Jennifer Egan

The Dipper - February 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

 

February News

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Save the date! Literary North is proud to partner with our friends at the Brownsville Butcher & Pantry for Poetry & Pints in Brownsville, Vermont, on Sunday, March 10, from 5:15 to 7:00 pm. Doors open at 4:30 pm. Admission is by donation. The evening features poets Colin McKraig, Peter Money, and Ruth Antoinette Rodriguez; fabulous food, beer, and wine; plus an open mic so we can hear YOUR original work. Chef Peter Varkonyi is creating a cozy a la carte menu for the evening. Beer, food, poetry! It’s what you need to survive the end of winter. We hope you’ll join us. Visit the Poetry & Pints page on our website for full details.

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If you haven’t gotten tickets yet for this year’s JAG Fest—JAG Production’s annual festival of new in-process plays by African-American playwrights—what are you waiting for? This year’s festival shines the spotlight on black female poets. Four staged readings will take place the weekend of February 9 to 10 at Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, Vermont. Each performance features a post-show conversation with the artists, moderated by Dartmouth scholars. Tickets are $20 per performance, or $50 for a weekend pass that includes access to all presentations. Last year’s performances were stunning. You don’t want to miss this! (Note: You can meet this year’s playwrights for conversation and lunch at Dartmouth College on Tuesday, February 5.)

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Are you already a member of the Slow Club Book Club? If not, here are five reasons you might want to join us for our first pick of the year, Yoko Tawada’s The Emissary, translated by Margaret Mitsutani:

  1. It’s short. 138 pages!

  2. It won the National Book Award for Translated Literature.

  3. New Directions, a fantastic small press, published it!

  4. It takes place in a world of giant dandelions where only crows and spiders are thriving. (Aren’t you intrigued?)

  5. In Yoko Tawada’s author photo, she is posing with a pomegranate.

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.

Several of our friends are hosting workshops or events soon that we wanted to bring to your attention. Full details for all of these are in the Deadlines and Workshops sections later in this newsletter:

  • Poets, please consider applying for the Free Verse Farm Residency in the hills of Chelsea, Vermont. The location is stunning and we can’t imagine better hosts than Taylor and Misha. Applications are due April 1.

  • James Crews is hosting his online Mindfulness and Writing workshop beginning on February 2. James was a featured poet at our first Poetry & Pie event. His poetry is outstanding, and he’s such a kind person. You’re sure to enjoy his class.

  • Jo Knowles and Tillie Walden will be teaching their “Creating Graphic Novels for the YA Market” workshop at The Center for Cartoon Studies this summer. We interviewed this dynamic duo last year about the class. Registration for CCS Summer 2019 classes is open now.

To make room on our site for new events, we’ve collected information and links for all of our past events and projects on a single page. We hope this makes it easier for you to find out what we’re up to and what we’ve done before. We have some really fun ideas for 2019 and can’t wait to add them to the list. As subscribers, you’ll hear about all of it first! Thank you, as always, for your support, kind words, and enthusiasm. Your energy helps fire up this two-woman team!



February’s Shooting Stars

A cool literary find from each of us to help light up your reading life:

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  • Need a brush-up on your grammar? Look no further than Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer, the copy chief of Random House. Witty grammar lessons? Yes, please. —Shari

  • This amazing and moving essay in The New Yorker by Gregory Pardlo about his father and the 1981 air-traffic controller strike includes beautiful sentences like this: “All your delicate ideas have to remain perfectly clear and distinct in your mind at all times.” —Rebecca


February Highlights

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Thursday, February 7 at 4:30 pm, Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, celebrates the life and work of Andre Dubus II in Sanborn Library with readings and discussion about Dubus’ work. The event features the editor of his re-issued series of Collected Stories, Joshua Bodwell, and the distinguished publisher David R. Godine.

The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury, Vermont is holding A Celebration of Vermont Poets on Saturday, February 9, at 4:00 pm. The great lineup includes Dede Cummings, Chard deNiord, Karin Gottshall, Syd Lea, Gary Margolis, Julia Shipley, and Bianca Stone. With chocolate!

The Center for Cartoon Studies’ own James Sturm is on tour for his new graphic novel, Off Season. Catch him at the CCS in White River Junction, Vermont, on Thursday, February 14 at 4:00 pm. James’ presentation will also touch upon the drawing of dogs, crooked contractors, LSD, and 4 x 6 index cards.

Jane Brox. Photo by Luc Demers

Jane Brox. Photo by Luc Demers

The lovely Jane Brox will be at The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, New Hampshire, on Saturday, February 16, at 11:00 am to read from her latest non-fiction work, Silence.

Poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi reads at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Thursday, February 21, at 4:30 pm in the Sanborn Library.

You’ve got two great chances to see Pam Houston read from her recent book, Deep Creek. On Sunday, February 24 at 6:00 pm, she’ll be at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont; she’ll be at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, on Tuesday. February 26.

Emily Bernard

Emily Bernard

Emily Bernard, a professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of Vermont, reads from her book, Black Is The Body, at 6:00 pm on Friday, February 22 at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont.

The Painted Word Poetry Series is back at The Fleming Museum of Art in Burlington, Vermont. Stephanie Burt reads on Wednesday, February 27 at 6:00 pm.

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

 

Worth a Drive

LitFest 2019 begins on Wednesday, February 27 and goes through Sunday, March 3 at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Jamel Brinkley—whose amazing collection of short stories, A Lucky Man, was nominated for a National Book Award and for The Story Prize—will be reading on Thursday, February 28 along with fellow NBA nominee Brandon Hobson. Other writers in attendance will be Jennifer Egan, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Cullen Murphy.

 

Worth a Listen

  • What a treat to hear Zadie Smith and her husband Nick Laird speak about their books, both titled Feel Free, on the Shakespeare & Co. podcast.

  • Every single episode of the Slowdown podcast with Tracy K. Smith. Period.

We're Looking Forward to These February Releases:

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

It’s PoemCity and PoemTown season again! Submit your poems for consideration to be displayed in downtown windows in Montpelier, Randolph, and St. Johnsbury, Vermont, during the month of April. The submission deadline for Montpelier and Randolph is February 4. The submission deadline for St. Johnsbury is February 28. For more information about Montpelier and St. Johnsbury submissions, please visit the PoemCity Submission page and the PoemCity website. For Randolph submissions, please send 1-3 original poems as Word attachments to musbird@gmail.com. Include your contact information in the email (name, mailing address, email address and telephone number). Then attach each poem separately with the title of the poem as the document name and no identifying information other than the poem’s title on each document.

The Upper Valley Fiction group is accepting new members. The group meets monthly, September though June, to offer honest feedback on each other’s work. An MFA or publication is not required, but comparable writing expertise is preferred. To apply, submit one short story or one chapter (no longer than 20 pages) by February 11 to uppervalleyfiction@gmail.com.

The Poetry Society of Vermont is accepting submissions to its publication, The Mountain Troubadour, until February 14. You can submit up to three poems, of 40 lines or less. You must be a PSOV member to submit. For more information, please visit the Mountain Troubadour Submission page.

Applications for the next round of Vermont Studio Center residency fellowships for artists and writers are due by February 15 (for residencies scheduled between May and December 2019 in Johnson, Vermont), including the James Merrill Poetry, ALSCW, VSC/Callaloo, Helen Zell Residency, and Voices Rising fellowships. Every VSC residency includes private room, private studio space, all meals, and full access to the VCS’ schedule of evening programs and events. For more information, please visit the VSC Fellowships page.

The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program is seeking nominations for the 2019-2021 Poet Laureate. The Laureate is the PPLP’s main bridge to the community, a role model and recruiter for future generations of poets and sets the tone for two years in the life of the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program. Nominees should live in Portsmouth, Dover, Durham, Eliot, Greenland, Kittery, Madbury, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, North Hampton, Rye, or Stratham, or work at least half time in Portsmouth. To make a nomination, send an email about your nominee to info@pplp.org by February 20.

The AVA Gallery in Lebanon, New Hampshire, is looking for storytellers for its next Mudroom event (March 14). Selected storytellers will be awarded an AVA membership and may bring a guest to enjoy the evening. Please include a very brief summary of your story (no more than 300 words) and a short bio (no more than 150 words) by February 24. For more information, please visit the Mudroom page.

Applications are open for Free Verse Farm’s week-long poetry residencies. Residents will stay in an off-grid small vintage camper on the farm in Chelsea, Vermont. The residence fee is $250/week, which includes coffee and tea, but all other groceries must be provided by the resident, with meal preparation occurring in the camper. 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.

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.


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

Poet James Crews is offering his four-week Mindfulness and Writing Online workshop from February 2 to March 9. This generative online writing workshop will examine connections between the practice of meditation/mindfulness and the act of writing fearlessly from the heart. Though not required, attendees will be invited to share their work via email with each other. Beginners and all skill levels are welcome. You do not need any previous experience with mindfulness, meditation, or online courses; all you need is an internet connection, email, and an open mind. $295 for four sessions. For more information and to register, please visit the Northshire Books events page.

On February 9 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, join the New Hampshire Writers’ Project and romance author Ana E. Ross at SNHU in Manchester, New Hampshire, for “So You Think You Know Me?” This workshop focuses on three vital elements of characterization in storytelling: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict (GMC). This interactive workshop invites you to bring a character you’re working on. $65 for members; $80 for non-members. For information and to register, please visit the NHWP Workshops page.

The New Hampshire Writers’ Project is hosting a six-week “Preparing Your Manuscript for an Agent’s Eyes” workshop, where you can work your manuscript into a polished version ready for agents, professional review, and publishing consideration. You will work directly with Amanda Forbes Silva, a professional writer and editor who will help you better evaluate your writing and determine how to edit your work for clarity and concision. All genres are welcome! The workshop meets on Saturdays, February 16 through March 23, 1:00 to 4:00 pm at SNHU in Manchester, New Hampshire. $390 for NHWP members; $510 for non-members. For information and to register, please visit the NHWP 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.

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.

The Dipper - October 2017

"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

 

October News

Maybe this newsletter is arriving in your inbox on an otherwise quiet Sunday at the beginning of Autumn. Maybe you have plans to go apple picking, or maybe the garden needs putting to bed, or maybe you have a notion to go for a hike and then relax with a new book. Those are all really good ideas. But if you happen to find yourself at a loss for something to do, we suggest the Free Verse Festival, happening today (October 1) at Free Verse Farm in Chelsea, Vermont.

What's in it for you? Here's what: Poetry readings by Major Jackson, Taylor Mardis Katz, Didi Jackson, Hal Coughlin, Julia Shipley, and Megan Buchanan. Plus live music, wood-fired pizza, tacos, artwork, beer, tea, and coffee. And we'll be there, checking folks in and handing out Summer Reads postcards to help you fill up your autumn TBR. Stop by and say hello!

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You may wonder how we get so many great events on our calendar. The truth is, we keep our ears open, talk to a lot of people, and spend a lot of hours scanning through online event calendars for venues far and wide to find readings and events we're excited to share with you.

More and more, kind people are contacting us directly to tell us about events they're participating in or organizing. But we know we're still not capturing all the great events this literary community is putting on. If you know of an event, a series, a conference, a workshop, or a venue in Vermont or New Hampshire that we're missing, please drop us a line. We want to make this the best literary calendar you've ever seen.


October Highlights

The Talk of the Porch hosted by Julia Shipley and Stark Biddle will be taking place the first two Mondays in October, November, and December. Join these local writers at the Craftsbury Commons Library in Craftsbury, Vermont, at 7:00 pm to discuss current and classic short stories from The New Yorker. All are welcome. For more information or to find out the reading schedule, call (802) 586-9683.

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Alice McDermott will be reading from her critically acclaimed new novel, The Ninth Hour, at the University of New Hampshire-Durham on Tuesday, October 3 at 5:00 pm.

The Burlington Book Festival Celebrity Series presents Saudi Arabian novelist, Mohammed Hasan Alwan—winner of the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction and the 2015 Prix de la Littérature Arabe—for a reading at Echo Revision Lakeside Pavilion in Burlington, Vermont, on Friday, October 6 at 7:00 pm. The reading will be followed by conversation, book signing, and a reception. This event is free, but seats are limited. To reserve a seat, RSVP at sevendaystickets.com.

Brattleboro Literary Festival is taking place October 13 to 15 at various locations in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont. We are particularly excited to see Hannah Tinti, John Freeman, Nicole Sealey, Carolyn Forché, Min Jin Lee, Carmen Maria Machado, Major Jackson, Claire Messud, and David Tomas Martinez.

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Hisham Matar will be reading at Middlebury College on Thursday, October 19 at 4:30 pm. His book, The Return, was Shari's favorite non-fiction read of 2016.

Also on Thurday, October, 19, Kaitlyn Greenidge will be at the Sanborn Library at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, at 4:30 pm. We both enjoyed Kaitlyn's reading as part of Phoenix Books - Misty Valley's New Voices reading in January.

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Jacqueline Woodson will be at Burlington High School for a talk and signing on Monday, October 23 at 6:00 pm.

Kaveh Akbar will be at Bennington College on Wednesday, October 25 at 7:00 pm to read from his just-released book of poetry, Calling A Wolf A Wolf. Note: If you don't follow Kaveh on Twitter (@KavehAkbar), you are missing out! 

Please visit our calendar for detailed information about each event and to see more event listings for October and beyond.

 

Worth a Drive

Boston Book Festival

The Boston Book Festival is on Saturday, October 28, at Copley Square in Boston, Massachusetts. This year's festival features over 30 authors—writing in genres from fiction to memoir to YA to poetry—as well as several special events. The event is free and open to the public. The full schedule will be available on the BFF website in early October. 

At Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, the Mastheads' five writing studios, designed by architects Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson, spatially interpret the Berkshire work and homes of American Renaissance writers Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. The studios are available for three-hour appointments during the week, and are open to the public on weekends, through October 30.

We're Looking Forward to These October Releases


Calls for Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The editors of the anthology Birchsong: Poetry Centered in Vermont, vol. I (2012) are pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of a second volume in the spring of 2018. Poets living in Vermont and neighboring states (New Hampshire, New York, and Massachusetts) are invited to submit, by regular mail, one to three poems for consideration through October 31, 2017. Poems, no longer than 70 lines each, must be written since Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, and sent to Editors, The Blueline Press, PO Box 706, East Dorset, Vermont 05253. Please email thebluelinepressvt16@gmail.com for complete submission guidelines or if you have questions.

The Frost Place is accepting submissions for its 2018 Chapbook Competition. The submission period is October 1, 2017 to January 5, 2018. The competition is open to any poet writing in English. Entries must be accompanied by at $28 entry fee. For details about submitting your manuscript and more information about the competition, please visit the Competition page.

Also from October 1, 2017 to January 5, 2018, The Frost Place is accepting applications for the Dartmouth Poet in Residence program, a six-to-eight-week residency in Robert Frost's former farmhouse. The residency is July 1 to August 15, and includes an award of $1,000 from The Frost Place and $1,000 from Dartmouth College. For more information and to apply online, please visit the Residency page.

Alice James Books is accepting submissions of poetry manuscripts to the Alice James Award, postmarked through November 1, 2017. The Alice James Award welcomes submissions from emerging as well as established poets who reside in the United States. The entry fee is $30. For submission guidelines and more information, please visit the Alice James Award page.

It's a bit out of our immediate region, but Provincetown is only a few hours' drive. If that's no barrier to you and you can commit to living full-time in Provincetown, Massachusetts, for seven months, and you have not yet published a full-length work, you can apply for a Writing Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center. Applications are being accepted now through December 1, 2017. For details, please visit the Writing Fellowship page.


October Workshops and Classes

Are you interested in typesetting poetry interlined with its translation in a second language and typeface? If so, this Letterpress Intensive Workshop is for you. To join, attend the introductory session on Sunday, October 1, at Baker Library in Hanover, New Hampshire. Attendees can register for the workshop, which will be held on Sunday afternoons through the term. The workshop is limited to six, with priority given to Dartmouth students. For more information, visit the Event page.

Ina Anderson continues her series of poetry workshops on October 18, and November 15 at Seven Stars Art Center, in Sharon, Vermont. The workshops are for beginning through experienced poets, and provide feedback in a friendly, supportive setting. A $10 donation for each session is suggested. Pre-registration is not required. For more information, please see the Event page.

Poet and teacher Sarah Anderson is offering the "Beyond the Ship's Log" workshop on Sunday, October 22. Chronicling a sea voyage has always been part of what happens on board a boat and these written narratives are the basis for much of our understanding of maritime related history. This workshop will equip each participant with tips and techniques for writing about your impressions and thoughts along the way and a framework for transforming those notes into a lasting memoir of your adventure. The workshop will be held at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The cost is $130-$145. Space is limited. Register by October 10. For more information and to register, please visit the Workshop & Events page.

Geoffrey Douglas, non-fiction author and adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of Massachusetts, is offering an eight-session workshop in the Upper Valley called "The Well-Told Story," on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, October 24 through December 12. This workshop will help you address questions regarding how best to tell your story. Do you begin at the beginning and go forward, or at the end and circle back? How do you move your narrative along its round-about path without becoming entangled in it? If your story is a memoir, how personal should you let yourself be? If it’s fiction, how do you develop a cast of characters your reader can believe in?  The cost is $280. For more information or to register, email Geoffrey at geoffreyd@earthlink.net.

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. Workshop leaders in October and November include Julia Shipley and Jensen Beach.