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Friday, October 23, 2020

Major Jackson to Leave UVM for Vanderbilt University

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 12:46 PM

Major Jackson at Leunig's Bistro - SALLY POLLAK/FILE ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak/File ©️ Seven Days
  • Major Jackson at Leunig's Bistro
Major Jackson and Daniel Fogel arrived at the University of Vermont in the fall of 2002, each moving to Vermont from Louisiana.

Jackson, a poet, was a young faculty member joining the English department from Xavier University in New Orleans. Fogel, a Henry James scholar and university administrator, arrived from Louisiana State University to serve as UVM’s 25th president.  The two met that fall at an English department picnic, recalled Fogel, who’s now a professor in the department.

“I met Major, read some of his poems, and immediately began [working] from the president’s office and made sure that we retained him as long as we could,” Fogel said.

That effort was successful for nearly two decades: Jackson, 52, will leave UVM at the end of the semester for Vanderbilt University, where he’ll be the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English. During his tenure at UVM, Jackson emerged as a prominent American poet of his generation, publishing four volumes of poetry, including this year’s The Absurd Man, and editing the 2019 volume of The Best American Poetry.

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Former Vermont Poet Laureate Louise Glück Awarded Nobel Prize

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 5:11 PM

Louise Glück - COURTESY OF KATHERINE WOLKOFF/STEVEN BARCLAY AGENCY
  • Courtesy of Katherine Wolkoff/Steven Barclay Agency
  • Louise Glück
The Swedish Academy has announced that its choice for the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature is Louise Glück. Though she now resides in Cambridge, Mass., she lived for many years in Plainfield, Vt. In 1971, Glück was among the original members of the legendary creative writing faculty at Goddard College in the nation’s first low-residency program. In 1980 she was a founding board member of the New England Culinary Institute (her then-husband John Dranow was a cofounder of the school).

Glück served as Vermont’s poet laureate — known then as “state poet” — from 1994 to 1998, and as U.S. poet laureate 2003 to 2004.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

StoryWalk Comes to Leddy Park

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2020 at 11:55 AM


A StoryWalk post at Leddy Park - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • A StoryWalk post at Leddy Park
A path is for sharing. Along a path in Burlington's  Leddy Park, trees share the way with a children’s book, Pie is for Sharing.

The pages of the book are displayed on a set of posts at the edge of the path. As you walk the path you can read the book —  a combination of activities known as StoryWalk.

Pie is for Sharing
, a lovely book written by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard, is illustrated by Jason Chin, a children’s book artist and author who lives in South Burlington. He encountered his first StoryWalk about a decade ago at a zoo in New York City and has been a fan since.

In a phone call with Seven Days, Chin talked about why he likes StoryWalk, including the enjoyment of coming upon one when he’s out with his kids.

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Monday, September 14, 2020

Bookstock Kicks Off Its Virtual Event Series With Poet Reuben Jackson

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 6:25 PM

Reuben Jackson - COURTESY OF REUBEN JACKSON
  • Courtesy of Reuben Jackson
  • Reuben Jackson
Bookstock, the Woodstock-based "festival of words," usually happens every July. This year — the fest's 12th — the organizers had already booked 40 authors when the pandemic hit, according to programming director Pam Ahlen. They made the tough decision to cancel the live event and replace it with a series of free livestreaming author talks, dubbed Virtual Bookstock 2020, in partnership with Woodstock's Norman Williams Public Library.

Virtual Bookstock kicks off on Thursday, September 17, and continues monthly through the end of the year. The first guest is poet Reuben Jackson, in conversation with author Jenna Blum.

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Thursday, July 30, 2020

350Vermont Launches 'Climate + COVID-19: A Community Conversation' Zine

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 6:02 PM

'Predator Summit' - COURTESY OF JEAN CANNON
  • Courtesy of Jean Cannon
  • 'Predator Summit'
The climate crisis and COVID-19 are two topics likely to be weighing on Vermonters' minds. In a new zine presented by the Burlington-based climate justice nonprofit 350Vermont, writers and artists explore the intersection of the pandemic and Earth's changing climate.

In early May, organizers, including project initiator and 350Vermont staff collective member Lily Jacobson, put out a call for submissions. They were looking  for stories, essays, poems, drawings, photos, and other types of writing and visual art to fill a DIY publication, serving as "an artistic dialogue around the connections between COVID-19 and climate justice, aka the climate crisis," according to the call for submissions.

The response was enthusiastic. In a phone call with Seven Days, Jacobson said the team received submissions from 40 people, some of whom sent multiple pieces. With such a large number of works, organizers decided to parcel the zine, called Climate + COVID-19: A Community Conversation, into two issues.


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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Chris Bohjalian's 'The Red Lotus' to Become TV Series

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 2:45 PM

[image-4] Fans of bestselling Weybridge author Chris Bohjalian have something new to look forward to on the small screen. Deadline reported Monday that producers Sherry Marsh ("Pose," "Vikings") and Julie Gardner have joined forces with TV writer Kate Brooke ("Bancroft," "A Discovery of Witches") to turn Bohjalian's international thriller The Red Lotus into a TV drama series.

Bohjalian's 21st book is about a young ER doctor whose boyfriend goes missing during a vacation in Vietnam. As she attempts to unravel the mystery of his disappearance, she learns dark secrets about her beau, uncovering plots that involve, in a timely twist, a lethal pathogen.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

UVM Professor Emily Bernard Named a 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2020 at 4:27 PM

Emily Bernard - ANDY DUBACK
  • Andy Duback
  • Emily Bernard
Pandemic aside, Emily Bernard is having a pretty good year. The University of Vermont English professor is fresh off winning the Christopher Isherwood Prize for autobiographical prose in the Los Angeles Times 2020 Book Prizes competition. That was one of numerous accolades for her 2019 collection of autobiographical essays Black Is the Body: Stories From My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine. This week, she was awarded yet another prestigious honor.

Bernard was named a 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The fellowship includes a $200,000 prize, given to scholars to support "research in the humanities and social sciences that addresses important and enduring issues confronting our society." Bernard was among 27 fellows elected from a pool of more than 300 nominations.

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Friday, May 8, 2020

Quarantine Book Club: Reading Recommendations From the Flying Pig Bookstore

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2020 at 2:46 PM

Elizabeth Bluemle at the Flying Pig Bookstore window - COURTESY OF ELIZABETH BLUEMLE
  • Courtesy of Elizabeth Bluemle
  • Elizabeth Bluemle at the Flying Pig Bookstore window
As Vermonters remain hunkered down during the coronavirus pandemic, finding ways to stave off boredom is more important than ever. But what to do when you've already burned through the home library? Throughout this indefinite period of isolation, we're checking in with local booksellers for reading tips. Next up in the Quarantine Book Club: the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne.

On the eve of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in July 2007, the Flying Pig hosted a massive outdoor event that drew 1,500 muggles to the shop. The celebration featured herbology and potion-making classes and an owl demonstration by the Audubon Society.

Then, at midnight, those lucky readers with golden tickets lined up to receive their copy of the final book in J.K. Rowling's epic series from Flying Pig owner Elizabeth Bluemle. She handed them out through a window on the side of the store.

"That window has a happy history," said Bluemle.

Now, a new chapter of the window's history is being written. Since March,  the Flying Pig has offered contactless pickup, like other bookstores throughout Vermont. But rather than curbside, the store has delivered books, games and puzzles to customers via its handy window. 


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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Vermont Poet Laureate Mary Ruefle Named a Pulitzer Prize Finalist

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2020 at 2:06 PM

Mary Ruefle - COURTESY OF HANNAH ENSOR
  • Courtesy of Hannah Ensor
  • Mary Ruefle

The 2020 Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday afternoon via livestream, but Vermont poet laureate Mary Ruefle did not tune in. Ruefle, who lives in Bennington, doesn’t own a computer; her sole portal to the internet is her iPad, which she checks a couple times a day to stay apprised of the news.

Later that evening, as she caught up on headlines while making dinner, Ruefle discovered that her poetry collection,
Dunce, was one of two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. She went on cooking.

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Friday, May 1, 2020

Jan Reynolds' New Book for Children Offers a Lesson for Us All

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2020 at 5:52 PM

Five-year-old Rinpoche - JAN REYNOLDS
  • Jan Reynolds
  • Five-year-old Rinpoche
Sometimes a kids' book comes along that contains some important reminders for grown-ups. Loving Kindness is one such book.

Jan Reynolds, a Stowe-based writer, photographer and adventurer — particularly the mountaineering kind — has written for both adults and children. Though an eighth-generation Vermonter, she has a proclivity for hanging out with indigenous cultures far, far away.

Several of her previous 16 books are centered on the Himalayas, and so is Loving Kindness. It tells the story of Ngawang Thrinley Palbar (aka Rinpoche), a 5-year-old Sherpa boy in Nepal who's studying to be a great lama, or teacher.

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