"The Dipper" is our monthly newsletter, where we highlight readings, events, calls for submission, and other literary-related news for the coming month. If you have news or events to share, let us know!
In this moment the chairs were empty.
Not long after, the barn began to fill with people, some we knew and many we didn't. The poets -- James Crews, Dede Cummings, and Mary Kane -- took turns in front of the audience, filling the barn with words that swooped as gracefully, and sometimes as startlingly, as the swallows that glided from window to window.
The poems made us laugh, smile, sigh, and shiver. The poets told us the stories behind the poems, answered our questions, and gave the writers in the room encouragement. When they had finished, several audience members took their turn up front and generously shared their original compositions with us.
Afterwards, in one cozy corner, some of us gathered near Taylor Mardis Katz as she composed poems on her typewriter. In the opposite corner, others cut slices of pie, or sipped ice tea and fruit juice sparklers. We traded email addresses and stories, talked poems and recipes, offered hugs and inspiration.
The afternoon went on, perfect moment after perfect moment, with sunlight filtering through the barn windows and the flowers blooming in the afternoon air.
At the end, we stacked the chairs away, said our goodbyes, and went back out into the day. Nothing felt empty.
Thank you to everyone who came. To everyone who read poems. To everyone who swept the floor. To everyone who baked a pie. To everyone who drove long distances. To everyone who signed books. To everyone who bought books. To everyone who made the afternoon even better than we'd imagined it would be. Thank you. And to everyone we missed, we hope you'll come next year. We'll save a chair for you.
Support Literary North!
Literary North is a labor of love for us, but we can't live on love (and pie) alone. We're powered by donations from people who attend our events and appreciate what we do. Please consider supporting us at any level that feels good to you. And if you're interested in co-sponsoring an event, volunteering your time, or donating space at your venue, we'd be thrilled to hear from you! We appreciate your support from the bottom of our hearts!
The Marlboro College summer reading series continues August 1, 2, and 3 with readings by Mira Ptacin, Mira Jacob, and Ron Currie. The readings begin at 5:00 pm at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, Vermont.
The annual Strafford Town House Forum returns this month, with pairings of readings and conversations each Thursday in August at 7:00 pm, in Strafford, Vermont. This year's presenters include Pat Alger, Jim Rooney, Michael Caduto, Ted Levin, Robin MacArthur, Melanie Finn, Pamela Harrison, and Ina Anderson.
The Back Roads Reading series in Brownington, Vermont, concludes with a reading by poet Charles Simic on Sunday, August 6, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.
The Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont, will be hosting two readings of original work from members of the From Our Minds and Hearts (FOMAH) Art Group. Each event features readings from six FOMAH Art Group writers. The readings will take place on Wednesday, August 9, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, and on Saturday, August 26, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm.
Since the end of June, local/regional women poets and writers have been reading the work of or about other women writers as part of Women Reading Women on the main stage at Prescott Park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The final two readings--featuring Pricilla Cookson, Kayla Cash, Tamara Collins, Julie Dickson, Marybeth McNamara, and Wendy Cannella--take place on Thursday, August 10, and Thursday, August 17, from 5:45 to 6:15 pm.
Nature writers Robert Finch and John Elder will be discussing Finch's latest book, The Outer Beach, at The Vermont Book Shop, Tuesday, August 17, at 7:00 pm, in Middlebury, Vermont.
Jamaica Kincaid and James Atlas will be in conversation on Saturday, August 26, at 7:00 pm, at Northshire Bookstore, in Manchester Center, Vermont.
The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference kicks off its August public events with Lauren Groff and Edward Hirsch at 8:15 pm on Wednesday, August 16. The series continues with readings and lectures presented by more than 20 authors, through Friday, August 25. All events take place in the Little Theatre on the Bread Loaf campus in Ripton, Vermont.
Worth a Drive
Poet Frank Bidart will be reading from his latest poetry collection, Half-Light: Collected Poems, on Tuesday, August 15, at 7:00 pm, at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The reading is free.
Please visit our calendar for detailed information about each event and to see more event listings for August and beyond.
We're looking forward to these August releases
- New People, by Danzy Senna (August 1, Riverhead Books)
- Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, by Frank Bidart (August 15, Farrar, Straus and Grioux)
- How to Behave in a Crowd, by Camille Bordas (August 15, Tim Duggan Books)
- The Mountain: Stories, by Paul Yoon (August 15, Simon & Schuster)
- Eastman Was Here, by Alex Gilvarry (August 22, Viking)
Calls for Submission and Upcoming Deadlines
The AVA Gallery is looking for storytellers for its quarterly story-telling series, The Mudroom (September 14). The theme is “Scary Stories.” Storytellers of all ages and from all towns in the Upper Valley and beyond are welcome. Storytellers should submit a brief summary of the story (two or three sentences) and a short bio (no more than 150 words) by August 22 to email@example.com or to Sheryl@avagallery.org.
The Marble House Project is now accepting applications for the Collaborative Winter Residency. This residency facilitates a group of artists working together to develop new or in-progress work. Residents apply as a group. The cost is $500 per person, and includes food, housing, and studio space. Applications close midnight, August 31. For more information, please visit the Residency Application page.
Register now through August 31 for the Northern Woodlands Conference (October 20 to 22) and take 10% off the registration fee. Use the special code "EarlyBird" at checkout to receive the discount. For more information and to register, please visit the Conference page.
The Bennington MFA Writing Seminar is currently accepting applications for its January residency. The non-refundable application fee is $70 (or $100 for a dual-genre application). The application deadline is September 1. For a list of information that must accompany the application, and a link to the application form, please visit the Application Info and Deadlines page.
There's still time to register for the Writers in the Round Songwriters and Poets Retreat (September 7 to 10), on Star Island, New Hampshire. This is a time for stretching boundaries, cross genre inspiration, and fresh salt air. We welcome all levels of artistry for daily classes, structured and unstructured time for composition and collaboration, small group workshops, and nightly song and poetry swaps. The program fee is $110. Room and board rates ($424 to $734) include lodging, meal, and ferry transportation from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For more information and to register, please visit the Retreat page.
The application deadline for the MacDowell Colony Winter/Spring 2018 residency is September 15. The application fee is $30. For more information, please visit the Application Guidelines page.
Registration is open for the 2017 New Hampshire Poetry Festival (September 23). Registration fees ranges from $55 (students) to $95 (PSNH members) to $120 (non-members) and include panel discussions, workshops, headliner reading with Gregory Pardlo, morning and afternoon receptions, and time with poets from around the country. For more information and to resister, please visit the Registration page.
Vital Communities is hosting a Watershed Quest Challenge, designed to encourage you to explore your favorite Upper Valley pond, stream, river, or swimming hole and write a Valley Quest. Watershed Quest submissions will have the chance to be featured in the 2018 Super Quest, and the author or the winning Quest will receive a grand prize. The deadline is December 15. For full details and to submit your Quest, please visit the Watershed Quest Challenge page. Note: Vital Communities is offering a free Quest Writing Workshop on Friday, August 11. For more information, see "August Workshops and Classes," below.
August Workshops and Classes
Burlington Writers Workshop offers a series of writing retreats designed to provide members with opportunities to gather in quiet, inspiring spaces for focused discussion, instruction, and writing time. The August retreat is "Writing Prose - Fiction and Nonfiction," lead by Robin McLean, on Saturday, August 26. The retreat will be held in Grand Isle, Vermont. To participate, register by August 5. For more information or to register, please visit the Retreat page.
New Hampshire Writers' Project is hosting two online webinars in August: "Awakening the Monster: How to Edit Your Book Manuscript," with Jeff Deck, on Wednesday, August 9, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm; and "Clever as a Cat and Working Like a Dog: How to Create a Stir Before Your Book's Launch," with Ann Garvin, on Monday, August 21, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. The cost for each is $10 for members and $25 for nonmembers. For more information and to register, please visit the Workshops page.
Vital Communities is offering a free Quest Writing Workshop on Friday, August 11, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Steve Glazer will lead a fun-filled day spent diving into natural history and designing an educational Valley Quest treasure hunt. Snacks will be provided, but participants should bring their own lunch. To participate, register by August 7. For more information or to register, please visit the workshop's Event page.
Join poet Peter Money for an ekphrastic poetry workshop on Saturday, August 12, from 2:30 to 5:30 pm, at the Hall Art Foundation in Reading, Vermont. Participants will compose and share a poem inspired by one of the artworks on view. Participants should bring their own notebooks. Pencils will be provided. Smartphones recommended if possible. Admission is free, but space is limited and registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit the Event page.
As of this writing, Live Free and Write, a New Hampshire Getaway for Writers has one space left for the August 13 to 18 retreat in Sunapee, New Hampshire. For full details and to register, visit the Summer Writing Retreat page.
Burlington Writers Workshop in Burlington and Montpelier, Vermont, offers an ongoing series of free writing workshops. Upcoming workshops include creative writing (any genre), poetry, and creative nonfiction. For a complete list of upcoming workshops and to register, visit the workshop Meetup page.
For fiction and creative non-fiction writers who want a deadline and thoughtful feedback on their work, instructor Joni B. Cole will be leading a Writer's Salon (and Sustenance) on Sunday, August 27, from 4:00 to 6::30 pm. During the meeting, writers will be asked to read aloud a work in progress. The cost is $40, which includes quality feedback, savory snacks, and camaraderie. For more information and to register, please visit the Writers Center Workshops page.