Versatile Verses: PoemCity in Montpelier for National Poetry Month | Creative Writing | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Versatile Verses: PoemCity in Montpelier for National Poetry Month

State of the Arts



In case you haven’t heard, April is National Poetry Month, and once again Vermont’s capital is doing it up. You’d be hard-pressed to find a downtown Montpelier window that doesn’t have a poem adhered to it — on a neat, white sheet of paper with “PoemCity” inscribed at the top. Even such typically art-free sites as the fire and police departments, trailer-supply and hardware stores, and a chain fast-food joint are waxing poetic.

Admittedly, I didn’t have time to read very many on a quick pass through town last weekend, but in the accompanying PoemCity booklet I did find a favorite listing: at Buch Spieler on Langdon Street, the poems “The Lost Mirror Blues” and “This Old World Floor,” by someone with the colorful name of Toussaint St. Negritude. I grabbed a photo of Barre poet Heather Duke’s “Cold Coffee” hanging, appropriately, in the window of Capitol Grounds.

PoemCity represents the effort of a consortium of entities, including Montpelier Alive, the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, the Vermont Humanities Council and half a dozen other partners. In addition to the visible verses on nearly 100 storefronts, there are special events at the library and around town all month, from readings to a “How to Be Your Own Critic” workshop to a session called “The Yoga of Poetry; The Poetry of Yoga.” Namaste.

For more information about events, visit and