Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube

The Dipper - April 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!

April News

We're excited to (finally) celebrate Robin MacArthur and her fabulous second book, Heart Spring Mountain, at the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont, on Friday, April 6, at 7:00 pm. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. We do hope you'll join us!

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If you haven't joined the Slow Club Book Club, please note that you can join anytime. The email announcing our second selection, Good Woman, poems by Lucille Clifton, just went out to subscribers, just in time for National Poetry Month. Even if you think you aren't a poetry fan, we hope you'll give our latest selection a try. Remember: it's fine to read slowly. You can dip in and out. Poetry is perfect for this. Pop the book in your tote or in your glovebox and you can read whenever you have a spare moment. We can't wait to hear what you think. Tag us on Instagram or Twitter with #slowclubbookclub or send us an email. We'd love to hear from you.

As we mentioned last month, we're partnering with JAG Productions and Yankee Bookshop to hold a one-meeting book group on Tuesday, May 15 to discuss Billie Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, at the Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock, Vermont. If you haven't signed up/bought your book, now's the time! A reminder that Yankee Bookshop has generously offered to donate $5 per book purchased at their store directly to JAG Productions. To read more about this event and to RSVP, visit our LN Events page.

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We want to wish a very Happy Book Birthday to Feast by Hannah Howard! We've got a lovely interview with Hannah and an excerpt from her book over on our blog.

Finally, make sure you celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, April 28! We love our local indies: Yankee Bookshop, The Norwich Bookstore, and Left Bank Books. Show your favorite local independents some love.

 

April's Shooting Stars

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

  • Are you familiar with The Tournament of Books? The Morning News hosts one of my favorite events in March that I neglected to mention last month. No matter. You can go back and read up on all of the literary match-ups and see if you agree with the outcomes. —Shari
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  • There are a lot of great poetry podcasts out there—and I hope we'll talk about many of them here—but the one that really moved me recently is the March 21 New Yorker's Poetry Podcast with Marie Howe, who reads and discusses the work and loss of Lucie Brock-Broido and her shiver-inducing poem, "The American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act." Just that would have been enough, but then Marie reads one of her own remarkable poems, and then she and Kevin Young go on to talk about Seamus Heaney and one of my favorite books of his, Seeing Things, and, well, let's just say it's a riveting 38 minutes. —Rebecca

April Highlights

Donika Kelly

Donika Kelly

Donika Kelly, Melissa Febos, and Michael Dickman are reading at VCFA's Cafe Anna in Montpelier, Vermont, on Friday, April 6 at 5:30 pm.

On Saturday, April 7, The New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, is hosting the second annual Storytelling Festival from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. The festival features a variety of forms of storytelling and will be emceed by NHPR's Peter Biello.

In Montpelier, Vermont, PoemCity 2018 celebrates its ninth year with a variety of workshops, lectures, music, history, and art revolving around poetry throughout April. The festival opens with a keynote reading by Chard deNiord, Alice B. Fogel, and Stuart Kestenbaum on Saturday, April 7, at Lost Nation Theater. For more information about this and other festival events, visit the PoemCity website.

Meanwhile, PoemTown Randolph 2018 events are scheduled in Randolph, Vermont, throughout the month. The first event is on Monday, April 9 at 6:00 pm: dinner with poets Major Jackson and Didi Jackson at Black Krim Tavern, followed by readings. While you're in you're in Randolph, browse the more than one hundred poems by Vermont poets posted in windows all over town during April. See our calendar for more information about PoemTown Randolph events.

New England Review's Vermont Reading Series will be taking place at the Marquis Theater in Middlebury, Vermont, on Wednesday, April 11, featuring Didi Jackson, Jodi Paloni, Ben Pease, and Layla Santos. This event is free and open to the public.

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera

Wednesday, April 11 also brings you readings from two former US Poet Laureates: Juan Felipe Herrera—reading at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, at 6:30 pm—and Billy Collins, reading at the Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont, at  7:00 pm.

Spend Saturday, April 14, immersed in the 603: The Writers' Conference, the New Hampshire Writers' Project annual conference. The event, held on SNHU's campus in Manchester, New Hampshire, features keynote speaker Richard Russo, special guest Ann Hood, and an agenda full of master classes, workshops, a reception, and other events.

Bianca Stone and Alison Prine will be reading from their poetry collections at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, Vermont, on Tuesday, April 17, at 7:00 pm.

Blair Braverman. Photo by Christina Bodznick

Blair Braverman. Photo by Christina Bodznick

Blair Braverman will be at the Sanborn Library at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Thursday, April 19 at 4:30 pm. We both adored her non-fiction book, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube. Not to be missed!

Our friends at Green Writers Press are holding a Spring Celebration to celebrate the release of their new spring books in fiction and poetry. The celebration will be at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 20 at Next Stage Arts in Putney, Vermont. Sounds like a fun evening.

Five Colleges Book Sale in Lebanon, New Hampshire, will be happening at Lebanon High School on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 (half price on Sunday!). For more information, visit their website.

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

 

Worth a Drive

Leslie Jamison will be in conversation with literary critic and writer James Wood about her new non-fiction book, The Recovering, on Thursday, April 5, at 6:30 pm, at the Cambridge Public Library, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Leslie Jamison

Leslie Jamison

The Juniper Literary Festival will be held April 6 to 7 at UMass Amherst. The festival features readings, workshops, and a literary journal and book fair. Edie Meidav and Ocean Vuong will teach community workshops. For the full schedule of festival events, please visit their website.

The Newburyport Literary Festival takes place April 27 to 28 in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with Ann Hood, Tom Perrotta, Andre Dubus III, Mark Doty, and more. For more information, please visit the festival website.

 

Worth a Listen

Short Story podcast by BBC Radio 4. Just the perfect thing for your commute.

 

We're Looking Forward to These April Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The Vermont Writers Roundtable is holding a weekend workshop (June 22 to 24) in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on writing creative nonfiction for children and teens. The deadline to apply for this workshop is April 7. For more information and to apply, please visit the Workshop page.

The Odyssey Writing Workshop (June 4 to July 13) is accepting applications until April 7. The Odyssey workshop, for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, is held on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Prospective students must include a 4,000-word writing sample with their application. For more information, please visit the Workshop page.

Registration is open for 603: The Writers' Conference (April 14) on the SNHU campus in Manchester, New Hampshire. The keynote speaker is novelist Richard Russo. The conference includes master classes, workshops, panel discussions, lunch, and a reception. $85 to $135. For more information and to register, please visit the Conference page.

The Frost Place 2018 Conference on Poetry and Teaching (June 23 to 26) and Writing Intensive (June 27 to 28) is now accepting applications. The scholarship application deadline is April 19. The conference application deadline is May 17. The application fee is $25. Tuition is $725. Meals are $145. The Writing Intensive is $180. For more information and to apply, please visit the Conference page.

The Frost Place Conference on Poetry (July 8 to 14) is also accepting applications. The scholarship application deadline is April 30. The conference application deadline is May 31. 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.

Registration is still open for the VCFA Novel Retreat (May 15 to 21). Faculty includes Connie May FowlerJeff KleinmanRichard McCann, and Crystal Wilkinson. A $200 non-refundable deposit is required. For more information, please visit the Novel Retreat page.

The Bennington Review is open for submissions through May 15 with no reading fee. For more information, please visit the Bennington Review Submissions page.

nErDcampVT is accepting registrations for their "unconference" (May 20), which focuses on literacy, at Burlington High School in Burlington, Vermont. The event is free but you must register in advance. For more information and to register, please visit their website.

The New England Review is open for poetry and digital submissions through May 31. For more information, please visit the NER Submissions page.

The Frost Place Poetry Seminar (July 29 to August 3) is accepting applications. The scholarship application deadline is May 24. The seminar application deadline is 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.

Green Writers Press is accepting submissions through June 1 for the 2nd Annual Howard Frank Mosher First Novel and Short Story Prize. This prize is for a novelist or short story writer who writes about Vermont and/or the themes that resonate so well with Howard's work: nature, small-town stories, love, friendship, forgiveness, Vermont, solitude, and rural life. All ages are welcome to submit. For more information, please visit the Green Writers Press website.

The Hopper, a literary magazine from Green Writers Press, is accepting submissions of full-length manuscripts to its 2018 Hopper Poetry Prize through July 1. Open to poets with an identified interest in the natural world and whose work explores issues tied to our ever-changing environment. There is a $25 entry fee. For more information, please visit the Hopper Prize 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, 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.

Registration is now 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.


April Workshops and Classes

On Monday, April 2 (6:30 to 8:30 pm), join poet Gary Margolis for "The Technique & Mysteries of Line Breaks," a poetry master class hosted by Burlington Writers Workshop, in Burlington, Vermont. Workshop participants should bring three original poems to class. Participants will also write new poems during the workshop. For more information and to register, please visit the BWW Workshop page.

Kingdom County Productions in collaboration with the Second Wind Foundation is offering a ten-week writing workshop for people who are in recovery from addiction, and their siblings and friends. The workshops will be held on Tuesdays, beginning Tuesday, April 3 (1:15 to 2:45 pm) at the Turning Point Center in White River Junction, Vermont. For more information, please call the Upper Valley Turning Point Center at (802) 295-5206 or visit the Writers for Recovery website.

Join storyteller Recille Hamrell for "The Art of Storytelling" workshop on Wednesday, April 4 (6:00 to 7:30 pm) at Burlington City Arts, in Burlington, Vermont, then stay for the open mic following the clinic to share your story in a safe and open-minded environment. The cost is $10. For more information and to register, please visit the BCA Event page.

On Saturday, April 7 (1:00 to 5:00 pm), Join River Arts in Morrisville, Vermont for a Coptic Bookbinding Workshop. Participants will select handmade papers for the hardbound coves and sew the open-spine binding using a traditional Coptic binding technique. The workshop fee is $85. For more information and to register, please visit the River Arts Programs page.

The League of Vermont Writers is hosting two workshops in April: "Getting Your Author Blog and Website Started" on Saturday, April 14 (4:00 to 6:00 pm) in Burlington, Vermont, and "The Road to Publication" on Saturday, April 28 (9:30 am to 3:00 pm), in Killington, Vermont. For more information and to register, please visit the League's Gatherings page.

On Tuesday, April 24 (6:30 pm), Annalisa Parent will host a workshop entitled "Writing for Pantsers" at The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, Vermont. The workshop will focus on adding order to your writing life. For more information, visit The Galaxy Bookshop Events page.

Join poet Julia Shipley on Saturday, April 28 (10:00 am to 2:00 pm), for "The Husbandry of Poetry," a rumination and discussion of best practices for the care and feeding of poetry. The workshop is free, bur registration is required. For more information, please visit the River Arts Programs page.

The Center for Cartoon Studies offers a free One-Week Cartooning Workout. This seven-day email course is for aspiring cartoonists who need help getting started, cartoonists who need a refresher to get back into the creative groove, and those interested in graphic memoir, comics, journalism, or fantasy genres. Sign up at any time; the course begins when you sign up! For more information and to sign up, please visit the Center for Cartoon Studies website.

Shari's 2016 Year in Reading

First, a shout out to The Millions for this wonderful idea to revisit the year in books. Please visit their site to see what others were reading in 2016.

Let's start with my favorite book of the year. Without a doubt, it is Hisham Matar's The Return. Confession: I did not actually read this book. I listened to it (beautifully narrated by Matar himself) while driving through Nova Scotia this summer. There's something to be said for listening to a book while seeing a new landscape for the first time. The two will forever be linked in my mind. This is the story of Matar's journey back home to Libya after the fall of Qaddafi on a quest to find out what happened to his father, who was imprisoned during Qaddafi's reign. Matar reunites with family members as he desperately searches to find any trace of his father and uses literature and art to help him make sense of his return to his homeland. Haunting, brave and luminous, I cannot forget this book.

 

I stayed up late toward the end of 2016 reading the essays in Peter Orner's brilliant book, Am I Alone Here? As Orner contemplates his favorite works of literature and the connections to his own life, you will find your TBR pile growing significantly.  Orner is one of my very favorite writers, and this generous, thoughtful book feels like you are having a literary conversation with your best friend.

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Blair Braverman's memoir, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube follows Braverman through her time as an exchange student in Norway to Alaska, where she works as a tour guide and back again, as she unravels what it takes to thrive in a harsh, cold environment. While there's plenty of adventure to be had, it is so much more than an adventure story. This book has a lot of heart. I kept stopping between chapters to talk to my husband about it.  Highly recommended.

In fiction, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Alex Chee's The Queen of the Night. Lush descriptions, unforgettable characters, and a quickly moving storyline made it the perfect read during the dreary month of February.

Brit Bennett's The Mothers was the only book that I read in one sitting this year. There's really no need for me to say anything else except that I cannot wait for Bennett's next book.

Zadie Smith's Swing Time was a bit of a slow burn for me. In the beginning of the novel, I wished for less Aimee and more Tracey. However, as I turned the pages, I was completely won over. I still think about these characters on a daily basis.

If short stories are more your speed, do pick up Robin MacArthur's Half Wild and Sara Majka's Cities I've Never Lived In. Both of these debuts are fantastic.

I didn't read as much poetry this year as I would have liked, but I have to mention Solmaz Sharif's Look. Sharif takes words from the Department of Defense's dictionary and includes them in her poems in all caps, forcing the reader to think about the language of violence and war. Look is challenging, beautiful, and fierce; Sharif would be a great choice for poet laureate. Start with her poems "Look" and "Safe House."