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In This Issue:


  • Vermont Celebrates the Life and Work of Hayden Carruth
  • On November 5th VOTE FOR A REGIME CHANGE

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From November 12th through the 18th, Vermont will celebrate the life and work of poet and long-time Vermont resident, Hayden Carruth.

This is a rare opportunity for Vermonters to hear and honor one of America’s greatest living poets. Carruth, who is now eighty-one years old, and thirty-one other poets will read from Carruth’s work in four locations throughout the state.

On Tuesday, November 12th, in the Vermont House Chamber at the State House, Carruth will be awarded a proclamation signed by Governor Howard Dean honoring his life and work and his long devotion to Vermont and Vermonters. Poets reading Mr. Carruth’s poems at the State House ceremonies, which will begin at 6:00 p.m., include: David Budbill, John Engels, Jody Gladding, Geof Hewitt, David Huddle, Galway Kinnell, former Governor Madeleine Kunin, Ellen Lovell, and State Poet, Ellen Bryant Voigt. Governor Kunin will present Governor Dean’s Proclamation to Mr. Carruth. A reception in the Cedar Creek Room will follow the House Chamber ceremonies. For more information contact: David Schutz (802) 828-5657.

On Thursday, November 14th, the moveable feast of words will travel to St. Johnsbury. The readings will be held at St. Andrews Church beginning at 6:00 p.m., followed by a reception at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. Poets reading in St. Johnsbury are: Major Jackson, Garret Keizer, Galway Kinnell, Leland Kinsey, Grace Paley, Jim Schley, Neil Shepard, Gerry Stork and Martha Zweig. For more information contact: Lisa von Kann (802)748-8291.

On Saturday, November 16th, the celebration travels to Brattleboro to Center Congregational Church where the readings begin at 6:00 p.m. Poets reading in Brattleboro will be: Joan Aleshire, Wyn Cooper, Chard deNiord, Ellen Dudley, T. Namaya, Franklin Reeve, Stephen Sandy and Ellen Bryant Voigt. A reception and book signing will follow the readings at the River View Garden. For more information contact: T. Namaya (802) 254-8084.

On Monday, November 18th, in Middlebury, the final celebration takes place at 4:30 p.m. at Middlebury College’s Chateau Salon. Readers in Middlebury include: Julia Alvarez, T. Alan Broughton, Greg Delanty, Dimiter Kenarov, Joe-Anne McLaughlin, Brett Millier and Jay Parini. A reception and book signing will follow at Chateau Salon. For more information contact: Jay Parini (802) 545-4444.

Hayden Carruth moved to Vermont in 1960, and for twenty years lived in a small house, which he dubbed Crow’s Mark, squeezed between a dirt road and the banks of Foote Brook in Johnson. During those years his workplace, a few steps away from the house, was a tiny, converted cowshed heated by a woodstove. There Hayden composed some of his greatest works, including his unique poems on the values and ways of Vermont farmers. Some of the books of poems composed while living in Johnson are: THE CLAY HILL ANTHOLOGY (1965), FROM SNOW AND ROCK, FROM CHAOS (1973), IF YOU CALL THIS CRY A SONG (1983), DARK WORLD (1974), BROTHERS, I LOVED YOU ALL (1978), and THE SLEEPING BEAUTY (1970-1980).

During these two decades Carruth eked out a living as an essayist, book reviewer and anthologist. His anthology, THE VOICE THAT IS GREAT WITHIN US: AMERICAN POETRY OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (1970) is one of the most celebrated and influential anthologies of the last fifty years.

Beginning in the late 1960s, and for the decade that followed, Hayden became a generous, enthusiastic and inspiring mentor and friend to many young poets and novelists who had come to Vermont to live and work. Many of these friends from the 1970s will be among the readers honoring him at the four venues throughout the state. All of the writers, whether old friends or more recent admirers, are delighted to have this opportunity to express their affection for Hayden Carruth himself and for his work.

In 1980, out of economic necessity, Hayden began teaching at Syracuse University where he continued to teach until his retirement. Carruth now lives in Munnsville, New York, but his spiritual and emotional home remains here in the Green Mountain State.

Hayden Carruth was born on August 3, 1921, in Waterbury, Connecticut, and was educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Chicago. Noted for the breadth of his linguistic and formal resources, influenced by jazz and the blues, Carruth has published twenty-nine books, chiefly of poetry but also a novel, four books of criticism, and two anthologies. Informed by his political radicalism and sense of cultural responsibility, many of Carruth’s best-known poems are about the people and places of northern Vermont, as well as rural poverty and hardship.

In 1996 SCRAMBLED EGGS AND WHISKEY won the National Book Award for poetry. His most recent book of poems is DOCTOR JAZZ: POEMS 1996-2000, published in 2001 by his long-time publisher Copper Canyon Press.

Other recent books from Copper Canyon Press include, COLLECTED SHORTER POEMS: 1946-1991, RELUCTANTLY: AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ESSAYS, SELECTED ESSAYS & REVIEWS and COLLECTED LONGER POEMS. He has been editor of POETRY, poetry editor of HARPER’S, and, for 20 years, an advisory editor of THE HUDSON REVIEW.

Carruth has received fellowships from the Bollingen Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 1995 Lannan Literary Fellowship. He has been presented with the Lenore Marshall Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Vermont Governor’s Medal, the Carl Sandburg Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award and the Ruth Lilly Prize, among many others.

All events during this week of celebrations are free. Everyone is cordially invited and encouraged to attend. The events are sponsored by the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum and supported by a generous grant from The Lannan Foundation.


He is the consummate poet of easeful learning and well-tuned orneriness. Perhaps this is why, at eighty, Carruth–unlike his great master, Frost–keeps getting better.

The New Yorker



Carruth is a people’s poet, readily understood, a tribune of our common humanity, welfare and plight. He is also a poet’s poet, a virtuoso of form from the sonnet to free verse, from medieval metrics to jazz ones.

The Nation



This is work of high artistic and moral integrity.

The Harvard Review



Carruth, like Whitman, like Chaucer, is large. He contains multitudes. Dip into his work anywhere, and there is life–and death–as stirringly felt and cogitated as in some vast, Tolstoyan novel.

Booklist (starred review)



Rarely do poets earn the unqualified admiration of both their academic and experimental peers, but Carruth–through his artistic versatility and critical ecumenism–has been doing just that for half a century….Carruth’s personal blend of wit, Weltanschauung, and conscience is indelibly his own, one of the lasting literary signatures of our time.

Library Journal (starred review)



He writes of the two extremes–life and death–with such felicity. Hayden Carruth has spoken eloquently, and it is the language of a blessed trust in the imagination.

The Bloomsbury Review



Hayden Carruth’s voice is unique in American poetry: disarmingly personal but always informed by an acute historical and political intelligence, linguistically demotic and direct while prosodically complex and diverse.

National Book Award citation



NOTE: A digital version of this text and a jpeg portrait of Hayden Carruth are available from Lisa Von Kann at:



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Vote for a Regime Change Right Here at Home

A week or so ago at a Peace vigil in Montpelier, Vermont,
I picked up a bumper sticker which reads:
Vermonters for a Bush/Cheney REGIME CHANGE.


The Radical Right is in control
of many of our government’s decisions now,
from family planning to war and international relations.

No Matter Where You Live Get Out and Vote to Oust
the Radical Right from its stranglehold
on American government.

If your local dog catcher is a Right Winger–
Get him out of there!

And if you think you are too small to make a difference,
you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito.

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