The Vermont Book Shop

The Dipper - October 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 

October News

We both adored Sara London’s new poetry collection, Upkeep (out from Four Way Books), so naturally, we just had to ask Sara for an interview. Head on over to our blog to give it a read. You can catch Sara reading from her new collection on Thursday, October 10, at The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury, Vermont, as part of the NER Vermont Reading Series.

It’s October 1, which means we start our group read of Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport today! We’d love for you to read along with us. Although the book had to be reprinted, copies should be available now or will be in the near future. The comments section of our blog post is open and ready for discussion. We can’t wait to hear what you think of this Booker shortlisted title.

Ben Cosgrove

Ben Cosgrove

We’ve started work on the second chapbook in our Little Dipper series, an essay by composer and musician Ben Cosgrove tentatively titled A Space Filled With Moving. We have a bit of editing to do, but we’re working on the design now! They will be available in a limited edition of 25.

Because of the above projects plus an upcoming event in December that we’re excited to tell you about soon, our Slow Club Book Club is on hiatus until January 2020. Did you miss a title? Well, now you have plenty of time to play catch up. Finished everything? Then we’d love to have you join us for our group read along of Ducks, Newburyport. Would you like to help us plan for SCBC 2020? Send us an email with your thoughts and suggestions.

Those of you who attended JAGFest 2.0 back in February 2018 might remember a riveting staged reading of Nathan Yungerberg’s Esai’s Table. Back then, we volunteered at JAGFest and were able to do a brief interview with this remarkable, thoughtful playwright. This month, Esai’s Table is back as a full production at Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, Vermont, from October 10 to 27. It’s moving, beautiful, powerful, and very worth your time. Tickets are available now.


October Shooting Stars

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

Star.png
  • Did you hear that The Yale Review has a new design and a new editor, Meghan O’Rourke, for their 200th anniversary issue? The lineup for the new issue includes Sheila Heti, Sarah Manguso, Dan Chiasson, Kevin Young, Shane McCrae, Idra Novey, Emily Bernard, and Aria Aber. I know I’ll be getting a copy.—Shari

  • Speaking of new designs and editors, Junction Magazine is back! Junction was founded by our friend James Napoli, a kindred spirit, a great photographer, and the center of so many excellent events and parties. When James moved to Minnesota earlier this year, he left Junction in the capable hands of a new band of editors. Welcome back, Junction! We missed you! —Rebecca


October Highlights

Major Jackson

Major Jackson

On Tuesday, October 1, Major Jackson introduces Didi Jackson, Vievee Francis, Camille Guthrie, and Jane Shore in celebration of The Best American Poetry 2019 at The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury, Vermont, at 6:30 pm.

The Vermont Humanities 1st Wednesdays Lecture Series kicks things off again in October. The series, which goes through May 2020, features authors Alison Bechdel, Mark Dery, David Macaulay, Ilan Stevens, Richard Blanco, David Blight, Melanie Finn, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Annelise Orleck at various locations around Vermont. For more information and a complete schedule of events, please visit the Vermont Humanities website.

Ann Patchett will be in conversation with Peter Biello at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, October 2, at 7:30 pm to talk about her newest novel, The Dutch House.

On Friday, October 4 at 7:00 pm, poets Janaka Stucky and Samuel Ace are reading at Antidote Books in Putney, Vermont.

Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet

Also on Friday, October 4, Jeff Sharlet (who was a part of our very first event, The Mud Season Salon) will be at MacDowell Downtown in Peterborough, New Hampshire, to share clips and talk about the making of the Netflix documentary series The Family, which is based on his books The Family and C Street. Not to be missed.

Join Open Fields School on Saturday, October 5 at the Newberry Market in White River Junction, Vermont, for their biennial fundraising extravaganza: The Great Goose Egg Auction. The auction features a slew of decorated and illustrated eggs, many by writers, book illustrators, and cartoonists. It’s always a fun afternoon and all proceeds go directly to this special school.

Ross Gay will be reading and signing books at UVM on Tuesday, October 8, at the Davis Center at 4 pm.

Reuben Jackson reads from his newest collection of poetry, Scattered Clouds, on Tuesday, October 8 at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, Vermont. The reading begins at 7:00 pm.

On Thursday, October 10 at 7:00 pm, The Vermont Bookshop in Middlebury, Vermont, is hosting the NER Vermont Reading Series, featuring four extraordinary writers: Emily Arnason Casey, Rahat Huda, Sara London, and Sarah Wolfson.

Shira Erlichman. Photo by Hieu Minh Nguyen

Shira Erlichman. Photo by Hieu Minh Nguyen

Poets L.S. McKee, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, and Shira Erlichman will be reading at The Word Barn in Exeter, New Hampshire, on Friday, October 11, at 7:00 pm.

On Saturday, October 12, Montana author and activist Rick Bass offers a public reading and talk at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury, Vermont, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

David Sedaris returns to the Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon, New Hampshire, on Sunday, October 13, at 7:30 pm for an evening featuring all-new stories, an audience Q&A, and a book signing.

The winners of the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards will be announced at Filene Auditorium at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire on Wednesday, October 16, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

The Brattleboro Literary Festival has a particularly stellar lineup this year for their weekend-long festival October 17 to 20. The 2019 schedule is now live on their website (and our calendar). Here are just a few of the writers we’re looking forward to seeing: Casey Cep, Anna Maria Hong, Miciah Bay Gault, Edgar Kunz, Dorothea Lasky, T Kira Madden, Jess Row, Mary Ruefle, Pitchaya Sudbanthad and Philip B. Williams.

M Jackson

M Jackson

On Tuesday, October 22 at 7:00 pm, geographer, adventurer, explorer, and Green Writers Press author M Jackson will be giving talk at Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, about how an Icelandic community is dealing with the loss of their local glaciers.

Jericho Brown reads as part of the Poetry at Bennington series on Wednesday, October 23, at 7:00 pm. The reading takes place in Tishman Lecture Hall on Bennington College’s campus in Bennington, Vermont.

Catch Peter Orner reading from his latest book of short stories, Maggie Brown & Others, at Dartmouth College’s Sanborn Library in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Thursday, October 24, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm.

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

 

Worth a Drive

  • If you’ll be in the Boston area the weekend of October 19 and 20, you should definitely pop over to The Boston Book Festival in Copley Square and Roxbury. Authors include Elizabeth Strout, Richard Blanco, Sarah Broom, Susan Choi, Akwaeke Emezi, Saeed Jones, Jamaica Kincaid, Sandra Newman, Morgan Parker, Kate Walbert, Chris Ware and so many more!

  • We can’t imagine a cooler event to attend than A Night of Poetry at Mount Holyoke College on Tuesday, October 8 at 7:00 pm to celebrate the release of Shira Erlichman’s newest collection, Odes to Lithium. Franny Choi and Ocean Vuong will be joining her to read and discuss. The event takes place at the Gamble Auditorium on Mount Holyoke’s campus in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

 

Worth a Listen

  • “Imagining a New America” with Ta-Nehisi Coates on the On Being podcast.

  • Give us all the Ruefle, all the time. Mary Ruefle is over at Bookworm and WMFA with two fabulous and very different interviews.

 

We're Looking Forward to These October Releases


Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

NHIA Storytelling Festival
This year’s Festival (November 2) calls for entries from artists based on ‘growing-up.’ Writers, storytellers, illustrators, graphic novelists, creatives working in a wide variety of other media (both professional or amateur), are invited to participate in this Moth Radio Hour-style event. The stories can be true or embellished and each presenter will be limited to five minutes.
Deadline: October 11 | 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

Tupleo Press’s Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize
Now accepting submissions for the annual poetry prize for adult writers. This year’s prize is judged by Cornelius Eady. The Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize includes a cash award of $1,000 in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, 25 copies of the winning title, an introductory reading at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion.
Deadline: October 31 | Details

Bloodroot Literary Magazine
Submissions are open for Bloodroot, Volume 12. Send three to five pages of poetry or 10 to 12 pages of fiction and nonfiction in Microsoft Word format. For other work, like an experimental form or digital project, please send a one-page proposal and they will be in touch if they want to see more. They are looking for new, unpublished work.
Deadline: December 31 | Details

Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards
Submissions are open for the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards for Speculative Fiction, Debut Speculative Fiction, and Playwriting. For fiction, any work published or under contract to be published no earlier than January 1, 2019 and no later than December 31, 2019 is eligible. For plays they invite submissions of full-length plays addressing the question “What does it mean to be a human in a computerized world?” The fiction awards come with an honorarium of $5,000 to be received at an event at Dartmouth College. The playwriting award comes with a $5,000 honorarium as well as a support for a two-stage development process with table readings at local arts festivals.
Deadline: December 31 | Details

MacDowell Colony Summer 2020 Residency
Applications for the summer residencies (June 1 to September 30, 2020) open in mid October. The MacDowell Colony provides time, space, and an inspiring environment to artists of exceptional talent. A MacDowell Fellowship, or residency, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to eight weeks. There are no residency fees.
Deadline: January 15, 2020 | Details

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

Junction Magazine
Junction Magazine founder James Napoli has moved to Minneapolis. With his blessing, a local collective has decided to re-launch the magazine, and they invite you to contribute. Pitches and submissions should fit into one or several categories/subject areas: arts and culture, food and farm, people, wild, photo essays, and the calendar.
Deadline: rolling submissions | Details


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

Writing Personal Essays with Rebecca Jamieson
October 5, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

How do we write a stirring essay from the raw materials of our own lives, desires and curiosities? In this class, we’ll delve into the rich realm of the personal essay, looking at work from other writers and deepening our own craft through guided exercises.
Location: Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont | Cost: sliding scale | Details

Read Like a Writer/Write Like a Reader with Riki Moss
Six-part series starting October 5, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

In this six-part series, you’ll be reading contemporary, short fiction that suggests a craft strategy, a theme to explore with prompts. Fiction writers, and those writers interested in fiction, on all levels, are welcome. Open to Burlington Writers Workshop members.
Location: n/a | Cost: n/a | Details

Comics Workshop with Marek Bennett
October 5, 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Join New Hampshire teaching artist Marek Bennett for a hands-on comics creation lab, featuring basic techniques of cartooning, comics creation, and self-publishing. Learn to create and publish original comics based on primary sources of social justice activism in Vermont and elsewhere. No experience required.
Location: Billings Library at UVM, Burlington, Vermont | Cost: free | Details

In Change: Writing for Healing Workshop with Laurie McMillan
Saturday, October 5 and 12
There will be in-class exercises and sharing in a supportive lively environment. No writing experience necessary. You will gain insight, writing tools to keep focused, to let go and to process life's transitions.
Location: River Arts, Morrisville, Vermont | Cost: $55 | Details

Writing with Spirit with Nancy Kilgore
October 7, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

This is a group to practice spontaneous writing from-the-heart, creativity as play. To let it flow, not knowing what’s coming next, we just let ourselves write for 45 minutes, trusting the creativity that is within. This is a modification of the Amherst Method developed by Pat Schneider and is perfect for people just entering the writing life or for experienced writers needing to break out of a rut or block.
Location: The Burlington Writers Workshop, Burlington, Vermont | Cost: free | Details

Poetry Workshop with Kate Gibbel
Tuesdays October 8 to November 5, 6:15 to 8:15 pm
Are you having trouble making time and space to write poems? Are you new to poetry and want a structured environment where you can explore? Are you a seasoned poet looking for new approaches to writing? In this workshop we will experiment with new forms and techniques. Over the course of five weeks, we will strengthen our work and take risks in our writing. Through a combination of in-class writing exercises, workshops, and discussion of outside poems, we will develop reading and writing practices that will make us more attentive, generative, and generous poets. Participants will be expected to read three short poems and hand in one new poem each week.
Location: The Writer’s Center of White River Junction, Vermont | Cost: $100 | Details

Writer’s Workshop with Rick Bass
October 11 to October 13
Writer and activist Rick Bass leads an intensive weekend workshop for up to eight writers who seek to improve their craft. Hands-on group sessions, both mornings and afternoons, will include active workshopping of individual manuscripts and craft-focused discussion. Writers at all levels will find support and challenge for their work. To apply, e-mail up to 15 pages of a manuscript—fiction, poetry or non-fiction—to landskeinfarm@gmail.com. Manuscripts will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis. A non-refundable deposit of $375 is due upon acceptance.
Location: Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Craftsbury Commons, Vermont | Cost: $1,250 | Details

Writing Intensive: Drafting, Developing, and Revising Your Work with Joni Cole
October 13, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Writers face a lot of very real challenges, from the intimidation of a blank page, to a sense of staleness during the drafting process, to a dearth of quality feedback. Fortunately, there are very real solutions to these challenges—which is the focus of this 3-hour intensive. During this interactive workshop, we’ll cover techniques of narrative craft essential to empowering your prose. You’ll find your muse (and likely not where you expected). And you’ll get instructive feedback to help you write forward productively. Bring 3-4ish double-spaced pages to read aloud. Open to new and seasoned writers serious about making progress.
Location: The Writers Center, White River Junction, Vermont | Cost: $115 | Details

Tiny Book Workshop
October 13, 2:00 to 4:00 pm

Make a tiny book in recognition of National Book Month. Wear it as a necklace or give to a book loving friend!
Location: The Howe Library, Hanover, New Hampshire | Cost: free | Details

One Story at a Time: A Writing Workshop with Joni Cole
October 15 and November 5, 6:30 to 8:00 pm

In appreciation for the Everyone is Reading selection Walking to Listen by Andrew Forsthoefel—and in appreciation of all our stories—please join us in this fun and meaningful workshop. You will be invited to write from a “prompt” as a means of mining material from your own life story. You also will have the opportunity to read aloud what you wrote and, equally powerful, listen as others share their voices, memories, and perspectives. Absolutely no writing experience is required, but aspiring authors in the workshop will pick up narrative techniques and tips on how to effectively craft memoirs or personal essays. Please bring a ready pen (or laptop) and an open mind.
Location: Howe Library, Hanover New Hampshire | Cost: free | Details

Aspects of Creative Writing with Beth Stickney
Tuesdays, October 15 to November 19, 12:30 to 2:30 pm

Over the course of six two-hour sessions, we will explore the elements of showing and telling, characterization, setting, point of view, plot, and theme. Each session will include both reading and writing. We will look at models from classic and contemporary works for inspiration. The format will encourage sharing and feedback.
Location: Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls, Vermont | Cost: $100 | Details

Poetry Workshop with Marie Harris and Deborah Brown
October 20, 2:00 to 3:00 pm

This workshop is designed to combine lessons and exercises on aspects of craft (image, diction, metaphor) with a small amount of critique and in-group writing. Open to the novice and to the published.
Location: MainStreet BookEnds & Gallery, Warner, New Hampshire | Cost: free | Details

Magic in the Kettle: Writing Magical Realism in Fiction with Bianca Viñas
November 2, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Transport yourself from the ordinary into the realm of the fantastic. In this workshop, writers develop an eye for the bewitching, secretly hidden world of magic. We start with the ordinary and make the leap into the extraordinary. Hone the senses, pinch the nerves. Prepare to be immersed with live audioscapes, videos, and, of course, writing exercises. Equal measures mediation and imagination, this workshop will give you the eye for magic in fiction.
Location: Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont | Cost: sliding scale | Details

Gentleheartedness: A writing and Yoga Retreat with Deb Heimann and Joni Cole
November 3, 12:30 pm to 8:30 pm

As we ready ourselves for the various end-of-year holidays and cold starkness of the coming winter, many of us feel anxious, overwhelmed, and even grumpy. In this 8-hour retreat we welcome all who wish to cultivate gentleheartedness as a means of dissipating fear and anger and channeling the potency of kindness toward peace within ourselves and the world. We will call on ceremony to support our hearts; write from prompts that explore our relationship to peacefulness, gratitude, and tenderness; breathe and move in ways that nurture us; and share ourselves, our writing, and a meal.
Location: Good Commons Retreat Center, Plymouth, Vermont | Cost: $110 | Details

Travel Blogging and Web Design with Virginia Booth
Sundays, November 3, 10, and 17, 2:00 to 3:30 pm

Join Virginia Booth as she delves into a three-week series exploring the ins and outs of the various marketing strategies that we are exposed to daily, step by step on how to build your own website and the depths of travel blogging.
Location: Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont | Cost: sliding scale | Details

Vermont Humanities Council Fall Conference
November 15 to 16

Registration is open for the 2019 Fall Conference, “Searching for Home: Journeys, Quests and Migrations.” The conference includes talks and breakout sessions on the topic of “the search for home.” This year’s plenary speakers include essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon, clarinetist Kina Azmeh, Dr. Hasia Diner from New York University, and professor Carol Dougherty from Wellesley College.
Location: University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont | Cost: $149; $99 for students | Details

Writing Fiction with Ukamaka Olisakwe
November 16, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

In this workshop, writers will pay attention to how they consciously or unconsciously shape their character’s interiority, or what is also referred to as a character’s mental process, and the reader’s access or lack of access to them. We will consider some short stories/novel excerpts by some of my favorite writers and how they pay attention to the characters’ mental processes, as well as doing some writing of our own. You’ll leave the workshop with more insight into how to create complex characters, as well as new tools to bring into your own writing. Bring something to write with.
Location: Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont | Cost: sliding scale | Details

NaNoWrMo Rally: An Expressive Writing Workshop
November 18, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
The pressure’s on if you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month, the creative writing project that challenges participants to write a 50,000 word manuscript in November. Let us take some of that pressure off, with this fun expressive writing workshop that invites you to write from a prompt to develop a character….add a plot twist…or discover a scene that’s just been waiting to burst onto the page. Facilitator, Joni B. Cole, founder of the Writer’s Center of White River Junction. (For more info, visit www.jonibcole.com) Bring a notebook or laptop, and leave all self doubts at the door.
Location: Norwich Public Library, Norwich, Vermont | Cost: free | Details

Poetry of Protest with Rebecca Jamieson
December 7, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

What can poetry offer in times of political crisis? How have writers used their poetry as a form of resistance, and how might we follow their lead? In this class, we’ll explore these questions through discussion, writing prompts, and reading the diverse and powerful ways that other poets have approached these subjects in their work. You’ll leave the class with a better understanding of protest poetry, the beginnings of fresh poems of your own, and connection to a community of other writers. Bring something to write with.
Location: Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont | Cost: sliding scale | Details

Quiecence: A Yoga and Writing Workshop with Deb Heimann and Joni Cole
December 7, 9:00 am to noon

In this intimately-sized 3-hour “retreat” we welcome all who wish to revitalize their spirit through a combination of yoga and expressive writing. As part of the yoga practice, we will refresh through breathing exercises, poses to open channels of vitality, and heart-centered intention. We also will write from a “prompt” as a means of exploring our thoughts and feelings on the page, and sharing our journey forward. Absolutely no yoga or writing experience is required to attend this retreat.
Location: Central Street Yoga, Taftsville, Vermont | Cost: $55 | Details

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

Local Indie Bookstore Summer Reading Picks, part 2

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

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


The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, Vermont

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

The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai

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

Mad Boy, by Nick Arvin

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

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Tin Man, by Sarah Winman

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

Circe, by Madeline Miller

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

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Florida, by Lauren Groff

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

Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik

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

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The Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, Vermont

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

The Electric Woman, by Tessa Fontaine

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

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, by Cherise Wolas

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

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Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

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

Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler

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

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