Good news can be hard to come by these days, but if you’re an emerging poet â or eager to emerge â here’s a welcome opportunity: The Johnson-based Sundog Poetry Center has just announced a brand-new First or Second Book Award for poetry. And there’s a reason for that slightly awkward-sounding name.
“Sometimes a first book is heavily collaborative,” explains Neil Shepard, a veteran poet, the founder of Green Mountains Review and a Sundog board member. “The second is usually post-MFA â really the first book. That’s still relatively an emerging poet.”
In other words, writers who vie for this award might already have an extant book or chapbook, or they might just have a bursting-with-promise manuscript. Either way, the winning entry will be designed, printed and distributed by Sundog collaborator Green Writers Press in Brattleboro.
Tamra Higgins and Mary Jane Dickerson founded Sundog in 2014 with the mission to “promote poetry for the enrichment of our cultural lives,” according to its website. The nonprofit has fulfilled that promise with publications, workshops, retreats, readings and other events. For the most part, Shepard points out, these ventures have featured established poets. For example, when Sundog began collaborating with Green Writers Press, his own book Vermont Exit Ramps II was the first to be published.
But, after Sundog and the press released the 2019 volume Vermont Poets and Their Craft, edited by Shepard and Higgins, “we decided to do something for emerging poets,” Shepard says.
The competition is open only to Vermonters, defined as residents of the state a minimum of six months of the year. The submission deadline is October 31 and must include proof of residency and a $20 application fee. Manuscripts should be 48 to 64 pages long.
Shepard notes that he and other board members â Dickerson, former Vermont poet laureate Chard DeNiord, Rebecca Starks and Bill Drislane â and managing director Sarah Audsley will “each choose two or three manuscripts by the end of November and send them to our final judge, Mary Ruefle.” Vermont’s current poet laureate, Ruefle will make her decision by December 31. The winner will receive $500 and 50 copies of the published book.
Eyes on the prize, poets.
The final judge is Vermont Poet Laureate, and award-winning poet, Mary Ruefle.Â
This contest is open to all Vermont-based poets. Submissions of manuscripts of a first or second book, by a Vermont poet, will open on September 1st and close on October 31st, 2020. A cash prize of $500 will be awarded along with 50 copies. Sundog Poetry will provide assistance with promotion through a featured book launch and readings scheduled throughout the state. Manuscripts should be between 48 and 64 pages. All submissions must be authored by a poet who resides in Vermont; proof of residency will be requested along with a $20 application fee online via Submittable.
Submissions open September 1, 2020 and close at midnight on October 31, 2020
In related news, Sundog/Green Writers Press-affiliated poet Stephen Cramer has launched the recently published Turn It Up! Music in Poetry From Jazz to Hip-Hop.
Happy Mother’s Day from all of the women and mothers at Green Writers Press, Green Place Books, Green Sprouts, and our literary magazine, The Hopper! Here are some books, for moms of all ages, that will make perfect gifts for the mother in your life . . . Enjoy!
A perfect Mother’s Day gift . . .Â
A Mom’s Guide to Creating a Magical Life Written for the overwhelmed Mom whoâs looking for more joy, playfulness, and serenity in her life, A Momâs Guide to Creating a Magical Life is like a GPS for your soul. This book is full of simple, easy-to-use tools to help you feel more grounded within yourself, and more patient and present with your family and everyone else you meet throughout your days. Itâs also an invitation to come back home to yourself and remember all the things you used to love before becoming so busy taking care of everyone else. Beyond a manicure, pedicure, or even a massage, A Momâs Guide to Creating a Magical Life encourages self-care for the soul, teaching and empowering Moms to learn and know that we really do have the ability to create the life of our dreams.
GWP author Kasey Mathews and her two children . . . about 18 years ago! Watch the trailer and learn about Andi’s birth.
There were uncertain, gloomy days when I thought they might be rightâthat maybe we were cursed. Inevitably, though, Iâd step back and lookÂ with clearer eyes, allowing myself to see all the incredible gifts that hadÂ emerged as a result of what weâd been through. I came to see, know, andÂ understand that in the midst of times of ease or diffi culty, there is soÂ much opportunity to allow in the magic that is available to us all.
KASEY MATHEWS lives in Wilton, New Hampshire, with husband, two children and their rescue dog, Ed. She is a coach, speaker, workshop leader and author of A Momâs Guide to Creating a Magical Life: 8 Steps to Feel Happier, Inspired and More Relaxed and Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life and Motherhood, which won the New Hampshire Writerâs Project Readerâs Choice award and was a featured book on the Random House book site Bibliophile.
Visit the author’s website to order:Â www.kaseymathews.com
Watch the author’s beautiful book trailer here . . . (her first book was agented by Dede!):
The Coffeehouse Resistance: Brewing Hope in Desperate Times
by Sarina Prabasi
Reviewed by Rachael Peretic
âWhat a difference we can make, understanding our neighborhoods as we do, and having a real relationship with people in our communities. What could we accomplish if we could make the coffeehouse politically relevant again? Not partisan, but politically engaged and active.â – Sarina Prabasi,Â The Coffeehouse Resistance
No stranger to immigration, Sarina Prabasi was born in the Netherlands, raised in Nepal, and educated in Massachusetts before settling for years in Ethiopia, where she fell in love with the culture of coffee, the community surrounding it, and a man who would later become her husband and business partner. When political unrest brought her back to America with her husband and young daughter, the relief was short-lived. In the wake of the 2016 presidential elections, they and much of the nation were left shocked, bereft, and seemingly powerless in a situation that few had prepared for. Suddenly, the future of the nation and of her family was undefined.
Through small acts, her mindset shifted from that post-electoral fog to that of an active citizen. She started using her voice, her vote, and even her dining room table, where she and her children wrote to their local representatives, to better embody her ideals. After getting her feet wet by phone banking for Alexandria Ocasio Cortezâs campaign, she was struck by her ability to promote change both at the government level and right within her own community. It wasnât long before this passion flowed over into Buunni, the coffeehouse founded by Prabasi and her husband, Elias. With the government officials, she wrote postcards, made phone calls, and attended rallies. With her customer, she shared a love of coffee, a safe space for their voices to be heard, and connections with friends and strangers alike. Eventually, she found a balance, dismantling the isolating issues she sawâracism, gun violence, and corporate greedâfrom both ends of the spectrum.
Sarina and her two girls (a few years ago).
In an effort to bring the coffeehouse back to its original status of communal hub and a place of enlightenment, free thinking, and debate, Prabasi has written a book detailing her experiences as a New York immigrant-turned-U.S. citizen, a small business owner, a mother, and a political activist pining for representation in Trumpâs America.
The Coffeehouse Resistance is a forward-thinking memoir, told in an empathetic voice, that shines light not only on the harsh realities of recent years but, more importantly, onto the bright future which is made possible when one acts in accordance with their ethics toward a true democracy. Despite such divisive times as these, the bookâs power to resonate is palpable; its ability to motivate as pervasive as the morningâs first cup of coffee. This book is for everyone, but especially for those who have felt themselves unrepresented, unaccepted, or even unwelcome in the place that they themselves call home, this is a must read.
Visit the author’s website here: https://www.sarinaprabasi.net
Watch the book trailer here and help us spread the word! #thecoffeehouseresistance
Breakfast Memories: A Dementia Love Story (Coming Fall 2019!)
by Kate Hanley
For anyone caring for someone with dementia, this book is a bridge of hope. Kate Hanley takes us on a journey where we witness her caring for her aging parents, while trying to balance the demands of her own busy work and family life. At times, full of frustration and despair, Kate wanted to give up, but knew that was never a choice. As her story progressed, along with her motherâs dementia, Kate discovered a cache of daily love devotionals her dad had penned to her mother every morning on a paper napkin.
Kate Hanley and her mom.
The discovery of these love sonnets was the key to unlocking the window into her motherâs soul, and gave Kate glimpses back into the world of who her mother once was. A beautiful story full of love, laughter, and possibility, Kate inspires others walking this path to know and believe that even in the darkest times of despair, there is reason to hope and remember that love is never forgotten.
Kate Hanleyâs discovery of her parentâs unique love language set her on a path she never anticipatedâwriting a book. Yet these beautiful âpaper napkin sonnets,â and the story that surrounds them, were too precious and inspiring not to share, as they offer hope for anyone in the throes of caring for someone with dementia. Kate lives in Old Forge, New York, with her husband and two dogs. Her two grown sons come home as often as possible to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Adirondack Mountains.
Visit the author’s website and to preorder this special book: http://breakfastmemories.com
~~~Â Other Mother’s Day books, newly released just in time for Mother’s Day! ~~~
How to Survive a Brazilian Betrayal: A Mother-Daughter Memoir
By Ehris Urban and Velya Janez-Urban
A kooky, gregarious mother and perceptive, poised daughter introduce readers to their offbeat Connecticut family, who follow their hearts to rural Brazil. Broke and broken, theyâre forced to return to the United States, and navigate their rebirth in a foreclosed 1770 New England farmhouse. Hilariously honest and heart-wrenching.
âBeautifully written and full of love, honesty, and humor. Almost all daughters adore their mothers and make fun of them at the same time! There is no more powerful (or fraught) relationship in the world than this one. I love this relationship. Brava, you two!â ~Christiane Northrup, M.D., New York Times bestselling author, Womenâs Bodies,Womenâs Wisdom and Goddesses Never Age
Ehris Urban is an herbalist, holistic nutritionist, and flower essence practitioner. Velya Jancz-Urban is a zany teacher, history nut, and expert on “herstory unsanitized.” As Grounded Goodwife (groundedgoodwife.com),this funny and frank mother/daughter duo believe in taking inner responsibility for one’s wellness, and share their “recipe” for wholeness through holistic workshops and “gal power” presentations.
Coming out just in time for Mother’s Day, this page-turning novel is about a dedicated teacher who loses her job due to a student covering up getting into a fight by saying she punched him (he got his friends who where there to lie on his behalf)…. Every Year thousands of educators are accused of physical abuse. Some are guilty and are prosecuted, but hundreds who are innocent are forced to surrender their licenses. This is what happened to Billie. Deceit and betrayal threatened her survival, extinguishedÂ her lifeâs dream, andÂ erased her sense of self worth. She wondered if she could ever trust again. Rejected by family and friends, she was forced to reinvent every aspect of her entire life. When a catastrophic fire crippled her community, and individuals grappled with personal tragedy, she gained a deeper understanding of the gift of forgiveness and the power of hope. Her brave struggles saved not only her life but also the lives of others. At times brutally painful, at other times hugely positive, Today My Name Is BillieÂ reveals how a single lie can spread like fire and destroy all that it touches.
Neile Parisi taught for 18 glorious years in public schools. She experienced both joy and tragedy in her classroom, but continually loved her students. Today My Name Is Billie is based upon an incident in her life as an eighth grade teacher, where she lost her job and her career. Following this, she became a Registered Sanitarian. Having a Masters Degree in Health Education, she was able to use her teaching skills to help educate workers in the restaurant world, teaching proper food-handling skills; provide knowledge about radon, asbestos, and lead poisoning to home owners; investigate food poisoning; test beach water and pools for bacteria levels; inspect restaurants, day cares, schools, and hospitals; and at times even trap rats and other rodents. Currently she is a Realtor, who by the way won Second Place in The Womanâs Arm Wrestling competition in Las Vegas, and promises she wonât let anyone âtwist your arm.â She is also a stand-up comic on the weekends, drawing from her varied background of jobs. This is her first novel.
Paddling With Spirits: A Solo Kayak Journey
by Irene Skyriver
Inspired partly by her own spirit of adventure, and partly by the stories of her native coastal ancestors, Irene Skyriver celebrated her fortieth year of life with a solo kayak voyage, paddling from Alaska to her home in Washington Stateâs San Juan Islands. Paddling with Spirits: A Solo Kayak Journey interweaves the true account of her journey with generational stories handed down and vividly reimagined. Beginning with her great-grandmotherâs seduction of an Indian fighter turned trader, and following her ancestors on both sides through oil booms, orphanages, wartime romances, dance halls and cattle ranches, Paddling with Spirits dips like a paddle itself between the stories of those who inspired her, and Ireneâs own journey down a lonely coast. As she encounters harsh weather, wolves, bears, whales, and the wild beauty of the coastal waters, she reflects upon her own life and the lives of the many people she meets along the way before her final, triumphant return home. Paddling with Spirits is a wild, brave, and thrillingly original adventure.
âIn this book the long, restless boundary between ocean and land becomes a road of discovery for an intrepid paddler traversing the liminal space between present and past, between the visible world and the unseen resonance of her ancestry. With âevery stroke of the paddle away from shore,â Skyriver plunges deeper into telling the legacy of her familial links to this coast. Her account alternates between stages in her pilgrimage through the water, and fictionalized stories from her kin. In prose that sparkles with bold strokes, this story is told as the journey is taken: with every splash of Skyriverâs muscular observation, story, and thought, the reader glides forward over glittering waters.âÂ âKim Stafford, author of Having Everything Right: Essays of Place
A Washington native, Irene Skyriver was born in Port Townsend and raised in the country. She moved with her children and horses to Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands, thirty-eight years ago. On the island she lived off-the-grid and as a single parent, spending most of her early years growing a garden and letting the outdoors and beaches be her familyâs sanctuary, inspiration and teacher. Skyriver organized parades for Earth Days, International Womenâs Days, and was one of the early founders and shapers of the Summer and Winter Solstice celebrations, as well as Passage Rites ceremonies for the youth. A poet, dancer, and a singer of traditional âEarth Circle Songs,â writing came later for her, mostly because one has to sit down to do it! Irene received a full fellowship to Fishtrap Writers Conference based on a submission from Paddling With Spirits. This was followed by a grant to finish the work. In between involvement in community, her market garden, and milking goats, she plans to sit down and accomplish these new writing endeavors and is at work on a novel.
Clothesline Religion chronicles twenty years worth of adventures in the life of an artist as young single mother.
Megan Buchanan, a poet and professional dancer, gave birth to a daughter at 22, lived abroad in Ireland and France, and came back home again to Southern California and the mountains of the Southwest. This debut poetry collection spans wild open roads, backyard vegetable gardens, Irish pubs, country dance halls, Vermont screen-porches, midnight river valleys, artist studios, and the world of waking dreams. Buchanan’s poems offer fierce evidence of what she calls “ordinary magic” âand what others might call mindfulnessâdiscovering gratitude, the path of recovery, and a mother’s deep joy.
Megan Buchanan is a teaching artist, performer, and dancemaker. A graduate of Occidental College, Megan studied urban and environmental policy before earning her graduate degree in English at Northern Arizona University. Born in California in 1973, she has lived for long stretches in Ireland, the mountains of the southwest, and New England. Her work has been supported the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her poems have been published in The Sun Magazine, A Womanâs Thing, make/shift, Dream Closet: Meditations on Childhood Space (Secretary Press), Eating Her Wedding Dress: An Anthology of Poems About Clothing (Ragged Sky Press), and other journals. She lives in southern Vermont with her two children.
And a BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OUR OTHER AUTHOR/MOMS!!! Last, but not least, an homage to our Mother Earth . . . here is a photo of GWP poet, Megan Buchanan, in a dance performance (I call this “Blessing the Earth/Water is Life”).
Thanks for supporting our small and growing press!Â
It’s that time of year . . . the first days of Hanukkah are here and the Christmas andÂ Kwanzaa holidays are coming right up . . .
As a spiritually inclined publisher, we just love our books that have a spiritual and healing focus, from caregiving our elders to daily meditations in our busy lives. What better time to celebrate the holidays and we want to offer a few special sales for our readers!
Here is a special holiday list from Green Writers Press, Green Place Books, and Green Sprouts:
A bit about the book:
Take a wide-eyed look at your lifeâthe commonplace, joyful, and even heartbreaking eventsâand discover the presence of God, hidden in plain sight. This is the invitation of Christine Eberleâs Finding God in Ordinary Time. Each daily reflection contains a true story and a nugget of spiritual insight, accompanied by thought-provoking questions and a memorable Scripture quote. Together they guide readers across four terrains where the divine presence may be hidden in plain sight. Warm, accessible, and surprisingly funny, Christine offers spiritual nourishment to people skeptical or weary of religion, while still giving the faithful something to chew on.
âFrom a woman experienced in Jesuit spirituality, in work, in relationships, and in life, comes this sensitive book about finding God in the real world.â âJames Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life
âThis is the perfect book for any adult in search of an adult relationship with an adult God. Filled with deep insight and humor, it will gently enliven the hearts of those who are spiritual but not religious as well as those who are religious but not spiritual. No matter the stage in your prayer journey, this lovely book will speak to you.â âBro. Mickey McGrath, OSFS, artist, author and storyteller
A bit about the book:
This is not a book on meditation or Buddhism, though it has certainly been influenced by both. It is a book of encouragements for all those who are interested in using the unit of a single day to develop good qualities in their minds and hearts. It is a book about teaching yourself âfrom the middleââthe middle of frustration or joy or boredom or wherever else you find yourself. It is a book with a single thesis: that there is always something you can do, moment by moment, to rediscover the brightness of your own life.
(This is an excerpt, modified for this post, from GWP poetry editors, Dede Cummings and James Crews’ interview with Dante Di Stefano over at Best American Poetry)
Green Writers Press is proud to offer some stunning poetry books in our catalog. We are looking for new and emerging poets that write about the earth and our place in nature and the built environment, poets who give voice to those who are marginalized in our society, and established poets who want to publish with us and enjoy the benefits of working collaboratively.Â
Green Writers signed the new poetry collection by Robert Pack, entitled All One Breath, and we are thrilled to work with such a notable American poet as Pack. We also recently published Dirt and Honey, by Rachel Vasquez Gilliland, an emerging Mexican-American poet and feminist. Another upcoming book is titled Time Inside, by Vermont poet Gary Margolis, about his work with maximum security prison inmates. Last, but not least, GWP just published A Bouquet of Daisies, by seventeen-year-old poet, Megan Alice, with proceeds benefitting the Planned Parenthood Federation.Â
We strive for a diverse chorus of poetic voices and our literary magazine, The Hopper, is doing just that. Founded in 2015 by Dede Cummings and Sierra Dickey, the Hopper also awards a poetry prize, now in its third year. Winners include John Saad in 2016, Ralph Black in 2017, and our 2018 winner, Charity Gingerich. Our poetry editors are James Crews, Anna Mullen, Ellie Rogers, Emma Irving, Dede Cummings, and Caroline Shea.
We have a bias for poetry that is accessible to as large an audience as possible, and because we are an independent press run almost entirely by women, we also believe that more female and transgender voices are needed in American poetry to give voice to those who have been kept quiet for too long. But as an environmentally-minded publisher, we hold close to Robert Bly’s idea of “shared consciousness” with the natural world â an outlook long held by Native Americans before us. This idea puts forth that elements of the natural world are just as intelligent and conscious as humans (if not more so), and perhaps the current environmental crisis would not be so dire if more people saw the world in this way. We need more American poetry that acknowledges our essential interconnectedness as a planet and as a human species. To paraphrase the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, we’d like to see more poetry that awakens us from the illusion of our separateness.
What the future holds for Green Writers Pressâ poetry program: our publisher is an award-winning poet in her own right, so we give a lot of attention to publishing and promoting our poetry catalog. To that end, you can expect to see several new collections which showcase diverse American voices, and which unflinchingly tackle the environmental crisis. Upcoming 2019 poetry collections in addition to the Hopper Prize winner, Charity Gingerich’s After JuneÂ (spring 2019), we will also be publishing Ha Kiet Chau’s collection Eleven Miles to June (fall 2019) and Sarah Wolfson’s A Common Name for Everything (fall 2019).
You can also look for anthologies that are in and of themselves forms of resistance against the prevailing fear and outrage infecting our politics and our country as a whole. For instance, we’ll be publishing an anthology edited by our poetry editor, James Crews, called Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection, with a lovely preface by former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.
GWP is thrilled to welcome our 2018 summer interns hailing from as far away as Finland! These young women are excited to work hard all summer to edit, market and publicize our growing list of titles from GWP, Green Place Books, and Green Sprouts!
Emma IrvingÂ is a recent graduate of Widener University with a BA in English. Her time in college was spent leading staff meetings at The Blue Route undergraduate literary journal, engaging in research on textual scholarship around the country and the world in Grasmere, England, and sitting on the quad between the library and humanities building, reading in the sun. Now out of college, she plans to travel and immerse herself in editorial roles on art projects that will make the world a more empathetic place.Â
Ferne Johansson recently graduated from Bennington College this past month with a focus on biological science and dance. She grew up in Marlboro, Vermont, and has spent her life consistently inspired and excited by the beauty and possibilities of the natural world. She feels strongly about writing and environmental/ecological studies which are passions of hers. She is so excited to be spending this summer working with GWP, while also working on an organic farm in Western Vermont.
Heather McCabe is a junior English major at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH. She’s interested in creative nonfiction, memoir, and rural narratives. She’s interested in pursuing book production, web design, or journalism. At Kenyon she works as a Writing Consultant,Â meeting with students to plan essays and creative pieces for course submission. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, painting, and baking. Heather grew up in South Burlington, VT.
Katri NykĂ¤nen is an English major minoring in marketing at the University of Turku in Southwest Finland. She is currently working toward her MA degree and hopes to graduate by the end of 2018. Katri has loved reading from an early age and these days she reads everything from non-fiction to classics and young adult dystopia. Katri has previously studied tourism and in her future career she hopes to combine her English and marketing skills with books and traveling. She considers working at Green Writers Press an amazing opportunity to develop her professional skills and explore the beautiful state of Vermont at the same time. When Katri is not studying or working, she is either at the gym or at home sorting out her doll collection, experimenting with new vegetarian recipes and learning new languages.Â
Caroline Shea is a poet and recent graduate of the University of Vermont where she studied English Literature and Film. During her time there, she worked as a writing mentor and tutor specializing in classes exploring the intersections of gender, sexuality, and poetic voice. She is the former Co-Editor-in-Chief of Vantage Point Magazine and her work can be found in COG Magazine, Bad Pony Magazine, Souvenir Journal, and others. Caroline plans to pursue a career in publishing and editing while continuing to write and freelance.In addition to her love for writing, Caroline is also passionate about progressive politics and public access to education, literature, and art.Â She currently lives, writes, and avoids hypothermia in Burlington, VT. This summer, in addition to working with Green Writers Press, she is excited to attend the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop.
Michaela Shea-Gander was born and raised in Brattleboro, Vermont. She is currently a rising senior at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where she studies Communication and Narrative Journalism. She spent the last semester in New Zealand studying environmental policy and indigenous perspectives while interning at an organization called Conscious Consumers. In her free time she loves activities such as hiking, skiing, reading and writing, and photography. She is looking forward to working with Green Writers Press and learning more about how the publishing world intersects with sustainability efforts.
Evelyn Yielding is a sophomore at Western Washington University who studies aquarium science. She grew up exploring bits and pieces of the Pacific Northwest and is particularly fond of Point Defiance Park and the Puget Sound. In her free time, she enjoys designing video games and caring for her betta fish. Her favorite books are The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson.
Exciting News:Â Green Writers Press/Green Place Books, & Green Sprouts for Kids has just accepted an offer from a German foreign rights agent for our Adult and Children’s titles exclusively for the German language market. They will also handle other international licensing deals like our current Chinese deal for an exclusive on our children’s titles.
HereÂ isÂ their website and they have offices in Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich!
Link:Â http://agentur-brauer.de We will definitely save up for a table in Frankfurt at the International Book Fair in October this year!
Other publishers they represent include the following: Crossroads Press, Melville House, Two Dollar Radio, and more!
~~~~~~~~~ Please note: Our Cuba Trip has been postponed to early November!Â ~~~~~~~~~
Congrats to our Vermont Book Award Nominees from Green Writers Press!
Greetings to our stalwart readers & authors, friends of our growing press! We can all agree that 2017 was a year of setbacks under the Misogynist-in-the-White-House â yet, we are hopeful and galvanized for 2018.
This recent article in the regional New Hampshire paper, The Keene Sentinel, written by GWP former Bennington College intern, Cheyenne Vaughn, is really hopeful! Happy Holidays to our friends!
Here is a sneak peek at an upcoming children’s pitcture book that is getting environmental-award accolades! Enjoy and thank you for your continued support and buying and reading our books!
by Katy FarberÂ Â Â Â Â illustrated by Meg Sodano
Every spring in the eastern region of the United States, warmer nights with steady rain bring the migration of thousands of spotted salamanders to ponds and pools, often across busy roads. These crossings are magical, and secretiveâmost people donât even know they happen.Â Salamander SkyÂ features a mother and daughter who go out on a rainy night to help the salamanders cross the road safely. This picture book introduces readers to the elusive spotted salamander and the perilous nighttime journeyÂ they take each spring. Amphibians worldwide desperately need protection. Salamander Sky is a valuable tool for getting children engaged in conservation.
“Salamander SkyÂ has within its pages the power to ignite curiosity in the unexplored backyard while at the same time respecting and not disrupting nature’s hand in the survival of a species. And what could be better than that?” Â Â âMatthew C. Winner, Co-Founder of All the Wonders
CHILDRENâS PICTURE BOOK
Age range: 4-8 yearsÂ Â Â Â Grade level: Preschool – 2
32 pages â˘ 8 Â x 10 oblong, casebound â˘ $17.95
ISBN:Â 978-0-9990766-4-4 Â | Â Publication date: March 2, 2018Â
Distributor: Midpoint Trade Books.Â Rights sold: None
Rights contact: Dede Cummings,Â Green Writers Press,Â email@example.comÂ â˘ 802-380-1121
Â Salamander Sky – WatchÂ the book trailer
About the Author
Katy Farber is a writer, researcher and teacher coach from Vermont. She has loved and defended salamanders since standing in a Pennsylvania creek at the age of ten. Her other book for children is a middle grade novel called The Order of the Trees, which won Green Earth Honor book award in 2015.Â Visit her webpage atÂ katyfarber.com.
About the Illustrator
Meg Sodano grew up in Connecticut, exploring the woodlands and seashore, and drawing her favorite animals. She studied natural science illustration at Rhode Island School of Design and Animal Science at the University of Vermont. While making the pictures for this book, she wandered rain-soaked nature preserves, sketched tree roots and vernal pools, and of course, looked for amphibians.Â Visit her webpage atÂ msodanoillustration.com.
For Educators/Parents/Guardians/Librarians/Booksellers,Â Salamander Sky
targets many of the Next Generation Science Standards for elementary school students, including life cycles, wetland habitats, diversity, adaptations and human impact
communicates a strong conservation message
geared toward preschool through elementary school aged students
models first hand exploration and investigation in nature
addresses human impact on the environment and encourages active participation in solutions
provides a resource for science teachers, environmental educators and parents to introduce inquiry to students
inspires engagement and curiosity
focuses on a vulnerable and often unnoticed species of amphibians that inhabits much of the Eastern United States
What I took from my 5 Days at ALA Chicago Conference by Lydia Golitz, GWP Summer Intern
Thanks to the incredible Dede Cummings, I was able attend the American Library Associationâs annual conference from June 22 to June 27. This summer, it was held in Chicago, where I live and intern remotely for GWP. I was sent to do many things, among them: to learn how to be in conversation with libraries and educators, to spread the word about one of GWPâs upcoming release, Salamander Sky, and explore all the fun things ALA has to offer. I had a blast, all while gathering information and inspiration left and right.
Of all the incredible people I encountered at ALA, two really, genuinely, impacted me. One was Gene Luen Yang, and the other was Hillary Clinton. They were both featured speakers who really encapsulated what I feel is so important about whatâand how!âwe read.Continue reading →
2017 Green Earth Book Award âLong Listâ Announced â Brattleboro, Vermont indie publisher has 3 titles on the list!
Geen Writers Press has recently been notified that three of our childrenâs books from the Sprouts for Kids Childrenâs Book line have been long listed for a national award for environmental stewardship in publishing,Â the 2017 Green Earth Book Award. The Nature Generation created the Green Earth Book Award to promote books that inspire children to grow a deeper appreciation, respect, and responsibility for their natural environment. This is an annual award for books that best raise awareness of the beauty of our natural world and the responsibility we have to protect it.
The Green Earth Book Award recognizes books in five categories â Picture Book, Childrenâs Fiction, Childrenâs Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Young Adult Nonfiction. In each category, the author/illustrator are awarded $1,500.Â The winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.
1.Â Broken Wing
Green Writers Press has recently publishedÂ Broken WingÂ posthumously by celebrated Vermont poet David Budbill.Â Broken WingÂ is the story of one manâs love for birds and efforts to save a rusty blackbird that canât fly south for the winter. The author worked closely with publisher Dede Cummings in order to finish the book before he died in late September of this year. The publisher enlisted local artist Donald Saaf, who illustrated the pages with stunning black and white collages that bring the book to life. The book is appropriate for young adult readers and adults.Â InÂ Broken Wing, David Budbill has composed a monumental love letter to the natural world, an astute and minutely observed portrait of the avian inhabitants of a mysterious hillside orchard. The Man Who Lives Alone in the Mountains, a reclusive keeper of the earth whose soul is devoted to one injured rusty blackbird, embodies a narrative voice compelled to witness, in the rhythm and brutality of the seasons, the intimate patterns of the wild creatures surrounding his home. Budbillâs lyrical storytelling effortlessly transports the reader into his realm with a rare and poetic beauty.
KABOOM!Â is the candidly comical and dynamic story of Cyndie and Ashley, two spunky and spirited teens from coal country West Virginia, who become activists overnight when their beloved mountain is threatened by Big Coal. This expertly crafted coming of age and rise to activism novel tracks the girlsâ experience as they start their own club, Kids Against Blowing Off Our Mountaintops, as they explore the power of grassroots activism, and even as they both begin to fall in love for the first time. Â KABOOM!, published on Earth Day (April 22, 2016) by Green Writers Press, utilizes humorous narration and the lively dialogue of impassioned characters to make serious environmental issues more accessible for adolescents. This Young Adult novel can be categorized as a Romantic Comedy âCli-Fiâ (Climate Fiction), one sure to inspire teens to evoke positive change in the world around them.
Â The author, Brian Adams, is a recently retired professor Emeritus of Environmental Science at Greenfield Community College in western Massachusetts. His first novel,Â Love in the Time of Climate Change, was aÂ Foreword ReviewsÂ IndieFAB Gold Medal Winner for Humor.Â He is active in the environmental movement andÂ now devotes his time to writing romantic comedies centered on environmental activism. Brian lives with his wife in Northampton, Massachusetts.
2.Â Did Tiger Take the Rain?
Charles Norris-Brown was born in the small town of Warren, Pennsylvania. He completed a PhD degree in Social Anthropology and Sociology at Lund University, Sweden, in 1984, based on fieldwork in the inner hills of Uttarakhand, India. His other research his took him from India to the rainforest of Borneo, and to forest communities in eastern Canada and the Appalachian region of the USA. While visiting the Corbett National Park in India, he decided to combine his art, anthropology, and concern for the environment to focus on writing and illustrating childrenâs books. In time, he would visit western Nepal in 2011 and 2012, and develop what would become his first childrenâs book,Â Did Tiger Take the Rain?,Â an exquisitely told and illustrated tale of a Himalayan land without rain, of frightened farmers, and of courageous girls who go into the forest seeking an answer from the tiger they believe has stopped the rain out of anger. As one of the girls, Anjali, learns,Â ‘We all live under the same sky.’Â The combination of gorgeous watercolors, a forest adventure, and the notion that children can act to make life better, creates a vibrant emotional message that welcomes multiple readings.
Review copies available upon request by contacting the publisher or distributor.Â Authors and artists are available for interviews (David Budbillâs daughter, Nadine Budbill, is the spokesperson for her father).
Upcoming spring titlesÂ include:Â Horse-Drawn Yogurt: Stories from Total Loss FarmÂ by Vermont legend and communard, Peter Gould;Â One Manâs MaineÂ by environmental essayist, Jim Kroschell;Â A Field Guide to Murder and Fly FishingÂ by fiction writer Tim Weed;Â Walking Through the Seasons: Observations and ReflectionsÂ by Marilyn Neagley;Â Learning to See in Three DimensionsÂ by Pamela Spiro Wagner;Â Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont PoetryÂ edited by Chard deNiord and Sydney Lea with an introduction by Dan Chiasson;Â Last CorrespondenceÂ poems by Leland Kinsey, edited by Howard Frank Mosher;Â Clothesline ReligionÂ poetry by Megan Buchana; and for Children:Â Josie Meets a Jaguar, Book 2 in theÂ Josie Goes GreenÂ Series by Beth Handman and the Bruno family of Brooklyn, NY.Â
April 7th, at Next Stage Arts in Putney, Vermont, the press will be featured at the annualÂ Earth Day celebrationÂ and reading.
OF NOTE: Our children’s picture book,Â Ralph Flies the Coop, will be “flying” to the BolognaÂ International Children’s Book Fair this spring.
All titles are distributed by Midpoint Trade Books, New York and Tennessee and available wherever books are sold.
This is amazing newsâannounced today at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando! TWO of our authors from Green Writers Press have won gold for Foreword ReviewâsIndieFAB Book of the Year!
Congrats to Lauren Alderfer and Leslie Rivver.
Also, this award was just announced:
M JACKSON just WON The 2016 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature from the City of Santa Monicaâs Office of Sustainability and the Environment along with the Santa Monica Public Library! They want her to come to Santa Monica September 22nd to accept the award!! The evening program will feature Eames Demetrios, grandson of Ray and Charles Eames (of the chair fame!).
More great news from one of our GWP authors:
Clarence Major is getting booked for his October New England Book TourâOctober 15: Brattleboro Literary Festival; October 17: Harvard Coop Bookstore, with an introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 7PM reading, October 18: Emerson College morning reading, ETC.
More to come: Willem Lange selected to be featured speaker at NEIBAâs Fall Conference!
(Book Review) Galvanized: New and Selected Poems by LelandÂ Kinsey
By David Nilsen
Galvanized, the new collection from Vermont poet Leland Kinsey, is a document of the hardship and rough-hewn beauty of living close to the land, in reach of its temper but also its embrace. Kinsey grew up on a Vermont farm, the child of a long line of such folk who clung to existence in the face of a cold north wind, working impossibly hard because to do less was to starve. These poemsâsome new, most from his seven previous books since 1991âare more closely tied to a particular place than any others Iâve read, and bring Vermont into a vivid focus, painting a landscape and a way of life I had never associated with the state.
Kinseyâs poems are beautiful but brutal pastorales, uncompromising in their depictions of the strain and heartache of living off the land. At times these poems feel like catalogs of woe, running through lists of injuries and tragedies, but they are never self-pitying, and they are never dishonest. The occasional joys of such hard lives are also given their turn, from necessary late night swims in glacial ponds to wash off the sweat and chaff after a day of baling, to summer baseball games, to barn dances to thank the neighbors for helping rebuild a burnt down farm building. Kinsey remembers sledding as a child, the near-suicidal danger of this diversion, the danger less impending than that of their farm work because it was chosen:
âWe mostly slid at night to tell
if cars were coming,
no stopping at the corner
except by ditching at forty miles and hour,
blood and fractures either way.â
â page 97
More than anything, these poems chronicle survival, an endeavor that for Kinseyâs family was often a fraught and unforgiving one, but oneÂ that laid down from time to time in the shadow of joy. There is a wry humor underlying much of this poetry, rarely spotlighted but often teasing at the edges of harder truths, a humor that undoubtedly served its own role in the familyâs endurance. In âRiding in the Open,â Kinsey recalls countless rides on top of farm loads in his youth, experiences that were sometimes fun, a chance to rest, and sometimes quite dangerous, and often both:
âI think of how we mostly could not talk,
cheeks puffed out by the force of wind,
any conversation blown back passed us,
ears wind stopped,
and of the holding on,
and in the face of the black despair
we were all prone to,
â page 96
There is a section of the book containing poems from his 2004 collectionÂ In the Rain Shadow, a series of poems he wrote during his extended visit with his cousin in Tanzania. These poems presentÂ a jarring change of landscape and culture initially, but it quickly becomes apparent to the readerâas it did to the poetâhow much there is in common betweenÂ the experienceÂ the inhabitants of this impoverished nation have had in trying to scrape a living from theÂ harsh African environmentÂ and the struggleÂ Kinseyâs own family and ancestors hadÂ in prying a living from the glacier-scoured hills of northern Vermont.
GalvanizedÂ concludes with selections from Kinseyâs most recent collection, 2014âsÂ Winter Ready. Living as close to (and off of) the land as Kinsey and his family have, many of his poems deal with the seasons, the heavensâ rationing of sunshine and rain, and the cruelties and wonders of winter, but this final section hones in on the way the calendar in a cold-weather climate bends around the gravity well of winter. Spring is about escaping it and planting as soon as the ground warms. In summer it can almost be forgotten as crops grow high and the sun beats down. But by fall, everyone knows whatâs coming. Crops are gathered, wood is chopped, repairs are made, food is laid in. Winter will spare no one who isnât ready. These poems perfectly encapsulateÂ theÂ simple clarity with which Kinsey documents the hardship of living as he and his family have, wasting little regret or resentment over the fairness of their lives. There simply isnât time for it, and nature is as unforgiving with human life as it is with animal. In one of the new poems in the book, he summarizes this while talking about a recent fishing excursion. He set two trout eggs on a rock by the river, and while he had his back turned, they were snatched up by an opportunistic gull he hadnât noticed a moment before:
âEggs, and no gull noticed,
gull, and no eggs to be seen,
no oneâs rights involved,
just, quick as that,
â Fish Eggs, page 7
I was unfamiliar with Leland Kinsey before this anthology, and I look forward to backtracking through his work in the future. He is a singular poet, deft with his words but aware his greatest asset is the strange and wondrous life heâs lived; he forefronts those experiences over flourishes of language, using his narrative skill to show us a scene, a people, and a place, and he trusts in the raw beauty and grace and pain of those details to do the work for him, which they certainly do.
Leland and many of our GWP aithors will be at BOOKSTOCK Literary Festival this summer! You can read about them here: http://bookstockvt.org/2016-presentations/
Our interns and summer fellows officially start on Monday!
Please welcome them!
MARGARETÂ SWEENEY, Editorial Intern and Publicity Margaret Sweeney is a native of Brattleboro, Vermont and a recent graduate of Bennington College, where she studied literature and writing. While at Bennington, she interned for the literary organizations Poets House and the Center for the Art of TranslationÂ and served as co-editor-in-chief ofÂ plain china,Â the first national anthology of undergraduate student writing. She now lives in Western MassachusettsÂ and works as a part-time bookseller at Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley.
JESSICA JAUNDOO, Editorial Intern and Marketing Jessica is an upcoming sophomore at Bennington College and was born and raised in Boston, MA. She has always had a lifelong interest in nature and her friends always find her trying to adopt any animal or critter into her life. With her interest in the field of Biology and the Environment still in its exploitative stages, her long term hobby has always been writing her own stories and coming up with ideas with friends. Inspiration never fails to strike her at any moment and many who know her are curious to see which book she may publish in the future.
RON ANAHAW, January-February Field Work Intern and 2016 Summer Fellow Ron Anahaw has three things close to his heart:Â
his loved ones, writing, and Korean fried chicken. With a hand on playwriting, poetry, journalism, and fiction, he considers himself a jack-of-all-trades in writing. He is a big believer in trying to keep the world habitable. He is as quick to crack a joke as he is to ask you to collaborate. Ron is a first-year student atÂ Bennington.
KAIYA LEWIS-MARLOW, Editorial Intern Kaiya is a first term Bennington student with a passion for literature and social change. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and was raised with close ties to the local farm movement and community there. In her spare time, she enjoys writing speculative fiction, hiking, and making jewelry out of found mechanical objects and polymer clay.
KAITLYNÂ PLUKAS, January-February Field Work Intern and 2016 Summer Fellow
Kaitlyn is a first-year student at Bennington College with a passion for any and everything Literature oriented. She firmly believes in the power of literature; both in the way it completely transforms perceptions of the world and in the way it inspires unity amongst communities. Her many years as a Girl Scout and Gold Award recipient have inspired her to enact social and environmental change. Kaitlyn is an avid sock collector, an outdoors adventurer, and is a right-handed writer who is preferential to pens.
With the current controversy over the introduction of genetically engineered salmonâdubbed âFrankenfishââthe publication of Your Own Ones, by Prince Edward Island author, Dr. SĂle Post, couldnât be more timely.
Your Own Ones illustrates the Thoreauvian maxim:
In Wildness is the preservation of the world, (where)
All good things are wild and free.
Based on empirical research (from the findings of a Canadian risk assessment team, as well as additional studies) into the potential threats, both to human and wild salmon health, of farmed and genetically modified salmon, Your Own Ones chronicles the ecological, biological, and cultural importance of protecting wild salmon from the threat posed by salmon farms and frankenfish.
When protagonist, P.E. Islander Wild Salmon Conservationist, Dr. Ăine OâConnor, learns of the sudden, inexplicable death of her aunt, she discovers the existence of Mad Salmon Disease, a devastating disease attributed to the consumption of farmed salmon, and it is feared, genetically engineered salmon. Set in two places abundant in wild salmon, Prince Edward Island and Dingle Peninsula, Ireland, Your Own Ones chronicles the initiatives of the leading characters in the novel to challenge the initiatives of both governments to introduce salmon farms as well as genetically engineered salmon to the human food chain.
The Bookmark, Charlottetown, PE, will host a book launch and reading, May 5, 2016 from 11:30-1:00 p.m. at its Charlottetown Store, located at Confederation Court Mall, 172 Queen Street. Â Contact Lori Cheverie for further details at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
5.25 x 8; Paperback Original
386 pages; $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-9961357-3-3 (pbk)
Available wherever books are sold.
Distributed by Midpoint Trade Books, Ingramâs, Baker & Taylor.
About the Author: Author, SĂle Post, PhD, a former university professor and literary cultural scholar, is the author of two novels, published with Green Writers Press: Your Own Ones and The Road to Walden North. She resides in Prince Edward Island, where she sits on the Board of the MacPhail Homestead Foundation, as well as in northern New England, where she serves as an active member of the Thoreau Society. For interviews and events, please contact the author at (email@example.com).
Having written more than eight novels, including My Amputations and Dirty Bird Blues, alongside a dozen books of poetry, Chicago Heat and Other Storiesis Clarence Majorâs second work of short fiction and first book with Green Writers Press is coming out September 6, 2016. Here is a quote from Clarenceâand we are honored to be his publisher!
At the same time one of the most pressing issues for all of humanity is the environment, namely climate change. I would like to support efforts to bring about awareness of the problem. We are running out of time. âClarence Major
And last, but not least:Â We are so excited about Green Writers Press having 5 finalists in the annual Foreword Reviews IndieFAB Book of the Year Awards:
âThe 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous,â said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews magazine. âThe strength of this list of finalists is further proof that small, independent publishers are taking their rightful place as the new driving force of the entire publishing industry.â
Please welcome, ANNA MULLEN, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, Assistant Editor!
Anna is a poet, naturalist, and aspiring morning person from the suburban foothills of the North Carolina Appalachians. She has special love for writings about the sea, speculative fiction, animal consciousness, psychologies of climate change, and queer ecology. She studied Environmental Literature at Middlebury College and as a poetry fellow at Bread Loaf Orionâs Environmental Writers’ Conference. Most recently she served as Treleven, Inc.âs writer-in-residence, working on poetic and scientific sketches of their sheep flock in New Haven, VT.
Thanks for taking the time to help support our growing list!
We are dedicated toÂ the “LOCALVORE” movement in bookselling.
Please welcome Sierra Dickey! She joins editors John Tiholitz, Jenna Gersie and Rose Alexandre-Leach.
Sierra Dickey is a young writer and editor native to Cape Cod, Massachusetts with auxiliary roots in the Northeast Kingdom. In 2015, she graduated from Whitman College, where her honors thesis on ecofeminist literature was the recipient of the Linda Meyer Award for Best Environmental Essay. She is passionate about both print and digital media, as well as long walks and good coffee. Continue reading →
AndÂ therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
Greetings to our Green Writers Press Community,
My daughter, Emma, is doing okay after such a tough car accidentÂ June 4th.Â Next Thursday, I will help get her settled in an outpatient rehab apartment in NYC. I am in awe of her strength and so proud of her spiritâher cousin, Molly, a junior high English teacher at Horace Mann, is also doing well, and both girls will be walking after Labor Day!Â I am trying my best to get things back up to speed with the press and it is going wellâit is great to be back at work after a month spent at Yale-New Haven Hospital. I am so fortunate to be part of a community of understanding writers, editors, printers, and readers! Our books may be a bit delayedâbut not by much!Â The big news is I have the help and support of two fabulous interns, An Nguyen (from Bennington College) and Flannery Wiest (Smith College).Â Thanks to everyone for the prayers, meditations, thoughts and kind words. âDede
Here is what Flannery has to say about becoming an internÂ with the press, and how she got here:
Flannery Wiest, GWP summer editorial intern, has a nice view from her daily reading in Northampton, Mass.
ALEX FISCHER, from Brattleboro, is our new bookkeeper
After years of organic farming and working as a bookkeeper, Alex decided to take the plunge and start Open Bookkeeping. The business is rooted in the values and experiences learned from social justice organizing and managing the finances of small businesses and nonprofits. Â Alex holds anÂ MBA in Managing for SustainabilityÂ fromÂ Marlboro Graduate SchoolÂ in Brattleboro, VT. Grounded in past experiences on farms, at farmers markets and in restaurants, Alex understands the reality facing small business owners and sees the need for innovative and alternative business models, such as Community Supported Businesses (ie CSA farms), worker owned cooperatives and other vertically integrated structures.Â In Vermont, Alex co-foundedÂ HomoPromo, a queer events promotion collective, volunteers withÂ Vermont Workerâs CenterÂ andÂ Migrant JusticeÂ and facilitates anti-oppression and anti-racism workshops and trainings.Carley, Dede’s rescue dog is already excited to have Alex on board!Â Continue reading →
Review of Love in the Time of Climate Change by Brian Adams
by Sage Kalmus
Twice while starting Brian Adams’ Love in the Time of Climate Change I had to pause and review the book jacket to make sure it was indeed a work of fiction I was reading. Sure enough, there I saw it each time, on the cover in small print beside the author’s name, the definitive declaration: âa novel.â Yet mine was an easy mistake to make, as the book begins with an expositoryâif cheekyâprimer on what’s later referred to as âThe Issue.â Then again, isn’t this how so many novels start: by setting the scene for the tale to come? In this case it just so happens to be the backdrop of global warming.
The true start of the novel opens on Day One of the new semester at a small community college in western Massachusetts, as our narrator, Casey, an environmental studies professor, prepares to greet his new group of students. He begins, he tells the reader, the same as he has every previous semester: by revealing to his class his debilitating illness, Obsessive Climate Disorder (OCD.) Little does our quixotic narrator know that in this particular class is one student with the power to help him, if not cure his disease, then certainly ameliorate its symptoms. And it is these symptoms of Professor Casey’s self-diagnosed OCD that we witness him suffer through as he attempts to win hearts and change minds: one heart and mind, as he’s soon to discover, in particular.
An early clue that this book is more than just a thinly disguised sermon on the mount comes when two of the students in Casey’s extra-curricular group, The Climate Changers, get into an embittered battle over which of them is the more tenacious bicyclist. Clearly saving the world poses the possibly greater threat of ego annihilation (as in annihilating the world with one’s own ego.) It doesn’t take long to realize this story is far more about the struggle an individual goes through to live from day to day in the face of a damning reality than it is an attempt to educate an audience who likely already knows much of what he speaks. To simply say the author here is preaching to the converted would be disingenuous because he’s not preaching: he’s satirizing. He simply happens to be satirizing his own deeply held beliefs. This makes for some rather bold self-deprecating humor. For example, when a student comes to his office alarmed from her newfound awareness of our true environmental condition, Casey reacts at first with self-satisfaction, thinking, âYes! Got ’em!â followed immediately thereafter by, âOf course, what this really means is that they’re now doomed for a lifetime of extreme anxiety, possible depression, constant angst, and a whole host of other intellectual trauma…But hey, such is the price of education. Right?â
In such ways this novel often seems a case study on contradiction, on collateral hypocrisy, on trying to âwalk the walkâ, to âpractice what you preachâ in a world that makes such feats prohibitive. Thus we witness Casey forced by circumstance to patronize his Corporate Enemy #1: Walmart, only to create a self-fulfilling prophecy of humiliation while inside. Throughout Casey’s misadventures I was often reminded of the myth of Sisyphus, doomed to forever roll his boulder up a hill only to find that, just when he gets it near the top, it rolls past him all the way to the bottom again.
Likewise love, Casey finds, is not without its Sysiphusian hurdles, in this case that the object of his affections is also a student. Never mind that she is a peer in age, and even a fellow teacher, of youngsters, and at an entirely different school to boot. Casey’s professional moral code is as strict as his climatological one. Of course, all codes are meant to be tested, and indeed it is watching Casey butt up against these imperious standards of his that provides some of this novel’s richest humorâparticularly when it’s his lust, second only to morals behind his steering wheel, responsible for such collisions. Case in point: when Casey ruins his chances of a sure-thing with a hot and perfectly available female when her apartment bears the unavoidable evidence of her environmental ignorance. Or when he takes his class on a field trip to an awe-inspiring earth friendly home only to have its message overshadowed when that special student he’s aiming to impress the most gets attacked by geese while he stands there paralyzed to help her. At times one has to wonder if this bumbling narrator can ever overcome his neuroses enough to land any woman, let alone the one of his dreams, and it’s both a torture and a delight to watch him trip over himself as he discovers, time and again, that all the science in the world can’t help him navigate the tides of love.
This novel is at its best, however, when it does precisely what its author seems clearly to have set out to do in devising it: using unexpected moments of mundane life to illuminate yet another way in which climate change affects us without us even knowing it. For example when Casey and the object of his affections visit an apple orchard only to discover the trees completely bare, as the unseasonable return of winter the previous spring killed off all the apple blossoms before they could flower. Or when Casey and his pothead roommate find their own moral boundaries tested in the face of their neighbor’s energy-sucking Halloween yard decor.
In short, Love in the Time of Climate Change is a light-hearted look at a heavy-hearted subject. But the love story embedded within the tale is far more than a literary device to keep readers entertained through the story’s teaching moments. In fact it proves to supply the missing ingredient in an adult child’s delayed maturation into manhood. Without the love story in our life we’re all doomed to the ravages we’ve wrought on ourselves, is the message.
The reference in the novel’s title to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera seems apparent. And while both stories detail an epidemic bound invariably to leave no one in its path unscathed, if I have to confront the imminent end of the world (at least as I know it) I would much rather take that ride with Casey and his manic band of Climate Changers, because with them at least I know I’ll go out laughing.
Book review by Sage Kalmus
Sage Kalmus is a freelance writer and editor since 2004. He earned a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Lesley University where he was honored as student speaker at his graduation. He earned a B.S. in Film & Broadcasting from Boston University. His article “Believe in Magic” appears in the current issue (May 2015) of The Writer magazine. His short stories have appeared in Whisperings magazine, CARNIVAL Magazine, Rose Red Review, and he published an essay in The Hampshire Gazette.
April 3:Â PoemCity’s “Press Here: a Panel of Vermont Poetry Publishers” EventÂ at the Kellogg Hubbard Library in Montpelier is on Friday, April 3rd at 6 pm-7:30 pmâtonight! Dede will be on the panel.Â Over the past ten years, Vermont has become a small publishing paradise.TheÂ “Press Here”Â event is designed to showcase and further awareness of the beautiful booksÂ that Vermont publishers of poetry haveÂ brought forth.Â As you may know, PoemCity is Montpelier’s swoony signature month-long extravaganza in honor of National Poetry Month. What an honor to be there. Photos TK!
Next week, Dede, Robin MacArthur and other writers and editors connected to GWP will head to Minneapolis, April 8-12th.Â The AWP Conference & Bookfair is an essential annual destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. Each year more than 12,000 attendees join our community for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the organizations and opinion-makers that matter most in contemporary literature. The 2015 conference will feature over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings, panels, and craft lectures. The bookfair hosts over 700 presses, journals, and literary organizations from around the world. AWPâs is now the largest literary conference in North America. Join us in Minneapolis to celebrate the best of what contemporary literature has to offer.
GWP is at Booth #1520 and we will feature our books and launch GWP poet, Richard Jarrette’s A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dancesâthere will be a book singing, Saturday, April 11th from 1:00-3:00 and throughout the Conference/Book Fair, along with an offsite party (!) with Jarrette featured atÂ “Reading: Sleet at the Ice House!” Thursday April 9, from 6:30 until 9:15.
Last, but not least, April 24-26th we will be featured in a BOOTH # 372 at the Green Festival Expo in NYCÂ at the LEED Certified Javits Center for our 5th year in New York City. New York continues to be on the forefront in reducing energy consumption and has one of highest percentages of green space among US cities. It also has the highest percentage of workers commuting by public transportation, bicycle, or by foot. The cityâs sustainability program PlaNYC has helped achieve the cleanest air in 50 years, adding 865,000 trees and five million feet of reflective rooftop to the urban landscape and has helped to reduce the carbon emissions by 19% since 2005. If you want a badge, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get you in for $10. We will feature Josie and the Fourth Grade Bike Brigade and Love in the Time of Climate Changewith author appearances on Saturdayâwe will also be giving away free copies of both books! JOSIE is a finalist for the Green Earth Book Award and LOVE is a finalist for Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award! Our other finalist for Foreword Reviews is Polly and the One and Only Worldâa ya/dystopian/fantasy that features a heroine that will surely become a legend, Polly Lightfootâa 15-year-old Vermont witch!
Please welcome our newest college interns!Â
Danielle Gyger Danielle is new to the East Coast and excited to be working with Green Writers Press! She’s originally from Michigan, and plans to return in good time to attend Michigan State University in the fall, for a degree in English. Her interests in this field include creative writing and children’s literature. When Danielle isn’t chain drinking coffee and working on philosophy homework, she enjoys playing music with family, and spending time outdoors with her wonderful partner. Danielle proofread our YA spring book, The Order of the Trees.
Samuel Ripper Sam grew up around central Ohio near Columbus. He has spent the last two years at Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont, focusing on earning a degree in Economics and Behavioral Neuroscience. During his time at Landmark, Sam became interested in environmental issues as a means to protect the environment around him. This has cumulated in founding the Environmental Club at Landmark, and working with faculty members to improve the schools carbon emissions. Sam is currently working with Green Writers Press as their community service intern and hopes to use his skills and interest in business to help market some of the upcoming books being published in the spring and fall of this year. Sam is a member of The Vermont Student Climate Coalition (VSCC), which is a network of Vermont students committed to fighting for sustainability and climate justice.
This St. Patrickâs Day, itâs not only the Irish who will be clad in forty shades of green. GWPÂ publisher, Dede Cummings, and her ecologically-minded team at Vermont Green Writers Press, are launching their own green tribute to the Emerald Isle.
Green Writers Pressâwhose books are already being nominated for several prestigious national literary awardsâis launching an exciting new imprint, sure to green the hearts of its readers.
GreenPlace, a line promoting âGreen Places & Cultural Spaces for all Readers,â will launch two new green voices in the Irish-American literary scene, authors both deeply committed to preserving Place.
Lindsey Vachon is Green Writers Pressâ first high school intern. She is a junior at Leland and Gray Union High School in Townshend, Vermont, where she lives, and hopes to learn everything there is to learn about writing and the publishing world. She loves writing, mostly fiction, and besides that, has a love for creating pottery, traveling and learning about the stars. Please welcome the talented and wonderful, Lindsey Vachon!
Rooted in a Thoreauvian sense of Place, a new literary movement is sweeping Vermont. From Walden to Walden North, Vermont, localvores have shifted their focus from eating to reading, writing, and publishing! We are thrilled to be a big part of this movement. Our recent NEK (Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom) book tour was a great successâthere is a lot of interest in our new publishing company. As publishersÂ in a global market, weÂ mediate between the great world and the place we call home. We look for the genius loci, the “spirit of place,” in selecting our titles and partnering with our authors and readers.
Locally,Â Vermonters are unearthing what was once “concealed”âto borrow Thoreau’s wordsâin their “haze-filled valleys” and mountainside farms to share with readers “their Waldens” in poetry, stories, and novels.
Photographer Jade Beall is on a nationwide mission to celebrate the motherâs body, un-Photoshopped and unretouched. The impetus for the book project, The Bodies of Mothers, started with her own feelings of inferiority of her body after she had her first child. According to Beall:
As I first sat down to think about the beauty of the motherâs bodyâstretch marks, cellulite, and saggy-ness includedâI was immediately struck by how hard we try to hide what we deem as ‘unattractive.’ In this project, women are more then shedding a little clothing; they are tearing away the self-imposed layers, exposing their insecurities and laying vulnerable for all to see. This is what beauty looks like, more than supple skin or tight absâbeauty is the ability to see oneself and the power of creating new life. It is accepting it all, without labeling it good or bad, with hands wide openâno matter how they may shake in the beginning.
Green Writers Press: Giving Voice to Writers & Artists Who Will Make the World a Better Place
Our fall booksÂ include Polly and the One and Only World, Love in the Time of Climate Change, Josie and the Fourth Grade Bike Brigade and Contemporary Vermont Fiction.We are so proud of our books.Â Please come join us November 9th at Next Stage in Putney, VT for a party to celebrate Contemporary Vermont Fiction with a reading and live music! If you’d like to contribute to that book to help Robin and Dede with expenses, Robin has created a beautifulÂ Indiegogo campaignâŚ The video alone is worth a quick look:Â www.indiegogo.com/projects/contemporary-vermont-fiction-an-anthology
We have had an amazing year here at GWP: The fact that our mission resonates with so many readers of good books is evident wherever we go and via the emails and letters we receive. From the Nantucket Book Festival to Bookstock in Woodstock, VT the Brattleboro Literary Festival and the Northern Woodlands Writers’ Conference, our authors are out there reading, signing books and lending their unique voices to the environmental movement. Many of us were at the Climate March in NYC, too, and we know that there is tremendous momentum in the world to create change! Our press is growing. Thanks for sharing!EVENTS:Â Brian Adams Book Tour;Â Don Bredes too! . . .Â Stay tuned for our 2015 Spring List!
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Photos by Dede Cummings
Top: View from the office
Left: GWP poet, Leland Kinsey.Sign up for our monthly news by filling in the form at right! We will keep your email private!Â
The People’s Climate March
Green Writers Press authors and editors were down in NYC in full force with the rest of the world watching as 1% of Vermonters and almost half a million people marched for Climate Justice! We are proud beyond words to have been asked to carry the Vermont flag. Here are some photos from The Marchâone of Dede Cummings and Vermont-Irish poet from our book, So Little Time, Greg Delanty! Please share and keep the momentum going….March On!
Things at GWP are in full summer bloom, along with the heirloom yellow lilies given to Dede and Robin by Howard Frank Mosherâactually, I should say stolen yellow lilies, for Howard, his wife, Phyllis, and a local woman, now deceased (who was a Kingdom legend and most likely in one of Howard’s stories), snuck over to an abandoned farmhouse and dug up quite a pike if bulbs last fall. Howard brought them down to us as a gift at our inaugural publishing launch!
Desmond S. PeeplesÂ is a writer of fiction and nonfiction loosely based in Vermont. His work is either available or forthcoming inÂ Big Bridge, Cultural Logic,Â andÂ Goreyesque.Â During his time at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT, Desmond completed the manuscript of a speculative novel, and he is currently hunting for literary representation. Most recently he foundedÂ Mount Island,Â an online literary magazine now accepting quality prose and poetry for its debut issue.
With summer finally here, we can all let out a collective sigh of relief, but I am doing some stacking of wood for next winter at my home office, so there is always the “Winter Ready” â to paraphrase our very own poet, Leland Kinsey’s new book title â work that has to be done, especially in Vermont with our longer winters… But that brings me to the next thing: winter, seasons, climate crisis, and building awareness.
Last night, Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont, hosted the “Green Writers Press Celebration Party.” What a great event! Photos TK. Here is the swell poster Kristen at Phoenix made.
Join us to meet Dede Cummings, the publisher behindÂ Green Writers Press, as well as authors from the new press. Phoenix Books is partnering with GWP â a new, Vermont-based publisher that prints their books in Vermont and seeks to change the way books are printed by using only post-consumer waste paper and not virgin timber â to celebrate this new indie publisher.
So Little Time had its inaugural reading at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, on January 30th. Here is a gallery of photos of the various poets who read from Gloria Seidler, wife of poet Ralph Culver and aÂ nature photographer as well as a holistic healer. Gloria donated these great photos to us as GWP!
This post is so good, we decided to reblog it here:
In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that âAmazon has successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal valueâitâs a widget.â Construction by Ian Wright.
There’s an excellent article in the combined Feb. 17 and 24 issues of THE NEW YORKER magazine, by George Packer, called “Cheap Words: Is Amazon’s Business Model Good for Books?” Continue reading →
As the Keystone XL pipeline clears a hurdle, we await word from the Obama administration. A New York Times article sums up the plan well:
Environmentalists said they were dismayed at some of the reportâs conclusions and disputed its objectivity, but they also said it offered Mr. Obama reasons to reject the pipeline. They said they planned to intensify efforts to try to influence Mr. Kerryâs decision. For more than two years, environmentalists have protested the project and been arrested in demonstrations against it around the country. But many Republicans and oil industry executives, who support the pipeline because they say it creates jobs and increases supplies from a friendly source of oil, embraced the findings.
Vermont author, Howard Frank Mosher, and publisher, Dede Cummings, commenced the first-ever âAuthor-New Publisher Tour of Vermont Bookstores.â This trip was Howardâs idea. âWhy not tour the bookstores, take the pulse of book selling in Vermont, see what people are reading and buying, and just talk on the way,â he asked me, ending with a chuckle. As we drove, I held the mic and asked him to tell me some stories. This is the first of 4 Podcasts. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays from Green Writers Press!
A busy time of year you ask? Â . . . it is, but we are pretty excited here at GWP, with the launch of So Little Time: Words and Images for a World in Climate Crisis.Â The book just grew, and grew, at the end we added new poems and things got moved around, and the book emerged better and more beautiful than I could have imagined! Continue reading →
Edited by Green Writers Press managing editor, Dede Cummings,Â with a Foreword from John Elder, and poems that feature the work of Greg Delanty,Â along with quotes from such environmentalists, as BIll McKibben,Â So Little TimeÂ is an interactive and interpretive book that will inspire, enrich, and a call to action in an urgent plea to stop global warming. Continue reading →