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Monday, July 22, 2019

Historic Ruth Stone House Burglarized

Posted By on Mon, Jul 22, 2019 at 3:31 PM

Ruth Stone homestead - COURTESY OF VIDA: WOMEN IN LITERARY ARTS
  • Courtesy Of Vida: Women In Literary Arts
  • Ruth Stone homestead
The historic home of late poet Ruth Stone in Goshen was burglarized during the week of July 15, according to the Ruth Stone Foundation. Representatives estimate the floorboards and power tools stolen were worth around $3,700, but note that the foundation is accepting donations to replace the missing materials.

The Ruth Stone Foundation is a nonprofit honoring the legacy of the former Vermont Poet Laureate and National Book Award winner. Stone owned the house from 1956 until her death in 2011, though it sat unoccupied for several years. The foundation has been working to repair the house since 2011, aiming to turn it into a space for writers retreats and workshops.

A majority of the carpentry thus far has been done by the family and volunteers, including Ruth's granddaughter Bianca Stone and her husband Ben Pease, both poets. They think the house was built around 1800. It's listed on the National Registry of Historic Places because of Ruth Stone's importance to the state.

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Bookstock Features Poetry and Dance Tribute to Poet Mary Oliver

Posted By on Thu, Jul 18, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Dancers rehearse Sarabande - COURTESY OF PEG BRIGHTMAN
  • Courtesy of Peg Brightman
  • Dancers rehearse Sarabande
Poetry, said Mary Oliver in a rare 2015 interview with the radio program "On Being," “is very old. It’s very sacred. It wishes for a community. It’s a community ritual, certainly. And that’s why, when you write a poem, you write it for anybody and everybody.”

Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984 and the National Book Award for Poetry in 1992. She also had New England connections, teaching at Bennington College from 1996 to 2001 and living in Provincetown, Mass. for many years. 

Oliver’s work is ubiquitous across Instagram, and read at both weddings and funerals. A New York Times obituary called her “a phenomenon: a poet whose work sold strongly.”  When she died in January, the loss was felt not just by the poetry community, but by many fans outside it.

“Mary Oliver’s poetry is [about] more than other poets reading her,” said Vermont poet Laura Foley. “She didn’t put herself up on a pedestal. Her words are very clear, she uses images from nature. And she has a message, which is, ‘Slow down, look around you.’”

Foley wrote a poem called “It Matters” upon hearing of Oliver’s death that borrows and appreciates various lines of Oliver’s poetry, which are presented in italics. Foley said she knew these lines by heart when she sat down to write the poem.

“It matters that I clutch / my stack of her books—those fields of light—” she wrote, “now that her body has gone / into the cottage of darkness.”

Foley's poem and others will be featured in Homage to Mary Oliver in Poetry and Dance on Thursday, July 25, ArtisTree Community Arts Center & Gallery in South Pomfret at 7:30 p.m. The multidisciplinary performance kicks off Bookstock, an annual literary festival that takes place in Woodstock from Friday to Sunday, July 26 to 28. 

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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Spectrum Storyteller Mark Redmond Heads to Broadway

Posted By on Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 2:20 PM

Mark Redmond with Spectrum staff and clients - FILE PHOTO BY JAMES BUCK
  • File photo by James Buck
  • Mark Redmond with Spectrum staff and clients
Mark Redmond is headed to Broadway — not for good, but for a one-night solo performance in October.

This week, the longtime executive director of Spectrum Youth & Family Services in Burlington was informed that his one-man show, “So Shines a Good Deed,” was chosen from among hundreds of applications for inclusion in the 2019 United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City.

The annual event, now in its 10th year, claims to be the world's largest solo-performance festival, featuring storytelling, puppetry, dance, multimedia, improv,  magic, drama and stand-up comedy. The festival will be held in October in the newly renovated Theatre Row Building on 42nd Street, in the heart of Manhattan's theater district.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Young Writers Project's 'Soundcheck' Addresses Gun Violence

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 9:56 AM

Workshop attendees, left to right:  Rivan Calderin, Alex Haag, Emma Haag, Rick Haag, Liz Mariani - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Workshop attendees, left to right: Rivan Calderin, Alex Haag, Emma Haag, Rick Haag, Liz Mariani
The Burlington-based Young Writers Project held a special Soundcheck event last Friday to address gun violence, youth activism and school safety.

Twice postponed due to inclement weather, the event at the BCA Center consisted of a writing workshop led by slam poets and educators Rajnii Eddins and Denise Casey, as well as an open mic session.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Poet "Barber Emeritus" Amir Yasin Dead at 79

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Reuben Jackson, receiving a haircut from Amir Yasin - SUSAN NORTON
  • Susan Norton
  • Reuben Jackson, receiving a haircut from Amir Yasin
Amir Yasin has died. The Detroit barber passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, in his sleep on March 2. He is survived by his son, Rashied Yasin of Portland, Ore., and his beloved girlfriend, Khadijah Rollins of Detroit. He was 79.

In recent years, Amir had become something of a cult figure in certain Vermont circles. Using his friend, longtime Vermont Public Radio jazz DJ Reuben Jackson, as a conduit, Amir — and Khadijah, increasingly — would post scattered thoughts and musings  via Jackson's Facebook page. Amir's often lyrical dispatches on everything from politics to race to music to the daily comings and goings at his HangTime Barber Shop in Motown inspired a devoted audience among Jackson's online friends and followers.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

'Motherland' Author Maria Hummel Reads at Rice Memorial High School

Posted By on Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 5:25 PM

Maria Hummel - KAREN PIKE
  • Karen Pike
  • Maria Hummel
This weekend, author Maria Hummel will give a reading from her 2014 novel Motherland as part of the centennial celebrations at Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington.

The book follows the newly married Liesl as she raises her absent husband's three children in the height of World War II in Nazi Germany. Liesl and her husband, Frank, are mitlaufer, "Germans who 'went along' with Nazism," according to the author's website.

While the family is perhaps safe from Nazi persecution, they must survive dwindling food supplies, Allied air strikes and one child's mysterious illness, which puts him at risk of being sent to Hadamar, a psychiatric hospital infamous for mass sterilizations and murder.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What Feminism Can Speak To: Katha Pollitt and Janell Hobson

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:46 PM

Janell Hobson (left) and Katha Pollitt
  • Janell Hobson (left) and Katha Pollitt
On Wednesday, September 27, the Middlebury College Program in Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies will host award-winning columnist, author and poet Katha Pollitt in conversation with author and professor Janell Hobson for the talk "What Can Feminism Speak To?"

Pollitt has written for the Nation since 1980, and many of her columns have been compiled into three volumes:
Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism, Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture  and Virginity or Death! And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time. Her most recent book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, was published by Picador in 2015 and is a vehement argument for dispelling cultural stigma around abortion.

Hobson teaches in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies department at the University of Albany, State University of New York. She is the author of
Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture and Body as Evidence: Mediating Race, Globalizing Gender, and a contributor to Ms. magazine.

Seven Days spoke with both Pollitt and Hobson by phone, asking some (big) questions prior to their Middlebury appearance.

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Words Out Loud, in the Middle of Nowhere

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 12:38 PM

Alison Prine reading in Old West Church - KELLEY GOULETTE
  • Kelley Goulette
  • Alison Prine reading in Old West Church
Art at the Kent is a quintessentially Vermont experience: a large, important art exhibit in the middle of nowhere. The venue is the Kent Museum, in East Calais, a historic 1830s brick and wood building owned by the State of Vermont that lies at a dirt crossroads. Driving the mostly empty rolling hills earlier this month to the opening of “Refuge,” this year’s art exhibit, I was sure I had lost my way — until I began passing lines of parked cars on both sides of the road extending half a mile from the building.

I returned on September 24 for one of three Sunday poetry readings in the related series “Words Out Loud.” These occur down the road from the Kent, at the Old West Church, and finish with wine-and-cheese receptions amid the art. Again, cars lined the road in both directions.

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Frog Hollow Craft Gallery Builds a Wall of Love

Posted By on Sat, Feb 4, 2017 at 3:58 PM

Visitors place notes on the "Wall of Love" at Frog Hollow - SADIE WILLIAMS
  • Sadie Williams
  • Visitors place notes on the "Wall of Love" at Frog Hollow
On Friday night, Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Gallery in Burlington hosted an opening for its monthlong "Wall of Love" show. Conceived by gallery manager Meredith Mann, it bears a striking resemblance to the Post-it Notes piece titled "Subway Therapy" by New York artist Matthew "Levee" Chavez. That installation provided people with a chance to share their post-election feelings in public, at the 14th Street/6th Avenue station in Manhattan.

Frog Hollow director Rob Hunter shied away from the comparison. "I'm sure Chavez' work was rattling around in our subconscious when we conceived the show, but [that exhibit] was not specifically mentioned by anyone [here]," he explained. "The main goal was bringing people together out of their homes in the cold months."

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Howard Frank Mosher's Imagination of Vermont: A Tribute

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 1:50 PM

Howard Frank Mosher - COURTESY OF JAY CRAVEN
  • Courtesy of Jay Craven
  • Howard Frank Mosher
Vermont writer Howard Mosher died on Sunday, January 29. Filmmaker Jay Craven worked closely with Mosher since 1985 when he optioned the story rights to his book Where the Rivers Flow North. Craven has made five films based on Mosher’s stories. He and actor Rusty DeWees, who appeared in all of Craven’s Mosher films, will appear this Friday and Saturday, February 3 and 4, 7:30 p.m., at the Stowe Town Hall to talk about their collaboration with Mosher. They'll also screen Where the Rivers Flow North (Friday) and A Stranger in the Kingdom (Saturday).

Like thousands of Vermonters who have been touched by Howard Mosher and his writing, I feel a deep sense of loss at the realization of life without him. No one has produced a larger body of work exploring the distinctive character and culture of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. No one has been more generous to fellow writers, taking time to chat, read their work and help them. No one was more tirelessly committed to his readers, through his cross-country sojourns in his 20-year-old Chevy Celebrity (dubbed the “loser cruiser") and his frequent signings at independent bookstores throughout New England.

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