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Something For Everyone During National Poetry Month In St. Johnsbury

Between Catamount Arts' PoemTown celebration and a full slate of events offered by Northeast Storytellers, National Poetry Month will be a busy time in St. Johnsbury. April events range from poetry slams to a Robert Frost remembrance and are open to all, from poetry novices or aficionados.

Throughout the month, PoemTown will feature poetry displayed in business windows throughout St. Johnsbury's downtown and poems with painted covers will be on display at St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. PoemTown also features lunchtime poetry readings on Wednesdays through April at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, three poetry slams throughout the month and a reception for PoemTown poets at Catamount Arts Gallery.

The Northeast Storytellers is a group of "writers, readers, and appreciators of prose and verse" that meets regularly at Catamount Arts. The group is hosting a series of events to complement the PoemTown activities. Those events include:

  • Group Open House Saturday, April 4, from noon until 1:30 p.m., at Catamount Arts. The Northeast Storytellers' regular monthly meeting will be converted to a group open house. Brief instructional presentations on poetry writing by group members will be followed by mini-breakout sessions to apply them. Members of the group will layout various forms and techniques of writing poetry, sharing aspects of their individual knowledge and expertise. Following a break, mini-workshops will offer hands-on learning of the topics presented. Free refreshments will be served. All are welcome to stop in to learn something about poetry, practice writing it, and meet fellow area writers.
  • Haiku Workshop Sunday, April 12 from 2 to 4 p.m., Burke Community Center, 212 School Street, West Burke. This workshop will focus on writing the Japanese style of poetry known as haiku — designed to take participants from a study of classic haiku, and its underlying structural dynamics, to writing their own originals. Workshop leader Judy Hishikawa, Northeast Storytellers’ haiku poet, lived and taught language in Japan. Her chapbooks will be available.
  • Remembering Robert Frost Tuesday, April 14, from 2 to 3 p.m., Good Living Senior Center (formerly St. Johnsbury House), 1207 Main Street, St. Johnsbury. The regular Poetry Tea Party will be a special gathering dedicated to the memory and poetic works of longtime Vermont poet laureate Robert Frost. Residents of the Good Living Senior Center, members of the public, and members of the Northeast Storytellers will share readings, biographical sketches, anecdotes, scrapbook items and experiences they’ve had learning from this great poet.
  • Maple Poems and Stories Saturday, April 25, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m., Caboose Bookshop Cafe, 394 Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury. In honor of the 2015 St. Johnsbury World Maple Festival, readings of maple-related prose and verse will be emceed by Brooke Cullen.

All events are free and open to the public. National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 and is held every April throughout the country.

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