An evening of poetry with Sydney Lea and Karin Gottshall


MIDDLEBURY — Sydney Lea, poet, writer, former Vermont Poet Laureate and Pulitzer finalist, will read from and discuss his new collection of poetry, “Here,” on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 6:30 p.m., at The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury. He will be joined by fellow poet and Middlebury College educator, Karin Gottshall. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow the discussion.

In “Here,” his 13th book of poetry, Lea gives voice to the deep connection between human life and the natural world as well as their fragility and transience. While there is reckoning, there are few regrets in a life well-lived and closely observed. “Here” is a title, but it’s also a statement, an incantation and affirmation: “Let’s chant it throughout the year,” Lea writes, “like so much birdsong: we’re here we’re here we’re here.”

Green Writers Press will soon publish “The Music of What Happens: Lyric and Everyday Life,” Lea’s collected newspaper columns as Vermont Poet Laureate; the same press recently issued his co-written book of essays with Delaware laureate Fleda Brown, “Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives.” He has four other volumes of personal essays in print.

Haunting and haunted, Gottshall’s latest collection, “The River Won’t Hold You,” interrogates loneliness and loss with quiet insistence. Poetic structure and the music of language offer a seductive repository for memory, philosophy and pain. These poems are generous in both their formal approaches and their palettes of sound and silences.

Gottshall teaches poetry writing at Middlebury College, and directs the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf. Her second book, “The River Won’t Hold You,” won the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize in 2015. She is also the author of three poetry chapbooks: “Flood Letters,” “Almanac for the Sleepless,” and “Swan.”

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