Ottessa Moshfegh

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.

Shari's 2017 Year in Reading

We're big fans of The Millions Year in Reading and, just like last year, we are here to share our favorites of 2017 with you.

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Idaho, by Emily Ruskovich, was the first book of 2017 that really hit me hard. It was quiet, devastating, beautiful. A book that definitely deserved more praise. I was reminded of Marilynne Robinson's writing when reading it.

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Homesick for Another World, by Otessa Moshfegh, made me laugh, cringe, and marvel at the world around me. Moshfegh writes about humans like no other writer working today.  And while her style may not be everyone's cup of tea, I am eagerly awaiting her new novel in July 2018.

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Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders, was the perfect book to sink into in February. It felt like Saunders upended the novel. I liked/needed that at the beginning of 2017.

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I loved Patricia Lockwood's Priestdaddy and passed it on to as many people as I could. I laughed so much. It felt like a relief from the heaviness of the first half of the year.

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I thought Alice McDermott's The Ninth Hour was splendid. Why have I never read her work before? This book is quiet, thoughtful, and unassuming. No bells and whistles here. Just straight-up gorgeous storytelling.

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Josephine Rowe's book, A Loving Faithful Animal, was the book I didn't know I'd been looking for. It felt sparkling and new. Catapult is quickly becoming my favorite small publishing house.

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I can't stop thinking about New People by Danzy Senna. I read it so quickly and feel like I need to go back and revisit it. Must read more by Senna.

I rediscovered my love for poetry in 2017.  Danez Smith's Don't Call Us Dead, Kaveh Akbar's Calling a Wolf a Wolf, Morgan Parker's There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, Nicole Sealey's Ordinary Beast! These books blew me away. Read them!

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My favorite book of the year, hands-down, was Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. Ward's writing is poetic and unflinching. This book is brilliant. Nothing else could compare.