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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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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Quarantine Book Club: Reading Recommendations From Galaxy Bookshop

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 2:48 PM

Bookshelves at Galaxy Bookshop - COURTESY OF GALAXY BOOKSHOP
  • Courtesy of Galaxy Bookshop
  • Bookshelves at Galaxy Bookshop
As Vermonters hunker down during the coronavirus pandemic, finding ways to stave off boredom has become more important than ever. But what to do when you've burned through the home library in, like, four days? Throughout this indefinite period of isolation, we're checking in regularly with local booksellers for reading tips. Next up in the Quarantine Book Club: Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick.

Pandemic preppers in Hardwick are fortunate to have the coronavirus-era equivalent of one-stop shopping right downtown. Main Street neighbors the Galaxy Bookshop and Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op & Café both currently offer curbside pickup. That means residents of the Northeast Kingdom hamlet can stock up on sustenance for their bellies and their minds in one fell swoop. 

"A lot of customers come in to town and just grab their groceries and grab their books at the same time," Galaxy Bookshop co-owner Sandy Scott said by phone. While that's been a convenient setup for shoppers, she said the move to semi-remote business has been surprisingly tricky for her and business partner Andrea Jones.

"I have to say it's been a funny adjustment," Scott said. "I would have thought it would have been easier, because we don't have customers coming in all the time with interruptions. But it's so much easier to have customers coming in, and we'd so much rather see them in person!"

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Quarantine Book Club: Reading Recommendations from Phoenix Books

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 2:26 PM

Phoenix Books in Burlington - COURTESY OF PHOENIX BOOKS IN BURLINGTON
  • Courtesy of Phoenix Books in Burlington
  • Phoenix Books in Burlington
As Vermonters hunker down during the coronavirus pandemic, finding ways to stave off boredom has become more important than ever. But what to do when you've burned through the home library in, like, four days? Throughout this indefinite period of isolation, we'll check in regularly with local booksellers for reading tips. First up in the Quarantine Book Club: Phoenix Books in Burlington.

You might think that since it closed to in-person customers more than a week ago, Phoenix Books in Burlington would be like a ghost town. (Ghost store?) However, the Bank Street bookseller has been anything but.

"We've been pretty busy," said store manager Tod Gross, "there's no down time." He explained that both the Burlington store and its counterpart in Essex Junction have been doing brisk business in online and phone sales both for mail order and "contact-less" curbside pickup.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

UVM Prof, Author Emily Bernard Wins Christopher Isherwood Prize

Posted By on Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 8:29 PM

Emily Bernard - COURTESY OF STEPHANIE SEGUINO
  • Courtesy of Stephanie Seguino
  • Emily Bernard

Emily Bernard, a professor of English and critical race and ethnic studies at the University of Vermont, was named the recipient of the Los Angeles Times' prestigious Christopher Isherwood Prize for autobiographical prose for her 2019 essay collection, Black Is the Body: Stories From My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine.

Each essay presents a different vantage of Bernard's experiences "as a woman, a black American, a teacher, writer, mother, wife, and daughter," as she writes in the book. Bernard reflects on what it feels like to be a person of color in Vermont, on the process of adopting Ethiopian twins with her husband, and on going to Mississippi, where her close relatives live, in the wake of her grandmother's death.

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Cartoonist Jason Lutes Wins Vermont Book Award

Posted By on Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 10:51 AM

Jason Lutes accepting the Vermont Book Award - COURTESY OF JAY ERICSON
  • Courtesy of Jay Ericson
  • Jason Lutes accepting the Vermont Book Award
At a gala ceremony on Saturday night in Montpelier, the fifth annual Vermont Book Award was presented to Hartland cartoonist Jason Lutes for his 2018 graphic novel Berlin. It's the first graphic work to win the award, which is administered by the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

The $5,000 literary prize isn't the first award that Lutes, a Center for Cartoon Studies faculty member, has won for his work. In summer 2018, he received the prestigious Inkpot Award at Comic-Con International in San Diego, as Pamela Polston noted in a 2018 Seven Days cover story. She described the three-volume Berlin, which combines history and fiction to chronicle the rise of German fascism between the world wars, as "an astonishing accomplishment that represents a grand vision and more than 20 years' work."

“I felt grateful and honored for having my book nominated for the VBA, but the last thing I expected was to actually win," Lutes wrote in an email. "To work in solitude on a project for 22 years, and then to receive a standing ovation for that work from a roomful of strangers, was an unimaginable and deeply humbling experience. I could barely keep it together at the podium. It was a night I will never forget."

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Monday, June 3, 2019

UVM’s Major Jackson Selected as Co-Editor of 'The Best American Poetry'

Posted By on Mon, Jun 3, 2019 at 9:05 AM

Major Jackson - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Major Jackson

Acclaimed poet and South Burlington resident Major Jackson, an English professor at the University of Vermont, has been selected as co-editor of the 2019 edition of The Best American Poetry. Yes, non-poetry peeps: that is a BFD. The anthology, published by Simon & Schuster, is slated for release on September 10 — the day after Jackson’s 51st birthday.

The recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Whiting Award, Jackson is the author of four volumes of poetry. Two of his books, Hoops and Holding Company, were finalists for the NAACP Image Award. His debut collection, Leaving Saturn, won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Jackson's poems and essays have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Callaloo, the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, the Paris Review, Ploughshares and Tin House, as well as several volumes of The Best American Poetry.


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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Six Vermont Artists and Art Advocates Recognized at Governor's Arts Awards

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 3:43 PM

Jerry Williams, left, and Chris Miller - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Jerry Williams, left, and Chris Miller

Last evening,  November 14, Gov. Phil Scott and the Vermont Arts Council honored six Vermont artists at the annual Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony, held at the Statehouse in Montpelier.


This year’s Award for Excellence in the Arts went to two recipients, selected by Scott from among 20 nominees: Sculptors Chris Miller and Jerry Williams, who worked together on a new Ceres statue for the top of the Statehouse dome. (The previous one had rotted and was removed earlier this year.) The figure, an allegorical representation of Vermont’s agricultural heritage, will be installed on November 30.

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