Lee Bramble at The North Branch Cafe

Lee Bramble

Lee Bramble, the pen name of Tom Ragle, is the author of “Take This Song,” a collection of original poems from which he will be reading on Friday, April 10, 2015 at The North Branch Cafe in Montpelier at 7 p.m. A graduate of Harvard and Oxford, he was president of Marlboro College for 23 years, later a visiting professor at UVM and Trinity College Vermont. He says he earned his living as a professor and administrator but is at heart a poet and “writes in pursuit of meaning.”

Join us for this reading in the intimate setting of The North Branch Cafe in downtown Montpelier. Space is limited so pre-registration is required. Call or stop by the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 223-3338, to pre-register for this free event. Guests are encouraged to arrive 5-10 minutes early to order tea or wine drinks.


PoemCampus Norwich University 2014

PoemCampus-norwich2014-logo (1)

How excited are we to see that Norwich Univeristy is embracing PoemCampus this spring? Very!

Not only are they hosting David Budbill on campus as part of their Writers Series, but they also are featuring The Chameleon Journal (their literary journal), and taking poetry across disciplines–Architectural Design and Acting and Directing.  They also will have four different poetry displays on campus. All events are free and open to the public, so we highly suggest you make it a part of your trip to Montpelier this April.

Additionally, Norwich University’s professors and students will hold a panel in Montpelier at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on April 8th to talk about creating a literary hub on campus.

The PoemCampus 2014 schedule can be found HERE.

Thank you to Sean Prentiss for taking the lead on this project.



Norwich University’s Visit to PoemCity 2013

David Budbill Apr 2 2014

Montpelier 2014 Schedule

We’re nearing the fickle and cold month of April aka National Poetry Month aka PoemCity!!

We’ve just posted the 2014 Montpelier Schedule. Please take a look. Are you looking for readings by recently published Vermont poets? Works by Vermont teen poets? How about a panel on teaching creative writing at the nation’s first military college? Or a presentation about cultural icons Woody Guthrie and Jack Kerouac? Or William Carlos Williams? Or a reprise of popular event from 25 years ago?

We are looking forward to seeing you, exploring forms, writing from various prompts, and reading the poems you are writing. Mark your calendars. Some events, like Sydney Lea’s workshop, will fill up fast!


Find the 2014 Montpelier Schedule HERE

“Our Town” Poem Contest, deadline March 20th

from our friends at Lost Nation Theater (note deadline is 3/20):


Love your community? Wish you could get away? No matter how you feel about the place you live, here’s your opportunity to express it!

In collaboration with Montpelier Alive’s “Poem City, 2014” and to celebrate LNT’s season opening production of “Our Town”, by Thornton Wilder, your poetic expression of affection, description, or dissatisfaction for your home town is invited for LNT’s:                                                

                                              Our Town Poem Contest

Your inspiration can take any form—ode, sonnet, lyric or limerick, measured meter or open verse—just keep it to a spoken length of two minutes or less. Winning poets will receive two tickets to “Our Town” and the chance to read their work to LNT’s “Our Town” audiences before selected performances. LNT directors and performing artists will also offer each winning poet a private coaching session to help them maximize the effectiveness of their presentation.

Email submissions to: info@lostnationtheater.org

Or, send via US Mail to: Lost Nation Theater

Our Town Poem Contest

39 Main Street, City Hall

Montpelier, VT  05602

Submissions accepted until 5:00 PM, March 20, 2014.

For further information email: kim@lostnationtheater.org

Or, phone: (802) 223-9607


Lost Nation Theater, Montpelier’s award-winning Resident Professional Company, has been creating high-quality performances, comprehensive education programs, and innovative community partnerships at its chamber theater home in Montpelier’s City Hall since 1989. LNT believes theater can transform people and communities. It strives to create intimate, human-scale events that mine the rich possibilities of complex language and evoke empathetic connection. The development of original work and the telling of Vermont’s stories are the heart of LNT’s mission, but annual programs also feature an eclectic mix of classic & modern dramas, comedies, and musicals. lostnationtheater.org


“OUR TOWN” POEMS & PHOTOS: At the City Hall Art Gallery, 39 Main Street, selected poems from Lost Nation Theater’s “Our Town Poem Contest” are paired with photos of Montpelier. The display, curated by Halle Moody in consultation with local photographer Linda Hogan, asks us to look at how personal and collective identity is shaped by environment—and how conceptions of self and community are expressed in an evolving landscape. Expanding these themes, LNT’s production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” provides further context and perspective, Thursdays through Sundays, April 10 – 27.

Note: Even if you submitted work to PoemCity 2014, you must submit to this call separately. 

Jon Turner at UVM on 3/13/14

For those of you who may have missed Jon Turner when he joined us last year with a reading, please make sure to catch him this week at UVM. Story here:

Iraq War Veteran Turned Poet Highlights 5th Annual Diversity Initiative Conference



Jon Turner in PoemCity 2013 CLICK HERE

David Budill at Norwich University, April 2

from our friends at Norwich University:

Contact: Daphne Larkin dlarkin@norwich.edu

802-485-2886 or 595-3613(m)

Follow us on Twitter @NorwichNews

NEWS RELEASE: Norwich University Writers Series presents poet, playwright, author David Budbill

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University’s Spring 2014 Writers Series features acclaimed poet and playwright David Budbill on Wed., April 2. The event begins with a short reading of Budbill’s acclaimed play “Judevine” by members of the Norwich Pegasus Players at 7 p.m. in Milano Ballroom.

A Vermonter who lives and writes from the Northeast Kingdom, Budbill is the author of seven books of poems, including Happy Life, released by Copper Canyon Press in 2011. His works also include eight plays, a novel, a collection of short stories and a picture book for children.

Budbill’s honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Play Writing Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award for Fiction, and the Vermont Arts Council Walter Cerf Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

This event continues the 2014 Writers Series, presented by the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of English and Communications. All events in this series are free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale, and a signing will follow the reading.

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu



Norwich University Visits PoemCity 2013 HERE

David Budbill as part of PoemCity 2014 HERE

You Come Too: Robert Frost’s Spring Poems

The Vermont Humanities Council not only is a great supporter of PoemCity, but they have annually contributed a program to the month’s schedule of events. As part of their “You Come Too” series, executive  director Peter Gilbert leads a community discussion about a group of poems. The series started in November 2008 and has gained a good following here in Montpelier discussing British poets such as John Donne, William Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot and contemporary poets such as Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, and Seamus Heaney.

As part of PoemCity, the next “You Come Too”  installment will be on Thursday, April 3rd at 5:30 at the Vermont Humanities Council. We’ll be discussing three of Robert Frost’s poems about Spring:

“Two Tramps in Mud-Time”

“Nothing Gold Can Stay”

“Mending Wall”

Click on each poem above to read it.

We are grateful for VHC’s continued support of PoemCity, their “You Come Too” series, and also their Speaker’s Bureau, which has provided us with some programs in past editions of PoemCity.

Read the poems in advance or upon arrival. RSVPs are encouraged, but not required. Please call for more information, 262-2626 ext 307. The Vermont Humanities council is located at 11 Loomis Street.

You Come Too

Photo courtesy of the Vermont Humanities Council

PoemCity 2014 is supported in part by the Vermont Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Vermont Humanities Council.



Listen to Peter Gilbert’s VPR commentary on Robert Frost’s poem “A Prayer in Spring” CLICK HERE

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.”

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


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.


Rachel and Phayvanh

Rachel and Phayvanh

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.