PoemCity 2021 Poetry Contest

Since we will be displaying 2020's PoemCity poems in storefront windows this year, Vermont poets will have the opportunity to participate in our first PoemCity Poetry Contest. We will be accepting one poem per poet and will have a three-person panel of poets who will choose six winners.

  • First place winner: $100

  • Second place winner: $75

  • Third place winner: $50 

  • Three poems will receive honorable mention

  • The six winning poems will be printed and displayed at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library 



We will not be displaying all the submitted poems from this contest on broadside posters like we usually do. We will share all the poems virtually, on our Facebook page, our website, in our enewsletter and on Front Porch Forum. The six winning poems will be the only ones we print for display at the library.

With Covid restrictions still in place and much of the library staff working remotely, we are not able to accept poems through the mail or in-person. Poems must be submitted using our online portal, Submittable.

SUBMIT HERE: https://kellogghubbardlibrary.submittable.com/submit

There is no cost for using Submittable or for entering this contest. The contest will be open from February 8, 2021 - March 8, 2021. The Submittable portal will close at midnight on March 8 and we will not be able to accept any poems after. 


Questions? Email Michelle Singer at msinger@kellogghubbard.org

Poetic Journeys Workshop & Reading

Saturdays, March 6-April 10, 2021 - 10 am-12 noon

This writing workshop series, held over five consecutive Saturdays, will help you craft memories into poems through writing exercises in class, at home, and through group discussions. Give voice to your untold stories with writer Laurie McMillan leading you in the journey. All levels of experience welcome. Workshops will culminate in a public zoom reading on April 10 as part of PoemCity. 

Register in advance here: 

Saturday, March 6, 2021, 10 am-12 noon:


Saturday, March 13, 2021, 10 am-12 noon: 


Saturday, March 20, 2021, 10 am-12 noon:


Saturday, March 27, 2021, 10 am-12 noon:


Saturday, April 3, 2021, 10 am-12 noon:


Poetic Journeys Reading

Saturday, April 10, 2021, 10 am-12 noon:


Thursday, March 25

Kids' Public Poetry Origami Art Project


Let's make the 19 children's poems in this year's PoemCity Montpelier into public art! Choose your favorite poem or poems from the Children's Poems portfolio at www.kellogghubbard.org/poemcity, print them out or hand-write them on a square piece of paper, and join poet and visual artist, JC Wayne, online to make the poems into origami.


All of the origami pieces will be turned into a mobile using branches and other reclaimed materials and hung in the trees outside Kellogg-Hubbard Library.


Sign up to participate at: poartry.org/community.

JC Wayne is a poet, visual artist, cartographer of the unseen and founder of The Poartry Project, whose mission is "building loving worlds through loving words". She released her first book of poetry over the last year, Voicing Art. Her work can be found at poartry.org.

Friday, March 26 & Friday, April 9

Poetry Slam


Join slam master Geof Hewitt for a Zoom poetry slam for participants ages 8 and above, including adults. These are traditional slams with original writing only and a three-minute time limit. Participants should come prepared with two pieces of writing. 

Register in advance HERE for Friday, March 26, 2021

Register in advance HERE for Friday, April 9, 2021

Geof Hewitt is a writer, teacher and Vermont’s reigning poetry slam champion. His books include Hewitt’s Guide to Slam Poetry and Poetry Slam (Discover Writing Press), The Perfect Heart: Selected and New Poems (Mayapple Press) and Affordable Poems, Alternative Facts.

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.”

Though deeply personal, Jack hopes they will resonate with those pieces of wilderness we all carry within us and offer respite in these challenging pandemic times. Jack Mayer has won 26 national awards for his books: Life in a Jar, the Irena Sendler Project and Before the Court of Heaven. He is a speaker for the Vermont Humanities Council and a practicing pediatrician in Middlebury, VT. 

Register in advance for this reading HERE.

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. 

Inspired by artists diverse as Lorca, Yeats, Marley, Dylan, Dickinson, Matisyahu, Cohen, Bowie, REM, Merwin, Millay and others, the group’s timely and soulful compositions weave themes of love, loss, homelessness, empathy, activism and gratitude—all through a filter of the American dream.

Registration information coming soon.

Wednesday, April 7 

Adrie Kusserow: Poetry During Covid-19 

7 pm

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.


Register at vermonthumanities.org/firstwednesdays

Tuesday, April 13

Birth & Rebirth Poetry Reading


Poets Samantha Kolber, Jesse LoVasco, Lisa Mase, and Eva Zimet read from their recently published poetry collections.

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.

Register in advance HERE.

Thursday, April 15

Workshop: The Ecstasy of Influence


In this workshop, led by poet and professor Steven Cramer, some of the great poetic influences (think John Keats and Wallace Stevens, or Emily Dickinson and Adrienne Rich) will be explored and two prompts will be provided to inspire you to invite influence into your work. Steven Cramer’s sixth poetry collection, Listen, was published in 2020 by MadHat Press. He founded and now teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Register in advance for this workshop HERE.

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. 


Register in advance HERE.

Tuesday, April 20 

Emerging Vermont Voices Reading


Poets Shanta Lee Gander, Jad Yassine, and Desmond Peeples read from their work in this program co-sponsored by the Sundog Poetry Center and the Poetry Society of Vermont. 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, and Jad Yassine’s writing has appeared in Francis House, Bellevue Literary Review, and Portrait of New England.

Register in advance HERE.


Wednesday, April 21

Voicing HeArt Workshop: How to Write a Love Poem


Need a little spark or inspiration to write your Love Poem to Montpelier? Hop onto this low-key, non-critique online introductory workshop with poet, JC Wayne, to explore what a love poem is, learn how to make one that really moves people, and try writing prompt "ekphrastic" (art inspired) exercises to build up your muscle of expressing love through poetry. Pre-registration required at poatry.org/workshops. Kids, school classes and homeschoolers are especially welcome and encouraged to participate.


Saturday, April 24

Voicing HeArt Poetry Reading: Love Poems to Montpelier


A special PoemCity Montpelier online edition of The Poartry Project's ongoing Voicing Art Poetry Reading series! Poets and poetry-lovers of all ages and experience levels (including none) from around Vermont are invited to share new "love poems to the city" inspired by photographs of Montpelier by your host, poet and visual artist, JC Wayne, or attend as appreciative listeners. 

The portfolio of photographs will be available online at poartry.org/voicing-art and the PoemCity Montpelier website. Pre-registration required as a listener and/or writing/reader at poartry.org/voicing-art. Submission due date for poems is April 23, 2021 to poartryproject@gmail.com. 

The Poartry Project's mission is "building loving worlds through loving words"and all events are inclusive and family-friendly, so please write accordingly. Kids, school classes and homeschoolers are especially welcome and encouraged to participate.

Wednesday, April 28 

Elegy: Poems of Loss and Hope 


Join poets Tim Carver, Steven Cramer, and Tom Schmidt for a poetry reading focused on the themes of grief, mourning, and moving toward hope. This reading will feature a short reading from each poet and an opportunity for Q&A after. 

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). He founded and currently teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Lesley University. Tom Schmidt has published two poetry chapbooks, Enough to Drink or Drown (Kelsay Books, 2020) and Like, A Metaphor (Encircle Publications, June 2021). He received a Ph.D. from Cambridge University and taught humanities for thirty years in California, Oregon, and Vermont.

Register in advance for this reading HERE.


Thursday, April 29

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, you can participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day by stopping by the library for Curbside Poetry. Selected PoemCity poems will be available in pocket sizes for pick up. Curbside Poetry will be available at the library during the entire month of April where curbside pick up for books happens.


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. They’ll discuss how poetry has been a path for self-discovery and self-acceptance of their younger, and now adult, selves; how poems can facilitate empathy for self and others; and the important role poetry plays in allowing us to re-imagine our identities and stories.

Register in advance for this reading HERE

PoemCity 2021 Poetry & Art Events

Vision & Voice

PoemCity poems and original artwork inspired by them will hang in Vision & Voice displays in town. Capital Grounds will feature PoemCity poems with artwork done by Art Resource Association artists. A special thanks to Linda Hogan for curating this exhibit. The poetry and art of Main Street Middle School students will be featured at the Uncommon Market.


Raining Poetry

Be on the lookout for lines of poetry that magically appear after it rains! PoemCity is featuring poetry from Vermont poet laureates painted on our sidewalks...but it only appears when the pavement is wet! Featured locations: Kellogg-Hubbard Library and Hunger Mountain Coop.


Poetry Garden

The poetry of children will be featured in a poetry garden at the Hunger Mountain Coop. Enjoy short poems on wooden flowers as you walk toward the store.


Kids' Public Poetry Origami Art Project

Poet and visual artist, JC Wayne, will lead an online workshop to make children's PoemCity poems into public art! Poems will be made into origami, be turned into a mobile using branches and other reclaimed materials, and hung in the trees outside Kellogg-Hubbard Library. 


Curbside Poetry

Poems will be available in pocket-sizes for pick up all month long. Curbside Poetry will be available at the library during April where books are picked up for curbside service.



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 Bradford



PoemTown Randolph



PoemTown St. Johnsbury



Welcome to PoemCity 2021! 

We plan on celebrating 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. Of course, things will be different as well. We were not able to hang poems last year so all the poems that were accepted for PoemCity 2020 will be displayed this April instead. Also, our readings and workshops will held virtually, over Zoom. Please check back here to register for PoemCity programs and participate in our poetry contest this year. 


PoemCity 2021 Programs

All programs will be held online on Zoom.

Registration will be available here beginning in March.

Thank you to our PoemCity sponsors!

PSOV rounded corner LOGO.png