Words | Live Culture | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Words

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

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."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

Continue reading »

Tags: , ,

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Reporter's Fond Remembrance of Howard Frank Mosher, 1942-2017

Posted By on Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 9:03 PM

Howard Frank Mosher - JAKE MOSHER
  • Jake Mosher
  • Howard Frank Mosher
I expected Howard Frank Mosher to live in a more memorable home.

I figured “the bard of the Northeast Kingdom,” as a Vermont arts organization rightly described him last week, a man who made a life writing honestly but lovingly about the region and its people, would live off a long dirt road in a house screened from passersby by a grove of trees, with views of the nearby mountains. Mosher must do his writing, I assumed, in a sun-drenched office, or maybe a small cabin on his property.

But Mosher lived in a perfectly nondescript home, alongside several others, just off the green in Irasburg. I initially drove past it when I went to interview him in the spring of 2015 because, well, how could that possibly be the home of a writer of 11 novels, four of which were adapted for films?

After he ushered me inside, I asked Mosher where he did his writing. He walked me to a dining room table that was cluttered with domestic detritus and offered a view of his back yard and his neighbors.

We sat at that table for an hour or two and, though I doubt I asked him anything that journalists hadn’t asked him dozens of times before, he eagerly answered everything I threw at him about his writing and his newest novel, God’s Kingdom. The book was set, as many of his stories were, in Kingdom Common, a thinly veiled version of the region that was Mosher’s adopted home. It was the muse that sustained him through a five-decade literary career.

But most of the stuff I remember discussing with Mosher never found its way into the subsequent story I wrote for Seven Days.

We spent a lot of time talking about two mutual passions: baseball and novels. Mosher was a die-hard Red Sox fan, and I have stayed true to my Baltimore Orioles through a dozen years of living in New England. But we managed to find common ground. I droned on for too long about my love of Thomas Wolfe’s novels. (Who the hell was I to give book recommendations to Howard Frank Mosher?) Mosher was more of a Faulkner guy, if memory serves. Then he suggested I check out a few books from the modern southern writers Ron Rash and Tom Franklin. Which, later, I dutifully did.

Once, Mosher leaned over and pulled a few papers from a briefcase that looked older than I am. I stole a glance and saw, tucked inside it, a can of Budweiser.

I drove away wishing the guy was my grandfather.

I wish I could say that Mosher was my friend, but, in truth, I only talked with him a few times after that day. I called him a couple times to pick his brain about news stories in the Northeast Kingdom. Once, he gave me a story tip.

But though they were few, those interactions had an outsize influence on me. I suspect this will be a common refrain among many people who provide testimonials in the days to come about Mosher, who died today, January 29, from cancer at the age of 74.

I’m sure they will remember, as I do, his warmth, his utter lack of pretense, his undimmed curiosity, his enthusiasm for a good yarn, his endearing cackle and, most of all, his fundamental decency.

I last spoke with Mosher in mid-November, just a few weeks before he received his terminal diagnosis.

It was the week after Donald Trump’s victory, and I had been sent to the NEK —  the one region in Vermont where many towns went red on Election Day — to talk to the Republican candidate's local supporters.

I didn't find many people to talk to, and those who did talk didn’t seem, to my ears, to have anything meaningful to say. In short, I had nothing. Desperate, I pulled into the parking lot of a long-shuttered gas station in Burke and called Mosher.

I suspect that he heard a bit of despondency in my voice. I suspect, too, that in those dizzying days, he wanted to talk through the news with someone. (Mosher was no fan of Trump.)

That phone call salvaged the entire reporting trip. Mosher’s thoughts — particularly a piercing anecdote about an instance of racism he witnessed in Irasburg only a few years ago — were pretty much the only worthwhile part of the story I filed.

It was one of those conversations that I knew would stick with me, even without the benefit of hindsight.

Mosher’s good friend and fly-fishing buddy, the Barton poet Leland Kinsey, had recently died, and Mosher had written a lovely little tribute to him. It was centered on a day he and Kinsey had spent fishing for brook trout in the Kingdom.

I told him how much I enjoyed the story.

Then I told him that I had recently taken up fly fishing and fallen in love with it. Mosher listened patiently for a few minutes as I unloaded a stream of half-baked thoughts.

I told him that, when I somehow managed to catch a trout, it seemed like a miracle I didn’t deserve. I told him that fishing had made me look at rivers differently and, therefore, made me drive more slowly on my reporting excursions across Vermont. I told him that it quieted my mind in a way nothing else ever has.

Mosher chuckled knowingly throughout. When I was done, he shared with me what he loved best about the pastime. I wish I could remember everything he said.

But one thing I will never forget: Mosher invited me to come to the Northeast Kingdom and fish some of his favorite holes with him this spring.

It didn’t seem like a throwaway offer — the man was allergic to insincerity. But, even if it was, I was determined to take him up on it.

In my head, I began rehearsing the awkward phone call I would force myself to make: “Hey, Mr. Mosher, remember in November when you said we could go fishing? Umm … can we still do that?”

I learned that he planned to release a novel in the spring and would probably have to do some publicity. Maybe I could use that as an excuse to call.

I had it all figured out. I’d wait until late April or early May. That way, I’d have a few early spring weeks to practice my casting. Baseball season would be well underway, so we’d have something to talk about besides my ineptitude at coercing trout from the water. I would bring a couple cans of Budweiser.

That he finished the novel he was working on, Points North, before he died is a gift to us all. But I’m always going to regret missing out on the chance to spend a spring day on the water with Howard Frank Mosher in his Kingdom.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Author Howard Frank Mosher in Hospice With 'Untreatable' Cancer

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 1:55 PM

Howard Frank Mosher - COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR
  • Courtesy of the Author
  • Howard Frank Mosher
Vermont author Howard Frank Mosher announced over the weekend that he has terminal cancer and is in hospice care.

The Irasburg resident said he was diagnosed in early December with cancer in his lungs that has spread throughout his body. Mosher, 74, said that he initially thought he was suffering from an "upper-respiratory bug that has been going around.

"In less than two months, though, I have gone from feeling pretty good to being in hospice care," he wrote on his public Facebook page on Sunday. "Our kids and grandkids have been with us, and I'm comfortable."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Are You in a Long-Distance Relationship? We Want to Hear From You

Posted By on Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 11:39 AM

DREAMSTIME
  • Dreamstime
For a future story, Seven Days is interested in talking to couples who experience frequent or lengthy separation due to a job (urban commuter? touring band?), military deployment or simply living at a geographical distance from each other.

If this applies to you, please respond to our survey below by Wednesday, February 1 at 5 p.m. We won't share your identity without your permission.

Thanks for participating! This survey is now closed.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Friday, December 30, 2016

Name Game 2016: Aptronyms From The Year's News

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 8:00 AM

click image Cannabis industry consultant Tripp Murray of Burlington - MARC NADEL
  • Marc Nadel
  • Cannabis industry consultant Tripp Murray of Burlington
Each December for the last nine years, Seven  Days has published a list of aptronyms — that is, people's names that are apt (hence the term) to their employment, avocation or unique life circumstance.

Last year's list included several folks whose apropos monikers showed up in our  inboxes or Google alerts due to their alleged criminal activities. They included 53-year-old Michael Gordon Dick, of Gresham, Ore., who was popped by police for masturbating, naked, in the vicinity of Oregon's Tickle Creek.

Then there was Elias Rushing, the 19-year-old Dorset man who crashed his car into a house in Rupert while fleeing a Vermont state trooper who was trying to pull him over for speeding.

And who could forget the aptly named chocolate Labrador retriever from North Webster, Ind. — Trigger — that shot its owner, Allie Carter, in the foot after stepping on her 12-gauge shotgun.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, November 21, 2016

Joke of the Week: The Name Game

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 9:15 AM

inarticle300-jokeweek.jpg
It's Monday, which means it's time for your weekly dose of locavore levity: the Joke of the Week! This week's joke comes from South Montpelier's Sky Sandoval. Take it away, Sky …

So, my name is Sky. I have two half-sisters, and my half-sisters' names are: Star … and Jennifer.

It’s an interesting choice on my dad’s part naming us Sky, Star and Jennifer. It makes me wonder what he’d be like if he were in charge of other things using that logic. I always like to imagine what it’d be like if he booked a music festival.

Continue reading »

Tags: , ,

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Ideas Take Center Stage at ArtsRiot This Fall

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 5:14 PM

Brian Murphy - SADIE WILIAMS
  • Sadie Wiliams
  • Brian Murphy
On Tuesday night, Champlain College professor and poet Brian Murphy took to the stage of ArtsRiot  to address about 15 attendees. The Pine Street venue is known for packing the house for touring musical performances, but the smaller turnout for Murphy suggests fewer people appreciate the club's other cultural offerings. They should.

Murphy was the first speaker in the fall season of the Vermont Humanities Council's Ideas on Tap series, which started in spring 2015. VHC collaborates with the Humanities Center at the University of Vermont to produce the events. The aim is to deepen conversations about the environment, society or history, pairing a scholarly lens with good food and beer. Not to mention, it's free.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Monday, November 14, 2016

Joke of the Week: Pun Fusion

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 at 12:55 PM

inarticle300-jokeweek.jpg
It's Monday, which means it's time for your weekly dose of locavore levity: the Joke of the Week! This week's joke comes from South Burlington's Owen Foley. Take it away, Owen …

I'm thinking about opening a business that serves two separate needs. Maybe a laundromat that's also a bar, or a bookstore that's also a bar, or a restaurant that's also a truck. Even my food truck is going to serve fusion cuisine. I'm thinking Vietnamese and Italian food. Gonna call it Pho-gettaboutit.

About that joke
Says Foley: This joke is simple word play, it is dumb but I love it so much. The smart, sophisticated, and tremendously good looking audiences of Burlington also seem to enjoy it.

Continue reading »

Tags: , ,

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation