PoemTown Randolph Receives an Owl Award for Best Innovative Community Offering!

Each September The Complete Hoot Guide to Arts and Events in the Upper Valley sponsors The Owl Awards. Through these awards, the regional arts publication honors regional excellence in the arts. The categories are determined by, and then voted on, by its readership. This year a new category was introduced, and PoemTown Randolph earned recognition as the Best Innovative Community Offering.

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

2016 Poets

Pamela Ahlen is currently program coordinator for Bookstock (Woodstock, Vermont), the Green Mountain Literary Festival.  She organizes literary readings for Osher (Lifelong Education at Dartmouth).  Pam received an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  She is the author of the chapbook “Gather Every Little Thing” (Finishing Line Press).

Ina Anderson grew up in England, but has lived in Sharon, VT for many years. She spent her professional life as a technical editor and as a community college educator. Now retired, she has time for her life-long love of poetry and fiber arts. Ina has led poetry groups at the Writers’ Center in White River Junction and at Baxter Library in Sharon. Some of her poems were published in the poetry group anthology, “Perhaps it was the Pie.” Her first collection, Before I Left, will be published by this fall.

Danny Dover lives with his wife Mary in a remodeled schoolhouse in Bethel. He received his B.A. from Antioch College in 1971 and also holds Associate Degrees in Surveying Technology and Keyboard Technology. Danny was the piano technician at Dartmouth College for seventeen years and continues servicing pianos part-time. Previously he worked as a folksinger, contradance musician, dulcimer maker, foundry patternmaker, and surveyor. Danny serves on the Board of Hands in Outreach, Inc., a small non-profit coordinating educational sponsorships for very poor children in Nepal. His poems have appeared in Blueline and numerous issues of Bloodroot Literary Magazine. He has published one chapbook, Kindness Soup, Thankful Tea (Dhotarap Press, 2006). Danny was a 2013 Pushcart nominee. His first full-length book of poetry, “Tasting Precious Metal,” was recently published by Antrim House Books.

Chard deNiord is Vermont’s newly-appointed Poet Laureate. Born in New Haven, CT and raised in Lynchburg, VA, he anticipated going into the medical profession until college professors introduced him to religious studies. After graduating from Lynchburg College, deNiord earned his MDiv from Yale Divinity School. Before pursuing ordination, he working as an inpatient psychiatric aide at the Connecticut 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, featuring faculty poets such as Thomas Lux, Gerald Stern, Jean Valentine and Ellen Bryant Voigt. 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.

Dick Drysdale grew up in Randolph and succeeded his father as editor and publisher of Randolph’s weekly newspaper, then the White River Valley Herald, in 1971, when he was 26. He sold the paper in June 2015, when he was rather older. Dick’s written output has mostly been newspaper stories and editorials, some of which have received statewide attention and he was inducted into the New England Press Association’s Hall of Fame a year ago. He has enjoyed writing poetry but hasn’t written much of it. He insists that he experienced a Fertile Period for about 15 months some 20 years ago and has been mired in a Fallow Period ever since. A few of his poems have been published in literary journals and 15 in his own book “Vermont Moments” published late last year.

Jamie Gage is a Vermonter, father and husband, poet and writer who has won fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and Vermont Arts Council. His work has been published in dozens of periodicals and literary journals including Main Street Rag, Inkwell, Out of Line, Mountain Gazette, Powhatan Review, and others. His first book of poems “True If Destroyed” is now available from Finishing Line Press or by contacting him at jgagenow@gmail.com.

Aaron Marcus (piano, concertina, banjo, foot percussion, vocals) draws on a rich background of musical traditions including New England contra, classical piano, English country dance, West African, and old time. Aaron is well known throughout the Northeast for his performances with Giant Robot Dance, Gift of the Marcii, Frost and Fire, and The Turning Stile. In his non-musical life, he works as an endangered-species biologist.

Gary Margolis is the author of four books of poems. His poems speak from the heart of New England and our nation and speak across cultures. They’re characterized by thoughtful emotion, humor, curiosity and surprise. He is the Executive Director Emeritus of College Mental Health Services at Middlebury College where he was also a part-time Associate Professor of English and American Literatures. He is a recipient of Vermont Arts Council and Millay Colony Awards and a Robert Frost Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, American Scholar, Poetry Northwest, and the Journal of the American College Health Association.

Lizzy Mandell is a Vermont singer/songwriter. Her album debut, Made for Flying, showcases eleven original songs. Lizzy’s soulful voice and compelling lyrics and melodies take the listener on a ride through the American landscape – through mountain farms, desert towns, to ocean shores, and home again.

Dorothy Robson is a founder of the White River Valley Players. The Hancock musician has composed and performed music for a number of WRVP Productions, including The Cherry Orchard, Second Chance, and most recently, Ransom, which was performed at Chandler in November 2014.

Gwyneth Walker’s music has been widely performed throughout the country and is beloved by performers and audiences alike for its energy, beauty, reverence, drama, and humor. Dr. Gwyneth Walker is a graduate of Brown University and the Hartt School of Music. She holds B.A., M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Music Composition. A former faculty member of the Oberlin College Conservatory, she resigned from academic employment in 1982 in order to pursue a career as a full-time composer. For nearly 30 years, she lived on a dairy farm in Braintree. She now divides her time between her childhood hometown of New Canaan, Connecticut and the musical communities of Sarasota, Florida and Randolph, Vermont. Walker’s catalogue includes over 300 commissioned works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, chorus, and solo voice. A special interest has been dramatic works that combine music with readings, acting, and movement.

Chloe Viner has been writing poetry for fifteen years. Her first book of poetry “Naked Under an Umbrella” was published by Finishing Line press in 2011. Her second book of poetry, “What the Rain Said Last Night” was published in 2015 by Future Cycle Press. Her third book of poetry, “27 Apples” is forthcoming this July. Chloe lives in a large farmhouse in rural Vermont with her husband, cat, dog and a flock of hens. Chloe works as the Panel Manager at Franklin Grand Isle Restorative Justice Center and spends her spare time reading and hiking.

PoemTown 2016 Thanks!

A heartfelt thank-you to Randolph’s downtown merchants and organizations that so generously supported PoemTown 2016 through their willingness to display poems in windows and host events. We offer special thanks to Kimball Library, The Three Bean Café, Black Krim, and One Main for hosting events during the month.

Thank you to Vermont’s Poet Laureate Chard deNiord, composer Gwyneth Walker, Middlebury poet Gary Margolis, and Central Vermont poets Jamie Gage, Ina Anderson, Dick Drysdale, Pamela Ahlen, and Chloe Viner, and singer/songwriter Lizzy Mandell for their creative contributions. PoetryPlus featuring Bethel poet Danny Dover and pianists Dorothy Robson and Aaron Marcus was a sublime end to the month.

And not to be forgotten are the 62 poets of all ages that represented 33 towns throughout Vermont. We couldn’t have done this without their creativity.

We look forward to PoemTown Randolph 2017!

PoemTown 2016 Calendar of Events

Saturday April 2, 6 PM – Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord opens National Poetry Month and PoemTown Randolph’s month-long celebration with a free public reading at the home of Janet Watton at 1387 Davis Road in Randolph Center. Listeners are invited to first enjoy a wine and cheese meet-and-greet.  The reading begins at 7 PM.  Reservations are requested and should be made by March 30 by emailing Janet at janet@poemtown.org.

Monday April 4, 7-8 PM – Composer Gwyneth Walker presents a talk about setting poetry to music at The Three Bean Café, 22 Pleasant Street. Light refreshments will be available for purchase.

Thursday April 7 – Middlebury poet Gary Margolis offers a reading at The Three Bean Café. Supper begins at 5:30 and the reading begins at 6:30. Dinner reservations are required and can be made by calling the café at 802-728-3533.

Monday April 11, 7 PM – Farm-themed poetry presented by area farmer-poets at the Black Krim Tavern, a farm-to-table restaurant located at 21 Merchants Row. Listeners are invited to enjoy fine local food from area farms before the reading. Featured poets include Julia Shipley, Molly Bashaw, Taylor Mardis Katz, Jenn Colby, and Jonathan Falby. Please make reservations by calling the Tavern at 802-728-6776.

Wednesday April 13, 7 PM – Open mic reading at Kimball Public Library, 67 North Main Street. Light refreshments will be served.

Thursday April 21, 8 PM – Vermont Singer/Songwriter Lizzy Mandell performs at One Main Tap and Grill, 2 Merchants Row. Listeners are invited to enjoy local fare, dessert and fine craft beer, local wines and cider. Reservations can be made by calling 802-565-8117.

Wednesday April 27, 7 PM – Central Vermont published poets Pamela Ahlen, Ina Anderson, Dick Drysdale, Jamie Gage, and Chloe Viner offer a free public reading at Kimball Public Library. Light refreshments will be served.

Friday April 29, 7:30 PM – PoemTown’s grande finale at Chandler Music Hall’s Upper Gallery with pianists Dorothy Robson, Aaron Marcus and poet Danny Dover, with decadent desserts afterwards.

Sunday May 1, 2-4 PM – Poetry workshop with Ina Anderson; Kimball Public Library, 67 North Main Street

Ongoing throughout the month of April – A walking tour of more than 100 poems displayed in downtown storefronts and organizations, a poetry walk on the trail along the Third Branch of the White River, and an exhibit of poems written by students of the Brookfield Elementary School on display at Kimball Public Library