties to the Vermont Studio Center, including Gary Clark, Kylie Gellatly, Jody Gladding, Sam Hughes, Andrea Martin, and Meaghan Reynolds.

The Vermont Studio Center is the largest international artists & writers residency in the U.S., hosting upwards of 50 visual artists and writers each month. VSC sponsors an ongoing Visiting Writers Series, with readings open to the public, as well as many fellowship opportunities for poets and prose writers. It is largely staffed by working artists, some of whom are part of tonight’s event. Each spring, Vermont Artists Week brings together artists and writers from across the state for an intensive week of studio work and camaraderie at VSC, generously supported by Vermont donors (2018 dates: April 30th -May 7th). For more information about VSC’s programs and events, visit: http://vermontstudiocenter.org/

7:30 pm | Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street

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Gary Clark (right)

Gary Clark was born and raised in New Haven County, Connecticut. He received a BA in English and Drama from Dartmouth College, and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon. Since 1993, Gary has worked for the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, where he has served as President since 2013. Gary lives in Johnson with his wife and three children.

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Kylie Gellatly

Kylie Gellatly is a writer from Richmond, VA who recently relocated to Northern Vermont.  Though a lifelong lover of the written word, Kylie’s background has mostly been in the form of music composition and songwriting.  On hiatus from performance, she has devoted her time to studying and practicing the discipline of poetry and prose.

Jody photo (SF)

Jody Gladding

Jody Gladding‘s work explores the places where language and landscape converge. Translations from Bark Beetle (2014) is her most recent poetry collection and a new book, the spiders my arms, is forthcoming.  She has also translated thirty books from French. She directs the Writing Program at the Vermont Studio Center and lives in East Calais, Vermont.

Sam Hughes

Sam Hughes

Sam Hughes is a poet who lives in Johnson, VT, where he is a Staff Artist at the Vermont Studio Center. He studied Philosophy and the History of Math and Science as an undergraduate at St. John’s College, Annapolis, and he is now enrolled in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. His work appears in Rattle, Poet Lore, Rust + Moth, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of the Robert Haiduke Poetry Prize from the Bread Loaf School of English.

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Andrea Martin

Andrea Martin is a poet who lives in Johnson, VT, where she is a Staff-Artist at Vermont Studio Center. Originally from Richmond, VA, she spent several years working in children’s book publishing before getting her MFA in Creative Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is currently finishing her first collection of poetry, In So Intricate a Laberinth.

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Meaghan Reynolds

Meaghan Reynolds is a poet, artist, and teacher living in Burlington, VT. Her work has appeared The Missing Slate, Prelude Journal, Mid-American Review, Fugue, Southern Quarterly, and the anthology Monster Verse: Poems Human and Inhuman and The Book of Donuts. She is the co-director of writinginsideVT and hosts organizes the Lit Club Lamp Shop Reading Series at Light Club Lamp Shop in Burlington, VT.

 

Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble: what I mean by rooted is web

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The VCME performs at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, 4/15 at 7:30! On the 16th, you can find them at 7:30 in Burlington, at the Black Box Theater, Main Street Landing.

All new, never published visual poems featuring Jody Gladding’s bold experiments with the written word are paired with four composers’ music in response to the readings.
Tickets (at the door): $25 regular; $12 students & seniors; donation for the financially challenged

2014 Broadsides Contest Winner: David Dillon

a note from our friends at Chickadee Chaps and Broads:

Dear Vermont Poets and Friends,

Chickadee Chaps & Broads is pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Vermont Poetry Broadside Contest is David Dillon of East Albany, VT. His poem, “Northeast Kingdom Wind Song” was selected by Vermont Poet, Jody Gladding.

 

Ms. Gladding said of Dillon’s work that she enjoyed how his poem is, “full of the elemental energy that is the storm.” Adding that,”I like all its verbs, I like being thrown by the reference to a Costa Rican resort, I like it that the wind is female. As the poem says, ‘this song rouses all.'”

 

The two finalists for the second annual Vermont Poetry Broadside Contest are Arlene Distler of Brattleboro, Vt for her poem “Fish Counter,” and Tom Martin of Franklin, Vt for his poem “The Mail Box.” Both finalists will receive a copy of this year’s winning Broadside.

 

David Dillon will receive five copies of his signed and numbered limited edition Broadside, handset and letterpress printed at May Day Studio, and illustrated by Vermont Arts Council award-winner Gabriel Tempesta.

 

Mr. Dillon’s broadside will be on public display in downtown Montpelier during the month of April as part of PoemCity’s month-long poetry festivities. Copies will be available for purchase at The Drawing Board throughout April 2014 and online while supplies last at Chickadee Chaps & Broads’ online store.

 

As part of CC&B’s mission to nurture the work of Vermont Writers Mr. Dillon will receive a complimentary three- night stay at the Writer’s Retreat in Craftsbury, Vermont.

 

Both Jody Gladding and David Dillon will give a reading at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier on April 15th, 2014. Gladding will read from,”Translations From Bark Beetle,” her newly released collection from Milkweed Editions, and David Dillon will read his winning poem along with a selection from his first book of poems, “From The Porch.”

 
Sincerely,
Julia Shipley & Kelly McMahon
For more information about these ladies and their work, go to: www.chickadeechapsandbroads.com
From the Porch by David Dillon

David’s book is available at Bear Pond Books

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Related:

Broadsides Contest 2014

Our friends at Chickadee Chaps and Broads are running their broadsides contest again this year–details below:

Postmark deadline: February 1, 2014.
Entry Fee: $15.
Submission Guidelines: Submit up to three poems (30 line limit, please). Previously published ok– but please acknowledge where.

To enter via email: Email brief bio along with your name, address and phone, and attach three poems as a single pdf to:chickadeechapsandbroads@gmail.com. Entry fee is payable via PayPal to same email address. All submissions will be acknowledged.

To enter via mail: Items may be submitted via snail mail to May Day Studio, 190 River Street, Montpelier VT 05602. Checks should be made to May Day Studio. Please include SASE. Items mailed will not be returned. Please do not send originals or your only copy. All submissions will be acknowledged.

Winner will be notified via mail/email by March 1, 2014, and announced on our website.

The final juror will be Jody Gladding.

Last year’s winner was Ralph Culver, chosen by Sydney Lea.