Lecture 1: “Inviting the Reader: Narrative Values, Lyric Presentation”

On Friday April 3, Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea kicked off the Poets and Their Craft Lecture Series at Norwich Bookstore in Norwich Vermont. With a selection of poems to illustrate his points, Lea shared how narrative values – plot, character, and setting – don’t “dumb down” a poem, but help us penetrate it in order to get to its complexities. These narrative values invite the reader into the poem, giving the reader a place to start. Lea used a diverse set of poems by Will Eaves, James Wright, Fleda Brown, Wesley McNair, and Robert Frost to illustrate narrative’s role in poetry. With the help of Frost’s poem, “Provide, Provide” we saw how even just a few lines with narrative values can open the poem to testimony and rhetoric.

Watch the entire lecture on MMCTV on Friday at 4pm, Sat at 9pm , Sun at 10am and Wed at 11am and 11pm – or watch it right now here!

Did you attend Lecture 1? Please share your comments below.

Mary Jane Dickerson, Sydney Lea, Norwich Bookstore Owner Liza Bernard, and Tamra Higgins. April 3, 2015
Mary Jane Dickerson, Sydney Lea, Norwich Bookstore Owner Liza Bernard, and Tamra Higgins. April 3, 2015

Poets and Their Craft Lecture Series

Please join us! Click on the names below to learn more about each poet and bookstore. See poster below for dates and venues for each poet lecture, reading, and discussion.

Poets: Sydney Lea, David Huddle, David Budbill, Neil Shepard, Pamela Harrison, Mary Jane Dickerson, Tamra J. Higgins, Jay Parini, Major Jackson, Diana Whitney, Baron Wormser.

Bookstores: Norwich Books, The Vermont Bookstore, Galaxy Bookshop, Ebenezer Books, Bridgeside Books, Phoenix Books, Northshire Books, Bear Pond Books, Bartleby’s Books, Misty Valley Books.

lecture series poster 2

Poetry and Healing Retreat

Happy New Year!

Sundog Poetry Center has many exciting programs in the works for 2015, one of which is a new retreat we’ve just added to the calendar. This retreat will focus on the healing that can occur when we write and explore poetry. The Poetry and Healing Retreat will take place at Fielder Farm in April. Our guest for the retreat, poet David Mook, will join us for the weekend. Please see the retreat page for information regarding our April retreat.

Vermont Humanities Council Grant

VHC 40 logo_1.inddHappy Holidays! As an early holiday gift, we received wonderful news that we are the recipients of a Vermont Humanities Council grant! VHC has awarded us the grant in support of our state-wide 2015 Poets and Their Craft Lecture Series, which begins on April 2. During the series, ten Vermont poets will give a lecture, read a selection of their work, and engage with the audience in a follow-up discussion after the lecture. The ten poets include Sydney Lea,Major Jackson, Jay Parini, David Huddle, Diana Whitney, Neil Shepard, David Budbill, Pamela Harrison, Baron Wormser, and the “tenth” is Mary Jane Dickerson and Tamra Higgins who will lecture together.

Participating bookstores thus far include Phoenix Books in Burlington, Ebenezer Books in Johnson, Galaxy Bookshopin Hardwick, Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, Norwich Bookstore, Bridgeside Books in Waterbury, Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center. Check back often for updates!

In other news, Tamra’s book, Nothing Saved Us: Poems of the Korean War has just been reviewed by Julia Shipley in Seven Days. Read the review here!

November News

Our first retreat (Oct 31 – Nov 2) was filled with poetry, laughter, and new friendships at beautiful Fielder Farm. Thank you Bert and Sarah Dickerson for hosting us! Fresh, healthy, and delicious meals provided by Almost Home catering kept us filled to the gills – no starving poets here! Thank you to the participants for trusting us for this first time retreat. We can’t wait until next year!

Book Launch at Shelburne Farms

THANK YOU for joining us on October 16 at Shelburne Farms Coach Barn for the celebration of Water Journeys in Art and Poetry with art by Dianne Shullenberger and poetry by Mary Jane Dickerson and Nothing Saved Us: Poems of the Korean War by Tamra J. Higgins. THANK YOU to David Huddle for being our emcee!. And THANK YOU  to BCA – Burlington City Arts – and Shelburne Farms for co-sponsoring this event as part of the Of Land and Local state-wide art show!

Cambridge Arts Council Grant

CAC LogoWe are thrilled to be the recipients of a grant from the CAMBRIDGE ARTS COUNCIL!! They have chosen to sponsor one of our Evenings of Poetry, Music, and Delectable Delights! So far, we have been able to schedule two of these for the fall, the first onSaturday, September 13and the second on Saturday, October 11. Both events begin at 7:00 pm. Mark your calendars now – artists to be announced soon! Thank you to all of our donors who have given in response to our first annual appeal. We are extremely grateful that you chose Sundog Poetry Center for your charitable contributions. With your help we will be able to continue our series of An Evening of Poetry, Music, & Delectable Delights! as well as offer additional events that bring poetry to our Vermont community. Please visit our Donor page to see which of your friends and neighbors believe poetry is important to our culture.

Poetry, Music, and Delectable Delights!

Participants at "Poetry of Place" workshop led by Tamra Higgins at the Varnum Memorial Library, Jeffersonville
Participants at “Poetry of Place” workshop led by Tamra Higgins at the Varnum Memorial Library, Jeffersonville
Darcy and Dale Cahill treat the audience at An Evening of Poetry, Music, and Delectable Delights! on April 12
Darcy and Dale Cahill treat the audience at An Evening of Poetry, Music, and Delectable Delights! on April 12
Raven Schwan-Noble won both People's Choice and Poet's Choice Awards with her  photograph "Meditation" inspired by Daniel Lusk's poem, "Beaver." Photo by Patricia Fontaine.
Raven Schwan-Noble won both People’s Choice and Poet’s Choice Awards with her photograph “Meditation” inspired by Daniel Lusk’s poem, “Beaver.” Photo by Patricia Fontaine.

Saturday, May 17 – Poetry, Music, and Delectable Delights! Poetry readings by LN and UVM Professor Emeritus, Mary Jane Dickerson. Music by Patrick Fitzsimmons. Desserts and snacks by The Gilded Pear. 7:00 at Visions of Vermont Fine Art Gallery, Main St. Jeffersonville. $5.00 suggested donation per person at the door.   Workshops offered by SPR can be tailored to your wants and needs. The number of sessions, participants, length of workshop, and even content is discussed and agreed upon ahead of time. Workshops can be geared to the general public, teachers with or without experience in teaching and incorporating poetry into their curriculum, experienced poets, novice poets, or to the lover of poetry who enjoys reading, not writing, poetry. Workshops can also be geared towards

regular classroom settings in the accompaniment of a teacher (see workshops) or in small groups with a teacher present: a great way to individualize instruction and allow those students especially interested in words, language, and poetry to explore beyond the normal classroom experience. We hope to see you soon!