THE KELLOGG-HUBBARD LIBRARY CELEBRATES NATIONAL POETRY MONTH
Welcome to PoemCity 2021!
We celebrated PoemCity in many of the same ways as we usually do with hundreds of poems in storefront windows in downtown Montpelier, poetry readings and workshops free and open to all.
We will be taking poems down in the first week of May. The poems will be available for pick-up by poets at the front desk of the library.
A special thanks to downtown businesses who display PoemCity poems every year, and to the many Vermont poets who participate.
Questions? Email Michelle Singer at
PoemCity 2021 Poetry Contest
We are happy to announce that the winners of the PoemCity Poetry Contest are:
1st Place: “Love Poem” by Lizzy Fox
2nd Place: “Pandemic” by Nadell Fishman
3rd Place: “Autumn Voices/The Other Language” by Kiev Rattee
Honorable Mentions go to (in alphabetical order by author):
“Reckless Singer Manifesto” by Heather Stearns
“Rooted” by Anayo Veil
“Drifting” by Emily A. Wills
We are also thrilled to be printing six wonderful poems submitted by children, including a 1st place winner for children’s poems, “Anything for you.” by Union Elementary student Krishna Daggula.
Congrats to all our young poets whose work we will also be printing:
“The Unicorn” by Molly Dubois
“Geep” by Malachi Johns
“Seasons” Adela Johns
“Winter Walk” Jade Johns
“Hi, I’m Beautiful” by Aydyn Paige
Thanks to everyone who participated!
A Special Thanks to our Judges:
Judith Chalmer is the recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service in the Arts from the Vermont Arts Council. Her second collection of poems is Minnow (Kelsay Books 2020). She currently serves on the board of Vermont Humanities and lives in Burlington with her partner, Lisa.
Samantha Kolber received her MFA from Goddard College, and completed post-grad studies at Pine Manor College’s Solstice MFA Program. She lives in Montpelier, Vermont, where she coordinates author events at Bear Pond Books and is the Poetry Series Editor at Rootstock Publishing. Birth of a Daughter, published by Kelsay Books (2020), is her first chapbook. Visit samanthakolber.com for more information.
Scudder H. Parker’s first volume of poetry, Safe as Lightning, was published by Rootstock Publishing in 2020. He’s been a Protestant minister, state senator, utility regulator, candidate for Governor, and is settling into his ongoing work as a poet and writer. He and his wife, Susan, live in Middlesex VT. For more information, visit .
PoemCity 2021 Programs
All programs were held online on Zoom. Videos of most programs are now available below.
Poetic Journeys Workshop Reading
Saturday, April 10, 2021
This writing workshop series, held over five consecutive Saturdays, was facilitated by writer Laurie McMillan. It culminated in this public zoom reading as part of PoemCity.
Thursday, March 25
Kids' Public Poetry Origami Art Project
Children's poems from PoemCity 2020 Montpelier have been made into public art! Poet and visual artist JC Wayne turned origami pieces into a mobile using branches and other reclaimed materials.
The display, along with Poetry StoryWalk, was part of Montpelier's ArtWalk in April.
JC's work can be found at poartry.org.
PoemCity Poetry Slams with Geof Hewitt
Friday, March 26, 2021 & Friday, April 9
Slam master Geof Hewitt led two Zoom poetry slams for participants ages 8 and above, including adults.
These were traditional slams with original writing only and a three-minute time limit.
Monday, March 29
Poems from the Wilderness
In his new poetry collection Poems from the Wilderness, award-winning poet Jack Mayer, shares poems composed while solo-hiking Vermont's Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail. They are inspired by the beauty, mystery, and inspiration he experiences walking alone in wilderness—the “wilderness effect”:—“the benefits that exposure to the natural world has on health, reducing stress, restoring attention, and promoting well-being and healing.”
Thursday, April 1
Los Lorcas: Poetry in Concert
In the spirit of Federico Garcia Lorca—gifted musician, legendary poet/playwright and ebullient performer—poets Partridge Boswell and Peter Money, along with guitarist Nat Williams, fuse poetry and music in a passionate and surprising mash-up. Los Lorcas blur boundaries between spoken word and song, weaving poetry with Andalusian ballads, blues, rock, folk, Americana and jazz in pursuit of the cante jondo (deep song) Lorca so ardently championed.
Wednesday, April 7
Adrie Kusserow: Poetry During Covid-19
Inspired by the Mary Oliver poem, “Wild Geese,” Saint Michael's College professor Adrie Kusserow wrote “Mary Oliver for Corona Times,” stating, You do not have to use this isolation to make your marriage better/your body slimmer, your children more creative. She’ll discuss Oliver’s poem and explore ways in which the pandemic has sparked creative work.
This a First Wednesdays Program.
Tuesday, April 13
Birth & Rebirth Poetry Reading
Poets Samantha Kolber, Jesse LoVasco, Lisa Mase, and Eva Zimet gave a magical reading from their recently published poetry collections. Watch it here.
Samantha Kolber's first chapbook, Birth of a Daughter (Kelsay Books) was published in September of 2020. Jesse Lovasco's Homebound Publications 2019 Poetry Prize Winning book, Native, was released in April of 2020. Lisa Mase's chapbook, I Won't Be/Long Here (Kelsay Books) is forthcoming in April 2021, and Eva Zimet's collection, The Lost Grip (Rootstock Publishing) was published in January of 2021.
Saturday, April 17
Animals & Poetry Reading
Poets Rowan Quince Buckton, Lizzy Fox, and Tomás Q. Morín explore human-animal relationships with tenderness and urgency in an era of environmental crisis. With literary visitations from hares, stingrays, and dancing circus bears, these poets will share their most creature-filled works and offer a Q&A about the role animals play in their writing and their lives.
Tuesday, April 20
Emerging Vermont Voices Reading
Poets Shanta Lee Gander, Jad Yassine, and Desmond Peeples read from their work in this program cosponsored by the Sundog Poetry Center and the Poetry Society of Vermont. A Q&A followed the reading.
Shanta Lee Gander is the winner of Diode Editions’ full-length book contest for her debut poetry compilation, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA. Desmond Peeples is the founding editor of Mount Island, a literary magazine for rural LGBTQ+ and POC voices. Jad Yassine’s writing has appeared in Francis House, Bellevue Literary Review, and Portrait of New England.
Voicing HeArt Poetry Reading: Love Poems to Montpelier
A special Montpelier edition of the Poartry Project's ongoing Voicing Art Poetry Reading series! A collection of "love poems to the city" inspired by photographs of Montpelier taken by Cassandra Mainiero, is available to read at the library. You can ask for it at the front desk.
Tuesday, April 27
Kerrin McCadden & Elizabeth Powell Poetry Reading
Kerrin McCadden reads from American Wake, "a book of quiet, watchful radiance"--The Boston Globe.
Elizabeth Powell reads from Atomizer, "a world reflected through our most elusive sense: olfaction"-- Saskia Wilson-Brown.
Poets discuss the role of narrative poetry and answer questions from the audience.
Wednesday, April 28
Elegy: Poems of Loss and Hope
Poets Tim Carver, Steven Cramer, and Tom Schmidt gave a poetry reading focused on the themes of grief, mourning, and moving toward hope.
Tim Carter is the author of Remains (BOAAT Press 2020) and teaches creative writing and rhetoric in the community. Steven Cramer is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Listen (MadHat Press, 2020) and Clangings (Sarabande Books, 2012). Tom Schmidt has published two poetry chapbooks, Enough to Drink or Drown (Kelsay Books, 2020) and Like, A Metaphor (Encircle Publications, June 2021).
Friday, April 30
You Don’t Have to Be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves Reading
You Don’t Have to Be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves is a diverse, inclusive anthology for teen girls, forthcoming from Workman Publishing in April 2021. In this program, four Vermont poets from the anthology—Rage Hezekiah, Alison Prine, Bianca Stone, and editor Diana Whitney— read their poems and some of their favorites from the book.
Poetry Program Offered Through the Montpelier Senior Activity Center
Wednesdays, April 7-June 9 (skips 4/21)
Creating & Remaking Poems with Samn Stockwell
Montpelier Senior Activity Center/Online Class
This zoom workshop will offer participants an opportunity to create and share poems with a supportive group. The workshop will use writing prompts for the creation of new poems and include discussions of how the poems work. We will talk about how to communicate the unique textures of our lives in our poems. Discussions of individual poems will begin with the positive and include practical suggestions for building a better poem.
Samn Stockwell is a poet from Barre. Her two books, Theater of Animals and Recital, won the National Poetry Series and the Editor’s Prize at Elixir, respectively. Registration starts March 15, $40 MSAC members, $65 public. Ages 18+ To register visit https://www.montpelier-vt.org/751/Classes or call 223-2518 with questions.
Touissaint St. Negritude Poetry Reading
Toussaint St. Negritude is a former Poet Laureate of Belfast Maine, and has published throughout his career in such journals as The Michigan Quarterly Review, Birchsong, Philadelphia Stories, The Savannah Literary Journal, The I’ve Known Rivers Project, and The San Francisco Bay Guardian.
PoemCity 2021 Poetry & Art Events
PoemHouse Last year, intrepid young poet Thomas Brown hung poetry in his own home during National Poetry Month, calling it PoemHouse. Now anyone can download our template, put their poem on it, and create their own PoemHouse.
Download the template HERE. Take a photo and participate in #PoemCity (see below)!
Visit any PoemCity poem in downtown Montpelier in April, snap a selfie, and make a public post with #PoemCity on Facebook or Instagram and you will be entered to win gift cards to downtown businesses! A great way to let us know what poems you are enjoying and to support local businesses. Posts with #PoemCity will be drawn at random and gift cards will be distributed by Montpelier Alive.
Our Facebook page will regularly feature PoemCity poems, information about upcoming programs, as well as the #PoemCity contest. Visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/PoemCityMontpelier
Montpelier isn’t the only place that celebrates! Visit our satellite programs for more poems and events:
PoemTown St. Johnsbury
Thank you to our PoemCity sponsors!