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.