Lauren Groff

Local Indie Bookstore Summer Reading Picks, part 2

Earlier this spring, we reached out to a handful of our favorite bookstores to discover their picks for the perfect summer read. To learn what the booksellers at The Vermont Book shop and The Yankee Bookshop are suggesting, keep reading below.

To find out what the booksellers at Left Bank Books and The Norwich Bookstore recommended, check out Part 1 of this series.


The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, Vermont

Whenever we happen to be in Middlebury, our first stop is always The Vermont Book Shop. We just love the vibe of this store. The Vermont Book Shop is one of the older bookstores in Vermont; they've been providing book recommendations to the local community since 1949. Jenny Lyons, their Marketing and Events Coordinator, selected six novels to share that will definitely appeal to fans of literary fiction. If you swing through Middlebury this summer, stop in and tell them Literary North sent you!

The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai has launched herself into a whole new category of literary achievement with this flawlessly written third novel, a lovingly told saga about the immediate toll of the AIDS epidemic on the gay community and the long term impact on its survivors and their families. Set in mid-1980’s Chicago and Paris in 2015, The Great Believers features characters whose lives have been indelibly marked by the virus. (Note: Rebecca Makkai will be at The Vermont Book Shop on July 11  at 6pm in conversation with local author Stephen Kiernan about this novel.)

Mad Boy, by Nick Arvin

Not only does this novel offer an insider’s view of the oft-neglected War of 1812, it also offers a smart, highly enjoyable, fast-paced, wholly original book reading experience. Pick it up, you will not be disappointed.

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Tin Man, by Sarah Winman

Loss and love figure prominently in this warm novel, sparingly yet richly told. Details of life, brief moments, words exchanged between friends and family, small kindnesses, grand gestures, memories recovered and re-lived—these valuable bits that make up a life are recorded as a testimony to human lives, their fragility and temerity and strength. It’s a love story, but an unconventional one, one sure to broaden the reader’s view on what it means to love another person.

Circe, by Madeline Miller

I devoured The Song of Achilles when it came out a few years ago and have been waiting, not so patiently, for the incredibly talented author Madeline Miller to publish again! Circe is smart, fresh, and authentic; a beautiful literary Greek mythology tale. I loved every word. Miller's depth of knowledge makes it possible for her to spin a rich and believable tale that readers will love.

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Florida, by Lauren Groff

Wow. That is all you really need to know. These short stories each have their own Floridian resonance and each touch on heartrending truths of life, family and humanity. Lauren Groff doesn't pull punches but also be prepared to hang on every word because she will surprise you with joy as well as hardship.

Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik

Sophisticated plotting and intricate storytelling in this redux of Rumpelstiltskin shed some much needed light on dusty preconceptions. The voices that tell the story are distinct and powerful, unforgettably unique. At once a tale of values, value and self worth, Novik also reminds us of our responsibility to our choices and reflects on the roles of honor and truth.  Along with these big topics and heavy-hitting truths, Novik tells an artfully enthralling story.

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The Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, Vermont

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Have we told you how much we adore The Yankee Bookshop's new co-owners, Kari Meutsch and Kristian Preylowski? They are welcoming and kind, eager to collaborate, and full of excellent recommendations. We had a lovely event at their shop in the spring (Lady Sings The Blues book group) and were very impressed with the little changes they've made to Yankee. Hello, vinyl! Kari offers four picks that you'll definitely want to add to your summer reading list. If you haven't popped in to Yankee in awhile, make it a summer priority! You won't be disappointed.

The Electric Woman, by Tessa Fontaine

Few things make it feel more like summer to me than a carnival, and how many of us are consistently intrigued with the characters that make up the mythical traveling sideshow? Sword swallowers, fire eaters, death-defiers and all of their like. Tessa Fontaine spent a summer following the last American Traveling Sideshow and lived to tell the tale of learning their tricks and seeing their life on the road. Dovetailed with the story of her mother's recovery from what should have been a life-ending stroke, both women set out on adventures that teach them more about themselves and each other than they ever thought possible.

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, by Cherise Wolas

This book is best gone into mostly blind, recommended by a trusted friend who knows you will love it—which is how I found it myself. Since we aren't that level of friends (yet), what I will tell you is this: Joan Ashby knew at a very young age that she wanted to be a famous writer. At one point, in an early journal, she set down a list of rules for herself to make that happen, two of which proclaimed that she should never fall in love and never have children. She does become a world-renowned short story author, but then proceeds to break her own rules and essentially falls off the face of the writing world. What happened to her? You have to read to find out. Side bonus: Throughout the book, Wolas shares bits and pieces of the fictional Ashby's writing that are so intriguing I wish Joan Ashby were real and that I could read all of her books. And also that we were friends and could go out for a glass of wine together. This story is amazing, and you will not be able to put it down.

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Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

If you are looking for a new fantasy world to sink your teeth into, I highly recommend you give Orïsha a try. A world where magic had been beautiful and strong is taken over by a king who fears it, and ultimately drives all maji into poverty or hiding. After losing her mother, and discovering her own abilities, young Zélie must decide whether to back down or help lead a rebellion to bring the maji and their powers back from the brink of extinction. Adeyemi's magic system is borne out of West African mythology, her characters are fully fleshed out and engaging, and the scenery is so vividly brought to life. I loved it, and can't wait for book two!

Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler

Written in the 1990s, but set in the ever-closer 2020s, this dystopian novel is disturbingly timely when read today. The story chronicles the experience of Lauren Olamina, a young girl with hyper-empathy, a condition that causes her to feel others' physical pain, as she tries to navigate an increasingly dangerous world and get herself and her loved ones to safety. Along the way, we also watch her develop a new religion, writing it down and sharing it with others she meets on her journey. If you are a fan of dystopia or speculative fiction, and intrigued by some comparative religion mixed in with your reading, this one will not disappoint.

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The Dipper - July 2018

"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!

 

July News

With the summer solstice just behind us, the strawberries are ripe, the days are long enough to fit in some extra reading after dinner, and Northern New England is blooming with literary festivals and summer reading series, including the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum's Readings in the Gallery, Brownington, Vermont's Back Roads Readings, the Hyla Brook Reading Series at Robert Frost's farm in Derry, New Hampshire, the Troy Hill Reading Series in Warner, New Hampshire, the Canaan Meetinghouse Reading Series in Canaan, New Hampshire, Authors at the Aldrich in Barre, Vermont, and the Joan Hutton Landis Summer Reading Series in Rochester, Vermont.

If that's not enough to keep you busy, Woodstock, Vermont's 10th annual Bookstock Literary Festival is happening at the end of the month and promises three chock-full days of readings, workshops, live music, used book sales, and other goodies.

You can find details about all of these series and festivals on the Literary North calendar.

Poetry&Pie

And of course our very own Poetry & Pie is happening in just a few weeks! We're making lists, finalizing pie recipes, and putting in an order for a perfect summer day. We hope you'll be joining Didi Jackson, Julia Shipley, Ocean Vuong, our friends and volunteers, and us on Saturday, July 21 for a delicious afternoon. All of the seats for this event are already reserved, but if you're interested in attending, please add your name to the waiting list in case there are cancellations!

Oh! And speaking of festivals, we're excited to be sponsoring the 14th Annual Burlington Book Festival, which is happening in Burlington, Vermont, October 12 through 14. The three-day festival takes place in a variety of downtown venues and features author readings, signings, panel discussions, workshops, exhibits, lectures, Q&A sessions, performances, the 12th annual Grace Paley Poetry Series, and more. Keep your eyes on this space for more details soon.

We can rest in the winter, right?

This time of year, we love to talk to area writers and readers about their summer reading suggestions. This summer, we've started a new series with summer reading picks from our favorite local indie bookstores. First up are suggestions from the booksellers at Left Bank Books in Hanover, New Hampshire, and The Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont. Their suggestions are terrific, and you'll get a real feel for each book by reading their descriptions. Check out their suggestions on our blog!

SlowClubBookClub-Summer

If all of this is just too much excitement for you and your TBR pile is already wagging an accusing finger in your direction, we can empathize. Maybe you want to read just one book this summer? If so, our Slow Club Book Club might be right for you. We just announced that our summer book is Lost in the City, by Edward P. Jones. (Yes, that's right: just one book for the entire summer.) We'll start reading on July 1. If you'd like to join us, just subscribe to our newsletter, and then read the book at your leisure. No strings attached!

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New to our blog is our recent interview with Ray Keifetz, whose first collection of poetry, Night Farming in Bosnia, was published in April. You don't want to miss this book, or Ray's moving and thoughtful replies to our questions. To find out more and to read selections from Night Farming in Bosnia, visit our interview with Ray.

One final note for our blog readers: we've added a new Blog Directory page to our site so that you can find a full list of our posts, organized by category. We hope this helps make it easier for you to find a specific interview, reading list, or Dipper edition.

We're taking August off from this newsletter so we can have more time to read and go to readings. We'll see you back here in September. Happy summer, friends!

 

July Shooting Stars

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

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July Highlights

Vermont College of Fine Art's summer residency readings continue July 1 to 3 with Danielle Evans, Jeffrey Thomas Leong, and Mary Ruefle. The readings begin at 7:00 pm and take place in the College Hall chapel on the VCA campus in Montpelier, Vermont.

Nicole Homer. Photo by Maria Del Naja.

Nicole Homer. Photo by Maria Del Naja.

Nicole Homer—the 2018 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at The Frost Place—will be reading at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, on Thursday, July 5, as part of the Readings in the Gallery Series. The reading begins at 7:00 pm.

On Sunday, July 8, poets Jody Gladding and Sharon Olds share the bill at the first event of the 2018 Back Roads Readings series at Brownington Congregational Church, in Brownington, Vermont. All readings begin at 3:00 pm and are followed by a book signing and reception.

Peter Manseau

Peter Manseau

Peter Manseau and Ivy Pochoda launch this year's Meetinghouse Readings in Canaan, New Hampshire, on Thursday, July 12, at 7:30 pm. The series, which continues through early August, includes readings by Christopher Wren, Lauren Groff, Howard Mansfield, Robin MacArthur, Lloyd Schwartz, and Joan Silber.

The Third International Thorton Wilder Conference takes place at the Monadnock Center for History & Culture in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The conference features paper panels, roundtable discussions, presentations, readings, and social events from Thursday July 12 through Saturday, July 14. Limited seats are available to the public to attend conference sessions.

Marcelo Gleiser, theoretical physicist, will be giving the 2018 Dartmouth Library Book Talk on Wednesday, July 18, at 4:30 pm. Gleiser will present his book, The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected, at Dartmouth College's Baker Library in Hanover, New Hampshire.

The 10th annual Bookstock Literary Festival takes place from Friday, July 27 through Sunday, July 29 at various venues in Woodstock, Vermont. The Festival features headliners Richard Russo, Robert Pinsky, Alexander Chee, Ezzedine Choukri Fishere, plus many other presenters, workshops, food, live music, and children's activities. You can see the complete schedule of events on our calendar. You can find details about the Festival, its presenters, and its events on the Bookstock website.

Amy Siskind

Amy Siskind

On Sunday, July 29, catch local authors Jensen Beach and Bianca Stone at BigTown Gallery in Rochester, Vermont, as part of the Joan Hutton Landis Summer Reading Series. Readings begin at 5:30 pm in the main gallery. Refreshments follow the readings.

Amy Siskind visits The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, in support of her book The List: A Week-by-Week Reckoning of Trump's First Year on Saturday, July 28, at 7:00 pm.

 

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

 

Worth a Drive

You have two chances to catch Ottessa Moshfegh, who is on tour for her latest novel, My Year of Rest and Relaxation. She will be at the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Thursday, July 26, at 7:00 pm, and at the Odyssey Bookshop in Hadley, Massachusetts, on Friday, July 27, at 7:00 pm. Both events are free.

 

Worth a Listen

I enjoyed listening to Silas House on the WMFA podcast discussing his new novel, Southernmost. He spoke about otherness, sensitivity, writing from a young character's point of view, his complicated relationship to the South, his writing routine, and more. —Shari

 

We're Looking Forward to These July Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

Nominations are open for the next New Hampshire Poet Laureate, who will serve a five-year term beginning in March 2019. To be eligible for the position, the nominee must be a resident of New Hampshire, and must have published at least one full-length book of poetry. Nominations are due by July 20. For more information and to submit your nomination, please visit the Poetry Society of New Hampshire website.

Clara Martin Center is seeking submissions for their third annual art/poetry show entitled "Abundance: Celebrating Creativity in Mental Health, Wellness, and Recovery" (September 10 to November 2). You are invited to submit poetry, or 2-D or 3-D artwork to display in the exhibit. Submissions are due by July 31. Applicants must be Vermont residents, and preference is given to artists/writers in the Upper Valley. For more information, please visit Clara Martin Center's website.

The Center for Cartoon Studies announces the third year of The Cornish CCS Fellowship Residency (October 16 to November 18). The month-long residency in Cornish, New Hampshire, includes a $3000 stipend. The application deadline is August 15. For more information and to apply, please visit the Cornish CCS Fellowship page.

Registration is open for the New Hampshire Poetry Festival (September 15), which will be held in Henniker, New Hampshire. Speakers include Adrian Blevins, Robert Crawford, Sharon Dolin, Matthew Guenette, and Linda Pastan. For more information and to register, please visit the NH Poetry Festival website.


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

Joni Cole of The Writer's Center in White River Junction, Vermont, is offering Fast Feedback on July 7 from 9:30 to 11:30 am. For more information and to register, please visit The Writer's Center Workshops page.

The Word Barn in Exeter, New Hampshire is offering a summer writing workshop that explores the translational power of writing from photographs into memory and imagination through poetry. The workshop, "From Poetry to Ink to Poetry to Ink to ~," will meet on Monday evenings at 6:30 pm from July 9 to July 30. Tuition is $200. Registration is limited to 10. For more information and to register, please visit The Word Barn Workshops page.

Matt Miller will be teaching an Advanced Poetry Workshop at The Word Barn, in Exeter, New Hampshire. The workshop will be held on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm, from July 10 to July 31. Tuition is $300. Registration is limited to 8. For more information and to register, please visit The Word Barn Workshops page.

In her exhibition The Firmament, Toyin Ojih Odutola presents an interconnected series of fictional portraits chronicling the lives of two aristocratic Nigerian families. This dynamic workshop—held at Hood Downtown in Hanover, New Hamphire from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on July 11—fuses an exploration of the Ojih Odutola’s work with a fun and meaningful creative writing exercise using thematic prompts. All writing levels welcome. Free and open to all. Space is limited. Register by July 9. For more information and to register, please visit the Workshop Registration page.

Literary North friend and book fiend Beth Reynolds is hosting the Vermont chapter of the worldwide Summer of Proust book club. The Vermont group will be reading Lydia Davis' translation of Proust's Swann's Way, with the first 49 pages due by the first meeting at the Norwich Public Library on July 16. For more information and to join the group, send an email to summerofproustvt@gmail.com. If you're outside the Upper Valley area, you can join a group in your area, or simply join the group online. For more information, please visit the Summer of Proust website.

The Burlington Writers Workshop is hosting an Historical Fiction Workshop with Stephanie Storey on July 18 in Burlington, Vermont. This workshop will give students the skills to navigate the tricky waters of historical fiction. This class is not only helpful for those writing traditional historical fiction, but also for writers of creative non-fiction, memoir, or any fiction that requires research. For more information and to register, please visit the Workshop page.

On July 21, the League of Vermont Writers hosts its popular Writers Meet Agents event at Trader Duke's Hotel in South Burlington, Vermont, from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. All writers are invited to this event, which includes presentations, pitch sessions, panels, seven agents, and more. $135-$165; $35 for each pitch session. Registration deadline is July 7. For more information and to register, please visit the League's Gatherings page.

The Burlington Writers Workshop is hosting several day-long writing retreats in the coming months. Robin McLean leads the Prose Retreat in Grande Isle, Vermont, on August 25 (registration closes on July 28). Baron Wormser leads the Poetry Retreat in Adamant, Vermont, on September 8 (registration closes on August 11). Jericho Parms leads the Creative Non-fiction Retreat in Burlington, Vermont, on November 11 (registration closes on October 28). For more information and to register for a retreat, please visit the Writing Retreats page.

The Dipper - June 2018

"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!

 

June News

We're so excited that many of you have already signed up to join us for Poetry & Pie II, featuring Didi Jackson, Julia Shipley, and Ocean Vuong!

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We're more than halfway to capacity now, so please RSVP soon if you'd like to attend. In addition, we're delighted that The Norwich Bookstore will be on site as the bookseller for our event, which means you will be able to buy books and have them signed if you'd like.

As for pie, how do rhubarb hand pies, fresh blueberry, banana cream (vegan and gluten free!), peanut butter, apple, and plum crumb sound to you? And don't worry, there will be a savory option in the mix as well. It's going to be a special afternoon, and we're looking forward to seeing all of you on Saturday, July 21.

On May 15, our Lady Sings the Blues book group met at The Yankee Bookshop. We had a lively group discussion and listened to Billie Holiday's recordings of "Yesterdays" and "Strange Fruit," as well as a 1956 interview with Billie on "Voice of America." Many thanks to Kari and Kristian at Yankee for being lovely hosts and handling the audio clips, to Julia Cooke for her excellent conversation starters, and to Jarvis Green for sharing insights about his latest work, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.

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We both attended this powerful play at The Engine Room and cannot recommend it highly enough. Top notch acting and singing, fabulous atmosphere and mood, and a powerful staging. If you didn't get a chance to see it in White River Junction, please note that tickets are still available for the Pomfret, Vermont, and Burlington, Vermont, shows. To learn more and purchase your tickets, please visit the JAG Productions website. Support local theater!

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For our summer Slow Club Book Club selection, we'll be reading a collection of short stories. We'll reveal the book in the June 15 edition of our SCBC newsletter. Sign up now to be the first to know what we'll be reading together.

We recently interviewed Vermont author Maria Hummel about her new literary thriller, Still Lives, which comes out on June 5. If the art world, Los Angeles, and a page-turning thriller ring all of your bells, you'll definitely want to add this book to your summer reading list. Read our interview with Maria, then grab a copy of Still Lives at your local indie bookstore!

Happy summer! If you get a chance, drop us a line and let us know what's on your summer reading list.

A housekeeping note: We recently asked subscribers to confirm that they want to continue receiving emails from us. Please know that you can manage your subscription options at any time by using the links at the bottom of our Dipper and Slow Club Book Club emails. If you're not receiving a newsletter you think you're subscribed to, just let us know and we'll make sure you're signed up.

 

June's Shooting Stars

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

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  • Blank Verse Films is a new video series of poets reading their own poems. There's just one video so far (when is a series not a series?), but it's a good one: Brendan Constantine reading his poem "The Opposites Game." I really hope they do more of these! —Rebecca

June Highlights

Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference and Bread Loaf Translators' Conference both begin in Middlebury, Vermont, on Friday, June 1 and go through Thursday, June 7. The conferences feature a full slate of public lectures and readings by Kazim Ali, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Jennifer Grotz, Brooks Haxton, Deirdre Heekin, Bill Johnston, Scott Russell Sanders, Luis Alberto Urrea, Emily Wilson, and many more. See the complete schedule on the Bread Loaf website.

January Gill O'Neil. Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

January Gill O'Neil. Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Maria Hummel is launching her new book, Still Lives, on Tuesday, June 5 at 7:00 pm, at Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont. (We recently interviewed Maria about Still Lives on our blog.)

The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program concludes its season of Hoot readings with January Gill O'Neil and Patrice Pinette on Wednesday, June 6. The readings, at Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, begin at 7:00 pm. An open mic begins at 8:00 pm.

On Thursday, June 7, Celeste Ng will be in conversation with Joe Hill at 7:00 pm at the Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to discuss her latest work, Little Fires Everywhere.

The 2018 Thing in the Spring Reading Series has four events from Thursday, June 7 through Sunday, June 10. Authors include Michelle Aldredge, Corwin Levi, Chris Fritton, Rage Hezekiah, Bill Doreski, Henry Walters, Abayomi Adebayo, Amanda Petrusich, Alice B. Fogel, Marilyn Nelson, and Jasmine Dreame Wagner. All readings take place at The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Tommy Orange. Photo by Elena Seibert.

Tommy Orange. Photo by Elena Seibert.

Tommy Orange is at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, on Saturday, June 9 at 6:00 pm to read from his acclaimed debut, There There.

Andrea Lawlor will be at Bloodhouse in Bellows Falls, Vermont, on Sunday, June 10, at 5:00 pm. The reading will be followed by a "relatively excessive and anectodal tea."

Neil Shepard celebrates the publication of his new collection, How it Is: Selected Poems, with fellow poets Julia Shipley and Martha Zweig at The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, Vermont, on Tuesday, June 12 at 7:00 pm.

You don't want to miss The Mudroom storytelling event at AVA Gallery in Lebanon, New Hampshire on Thursday, June 14. This quarter's theme is The Longest Day. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Food is available for purchase before the performance. Tickets are available online.

The Hyla Brook Reading Series continues on Friday, June 15 at 7:00 pm with Melissa Balmain and the Frost Farm Prize winner (TBA). The reading is held at the Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, and begins at 7:00 pm.

If you haven't been able to catch one of Robin MacArthur's readings from Heart Spring Mountain, you can see her at Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont, on Tuesday, June 19 at 7:00 pm.

Novelist Rebecca Makkai will read from her new book, The Great Believers, as part of the New Hampshire Institute of Art's Master of Fine Arts June Residency event, on Wednesday, June 27, at 7:00 pm. The reading will be held at NHIA, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Mary Ruefle

Mary Ruefle

A Literary North favorite, Mary Ruefle will be reading at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, on Wednesday, June 27 at 8:00 pm.

 

 

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

 

Worth a Drive

Juniper Summer Writing Institute has a wonderful week of readings open to the public from June 17 to 24 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The readings feature Joy Williams, Leni Zumas, Terrance Hayes, Eileen Myles, and more.

 

Worth a Listen

The NYPL podcast about Zora Neale Hurston's book Barracoon, featuring Glory Edim of Well-Read Black Girl, Dr. Sylviane Diouf and noted Hurston scholar Deborah G. Plant is well worth your time.

The conversation between Rachel Kushner and Michael Silverblatt on Bookworm makes an enjoyable bookend to your reading experience of The Mars Room.

 

We're Looking Forward to These June Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The application deadline for The Frost Place Conference on Poetry (July 8 to 14) has been extended to June 6. The application fee is $25. Conference rates are from $250 (day rate) to $1550 (includes all tuition, meals, and lodging). For more information and to apply, please visit the Conference page.

Vermont Studio Center (VSC) fellowship applications are being accepted until June 15. VSC fellowships are open to all artists and writers living and working anywhere in the world. Every VSC residency opportunity includes a private room, private studio space, all meals, and full access to their schedule of evening programs and events. For more information and to apply, please visit the VSC fellowship page.

Registration for the Green Mountain Writers Conference (July 16 to 20) is open through June 15. The conference is held at the Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden, Vermont. This year's conference participants include Yvonne Daley, Chard deNiord, Elizabeth Inness-Brown, Justin Ahren, Kate Rushin, T. Greenwood, Chuck Clarino, Verandah Porche, Patty Carpenter, Stephen Kiernan, and Gary Margolis. Tuition is $675 and includes workshops, readings, snacks, and day use of the Mountain Top indoor and outdoor facilities. For more information and to register, please visit the Conference page.

The Frost Place Poetry Seminar (July 29 to August 3) is accepting applications until June 28. The application fee is $15. Seminar rates are from $250 (day rate) to $1550 (includes all tuition, meals, and lodging). For more information and to apply, please visit the Seminar page.

Putney Mountain Association and Antidote Books have announced the first Putney Mountain Poetry Contest, judged by poet Seth Landman. The winner will receive a broadside print of their poem displayed at the Putney Mountain Trailhead and a featured reading at Antidote Books. Submit up to three original poems inspired by the Vermont landscape as PDFs to putney.poetry@gmail.com. Do not include your name on the poems, but please include your name, town of residence, and contact information in the email. All entries are due by June 30.

Zig Zag Lit Mag is looking for submissions of writing and art from residents of Addison County, Vermont, for Issue 5. Zig Zag accepts fiction, non-fiction, dramatic forms, and poetry in any genre and on any topic. Art must be submitted in high-resolution, black-and-white format. Submissions are open through June 30. For more information, please visit the Zig Zag Lit Mag Submissions page.

The Hopper, the literary magazine from Green Writers Press, is accepting submissions of full-length manuscripts to its 2018 Hopper Poetry Prize through July 1. Judged by Amie Whittemore, the winner of this contest will receive $500 and publication by Green Writers Press. The contest is open to all poets with an identified interest in the natural world. There is a $25 entry fee. For more information and to see work by previous contest winners, please visit the Hopper Prize page.

Registration is open for the League of Vermont Writers "Writers Meet Agents 2018" gathering (July 21). All writers are welcome. Held at Trader Duke's Hotel in South Burlington, the event includes presentations, pitch sessions, panels, and more. $135 for League members; $185 for non-members; $35 for one pitch session. The registration deadline is July 7. For more information and to register, please visit the Gatherings page.

Clara Martin Center is seeking submissions for their third annual art/poetry show entitled "Abundance: Celebrating Creativity in Mental Health, Wellness, and Recovery" (September 10 to November 2). You are invited to submit poetry, or 2-D or 3-D artwork to display in the exhibit. Submissions are due by July 31. Applicants must be Vermont residents, and preference is given to artists/writers in the Upper Valley. For more information, please visit Clara Martin Center's website.

Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Poetry Festival at the Fine Arts Work Center (August 5 to 10) in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The Festival includes poetry and songwriting workshops. Faculty includes Traci Brimhall, Cornelius Eady, Nick Flynn, Vievee Francis, Ross Gay, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Patty Larkin, and Patrick Rosal. For information on tuition, housing, and registration, please visit the FAWC Festival page.

The Burlington Writers Workshop 2018 anthology team is pleased to invite submissions from the BWW community. Fiction, flash fiction, poetry, memoir, personal essay—it's all welcome. The only requirement for submission is that you must have attended at least one BWW workshop within the past five years. For more information, please visit the Burlington Writers Workshop website.

The Poetry Society of Vermont's Summer Contests are open. Submissions must be received by July 1. For more information, please visit the Contests and Awards page.

Registration is open for the New Hampshire Poetry Festival (September 15), which will be held in Henniker, New Hampshire. Speakers include Adrian Blevins, Robert Crawford, Sharon Dolin, Matthew Guenette, and Linda Pastan. For more information and to register, please visit the NH Poetry Festival website.


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

Poet Ina Anderson is offering "Your Poems," a poetry workshop series for beginning through experienced poets. Meeting at the Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon, Vermont, sessions are scheduled the 2nd Wednesday of each month, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, May 9 through November 14. A donation of $10 for each session is suggested. No pre-registration is required. For more information, please visit the Workshop page.

Burlington Writers Workshop and Melissa Lourie are offering a workshop called "Exploring Characters & Dialog Through Drama Techniques" on June 23. Participation in the workshop will be via lottery, which closes on June 4. For more information about the workshop and to enter the lottery, please visit the Workshop page.

Registration is open for The Center for Cartoon Studies Summer Workshops (June 11 to August 10), in White River Junction, Vermont. This year's workshops include everything from drawing and writing single-panel comics, to creating graphic memoirs and novels, taught by award-winning artists and writers, including Hilary Price, Jo Knowles, Tillie Walden, and Melanie Gillman. Tuition ranges from $600 to $1200. For more information and to register, please visit the Summer Workshops page.

Registration is open for the annul Frost Farm Poetry Conference (June 15 to 17). Join a small community of people at the historic Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, learning, reading, and writing formal poetry with contemporary award-winning poets in an intimate workshop environment. Choose your focus from a series of offerings designed to provide tools for beginning poets as well as perfect the mastery of published poets. Tuition is $310 and includes all instruction and meals. For more information and to register, please visit the Conference page.

On Saturday, June 30 (10:00 am to 1:00 pm), join Mimi Schwartz at SNHU in Manchester, New Hampshire, for a workshop called that focuses on the ways that personal narrative is enriched by history—be it family legacies, neighborhood landmarks, or the social history that shapes us. "Beyond the I: When Memoir Meets History," will use readings, discussion, and in-class exercises to help participants discover new strategies for writing their life stories in ways that friends, family, or strangers will want to read on. $50 for New Hampshire Writers Project members; $75 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the NHWP Workshops page.

On Wednesday, July 11, the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire, is offering a writing workshop with teacher Joni B. Cole titled, "Tapping Into Your Write Brain." The workshop, based on the Hood's new exhibit of Toyin Ojih Odutola's paintings, fuses an exploration of Ojih Odutola's work with a fun and meaningful creative exercise using thematic prompts. All writing levels welcome. Free but space is limited; to ensure your space register by July 9. For more information and to register, please visit the Registration page.

Register now for CAConrad's workshop, "Occult Poetics and (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals," at Antidote Books in Putney, Vermont. Sliding scale fee of $27 to $108. The workshop will take place July 24 to 27. To confirm a place in the workshop or for more information, email hello@antidotebooks.com.

Fiction author Robin McLean will be leading a Prose Writing Retreat in Grande Isle, Vermont (August 25). Participation in the retreat will be decided by lottery, which closes on July 29. For more information about the retreat and to enter the lottery, please visit the Retreat page.

Carol Potter, poet, teacher, MFA faculty, editor, and author of five books of poetry is currently available for manuscript consultations—what to include, what to revise, what to abandon, how to structure the manuscript, and where to send it. She is also available also for editing of individual poems. For more information, please visit Carol's website.

The Dipper - August 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

 

August News

SweetlandBarn

In this moment the chairs were empty.

Not long after, the barn began to fill with people, some we knew and many we didn't. The poets -- James Crews, Dede Cummings, and Mary Kane -- took turns in front of the audience, filling the barn with words that swooped as gracefully, and sometimes as startlingly, as the swallows that glided from window to window.

The poems made us laugh, smile, sigh, and shiver. The poets told us the stories behind the poems, answered our questions, and gave the writers in the room encouragement. When they had finished, several audience members took their turn up front and generously shared their original compositions with us.

Afterwards, in one cozy corner, some of us gathered near Taylor Mardis Katz as she composed poems on her typewriter. In the opposite corner, others cut slices of pie, or sipped ice tea and fruit juice sparklers. We traded email addresses and stories, talked poems and recipes, offered hugs and inspiration.

The afternoon went on, perfect moment after perfect moment, with sunlight filtering through the barn windows and the flowers blooming in the afternoon air.

At the end, we stacked the chairs away, said our goodbyes, and went back out into the day. Nothing felt empty.

Thank you to everyone who came. To everyone who read poems. To everyone who swept the floor. To everyone who baked a pie. To everyone who drove long distances. To everyone who signed books. To everyone who bought books. To everyone who made the afternoon even better than we'd imagined it would be. Thank you. And to everyone we missed, we hope you'll come next year. We'll save a chair for you.

 

Support Literary North!

Literary North is a labor of love for us, but we can't live on love (and pie) alone. We're powered by donations from people who attend our events and appreciate what we do. Please consider supporting us at any level that feels good to you. And if you're interested in co-sponsoring an event, volunteering your time, or donating space at your venue, we'd be thrilled to hear from youWe appreciate your support from the bottom of our hearts!


August Highlights

MiraJacob

The Marlboro College summer reading series continues August 1, 2, and 3 with readings by Mira Ptacin, Mira Jacob, and Ron Currie. The readings begin at 5:00 pm at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, Vermont.

The annual Strafford Town House Forum returns this month, with pairings of readings and conversations each Thursday in August at 7:00 pm, in Strafford, Vermont. This year's presenters include Pat Alger, Jim Rooney, Michael Caduto, Ted Levin, Robin MacArthur, Melanie Finn, Pamela Harrison, and Ina Anderson.

PamelaHarrison

The Back Roads Reading series in Brownington, Vermont, concludes with a reading by poet Charles Simic on Sunday, August 6, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.

The Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont, will be hosting two readings of original work from members of the From Our Minds and Hearts (FOMAH) Art Group. Each event features readings from six FOMAH Art Group writers. The readings will take place on Wednesday, August 9, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, and on Saturday, August 26, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm.

Since the end of June, local/regional women poets and writers have been reading the work of or about other women writers as part of Women Reading Women on the main stage at Prescott Park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The final two readings--featuring Pricilla Cookson, Kayla Cash, Tamara Collins, Julie Dickson, Marybeth McNamara, and Wendy Cannella--take place on Thursday, August 10, and Thursday, August 17, from 5:45 to 6:15 pm.

Nature writers Robert Finch and John Elder will be discussing Finch's latest book, The Outer Beach, at The Vermont Book Shop, Tuesday, August 17, at 7:00 pm, in Middlebury, Vermont.

Jamaica Kincaid and James Atlas will be in conversation on Saturday, August 26, at 7:00 pm, at Northshire Bookstore, in Manchester Center, Vermont.

EdwardHirsch

The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference kicks off its August public events with Lauren Groff and Edward Hirsch at 8:15 pm on Wednesday, August 16. The series continues with readings and lectures presented by more than 20 authors, through Friday, August 25. All events take place in the Little Theatre on the Bread Loaf campus in Ripton, Vermont.

 

Worth a Drive

Poet Frank Bidart will be reading from his latest poetry collection, Half-Light: Collected Poems, on Tuesday, August 15, at 7:00 pm, at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The reading is free.

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

 

We're looking forward to these August releases


Calls for Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The AVA Gallery is looking for storytellers for its quarterly story-telling series, The Mudroom (September 14). The theme is  “Scary Stories.” Storytellers of all ages and from all towns in the Upper Valley and beyond are welcome. Storytellers should submit a brief summary of the story (two or three sentences) and a short bio (no more than 150 words) by August 22 to judith.hertog@gmail.com or to Sheryl@avagallery.org.

The Marble House Project is now accepting applications for the Collaborative Winter Residency. This residency facilitates a group of artists working together to develop new or in-progress work. Residents apply as a group. The cost is $500 per person, and includes food, housing, and studio space. Applications close midnight, August 31. For more information, please visit the Residency Application page.

Register now through August 31 for the Northern Woodlands Conference (October 20 to 22) and take 10% off the registration fee. Use the special code "EarlyBird" at checkout to receive the discount. For more information and to register, please visit the Conference page.

The Bennington MFA Writing Seminar is currently accepting applications for its January residency. The non-refundable application fee is $70 (or $100 for a dual-genre application). The application deadline is September 1. For a list of information that must accompany the application, and a link to the application form, please visit the Application Info and Deadlines page.

There's still time to register for the Writers in the Round Songwriters and Poets Retreat (September 7 to 10), on Star Island, New Hampshire. This is a time for stretching boundaries, cross genre inspiration, and fresh salt air. We welcome all levels of artistry for daily classes, structured and unstructured time for composition and collaboration, small group workshops, and nightly song and poetry swaps. The program fee is $110. Room and board rates ($424 to $734) include lodging, meal, and ferry transportation from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For more information and to register, please visit the Retreat page.

The application deadline for the MacDowell Colony Winter/Spring 2018 residency is September 15. The application fee is $30. For more information, please visit the Application Guidelines page.

Registration is open for the 2017 New Hampshire Poetry Festival (September 23). Registration fees ranges from $55 (students) to $95 (PSNH members) to $120 (non-members) and include panel discussions, workshops, headliner reading with Gregory Pardlo, morning and afternoon receptions, and time with poets from around the country. For more information and to resister, please visit the Registration page.

Vital Communities is hosting a Watershed Quest Challenge, designed to encourage you to explore your favorite Upper Valley pond, stream, river, or swimming hole and write a Valley Quest. Watershed Quest submissions will have the chance to be featured in the 2018 Super Quest, and the author or the winning Quest will receive a grand prize. The deadline is December 15. For full details and to submit your Quest, please visit the Watershed Quest Challenge page. Note: Vital Communities is offering a free Quest Writing Workshop on Friday, August 11. For more information, see "August Workshops and Classes," below.


August Workshops and Classes

Burlington Writers Workshop offers a series of writing retreats designed to provide members with opportunities to gather in quiet, inspiring spaces for focused discussion, instruction, and writing time. The August retreat is "Writing Prose - Fiction and Nonfiction," lead by Robin McLean, on Saturday, August 26. The retreat will be held in Grand Isle, Vermont. To participate, register by August 5. For more information or to register, please visit the Retreat page.

New Hampshire Writers' Project is hosting two online webinars in August: "Awakening the Monster: How to Edit Your Book Manuscript," with Jeff Deck, on Wednesday, August 9, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm; and "Clever as a Cat and Working Like a Dog: How to Create a Stir Before Your Book's Launch," with Ann Garvin, on Monday, August 21, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. The cost for each is $10 for members and $25 for nonmembers. For more information and to register, please visit the Workshops page.

Vital Communities is offering a free Quest Writing Workshop on Friday, August 11, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Steve Glazer will lead a fun-filled day spent diving into natural history and designing an educational Valley Quest treasure hunt. Snacks will be provided, but participants should bring their own lunch. To participate, register by August 7. For more information or to register, please visit the workshop's Event page.

Join poet Peter Money for an ekphrastic poetry workshop on Saturday, August 12, from 2:30 to 5:30 pm, at the Hall Art Foundation in Reading, Vermont. Participants will compose and share a poem inspired by one of the artworks on view. Participants should bring their own notebooks. Pencils will be provided. Smartphones recommended if possible. Admission is free, but space is limited and registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit the Event page.

As of this writing, Live Free and Write, a New Hampshire Getaway for Writers has one space left for the August 13 to 18 retreat in Sunapee, New Hampshire. For full details and to register, visit the Summer Writing Retreat page.

Burlington Writers Workshop in Burlington and Montpelier, Vermont, offers an ongoing series of free writing workshops. Upcoming workshops include creative writing (any genre), poetry, and creative nonfiction. For a complete list of upcoming workshops and to register, visit the workshop Meetup page.

For fiction and creative non-fiction writers who want a deadline and thoughtful feedback on their work, instructor Joni B. Cole will be leading a Writer's Salon (and Sustenance) on Sunday, August 27, from 4:00 to 6::30 pm. During the meeting, writers will be asked to read aloud a work in progress. The cost is $40, which includes quality feedback, savory snacks, and camaraderie. For more information and to register, please visit the Writers Center Workshops page.