Brattleboro Literary Festival 2022 Brattleboro Literary Festival 2022

Poetry

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

- EDT (Part 1 of 2)
Hill Journey: The Poetry of William Mundell
Don McLean
Don McLean
The Poetry of William Mundell

This roundtable discussion on Mundell’s life and career will feature  reminiscences by nephews Merrill Mundell, jr and Malcolm Mundell, and great-nephew Eric Mundell.  

Also joining the panel will be Andy Burrows of Guilford, who guided the publication of Mundell’s first volume of poetry by the Stephen Greene Press.  There were three volumes all together.

An exhibit will highlight the poet’s other achievements as a photographer — his work was featured in Life magazine.  

And the evening will conclude with a reading/lecture by Don McLean of Guilford.

 

- EDT (Part 2 of 2)
Hill Journey: The Poetry of William Mundell
Don McLean
Don McLean
The Poetry of William Mundell

This roundtable discussion on Mundell’s life and career will feature  reminiscences by nephews Merrill Mundell, jr and Malcolm Mundell, and great-nephew Eric Mundell.  

Also joining the panel will be Andy Burrows of Guilford, who guided the publication of Mundell’s first volume of poetry by the Stephen Greene Press.  There were three volumes all together.

An exhibit will highlight the poet’s other achievements as a photographer — his work was featured in Life magazine.  

And the evening will conclude with a reading/lecture by Don McLean of Guilford.

 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

- EDT
Martin Espada & Doug Anderson
Martín Espada
Martín Espada
Floaters
Doug Anderson
Doug Anderson
Undress, She Said

Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His new book of poems from Norton is called Floaters, winner of the 2021 National Book Award. Other books of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016), The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006) and Alabanza (2003). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). He has received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. 

The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays and poems, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and reissued by Northwestern. 

A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

 In Doug Anderson’s newest collection, Undress, She Said, we accompany a speaker undaunted by the complex reckonings of history, evolving relationships, and an aging body, a speaker that, besieged by a storm, resolves to "set out into it, the wind / playing the rigging like a harp." Over and over in these pages, Anderson makes music of the gales and rain and turbulent sea. These poems voyage from the subtle violences of a religious upbringing to complex remembrances of time served in the Vietnam War to contemporary emergencies of real and political plagues. Yet, no matter the subject, compassion rudders these lyrics as they turn always and at last to myriad beloveds-the enigmatic "Angel of Death," literary and mythological influences, kind strangers, the constantly elusive and elusively constant moon. These words reach out to the reader the way the poet addresses frozen joy from the confines of winter: "Red berry trapped in ice, / let me touch you."

- EDT
Write Action Spotlight Reading

Terry Hauptman will be reading from her seventh full length new poetry collection, FALLEN ANGELS. She reads her poetry rhapsodically and exhibits her luminous Songline Scroll paintings nationally . 

 

Julia Ferrari, a  poet, printmaker and painter, brings all those fields into her profession in the book arts. Ferrari will read from her new book, Like Rivers with a prose poem expressing the endless movement of our lives, as well as a poem about the impact of personal loss.

 

Toni Ortner has had 29 books published by small presses/ In 2022 Blue Lyrics by  Adelaide Books, Daybook IV by Deerbrook Editions, Daybook V Change of Season by Ardent Writer Press, and Shadows and Silhouettes by Kelsay Books.

 

Naima K. Wade, poet and author, educator, certified health/ wellness instructor, holistic and meditation coach and lead consultant for Wade Consulting Teacher Services International. Wade will read from WAR IS OVER WE ARE UNBOUND : POETRY ARMOR FOR THE TIMES WE LIVE IN AMERICA NOW!, a volume of poetry and creative prose in Naima’s all inclusive voice….This is a journey into her transformational awakened/ dream states and her extraordinary healing from past racial traumas that freed her poetic voice.

 

Susan Mills ran an immigration law firm in the Providence and the Boston areas as a Spanish-speaking attorney. She prepared asylum cases for thousands of immigrants from Central America, with a focus on unaccompanied teenagers. Central Americans have been an intimate part of her life for some forty years. Members of her family also came from a war-torn village in El Salvador.  

On the Wings of a Hummingbird was published in May of this year. At 15 years old, Petra must grow into the lessons of the Mayan hummingbird as she carves her future out of a childhood scarred by gang violence. "There is poetry and hardship to spare in Mills's mesmerizing novel … a profound meditation on the human capacity for repair, for regeneration," writes Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Díaz. 

- EDT
Bridges & Juxtapositions— Meg Kearney & Steven Cramer
Meg Kearney
Meg Kearney
All Morning the Crows

In All Morning the Crows, Meg Kearney draws on her acute powers of observation, a lively curiosity and her gift for gorgeous imagery to take us on a journey of personal exploration, discovery, and reconciliation. These surprising poems bring together the parallel but discreet worlds of human beings and birds, which talk to each other across the gulf between them. 

Steven Cramer’s Listen generates scores of illuminating juxtapositions: the privacy of a son’s shower-aria and the public lies spewed by the demagogue; what Martin Luther, The Thinker, and Charmin have in common; Renaissance garb—the stomacher, pincnets—wrapped in a headline announcing the moon-landing, to name just a few.

- EDT
Resilience & Identity— Quintin Collins & Jendi Reiter
Quintin Collins
Quintin Collins
Claim Tickets for Stolen People
Jendi Reiter
Jendi Reiter
Made Man

In Claim Tickets for Stolen People, Quintin Collins embraces a range of poetic forms and registers to show the resilience of Blackness in a colonized world. The tension between mortality and vitality is ever-present, whether Collins is charting his daughter’s emergence into being, cataloging the toll of white violence, or detailing the exuberance of community, family, and Chicago and Boston life. 

Jendi Reiter's Made Man explores female-to-male transition and gay masculine identity through the voices of unusual objects and fictional characters with some aspect that is constructed, technological, or hybrid. These startling life studies open up onto a broader consideration of humanity's relationship with technology and the shadow side of male dominance of nature.

- EDT
Interrogations— Andrea Cohen & Nathan McClain
Andrea Cohen
Andrea Cohen
Everything
Nathan McClain
Nathan McClain
Previously Owned

The poems in Everything, Andrea Cohen’s seventh collection, traffic in wonder and woe, in dialogue and interior speculation. Humor and gravity go hand in hand here. Cohen’s poems have the rueful irony of a stand-up comic playing to an empty room. 

In his daring sophomore collection Previously OwnedNathan McClain interrogates his speaker’s American heritage, history, and responsibility. Insofar as this collection scrutinizes one’s own culpability in this country, interested in the natural world and beauty, as well as what beauty distracts us from, it does so in the hopes of reimagining inheritance, of leaving our children a different song

Sunday, October 16, 2022

- EDT
Roads Not Taken - Green Writers Press

Readings from Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont Poetry, 3rd Edition, with Editors Chard deNiord and Sydney Lea, Former Poet Laureates of Vermont and Published by Green Writers Press of Brattleboro.

- EDT
Local Voices— Shanta Lee Gander & Arlene Distler
Shanta Lee
Shanta Lee
GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA

In her first full-length collection GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, Shanta Lee Gander navigates between formal and vernacular styles to introduce the reader to a myriad of subjects such as scientific facts that link butterflies to female sexuality and vulnerability; whispers of classical Greek myth; H.P. Lovecraft’s fantastical creature, Cthulhu; and the traces of African mythmaking and telling. 

In Voices Like Wind Chimes, Arlene Distler’s parallax vision reveals both the visceral and emotional interiors of her subject matter, especially as it evanesces before her, whether it be an octopus getting cleaned or those she has loved and lost. These are moving lyrical poems that transcend mere experience with a distilled wisdom that’s resonates with spontaneous freshness.

- EDT
Dennis Nurkse and Carolyn Forche
Dennis Nurkse
Dennis Nurkse
A Country of Strangers
Carolyn Forché
Carolyn Forché
In the Lateness of the World

“An undisputed literary event,” NPR announced on the recent publication of Carolyn Forche’s new book In The Lateness of the World and Hilton of New Yorker summed up the import of this timely, prophetic book in this way: “History—with its construction and its destruction—is at the heart of In the Lateness of the World. . . . In [it] one feels the poet cresting a wave—a new wave that will crash onto new lands and unexplored territories.” 

What a joy to have this overview of D. Nurske’s marvelous poems, Ilya Kaminsky writes about A Country of Strangers. He is a master of  the lyric mode, one in whose hands the lines come immediately alive, magic breathes, nuance shimmers and becomes the world all its own. Doors open into the unknown and we see that it is strangely familiar because strangeness is, in fact, our first language, one we mouthed before words. Welcome to A Country of Strangers, reader–don’t be surprised if by the time you finish this terrific book you might feel changed, and at home.”

- EDT
Michael Fleming & Camille Guthrie
Michael Fleming
Michael Fleming
Bags and Tools

About the winning selection of Sundog Poetry’s yearly Vermont poetry book contest  Benjamin Aleshire wrote the following about Bag of Tools in Seven Days: “This unusually rich variety of lived experiences makes Bags and Tools a pleasure to read." 

Divided into four sections, the author confronts the dread of the pandemic, recounts personal adventures from his wild years, and muses about subjects global and local. Composed almost entirely in rhyme and meter, the book is also an impressive feat of formalism — especially since the gorgeous musicality in Fleming's poems never gets in the way of what the author is communicating.” 

Camille Guthrie's new book Diamonds abounds with witty resilience. In these irreverent poems about grief and desire—in which the poet meditates upon gender roles, history, pop culture, and academia. Guthrie subverts and teases traditional forms in an elegy about Sylvia Plath’s prom dress, a dating profile for Hieronymus Bosch, a sestina about beauty and power—with radical dramatic monologues in the voices of Madame du Barry, a Pict Woman, and more. 

Unlike Virgil, who refuses to guide this poet through her journey at midlife, Guthrie leads readers by the hand into a provoking, affecting journey of a break-up and a reconciliation with love.

- EDT
The Vast Library of the Female Mind: The Poetry of Ruth Stone--Film screening and discussion
Nora Jacobson
Nora Jacobson
Film: The Vast Library of the Female Mind: The Poetry of Ruth Stone

Film director, Nora Jacobson, will be present for the screening of her award winning documentary on Vermont poet, Ruth Stone.

Stone appeared at the Brattleboro Literary Festival in 2002, its inaugural year. Jacobson's film, recently acquired for distribution by Icarus Films and slated for PBS broadcast in 2023, is an intimate view into the life and work of poet Ruth Stone. In addition to priceless archival footage of Stone in the 70s, the film incorporates candid footage of Ruth when she was 94, her family, and heartfelt and enlightening interviews with poets who knew her and know her work, including Sharon Olds, Toi Derricotte, Edward Hirsch, Major Jackson, Verandah Porsche and Chard DeNiord. 

The film also features hand made animation by Stone's granddaughter Bianca Stone, also a poet.

Chard DeNiord, former Vermont Poet Laureate, says this about Stone: 

Ruth Stone (1917-2011) was a self-educated American original who possessed a formidable poetic gift. Blessed with both an eidetic memory and genius for crafting memorable poetry that chronicled her courageous life as a widow and mother of three daughters while living in poverty throughout most of her life, Stone grew steadily as a poet, ultimately winning a National Book Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Fellowships, and the honor of poet laureate of Vermont.