Tommy Orange

Summer Reading Lists - Katherine Forbes Riley

Each summer we like to invite authors to share their summer reading lists with us.

First up this summer is Vermont author Katherine Forbes Riley, a writer and computational linguist whose debut,The Bobcat, was released in June (Arcade/Skyhorse 2019). The Bobcat was recently picked by Ms. Magazine as a Read for the Rest of Us. Alexander Chee calls The Bobcat, “a heartfelt, revelatory, and moving novel about how the way back to our humanity and to the humanity of others leads us sometimes through the animal world. Surprising, precise, and full of love for the immeasurable possibilities of the human heart.”

Thanks for sharing your picks with us, Kate!


With summer in full swing, here are six great reads for the beach or lake. Each paragraph will stun and be savored, after which you’ll likely find yourself staring out at the endlessly repeating patterns of water and thinking about all that it might mean. That’s my idea of a great beach/lake read.

Naamah, by Sarah Blake

This book is built on a fantastic premise, plank by plank, and then let loose on us. What do you think about Noah’s wife? About that boat, those animals, their noise, their stench? You may not think much now but I can promise you’ll be thinking after you read Naamah. You’ll think about each phrase. I’m a fast reader, quick to skim if something doesn’t hold me, but this one forced me to read slowly, to listen like music and absorb every note, and I almost didn’t want to finish—not until I could get my hands on Blake’s next one.

The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen

This book matched pace with me as fast as my thoughts could go. This author is dangerous, his mind brilliant and multi-faceted. I would love to hear him read or even just speak. These are images from a war we all by now think we know intimately, and so it’s amazing that he makes them new. He makes them bitter, funny, awkward, unexpected; he weds us to them newly.

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

The first fifty pages of this novel should be required reading for every citizen of America. They could only have been written by one for whom such horror is truly alive in memory, but they should be read by us all, so those memories come alive for our whole country. So that we can all together almost not bear them.

There, There, by Tommy Orange

This book burns. Simply burns. The multiplicity of characters and voices is insane. How did Orange do it? I think he did what one of his protagonists does: he recorded voices. And then inside his head he muffled his own and let those others come through. And as unique as they are, still they resound with the lost and found in all of us. We must read them and think, these are my countrymen.

Milkman, by Anna Burns

I’ve never read something so internal. So amazing and disturbing and universal. I kept thinking, this sounds just like communism, like life behind the Wall, even though it’s Ireland. It reminds me a lot of Beckett as well. But it’s a woman, and the main character is a young woman, and she thinking about people, a town full of people that she thinks about as if it’s a net that holds her, also a spider’s web.

The Friend, by Sigrid Nunez

If I had to pick one book that’s made the deepest personal impact on me recently, I’d have to say The Friend. It’s such a paradoxical book, one that fabricates even as it acknowledges it, one that as a writer affirms my love of writing even while putting forth some pretty irrefutable reasons for why I shouldn’t be writing at all. It’s also got a dog, a big tough old dog. And it’s written by a very smart tough older woman, and that voice feels really good to me, mingling with all the others.

The Dipper - May 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

 

May News

Now that the weather has finally turned (and turned again), you might be eager for more clues about our headlining poets for Poetry & Pie III on Saturday, August 3. We’ll release all of the details next month, but, for now, we have a few more teasers for you. Put these together with the first set of clues and see if you can guess who’s coming. The first person to email us with the correct names of all three poets wins a free pass to the event!

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  • Mystery poet #1 started writing poetry at the age of 25 and has studied with Frank Bidart.

  • Mystery poet #2 lives next door to a bear sanctuary.

  • Mystery poet #3 has been on an epic Western road trip this year.

As we mentioned last month, one of the books that we’ve been most excited about this spring is Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection, an anthology of poetry edited by our friend James Crews and put out by the fabulous, local publisher Green Writers Press. We recently interviewed James about the book. If you haven’t seen the interview yet, check it out on our blog.

The Upper Valley is very lucky to be the home of Bloodroot Literary Magazine, edited by the fabulous team of James E. Dobson and Rena Mosteirin. Volume 11 (the Fourth Digital Edition) was released in April and is available online and as a downloadable PDF. Volume 11 features photography from our friend James Napoli (of Junction Magazine fame), poems by our own Rebecca Siegel, and poems by our friends Meghan Oliver and Ivy Schweitzer.

We are very excited to announce our first chapbook project: Little Dippers. Each Little Dipper will feature one writer’s work and will be hand-stitched and have covers letterpress printed by us! Look for more information about this project very soon. Little Dipper Issue 1 will be available at Poetry & Pie III in a limited edition of 25.

From time to time, we plan to invite others to join in on the Friday Reads fun with their reading suggestions. Bloodroot Literary Magazine editor and poet, Rena Mosteirin, recently shared her excellent recommendation with us over on the blog.

May’s Shooting Stars

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

  • I’m excited to see the lineup for the Marble House Residents for 2019. I kept meaning to make it to one of the Art Seed events last summer and never could quite get it together. The first Art Seed of the season is on Saturday, May 11, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Readings and performances followed by open studios. Sounds like a great spring afternoon.—Shari

  • Earth Day has just passed us by, but, really, we all know that every day ought to be Earth Day. To that end, Literary Hub has assembled an absolutely fantastic series of Earth Day reading lists, everything from classics (Rachel Carson, Nan Shepard, Barry Lopez, Henry David Thoreau) to science (Elizabeth Kolbert, Elizabeth Rush, Gary Paul Nabhan, Paul Hawken) to fiction and poetry (W.S. Merwin, Peter Matthiessen, Alice Oswald, Ursula K. Le Guin). Their goal is to list at least 365 books, so keep checking back. These lists could become the basis for one of the most important book clubs ever formed. —Rebecca


May Highlights

Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon will give a public lecture at the Norwich Congregational Church in Norwich, Vermont, on Wednesday, May 1, at 7:00 pm as part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays program. Her latest book, Charged, was recently featured on The New York Times Book Review podcast.

How lucky are we that Frank Bidart will be reading at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, on Thursday, May 2, at 4:30 pm? So lucky.

Peter Money, one of the poets featured at Poetry & Pints earlier this year, is launching his new novel, Oh When The Saints, on Thursday, May 2, at Salt Hill Pub in Lebanon, New Hampshire, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.

Part of the weekend-long Waking Windows Festival, this year’s Page Burner Reading series and book sale takes place on Saturday, May 4, from noon to 4:00 pm, and features readings by Angela Palm, Alison Prine, Bianca Stone, Ben Pease, Rachel Lindsay, Franky Frances Cannon, Kerrin McCadden, and Nat Baldwin. The readings will be held in various Winooski locations.

In honor of International Compost Awareness Week and Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday, Left Bank Books in Hanover, New Hampshire, is hosting a reading of Walt Whitman’s post-Civil War poem, “This Compost,” followed by two response activities on Tuesday, May 7, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben

You have several chances to catch Vermont writer Bill McKibben this month: Tuesday, May 7, at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier; Wednesday, May 8 at The Norwich Bookstore, and Tuesday, May 14 at Flying Pig Books in Shelburne. His latest book, Falter, is an important read; attend a reading if you can!

On Wednesday, May 8, at 6:30 pm, the Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, New Hampshire, is hosting a reading by some of the poets included in the new Lunation Anthology, published by the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program and featuring 114 women poets.

Julia Bouwsma, Keetje Kuipers, and Chen Chen read as a part of The Silo Series at The Word Barn in Exeter, New Hampshire, on Thursday, May 9. Doors open at 6:30 pm; the reading begins at 7:00 pm. Complementary coffee and treats!

Sean Cole, producer at This American Life, will give a lecture and lead a discussion at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont, on Friday, May 10, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm, about making radio stories out of books and poems.

Salvatore Scibona will read from his new novel, The Volunteer, at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, on Wednesday, May 15, at 7:00 pm.

Nausheen Eusuf

Nausheen Eusuf

The 2019 Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, launches on Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 pm with Nausheen Eusuf.

Writers on a New England Stage hosts the fantastic Tommy Orange on Thursday, May 16, at 7:00 pm in Portsmouth, New Hamshire.

Dan Chiasson, poet and poetry critic at The New Yorker, will read at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, on Thursday, May 16, at 8:00 pm.

Michele Filgate visits the Portsmouth Public Library in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, May 22, at 6:30 pm to speak about the anthology, What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About.

Kathryn Davis will read at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, on Friday, May 24, at 6:00 pm.

Chigozie Obioma

Chigozie Obioma

Vermont Studio Center visiting writer Chigozie Obioma will read on Wednesday, May 29, at 8:00 pm in Johnson, Vermont.

The 6th Annual Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference and the 5th Annual Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference begin on Friday, May 31 in Ripton, Vermont. The list of public readings has not been announced yet, but the faculty and guest lists are very enticing, including John Balcom, Jennifer Chang, Daniel Duane, John Elder, Edward Gauvin, Sean Hill, Elisabeth Jaquette, J. Drew Lanham, Suzanne Jill Levine, Helen Macdonald, Claire Vaye Watkins, Dan Chiasson, Bill McKibben, James Prosek, and Emily Wilson. Check the conference website for reading dates and times.

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

 

Worth a Drive

  • Myla Goldberg visits The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, May 7, at 7:00 pm for her First Editions Club reading from her new novel, Feast Your Eyes.

  • Aysegul Savas will be at Amherst Books in Amherst, Massachusetts, on Thursday, May 9, at 7:00 pm to read from her debut, Walking on the Ceiling.

  • Julie Orringer reads at the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, May 29, at 7:00 pm.

 

Worth a Listen

  • Mary Gabriel talks about Ninth Street Women on Lit Up. So good! And did you hear the book is going to be made into a series? We’re here for it!

  • Tune in to The Archive Project to hear the very wise Barry Lopez, one of our favorite writers.

  • Emilie Pine reads “How to Edit Your Own Lousy Writing” by Julian Gough and discusses it with Sally Rooney on The Stinging Fly Podcast.

 

We're Looking Forward to These May Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The Mudroom at AVA Gallery
The AVA Gallery is seeking storytellers for its next Mudroom event (June 13) on the theme “What I Did for Money.” Submit your story idea (300 words or fewer) and a short bio (150 words or fewer).
Deadline: May 10 | Details

Anne LaBastille Memorial Writers Residency
Indoor and outdoor writing spaces, family-style meals, and fireside discussions at a lakeside lodge in the Adirondacks (October 5 to 19). Three spaces are open to those who don’t live in the Adirondack region. $25 application fee.
Deadline: May 21 | Details

Tiny Stories of Friendship
Firelight, Peterborough, New Hampshire’s immersive and collaborative theatre workshop is calling for Tiny Stories of Friendship—100 words or fewer. Stories will be read/presented/performed at The Thing in the Spring (June 9 at 1:00 pm).
Deadline: May 21 | Details

The Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, and Writing Intensive
The Conference on Poetry and Teaching is a unique opportunity for teachers to work closely with both their peers and a team of illustrious poets who have particular expertise in working with teachers at all levels. Over the course of 4½ days (June 22 to 26), faculty poets will share specific, hands-on techniques for teaching poetry. $25 application fee.
Deadline: May 30 | 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: May 30 (scholarships) and June 15 | 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. Our specialty is unparalleled access to a faculty of celebrated contemporary poets, and our goal is to send you home charged up to re-enter your own work. $25 application fee.
Deadline: May 25 (scholarships) and July 1 | Details

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: registration until full | 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

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


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

Q&A with Agents from Folio Literary Management
Friday, May 3, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

The Vermont College of Fine Arts hosts a Q&A with three agents from Folio Literary Management: Jeff Kleinman, Jamie Chambliss, and Erin Harris.
Location: VCFA, Cafe Anna, Montpelier, Vermont | Cost: free | Details

How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier: A Full-Day Retreat with Joni Cole
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
This retreat will help you cultivate a healthy and productive creative process that will serve you now, and for the rest of your writing life. You’ll learn tips and techniques to get started and stay motivated. You’ll receive quality instruction on craft. You’ll also find inspiration and generate new material through writing prompts and other forms of sustenance, most notably gathering within a supportive community.
Location: Old Clary Farm, Greensboro, Vermont | Cost: $175 | Details

Writing with Spirit with Nancy Kilgore
Monday, May 6, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
We start with a brief reading, a short meditation, and then write from a prompt. The last 45 minutes involves reading our pieces (only if you choose) and feedback that is not critique but hearing/reflecting without judgment.
Location: Burlington Writers Workshop, Burlington, Vermont | Cost: free | Details

Manchester Writing Retreat with Deirdre Frost
Saturday, May 11, 11 am to 5:00
This nature-writing retreat will focus on a series of prompts to spark interest and build pivotal content vital to the understanding of the subject matter. The retreat offers helpful ways to think about and to generate a variety of focused pieces and a strategic action plan for work-in-progress. The program will also offer tips on how to incorporate smartphone photography to create more impact.
Location: Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vermont | Cost: $50 | Details

Poetry and Haiku Printing with Robert Metzler
Tuesday, May 14, 6:30 to 9:30 pm

If you have a poem or several poems that are aching to be printed, the Book Arts Workshop can help you print them. Using the traditional letterpress process of movable type, you will receive instruction in type setting, paper selection, press work, and if more than one page, book binding.
Location: Dartmouth College Book Arts Workshop, Hanover, New Hampshire | Cost: free | Details

Stealing from Theater: Character Creation with Will Alexander
Thursday, May 16, 7:00 to 8:00 pm

Create new characters and expand your understanding of your current cast via theatrical games and exercises in this online webinar. Taught by William Alexander, National Book Award Winner and current chair of the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at VCFA.
Location: online | Cost: $20-$30 | Details

Memoir Writing with Katherine Mayfield
Saturday, May 18, 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Do you have a memoir cooking in the back of your writer’s mind? This workshop will get you started. You’ll learn what makes a compelling memoir, how and why to choose a theme, the importance of reflection in memoir, and techniques which are specific to the art of memoir-writing. You’ll also learn what “creative nonfiction” means in relation to memoir, and how to weave your truth into a riveting description of your life experiences.
Location: The Ford House, SNHU, Manchester, New Hampshire | Cost: $65-$85 | Details

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

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 calendar.
Location: Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, New Hampshire | Cost: free | Details

The Dipper - November 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

 

November News

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Want to hear some gorgeous music, listen to two fabulous authors read, take part in a conversation about the writing process, and stuff your face with homemade biscuits? Well then, look no further than our own Writers’ Process Night happening this Saturday, November 3 at Open Door in White River Junction, Vermont.

Join us, Laura Jean Binkley, Camille Guthrie, and Peter Orner, and a mountain of biscuits made by Literary North’s favorite baker and all-around fan, Dr. Hermann Puterschein. Scurry over to the Event page now and claim your seat at the biscuit bar! See you on Saturday!

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Slow Club Book Club members, have you started reading our final book of 2018 yet? If not, please don’t worry; you’re in fantastic company! At least one of your SCBC hosts hasn’t started either. And guess what? That’s just fine. October always seems to be a month when everything hits the fan at once. Between finally waking up from the summer drowsies and suddenly realizing that the end of the year crazies are nigh, this time of year is often overstuffed with deadlines, new projects, school meetings, and making appointments to get winter tires put on. Never fear… Sara Maitland’s A Book of Silence will wait patiently for you to dip in as you have time, maybe while waiting for those tires to be changed.

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It always feels a bit awkward to promote one’s own stuff, but if you can’t do it in your own newsletter, where can you? So this is just to say… Rebecca has written a science book about rivers for kids aged 7 to 10, and it's coming out later this month! Rivers and Streams! is part of a set of four “Explore Waterways” books published by the excellent Nomad Press in White River Junction, Vermont. It’s packed with really fun illustrations by the very talented Tom Casteel, and it includes 25 river-related activities. If you have a young person in your life who’s into science—or even one who isn’t yet into science—check out the set, or the many other wonderful non-fiction books for kids that Nomad publishes.

November’s Shooting Stars

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

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  • Tommy Orange’s review of Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah in The New York Times was fantastic. Here’s a snippet:

“Now more than ever I believe fiction can change minds, build empathy by asking readers to walk in others’ shoes, and thereby contribute to real change. In “Friday Black,” Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah has written a powerful and important and strange and beautiful collection of stories meant to be read right now, at the end of this year, as we inch ever closer to what feels like an inevitable phenomenal catastrophe or some other kind of radical change, for better or for worse. And when you can’t believe what’s happening in reality, there is no better time to suspend your disbelief and read and trust in a work of fiction—in what it can do.”

—Shari

  • I’m in a bit of a glum mood, what with the current dreary weather and the state of the world and all, so Emily Dickinson’s Patreon page in The New Yorker is giving me a welcome lift as I put the finishing touches on this newsletter. I’ll be scraping my shekels together to afford patronage at $100 a month (“I will tell you which parts of the Bible would be made better with bees. Plus all previous rewards.”) How about you? —Rebecca


November Highlights

On Friday, November 2, at 7:30 pm, GunSense Vermont, the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, and Bear Pond Books present “Bullets Into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence.” This event features Major Jackson, Matthew Olzmann, and Kerrin McCadden and takes place at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier, Vermont.

Ed Koren

Ed Koren

You have plenty of opportunities to catch cartoonist Ed Koren in November. He’ll be at The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, on Saturday, November 3, at 6:00 pm; at Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont, on Thursday, November 15, at 7:00 pm; at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, Vermont, on Friday, November 23, at 12:00 pm for a book signing; and at the Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock, Vermont, on Tuesday, November 27, at 6:00 pm.

On Sunday, November 4, at 3:00 pm, poet Sue Ellen Thompson is giving a lecture on “Marriage, Metaphor, & Mortality: The Poetry of Jane Kenyon” at BigTown Gallery in Rochester, Vermont. The lecture explores Kenyon’s lifelong struggle with depression and her marriage to fellow poet Donald Hall.

Also on Sunday, November 4, the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, will be dedicating the Colony’s Library to James Baldwin, who was a resident at the Colony three times in the 1950s to work on his books. The outdoor ceremony at 11:00 am will be followed by light refreshments.

Eugene Lim will be reading as part of the Cleopatra Mathis Poetry & Prose Reading Series at Dartmouth College’s Sanborn Library, in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, November 6, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm.

First Wednesdays, a program of the Vermont Humanities Council, brings DeRay McKesson to Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, on Wednesday, November 7, at 7:00 pm to talk about politics and activism.

Catherine Lacey. Photo by Jesse Ball.

Catherine Lacey. Photo by Jesse Ball.

Catherine Lacey is at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, on Wednesday, November 7, at 7:00 pm, reading from her new short story collection, Certain American States.

On Tuesday, November 13, poet Kevin Goodan reads from his new collection, Anaphora, at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire. The reading begins at 5:30 pm.

Jeremy Holt visits Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont, on Tuesday, November 13, at 7:00 pm for his graphic novel, After Houdini.

Robin MacArthur will be at The Bennington Free Library in Bennington, Vermont, on Thursday, November 15, at 7:00 pm, in support of the paperback release of her fabulous novel, Heart Spring Mountain.

Kim Adrian

Kim Adrian

Poet Sidney Wade will be at the Fleming Museum of Art in Burlington, Vermont, for the Painted Word Poetry Series on Thursday, November 29, at 6:00 pm.

As part of the UNH Writers Series, Kim Adrian, author of the memoir The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet, will be reading at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham, New Hampshire, on Thursday, November 29, at 5:00 pm.

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

 

Worth a Drive

Edward Carey visits The Odyssey Bookshop in Hadley, Massachusetts, on Thursday, November 8, at 7:00 pm to read from his new novel, Little, about Madam Tussaud. The event is free but registration is requested.

 

Worth a Listen

We're Looking Forward to These November Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The AVA Gallery in Lebanon, New Hampshire is looking for its next batch of true-life storytellers for its December 13 Mudroom event. The theme is “Holiday Disasters.” Storytellers of all ages and from all towns in the Upper Valley and beyond are welcome to submit their stories for consideration by November 23. In your submission, include a brief summary of the story (no more than 300 words) and a short bio (no more than 150 words). For more information and to submit your story, please visit the AVA Gallery’s Mudroom page.

Marble House Project is a multi-disciplinary artist residency program in Dorset, Vermont, that fosters collaboration and the exchange of ideas by providing an environment for artists across disciplines to live and work side by side. The three-week Artist Residency is open to artists in all creative fields, including but not limited to visual arts, writing, choreography, music composition and performance. Applications for 2019 residencies are open through December 16. The application fee is $32. For more information, please visit the Residency Applications page.

Bloodroot Literary Magazine is accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction for their 2019 Digital Edition through December 31. Submission guidelines are available on the Bloodroot website.

The Frost Place is accepting submissions for their annual Chapbook Competition. The competition is open to any poet writing in English. The submission fee is $28. Submissions will be accepted through January 5, 2019. For more information, please visit the Chapbook Competition page.

Applications are now open for the Dartmouth Poet in Residence program at The Frost Place. This is a six-to-eight-week residency in poet Robert Frost’s former farmhouse in Franconia, New Hampshire. The residency begins July 1 and ends August 15, and includes an award of $1,000 from The Frost Place and an award of $1,000 from Dartmouth College. The recipient will have an opportunity to give a series of public readings across the region, including at Dartmouth College and The Frost Place. Applications will be accepted through January 5, 2019. For more information, please visit the Residency page.  

Every summer, 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 Summer MacDowell Literature Fellowship is January 15, 2019. The application fee is $30. For more information, please visit the Residency Application page.


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

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 an “Oral History: An Introduction” workshop that can help you move your project forward. The workshop will be held on November 3, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Dorset Historical Society in Dorset, Vermont. Tuition is $95-$50. For more information and to register, please visit the Vermont Folklife Center Workshop page.

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. Take some of that pressure off with the free “NaNoWriMo Expressive Writing” workshop, lead by Joni B. Cole on November 5, at the Norwich Public Library in Norwich, Vermont, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. This workshop 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. For more information, please visit the Writer’s Center of WRJ Workshops page.

Looking for quality instruction, feedback, and inspiration in a beautiful Vermont setting? This half-day retreat on November 10, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, offers all that and more. You’ll have the opportunity to share pages of a new or revised work for personalized feedback, learn tips and techniques to get started and stay motivated, and reap the benefits of gathering within a supportive creative community. Both nervous beginners and seasoned authors are welcome. Tuition is $115 and must be paid in full prior to the retreat. For more information, or to register (required), please visit the Writer’s Center of WRJ Workshops page.

NaNoWriMo too easy? Become a Centurion by earning 100 poetry, essay, or short-story rejections in twelve months. Lead by R. W. W. Greene, this two-hour workshop hosted by the New Hampshire Writers’ Project will “take you through the steps of submitting your work, the mystery of rejectomancy, and the best methods of recuperation from a ‘thanks but no thanks.’” The workshop will be held on November 17, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, at The Ford House on the campus of SNHU in Manchester, New Hampshire. $50 for NHWP members; $75 for non-members. For more information, please visit the NHWP Workshops page.

Storytelling is a powerful tool for the documentation of voices, memories, and histories. It can also be a catalyst for activism and social change. In this “Storytelling for Social Change” workshop—held on December 1, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Saint Albans Museum in Saint Albans, Vermont—we will explore the ethics and techniques of oral history, ethnography, and storytelling as activist research methodologies. Attendees 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. Tuition is $95-$50. For more information or to register, please visit the Vermont Folklife Center Workshop page.

The Dipper - June 2018

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

 

June News

We're so excited that many of you have already signed up to join us for Poetry & Pie II, featuring Didi Jackson, Julia Shipley, and Ocean Vuong!

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We're more than halfway to capacity now, so please RSVP soon if you'd like to attend. In addition, we're delighted that The Norwich Bookstore will be on site as the bookseller for our event, which means you will be able to buy books and have them signed if you'd like.

As for pie, how do rhubarb hand pies, fresh blueberry, banana cream (vegan and gluten free!), peanut butter, apple, and plum crumb sound to you? And don't worry, there will be a savory option in the mix as well. It's going to be a special afternoon, and we're looking forward to seeing all of you on Saturday, July 21.

On May 15, our Lady Sings the Blues book group met at The Yankee Bookshop. We had a lively group discussion and listened to Billie Holiday's recordings of "Yesterdays" and "Strange Fruit," as well as a 1956 interview with Billie on "Voice of America." Many thanks to Kari and Kristian at Yankee for being lovely hosts and handling the audio clips, to Julia Cooke for her excellent conversation starters, and to Jarvis Green for sharing insights about his latest work, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.

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We both attended this powerful play at The Engine Room and cannot recommend it highly enough. Top notch acting and singing, fabulous atmosphere and mood, and a powerful staging. If you didn't get a chance to see it in White River Junction, please note that tickets are still available for the Pomfret, Vermont, and Burlington, Vermont, shows. To learn more and purchase your tickets, please visit the JAG Productions website. Support local theater!

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For our summer Slow Club Book Club selection, we'll be reading a collection of short stories. We'll reveal the book in the June 15 edition of our SCBC newsletter. Sign up now to be the first to know what we'll be reading together.

We recently interviewed Vermont author Maria Hummel about her new literary thriller, Still Lives, which comes out on June 5. If the art world, Los Angeles, and a page-turning thriller ring all of your bells, you'll definitely want to add this book to your summer reading list. Read our interview with Maria, then grab a copy of Still Lives at your local indie bookstore!

Happy summer! If you get a chance, drop us a line and let us know what's on your summer reading list.

A housekeeping note: We recently asked subscribers to confirm that they want to continue receiving emails from us. Please know that you can manage your subscription options at any time by using the links at the bottom of our Dipper and Slow Club Book Club emails. If you're not receiving a newsletter you think you're subscribed to, just let us know and we'll make sure you're signed up.

 

June's Shooting Stars

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

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  • Blank Verse Films is a new video series of poets reading their own poems. There's just one video so far (when is a series not a series?), but it's a good one: Brendan Constantine reading his poem "The Opposites Game." I really hope they do more of these! —Rebecca

June Highlights

Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference and Bread Loaf Translators' Conference both begin in Middlebury, Vermont, on Friday, June 1 and go through Thursday, June 7. The conferences feature a full slate of public lectures and readings by Kazim Ali, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Jennifer Grotz, Brooks Haxton, Deirdre Heekin, Bill Johnston, Scott Russell Sanders, Luis Alberto Urrea, Emily Wilson, and many more. See the complete schedule on the Bread Loaf website.

January Gill O'Neil. Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

January Gill O'Neil. Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Maria Hummel is launching her new book, Still Lives, on Tuesday, June 5 at 7:00 pm, at Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont. (We recently interviewed Maria about Still Lives on our blog.)

The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program concludes its season of Hoot readings with January Gill O'Neil and Patrice Pinette on Wednesday, June 6. The readings, at Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, begin at 7:00 pm. An open mic begins at 8:00 pm.

On Thursday, June 7, Celeste Ng will be in conversation with Joe Hill at 7:00 pm at the Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to discuss her latest work, Little Fires Everywhere.

The 2018 Thing in the Spring Reading Series has four events from Thursday, June 7 through Sunday, June 10. Authors include Michelle Aldredge, Corwin Levi, Chris Fritton, Rage Hezekiah, Bill Doreski, Henry Walters, Abayomi Adebayo, Amanda Petrusich, Alice B. Fogel, Marilyn Nelson, and Jasmine Dreame Wagner. All readings take place at The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Tommy Orange. Photo by Elena Seibert.

Tommy Orange. Photo by Elena Seibert.

Tommy Orange is at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, on Saturday, June 9 at 6:00 pm to read from his acclaimed debut, There There.

Andrea Lawlor will be at Bloodhouse in Bellows Falls, Vermont, on Sunday, June 10, at 5:00 pm. The reading will be followed by a "relatively excessive and anectodal tea."

Neil Shepard celebrates the publication of his new collection, How it Is: Selected Poems, with fellow poets Julia Shipley and Martha Zweig at The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, Vermont, on Tuesday, June 12 at 7:00 pm.

You don't want to miss The Mudroom storytelling event at AVA Gallery in Lebanon, New Hampshire on Thursday, June 14. This quarter's theme is The Longest Day. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Food is available for purchase before the performance. Tickets are available online.

The Hyla Brook Reading Series continues on Friday, June 15 at 7:00 pm with Melissa Balmain and the Frost Farm Prize winner (TBA). The reading is held at the Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, and begins at 7:00 pm.

If you haven't been able to catch one of Robin MacArthur's readings from Heart Spring Mountain, you can see her at Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont, on Tuesday, June 19 at 7:00 pm.

Novelist Rebecca Makkai will read from her new book, The Great Believers, as part of the New Hampshire Institute of Art's Master of Fine Arts June Residency event, on Wednesday, June 27, at 7:00 pm. The reading will be held at NHIA, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Mary Ruefle

Mary Ruefle

A Literary North favorite, Mary Ruefle will be reading at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, on Wednesday, June 27 at 8:00 pm.

 

 

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

 

Worth a Drive

Juniper Summer Writing Institute has a wonderful week of readings open to the public from June 17 to 24 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The readings feature Joy Williams, Leni Zumas, Terrance Hayes, Eileen Myles, and more.

 

Worth a Listen

The NYPL podcast about Zora Neale Hurston's book Barracoon, featuring Glory Edim of Well-Read Black Girl, Dr. Sylviane Diouf and noted Hurston scholar Deborah G. Plant is well worth your time.

The conversation between Rachel Kushner and Michael Silverblatt on Bookworm makes an enjoyable bookend to your reading experience of The Mars Room.

 

We're Looking Forward to These June Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The application deadline for The Frost Place Conference on Poetry (July 8 to 14) has been extended to June 6. The application fee is $25. Conference rates are from $250 (day rate) to $1550 (includes all tuition, meals, and lodging). For more information and to apply, please visit the Conference page.

Vermont Studio Center (VSC) fellowship applications are being accepted until June 15. VSC fellowships are open to all artists and writers living and working anywhere in the world. Every VSC residency opportunity includes a private room, private studio space, all meals, and full access to their schedule of evening programs and events. For more information and to apply, please visit the VSC fellowship page.

Registration for the Green Mountain Writers Conference (July 16 to 20) is open through June 15. The conference is held at the Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden, Vermont. This year's conference participants include Yvonne Daley, Chard deNiord, Elizabeth Inness-Brown, Justin Ahren, Kate Rushin, T. Greenwood, Chuck Clarino, Verandah Porche, Patty Carpenter, Stephen Kiernan, and Gary Margolis. Tuition is $675 and includes workshops, readings, snacks, and day use of the Mountain Top indoor and outdoor facilities. For more information and to register, please visit the Conference page.

The Frost Place Poetry Seminar (July 29 to August 3) is accepting applications until June 28. The application fee is $15. Seminar rates are from $250 (day rate) to $1550 (includes all tuition, meals, and lodging). For more information and to apply, please visit the Seminar page.

Putney Mountain Association and Antidote Books have announced the first Putney Mountain Poetry Contest, judged by poet Seth Landman. The winner will receive a broadside print of their poem displayed at the Putney Mountain Trailhead and a featured reading at Antidote Books. Submit up to three original poems inspired by the Vermont landscape as PDFs to putney.poetry@gmail.com. Do not include your name on the poems, but please include your name, town of residence, and contact information in the email. All entries are due by June 30.

Zig Zag Lit Mag is looking for submissions of writing and art from residents of Addison County, Vermont, for Issue 5. Zig Zag accepts fiction, non-fiction, dramatic forms, and poetry in any genre and on any topic. Art must be submitted in high-resolution, black-and-white format. Submissions are open through June 30. For more information, please visit the Zig Zag Lit Mag Submissions page.

The Hopper, the literary magazine from Green Writers Press, is accepting submissions of full-length manuscripts to its 2018 Hopper Poetry Prize through July 1. Judged by Amie Whittemore, the winner of this contest will receive $500 and publication by Green Writers Press. The contest is open to all poets with an identified interest in the natural world. There is a $25 entry fee. For more information and to see work by previous contest winners, please visit the Hopper Prize page.

Registration is open for the League of Vermont Writers "Writers Meet Agents 2018" gathering (July 21). All writers are welcome. Held at Trader Duke's Hotel in South Burlington, the event includes presentations, pitch sessions, panels, and more. $135 for League members; $185 for non-members; $35 for one pitch session. The registration deadline is July 7. For more information and to register, please visit the Gatherings page.

Clara Martin Center is seeking submissions for their third annual art/poetry show entitled "Abundance: Celebrating Creativity in Mental Health, Wellness, and Recovery" (September 10 to November 2). You are invited to submit poetry, or 2-D or 3-D artwork to display in the exhibit. Submissions are due by July 31. Applicants must be Vermont residents, and preference is given to artists/writers in the Upper Valley. For more information, please visit Clara Martin Center's website.

Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Poetry Festival at the Fine Arts Work Center (August 5 to 10) in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The Festival includes poetry and songwriting workshops. Faculty includes Traci Brimhall, Cornelius Eady, Nick Flynn, Vievee Francis, Ross Gay, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Patty Larkin, and Patrick Rosal. For information on tuition, housing, and registration, please visit the FAWC Festival page.

The Burlington Writers Workshop 2018 anthology team is pleased to invite submissions from the BWW community. Fiction, flash fiction, poetry, memoir, personal essay—it's all welcome. The only requirement for submission is that you must have attended at least one BWW workshop within the past five years. For more information, please visit the Burlington Writers Workshop website.

The Poetry Society of Vermont's Summer Contests are open. Submissions must be received by July 1. For more information, please visit the Contests and Awards page.

Registration is open for the New Hampshire Poetry Festival (September 15), which will be held in Henniker, New Hampshire. Speakers include Adrian Blevins, Robert Crawford, Sharon Dolin, Matthew Guenette, and Linda Pastan. For more information and to register, please visit the NH Poetry Festival website.


Upcoming Workshops and Classes

Poet Ina Anderson is offering "Your Poems," a poetry workshop series for beginning through experienced poets. Meeting at the Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon, Vermont, sessions are scheduled the 2nd Wednesday of each month, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, May 9 through November 14. A donation of $10 for each session is suggested. No pre-registration is required. For more information, please visit the Workshop page.

Burlington Writers Workshop and Melissa Lourie are offering a workshop called "Exploring Characters & Dialog Through Drama Techniques" on June 23. Participation in the workshop will be via lottery, which closes on June 4. For more information about the workshop and to enter the lottery, please visit the Workshop page.

Registration is open for The Center for Cartoon Studies Summer Workshops (June 11 to August 10), in White River Junction, Vermont. This year's workshops include everything from drawing and writing single-panel comics, to creating graphic memoirs and novels, taught by award-winning artists and writers, including Hilary Price, Jo Knowles, Tillie Walden, and Melanie Gillman. Tuition ranges from $600 to $1200. For more information and to register, please visit the Summer Workshops page.

Registration is open for the annul Frost Farm Poetry Conference (June 15 to 17). Join a small community of people at the historic Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, learning, reading, and writing formal poetry with contemporary award-winning poets in an intimate workshop environment. Choose your focus from a series of offerings designed to provide tools for beginning poets as well as perfect the mastery of published poets. Tuition is $310 and includes all instruction and meals. For more information and to register, please visit the Conference page.

On Saturday, June 30 (10:00 am to 1:00 pm), join Mimi Schwartz at SNHU in Manchester, New Hampshire, for a workshop called that focuses on the ways that personal narrative is enriched by history—be it family legacies, neighborhood landmarks, or the social history that shapes us. "Beyond the I: When Memoir Meets History," will use readings, discussion, and in-class exercises to help participants discover new strategies for writing their life stories in ways that friends, family, or strangers will want to read on. $50 for New Hampshire Writers Project members; $75 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the NHWP Workshops page.

On Wednesday, July 11, the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire, is offering a writing workshop with teacher Joni B. Cole titled, "Tapping Into Your Write Brain." The workshop, based on the Hood's new exhibit of Toyin Ojih Odutola's paintings, fuses an exploration of Ojih Odutola's work with a fun and meaningful creative exercise using thematic prompts. All writing levels welcome. Free but space is limited; to ensure your space register by July 9. For more information and to register, please visit the Registration page.

Register now for CAConrad's workshop, "Occult Poetics and (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals," at Antidote Books in Putney, Vermont. Sliding scale fee of $27 to $108. The workshop will take place July 24 to 27. To confirm a place in the workshop or for more information, email hello@antidotebooks.com.

Fiction author Robin McLean will be leading a Prose Writing Retreat in Grande Isle, Vermont (August 25). Participation in the retreat will be decided by lottery, which closes on July 29. For more information about the retreat and to enter the lottery, please visit the Retreat page.

Carol Potter, poet, teacher, MFA faculty, editor, and author of five books of poetry is currently available for manuscript consultations—what to include, what to revise, what to abandon, how to structure the manuscript, and where to send it. She is also available also for editing of individual poems. For more information, please visit Carol's website.