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

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. Gladding has also translated thirty books from French. Gladding directs the Writing Program at the Vermont Studio Center and lives in East Calais, Vermont.

Crews Author

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.

JuliaShipley

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.

The Husbandry of Poetry with Julia Shipley

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.

7 pm | Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main Street

Poetry reading by alumni of the Vermont Studio Center

On April 20, at 7 pm, at the Lounge in VCFA’s Noble Hall at 39 College Street, Ryan Walsh, development and writing director at the Vermont Studio Center, hosts an evening of some of Vermont’s finest voices— Major Jackson, Kerrin McCadden, Baron Wormser, Julia Shipley, Kristin Fogdall, Diana Whitney and Laurie Macfee.

Each poet is an alum of VSC’s residency or Visiting Writer program. The reading will feature writers at every career level, from emerging to nationally celebrated. Poets will each share their work for 10 minutes, followed by an opportunity for conversation.

jackson5-200v (1)Major Jackson is a poet, professor, and the author of three collections of poetry: Holding Company, Hoops, and Leaving Saturn.

 

 

 

 

Kerrin McCadden JPEG_BrowniePoetry200Kerrin McCadden teaches at Montpelier High School and is the author of the Vermont Book Award‒winning collection of poetry Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes.

 

 

 

baron-200Baron Wormser is the former Poet Laureate of Maine and author and coauthor of numerous books, most recently in poetry Unidentified Sighing Objects and Impenitent Notes, and in prose Teach Us That Peace.

 

 

 

Julia & pup B&W taken by Howard Romero-2-200Julia Shipley is the cofounder of Chickadee Chaps & Broads and the author of poetry chapbook First Do No Harm and prose book Adam’s Mark.

 

 

 

DianaWhitneyheadshot-200Diana Whitney’s first book, Wanting It, became an indie bestseller and won the Rubery Book Award in poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, Crab Orchard Review, The Rumpus, Salon, The Washington Post, and many more.

 

Poet Kristin Fogdall

Kristin Fogdall’s work has appeared in Poetry, The New Republic, Slate.com, New England Review, and other journals; she is currently finishing a book-length collection.

 

 

Laurie Macfee2-200Laurie Macfee was Writing Coordinator at VSC 2015-16 and continues as Grants Coordinator. She’s the designer and past poetry editor of Sierra Nevada Review, and poetry guest co-editor of Green Mountains Review 2016-17. Publications include Forklift, Ohio; Blue Lyra Review; Big Bell; Brushfire; and the anthology Change in the American West.

 

 

[edited to add Baron Wormser’s most recent poetry 4/23]

Chickadee Chaps and Broads Poetry Reading

Wednesday, April 29 |  7:00PM

Chickadee Chaps & Broads is proud to introduce the winner of the 3rd annual Vermont Poetry Broadside, Samn Stockwell AND to launch the debut chapbooks of their Vermont Tapas-Lit series, Ryan Walshs Reckoner and Diane Swandiane swans Between The Cabin and The Crow.  At the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.                                       samn stockwell Walsh

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:

A Preview of 2014

Dear Poets,

You’re probably wondering what’s going on… where can you find info about April’s schedule, and where the heck is your poem going to be placed? Our team is rapidly putting the final touches on this year’s PoemCity and we have lots to share with you—so stay tuned! In the meantime, here are a few things:

DAVID BUDBILL. As we do every year, we will kick off our celebrations on April 1st at the Vermont State House with a reading by a prominent Vermont poet. This year, we are delighted to bring David Budbill to the State House. He will be introduced by Linda Ramsdel, owner of Galaxy Bookshop (Hardwick).

Many of you probably know his work either through his many books, Lost Nation Theater’s productions of Judevine (2007, 2008), A Song for My Father (2010), and Two for Christmas (2012) and his regular appearances on The Writer’s Almanac, hosted by Garrison Keillor.

David Budbill will be the visiting writer at Norwich University, holding a reading and class visits there in April. He’ll reprise “Baseball with Budbill and Barasch” for us on April 10th at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. We’re happy to feature David and his work as part of PoemCity 2014. The reading on the 1st starts at 7 pm in the House Chambers. Read some of his work HERE.

SATELLITES. We’re taking a small step towards a big dream this year—satellite locations! While downtown Montpelier will remain the hub of PoemCity, we are happy to include a few new sites in Vermont this April: PoemCampus Norwich University (Northfield) and PoemTown Randolph (serving the greater Randolph area). We’ve also partnered with the Vermont Information Centers Division to include a few Welcome Centers with unique poetry displays of their own.  If you’re traveling from out of town, you can make a pit stop and read poetry there too!

We’ve worked very hard these past five years to make PoemCity a stand-out month in Montpelier, and to establish a community tool kit for other locations that want to host a similar celebration in their home communities. We are grateful to the organizers at Norwich University and in Randolph for testing the waters and providing us with feedback.

AWARDS AND OUTREACH. The Vermont Downtowns and Village Centers Award for Best Special Event was presented to PoemCity at the Vermont Downtowns Conference in June 2013 in Barre. We are very proud to have this statewide recognition, which beat out other contenders from around the Vermont.

Most recently, Julia Shipley’s article about PoemCity was published in the March/April 2014 edition of Yankee Magazine. The notice has been stellar, with our friends and partners tweeting about it and sharing it over Facebook. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find it HERE. The issue is on newsstands now, and I recommend you pick one up—there are quite a few interesting articles.

We are grateful for the continued funding of the Vermont Humanities Council, the City of Montpelier’s Arts Fund, and for the hard work of our fantastic volunteer crew.  And speaking of social media, please follow, friend, and otherwise like us! @PoemCityVT and on Facebook.com/PoemCityMontpelier

We’re looking forward to seeing you in April.

Best,

Rachel and Phayvanh

Rachel and Phayvanh

2013 Vermont Poetry Broadside Contest Winner

Dear Curators and Caretakers of Vermont’s Cultural Largess,

Happy National Poetry Month!

We are so pleased to announce the winning poem of Chickadee Chaps & Broads’ first Vermont Poetry Broadside Contest, written by Ralph Culver of Burlington, is now available. His poem, “Signed Self Portrait: February,” selected by Vermont Poet Laureate, Sydney Lea, has become a beautiful letterpress broadside, illustrated by Craftsbury artist, Gabriel Tempesta, handset and published by Kelly McMahon of May Day Studio in Montpelier and available in a signed and numbered edition of 60.

2013 Broadside

The final broadside is on display at The Drawing Board, with limited editions available for purchase.

The poetry broadside will be on display in the window of the Drawing Board on Main Street in Montpelier throughout April in celebration of National Poetry Month, as part of MontpelierAlive and the Kellogg Hubbard Library’s PoemCity programming. Copies are available for purchase at the Drawing Board throughout April 2013 and online while supplies last at our online store: http://chickadeechaps.bigcartel.com/

Ralph Culver received five copies of his broadside and a complimentary four- night stay at the Writer’s Retreat in Craftsbury, Vermont.

If you’re visiting Montpelier, you can hear Ralph read “Signed Self Portrait: February” and other poems from his award winning new chapbook, Both Distances recently published by Anabiosis Press, at 3:30pm on Saturday, April 27th in the Hayes Room of the Kellogg Hubbard Library.

As part of our small spirited effort to promote letterpress printed literature, Chickadee Chaps & Broads will be offering the Vermont Poetry Broadside contest annually over the next decade to build a Vermont letterpress printed and illustrated broadside archive.

Thank you for your support,

Sincerely,

Julia Shipley & Kelly McMahon

Photo is courtesy of Chickadee Chaps and Broads.

Montpelier, VT / PoemCity 2013

Dear Poets,

The PoemCity 2013 team has been working non-stop to read all your poems, pair them up in appropriate locations throughout town, and invite poets, teaches, publishers and other literary friends to offer workshops and readings for you.

Phoot: Rachel Senechal makes poetry assignments

Rachel Senechal assigns selected poems to their business locations

Please make sure to look at our events page and print out a calendar to hang in your office or at home as a reminder. Do note that we have several workshops that require preregistration. Space is limited for most of them, so call the library to let them know to save a spot for you!

I want to thank the Julia Shipley and Kelly McMahon at Chickadee Chaps and Broads for organizing their Vermont Poetry Broadside Contest to coordinate with PoemCity. Sydney Lea, Vermont Poet Laureate, chose Ralph Culver’s “Signed Self Portrait” as winner. It will be on display at The Drawing Board. Kelly was also kind enough to letterpress supplies for Julia’s chapbook workshop on April 27th.

Our partners are amazing, and Julia and Kelly are just two. I’ll be posting more updates as the month rolls along. We’re always happy to hear your comments and questions.

If you’re in town for an event, or simply reading the poems on the street, please introduce yourself—to us, to other attendees, the participating businesses. I look forward to seeing you in Montpelier.

Best,

Phayvanh Luekhamhan

Executive Director, Montpelier Alive

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Read the Times Argus’s preview HERE

Read The Bridge’s preview HERE

Photo by Phayvanh Luekhamhan