Poet Kerrin McCadden Wins First Vermont Book Award | Live Culture

Poet Kerrin McCadden Wins First Vermont Book Award


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VCFA president Thomas Greene presents the Vermont Book Award to Kerrin McCadden - COURTESY OF VCFA
  • Courtesy of VCFA
  • VCFA president Thomas Greene presents the Vermont Book Award to Kerrin McCadden
Vermont College of Fine Arts announced this morning that the winner of its first-ever Vermont Book Award is Kerrin McCadden of Plainfield for her Landscape With Plywood Silhouettes: Poems. McCadden received the $5,000 award last night at a gala on VCFA's Montpelier campus.

Among the subjects of McCadden's inventive poems are toy gorillas, crumbling beach houses and selfies. In Seven Days, reviewer Julia Shipley wrote about Plywood Silhouettes — which also received the 2013 New Issues Poetry Prize — "In a world where digital avatars and silky-voiced Siris compete for our hearts, McCadden explores with gentle humor and candor humans' complex relationships with one another." (Read the full review and a poem here. And find links to our reviews of the other nominated books here.)

Kerrin McCadden
  • Kerrin McCadden
According to a VCFA press release, McCadden thanked her students at Montpelier High School in her acceptance speech, saying, "They asked me, about 10 years ago, to start taking risks with my own work like I asked them to do. If I can say anything, it’s to encourage young people to show up at the page."

VCFA describes the prize as "created to honor a state uniquely suited for creative enterprise." It is awarded for a book set in Vermont, published by a Vermont press or authored by a Vermonter — and, of course, "of outstanding literary merit." All but one of the six finalists this year were local: McCadden, Leland Kinsey of Barton, Gary Lee Miller of Montpelier, Jessica Hendry Nelson of Winooski and Dana Walrath of Underhill. New Yorker Meg Wolitzer was also nominated.

Vermont artist Tyrie Brown created the Vermont Book Award trophy.

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