Mary Ruefle

The Dipper - June 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

 

June News

Rena Mosteirin

Rena Mosteirin

Dan Chiasson

Dan Chiasson

GennaRose Nethercott

GennaRose Nethercott

Drumroll, please….!

It’s finally time to announce the featured poets for Poetry & Pie III. We are beyond thrilled that Rena J. Mosteirin, Dan Chiasson, and GennaRose Nethercott will be joining us at Sweetland Farm in Norwich, Vermont, on Saturday, August 3, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

Poet-for-hire Taylor Mardis Katz is returning with her Remington typewriter so that she can write custom poems for you. As in past years, we welcome you to read your own, original work at our open mic. New to Poetry & Pie this year, we’ll have a musical interlude by one of our favorite local musicians, Laura Jean Binkley (who also performed at last November’s Writers’ Process Night). And, of course, we’ll ply you with every kind of pie—sweet, savory, gluten-free, vegan—that you can imagine. Get the details and RSVP on our Poetry & Pie page. We look forward to seeing you there!

Rena Mosteirin, a Poetry & Pie featured poet, is also the author of the first Little Dipper, our new handmade chapbook series. Rena’s chapbook, tentatively titled half-fabulous whales, is a collection of erasure poems crafted from the pages of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. We’re producing a limited edition of 25, numbered and signed, and will have them for sale at Poetry & Pie. If you’d like to reserve a copy in advance, let us know!

Our friend Ocean Vuong’s debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, comes out on June 4, and we couldn’t be more excited. You might remember that Ocean was one of the featured poets at last year’s Poetry & Pie, where he read an excerpt from the novel. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous has received rave reviews—including starred reviews from Kirkus, Library Journal and Booklist—and is the number one Indie Next pick for June. You have a few opportunities to see him in New England in June and he’s going to be at Bookstock in Woodstock, Vermont, at the end of July. Not only is his writing amazing, but he’s a wonderful reader of his own work. Not to be missed!

In case you missed it, we have some new goodies on our blog, including a Friday Reads selection by writer Sierra Dickey, and an interview with local writer, Rachel Barenbaum about her debut novel, A Bend in the Stars.

 
 

Slow Club Book Clubbers are leisurely making their way through our spring selection, Wioletta Greg’s Swallowing Mercury. If you’re not a member yet, you can read our recent, mid-season check-in letter about that book, and you can sign up to be notified about our summer book, which we’ll announce very soon.

 
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And finally… we recently changed our website from .com to .org. We’ve always imagined ourselves more as a community organization than a business, and we want our website to reflect that. The old website address will automatically take you to the new one for the time being, but, when you get a chance, please update your bookmarks to the new address: www.literarynorth.org.

June’s Shooting Stars

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

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  • I recently discovered a new favorite podcast, Everything Else, a culture podcast from the Financial Times. My favorite episode is “Ways of Seeing: Sheila Heti on Pierre Bonnard, but there are so many good ones. Richard Grant, Alexander Chee, Kerry James Marshall, Sally Rooney. Give it a listen! —Shari

  • If you have a spare ~24 minutes in our day, listen to Mary Ruefle read her essay “My Private Property” on KCRW’s Bookworm podcast. Every time I listen, it leaves me speechless. —Rebecca


June Highlights

Shomari Wills

Shomari Wills

Brooklyn journalist and author Shomari Wills reads from his book, Black Fortunes, in the historic Barn House at the Clemmons Family Farm in Charlotte, Vermont, on Saturday, June 1, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

If you haven’t had a chance yet to see James Crews talk about his book, Healing the Divide, he will be at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, along with Julia Shipley, Todd Davis, Carol Cone, Alice Gilburn, David Axelrod, and Michelle Wiegers on Sunday, June 2, at 2:00 pm.

Helen Macdonald

Helen Macdonald

The Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference and Translator’s Conferences offer many readings open to the public from Friday, May 31 through Wednesday, June 5 at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. Some of our favorite writers will be on hand, including Megan Mayhew Bergman, Claire Vaye Watkins, Dan Chiasson, J. Drew Lanham, Helen Macdonald, Emily Wilson and more.

The Thing in the Spring—an annual festival of music, art, and literature in Peterborough, New Hampshire—features readings by Mary Ruefle and Arielle Greenberg on Friday, June 7; Adar Cohen, Doug Valentine, and Ed Symkus on Saturday, June 8; and Iliana Rocha and Rage Hezekiah on Sunday, June 9. All readings take place at the Toadstool Bookshop. Check our calendar for reading times.

The Joan Hutton Landis Summer Reading Series kicks off on Sunday, June 9, at 5:30 pm with Angela Palm and Nathan McClean. The series takes place at Big Town Gallery in Rochester, Vermont, and continues through September 1.

Amitava Kumar. Photo by Snigdha Kumar

Amitava Kumar. Photo by Snigdha Kumar

Amitava Kumar, author of Immigrant, Montana, is reading at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, on Thursday, June 13, at 5:30 pm.

Sunday, June 16 is Bloomsday, the day we commemorate the life of James Joyce and his novel Ulysses. If you’re in the Upper Valley, you can celebrate with a brunch, readings, and discussion with professor James Heffernan at Jesse’s Restaurant in Hanover, New Hampshire, starting at 11:30 am. $32 per person. Registration is required.

The 2019 Hyla Brook Reading Series continues in Derry, New Hampshire, on Friday, June 14, at 7:00 pm with keynote speaker Bruce Bennett and Frost Farm Prize winner, David Southward.

David Huddle and Gregory Spatz read from their latest works of fiction at The Vermont Bookshop in Middlebury, Vermont, on Thursday, June 20, at 7:00 pm.

Zinzi Clemmons. Photo by Nina Subin

Zinzi Clemmons. Photo by Nina Subin

Cheryl Strayed will speak at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro, Vermont, on Tuesday, June 25, at 7:30 pm in celebration of Brattleboro Area Hospice’s 40th anniversary.

On Friday, June 28, Zinzi Clemmons will read from her debut novel, What We Lose, at the Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock, Vermont. The reading begins at 4:30 pm.

This year’s Justice - And Poetry - For All, put together by the Sundog Poetry Center, will focus on the poetry of immigrants. As of press time, the date and lineup haven’t been announced, but Sundog’s website says it’s happening in June. Check their website for updates.

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

 

Worth a Drive

  • Yaddo presents Amy Hempel at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, New York, on June 6, at 6:00 pm. Reservations are required. She will be in conversation with Elaine Richardson, President of Yaddo.

  • Robert MacFarlane, author of Underland, will be in conversation with Sebastien Smee at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on June 11, at 7:00 pm.

  • Regina Porter will be reading from her debut novel, The Travelers, at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts on June 20, at 7:00 pm.

  • The Juniper Summer Writing Institute hosts public readings during the month of June. Readers include Joy Williams, Ross Gay, Ocean Vuong, Mitch Jackson, CA Conrad, and more!

 

Worth a Listen

  • Check out last month’s Brave Little State from VPR, where they looked into just what draws so many writers and poets to Vermont.

  • Pam Houston on the OtherppL podcast.

  • Preti Taneja joins Andy Miller and John Mitchinson on the Backlisted podcast to discuss Beloved, by Toni Morrison.

 

We're Looking Forward to These June Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

Frost Farm Poetry Conference
Accepting registrations for this year’s conference (June 14 to 16). Registration includes workshops, a one-on-one meeting with your instructor, keynote with Bruce Bennett, critiques with poet-in-residence Rhina Espaillat, panel discussions, readings, a reception, breakfasts and lunches.
Deadline: June 1 | Details

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

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

Vermont Studio Center Fellowships
Twenty-five VSC fellowships open to all artists and writers living and working anywhere in the world, in addition to six special fellowships for writers. These awards are for residencies scheduled between September 2019 and May 2020. Every VSC residency opportunity includes private room, private studio space, all meals, and full access to their schedule of evening programs and events. $25 application fee.
Deadline: June 15 | Details

Zig Zag Lit Mag
Accepting fiction, non-fiction, dramatic forms, poetry—any genre, any topic. To submit you must live, labor, or loiter in Addison County, Vermont.
Deadline: June 30 | Details

Green Mountain Writers Conference
For five days each summer (July 29 to August 2), people who have been coming to the conference for years and first-timers joyously tackle the job of putting words together to tell story, to craft poetry, to communicate, to share, and to learn from one another under the close tutelage of published authors. Faculty this year includes Dede Cummings, Jensen Beach, Yvonne Daley, and Gary Margolis.
Deadline: Call (802) 236-6133 for availability or email the director, Yvonne Daley, at yvonnedaley@me.com | Details

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

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


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

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

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

Elements of the Novel Workshop with Eileen Charbonneau
Saturday June 8, 15, 22, and 29, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Do you think you have a novel in you?  Have you written one (or more!) and want to make it better and closer to publication? Eileen will cover topics such as setting, characterization, voice and dialogue. All are encouraged to write during class and learn how to critique each other and self-edit.
Location: Village Square Booksellers | Cost: $5 per session | Details

New Hampshire Writers’ Project Write-In
Saturday, June 22, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

The NHWP holds seasonal Write-Ins for its members where they can come and hang out with fellow writers and have a dedicated time to write. We write all day, break for a social lunch, and then get back to writing or take part in an optional ad hoc critique session with fellow writers.
Location: The Ford House, SNHU, Manchester, New Hampshire | Cost: free for members | Details

Do I Have a Book in Me? with Bill Schubart
Tuesday, June 25, 7:00 pm

As an author or eight fictional works—both self-published and traditionally published—Bill will answer questions about the work of writing and the new business of publishing. Bill will also discuss his recently published novel, The Priest.
Location: Phoenix Books, Burlington, Vermont | Cost: free | Details

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

Write Here, Write Now with Barbara Steiner
Saturday, June 29, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Beginning and experienced writers are invited to a day-long creative writing workshop at Aryaloka Buddhist Center. Based on the Amherst Writers and Artists method, we’ll write in response to prompts (which you are free to ignore) designed to help us bypass our inner critic and write from what comes to us.
Location: Newmarket, New Hampshire | Cost: $45-$85 | Details

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.

Rebecca's 2017 Year in Reading

Before we begin, three confessions:

~I love knowing what other people are reading, but I almost always end up feeling like I can't keep up with all the cool new books that everyone else is devouring.

~I hate writing about what I'm reading because I don't keep up with the cool new stuff (see above) and I can't believe that anyone cares what old books I'm rereading or half-reading.

~Last year I promised to start keeping a list of books. I managed to keep that up for two books. Maybe 2018 will be my year?

That said, I loved reading Shari's list. It's only fair that I write one, too.

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Let's begin with fiction. My cobbled together list says I read 13 books of fiction in 2017. Some were enjoyable. Many were forgettable. But not Robin MacArthur's Half Wild. That book. It helped me enjoy reading again after a long drought. Her stories are full of strong, wild, rooted women. Vermonters. Crusty and soft all at once. Almost a year later, I'm still thinking about those women and their stories.

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When Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize this year, I picked up The Buried Giant. The Remains of the Day is one of my favorite novels, but I hadn't read many of his other books. The Buried Giant, like The Remains of the Day, is quiet yet powerful. A story of memory and age and love and war and dragons. I read it slowly, feeling such tenderness for the old couple, not wanting it to end.

 

 

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Near the end of the year, I raced through Philip Pullman's The Book of Dust. It's an unputdownable adventure, exciting, beautifully written (naturally), and a clear echo of the current political climate. I love the details in Pullman's world: the ancient buildings, the intricate machinery, the wild flooding river. You don't need to have read the His Dark Materials trilogy to enjoy The Book of Dust (but you still ought to anyway).

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But I agree with Shari. Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward is my fiction choice of the year. I want everyone to read it. I keep buying copies and then giving them away. I love it so much I can't keep it in my hands.







I generally read more non-fiction than fiction and there are several standouts from last year.

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I really loved Priestdaddy, by Patricia Lockwood. It's the first book I've read in ages that actually made me laugh out loud. Cry while laughing. And then reread passages, while crying, to my family so that they could laugh, too. But it wasn't just funny; it was thoughtful and beautifully written. If I hadn't borrowed the copy I was reading, I would have underlined gorgeous sentences on nearly every page.

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In preparation for our Mud Season Salon last March, I read Jeff Sharlet's The Family and I still can't get it out of my mind. If you want to understand how Christian fundamentalism has taken such a firm grip on US government and politics, you'll want to read this impeccably researched and beautifully written book.

 

 

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Peter Orner's Am I Alone Here? is a gem. A book of essays about reading and writing, it's a joy to read and, if you're a writer, makes you want to write. At first, I dog-eared pages that had sentences I wanted to return to, but, when there were too many sentences and dog ears, I took my pen out to underline, star, and bracket my favorites. He writes, "if you pause a little and simply watch people, doesn't the world have a way of turning miraculous?" He's perfectly right.

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I knew before I read it that I'd love Mary Ruefle's My Private Property because, really, I'm a sucker for her work. Madness, Rack, and Honey remains one of my all-time favorite books. My Private Property is composed of short essays (some only a paragraph long), or maybe they're prose poems. They are easy to read, and reread, and then reread again. Each time through, I catch some other nuance, some different detail. My favorite pieces are the color sadness pieces: "Grey sadness is the sadness of paper clips and rubber bands, of rain and squirrels and chewing gum, ointments and unguents and movie theaters."

Which brings us to poetry and this is where I find this whole exercise most difficult because, really, I could go on and on about some of the books I've read this year that had me rolling around in words and lines like a happy dog rolling in a great smell. Here's a list of 10 I particularly enjoyed this year, some that were rereads and some that were new to me.

  • Calling a Wolf a Wolf, by Kaveh Akbar
  • Collected Poems, by John Berger
  • Door, by Mary Kane
  • Falling Awake, by Alice Oswald
  • Men in the Off Hours, by Ann Carson
  • Nets, by Jen Bervin
  • Night Sky with Exit Wounds, by Ocean Vuong
  • Telling My Father, James Crews
  • The Best American Poetry of 2017, edited by Natasha Tretheway
  • To Look Out From, by Dede Cummings
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I've gone on a bit here, so I'll wrap up with probably my favorite book of 2017: A Grace Paley Reader, edited by Kevin Bowen and Nora Paley. Grace wrote equally brilliant short stories, poems, and essays. The genius of this book is that it gives you a taste of each in one easy-to-carry volume. You can take it with you to the service station waiting room, on an airplane, to your backyard, or to your favorite reading chair. You can dip in anywhere and find Grace's direct, wise words. Her love of family and community. Her commitment to what's right and just. Her generosity and her deftness. Her ear. Her humor. Her vision of what the world is, and what it could be.

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Summer Reading Lists - Mary Ruefle

This is the fifth in our series of 2017 Vermont Book Award finalists' summer reading lists.

 
Mary Ruefle

Mary Ruefle

 

Welcome to another installment of our summer reading list series. Today's list is from Mary Ruefle, whose latest book, My Private Property (Wave Books, 2016) is a collection of prose in varied forms--prose poetry, flash fiction, lyric essay, memoir, philosophy, and more--addressing topics that range from the microscopic details of life to more macroscopic concerns like time and memory. Stephanie Pushaw, in the Los Angeles Review of Books, says that Ruefle's book "offers surprise and communion on each page -- that exhilaration one finds when . . . a thought or phrase appears so familiar to us that for a moment we wonder if it is reading our mind."

Thank you for sharing your generous list with us, Mary!

Mary Ruefle's Summer Reading List

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The White Hotel by D.M Thomas was an international sensation when it was first published in 1981. It has taken me thirty-five years to come round to it, and I was completely stunned by it, overwhelmed really--I loved it.

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I don't really believe in reading books recommended by another unless they know you very, very well; there are so many great books in the world, something for everyone, that I do not understand the inability to choose for oneself. That said, if you haven't read James Baldwin, do so immediately! Ditto for Japanese novels, try Murakami or Kawabata.

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And in the summer, I like to read books set in the deepest snow--I look forward to reading the sixth and final volume of My Struggle by the Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard and pray it is released before September, though I will be sad to end the saga, a more recent international sensation.

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For those of you who find the Bible and/or the historical figure of Jesus irrelevant, I recommend The Parables of Jesus & The Problems Of The Modern World by Richard Q. Ford.

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For those interested in art and politics, read the Essays of Wallace Shawn, they are delightful and intelligent.