Two brilliant poets have left the earth, but their books live on in words and images
GWP SPRING BOOKS 2017 … a few great covers to share/sneak previews …
One Man’s Maine, Essays on a Love Affair by Jim Kroschell
Walking Through the Seasons, nature essays by Marilyn Webb Neagley
Why I Ride: Because a Bike Pedal Lasts Longer Than a Gas Tank by Holly McNish and Inja
Wild Play by David Sobel
A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing, stories by Tim Weed
Horse Drawn Yogurt, Stories from Total Loss Farm by Peter Gould
Poetry (with Sundog):
Learning to See, poetry by Pamela Spiro Wagner
Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont Poetry, edited by Sydney Lea and Chard deNiord with a Foreword by New Yorker staff writer, Dan Chaisson
Clothesline Religion, poems by Megan Buchanan
The Hopper Poetry Prize Winners with chapbooks to be published:
LongLeaf by John Saad
The Dark Edge of the Bluff by Ellene Glenn Moore
Josie Meets a Jaguar, by B.K.A.B. Bruno, illustrated by Janet Pedersen
Fall books, 2017 are being assigned right now…
They include a picture book for children entitled Salamander Sky written by Katy Farber with illustrations by Meg Sodano …. another picture book called Janey Monarch Seed by Julie Dunlap … We are also publishing a new book of poetry entitled The Long Correspondence by the late Vermont poet, Leland Kinsey, a novel entitled Wild Mountain by Nancy Kilgore, a collection of short stories by Teresa Stores called Frost Heaves, and more!
Our “Poet’s Poet” Leland Kinsey, a Tribute
BY HOWARD FRANK MOSHER
Earlier this month I lost a dear personal friend and Vermont lost its best poet since Robert Frost. Leland Kinsey of Barton, a seventh-generation Vermonter and gifted writer, teacher, naturalist, woodsman and storyteller, passed away after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Here is my tribute to Lee, who was also my fishing partner of 50 years.
For Leland Kinsey
May 2, 1950 – September 14, 2016
Leland Kinsey and I loved to fish for brook trout in the Northeast Kingdom. Not just trout. And not just anywhere. Brook trout in the Kingdom.
I suppose that there are good, trouty brooks in Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia counties that Lee and I never discovered. Not many, though. At least once a week during fishing season, for nearly half a century, Lee and I would strike out early in the morning and follow a brook miles up through cedar bogs, upland meadows, hardwoods and softwoods, to its source at an icy spring high on some Kingdom mountain.
Lee was a poet’s poet. By that I mean that he did not care one bit about renown. He cared about results, about writing powerful and beautiful poems, often about the Kingdom, where he was born and raised and lived all his adult life. Vermont State Poet Sydney Lea said it best. Leland’s poetry “chronicles the profoundest Vermont anyone might possibly know.”
It’s hard to tell for sure, but my guess is that several dozen of Lee’s poems, or major sections of them, were inspired by those fishing treks we made to the wildest and most remote corners of the Kingdom. In his sixth collection – perhaps my favorite – The Immigrant’s Contract, he recounts the life and times of a French Canadian who, as a small boy, comes to the Kingdom with his folks in a horse-drawn wagon containing all their worldly possessions. Over the next seventy-some years he worked as a horse trader, logger, timber cruiser, whiskey runner, log driver on the Vermont tributaries of the upper Connecticut River, dairy farmer, dam builder – the list goes on. On our fishing excursions we explored many of the places Lee brought to life in The Immigrant’s Contract. The Upper Jay Branch, where Lee’s Quebecois jack-of-all-trades helped build the first road over Jay Peak. The Upper Black Branch of the Nulhegan in the wilderness northeast of Island Pond.
Not to mention the wildlife we encountered, the goshawks and pileated woodpeckers, the twenty varieties of warblers and scores of woods flowers – Lee knew them all by name – the great glacial boulders brought down from the Far North 10,000 years ago, every species of tree that grows in northern Vermont. Along with family history and local work – farming, blacksmithing, lumbering, sugaring, cedar-oil distilling, welding – the natural world that we immersed ourselves in on our quests for brook trout was a constantly recurring theme of Lee’s poems.
Early on in our fishing partnership, Lee and I made a deal. If either of us ever caught a 20-inch brook trout, the other would have it mounted for him. We both figured this was a safe arrangement. One June afternoon on a swampy brook in the Victory Bog, miles from the nearest road, Lee caught a 16-inch two pounder. That was the closest either of us had come until last fall.
It was late October, after most of the leaves were down, and raining lightly. The only color along the stream we were fishing – never mind what stream or exactly where – was the rusty yellow of the tamarack trees. At the time, Lee was in between grueling treatments at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, but still very strong. Still as good in the woods as any man in the Kingdom. I couldn’t see him but somehow I always knew about where he was on a trout brook we were fishing. He knew where I was, too. From upstream, around a bend, maybe a hundred yards away, I heard him say, not loudly, “Good one.” That’s all he said but if you knew Lee, that was enough. Net in hand, I thrashed my way through the bankside alders and hurried around the bend.
There he was in the misting afternoon, standing in the water with the fly rod he’d built himself bent almost double. The hooked trout was about midway between us when it exploded from the dark water, leaping up and up and twisting like a salmon. Its fiery red belly and green back and pink side-speckles with violet halos, its big square tail, its crimson fins edged with white stood out against the low, gray sky even brighter than on a sunny day. It hit the water like a beaver smashing the surface with its tail.
I never knew a man better at playing a fish than Leland Kinsey. It was a battle royal but ten, maybe fifteen minutes later, I slipped my landing net under the big brookie and held it up, shimmering, gorgeous, for Lee to see. “You win,” I said. Who do you want to mount it for you?”
“No one,” Lee said. “Put it back in the brook where it belongs.”
I cannot say that I was greatly surprised. I removed the hook and turned the net inside out, releasing the trout. For a moment the fish hung in the tea-colored water. Then it shot off into the depths of the stream where it belonged, and Lee and I fished on into the wild heart of the Kingdom to which he belonged and of which he was, and will be for all time to come, the truest poet laureate.
Some photos of Lee for our memories . . . but his poems live on and we are honored to have been his publisher! If you want, you can listen to an interview Dede and Howard did on VPR here.
We are a low-profit publisher based out of Brattleboro dedicated to telling stories that will make the world a better place. Specifically, Green Writers Press is uplifting regional and national voices that embrace the natural world and interrogate the destruction of it.
PARTNER WITH US:
GWP is an L3C or a “low-profit limited liability company” which is a for-profit business that holds a charitable or educational cause as its main purpose. The business embodies our mission from our choice of printers (US printers that utilize renewable energy, forest stewardship council-certified papers, and soy-based inks) to our donation of a percentage of profits to national and Vermont-based environmental organizations.
Our vision is that collectively, our books will become a chorus of voices of writers and readers, artists and photographers, who care about the fate of the earth and want to do something about it.
If anyone knows of a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization you think would like to partner with us as an L3C company, please tell them about us! It is tax-free for them to work with us on publications/books.
AND NOW . . . SUMMER NEWS:
Green Writers Press is growing, but we are still primarily a VOLUNTEER RUN ORGANIZATION. We could not do what we do without our dedicated cadre of freelance editors! Please welcome our newest freelancer/volunteer staff members.
MARGARET SWEENEY, Assistant Editor 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 Translation and served as co-editor-in-chief of plain china, the first national anthology of undergraduate student writing. She now lives in Western Massachusetts and works as a part-time bookseller at Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley.
JAMES CREWS, Assistant Editor
James Crews’ work has appeared in Ploughshares, Raleigh Review, Crab Orchard Review and The New Republic, among other journals, and he is a regular contributor to The (London) Times Literary Supplement. His first collection of poetry, The Book of What Stays, won the 2010 Prairie Schooner Book Prize and received a Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award. Other awards include residencies from the Sitka Center for the Arts and Caldera Arts as well as two Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in Writing and Literature from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he worked for Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry newspaper column and grew to love the Great Plains. He now lives on an organic farm in Shaftsbury, Vermont just a few miles from the Robert Frost Stone House.
VISIT US AT BOOK FESTIVALS COMING UP!
Green Writers Press has a BIG presence at BOOKSTOCK-VT, one of Vermont’s premiere literary festivals. Please join us! http://bookstockvt.org/2016-presentations/
Left to right: Leland Kinsey (Galvanized), Sheila Post (The Road to Walden North), Cardy Raper (An American Harvest), Brett Stanciu (Hidden View), Tim Weed (forthcoming, A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing), Sara Dillon (Planning for Escape), and Vermont State Poet Chard DeNiord (co-editor, with Sydney Lea, of the forthcoming Contemporary Vermont Poetry) . . . what a lineup!
Burlington Book Festival, Brattleboro Literary Festival, and more!
STAY TUNED FOR THE HOPPER PRIZE ANNOUNCEMENT AUGUST 1st!
Congrats to our authors! THE FOLLOWING POEMS AND SHORT STORIES HAVE BEEN NOMINATED BY GREEN WRITERS PRESS FOR THE 2015 PUSHCART PRIZE:
Julia Alvarez – “A Light Out: A Vermont Story in Five Voices” from Contempora1ry Vermont Fiction: An Anthology (Green Writers Press, 2014)
Advance Praise for So LIttle Time—Pub Date February 11, 2014:
“A book of eloquent testimony, in poetry and image, to the mystery and beauty immanent in nature, now so desperately imperiled. Like all art, it asks that we look up and see.” —Publishers Weekly
“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
OUR Green Writers Press PUBLISHING LAUNCH PARTY, WITH LIVE MUSIC (from “Red Heart The Ticker,” CAKE, AND AFTER PARTY, WAS HELD FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST, AND WAS A HUGE SUCCESS. Thanks to all who came out! We are on our way . . .
Please help us make the dream a reality: Our Fundraising campaign ends IN JUST 2 DAYS—November 7th. Thanks for sharing & contributing!
Here’s the link: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/green-writers-press
Here are some photos from the party/readings . . . Enjoy and if you can, share this link or the Indiegogo page. WE need to push hard in the next few days, and need everyone’s help! ~ Dede
Dede writes: I’ve worked on some book trailers before, for some of my author/clients in the publishing business, most notably for David Blistein and his book, David’s Inferno. For that book trailer, I got to go to help set it up and work on the story board, and attend the filming, which was at Ken Burns’ Florentine Films in New Hampshire (not far from where I live in Brattleboro).
It was “wicked” exciting to be there, hanging out with one of my heroes, well, Dave, my client, but KEN BURNS! I think Ken’s work is brilliant….. so, in any event, I was suitably inspired last night when I went to hear Ken give a talk and presentation for his new PBS series, The Roosevelts. In fact, I was so inspired, I went home and made this video so that we can raise tons of money and pay our printing bill for The Bird Book, So Little Time, and The Beavers of Popple’s Pond… If we raise even half of our $20,000 goal, we will be in good shape, so I am hoping for $10,000. Maybe, just maybe, this little earnest film—with my son, Sam Carmichael, playing an original composition on the guitar….will bring us there!
Here it is, and tell us what you think? I already got feedback on the bad sound quality 🙂 Going to try to fix that or rerecord… Please share! We will list your name on our site as supporter if you donate, too! Our big party is November 1st, Putney, Vermont at Next Stage Arts Project!
After the wonderful weekend at the Burlington Book Festival, we felt so excited and filled with energy to move forward with our goal of publishing beautiful books that are created with sustainability and preserving our environment first and foremost.
So Little Time . . . Our new book is coming out in one month, and editors Dede and Alexandra have poured their time, their heart and souls into this project.
Marlboro College graduate and multimedia storyteller, videographer and photographer, Willow O’Feral, has just signed on to offer a few photos from her black and white collection, of which you can see in this post’s slideshow. Willow presently lives in NYC but hails from Northern California. She got a Bachelor’s degree at Marlboro College in Vermont, with a double-major in French and Film/Video. She plays dobra in the all-women samba-reggae percussion group, Batala NYC. Willow is a multi-media artist who primarily works in photography and video. See more of her work at http://snippetproductions.com
I feel like a mother about to have a baby—the excitement, the collaboration between publisher-printer-artist-writer—is everything I dreamed about when I started this publishing company! I want to thank the many supporters along the way, especially the people who don’t think I am crazy, and have celebrated the idea of a publisher working in harmony with the earth’s resources.
Page to Performance, a poetry organization based in Cambridge, UK and led by Hollie McNish and Inja, worked with a group of amazing young people for three months in summer, 2013, to find out what it is they all love about riding.
Here at GWP, we are very happy to say that a neighbor of Dede’s in Southern Vermont, writer/editor/teacher/musician, Robin MacArthur, has joined us as an editor!
Exciting news… Green Writers Press is growing…. And we’d like to welcome our first-ever intern, Alexandra Sandman-Pitonyak.
TODAY, the sun came out, and our publishing venture was born! (…hi author, Patti Smith!)
We will co-publish, with our writers, in a unique venture — a collaboration of writer, artist, publisher, printer, designer, packager, marketer and publicist — that the publishing world will see as one of a kind. We will focus on children’s literature, art, nature, poetry; as well as literary fiction and non-fiction.
There will be no end to what we will do. First and foremost, we will work together to try to save the planet for what is appearing to be a global climate crisis. According to 350.org founder, Bill McKibben, we live in an unprecedented time of global catastrophes on the rise.