Summer Reading List

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.

Summer Reading Lists - Elizabeth Powell

This is the eighth, and final, post in our series of 2017 Vermont Book Award finalists' summer reading lists.

 
Elizabeth Powell

Elizabeth Powell

 

Elizabeth Powell is the author of two volumes of poetry: The Republic of Self (New Issues Press, 2001) and Willy Loman's Reckless Daughter: Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances (Anhinga Press, 2016), which was a New Yorker "Books We Love 2016" pick. In his review of Willy Loman, poet Matthew Lippman said, "I can't think of a recent collection of poems that has given me so much to think about while swallowed up in its pure sensual joy. These poems are BIG because they are constantly in motion, constantly slipping and transforming."

We are so delighted that you shared your reading list with us, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Powell's Summer Reading List

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On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the 20th Century by Timothy Snyder, an historian who teaches at Yale. An important, thoughtful book for our times.

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Hemming the Water poems by Yona Harvey. I heard her read at The Frost Place. A deep musicality coupled with a command of craft and narrative.

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ForestPrimeval.jpg

I just finished The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissim by Kristen Dombek. These visionary, erudite, fresh, at times lyric essays, are sure to intrigue. Also the beautiful poems by Vievee Francis in Forest Primeval.

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I'm looking forward to the forthcoming book of poems by David Tomas Martinez on Sarabande Books, Post Traumatic Hood Disorder.

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If you have kids, I always loved reading Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories with mine. Little kids? Check out Corgiville Fair by Tasha Tudor, about a secret land run by corgis that is between Vermont and New Hampshire. 

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And, I was just given a lovely gift, Upper Valley poet Deming Holleran's book, Gypsy Song, and I can't wait to read it!

Summer Reading Lists - Dede Cummings

Dede Cummings

Dede Cummings

Today's summer reading list is thanks to another of our Poetry & Pie participants, Dede Cummings. In addition to being a poet, Dede is a book designer, literary agent, and the founder of Green Writers Press.

Of her first volume of poetry, To Look Out From (Homebound Publications, 2017), poet Clarence Major says Dede's poems "are breathtakingly vivid. Deeply felt, they often chronicle the relationship between self and the natural world, between self and others." Dede next book will be a collection of memoir stories called Spin Cycle.

We are delighted to share Dede's summer reading list with you. Thank you, Dede!

Dede Cummings' Summer Reading List

TheRulesDoNotApply

I loved The Rules Do Not Apply (Random House) by Ariel Levy and highly recommend it for an immersive summer read. There was a New Yorker piece by journalist Ariel Levy entitled "Thanksgiving in Mongolia” that I read when it was first published. What Levy did with the well-received piece was turn it into a gripping memoir of her own life, leading up to the tragic end of the life of her child, an almost full-term baby boy. While that may make some readers squeamish, Levy delivers the story tempered with grace and humor. I wanted to keep reading, to follow her through her life, to celebrate the inevitable joy that would perhaps come after tragedy. A first-class memoir by a terrific writer.

TheGreenHouse

The Green House (Salmon Publishing) by Minnesotan Joyce Sutphen is one of my new favorite poetry collections, published by Irish publisher Salmon Poetry in April of this year. Salmon Poetry will be publishing my second poetry collection in 2019, so I found Joyce’s book while perusing their online catalog, looking for other women poets from the United States. When I started reading the copy I ordered from my local bookstore, I was immediately transported to Ireland — the writing on place and landscape is inspiring. I loved her poem “A Dream of the Future.” In it, Sutphen writes, “Like scarecrows, we scare a bird or two. / We know what we are and are not.”

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In this small gem of a book, The Clothing of Books (Vintage), Jhumpa Lahiri (The Interpreter of Maladies is the best short story collection and ranks with Alice Munro’s work as one of my favorites of all-time), takes on book cover design. I thought this might be an interesting read for me, as my day job is that of a book cover designer, and I was entranced by her take on the visual language of book cover design and how enmeshed an author becomes in her own book. A delight and a short read to savor.

ComingOfAgeAtTheEnd

As a publisher of environmental literature, I have to say I was disappointed I didn’t think of this anthology, Coming of Age at the End of Nature (Trinity University Press), of voices of young writers faced with the reality of climate change, but the fact that one of my newest children’s book authors, Julie Dunlap (and co-author, Susan A. Cohen) did gives me renewed hope in the future and the power of words to transform and give voice to a whole generation. The passionate voices in this anthology need to be heard and they are gently shepherded by the editors as they come of age. In my favorite essay by the up-and-coming young writer, Sierra Dickey (who lives in Brattleboro, Vermont), she sums things up beautifully in her final paragraph on the fate of the plovers: “In order to love and live with what can’t last, we need to get oriented with vulnerability, and we need to move with gentleness.” Well said and food for thought for us all.

Summer Reading Lists - James Crews

James Crews

James Crews

Today's summer reading list comes from poet James Crews, who will be reading at our Poetry & Pie event on July 29.

James' first collection of poetry, The Book of What Stays (University of Nebraska Press, 2011) won the 2010 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Michael Simms of Coal Hill Review calls The Book of What Stays "one of the very best original books of poetry I've read in years." James' second book, Telling My Father, will be released this fall by Southeast Missouri State University Press. 

We couldn't be more thrilled that James is joining us for Poetry & Pie. I hope you'll be there to hear his reading, too.

Thank you for sharing your list with us, James!

James Crews' Summer Reading List

BigMagic

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. Whether or not you loved Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert's Big Magic is an incredibly practical guide for anyone striving to live a more creative life (especially while holding down a day-job). I have enjoyed reading a few of her short chapters before bed and waking refreshed, ready to face the blank page again each morning.

Trace

Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape by Lauret Savoy. Trace has been on my reading list for months, but I finally found the time this summer to delve into this complex yet gorgeously written exploration of race, identity, and landscape in America. Savoy masterfully weaves her own personal history with the natural history of our own often-troubled nation as she searches for evidence of her ancestors and meditates on name and place in America. Here is a sample from the book that feels especially timely:

"A wiser measure of the ecological footprint would include people, or at least their labor. It might factor in the losses of relationships with land or home, losses of self-determination, and losses of health or life. What if the footprint measured, over time, on whom and what the nation's foot has trod--that is, who has paid for prosperity?"
TheWorldIsRound

The World Is Round: Poems by Nikky Finney. Because I'm currently co-editing an anthology of environmental poetry by LGBTQIA writers entitled Queer Nature, I recently returned to the work of Nikky Finney and was thrilled to discover the compassion and fearlessness of the poems in The World Is Round. Many poetry readers will know Head Off & Split, Finney's National Book Award-winning collection, but the rest of her risky, unflinching body of work deserves more attention as well.