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Vermont’s Poet Laureate

Vermont’s Poet Laureate

Posted: October 31, 2019

We are delighted to announce that Mary Ruefle will succeed Chard deNiord as Vermont poet laureate beginning October 28, 2019. Nationally acclaimed Vermont author Major Jackson called Mary “one of the best poets in America,” and reflected that “one travels places, inward and outward” through her work. Critic Lisa Beskin of the Boston Review observed “Like John Ashbery and James Tate, Mary Ruefle investigates the multiplicities and frailties of being with an associative inventiveness and a lightness of touch; the purposefulness of her enquiry never eclipses the remarkable beauty of her work.” Committee members commended Mary's originality, imaginative writing, and wit. They agreed that she is a poet “at the height of her powers,” making her nomination as Vermont’s Poet Laureate in 2019 timely and appropriate. Read More
After a Disaster

After a Disaster

Posted: August 15, 2019

Beginning Tuesday morning, August 30, 2011: There is so much to remember. At dawn after the nighttime deluge, downtown Waterbury was under several feet of brown water. When that receded we had a thick layer of muck that turned to brown soot. The color was unforgettably ugly, and to me represented the enormous task ahead. The first thing I did as a citizen was what apparently most of the town did: go to Thatcher Brook Primary School and volunteer my service for whatever was needed. The first few days the crew of volunteers was mostly local folks, and the organization whipped into place. It was impressive. Read More
Hail the Poets!

Hail the Poets!

Posted: April 11, 2019

Vermont’s writers enrich our culture as their words move us—emotionally, first, then literally. For example, Nico Amador (pictured left) offered “I recently had a high school teacher in Montpelier write to say she'd used a couple of my poems in a unit on LGBT writers, and she shared some of the observations they'd made about one poem, specifically. I was so touched to know that my poems had reached these students and they had treated them with such care.” Then we all edge one societal inch forward with Julia Shipley, who will be “recording twelve tiny essays I wrote for The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their first female calendar essayist since the Almanac's founding in 1792.” Read More
“It’s Been a Great Honor

“It’s Been a Great Honor

Posted: March 27, 2019

. . . and pleasure to serve as the eighth poet laureate of Vermont. I have especially enjoyed working without a prescribed job description, undertaking projects of my own design.” So said Chard deNiord reflecting on his four-year term that ends in November. Read More
Call for Nominations

Call for Nominations

Posted: March 22, 2019

A call for nominations for the appointment of a new poet laureate is open. Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Arts Council invite you to submit your nomination by April 25, 2019. The poet laureate serves as Vermont’s ambassador for the art of poetry and is called upon to participate in official ceremonies and readings within Vermont and nationally. This is an honorary position, appointed by the governor based on the recommendation of a distinguished panel of judges. Read More
Welding Art to Life

Welding Art to Life

Posted: January 9, 2019

During her sophomore year in college, then eighteen-year-old Rebecca Nase Chomyn showed up to her first welding class in a skirt and flip flops. That was the day they were doing a demo of plasma cutting. “Basically you’re shooting fire toward the ground as you cut metal,” said Chomyn, who graduated from Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, NY, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in sculpture. “And I had flip flops on! I never did that again.” Although her wardrobe choices weren’t great, her metal work was awesome. Read More