From Walden to Walden North: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Vermont

RoadWaldenNorthCoverMKTRooted 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 success—there is a lot of interest in our new publishing company. As publishers in a global market, we 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, Vermonters are unearthing what was once “concealed”—to borrow Thoreau’s words—in their “haze-filled valleys” and mountainside farms to share with readers “their Waldens” in poetry, stories, and novels.

Thoreau’s legacy for those of us rooted to place in Walden North—Vermont—is a tradition that is long and carries with it a deep-rooted sense of place.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ―Henry David Thoreau

Few of us would be reading, writing, and publishing our passion for Place without Walden as our precedent, our ‘simple’ guide to Place.

A recent article about our book Contemporary Vermont Fiction,  edited by Robin MacArthur, appeared in Boston Globe writer Jan Gardner says “Writer, editor, and third-generation Vermonter Robin MacArthur moves beyond postcard-perfect images. In selecting stories for the anthology, she aimed to expand people’s notions about Vermont.”

“I wanted to ignite dialogue,” she wrote in an e-mail, “between stories that portrayed some of the landscapes and characters we typically associate with Vermont and New England (the dairy farmer, the woodsman, the wooded borderlands, the craggy hillsides, the orchards and the abandoned farms,) and stories that portrayed a variety of voices less-often heard so less known (migrant workers, the Abenaki, adolescents, back-to-the-landers, African Americans, French Canadians, etc.).”

Here at the press, we are excited to publish more writing inspired by Thoreau. We are thrilled to have acquired a novel by Vermont writer, Sheila Post, called “The Road to Walden North.” Sheila’s newest post—entitled “Winter Animals”—can be found here. SheilaPostAuthor

A former college associate professor and specialist in Transcendentalism, Sheila Post, Ph.D., (The University of Chicago), taught American literature for over a decade in New England before deciding to write her own. With various publications in academic journals and with prestigious university presses, she now writes novels, essays, and blogs about the simple, the natural, the local, and the transcendental. Visit her blogs celebrating the Spirit of Place at and She also writes green fiction as SĂ­le Post. Visit her website at Sheila resides in Vermont, overlooking the forested mountains of her own Walden North.

About Sheila’s New Book
In The Road to Walden North, Vermont author Sheila Post offers timely insights for a new age still grappling with issues raised by Thoreau over 150 years ago. An elegiac ‘Walden revisited,’ the novel invites readers to accompany the transcendental journey of Harvard Professor Dr. Kate Brown—from ‘talking the talk’ of theory to ‘walking the walk’ of experience along the less traveled road of Thoreauvian simplicity.

While deftly engaging with the motifs of Thoreau’s classic, chapter by chapter, The Road to Walden North also transcends its literary context, through its richly-nuanced chronicle of the life-altering interactions among four individuals whose worlds converge—and collide—on the campus of Harvard University. The narrative depicts both the desperate and deliberate lives of its main characters as they consider roads taken and not: Heather Channing, a back-to-the-lander student adrift in the elite world of Harvard; William Channing, her organic grower-Buddhist/PhD-father, a cultural exile in the north woods of Vermont; Blake Prentiss, a Boston Brahmin with multi-generational family ties to Harvard; and Kate Brown, a newly hired Assistant Professor. Kate’s life revolves around her academic work—until forced to grapple with the implications of the themes she teaches in her freshmen seminar on Walden. A luminous tapestry of dreams lost and found, The Road to Walden North will continue to ‘rewild’ the lives and souls of its readers long after arriving in Walden North.

The book jacket photo was taken on Post’s land in northern Vermont—an inspiration for all of us as writers, environmentalists, and lovers of good books! We all long for that “Cabin-in-the-Woods” and Post serves as an inspiration and guiding light for us as our publishing company grows!

Stay tuned for more news….Our Fall Books for 2015 are going to be announced in March, and we are starting a “Book CSA!”
Stay warm and at peace—from all of us at GWP!