Join us to meet Dede Cummings, the publisher behind Green Writers Press, as well as authors from the new press. Phoenix Books is partnering with GWP - a new, Vermont-based publisher that prints in Vermont and seeks to change the way books are printed by using only post-consumer waste paper and not virgin timber - to celebrate this new indie publisher. We'll launch GWP's newest title, The Beavers of Popple’s Pond, by Vermont nature writer Patti A. Smith, and get the scoop on other GWP titles like So Little Time.
Speakers will include:
Dede Cummings, founder of Green Writers Press, went to Middlebury College back in the late 1970s. This summer, she is going to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, to try and finish her book of books she started “back in the late 1970s.” In 1991, she received an award to study with Hayden Carruth at the Bennington Writers’ Workshop. Dede has had her poetry published in Mademoiselle magazine and ConnotationPress.com. She is at work on a collection of her poetry, along with her day job in publishing. Throughout the 1980s, Dede worked in publishing at Little, Brown & Company, rising to Senior Book Designer. When the company was bought by Time/Warner and moved to New York, Dede headed north with her husband and young son to return to Vermont and start freelancing as a designer. She has designed many award-winning books by such authors as Thomas Pynchon, Mary Oliver, William Shirer, Andre Dubus, and is a five-time winner of the new England Book Award, including 2 additional awards for “best in show” for Sorochintzy Fair by Nikolai Gogol, and World Alone/Mundo a Solas by Nobel Prize Winner, Vincente Alexandro. Dede is a public radio commentator for Vermont Public Radio, and she lives next to an apple orchard on a dirt road in West Brattleboro, Vermont with her family.
Peter Biello is a producer and announcer at Vermont Public Radio. He holds an MFA in fiction from UNC-Wilmington and a BFA from U-Maine Farmington. His journalism has appeared on All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Day to Day, and This American Life. His creative writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Lowestoft Chronicle, The Drunken Odyssey, Busted Halo, Three Percent, and The Compulsive Reader. He’s the organizer of the Burlington Writers Workshop, northern Vermont’s largest and most active writing organization, and blogs at burlingtonwritersworkshop.com. On Twitter: @PeterBiello
Antonello Borra teaches Italian language and literature at the University of Vermont. His volumes of poetry are Frammenti di tormenti (prima parte), Frammenti di tormenti (seconda parte), Alfabestiario, and the illustrated, bilingual Alphabetabestiario and Alfabestiario. Excerpts from his new volume entitled Fabbrica delle idee (monologhi dei matti) have appeared in journals both in Italy and the Unites States. Translations of his poetry have appeared in English, Catalan, and are being prepared in German. He has translated into Italian poems from English, German, and Spanish. He co-translated two autobiographical novels from the German of Johannes Hösle and is a regular contributor to magazines and journals in both Italy and the United States. His other publications are books and articles on literary criticism and language pedagogy.
Dave Cavanagh is a contributor to So Little Time. His books of poems include Falling Body (2009) and The Middleman (2003), both published by Salmon Poetry of Ireland. His next book, Straddle, is due out from Salmon in 2014. His poems have appeared in leading journals in Canada, Ireland, the U.S., and the U.K., and in anthologies such as The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present. A native of Montreal, Cavanagh lives in Burlington, Vermont. He works as an associate dean at Johnson State College.
Greg Delanty, a featured contributor to So Little Time, was born in Cork City, Ireland, in 1958 and lived in Cork until 1986. He has received many awards, most recently a Guggenheim for poetry. His Collected Poems 1986-2006 is out from the Oxford Poet’s series of Carcanet Press. His poems are widely anthologized including the recent Penguin Book of Irish Poetry, The Norton Introduction to Poetry. He is a US and Irish Citizen and teaches at Saint Michael’s College, Vermont.
John Elder, author of the forward for So Little Time, specializes in American nature writing and pastoral literature, as well as Basho and the Haiku Tradition, contemporary poetry and environmental studies. He has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship and Guggenheim Fellowship. His most recent books include "Reading the Mountains of Home" (Harvard University Press, 1998), "The Frog Run" (Milkweed Editions, 2002).
Leland Kinsey, a contributor to So Little Time, was born and raised on a farm in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, where his ancestors settled in the early 1800s. He has conducted writing workshops for the Vermont Arts Council and the Children's Literacy Foundation at over 100 schools in New Hampshire and Vermont. Since receiving his M.A., Leland has worked as a farmhand, printer, and horse trainer and has taught courses at Elderhostel in writing, birding, astronomy and canoeing. He has published six collections of poetry, including In the Rain Shadow (University Press of New England, 2004) Sledding on Hospital Hill (Godine, 2003) and The Immigrant's Contract. Winter Ready was just released by Green Writers Press. He lives near the Canadian border with his wife and three children.
Maeve McBride is the Coordinator for 350Vermont, a statewide organization, affiliated with 350.org, that utilizes grassroots organizing and direct action to reduce and ultimately eliminate our collective dependence on fossil fuels, bringing climate justice to our communities. Maeve works on soup to nuts: grassroots organizing, event planning, outreach, fundraising, and operations. Maeve’s academic background is in river science & engineering, and she completed a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering at UVM. Although she is still involved with river projects in the Northeast, she is a devoted mom, climate activist, yoga teacher, gardener, and bike commuter.
Howard Frank Mosher is the author of ten novels and a travel memoir. Born in the Catskill Mountains in 1942, Mosher has lived in Vermont’s fabled Northeast Kingdom since 1964. He has won many awards for his fiction, including Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, the American Civil Liberties Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Vermont Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the New England Book Award and, most recently, the 2011 New England Independent Booksellers Association's President's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. Three of his novels, Disappearances, A Stranger in the Kingdom and Where the Rivers Flow North, have been made into acclaimed feature movies by the Vermont independent filmmaker Jay Craven. An adaptation of Northern Borders is currently in production. Howard and Phillis, his wife of 47 years, have a grown son and daughter.
Patti Smith, author of The Beavers of Popple's Pond, is a naturalist at the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center (BEEC) in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she writes and teaches about birds and bugs and birch trees, organizes salamander crossing brigades, and ponders biodiversity planning issues. She lives in the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains
Sharon Webster, a contributor to So Little Time, is a writer and mixed media visual artist. She has written seven self-published poetry chapbooks and published in various journals. Her book of poems, Everyone Lives Here, will be released this year. In addition, Webster creates sculptural assemblages and paintings that explore texture, emotional nuance, language, and the beauty of everyday things. Webster has taught studio art at Community College of Vermont for a decade and worked with developmentally challenged adults for many years.
About Green Writers Press: GWP invites readers to think of the new publishing company as a community, a community that includes them as readers and not as "consumers." It is a house where you can give support to local writers and artists who share your concerns; a place where you help spread the word about global climate change and its profound consequences. "The more we work together," says Cummings, "as readers, writers, artists, thinkers, activists—the more effectively we will succeed in broadening everyone’s awareness of our shared challenges and the ways we can work to address them. With the Tar Sands pipeline proposal at a critical point of decision, now is the time to make our voices heard and to lend strength to those who are fighting to protect our planet and all the life that it nourishes."
In today’s world of social media and online transactions, GWP remembers that your head and your heart need nourishment from the natural world. With that credo, GWP seeks to bring the beauty of the published book as a tactile object into the homes and hands of readers, while also embracing the technology of tablet and eBook publishing.
Tucked away in a remote stream valley in Vermont, Willow and Popple begin the night’s work of dam repair, scent marking, tree felling …until a soft call alerts them to the arrival of the strange honorary member of their clan, author Patti Smith.
They scramble ashore and poke eagerly about her feet as she prepares to picnic with the beavers and to record the events that transpire on the shores of Popple’s Pond. Through seasons and years, these records, transformed into interwoven vignettes, invite the reader to enter the world of the beavers and the other inhabitants.
The author, a native of this landscape, brings a naturalist’s eye and a compassionate voice to these stories and other worlds where different characters await.
Keep this book wherever you have a moment for a short adventure— to follow the trail of a bear cub through the moonlight, enter the low-roofed world of the snowshoe hare...
These stories offer a chance to reconnect with the nature that perseveres around us.
“This book rests between books for animal lovers that feature animals in relationships with people in the world of people) and books for nature lovers that feature observations of animals in nature apart from people. This book includes some of each, but is perhaps most unusual in its accounts of animals in nature and in relationships with a person.”
—Joan Carey, Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, Brattleboro, Vermont
“Where has she been, this shining wonderment Patti Smith? She has been befriending a colony of beavers on Poppell's Pond and apprenticing herself to the marvelous creatures of the world. Here Smith tells her beguiling story with an uncommon wit, whimsicality, and devotion. I cannot say enough good things about this volume. It is heart-warming. It is magical, even spell-binding. It is beautifully written. This is a triumph of a book.”
—Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and The Seed Underground, among others
"Environmentalists long ago won the scientific battle, but we needed to reach people's hearts as well. This superb volume will do exactly that."
—Bill McKibben, Author, Environmentalist, Founder of 350.org
So Little Time is a revolving door of political activism, spirituality, nature, and humanity. It is a call to action, where urgency meets poetry in no uncertain terms, and asks, “What hour are we in?” Edited by Dede Cummings and Alexandra Sandman-Pitonyak of Green Writers Press, and poet, Irish and U. S. citizen, and Vermont activist, Greg Delanty, it takes its cue from the grassroots sensibility of Vermont, stripping down decades of unwavering ideals to arrive at an interpretive look at what it means to be ‘Green’ in an evolving world. A work of education and art as invigorating as the poets, teachers, and activists who inspired it, So Little Time addresses what it means to take up action for something as simple as good, healthy, and clean living. It stands on a fundamental set of questions: “What are we looking at?” “What are we seeing?” “What’s really there?” Then asks, “What’s actually there?” So Little Time is more than a coffee table book; rather it is a visual platform, a reflection of a state of mind—clear and focused at the center—that becomes something else around the edges.
With an Introduction from John Elder, and poems and quotes from such environmentalists, as BIll McKibben, So Little Time is an interactive and interpretive book that will inspire, enrich, and a call to action in an urgent plea to stop global warming.
The Bird Book is a children’s alphabet book by artist and educator, Brian D. Cohen, with rhyming couplets written by Holiday Eames. Created for their son, David, each letter of the alphabet in both uppercase and lowercase, corresponds to the bird illustrated on each page. The description can be read aloud to especially inquisitive children, or be enjoyed by an adult reader alike.
Originally hand-colored and printed letterpress, only 26 copies were made. Now gathered in book form for the first time, printed in four colors on beautiful recycled paper, these stunning prints will also appeal to adults interested in art books, small press books, printmaking, and birds. Their children and grandchildren will thank the parents and gift givers as well, for the birds in the book, and the accompanying couplets will open up a world of art and poetry that will become a family favorite.
The relief etchings of this one-of-a-kind alphabet book will become a classic and an introduction to letters as well as to the birds that inhabit the earth and a child’s imagination.
Faced with the ultimate challenge of life—confronting your death—how would you want to be remembered? Are there stories you want to tell? Experiences you want to relay? Explanations about how you felt and why? Maybe you wish to ensure that future generations know your family lore. Perhaps you seek meaning and purpose and don’t know how to access them. It’s likely that you seek comfort and strength. But at the same time a deep desire to heal unresolved issues may unsettle you. And reaching for a spiritual connection may be the path you want to find.
There is a way to do all these things, as overwhelming as they may seem. The answer is Lasting Words: A Guide to Finding Meaning Toward the Close of Life by Claire B. Willis. Her experience as a clinical social worker, an ordained lay Buddhist chaplain and a licensed yoga teacher led to the creation of this indispensable book. Each chapter is based on commonly identified end-of-life concerns from research, coupled with her own experience, over two decades, of leading writing groups for profoundly ill people.
Unlike other “writing journals,” Lasting Words takes into account the physical limitations of the writer. One short chapter focuses solely on relaxation and meditation and sets the stage for the writing to be more easeful, openhearted and meaningful.
From there, the author leads the way from Journey to Gratitude, Hope, Forgiveness, Wisdom, Prayer and, finally, Endings. Each chapter includes, with encouraging suggestions, an invitation to reflect and write. Also included are poems and quotations that pertain to the chapter subject, as well as relaxation exercises, questions to ask oneself and closing meditations. And the reflective photographs throughout are as soothing as they are healing.
But most powerful are the stories of people who wrote their own lasting words. You’ll meet Christina, who thought that her lack of travel made her uninteresting. Her writing took her to places she never expected to go. There is James, the young father who discovered that being hopeless just didn’t suit him. And you’ll read about Joan, a lifelong grudge-holder who realized that there are more important things to hold onto, as well as let go of, at the end of a life.
For every person who wondered how to express who they are, and the people who strive to help them, Lasting Words is a precious gift. Therapists and clergy, family and friends and caregivers of every kind will find it essential. And for every person who wishes to leave a unique legacy, the means to do so are at their fingertips.
With astute understanding of the needs of the soul, Claire Willis brings solace to those who want to give a permanent gift and the loved ones who will receive it.