Dancing Shadows of Los Lorcas: An Evening with Federico’s Reincarnations

By Bianca Viňas

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Photo by Bianca Viňa

Three hot cocoas, two coffees and an oolong tea, each one clutched by hands accustomed to ink stains and clacking keyboards. There was a table of writers waiting for a performance that could only be described as “melodic stanzas on stage,” or “poesía viva” (poetry alive). It was the fifth evening of PoemCity here in Montpelier and creatives from all over the community had gathered to listen to Los Lorcas, a band of performers reincarnating the wonder and awe of the legendary poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca. This event was held at Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Café Anna, a writers corner known to many for its warm energy and choice maple lattés.   

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Photo by Bianca Viňas

Poet Partridge Boswell took the small stage and gave a nod to his fellow band members, guitarist Nat Williams and lyricist Peter Money. Recipient of this year’s Edna St. Vincent Millay and Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prizes, Partridge Boswell is the author of Some Far Country, winner of the Grolier Poetry Prize. Boswell is also co-founder to Bookstock: The Green Mountain Festival of Words, as well as a truly gifted musician and songwriter. Before counting to three in a tongue much reminiscent of the titular poet Lorca’s homeland, Fuente Vaqueros (Spain), Boswell asked the audience to pause and marvel at the month long celebration that is PoemCity 2018, joking that “love only gets  one day (Valentine’s Day)… us, a whole month.”

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Los Lorca’s warming up. Photo by Bianca Viňa

The first song brought the Café to a thoughtful and resonant silence, an Andalusian serenade inspired by Lorca’s original poetry. It was followed by a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne, a song that captured the attention of the audience. The people sitting at my table, in a section of the Café facing the college’s frozen basketball court, was taken with the next performance, a melodious version of W.B. Yeats The Lake Isle of Innisfree. The rest of the audience was taken by an indie folk eulogy to Evil Knievel.

Of all the songs dedicated, none were more passionately unified in their inspiration than the original ballads that followed. Produced by the band and performed by Peter Money,

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Peter Money in performance. Photo by Bianca Viňas

these songs represented storytelling and an emotional lyricism that could only be reckoned by all three artists and their individual attention to performance: Boswell’s ocean-like vowel intonation, Williams’ calm out-stare to certain integral notes and Money’s sing-song of dramatized poetry.

Peter Money is both a recognized poet (author of  American Drone: New and Selected Poems, 2013) and editor of Harbor Mountain Press, a not-for-profit publishing house, with more than twenty five publications of poetry. Money is a performer of song and word that is said to have the “chops of range” (Paris Review). This was much recognized by the audience and writers that stared up at him. Money showed an almost eerie connection to the physical and vocal performance of his poetry, animating not only his hands and facial expressions, but the impression he makes on the stage beside him; it was a performance all on its own… one of shadow dancing

Los Lorcas in unity is a marvel that would silence any creative individual to awe, inspiring the quietest observer to reach for each word if they were Federico Lorca himself, meditating on song and poetry mid-stage, arms outstretched.

Hear Los Lorcas play their poetry.

 

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Vermont Poets at VCFA

Come listen on Sunday, April 15 to some of Vermont’s finest voices as they read their poetry. Spend the afternoon with Megan Buchanan, Didi Jackson, Major Jackson, Kerrin McCadden, and Diana Whitney as they share their words, thoughts and emotions.

4 pm | VCFA, The Chapel, 36 College Street

MeganBuchanan

Megan Buchanan

Megan Buchanan  is the author of Clothesline Religion (Green Writers Press, 2017). Her work can be found in The Sun Magazine, make/shift, A Woman’s Thing, recent anthologies such as Dream Closet: Meditations on Childhood Space and Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont Poetry, and numerous other publications. She’s also a collaborative performer, dancemaker, and high school English teacher who works with students with learning differences. She just received a 2018 Seedling Award from the Vermont Performance Lab to restage her interdisciplinary performance project called REGENERATIONS: Reckoning and Responding to the Closure of Vermont Yankee. Her work has been supported by the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Studio Center and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. She currently lives in Guilford, Vermont with her young son.

Kerrin McCadden

Kerrin McCadden

Kerrin McCadden is the author of Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, winner of the Vermont Book Award, and the New Issues Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation Writing Award. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, Verse Daily, and in such journals as American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Horsethief, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle. She is the associate director of the Conference on Poetry and Teaching at The Frost Place and teaches at Montpelier High School. She lives in Montpelier, Vermont.

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Didi Jackson

Didi Jackson‘s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Green Mountains Review, The Common, and Water~Stone Review among other publications.  Her manuscript, Almost Animal, (now Killing Jar) was a finalist for the Alice James Book Award, the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize by Persea Books, and Autumn House Press. It was a semi-finalist for the Crab Orchard Open Book Prize, the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, and the University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham and Felix Pollack Prizes. Her chapbook, Slag and Fortune (2013), was published by Floating Wolf Quarterly. Currently, she teaches Poetry and the Visual Arts, 20th c. Poetry of War and Witness, and Creative Writing at the University of Vermont. 

Major Jackson

Major Jackson

Major Jackson is an American poet, professor, and the author of three collections of poetry: Holding Company (2010) and Hoops (2006), both finalists for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry, and Leaving Saturn (2002), winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for a National Book Critics Award Circle. He is also a recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. Jackson is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont and a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. He served as a creative arts fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at University of Massachusetts-Lowell and currently serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review.

Diana Whitney

Diana Whitney

Diana Whitney‘s first book, Wanting It (2014), became an indie bestseller and won the Rubery International Book Award in poetry. She’s the poetry critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and blogs about the darker side of motherhood for The Huffington Post. Diana’s work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Crab Orchard Review, Green Mountains Review, Ms. Magazine, The Rumpus, SalonThe Washington Post, and many more. She has been awarded writing grants and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Vermont Arts Endowment Fund, and the Vermont Studio Center, and was the 2015 winner of the Women’s National Book Association poetry prize. A yoga teacher by trade, Diana runs a small studio attached to her farmhouse in Brattleboro, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and three amiable cats. She’s currently finishing a memoir about motherhood and sexuality.

 

 

Los Lorcas: Poetry in Concert

In the spirit of Federico Garcia Lorca—gifted musician, legendary poet/playwright and ebullient performer—poets Partridge Boswell and Peter Money, along with guitarist Nat Williams, fuse poetry and music in a passionate and surprising mash-up. The performance will take place on Thursday, April 5, in Café Anna at the Vermont College of Fine Arts at 7:00 p.m.
Los Lorcas BoweryLos Lorcas blur boundaries between spoken word and song, weaving poetry with Andalusian ballads, blues, rock, folk, Americana and jazz in pursuit of the cante jondo (deep song) Lorca so ardently championed. “Los Lorcas expresses a desire for everyone to realize how beautiful life, love, and loss can truly be,” raves one reviewer of their recent Burlington, Vermont show. “Music and literature are really one and the same, and their inspired conversation of the two art forms is a breathtaking experience.”

Recipient of this year’s Edna St. Vincent Millay and Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prizes, Partridge Boswell is the author of Some Far Country, winner of the Grolier Poetry Prize. “Such desperate beauty in these poems,” remarks Marie Howe, “such rendered and willed surviving. Read this book if you want to remember what poetry can do to us, how it can find words for what can’t be said and shake us by our shoulders until we feel achingly alive again.” His poems have recently surfaced in The Gettysburg Review, Salmagundi, The American Poetry Review, Green Mountains Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review and Forklift, Ohio. Co-founder of Bookstock literary festival and former vocalist/lyricist of The Cows, he teaches at Burlington Writers Workshop and lives with his family in Vermont.

Poet/editor/teacher Peter Money’s books of poetry include hybrid works such as the prose-poem sequence with Saadi Youssef, To day- minutes only (2004); the poetry/music collaboration Blue Square (2007); Che: A Novella In Three Parts (2010); a book of translations, with Sinan Antoon, of the Arab Modernist Saadi Youssef (2012); and his most recent volume, American Drone (2013), which poet Baron Wormser calls a “full-bore, straight-up, flat-out necessary charge to the poet in these global/electronic times.” His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including in the City Light’s anthology Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sound, as well as on Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac.” Money’s work has also been translated into Spanish in Ultramar Literatura. A student of Allen Ginsberg, he has taught at Lebanon College and the Center for Cartoon Studies.

More at: https://www.facebook.com/carlos.perdiz.54

7 pm | Café Anna, Vermont College of Fine Arts, 36 College 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]

A lovely evening with Chard deNiord

Last night in VCFA’s Alumni Hall, we enjoyed a reading of gentle, rich, and sometimes very funny poetry with Vermont’s Poet Laureate. Thanks to Mr. deNiord for supporting PoemCity!

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Left to right: Rachel Senechal, Program Director; Chard deNiord; Michelle Singer, Co-Coordinator

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Michelle Singer with Chard deNiord

April 1 is coming up!

On the first day of April, Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord will give the Morning Devotional Reading at the State House in Montpelier, at 9:30 am.

Later on April 1, at 7:00 pm, please join us, together with Poet Laureate deNiord, at VCFA’s Alumni Hall, to celebrate the beginning of another National Poetry Month, and another PoemCity!

Picking up Your Poems

Poets can pick up their poems at the venues starting May 1st. We will begin to collect the poems on Monday and have them available at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.Poemsinthelibrary  It may take a few days to collect them.   We also have program guides for you.

We want to thank you for sending us your poems.  Your poems touched our hearts, made us smile or shed tears, inspired us and made us think.  PoemCity’s success is your success.

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

Poetry Crostic Construction with Rick Winston

Like crosswords? How about poetry? Come to the library tonight at 7:00PM — you will get to do both! Rick Winston will guide us through the creation of a “crostic” poetry puzzle. Crostics are a lot like crosswords, except you get a quote — in this case, a poem — once you’ve solved the puzzle!rickwinston