Olivia Laing

The Dipper - March 2019

"The Dipper" is our monthly newsletter, where we highlight readings, events, calls for submission, and other literary-related news for the coming month. If you have news or events to share, let us know


March News

Colin McKaig

Colin McKaig

Peter Money

Peter Money

Ruth Antoinette Rodriguez

Ruth Antoinette Rodriguez

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


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


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

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


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

March’s Shooting Stars

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

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

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

March Highlights

January Gill O’Neil. Photo by John Andrews.

January Gill O’Neil. Photo by John Andrews.

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

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

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

Kimberly Kruge. Photo by Vira Ivanova.

Kimberly Kruge. Photo by Vira Ivanova.

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

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

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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

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

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

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

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


Worth a Drive

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

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

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


Worth a Listen

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

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

We're Looking Forward to These March Releases


Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Workshops and Classes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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