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Have Poetry, Will Travel: National Poetry Month Readings

National Poetry Month is right around the corner, and never mind what T.S. Eliot said (“April is the cruellest month,” right?), local arts and literary organizations have some interesting plans.

PoemTown Randolph, a celebration of poetry modeled on Montpelier’s PoemCity events, is bringing five events to the downtown and more than 100 poems will be posted on business windows through the month in all of the town’s five villages.

The readings, some of which feature dinners at local restaurants, start on April 3 with a reading by Sydney Lea, Vermont’s poet laureate (see his column elsewhere on this page) at the Three Bean Cafe. Dinner will be available at 5:30 and the reading is at 6:30.

Other readings include:

Norwich poet Pamela Harrison and Montpelier poet Samn Stockwell at 7 p.m. on April 10 at One Main Tap & Grill.

An open mic at the White River Craft Center, with readings limited to two poems per reader. Dinner’s at 6 and the microphone is open from 6:30 to 9.

An evening of poetry, short fiction and jazz with poets Tony Whedon and Geof Hewitt and “flash fiction” writers Angela Palm and Jessica Hendry Nelson and a jazz quartet from Burlington at 7 p.m. on April 21 at the Black Krim Tavern.

And on May 1, poets whose work was posted around town will read from their work in the Chandler Center for the Arts’ Esther Mesh Room at 7 p.m.

∎ Poet and publisher Peter Money will read from his new collection of poems, which bears the promising title American Drone, on Tuesday, April 1, at 7 p.m. at Hanover’s Left Bank Books.

∎ At Woodstock’s Norman Willams Public Library, two Vermont poets, Jody Gladding and Leland Kinsey, will celebrate National Poetry Month with a reading on April 2 at 6:30 p.m. The reading is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

∎ Also in Woodstock, a date has been set for the sixth annual Bookstock festival: July 25-27. This year’s list of presenters is largely complete and seems heavy with nonfiction writers, including longtime Middlebury College professor John Elder, Vermont farmer and author Ben Hewitt, Lyme bear biologist Ben Kilham and Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood. For more information, go to bookstockvt.org.

∎ Rebecca Foust will be the Dartmouth Poet in Residence at The Frost Place in Franconia, N.H. this summer.

According to her website, Foust is a Stanford Law School graduate who spent 10 years in private practice, then a decade as an advocate for children with autism before picking up poetry again at the age of 50. She has published a handful of books and will give three readings during her time in Franconia, on July 6 and 13, and Aug. 6. She also will read at Dartmouth College, but a date and time have not been set.

The readings at The Frost Place, a nonprofit arts organization and museum established to honor Robert Frost and encourage the creation and appreciation of poems, are free and open to the public.

Other Genres

It isn’t all poetry, as a range of new and noteworthy books have emerged from the Upper Valley in recent weeks.

Among them is Storytelling for Lawyers, by Vermont Law School professor Philip N. Meyer, who in addition to working as a trial lawyer holds an MFA from the famed Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa.

Storytelling for Lawyers, published by Oxford University Press, explains how attorneys use stories to get their messages across in the courtroom. It’s a practical book, intended for lawyers and law professors and as such raises hopes of a series of such works. Hey, Oxford, how about Storytelling for Accountants?

∎ Also published recently is The Hour of Parade, the first novel from Etna author Alan Bray. Published through Amazon, Parade is a work of historical fiction that chronicles a Russian cavalry officer’s attempt to avenge his brother’s death.

Alex Hanson can be reached at ahanson@vnews.com or 603-727-3219.