Jenny Gelfan

The Dipper - September 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

 

September News

Welcome to September! We hope you all had a good August, read some books, attended a reading or two, and maybe even wrote a thing or two. Although we took August off from writing The Dipper, that doesn’t mean we were lazing in our hammocks. Oh no. We’ve been up to stuff…

Our first Poetry & Pie in 2017 was just our third event and it was a major leap for this fledgling organization. We learned a lot that first time out and Poetry & Pie II was even better. But, you know, we think that this year’s Poetry & Pie was our best one yet! We owe much of the day’s success to the many talented, patient, and energetic people who help make our literary dreams come true. Our grateful thanks to all of you for making this event not only possible but perfect. We can’t wait to do it all again with you next summer!

As if Poetry & Pie weren’t amazing enough on its own, the day also marked the release of our first Little Dipper chapbook, Half-Fabulous Whales, by Rena J. Mosteirin. Little Dippers are produced as limited editions of 25, numbered and signed. They have letterpressed covers and are hand-stitched with linen thread that matches the cover’s ink color. Creating these books has been a dream of ours for some time and we’re thrilled with how they’ve turned out. We’re busy working on the second edition, an essay by Ben Cosgrove, which we intend to release by the end of the year. Although Edition 1 is sold out, you can visit the Little Dipper page for more information about the Little Dipper series and to download a free digital version of Half-Fabulous Whales.

One of our favorite things about the Slow Club Book Club is that we really are slow… and quiet. Sometimes we hear from members about their thoughts about the current book, but, even when we don’t, we really enjoy knowing you’re all out there, reading along at your own pace. We recently sent a check-in newsletter to members about the current book, Tove Jansson’s The Woman Who Borrowed Memories. We’ll soon be announcing our final book in our year of Women in Translation. Visit our Slow Club Book Club page for more information.

Have you heard about Ducks, Newburyport, by Lucy Ellmann, which has been longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize? The Guardian says this “1000-page monologue of an angst-ridden US homemaker fretting about love, loss and the state of the nation is an unabashed triumph.” Already released in the UK and coming out on September 10 in the US, this book is really calling to us. In fact, we have a crazy idea: let’s read this behemoth together! We’re still finalizing the plan, but the general idea is to work our way through the book at a steady pace of about 50 pages a week starting on September 20. If you’re up for the challenge, sign up for the Ducks, Newburyport Read Along and we’ll be in touch on September 10 with more details.

September, Schmeptember! It’s still summer in our our hearts, which means you still have time to complete your Adult Summer Reading Bingo card and claim your “Still North, Still Reading” tote bag from Allie Levy of Still North Books & Bar (opening later this year in Hanover, New Hampshire). To play, just download the card, and note the books you’ve read that match the card’s categories. Once you have “bingo,” take a photo of your completed card and email it to hi@stillnorthbooks.com. You’ll win a “Still North, Still Reading” tote!

Speaking of summer, we’ve been busy collecting and sharing summer reading lists on our blog. Check out the lists from Allie Levy of Still North Books & Bar; Becky Karush, creator and host of the READ TO ME podcast; writer and musician Ben Cosgrove; Angela Evancie, host of the Brave Little State podcast; Christopher Hermelin and Drew Broussard of the So Many Damn Books podcast; reader, writer, and book lover P. T. Smith; and Katherine Forbes Riley, author of The Bobcat. If you can’t find a book in all those lists to carry you into October, we need to know!

Miciah Bay Gault’s debut novel, Goodnight Stranger, came out on July 30 to much acclaim (in fact, The New York Times just included Goodnight Stranger in their The Shortlist column). Miciah, who teaches in the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and coordinates the Vermont Book Award, graciously answered all our questions about her book and her writing process in an interview on our blog.

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When Becky Karush, creator and host of the READ TO ME podcast, asked us to suggest a book for her podcast, we didn't hesitate! Mary Ruefle's Madness, Rack, and Honey is one of our favorites. We love the way Becky found her way into this book, which she initially found challenging. As she put it, “How do you read work that makes you feel... stupid?…It moves faster than I can catch. I get wavery inside. I slap up walls between me and the work to protect myself — and I am lost. This is why Mary Ruefle's MADNESS, RACK, AND HONEY is a gift.” While you’re on the READ TO ME site, check out the other episodes too; you’re sure to find an episode that appeals to your reading tastes.


September’s Shooting Stars

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

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September Highlights

On Thursday, September 5, a group of New England Poets will gather at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, to read from the recently published Except for Love: New England Poets Inspired by Donald Hall. The reading by Matt Forrest Esenwine, Kyle Potvin, Scott T. Hutchison, Jessica Purdy, Andrew Periale, and James Fowler begins at 6:00 pm.

Sydney Lea

Sydney Lea

On Friday, September 6 at 6:00 pm, you have a difficult choice: either catch former Poet Laureate of Vermont Sydney Lea reading from Here, his thirteenth poetry collection, at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, or see award-winning poet Phillip Williams reading at the Frost Stone House Museum in Shaftsbury, Vermont.

David Shields, Rita Banerjee, and Frances Cannon kick off the Vermont College of Fine Arts Fall 2019 Reading Series at Cafe Anna on the VCFA campus in Montpelier, Vermont, on Wednesday, September 11. The series continues on Friday, September 27, with readings by Janaka Stucky, Miciah Bay Gault, and Erin Stalcup. All readings begin at 5:30 pm.

Sue Burton

Sue Burton

Also on Wednesday, September 11, Madeline ffitch is reading from her new and widely acclaimed novel, Stay and Fight, at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, at 6:00 pm.

Poets Sue Burton and Sara London are reading at the Fleming Museum of Art on Thursday, September 12, in Burlington, Vermont, as part of the Painted Word Poetry Series. The reading begins at 7:00 pm.

Patrick Donnelly ends this year’s Hyla Brook Reading Series with a reading on Thursday, September 12, at 6:30 pm, at The Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire.

Chen Chen. Photo by Jess Chen

Chen Chen. Photo by Jess Chen

The AVA Gallery’s quarterly story-telling series, The Mudroom, returns on Thursday, September 12, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, with the theme “Breaking the Rules.” Food is available for purchase starting at 6:30 pm. The storytelling begins at 7:00 pm. Tickets go quickly for this event, so grab yours soon.

The 5th Annual New Hampshire Poetry Festival is on Saturday, September 14, at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. This year’s festival features headline reader Ilya Kaminsky. Workshop leaders are Chen Chen, Patrick Donnelly, Maudelle Driskell, and Joan Houlihan. Visit the Festival website for more information and to register.

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison

Join a community celebration of Toni Morrison at 118 Elliot in Brattleboro, Vermont, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on Saturday, September 14. The event will feature local writers and community members reading the work of Ms. Morrison, followed by an open mic for others to share brief statements, quotes and favorite lines by the author.

The Kent’s Corner annual Words Out Loud series begins on Sunday, September 15, with readings by novelist Susan Ritz and poet Sue Burton. The series continues on September 22 with Rick Winston and Elizabeth A. I. Powell, and on September 29 with Daniel Lusk and Janet Pocorobba. All readings take place at the Old West Church in Calais, Vermont, and begin at 3:00 pm.

Best-selling author Emma Donoghue (Room) presents her latest novel, Akin, at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire, at 6:00 pm on Thursday, September 19.

On Wednesday, September 25, see novelist Rachel Lyon read as part of Bennington College’s Fall Literature Readings. The reading will be held in Franklin House on the Bennington campus from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

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The Burlington Book Festival arrives on the scene September 27 to 29 at various locations in the Queen City including The Fletcher Free Library and Contois Auditorium. Garret Keizer gives the inaugural reading and the festival is dedicated to Governor Madeleine Kunin. Other participating authors include Peter Money, Nancy Richardson, Megan Price, and Emily Bernard. This year’s Festival features “Says You! The Inside Story,” a special benefit event. Please visit the Festival website for the full schedule of events.

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

 

Worth a Drive

  • Amherst Poetry Festival - September 19 to 22 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Festival kicks off with a block party and poetry slam on September 19. Workshops, readings by Paisley Rekdal, Adrian Matejka, Paige Lewis, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Melanie Goodreaux, and Alicia Mountain, and more. Plus the annual Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, a one-day reading of all 1,789 of Emily Dickinson’s poems!

  • BLK FMNNST Loaner Library 1989–2019, Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts - September 25 (also meets November 7 and December 5) - A community book club facilitated by Gwendolyn Van Sant. The book for the September event is Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.

 

Worth a Listen

We’ve been saving up podcast episodes since we didn’t have an August Dipper. Here’s a bunch of truly riveting conversations for you!

  • Max Porter discussing his novel, Lanny, with David Naimon on Between the Covers was quite memorable and fantastic.

  • Don’t miss Aimee Nezhukumatathil with Franny Choi and Danez Smith on the VS podcast.

  • Mira Jacob on So Many Damn Books!

  • Local author Peter Orner on KCRW’s Bookworm discusses his latest, Maggie Brown & Others, with Michael Silverblatt. And while you are over at Bookworm, don’t miss the conversation with Ocean Vuong all about proximity.

  • Julia Phillips discusses the inspiration for her debut, Disappearing Earth, with Maris Kreizman on The Maris Review.

  • Sarah Broom’s conversation with Paul Holdengraber on A Phone Call From Paul was so inspiring. Her book, The Yellow House, is at the top of our stack.

 

We're Looking Forward to These September Releases


Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

MacDowell Colony Winter/Spring 2020 Residency
Applications open mid July for the Winter/Spring 2020 residency season (February 1 through May 31) in Peterborough, New Hampshire. A Fellowship consists of exclusive use of a private studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for two weeks to two months. Applications must include a description of your proposed project, a letter of reference, and information about your artistic work such as education, training, and artistic achievements, as well as examples of current work. There is a $30 non-refundable application processing fee.
Deadline: September 15 | Details

Northern Woodlands Conference
Register now to attend this year’s Northern Woodlands Conference (October 18-20) at the Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee, Vermont. The conference is a fun, informal weekend and vibrant mix of speakers. This year’s gathering includes natural history talks, readings, writing workshops, and hands-on experiences, from nature journaling to photography to late-season bee lining! Featuring presentations by David Carroll, Chris Maynard, Laurel Symes, Wyatt Oswald, and a special celebration in honor of Northern Woodland’s 25 anniversary. $225 to $425.
Deadline: September 30 | Details

“Poems of New Hampshire” Poetry Contest
This contest, sponsored by the Peterborough Poetry Project, is open to anyone living in, visiting, or intrigued by New Hampshire may enter by writing and submitting up to three original unpublished poems on the theme of "New Hampshire, past, present, future, or fantasy." The writers of the first-, second-, and third-place poems will win $75, $35, and $25, respectively.
Deadline: September 30 | Details

SNHU Mountainview Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction
Applications are open for the January 2020 cohort. You will spend two years honing your skills in a small cohort of students, learning from national best-selling and award-winning authors, and receiving personal consultation from leading agents and editors. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. $40 application fee.
Deadline: October 1 | Details

Hunger Mountain Issue 24: Patterns
General submissions are open in prose and poetry on the theme of patterns. Work must not have been published before, including online.
Deadline: October 15 | 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

Tupleo Press’s Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize
Now accepting submissions for the annual poetry prize for adult writers. This year’s prize is judged by Cornelius Eady. The Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize includes a cash award of $1,000 in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, 25 copies of the winning title, an introductory reading at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion.
Deadline: October 31 | Details

Bloodroot Literary Magazine
Submissions are open for Bloodroot, Volume 12. Send three to five pages of poetry or 10 to 12 pages of fiction and nonfiction in Microsoft Word format. For other work, like an experimental form or digital project, please send a one-page proposal and they will be in touch if they want to see more. They are looking for new, unpublished work.
Deadline: December 31 | Details

Center for Cartoon Studies, MFA Degree and Certificate Programs
Now accepting applications for the MFA, one- and two-year certificate programs, and low-residency second-year option. Learn all you need to know about making comics and self-publishing in a prolific and dynamic environment and community. $50 application fee.
Deadline: rolling admissions until programs are filled | Details

Junction Magazine
Junction Magazine founder James Napoli has moved to Minneapolis. With his blessing, a local collective has decided to re-launch the magazine, and they invite you to contribute. Pitches and submissions should fit into one or several categories/subject areas: arts and culture, food and farm, people, wild, photo essays, and the calendar.
Deadline: rolling submissions | Details


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop One-Day Craft Classes and Multi-Week Workshops
Starting September 7
The Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop hosts a series of one-day craft classes and multi-week workshops throughout the fall. Class topics include nonfiction writing, fiction character development, writing about the body, writing dialogue, memoir writing, short story writing, poetry revision, and more.
Location: Williamsburg, Massachusetts | Cost: $60-$350 | Details

Igniting Creativity with James Crews
Saturdays starting September 7, 1:00 to 3:30 pm

Many of us have the idea that poetry is some abstract, inaccessible craft reserved for those in obscure academic circles. As this workshop will reveal, however, beautiful and moving poetry can emerge from the details of everyday life. Each week, we will work from examples and prompts that invite us to turn the so-called ordinary objects, images and memories of our lives into fuel for extraordinary art that reaches out and touches others. All skill levels are welcome.
Location: Equinox Village, Manchester, Vermont | Cost: $75 | Details

Writing Intensive: Drafting, Developing, and Revising Your Work with Joni Cole
September 8, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Writers face a lot of very real challenges, from the intimidation of a blank page, to a sense of staleness during the drafting process, to a dearth of quality feedback. During this interactive workshop, we’ll cover techniques of narrative craft essential to empowering your prose. You’ll find your muse (and likely not where you expected). And you’ll get instructive feedback to help you write forward productively. Open to new and seasoned writers serious about making progress. Space is very limited.
Location: Writer’s Center of White River Junction, Vermont | Cost: $115 | Details

Writing Ecopsychology: Nature Writing and Personal Narrative with Carly Wynn
Sundays, September 8 to 29, 1:00 to 2:30 pm

The natural world provides ample opportunity to connect with our creative selves. Words can be harnessed to capture the essence of our most profound experiences in nature, and to share those experiences with readers. This class is an opportunity to take a deep dive into personal experiences in nature and their link to the emotional currents of our lives. No prior ecopsychology experience necessary, though participants should come prepared to write about their experiences in nature and how these experiences link to personal or universal themes.
Location: Writer’s Center of White River Junction, Vermont | Cost: $145 | Details

OSHER @Dartmouth Fall Term
September 16 to November 15
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth is a volunteer, non-profit (501c3) organization that provides educational programs year-round for residents in the greater Upper Valley and North Haverhill. The coming term offers a variety of classes in writing and literature, including classes on James Joyce’s Ulysses, writing and telling the well-told story, reading graphic novels, Shakespeare, John Updike, participating in writing circles, and writing poetry. Classes are open to members only ($70 annual fee).
Location: Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire | Cost: $40 to $80 | Details

Introduction to Bookbinding: Making a Pamphlet with Deborah Howe
September 9, 5:00 to 6:30 pm

In this workshop you will make single signature, pamphlets with covered boards and possibly double signature pamphlets. Variations of pamphlet binding, tool cleaning, and brush cleaning will also be reviewed.
Location: Dartmouth Book Arts Workshop, Hanover, New Hampshire | Cost: free | Details

Practicing Non-Judgement: A Meditation and Writing Retreat with Jeffrey Slayton and Joni Cole
September 20, 5:30 to 8:00 pm

As humans, part of our mind’s natural capacity is to analyze and try to make sense of our experience. When this process is unconscious we can have a tendency for our analysis to turn into habitual judgement of others and ourselves. This workshop offers participants the opportunity to practice ways of letting go of blame and judgment; to shift our minds into a more open, supportive, and tranquil space. During this retreat we will practice sitting and walking meditation. We also will write from a “prompt,” as a means of inspiring a freedom of expression and rich creative flow. Absolutely no meditation or writing experience is required to attend this retreat.
Location: Shambala Center of White River Junction, Vermont | Cost: free but donations are appreciated | Details

Ways of Re-seeing in Words: Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop with Rick Agran and Karla Van Vliet
September 22, 9:00 to 11:00 am

In this workshop participants select a compelling work of art from the reVision exhibit and seek to celebrate and explore it in words.
Location: Kent Museum, Calais, Vermont | Cost: free | Details

Fall Writing Workshop with Robin MacArthur
Tuesdays, September 24 to October 29, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

This supportive, encouraging and semi-formal workshop is for writers of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry. Both new and established writers are welcome, though we do have an application process for this intimate session. In this six-week workshop, we will get to know one another and our goals. We will do some generative work, talk a lot about process and some about craft, and create a generous circle of (gentle) feedback.
Location: Word House, Brattleboro, Vermont | Cost: $180 | Details

Writing Memoir: A Sense of Memory with Jenny Gelfan
Thursdays, September 24 to November 12

Our lives are full of stories: comedies, dramas, mysteries, the wonders of everyday moments. This class will guide you to dive in and gather images, sounds, fragrances, feelings, and experiences, that you can capture in words. These fragments together tell a story about each life. The class' focus will be on exploration. You will write from prompts, have an opportunity to read what others have written, and enjoy each other’s creativity.
Location: AVA Gallery, Lebanon, New Hampshire | Cost: $25 | Details

Sustenance: A Yoga and Expressive Writing Workshop with Deb Heimann and Joni Cole
September 28, 12:00 to 3:00 pm

In this intimately-sized three-hour “retreat” we welcome all who wish to reap the warmth and sustenance within ourselves, as a means of preparing for the winter ahead. As part of the yoga experience, we will practice breathing exercises, poses to nourish us, and heart-centered intention. We also will write from a “prompt” as a means of exploring and harvesting our thoughts and feelings on the page and aloud. Absolutely no yoga or writing experience is required to attend this retreat.
Location: Upper Valley Yoga, White River Junction, Vermont | Cost: 55 | Details

Letterpress Intensive Informational Meeting: Bilingual Poetry with Won Chung
September 29, 2:00 to 3:00 pm

The Letterpress Intensive workshop is offering an opportunity to explore letterpress typography by typesetting and printing poetry interlined with its translation in a second language and typeface. Participants will learn about historic typefaces and how to hand set and print a short poem of their choice using movable metal type. At the end of this introductory session, attendees can decide if they would like to register to participate in this workshop. Subsequent sessions will be held on Sunday afternoons from 2:00 to 5:00 pm through the term.
Location: Dartmouth Book Arts Workshop, Hanover, New Hampshire | Cost: free | Details

The Art of Writing: The Power of Visual Media in Storytelling
September 28, 8:30 am to 3:15 pm
The League of Vermont Writers’ fall Gathering. Details are still being finalized. Check their website for more information.
Location: St. Albans Historical Society & Museum, St. Albans, Vermont | Cost: $47 non-members, $32 members | Details

Family, Memory, Place: Writing Family Stories with Maura MacNeil
September 29, 3:00 to 4:00 pm

What family stories do you carry with you? What story do you tell over and over? What landscape do you cherish the most? One of the deepest human instincts is to tell our life stories, to figure out who we are and what it means to be human. This interactive workshop explores how the landscapes of our lives shape the stories that we tell. Participants explore the themes of family, memory, and place through sample narratives and a series of short writing exercises, gaining a deeper awareness of how their stories can preserve personal, generational, and communal history.
Location: Plainfield Town Hall, Plainfield, New Hampshire | Cost: free | Details

Comics Workshop with Marek Bennett
October 5
Join New Hampshire teaching artist Marek Bennett for a hands-on comics creation lab, featuring basic techniques of cartooning, comics creation, and self-publishing. Learn to create and publish original comics based on primary sources of social justice activism in Vermont and elsewhere. No experience required.
Location: Billings Library at UVM, Burlington, Vermont | Cost: free | Details

Writer’s Workshop with Rick Bass
October 11 to October 13
Writer and activist Rick Bass leads an intensive weekend workshop for up to eight writers who seek to improve their craft. Hands-on group sessions, both mornings and afternoons, will include active workshopping of individual manuscripts and craft-focused discussion. Writers at all levels will find support and challenge for their work. To apply, e-mail up to 15 pages of a manuscript—fiction, poetry or non-fiction—to landskeinfarm@gmail.com. Manuscripts will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis. A non-refundable deposit of $375 is due upon acceptance.
Location: Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Craftsbury Commons, Vermont | Cost: $1,250 | Details

Vermont Humanities Council Fall Conference
November 15 to 16

Registration is open for the 2019 Fall Conference, “Searching for Home: Journeys, Quests and Migrations.” The conference includes talks and breakout sessions on the topic of “the search for home.” This year’s plenary speakers include essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon, clarinetist Kina Azmeh, Dr. Hasia Diner from New York University, and professor Carol Dougherty from Wellesley College.
Location: University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont | Cost: $149; $99 for students | Details

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.