We are Vermont! is a calendar created to benefit 350Vermont. Our goal is to share the creativity, passion, diversity, and progressive activism of Vermonters through beautiful color images donated by talented photographers. We will feature images of organic farms, farmers’ gardens, protests for climate and migrant justice, renewable energy, our outspoken and brave progressive elected officials, the women’s march, the 2016 pipeline protests, and more. Continue reading
Hello, Jessica here! I am one of the interns for Green Writers Press this summer, and I bring to you all my family’s small farm in our backyard in Brooklyn, New York.
As a student of environmentalism and as a city-dweller, urban farming is a phrase I am very familiar with. At times though, I have found that the urban farming conversation presented in New York is often lost in the larger folds of “green” living trends: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, farmer’s markets, co-ops, heirloom tomatoes, and such. People are more likely to depend on markets to provide them local, fresh foods, than to plant and grow produce themselves, this being because of a lack of time and space, motivation, and of knowledge and/or experience.
If you look up “New York urban farming” on a search engine (Yahoo and Google for me) today, there is only a handful of fresh results. There are about two media posts written about community urban agriculture in New York for 2017 and they are mostly lists that account the projects going on. (See the bottom of this post for some of these links.) It seems to be a quiet but promising start, with indoor and hydroponic projects going on, and even aquaponic farms that grow plants in a closed system with fish, using the fish poop as plant fertilizer and the plants as water filterers.
A community urban farming project can only be successful if there is solid support and demand from the community. Not only would it need a community to give it material resources, but also people willing to put in the effort to grow and manage produce. Take America’s victory gardens of World War II or even Cuba’s urban agriculture conversion in the 1990s as examples of large scale urban growing projects. Though both those scenarios were formed in times of dire need, they act as models of potential community based pathways; nothing, really, is stopping us from creating our own local, fresh produce or of demanding that there be public space provided for it.
But enough about big projects, let’s return to my family’s backyard. By showing how my family manages a no-frills kind of backyard farm, I want to contribute to the demystification of the difficulty of growing food, something not just urban dwellers, but anyone who relies on outside food resources seems to be under. We are very fortunate to have this plot of land and though this is not an example of growing produce in extreme urban spaces without access to land, I hope our narrative will add to the slow but steadily growing landscape of New York urban farming and expose people to how it is nourishing our life at home.
My family farms on a six by three yard plot of upraised soil, and have built a nine foot tall overhanging trellis for the squash. This trellis spans the length of our backyard overhead and come July, the squash vines completely cover the trellis to create a sort of shadow-speckled retreat underneath. The vines will leave the soil, climbing the tied up poles and nets to bask in the sunlight, and the squash, as they ripen, will dangle underneath the trellis like green chandeliers. This kind of farming that allows plants to transcend the ground is called vertical farming. Vertical farming is an efficient kind of farming for small plots of land: above, vines can grow and below, on the open, but shaded soil herbs and other shade-tolerant plants can grow. Vertical farming is becoming a practical alternative in cramped urban spaces like New York City, where many projects are using vertically stacked layers to grow herbs and vegetables indoors.
For my parents, who both grew up farming rice patties in southern China, growing their own produce is not simply an optional green alternative; it is inseparable from their way of living. It is a source of pride for them that they can provide for the home in another way besides having full time jobs.
We grow cucumbers, winter melon, bitter gourd, spinach, ginger, yam leaves, tomatoes, and other vegetables. What growing a small farm has taught us is that there is always more than enough, and our bounty is shared amongst family and friends. Nothing is sold for commercial purposes and my family uses only one kind of insecticide, a slug and snail killer, in our practice.
Links on New York urban farming:
Follow us on Instagram @urbanveggies6x3 to see how our kind of urban farming can be done, and follow us @greenwriterspress to see how an environmentally conscious publishing house works.
Jessica is a student at Bennington College and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.
By Maya London-Southern
Though the United States ranks third in the world for highest population, it generates by far the most trash. The nation produces over 250 million tons of waste annually, with the average American throwing out about 4.5 pounds of garbage each day (China, with a population four times that of the US, generates about 190 million tons per year). But for thousands of years, humans did not produce any trash, and people have proven that even in this era of consumerism, it is possible to live without generating garbage.
Source: Armaud Martinez. www.istockphoto.com Continue reading
2017 Green Earth Book Award “Long List” Announced — Brattleboro, Vermont
indie publisher has 3 titles on the list!
Geen Writers Press has recently been notified that three of our children’s books from the Sprouts for Kids Children’s Book line have been long listed for a national award for environmental stewardship in publishing, 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 – Picture Book, Children’s Fiction, Children’s Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Young Adult Nonfiction. In each category, the author/illustrator are awarded $1,500. The winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.
1. Broken Wing
Green Writers Press has recently published Broken Wing posthumously by celebrated Vermont poet David Budbill. Broken Wing is the story of one man’s love for birds and efforts to save a rusty blackbird that can’t 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. In 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. Budbill’s lyrical storytelling effortlessly transports the reader into his realm with a rare and poetic beauty.
KABOOM! 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 girls’ 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. 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 “Cli-Fi” (Climate Fiction), one sure to inspire teens to evoke positive change in the world around them.
The author, Brian Adams, is a recently retired professor Emeritus of Environmental Science at Greenfield Community College in western Massachusetts. His first novel, Love in the Time of Climate Change, was a Foreword Reviews IndieFAB Gold Medal Winner for Humor. He is active in the environmental movement and now devotes his time to writing romantic comedies centered on environmental activism. Brian lives with his wife in Northampton, Massachusetts.
2. 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 children’s books. In time, he would visit western Nepal in 2011 and 2012, and develop what would become his first children’s book, Did Tiger Take the Rain?, 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, ‘We all live under the same sky.’ 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. Authors and artists are available for interviews (David Budbill’s daughter, Nadine Budbill, is the spokesperson for her father).
Upcoming spring titles include: Horse-Drawn Yogurt: Stories from Total Loss Farm by Vermont legend and communard, Peter Gould; One Man’s Maine by environmental essayist, Jim Kroschell; A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing by fiction writer Tim Weed; Walking Through the Seasons: Observations and Reflections by Marilyn Neagley; Learning to See in Three Dimensions by Pamela Spiro Wagner; Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont Poetry edited by Chard deNiord and Sydney Lea with an introduction by Dan Chiasson; Last Correspondence poems by Leland Kinsey, edited by Howard Frank Mosher; Clothesline Religion poetry by Megan Buchana; and for Children: Josie Meets a Jaguar, Book 2 in the Josie Goes Green Series by Beth Handman and the Bruno family of Brooklyn, NY.
April 7th, at Next Stage Arts in Putney, Vermont, the press will be featured at the annual Earth Day celebration and reading.
OF NOTE: Our children’s picture book, Ralph Flies the Coop, will be “flying” to the Bologna 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.
Green Writers Press is a Vermont-based, global publisher whose mission is to spread a message of hope and renewal. Read more at http://www.greenwriterspress.
Thank you for helping us spread the word!
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!
Galvanized: New and Selected Poems by Leland 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 poems–some new, most from his seven previous books since 1991–are more closely tied to a particular place than any others I’ve read, and bring Vermont into a vivid focus, painting a landscape and a way of life I had never associated with the state.
Kinsey’s 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:
“We 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.”
– page 97
More than anything, these poems chronicle survival, an endeavor that for Kinsey’s family was often a fraught and unforgiving one, but one 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 family’s endurance. In “Riding in the Open,” 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:
“I 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,
– page 96
There is a section of the book containing poems from his 2004 collection In the Rain Shadow, a series of poems he wrote during his extended visit with his cousin in Tanzania. These poems present a jarring change of landscape and culture initially, but it quickly becomes apparent to the reader–as it did to the poet–how much there is in common between the experience the inhabitants of this impoverished nation have had in trying to scrape a living from the harsh African environment and the struggle Kinsey’s own family and ancestors had in prying a living from the glacier-scoured hills of northern Vermont.
Galvanized concludes with selections from Kinsey’s most recent collection, 2014’s 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 heavens’ 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 what’s coming. Crops are gathered, wood is chopped, repairs are made, food is laid in. Winter will spare no one who isn’t ready. These poems perfectly encapsulate the 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 isn’t 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 hadn’t noticed a moment before:
“Eggs, and no gull noticed,
gull, and no eggs to be seen,
no one’s rights involved,
just, quick as that,
– 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 he’s 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/
MARGARET 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 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.
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:
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 at 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.
KAITLYN 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.
April is National Poetry Month and we have news to share!
POEM CITY, Montpelier, Vermont is one of our FAVORITE annual events….
On April 13 at 7:00 pm in the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Leland Kinsey, Pushcart Prize nominee, will be reading from his new book Galvanized: New and Selected Poems, published by Green Writers Press in April 2016. Kinsey is also author of Winter Ready and six other books of poetry. He writes of the hard, dark life of the countryside in a haunting, spellbinding manner. Join Kinsey for an evening of poetry at the Library.
Later in the month . . .
A Round-table Discussion on Nature Poetry with GWP publisher Dede Cummings & Vermont poet Diana Whitney at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.
April 30th at 1:30 at PoemCity 2016
Kellogg Hubbard Libray in Montpelier VT
AND NOW ONTO EARTH DAY (BIG) NEWS!
I’m super excited that The Order of the Trees is on the Nature Generation’s Green Earth Book Awards shortlist! I’m thrilled to see us—a Vermont based publisher — on this list with the major New York publishers. It is an honor to be included in this collection which features books that have a strong environmental stewardship message.
The winner and honor books will be announced on Earth Day, April 22nd 2016. Stay tuned!
HERE IS A PHOTO OF THE AUTHOR—This is the kind of reading she does for kids at libraries and schools . . .
EARTH DAY IS COMING! Green Writers Press is so pleased to help promote our fantastic children’s list for Earth Day. Along with The Order of the Trees, we have another exciting children’s book series we’d like to tell you about—our 2014 title/first in the series Josie Goes Green.
Green Writers Press is proud to publish the first children’s fiction book about taking action on climate change. Josie and the Fourth Grade Bike Brigade is the first in a forthcoming series about Josie Garcia, a feisty nine-year-old girl from Brooklyn who becomes a crusader for preventing disastrous climate change and other environmental threats. In each book, Josie takes simple, ingenious actions that bring real changes to her neighborhood and the world. The book is for ages 7-11 and is appropriate for schools, school districts, children’s social issue book clubs, and families. Nine-year-old Josie Garcia is an ambitious girl from Brooklyn who becomes an advocate for preventing disastrous climate change and other environmental threats. The feisty heroine in “Josie and the Fourth Grade Bike Brigade,” Josie was inspired by the children of P.S. 321 in Park Slope. Kenny Bruno; his wife Beth Handman, assistant principal of P.S. 321; and their daughter Antonia Bruno, who went to school at P.S. 321, co-wrote the new children’s book, which they refer to as children’s “cli-fi” — climate fiction.
Families and book lovers of all ages are invited to “Go Green With Josie” to learn about children taking action to preserve our planet this Earth Day 2016.
The book just came out as an audiobook, too, narrated by the wonderful Rosi Amador!
A GREAT EARTH DAY GIFT 🙂
Thanks for helping kids feel like they CAN make a difference on Earth Day!
AWP—The Association of Writers and Writing Programs—had their 39th annual convention and book fair in Los Angeles at the beginning of April. Dede went out and had a GWP table. It was thrilling to be around so many writers and avid readers and here was a great deal of interest in our press!
PARTIES! We love ’em!
Don’t forget our two big bashes in April.
The Hopper Launch Party is April 15th from 6:00-8:00PM at the Dianich Gallery at 139 Main Street in Brattleboro.
Our 2nd Annual GWP Earth Day Celebration at Next Stage Arts in Putney, Vermont, is on April 24th from 5:00-8:00 PM with readings/slides/music. Hosted by Vermont’s celebrated writer, Howard Frank Mosher.
LINK for info: http://nextstagearts.org/event/green-writers-press-second-anniversary/?instance_id=19674
Happy Spring (though we just got more SNOW in VERMONT!
We are a growing Vermont publisher with exciting news to share!
Other news on upcoming books:
Having written more than eight novels, including My Amputations and Dirty Bird Blues, alongside a dozen books of poetry, Chicago Heat and Other Stories is Clarence Major’s second work of short fiction and first book with Green Writers Press is coming out September 6, 2016. Here is a quote from Clarence—and 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. —Clarence Major
And last, but not least: We are so excited about Green Writers Press having 5 finalists in the annual Foreword Reviews IndieFAB Book of the Year Awards:
Richard Jarrette, A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dances—Poetry
M Jackson, While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change—Memoir
Lauren Alderfer, Teaching from the Heart of Mindfulness—Education
Leslie Rivver, Blackberries and Cream—Juvenile Fiction
Sydney Lea, What’s the Story? Reflections on a Life Grown Long—Essays
“The 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews magazine. “The 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.”
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 Orion’s Environmental Writers’ Conference. Most recently she served as Treleven, Inc.’s 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 to the “LOCALVORE” movement in bookselling.
Here at Green Writers Press, we are busy planning our Spring Book launch set for April 24th at 3:00 PM at Next Stage Arts in Putney. We are also busy celebrating all things African-American and honoring our newest authors who write so eloquently about race and the struggle for equality. We join the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
We’d like to tell you about a few books that we are honored to publish—one is just out this past year, and the other forthcoming in 2016!
Blackberries and Cream is the compassionate and insightful story of a young white girl balancing her love for her African-American caregiver and her depressed mother in 1960s Alabama. Full of Southern charm and subtle wisdom, this novel explores the meanings of love, family, and courage in a heartfelt coming-of-age tale that will resonate with children and adults alike. This novel comes at a poignant moment in our society when racial prejudices still linger and the challenges to diversity in children’s literature remain difficult to confront. Blackberries and Cream is perfectly suited to help cultivate awareness about these issues, inspiring meaningful reflection and discussion in young readers. It is 210 pages long and can be considered children’s fiction (middle grade to young adult readers) and historical fiction. We are hoping readers will spread the word.
This photo is from twenty years ago, of the author Leslie Rivver and her caregiver Ida Bell, who are the main characters in this semi-autobiographical novel we are promoting during Black History Month. #BlackHistoryMonth
“Brimming with wisdom and mischief, this tender, heartfelt celebration of an abiding friendship between a white girl and her black caregiver in 1960s Alabama reminds us that the love we experience in childhood has the power to sustain us through a lifetime of change.”
–Irene Latham, author of Leaving Gee’s Bend
We are also thrilled to announce the upcoming story collection by Clarence Major. Chicago Heat and Other Stories employs a gorgeous purity and simplicity of language in a series of masterful analyses examining human interaction. Each narrative voice comes forward all at once, individual and complete, without obstacle or complication, enabling the reader to see the characters and feel their emotions. Major does not shy away from the bitter or the harsh; we get to hear it all. Like paint on an easel he blends lyricality with moxie and the blunt with the beautiful. The characters come together as easily as they part; people leaving, coming back, going, staying—it all sticks and fades like heat on your skin. The imagery is completely accessible and generously given. Toni Morrison comes to mind. His work is like jewels.
Clarence Major’s list of works and achievements is an impressive one. From awards like the Pushcart Prize and National Book Award to fellowships like the Fulbright Fellowship and National Council for the Arts Fellowship, Clarence Major has established himself as a prominent literary figure. Having written more than eight novels, including My Amputations and Dirty Bird Blues, alongside a dozen books of poetry, Chicago Heat and Other Stories is only his second work of short fiction and first book with Green Writers Press.
CLARENCE MAJOR is a prizewinning short story writer, novelist, poet and painter. As a finalist for the National Book Award he won a Bronze Medal for his book Configurations: New and Selected Poems 1958-1998. Major was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The Bay Area Book Reviewers Book Award and The Prix Maurice Coindreau in France. He is the recipient of The Western States Book Award, The National Council on The Arts Award, a New York Cultural Foundation Award, The Stephen Henderson Poetry Award for Outstanding Achievement (African-American Literature and Culture Society of The American Literature Association), the Sister Circle Book Award, two Pushcart prizes, the International Literary Hall of Fame Award (Chicago State University), the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts, presented by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and other awards. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Davis.
PRAISE FOR THE WORK OF CLARENCE MAJOR
“Clarence Major has a remarkable mind and the talent to match.” —Toni Morrison
“A pioneer on the cutting edge of contemporary fiction.” —Charles Johnson
“[Major’s] language is both lyric and precise. His vision is both humorous . . . and serious.
His story is our own.” —National Book Award Finalist/citation for Configurations
“Clarence Major’s… gathering of short stories has extraordinary technical and emotional force, that pushes the form to its contemporary limits without losing contact with its sources in legend, tall-tale, conte, yarn…Major…proves that he is one of only a handful of American writers capable of doing significant work in more than one genre.” —Russell Banks
Thanks for helping us spread the word about our growing press, especially the authors that help all of us celebrate our freedom and social justice, and foster increased awareness in environmental sustainability. Here is an eloquent quote from Clarence Major in support of our work at the press:
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. —Clarence Major
new novella, ‘Marly’
on Sunday, February 7, at 4 p.m.; admission is by donation,
and proceeds benefit the Women’s Freedom Center
Latchis Arts, in association with Green Writers Press, presents a dramatic reading of Peter Gould’s new novel, “MARLY,” starring Jonny Flood and directed by Gould on Sunday, Feb. 7, at 4 p.m., in the Ballroom Theatre at the Latchis.
This event, also presented by New England Youth Theatre, will benefit the Women’s Freedom Center of Brattleboro. Admission is by donation, all of which will go to the Women’s Freedom Center
“Marly“ is dramatic climate fiction in a new literary form. To find out what that means, read it, or hear it read aloud, or both. Green Writers Press is a new Brattleboro-based publisher lighting up the New England literary landscape with high-quality books on ecological themes. Come to the reading, and talk with Dede Cummings, founder of GWP, and her Bennington College interns. Gould, author of three well-known published novels, is a professor in the Conflict Transformation Program at Brandeis. He’s the smaller, quieter half of the renowned theater duo, Gould & Stearns. Jonathan Flood has been doing theater non-stop with Peter since he was 12 years old. He’s the director of several “Get Thee to the Funnery” youth theater camps, and he’s also the new Education Director at NEYT.
The fictional female character, Marly, teaches at a small Vermont College, where she specializes in forestry, wildlife habitat, chainsaw technique and self-defense for women. She’s a survivor of domestic violence; strong and self-actualized as she is, she still suffers from the after effect of the attack.
Please come and enjoy the reading, support the Freedom Center, and join the discussion. You’ll be home in plenty of time to watch the Super Bowl, if that’s your thing.
Copies of the novel will be on sale. I hope I see you here at the Latchis,
Jon Potter | Executive Director, Latchis Arts Inc. | Latchis Corporation
50 Main Street | Brattleboro VT | 05301
802.254.1109×3 | email@example.com
Preserving the Latchis | Promoting the Arts
From inside Amy’s Bakery, you can watch the ice floes drift on the Connecticut River like a herd of large, groggy fish moving downstream, or somewhere, or nowhere.
Alongside this, I’ve learned a lot during my first week in Brattleboro. I’ve learned: how to code manuscripts; that I have a hidden love for Thai food, courtesy of my host family; that copy editing is far more backbreaking than I expected; that when it’s cold enough, you can ice skate on the Meadows; and that Dede Cummings and her vibrant personality is a cure-all for gloom, doom, and any other word that can threaten your day.
I always pictured myself romping around in New York City
with a Didion-esque experience ahead of me
I’ve also learned that I’m happy to fork over pretty much all my money to Mocha Joe’s, as long as their magic brews helps me stay up long enough to finish work for a press as great as Green Writers Press. And, thanks to my irresponsible nighttime-sips, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Brattleboro’s sky from dusk to dawn.
I’m eating, laughing, exploring, learning, and most importantly, I’m doing work that I love. While I always pictured myself romping around in New York City with a Didion-esque experience ahead of me, yellow curtains and all, I’ve learned that I’d be happy to work away in a place like Brattleboro, for a place like Green Writers Press. (As long as I can get some of Bamboo Garden’s pad Thai, that is.)
—Ron Anahaw, Bennington College intern/Field Work
A note from the editor: The American Library Association’s 2016 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits took place January 8–11 at the Boston Convention Center. GWP had a table for the first time. Our resident Bennington College interns Ron, Kaitlyn, and Emy love libraries! Our far-flung interns, Ferne and Kaiya, are holding down the fort and Skyping in from New Orleans and Chapel Hill, respectively.
We are lucky to have such a great group of hard-working students from Bennington College!
The Printing Industries of New England (PINE), a major trade group that has been around in one form or another since 1887, recently presented our Vermont printer, Springfield Printing Corporation, with three awards as part of their 2015 Awards of Excellence Competition. The competition was stiff; they were up against 40 companies from all over New England, who submitted over 300 entries.
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. Alex holds an MBA in Managing for Sustainability from Marlboro Graduate School 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. In Vermont, Alex co-founded HomoPromo, a queer events promotion collective, volunteers with Vermont Worker’s Center and Migrant Justice and facilitates anti-oppression and anti-racism workshops and trainings.Carley, Dede’s rescue dog is already excited to have Alex on board! Continue reading
Lindsey Vachon is Green Writers Press’ 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!
Lindsey is helping to edit this young adult/middle grade reader fiction coming out in May, The Order of the Trees.
Please join us in welcoming Audrey Batchelder, our new GWP intern.
Audrey Batchelder grew up in the woods and fields of Marlboro, Vermont, where she developed her love for the land and desire to write.
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)
Green Writers Press: Giving Voice to Writers & Artists Who Will Make the World a Better Place
|Our fall books 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. 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 beautiful Indiegogo campaign… The video alone is worth a quick look: 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: Brian Adams Book Tour; Don Bredes too! . . . 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!
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 March—one 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 Mosher—actually, 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. Peeples is a writer of fiction and nonfiction loosely based in Vermont. His work is either available or forthcoming in Big Bridge, Cultural Logic, and Goreyesque. 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 founded Mount Island, 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” — to paraphrase our very own poet, Leland Kinsey’s new book title — 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.
Join us to meet Dede Cummings, the publisher behind Green Writers Press, as well as authors from the new press. Phoenix Books is partnering with GWP — 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 — 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 a nature photographer as well as a holistic healer. Gloria donated these great photos to us as GWP!
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
Vermont author, Howard Frank Mosher, and publisher, Dede Cummings, commenced the first-ever “Author-New Publisher Tour of Vermont Bookstores.” This trip was Howard’s idea. “Why 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,” 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!
PHOTOS FROM THE ROAD TRIP:
Edited by Green Writers Press managing editor, Dede Cummings, with a Foreword from John Elder, and poems that feature the work of Greg Delanty, along with quotes from such environmentalists, as BIll McKibben, So Little Time is an interactive and interpretive book that will inspire, enrich, and a call to action in an urgent plea to stop global warming.
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
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.