Rick Kisonak has been turning out press releases every week, announcing one after another notable author scheduled for the third annual Burlington Book Festival, September 14-16. The latest? Brand-new State Poet Ruth Stone will join Vermont's David Budbill, Greg Delanty and Major Jackson for the fest's inaugural Sunday-afternoon poetry reading. Also on the bill is PEN USA Poetry Award winner Susan Rich . . . Renowed art historian-critic John K. Grande is the guest lecturer for the opening of a new exhibition at Stowe's West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park. The aptly named - and timed - "Live Earth" explores the human relationship to the environment in works by 21 painters and sculptors. Grande speaks during the reception on July 21, 6-9 p.m.
. . . Our condolences to the family, friends and students of Alex Chirelstein, the founder and former executive director of VSA Arts Vermont. A devoted local arts impresario, Chirelstein was going to start teaching at the Charlotte Central School next month. A heart attack felled him last Thursday, July 12, at the age of 48.