Sundog Poetry Center Prepares for Growth; Expands Board

Jeffersonville, VT December 5, 2016 – Sundog Poetry Center, a non-profit charitable organization focused on supporting poets and promoting poetry throughout Vermont, has expanded its board of directors as it poises for growth in the new year. Joining the board are three Vermont poets, Pamela Harrison, Neil Shepard, and Judy Yarnall. A fourth member, accountant Christina Sultan, will join the board in the spring.

“For us to increase our services throughout the state and build upon our established solid foundation, we recognized the importance of expanding our board of directors,” said Tamra J. Higgins, vice-president and founder of Sundog Poetry Center. “We are ecstatic that Pamela, Neil, Judy, and Christina are joining us and look forward to their collective expertise and efforts playing a crucial role in our continued growth.”

pamela-harrisonPamela Harrison is the author of five poetry collections, with a memoir in verse, Glory Bush and Green Banana, to be published in May 2017. Her poems have been published in a variety of literary journals and magazines, including Poetry, Beloit Poetry Journal, Georgia Review, Green Mountains Review, Cimarron Review, and Yankee Magazine. Harrison was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and earned a B.A. from Smith College, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has taught English Literature and Creative Writing for the University System of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College as adjunct faculty.

Neil ShepardNeil Shepard joins the board a year after Sundog published his book, Vermont Exit Ramps II. His poems have appeared in several hundred literary magazines, among them Harvard Review, New England Review, North American Review, Paris Review, and Southern Review. He founded and directed for eight years the Writing Program at the Vermont Studio Center; he taught for a decade in the low-residency MFA program at Wilkes University (PA) and for several decades in the BFA Creative Writing Program at Johnson State College. He also founded the literary magazine Green Mountains Review and was the Senior Editor for a quarter-century. He currently splits his time between Vermont and New York City, where he teaches poetry workshops at Poets House.

“Sundog is the most dynamic poetry organization in the state, and one I’m proud to join as a board member,” Shepard said.

judy-yarnallJudy Yarnall is the author of Transfomations of Circe (University of Illinois Press). She has taught at several area colleges before joining the Writing and Literature department at Johnson State College. She’s published poems in journals including Feminist Studies, Green Mountains Review, Sojourners and Anima, and essays in the Southwest Review, Friends Journal and Shenandoah, where she won the Carter Prize. Yarnall studied history at Bates College and holds a Ph.D. in English from McGill University. She recently served three years on the board of the Peace and Justice Center in Burlington and is now excited and delighted to join the board of Sundog and put poetry once more at the center of her life.

The new members join Higgins and Mary Jane Dickerson, President, on the board of directors. The board’s first initiative as a new group was launching their 2017 capital campaign last month. The funds raised through the campaign will help expand the organization’s offerings across the state, including the return of their successful “Share Your Heart, Share the World” event in Shelburne with Tim Seibles in September 2017. Sundog Poetry Center plans to release a new poetry collection, Learning to See in Three Dimensions, by Pamela Spiro Wagner in conjunction with Green Writers Press next year. The board is also working on restructuring its corporate sponsorship model and strengthening its ability to provide and promote first-rate poetry events, workshops, and publications for all ages.

For more information on Sundog Poetry Center, visit

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About Sundog Poetry Center

Sundog Poetry Center is a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to promote poetry as necessary to the enrichment of our cultural lives, support poets in their work and create audiences for their poetry, and provide ways to share poetry throughout the Vermont community.

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