2017 Participating Poet Bios

Ina Anderson grew up in Cumbria, in the north of England. She worked as a technical editor for professional journals in London and in the U.S., including Icarus: International Journal of Solar System Science, with Carl Sagan. She then turned to teaching communication, writing, and literature, spending over 20 years at the Community College of Vermont as a faculty member and student advisor. Ina’s poems have appeared in several publications, including Mountain Troubadour, Red Fox Poets, and a recent anthology, Perhaps It Was the Pie. Her first poetry collection, Journey Into Space, was published in 2016. Ina has lived in Sharon, Vermont, for many years.

Megan BuchananMegan Buchanan – Megan Buchanan’s poems have appeared in such as journals as The Sun Magazine, make/shift, A Woman’s Thing, and multiple anthologies. Her first full-length collection, Clothesline Religion, is just out from Green Writers Press and is widely available. Born in California, Megan’s lived for long stretches in Ireland, the mountains of the southwest, and New England. Her work has been supported by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, and the Vermont Studio Center. Megan is also a collaborative performer and dancemaker, a teacher, and an activist.  She currently lives in southern Vermont with her two children. meganbuchanan.net.

Chard deNiord – The VT Poet Laureate was born in New Haven, CT and raised in Lynchburg, VA. After graduating from Lynchburg College, deNiord earned his MDiv from Yale Divinity School. Before pursuing ordination, he worked as an inpatient psychiatric aide at the CT Mental Health Center. Five years later, he left to pursue poetry, attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he received his MFA in 1985.  Returning to New England, deNiord taught at private schools for over a decade while publishing his poems. In 1990, he published his first collection, Asleep in the Fire (University of Alabama Press), while teaching comparative religions and philosophy at the Putney School. In 1998, deNiord began teaching at Providence College, where he was eventually named the tenth recipient of the Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award. That same year, he founded the Spirit and Letter Workshop, a ten-day program of workshops and lectures in Patzquaro, Mexico. In 2002, deNiord cofounded the New England College MFA program in poetry, which he directed until 2007. In addition to several collections of poetry, he has authored a book of essays and interviews with renowned poets. He is currently a professor of English at Providence College. He lives in Westminster West with his wife, Liz.

Laura Foley won first place in the Common Goods Poetry Contest, judged by Garrison Keillor; the 2016 National Outermost Poetry Prize, judged by Marge Piercy; Harpur Palate’s Milton Kessler Memorial Poetry Award; and the Grand Prize for the Atlanta Review’s International Poetry Contest. She is the author of five poetry collections, her most recent being Night Ringing. The Glass Tree won the Foreword Book of the Year Award, Silver, and was a Finalist for the NH Writer’s Project, Outstanding Book of Poetry. Joy Street won the Bisexual-Writer’s Award. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. Laura holds graduate degrees in English Literature from Columbia University. Trained in chaplaincy through the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, she volunteers in hospitals and prisons, and is a certified Shri Yoga Instructor. She lives in Pomfret, with her partner Clara Giménez, and three big dogs.

Navah Fried – Navah Fried loves writing poems. She feels that creative writing it is the most meaningful way to communicate. Besides writing, Navah usually finds herself listening to music, playing guitar and singing, going for walks, and thinking. She hopes to be a published poet in the future, on the side of an unknown career. Navah has been studying creative writing at Montpelier High School for the past two years and is excited to go on to college to help make the world better. Her work has been featured in Montpelier’s PoemCity for the past two years, but this is her first public reading.

Nancy Hewitt‘s chapbook Heard was published in 2013 by Finishing Line Press.  Her poetry has appeared in Mid-American Review, Prism Review, Phoebe, The Comstock Review, Off the Coast and other journals.  Her awards include the Nancy Hargrove Editors’ Prize for Poetry from Jabberwock Review and a Pushcart Prize nomination.  She is a clinical social worker with a private psychotherapy practice in Salem, MA.  She is the first Poet Laureate of Swampscott, MA, and divides her time between Swampscott and East Randolph, VT.

Reuben Jackson – In a 2012 Seven Days story introducing the new host of Vermont Public Radio’s “Friday Night Jazz”,  retiring jazz-show host George Thomas said of Jackson, “He thinks like a poet.”. Reuben Jackson’s poetry reflects his love of jazz, and as regular VPR listeners know, his baritone voice is as compelling as the music he presents. The Goddard College grad is an accomplished critic who has written for the Washington City Paper and the Washington Post in his hometown of Washington, D.C., as well as for the magazines Jazziz, JazzTimes and All About Jazz. His reviews have been featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Before joining VPR, Jackson served for 20 years as the curator of the Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. Jackson’s poetic forte is haiku.

Madeleine KuninMadeleine Kunin – Madeleine May Kunin was the fourth woman to be elected Governor in the U.S. and the first woman to serve as Governor of Vermont. She was born in Zurich, Switzerland and immigrated to the U.S. with her mother and brother during World War II. She served as Deputy Secretary of Education and Ambassador to Switzerland in the Clinton Administration, and is the founder of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, a non-government organization which focuses on climate change and civic society. At present she is a Marsh Professor at the University of Vermont, a commentator on Vermont Public Radio, and a blogger on the Huffington Post. She is the author of The New Feminist Agenda, Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work and Family, selected as an Editor’s Choice by The New York Times. She is also the author of  Pearls, Politics and Power, how women can win and lead, Living a Political Life, and The Big Green Book. She is a fellow at the Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt award. She is married to John W. Hennessey and the mother of four children and six grandchildren.

Sydney Lea is a poet, novelist, essayist, editor, and professor. He served as Vermont’s Poet Laureate from 2011-2015. Lea has received fellowships from the Rockefeller, Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundations, and has taught at Dartmouth, Yale, Wesleyan, Vermont and Middlebury Colleges, as well as at Franklin College in Switzerland and the Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. His stories, poems, essays and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and many other periodicals, as well as in more than fifty anthologies. He founded New England Review in 1977 and edited it until 1989. Lea has been described as “a man in the woods with his head full of books, and a man in books with his head full of woods.” His affection for story, moreover, an affection derived in no small measure from men and women elders in New England, colors his poetry, just as a relish for the musical properties of the word colors his prose. His lifelong passion for the natural world informs almost his every utterance.  He lives in Newbury, Vermont, and is active both in literacy efforts and in conservation.

Verandah PorcheVerandah Porche works as a poet-in-residence, performer and writing partner. Based in rural Vermont since 1968, she has published Sudden Eden (Verdant Books), The Body’s Symmetry (Harper and Row) and Glancing Off (See Through Books), and has pursued an alternative literary career, creating collaborative writing projects in nontraditional settings: literacy and crisis centers, hospitals, factories, nursing homes, senior centers, a 200 year-old Vermont tavern and an urban working class neighborhood. Broad Brook Anthology, a play for voices, honors the lives of elders in Guilford, Vermont.  Listening Out Loud documents her residency with Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT. Verandah initiated—and for almost 30 years taught—the poetry program at Vermont’s Governor’s Institute on the Arts. “Come Over,” is a cd of songs written with Patty Carpenter, performed by the Dysfunctional Family Jazz band. She has read her work on NPR stations, in the Vermont State House and at the John Simon Guggenheim Museum. The Vermont Arts Council presented her with its Award of Merit in 1998, and its first Ellen McCulloch-Lovell Award in Arts Education in 2015, and Marlboro College, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2012. Verandah was featured in “Freedom and Unity: The Vermont Movie.” “Shedding Light on the Working Forest,” a collaboration with visual artist Kathleen Kolb is currently showing around New England.

Marjorie Ryerson is the author of numerous books, including an internationally award-winning photography book and several non-fiction books. She is a well-published poet and photo-journalist. A writing professor for many years, Marjorie has taught poetry for Middlebury College at its Bread Loaf writing campus since 1990. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Marjorie was the driving force behind Randolph’s first PoemTown celebration in 2014.

Geza Tatrallyay – Born in Budapest, Hungary, Geza escaped with his family in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution, immigrating to Canada the same year. He grew up in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto Schools, and graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Human Ecology. Geza was selected as a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario, attending Oxford University and graduating with a BA / MA in Human Sciences; he completed his studies with a MSc in Economics from London School of Economics and Politics. Geza represented Canada as an épée fencer in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. He is a prolific author of thrillers, memoirs, and poetry. Geza’s professional experience has included stints in government, international organizations, finance ,and environmental entrepreneurship. Since 2004, he has been managing a few investments and devoting himself to his family and his writing.

Diana WhitneyDiana Whitney – Diana Whitney’s first book, Wanting It (Harbor Mountain Press, 2014), became an indie bestseller and won the Rubery Book Award in poetry. She’s the poetry critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Glamour, Salon, Ms. Magazine, and many more. She has been awarded writing grants and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Vermont Arts Endowment Fund, and the Vermont Studio Center, among others, and was the 2015 winner of the Women’s National Book Association poetry prize. A yoga teacher by trade, Diana runs a small studio attached to her farmhouse in Brattleboro, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and three puzzling cats. She’s currently finishing a memoir about motherhood and sexuality. www.diana-whitney.com

Baron WormserBaron Wormser – Baron Wormser is the author/co-author of fourteen books and a poetry chapbook. His books include Scattered Chapters: New and Selected Poems (Sarabande Books), The Road Washes Out in Spring: a Poet’s Memoir of Living Off the Grid (University Press of New England), and The Poetry Life: Ten Stories (CavanKerry Press). His novel Tom o’ Vietnam, about a Vietnam veteran who is obsessed with King Lear, will be published by New Rivers Press in the fall of 2017. Wormser has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. From 2000 to 2006 he served as poet laureate of the state of Maine. He has taught many dozens of workshops across the United States and continues to offer generative workshops along with workshops focusing on the works of a particular poet.

 

2017 PoemTown Randolph Events

Poetry readings, workshops and receptions are free and open to the public. Food and drink at area restaurants must be purchased.

Saturday April 1, 1:30 PM – Opening celebration in the second floor performance space at Lost Nation Theater at City Hall in Montpelier, co-sponsored with Montpelier’s PoemCity. The afternoon event features Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord and poetry winners from across the state of Vermont, selected from the Young Writers’ Project. A jazz quartet opens the event at 1:30. The poetry readings then follow, from 2:00-3:00. A reception will conclude the afternoon.

Thursday April 6 – Dinner with a Poet – Past Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea reads at The Three Bean Café; dinner at 6:00, followed by a reading at 7:00; 22 Pleasant Street. Dinner reservations are required and can be made by calling the café at 802-728-3533.

Sunday April 9, 7:00 PM – Poetry readings by Former Vermont Governor Madeleine Kunin and Montpelier High School senior Navah Fried, followed by a reception, Bethany Church, 30 North Main Street, Randolph.

Wednesday April 12 – Poetry Potluck at the Randolph Town Hall, 7 Summer Street, downstairs conference room. Poets of all ages and abilities are encouraged to bring food and original work to share. Dinner at 6:00 and poetry at 7:00.

Monday April 17 – Dinner with a Poet – Baron Wormser at the Black Krim Tavern, 21 Merchants Row. Dinner at 6 PM, followed by a reading at 7:00. Dinner reservations are required and can be made by calling the Tavern at 802-728-6776.

Wednesday April 19, 7:00 PM – Poetry reading featuring poets Ina Anderson, Laura Foley, Nancy Hewitt, Marjorie Ryerson, and Geza Tatrallyay. Kimball Public Library, 67 North Main Street. Light refreshments will be served.

Sunday April 23, 2-4 PM – Poetry writing workshop for poets of all ages and abilities with Ina Anderson at Kimball Public Library, 67 North Main Street.

Tuesday April 25 – Dinner with a Poet – Southern Vermont poets Megan Buchanan, Verandah Porche and Diana Whitney read from their work at SAAP Restaurant, 50 Randolph Avenue. Diverse menu featuring Northern Thai cuisine. Dinner at 6:00, followed by readings at 7:00. Dinner reservations are required and can be made by calling SAAP at 802-565-8292.

Friday April 28, 7:00 PM – Pie and Poetry closing celebration, Chandler Music Hall’s Upper Gallery, 71-73 Main Street. Poet and Vermont Public Radio Friday Night Jazz host Reuben Jackson reads from his work. A local jazz trio provides musical accompaniment and homemade pie sweetens the evening.

Sydney Lea at The Three Bean Café

Poet Laureatte Sydney Lea
Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea will again recite his work at the Three Bean Café during April’s PoemTown in Randolph. (Herald / Tim Calabro)

PoemTown Randolph welcomes the return of past Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea on Thursday April 6 as part of PoemTown’s 2017 Dinner with a Poet series.

2017 Dinner with a Poet Series

Sydney Lea – Thursday April 6 at The Three Bean Café

Baron Wormser – Monday April 17 at The Black Krim Tavern

Megan Buchanan, Verandah Porche and Diana Whitney – Tuesday April 25 at Saap

Please refer to the comprehensive listing of 2017 PoemTown Randolph events for further details about these readings.

2017 Call for Submissions

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UPDATE: The deadline for submissions has passed. Thanks, everyone, for all of your great poems!

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PoemTown Randolph invites Vermont poets of all ages to submit original poems for its 4th annual celebration. Chosen poems will be displayed on local business storefronts in celebration of National Poetry Month in April.

Please submit no more than three poems, each of them 24 lines or less. Poems can be typed or handwritten. The deadline for submissions is February 10th. All submissions will be judged that weekend, so meeting the 2/10 deadline is critical. Submissions may either be mailed to Janet Watton, 1387 Davis Road, Randolph Center, 05061 or physically dropped off at Marjorie Ryerson’s house at 36 Randolph Avenue, Randolph, 05060 in a marked box on her front porch, specifically designated for this purpose.

For the purposes of blind judging, the poet’s name, city/town of residence, email address, and phone number must be entered on the reverse side of the submitted poem page, not on the front of the poem.

In addition to displayed poems, PoemTown will offer poetry workshops and public readings. Programming is free and open to the public. This year’s events are supported in part by a grant from the Vermont Humanities Council.

Poems-in-the-Windows by Gary Margolis

I wouldn’t choose to be sitting inside
this Sunday afternoon either, on the first day

of real spring. Thinking a few poems would do me
more good than shoveling the last mounds of snow

next to the opera house into a wheelbarrow. A scene
I saw walking around Randolph before the reading.

This place the arts committee named PoemTown
for April’s national poetry month. Inviting citizens

from around our state to submit a poem that could fit
into a window, a driver filling her tank could read.

A teenager trying to buy cigarettes could hesitate,
before going into the convenience store, pondering

what that last line meant. Forgetting the law he was
trying to break. I wish I had more time to read all one

hundred and eight of them. So many windows,
so little time is the title of the poem taped in Aubuchon’s

tinted window. Inside, the shovels and rakes selling faster
than pancakes. I’d be amiss to call anything else.

Here where the sap is flowing and driving over Bethel
Mountain I saw the beginning of flowers splitting

rocks without hesitating, that wouldn’t be caught dead
inside, to adorn a poetry reading.

 

2016 Poem Locations

Poems to be displayed throughout April—National Poetry Month.

River Path
accessed at Valley Bowl Parking lot, 12 Prince Street

  • Laura Foley – Spring Treachery
  • Corinne Davis – The Storm
  • Lindy Sayward – Aliveness
  • Elizabeth Mariani – Influence
  • Mark Fournier – August 29
  • Rebecca Riley – Break Up
  • Wilma Ann Johnson – November Blessing
  • Rochelle Wilson – God Knows

Randolph Village Laundromat
75 North Main Street

  • Partridge Boswell – Two Euros
  • Wilma Ann Johnson – Transition

Chandler Music Hall 71-73 North Main Street

  • Marjorie Ryerson – S. Hurok Presents
  • Janet Watton – Winter Dances

Kimball Public Library67 North Main Street

  • Stephen Morris – Citizens of Library
  • Judy Crocker – A Writer’s Place

Randolph House65 North Main Street

  • David Stauffer – In My Son’s Eyes
  • Suzanne Sakai – Old Maples: One Hundred Years of Marriage

Super Suds Laundromat10 Pleasant Street

  • Michelle Holder – Light Denizens
  • Steven Augustus – Asking Baskets for Heads
  • George Murphy – A Gift & Moonlight

Three Bean Café22 Pleasant Street

  • Julie Cadwallader Staub – Recipe
  • Michelle Holder – Astral
  • Wilma Ann Johnson – Thanksgiving Eves

The Herald30 Pleasant Street

  • Marjorie Ryerson – To Anne Sexton
  • Katie Jickling – Dissection
  • Dick Drysdale – Osama Bin Laden Watches His First Episode of the Jerry Springer Show

First Light Studios34 Pleasant Street

  • Shannon Blake – 35 mm

Catamount Solar 34 Pleasant Street

  • Charles Sabukewicz – The Blue Woodstove
  • Joyce Borthwick-Leslie – Closure

Vermont Computing Cooperative 23 Merchants Row

  • Jack Rossi – August
  • Gina Logan – Always May
  • Peggy Rose Whiteneck – What Goes Together Stays Together
  • Pam Ahlen – Mission Impossible?

The Black Krim Tavern 21 Merchants Row

  • Charleigh – Heirloom Dreams

 Sidewalk Florist19 Merchants Row

  • Lindy Sayward – Ode to Brown Eyed Susans
  • Pam Ahlen – Dying Queen Anne’s Lace

Fenix Fine Foods20 Merchants Row

  • Jack Mayer – Green Tea on Jay Peak

Flats Tatooing of Vermont18 Merchants Row

  • Guy Flatley – Dog Prayer

Fisher Auto Parts10 Merchants Row

  • Steven Augustus – In Order
  • Margaret Abbott – Rebirth
  • Christen Brooks – That First Night (Nicholas Garza)
  • David Stauffer – To a Cicada
  • Gina Logan – Winterkill

One Main Tap & Grill2 Merchants Row

  • Becky McMeekin – Kodachrome
  • Jamie Gage – Mallaig, 1901
  • Katie Jickling – The Things You Knew: A Eulogy
  • Daniel Lazar – If This World Was Enough For You It Will Be Enough For Me

Clara Martin Center11 North Main Street

  • Nancy Hewitt – Genealogy
  • Daniel Lazar – Enough (for the Hard Nights)

Belmains14 North Main Street

  • Marya Merriam – Poems everyone else has written, Part I
  • Robbie Pfeufer Kahn – Bruxism watch
  • Barbara Stearns – Rooted in Vermont
  • Alec Hastings – Old Shoes
  • Debby Franzoni – Grown Up in Vermont
  • Ina Anderson – Prodigal
  • Daniel Lazar – Warning
  • Janet Watton – Ant Hills

Lake Sunapee Bank 21 North Main Street

  • Gary Margolis – Launch Day at Basin Harbor
  • Nancy Hewitt – Since you died,
  • Julie Longstreth – Grief
  • Megan Buchanan – Winter Polaroids from Vermont
  • Danny Dover – Under Aegis of High Pressure
  • Partridge Boswell – Lucky Scars
  • Charles Sabukewicz – Night Visit
  • Verandah Porche – What ISIS is Not

Art of Vermont27 North Main Street

  • Megan Buchanan – How Did You Know
  • Partridge Boswell – Shut Up & Kiss Me

Ken’s Barbershop33 North Main Street

  • Bonnie Beck – William Francis Beck 1943 – 2015

Holiday Beauty Salon33 North Main Street

  • Chloe Viner – Doors

The Frankenburg Agency35 North Main Street

  • Margaret Abbott – Infatuation

Bethany Church Office29 North Main Street

  • Katie Jickling – Out of Eden
  • Michelle Holder – Of Farm and of Faith: An Offering
  • Gary Margolis – Taking the Weather Personally

DuBois & King28 North Main Street

  • Dick Drysdale – Lethal Injection

Station Break26 North Main Street

  • Chloe Viner – Hairdo

Blue Moon6 North Main Street

  • Becky McMeekin – Netherland
  • Marjorie Ryerson – Blending with Light
  • Julie Longstreth – November
  • Kathryn Dodge – Culture Clash
  • Robbie Pfeufer Kahn – The morning of the day she died

Northfield Savings Bank2 North Main Street

  • Verandah Porche – Life After Death: How One Swallow Makes a Summer
  • Jamie Gage – Billy
  • Gary Margolis – Electing Winter
  • Jack Mayer – Receive What Is Offered
  • Julie Longstreth – Toad

East Garden – 3 Salisbury Street

  • Janet Watton – Un Bel Di

 Wilson Tire – 5 Salisbury Street

  • Julie Cadwallader Staub – Winter Sacrament

Randolph Municipal Building7 Summer Street

  • Donald Payton – Vermont is God’s Country
  • Chloe Viner – Trying to Find You
  • Pam Ahlen – Nature is not a place to visit, it is home
  • Kathryn Dodge – From His Point of View

Randolph Coal & Oil8 Salisbury Street

  • Roger Dodge – Reception
  • Anne Bower – Grit

Randolph Police Station6 Salisbury Street

  • Laura Foley – The Sound of the Space

Bob’s M&M Beverage4 Salisbury Street

  • Laura Foley – Tientsin, December 1941

Randolph Depot2 Salisbury Street

  • Joyce Borthwick-Leslie – Duty

StagecoachDepot Square

  • Dick Drysdale – People who Talk

Randolph Village Pizza1 South Main Street

  • Ian A. Worley – Rules at Our Home

NAPA / Randolph Auto Supply3 South Main Street

  • Jack Mayer – A Boy Is Missing
  • Julie Cadwallader Staub – Lesson Before a Road Trip
  • Andrea Rogers – Fall Wonder
  • Ian A. Worley – Goshawk Guilt
  • Peggy Rose Whiteneck – Branding

The Playhouse11 South Main Street

  • Marya Merriam – I can compartmentalize, so these things are separate:

Mid-State Sports17 South Main Street

  • Bonnie Beck – Gatling Gun

Vermont Maple BBQ – 17 South Main Street

  • Roger Dodge – Sonatina

China Jade – 17 South Main Street

  • Janet E. Green – My Mother-in-Law

Beacon Printing 18 South Main Street

  • Suzanne Sakai – December’s Infinity
  • James Barrett – So Many Trees

Curves – 12½ South Main Street

  • Cynthia Liepmann – it’s an odd thing

Century 21 12½ South Main Street

  • Judy Crocker – Home Cooking

Al’s Pizza12 South Main Street

  • James Barrett – In the Deep Green
  • Steven Augustus – Cool In Its Right Time
  • Kristin Husher – A tiny chime
  • Anne Bower – Ink

Former Verizon Building
corner of Main Street and Merchants Row

  • Ina Anderson – The Taj Across the River
  • Debby Franzoni – A Vermont Neighborhood – 1950’s
  • Kathryn Dodge – Taking Time
  • Barbara Stearns – The Perfect Gift
  • Robbie Pfeufer Kahn – LL Bean Transforming

Gifford Thrift Shop52 South Main Street

  • Alec Hastings – American Mona Lisa

Randolph Regional Veterinary Hospital86 Dylan Drive

  • Charles Sabukewicz – The Stone Cat
  • R.D. Colgan – Entertainment
  • Peggy Rose Whiteneck – Why Talk to Animals?
  • Sandra Maccarrone – Three Cat-lets

Central Supplies839 VT Route 12

  • Nancy Hewitt – Sebastian

 Chef’s Market – 839 VT Route 12

  • Becky McMeekin – New Fruit