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April 24, 2013

Last Verse: National Poetry Month Draws to a Close

CD-LuskOne of the strengths of Burlington poet Daniel Lusk's works is their luscious evocation of the natural world. In 2009, armed with a unique grant from the University of Vermont, he set his sights, and words, on the body of water some of us still fondly call the sixth great lake. He worked with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes to study its science and lore, conducting interviews with divers, archaeologists, historians and marine biologists — and, of course, having his own experiences with and on the water. Lake Studies: Meditations on Lake Champlain is the aptly titled volume that resulted.

Now Lusk, a lecturer emeritus in English at UVM, has a new and equally watery work, The Inland Sea. And those who would rather listen to than read poetry are in luck: It's an audiobook!

It's also Lusk's second collaboration with the LCMM. The "Inland Sea" is the old name for the waters east of the Champlain Islands. In the audiobook, which was designed by Anne Linton of Winooski, Lusk reads 19 poems selected from Lake Studies. He celebrates at a release party this Saturday, April 27, at Phoenix Books Burlington.

(More poetry news after the break.)

Broad1Vermont poet Ralph Culver's limited-edition broadside of the poem "Signed Self-Portrait: February" is on view and for sale at the Drawing Board in Montpelier. It was selected by Vermont poet laureate Sydney Lea as the winner of the first annual letterpress broadside contest from Chickadee Chaps & Broads, a Vermont poetry-publishing enterprise established in 2011 by Julia Shipley and Kelly McMahon. (Culver also garnered a four-night stay at the Writer's Retreat in Craftsbury.)

Illustrated by Craftsbury artist Gabriel Tempesta, the piece was beautifully handset by McMahon at May Day Studio in Montpelier.

The poem is the last in Culver's collection Both Distances, which was itself a winner — of the 2012 Anabiosis Press Chapbook Contest — and which local designer Tina Christensen gave a starkly elegant look.

The poet will read selections from the book at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library this Saturday, April 27, along with fellow Burlington poets Ben Aleshire and Nicholas Spengler. "Three Chaps Reading" is one of the final events in Montpelier's monthlong PoemCity, along with a couple of chapbook-related workshops earlier in the day (see below).

The Inland Sea Release Party: Daniel Lusk at Phoenix Books Burlington, Saturday, April 27, 7 p.m. Free. 

Culver-distancesThree Chaps Reading: Ralph Culver, Ben Aleshire and Nicholas Spengler, Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier, Saturday, April 27, 3:30 p.m. Free. Info, 223-3338. Both Distances is available at local booksellers in Burlington, Essex Junction and Montpelier.

Chapbook Workshops:

"The Chapbook: Reading and Writing the Slender Book," with Julia Shipley and Jim Schley, Snelling Room, Vermont Historical Society, Montpelier, Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - noon. (Limit: 15 people)

"Chapbook Publishing Roundtable," a panel discussion with publishers moderated by Julia Shipley, Hayes Room, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier, Saturday, April 27, 2 p.m. Both free. Info, 223-3338.

For other events in the culminating week of National Poetry Month in Montpelier, visit the PoemCity blog.


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