Barry Lopez

The Dipper - May 2019

"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

 

May News

Now that the weather has finally turned (and turned again), you might be eager for more clues about our headlining poets for Poetry & Pie III on Saturday, August 3. We’ll release all of the details next month, but, for now, we have a few more teasers for you. Put these together with the first set of clues and see if you can guess who’s coming. The first person to email us with the correct names of all three poets wins a free pass to the event!

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  • Mystery poet #1 started writing poetry at the age of 25 and has studied with Frank Bidart.

  • Mystery poet #2 lives next door to a bear sanctuary.

  • Mystery poet #3 has been on an epic Western road trip this year.

As we mentioned last month, one of the books that we’ve been most excited about this spring is Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection, an anthology of poetry edited by our friend James Crews and put out by the fabulous, local publisher Green Writers Press. We recently interviewed James about the book. If you haven’t seen the interview yet, check it out on our blog.

The Upper Valley is very lucky to be the home of Bloodroot Literary Magazine, edited by the fabulous team of James E. Dobson and Rena Mosteirin. Volume 11 (the Fourth Digital Edition) was released in April and is available online and as a downloadable PDF. Volume 11 features photography from our friend James Napoli (of Junction Magazine fame), poems by our own Rebecca Siegel, and poems by our friends Meghan Oliver and Ivy Schweitzer.

We are very excited to announce our first chapbook project: Little Dippers. Each Little Dipper will feature one writer’s work and will be hand-stitched and have covers letterpress printed by us! Look for more information about this project very soon. Little Dipper Issue 1 will be available at Poetry & Pie III in a limited edition of 25.

From time to time, we plan to invite others to join in on the Friday Reads fun with their reading suggestions. Bloodroot Literary Magazine editor and poet, Rena Mosteirin, recently shared her excellent recommendation with us over on the blog.

May’s Shooting Stars

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A cool literary find from each of us to help light up your month!

  • I’m excited to see the lineup for the Marble House Residents for 2019. I kept meaning to make it to one of the Art Seed events last summer and never could quite get it together. The first Art Seed of the season is on Saturday, May 11, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Readings and performances followed by open studios. Sounds like a great spring afternoon.—Shari

  • Earth Day has just passed us by, but, really, we all know that every day ought to be Earth Day. To that end, Literary Hub has assembled an absolutely fantastic series of Earth Day reading lists, everything from classics (Rachel Carson, Nan Shepard, Barry Lopez, Henry David Thoreau) to science (Elizabeth Kolbert, Elizabeth Rush, Gary Paul Nabhan, Paul Hawken) to fiction and poetry (W.S. Merwin, Peter Matthiessen, Alice Oswald, Ursula K. Le Guin). Their goal is to list at least 365 books, so keep checking back. These lists could become the basis for one of the most important book clubs ever formed. —Rebecca


May Highlights

Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon will give a public lecture at the Norwich Congregational Church in Norwich, Vermont, on Wednesday, May 1, at 7:00 pm as part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays program. Her latest book, Charged, was recently featured on The New York Times Book Review podcast.

How lucky are we that Frank Bidart will be reading at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, on Thursday, May 2, at 4:30 pm? So lucky.

Peter Money, one of the poets featured at Poetry & Pints earlier this year, is launching his new novel, Oh When The Saints, on Thursday, May 2, at Salt Hill Pub in Lebanon, New Hampshire, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.

Part of the weekend-long Waking Windows Festival, this year’s Page Burner Reading series and book sale takes place on Saturday, May 4, from noon to 4:00 pm, and features readings by Angela Palm, Alison Prine, Bianca Stone, Ben Pease, Rachel Lindsay, Franky Frances Cannon, Kerrin McCadden, and Nat Baldwin. The readings will be held in various Winooski locations.

In honor of International Compost Awareness Week and Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday, Left Bank Books in Hanover, New Hampshire, is hosting a reading of Walt Whitman’s post-Civil War poem, “This Compost,” followed by two response activities on Tuesday, May 7, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben

You have several chances to catch Vermont writer Bill McKibben this month: Tuesday, May 7, at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier; Wednesday, May 8 at The Norwich Bookstore, and Tuesday, May 14 at Flying Pig Books in Shelburne. His latest book, Falter, is an important read; attend a reading if you can!

On Wednesday, May 8, at 6:30 pm, the Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, New Hampshire, is hosting a reading by some of the poets included in the new Lunation Anthology, published by the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program and featuring 114 women poets.

Julia Bouwsma, Keetje Kuipers, and Chen Chen read as a part of The Silo Series at The Word Barn in Exeter, New Hampshire, on Thursday, May 9. Doors open at 6:30 pm; the reading begins at 7:00 pm. Complementary coffee and treats!

Sean Cole, producer at This American Life, will give a lecture and lead a discussion at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont, on Friday, May 10, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm, about making radio stories out of books and poems.

Salvatore Scibona will read from his new novel, The Volunteer, at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, on Wednesday, May 15, at 7:00 pm.

Nausheen Eusuf

Nausheen Eusuf

The 2019 Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, launches on Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 pm with Nausheen Eusuf.

Writers on a New England Stage hosts the fantastic Tommy Orange on Thursday, May 16, at 7:00 pm in Portsmouth, New Hamshire.

Dan Chiasson, poet and poetry critic at The New Yorker, will read at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, on Thursday, May 16, at 8:00 pm.

Michele Filgate visits the Portsmouth Public Library in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, May 22, at 6:30 pm to speak about the anthology, What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About.

Kathryn Davis will read at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, on Friday, May 24, at 6:00 pm.

Chigozie Obioma

Chigozie Obioma

Vermont Studio Center visiting writer Chigozie Obioma will read on Wednesday, May 29, at 8:00 pm in Johnson, Vermont.

The 6th Annual Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference and the 5th Annual Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference begin on Friday, May 31 in Ripton, Vermont. The list of public readings has not been announced yet, but the faculty and guest lists are very enticing, including John Balcom, Jennifer Chang, Daniel Duane, John Elder, Edward Gauvin, Sean Hill, Elisabeth Jaquette, J. Drew Lanham, Suzanne Jill Levine, Helen Macdonald, Claire Vaye Watkins, Dan Chiasson, Bill McKibben, James Prosek, and Emily Wilson. Check the conference website for reading dates and times.

Visit our calendar for detailed information about these events and more!

 

Worth a Drive

  • Myla Goldberg visits The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, May 7, at 7:00 pm for her First Editions Club reading from her new novel, Feast Your Eyes.

  • Aysegul Savas will be at Amherst Books in Amherst, Massachusetts, on Thursday, May 9, at 7:00 pm to read from her debut, Walking on the Ceiling.

  • Julie Orringer reads at the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, May 29, at 7:00 pm.

 

Worth a Listen

  • Mary Gabriel talks about Ninth Street Women on Lit Up. So good! And did you hear the book is going to be made into a series? We’re here for it!

  • Tune in to The Archive Project to hear the very wise Barry Lopez, one of our favorite writers.

  • Emilie Pine reads “How to Edit Your Own Lousy Writing” by Julian Gough and discusses it with Sally Rooney on The Stinging Fly Podcast.

 

We're Looking Forward to These May Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The Mudroom at AVA Gallery
The AVA Gallery is seeking storytellers for its next Mudroom event (June 13) on the theme “What I Did for Money.” Submit your story idea (300 words or fewer) and a short bio (150 words or fewer).
Deadline: May 10 | Details

Anne LaBastille Memorial Writers Residency
Indoor and outdoor writing spaces, family-style meals, and fireside discussions at a lakeside lodge in the Adirondacks (October 5 to 19). Three spaces are open to those who don’t live in the Adirondack region. $25 application fee.
Deadline: May 21 | Details

Tiny Stories of Friendship
Firelight, Peterborough, New Hampshire’s immersive and collaborative theatre workshop is calling for Tiny Stories of Friendship—100 words or fewer. Stories will be read/presented/performed at The Thing in the Spring (June 9 at 1:00 pm).
Deadline: May 21 | Details

The Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, and Writing Intensive
The Conference on Poetry and Teaching is a unique opportunity for teachers to work closely with both their peers and a team of illustrious poets who have particular expertise in working with teachers at all levels. Over the course of 4½ days (June 22 to 26), faculty poets will share specific, hands-on techniques for teaching poetry. $25 application fee.
Deadline: May 30 | Details

The Frost Place 2019 Conference on Poetry
Spend a week at “intensive poetry camp” (July 6 to 12) with writers who are deeply committed to learning more about the craft of writing poetry. The Frost Place Conference on Poetry offers daily workshops, classes, lectures, writing and revising time in a supportive and dynamic environment. $25 application fee.
Deadline: May 30 (scholarships) and June 15 | Details

The Frost Place Poetry Seminar
Join a select community of poets for 5-1/2 days (August 4 to 10) to refresh your artistic inspiration in a setting of great natural beauty. Have your poems-in-progress given generous and focused attention in this intimate setting. Our specialty is unparalleled access to a faculty of celebrated contemporary poets, and our goal is to send you home charged up to re-enter your own work. $25 application fee.
Deadline: May 25 (scholarships) and July 1 | Details

Frost Farm Poetry Conference
Accepting registrations for this year’s conference (June 14 to 16). Registration includes workshops, a one-on-one meeting with your instructor, keynote with Bruce Bennett, critiques with poet-in-residence Rhina Espaillat, panel discussions, readings, a reception, breakfasts and lunches.
Deadline: registration until full | Details

Juniper Summer Writing Institute
Accepting applications for this summer’s institute (June 16 to 22). The institute includes manuscript consultations, craft sessions, workshops, readings, and other events, led by a wide range of instructors, including CAConrad, Gabriel Bump, Ross Gay, Khadijah Queen, Bianca Stone, Ocean Vuong, Dara Weir, and Joy Williams.
Deadline: rolling admissions until full | Details

Lifelines Magazine
Accepting submissions of original and unpublished short stories, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork for their 2020 issue. While they consider a broad spectrum of subject matter for publication, they are looking for pieces that speak to the experience of medicine in some way.
Deadline: October 31 | Details


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

Q&A with Agents from Folio Literary Management
Friday, May 3, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

The Vermont College of Fine Arts hosts a Q&A with three agents from Folio Literary Management: Jeff Kleinman, Jamie Chambliss, and Erin Harris.
Location: VCFA, Cafe Anna, Montpelier, Vermont | Cost: free | Details

How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier: A Full-Day Retreat with Joni Cole
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
This retreat will help you cultivate a healthy and productive creative process that will serve you now, and for the rest of your writing life. You’ll learn tips and techniques to get started and stay motivated. You’ll receive quality instruction on craft. You’ll also find inspiration and generate new material through writing prompts and other forms of sustenance, most notably gathering within a supportive community.
Location: Old Clary Farm, Greensboro, Vermont | Cost: $175 | Details

Writing with Spirit with Nancy Kilgore
Monday, May 6, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
We start with a brief reading, a short meditation, and then write from a prompt. The last 45 minutes involves reading our pieces (only if you choose) and feedback that is not critique but hearing/reflecting without judgment.
Location: Burlington Writers Workshop, Burlington, Vermont | Cost: free | Details

Manchester Writing Retreat with Deirdre Frost
Saturday, May 11, 11 am to 5:00
This nature-writing retreat will focus on a series of prompts to spark interest and build pivotal content vital to the understanding of the subject matter. The retreat offers helpful ways to think about and to generate a variety of focused pieces and a strategic action plan for work-in-progress. The program will also offer tips on how to incorporate smartphone photography to create more impact.
Location: Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vermont | Cost: $50 | Details

Poetry and Haiku Printing with Robert Metzler
Tuesday, May 14, 6:30 to 9:30 pm

If you have a poem or several poems that are aching to be printed, the Book Arts Workshop can help you print them. Using the traditional letterpress process of movable type, you will receive instruction in type setting, paper selection, press work, and if more than one page, book binding.
Location: Dartmouth College Book Arts Workshop, Hanover, New Hampshire | Cost: free | Details

Stealing from Theater: Character Creation with Will Alexander
Thursday, May 16, 7:00 to 8:00 pm

Create new characters and expand your understanding of your current cast via theatrical games and exercises in this online webinar. Taught by William Alexander, National Book Award Winner and current chair of the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at VCFA.
Location: online | Cost: $20-$30 | Details

Memoir Writing with Katherine Mayfield
Saturday, May 18, 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Do you have a memoir cooking in the back of your writer’s mind? This workshop will get you started. You’ll learn what makes a compelling memoir, how and why to choose a theme, the importance of reflection in memoir, and techniques which are specific to the art of memoir-writing. You’ll also learn what “creative nonfiction” means in relation to memoir, and how to weave your truth into a riveting description of your life experiences.
Location: The Ford House, SNHU, Manchester, New Hampshire | Cost: $65-$85 | Details

Helping the Poet Make a Better Poem with Steven Cramer
Saturday, June 8, 1:00 to 4:00 pm

In this three-hour workshop, we’ll honor both the critical and creative faculties of our brains (perhaps discovering that they’re closer siblings than we might have thought). We’ll first discuss work-in-process by participants, asking ourselves the only question worth asking in a workshop: how might we help the poet make this poem the best it can be? Then we’ll engage in one or two writing “experiments” designed to encourage using language more as paint than as a vehicle for conveying information, favoring the sensory over making sense.
Location: The Ford House, SNHU, Manchester, New Hampshire | Cost: $65-$85 | Details

Tapping into Your Write Brain: A Workshop for the Creatively Inclined with Joni Cole
Friday, June 28, 6 to 7:30 pm
In this workshop, you will participate in a creative writing exercise using thematic prompts that stir up…who knows? And that’s the fun, freeing, and always powerful experience of writing and sharing from a “prompt”. No writing experience is required. Space is limited. Please register by June 21 through the Hood Museum of Art’s website calendar.
Location: Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, New Hampshire | Cost: free | Details

Friday Reads - March 22, 2019

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I’ve been making my way slowly through Jamel Brinkley’s impressive debut short story collection, A Lucky Man, since the beginning of the year. I’m reading slowly because each story invites reflection. The stories haunt me for days and sometime weeks, and I like staying with the imagery and characters until I feel like I’m ready to move on to the next story. Not to be missed!—Shari

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I've been waiting so many years for a new book by Barry Lopez (one of my very favorite writers) that I was a little worried I’d be disappointed by Horizon. Silly me. We’re in very capable, generous hands. Horizon is part autobiography, part travelogue, part nature writing, and part rumination on human history, the state of the world, and how we’ll ever save ourselves. Complemented with maps, illuminating notes, a list of scientific binomials, a compelling bibliography, and, glory of glories, an index—his book is beautiful and important and full of tenderness. I’m only 60 pages in out of more than 570, and I’m going to go slowly so I can stay in Lopez’s language for as long as possible. —Rebecca

The Dipper - March 2019

"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

 

March News

Colin McKaig

Colin McKaig

Peter Money

Peter Money

Ruth Antoinette Rodriguez

Ruth Antoinette Rodriguez

Even though we still have at least a foot of snow in the yard and the wood stoves are cranking along as brightly as ever, there’s a definite change in the air: there’s daylight after 5:00 pm, the feed store is stocking sugaring supplies. Mud Season is coming! Help us welcome Northern New England’s fifth season by joining us and our friends Lauren Stevens and Peter Varkonyi at the Brownsville Butcher & Pantry for Poetry & Pints on Sunday, March 10, from 5:15 to 7:00 pm.

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We’ll hear readings from three fantastic poets—Colin McKraig, Peter Money, and Ruth Antoinette Rodriguez— and we’ll enjoy fabulous food, beer, and wine, plus an open mic where you can read your original work. Admission is by donation. Visit the Poetry & Pints page on our website for full details. Please let us know you’re coming by sending your RSVP to info@butcherandpantry.com.

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Last year, Hanover, New Hampshire, and Dartmouth College lost the only new bookstore in town. While we’re huge fans of Left Bank Books and The Norwich Bookstore (just across the river in Norwich, Vermont), we firmly believe that the more bookstores we have, the better our area will be.

Fortunately, our friend Allie Levy has a plan: Still North Books & Bar, an independent bookstore, bar, and café in the heart of downtown Hanover. We’ve talked to Allie and are impressed with her energy, vision, and the work she’s already put into making this new bookstore a success and a true part of the community. Still North will boast a carefully curated book selection, a full range of events, drinks and food, and a place to hang out and talk about books. But to make this bookstore real, Allie needs funding help to stock the shelves with books. That’s where you come in. Please contribute to the Still North Indiegogo fundraising campaign, earn great perks, and be part of the community that gets this new literary landing spot up and running by fall 2019.

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Dear Slow Club Book Club friends, we’re so curious to know your thoughts about Yoko Tawada’s The Emissary. We’ve already heard from several of you, and have had great conversations about this little book and literary translation in general. If you’re reading along, let us know! And if you post about it to Instagram or Twitter, be sure to tag us with #slowclubbookclub or #literarynorth. We’ll be announcing our second book of the year in mid March (to begin reading in April). It’s never too late to sign up!

March’s Shooting Stars

A cool literary find from each of us to help light up your month!

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  • I’m so excited to hear that Lauren Elkin will have a new book out in 2020 entitled Art Monsters. In the meantime, pick up her 2018 book, Flâneuse! —Shari

  • Mutant Journalism is the Instagram account for Jeff Sharlet’s nonfiction writing class at Dartmouth College. From time to time, short, intense essays written by Jeff’s current and former students appear on this feed. I nearly always find the essays riveting and it gives me such a feeling of hope to read the words of this next generation of writers. —Rebecca


March Highlights

January Gill O’Neil. Photo by John Andrews.

January Gill O’Neil. Photo by John Andrews.

On Tuesday, March 5, poet January Gill O’Neil is reading as part of the Eagle Pond Authors series at the Silver Center for the Arts in Plymouth, New Hampshire. The reading begins at 7:00 pm, followed by a book signing and reception.

Bennington College’s spring Literature Evening series continues on Wednesday evenings with Andrea Lawlor on March 6, Natalie Scenters-Zapico on March 13, and Joseph Grantham and Catherine Pikula on March 20. The readings take place at 7:00 pm in Franklin house on Bennington’s campus in Bennington, Vermont.

Poets Colin McKaig, Peter Money, and Ruth Antoinette Rodriquez will read as part of Poetry & Pints at Brownsville Butcher & Pantry in Brownsville, Vermont, on Sunday, March 10, beginning at 5:15 pm. The evening will feature an a la carte menu, beer and wine by the glass, and an open mic. Sliding scale admission of $6 to $10. If you plan to attend, please RSVP.

Kimberly Kruge. Photo by Vira Ivanova.

Kimberly Kruge. Photo by Vira Ivanova.

On Tuesday, March 12, at 7:00 pm, poet and translator Kimberly Kruge will read from her new book, Ordinary Chaos, at Left Bank Books in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Join the Poetry Society of New Hampshire from 5:30 to 6:30 pm on Wednesday, March 13 at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, for a Melopoeia—poetry read to the accompaniment of music—with poets Rhina Espaillat and Alfred Nicol, and guitarist John Tavano.

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Rowan Ricardo Phillips reads on Wednesday, March 20 at 8:00 pm at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, where he’s a visiting writer for the month.

Joan Wickersham will be at reading at the University of New Hampshire as part of the UNH Writers series on Thursday, March 21, at 5:00 pm.

If you missed seeing Jane Brox last month, you get another opportunity to hear her read at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, March 27 at the Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, New Hampshire.

Also on Wednesday, March 27, Emily Bernard will be at The Norwich Bookstore to read from her book of essays, Black Is The Body, at 7:00 pm.

Visit our calendar for detailed information about these events and more!

 

Worth a Drive

  • Poet Layli Long Soldier is giving a reading at Smith College’s Weinstein Auditorium in Northampton, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30 pm. Her 2017 book, Whereas, was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award and won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry.

  • Kiese Laymon will be reading from his memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, at Northshire Saratoga Springs, on March 8 at 7:00 pm. Go!

  • Marlon James will be at The Odyssey Bookshop in Hadley, Massachusetts, on Thursday, March 14, at 7:00 pm for the First Editions Club reading of his book Black Leopard, Red Wolf.

 

Worth a Listen

  • I listened to two episodes of Lit Up recently that were excellent: R. O. Kwon and Olivia Laing. —Shari

  • This brief VPR interview with poet Cynthia Huntington about the week in 2005 when Thetford, Vermont, made poetry history made me smile.—Rebecca

We're Looking Forward to These March Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The Green Writers Press literary magazine, The Hopper, is now accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art. For more information and to submit, please visit their Submission page.

Applications are open for Free Verse Farm’s week-long poetry residencies. Residents will stay in an off-grid, vintage camper on the farm in Chelsea, Vermont. The residence fee is $250/week, which includes coffee and tea. Poets are welcome to bring a partner at no extra charge. The application deadline is April 1. For more information and to apply, please visit the Free Verse Residency page.

Every fall, the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, awards residency Fellowships to artists in seven disciplines, including literature. A Fellowship consists of exclusive use of a private studio, accommodations and three prepared meals a day for two weeks to two months. The deadline for the 2019 Fall MacDowell Literature Fellowship is April 15. The application fee is $30. For more information, please visit the Residency Application page.

Barnstorm, the online literary journal of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of New Hampshire, is accepting submissions through May. Barnstorm publishes previously unpublished work in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. For more information, please visit the Barnstorm Submission page.

New England Review is looking for submissions in all genres: fiction, poetry, nonfiction, drama, translation, creative writing for their website, cover art, and art for their website. NER charges a small fee for online submissions ($3 for prose, $2 for poetry and NER Digital) to help support their mission to publish writers at all stages of their careers. The deadline is May 31. For more information, please visit the New England Review Submissions page.

The Juniper Summer Writing Institute in Amherst, Massachusetts, (June 16 to 22) is accepting applications. The institute includes manuscript consultations, craft sessions, workshops, readings, and other events, led by a wide range of instructors, including CAConrad, Gabriel Bump, Ross Gay, Khadijah Queen, Bianca Stone, Ocean Vuong, Dara Weir, and Joy Williams. The non-refundable application fee is $40. For more information and to apply, please visit the Juniper Institute website.

Lifelines Magazine, a literary and art journal from the Geisel School of Medicine, is accepting submissions of original and unpublished short stories, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork for their 2020 issue. While they consider a broad spectrum of subject matter for publication, they are looking for pieces that speak to the experience of medicine in some way. The deadline is October 31. For more information, please visit the Lifelines Magazine Submission page.


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

How do you tap into meaningful material? How do you shape a personal essay to capture and maintain a reader’s interest? What narrative techniques can you use to make your prose vivid and convey emotion? Those are some of the issues we’ll cover in the “Writing Personal Stories” workshop at the Writer’s Center of White River Junction on March 2, from 9:30 to 11:30 am. We will be doing in-class writing so please bring a notepad or laptop. Preregistration required. $45. For more information and to register, please visit the Writer’s Center’s Workshops page.

The Writer’s Center of White River Junction is offering its “Sunday Surges” workshop from March 3 through March 31. This four-session workshop for fiction and creative nonfiction writers is a great way to generate material, revise with direction, and make solid progress on your prose project. Each meeting provides you with a deadline to assure you are producing consistently. If your goal is to launch or make steady progress on a novel, memoir, essay, or other type of narrative work, this group is for you. Preregistration required. $145. For more information and to register, please visit the Writer’s Center’s Workshops page.

On March 9, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, the AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, is offering a “One Photo, Four Stories” writing workshop where you will use a photo of your choice as a prompt for four separate stories. This class is open to all levels. $68 for members; $80 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the AVA Gallery website.

On March 9 and 10, poet Shira Dentz leads a two-day Prose Poem workshop at The Word Barn in Exeter, New Hampshire. In this workshop, you’ll explore the elusive form of the prose poem through reading, discussion, writing experiments, and workshopping. Unconventional writing prompts will follow each of our discussions. An extended workshop on the second day will give everyone the chance to refine at least one prose poem they drafted through this workshop. Registration is required. $275. For more information and to register, please visit The Word Barn’s Workshops page.

Do your stories “tell a truth”? Is it a truth you believe in? Few writers realize that unity is key to creating a powerful and emotionally resonant story, and theme is key to creating a unified story. Join Jeanne Cavelos for an online “Unifying Your Story Around a Meaningful Theme” workshop on March 14, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. We’ll identify themes important to you and explore how to build a story from a theme so it is conveyed in an organic, not preachy, way. A way “that the reader cannot forget.” $20 for New Hampshire Writers’ Project members; $30 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the NHWP Workshops page.

On March 16, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Lindsay Gacad will teach “What’s Underneath,” a creative nonfiction writing workshop at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont. In this generative workshop, we’ll focus on creative nonfiction in its various forms. We'll examine how most relatable narrators in nonfiction are often deeply flawed. Sliding scale rates available to make the class accessible to all. For more information and to register, please visit the VCFA’s MFA in Writing and Publishing page.

Writing can be a powerful, cathartic means of coping with life's greatest hardships, including the illness and death of loved ones. In the Writing Group for People Experiencing Loss workshop, discover ways that writing may allow grief to move and evolve. Co-facilitated by Jenny Gelfan, MAed, and Jessica Stout, MSW, this workshop will meet Thursdays at 12:00 pm from March 21 to April 25 at the Jack Byrne Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, New Hampshire. For more information or to RSVP, please email Amanda M. Reinemann or call her at (603) 308-2447.

Do you have an interview project in mind but don’t quite know where to begin or how to proceed? The Vermont Folklife Center is offering its “Oral History: An Introduction” workshop to help you move your project forward. This workshop combines discussion of the theories and methods that inform oral history research with practical, hands-on training in oral history interview techniques. The workshop will be held on March 23, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. $95 ($55 for students). For more information and to register, please visit the Vermont Folklife Center’s Workshop page.

On March 30, from 10:00 am to 4:00, the Vermont Folklife Center is offering its “Storytelling for Social Change” workshop at Northern Stage in White River Junction, Vermont. In this workshop we will explore the ethics and techniques of oral history, ethnography, and storytelling as activist research methodologies. Attendees will be introduced to these three merging methodologies through a combination of short media pieces and discussions, will be invited to take a critical and analytical look at the history of documentary work, and will learn the basics of skills such as interviewing, story circle facilitation, and ethnographic observation. We will also cover the technical aspects of storytelling, providing an introduction to tools for minimal-resource and mobile audio recording. $95 ($55 for students). For more information and to register, please visit the Vermont Folklife Center’s Workshop page.

Poet Michael Metivier will lead a “Matter of Life and Verse: Writing Poetry” workshop on Tuesdays, from April 16 through May 21, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, at the AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Learn to create resonance, heightened urgency, and a timeless quality to your work. $25, regardless of AVA membership. For more information and to register, please visit the AVA Gallery website.

As part of PoemCity Montpelier, Rebecca Jamieson will teach a “Fun with Forms” poetry workshop on April 20, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont. This workshop explores the poetic form and why poets use them. The workshop is open to ages 15 and up. All levels of experience are welcome! For more information and to register, please visit the VCFA’s MFA in Writing and Publishing page.

Already dreaming of summer? Registration for Summer Workshops at The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, is already open. This year’s workshops include Graphic Memoirs with Melanie Gillman, Creating Graphic Novels for the Young Adult Market with Jo Knowles and Tillie Walden, and a Graphic Novel Workshop with Paul Karasik. For all the details and to register, please visit the CCS 2019 Summer Workshops page.

Friday Reads - May 4, 2018

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Shari is just about to start The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner after a fantastic evening seeing Rachel read at The Harvard Bookstore.

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Rebecca is reading The Land's Wild Music, by Mark Tredinnick, for four big reasons: Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest Williams, and James Galvin.

Mud Season Salon: Sign of the Times resources

As part of this month's Salon, we asked our presenters to recommend resources, things that they found pertinent to the evening's theme, or things that helped give them solace and hope during difficult times. During the evening, many other resources came up as part of the conversation. Thank you to everyone who shared their words, thoughts, questions, answers, and inspiration!

Robin recommends

Read Hope in the Dark, by Rebecca Solnit, which has inspired Robin to get out on the streets and join with other people in activism, and also reaffirmed the importance of making art and the positive influences that can come from writing. Here are a few quotes from Solnit's book that Robin shared:

  • “Writing is lonely, it’s an intimate talk with the dead, with the unborn, with the absent, with strangers, with the readers who may never come to be and who even if they read you will do so weeks, years, decades later.”
     
  • “Every line we succeed in publishing today—no matter how uncertain the future to which we entrust it—is a victory wrenched from the powers of darkness.”
     
  • “Resistance is first of all a matter of principle and a way to live, to make yourself one small republic of unconquered spirit.”
     
  • “Inside the word emergency is emerge; from an emergency new things come forth. The old certainties are crumbling fast, but danger and possibility are sisters.”

Jeff recommends

Breitbart.com, "the one source that, if you read it and endured it, knew that this was coming." Reading Breitbart will give you a glimpse into the alternate universe that's happening every day.

After you read that, because it'll be a bit of poison, clear your mind by reading, rereading, or seeing a production of Tony Kushner's play, Angels in America, Parts One and Two. It's like reading a newspaper from today.

Read Carolyn Forche's poem, "The Colonel," and the book from which it came, The Country Between Us. The book includes a series of reported poems about El Salvador during the years of the US-sponsored war there. 

And let's remember a time when poets had pop star status, when Marianne Moore, a devoted baseball fan, threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium in 1968. Let's not forget there was a time when poets had that kind of recognition.

Finally, read Prophesy Deliverance!, where Cornel West writes about the nature of the relationship between hope and despair, how the two are so closely related that they cannot exist without each other, that hope arises out of despair. 

Taylor recommends

Attend Town hall meetings, which are are "boring in the most important way." Democracy isn't something that just happens. Democracy is something you do, participate in, cultivate.

Subscribe to Read Literately, a monthly newsletter for ravenous readers to distract you from the the crazy out there and remind you that there are thoughtful, creative people in the world writing things for us.

Download The New Economy Chapbook Cookbooka free PDF cookbook put together by a group of poets, activists, and home cooks. The cookbook, subtitled "Inexpensive, Healthy, Hopeful Feasts for 2017," collects fortifying recipes for cooking on a budget.

Read writers who are writing now, publishing today, who are almost writing as fast as you need them to. Poets like Morgan Parker who are writing poems we need to read right now.

And go back to the things you love, the books and movies that you already know and love, to appreciate them all over again, and find solace in things that haven't changed and still bring delight. 

Ben recommends

Find a place between land and air by following roads that aren't really there, going to places where you can't depend on where the ground is, like roads on ice that melts, or flood plains that are land and then aren't. See where the intermediary and temporary spaces are and get comfortable with being there.

Read anything by Rebecca Solnit. Maybe you've already started with Robin's suggestion of Hope in the Dark. After that, continue on with A Field Guide to Getting Lost, River of Shadows, and Wanderlust. These books continue the conversation about the value of looking to the landscape for metaphor and ballast.

Sink into Jane Kenyon's Collected Poems. You'll find sad beauty there, but also much hope and solace.

Shari And Rebecca recommend

Read "The Long and Pretty Good-bye" by Megan Mayhew Bergman (Paris Review).

Read "Grace Paley, the Saint of Seeing," by George Saunders (The New Yorker).

Print your own pocket constitution.

Fold a paper crane.

Take a walk. A long walk. Sing some protest songs while you're walking. Sing loud.

Read anything by Grace Paley, Terry Tempest Williams, and Barry Lopez. For example, Grace's poem, "That Country," Terry's book, Refuge, and Barry's essay, "The Invitation."

Wander through Jeff's Instagram feed to see the photos that accompany his essays. 

Go to Taylor's poem site to read some of her poems and thoughts.

Get your hands on a copy of Robin's book of short stories, Half Wild.

Listen to some of Ben's music, watch his videos, and read his essays.