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Roads Taken: An Evening of Poetry

Event date: 
Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 6:30pm

Join us for an evening of poetry featuring Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont Poetry from Green Writers Press.  We'll be joined by contributors Megan Buchanan, Tamra Higgins, and Mary Jane Dickerson, as well as Green Writers Press founder Dede Cummings and Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord.  Cummings will also share her new collection of poetry, To Look Out From.

Roads TakenWith its mystical landscape and fiercely self-reliant citizenry, Vermont has inspired poets from its earliest days. This anthology of contemporary Vermont poets represents a wide range of accomplished voices―both young and old, both renowned and relatively unestablished. Their poems offer news, in Ezra Pound’s words, that stays news, and they do so in a wide variety of forms and subjects. While there is no such thing as a particular brand of Vermont poetry, the poems in this volume claim Vermont as their place of origin, bearing witness to the remarkably rich and ongoing legacy of the state’s poetic tradition.  Roads Taken is edited by Sydney Lea, Chard deNiord, and Dede Cummings.

“Vermont tempts poets to epiphany by staying silent, or cold, or flinty, or dark, ironizes their praise. Many people move to Vermont because of the idea of it, an idea that has proven remarkably durable over time: as these poems suggest, so powerfully do the daily necessities of living there, of surviving there, assert themselves. This is where Frost comes in: Frost’s poems are the great rural instruction manual for our neck of the woods. His influence is everywhere in the poems collected here, which so often take ‘nature’ not as an idyllic refuge but as a site of careful, strenuous, and repeated steps or actions. The Vermonters in this book come from and live all over. Roads Taken is a ‘constellation/of patches and pitches,’ proof to me that Vermont will always require the imagination of its citizens to exist.”  
—Dan Chiasson

To Look Out From
"In To Look Out From, Dede Cummings takes good advantage of the imaginative fluidity that poetry offers. Even her poems of memory and family are driven by curiosity and enlivened by quick maneuvers and spritely turns. And she is careful never to leave the reader behind."
—Billy Collins

"Dede Cummings' poems in To Look Out From are breathtakingly vivid. Deeply felt, they often chronicle the relationship between self and the natural world, between self and others. These are New England poems that transcend New England. They are well-crafted testaments, often pastoral, to the cycles of life. At times they are elegiac and bittersweet, yet attentive in their hopefulness and trust in the Great Wonderments and mysteries. At times gracefully discursive and always brilliantly paced, they are poems given to recovery and renewal. This is a book I will read over and over."
—Clarence Major

(From left to right:  Megan Buchanan, Dede Cummings, Chard deNiord, Mary Jane Dickerson, and Tamra Higgins.)

Megan Buchanan’s first full-length collection of poetry, Clothesline Religion, was just published by Green Writers Press. Her poems have appeared in such as journals as The Sun Magazine, make/shift, A Woman’s Thing, and numerous anthologies such as Dream Closet: Meditations on Childhood Space (Secretary Press, NYC). Born in California, she’s lived for long stretches in Ireland, the mountains of the southwest, and New England. Her work has been supported by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, and the Vermont Studio Center. Megan is also a collaborative performer and dancemaker, and she most recently presented the interdisciplinary, collaborative performance project REGENERATIONS: Reckoning with and responding to the closing of Vermont Yankee. She currently lives in Guilford, Vermont with her two children. Visit the author’s website at

Dede Cummings' poetry has been published in Mademoiselle, Connotation Press, Bloodroot Literary, and other magazines and online journals. Her poetry collection, To Look Out From, won the 2016 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize. She lives in Vermont with her family and runs the solar-powered home office for Green Writers Press.

Chard deNiord is the Poet Laureate of Vermont and author of five books of poetry, most recently InterstateThe Double Truth, and Night Mowing. His book of essays and interviews with seven senior American poets (Galway Kinnell, Ruth Stone, Lucille Clifton, Donald Hall, Robert Bly, Jack Gilbert, and Maxine Kumin) titled Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs, Conversations and Reflections on Twentieth Century American Poets was published by Marick Press in 2011. His poems and essays have appeared widely in such journals and anthologies as The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry, the Kenyon Review, The New England Review, The American Poetry Review, The New Ohio Review, AGNI, The Harvard Review, The New York Times, Ploughshares, and Salmagundi. He is the co-founder and former program director of the New England College MFA Program in Poetry and a trustee of the Ruth Stone Trust. For the past 19 years he has taught English and Creative Writing at Providence College where he is Professor of English. He lives in Westminster West, Vt. with his wife, Liz.

Mary Jane Dickerson taught in the English Department at the University of Vermont from 1966 to September of 2000 and retired as an Associate Professor Emerita of English.  In her final teaching years, she was invited to Japan and to South Africa as a visiting scholar for her work on women writers and African American studies. Since her retirement, Mary Jane has taught an annual class on reading and writing poetry at her local library. She has published two volumes of poetry, Tapping the Center of Things, and Water Journeys in Art & Poetry with artist Dianne Shullenberger in 2015. Mary Jane also serves on the University of Vermont Foundation Board’s Leadership Council, the Board of Advisors to the Fleming Museum, The Retired Faculty and Staff Organization Board, and various civic boards in Jericho Center, Vermont where she has lived for forty-eight years. In the fall of 2016, she was elected to become a member of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Tamra J. Higgins holds an MFA from the Stonecoast Writing Program, University of Southern Maine and an M.Ed. from Johnson State College. After teaching in Vermont public schools for 19 years, she founded Sundog Poetry Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes poets and poetry throughout Vermont. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Passagers, Modern Haiku and several other publications. Higgins served as President of the Poetry Society of Vermont for three years. She is the author of Nothing Saved Us: Poems of the Korean War (2014) and the chapbook, Tenderbellied (2016), and is also co-editor of Tasteful Traditions: A Collection of Cambridge History, Memories, and Family Recipes. You can find her poetry, blog, photography, and hand-felted work at She lives in Jeffersonville, Vermont.


DATE:  Thursday, June 29th at 6:30pm

LOCATION:  Phoenix Books Rutland

ADMISSION:  Free and open to all.


Event address: 
2 Center Street
Rutland, VT 05701
Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont Poetry Cover Image
By Sydney Lea (Editor), Chard deNiord (Editor), Dan Chiasson (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780998260471
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Green Writers Press - May 26th, 2017

To Look Out From: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938846830
Availability: Click Title to See Location Inventory
Published: Homebound Publications - April 11th, 2017