William Halvosa's twin bed granite headstone in Barre's Hope Cemetery

History of our Journal

William Halvosa

 A founder of the poetry journal we know as The Mountain Troubadour 

If you visit Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont, you will discover an unusual monument—a monument composed of twin beds attached to an elaborately carved headboard. Sculpted out of Vermont granite, this memorial was designed in 1953 by William Halvosa, an early PSOV member, to express his undying devotion to his wife.

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photo of Vermont History Center brick building and granite statue in front

Letter from Carol Milkuhn PSOV Archivist

Dear PSOV Member:

Let me begin by extending three invitations. The first is an invitation to visit our newly designed website. When the home page appears, click on “About” and then on “Archives”—and so enter the world of our Archival Collection. Here you will find a history of the PSOV, detailing the struggles of those pioneer poets who braved a storm to attend our first meeting, a photo of Robert Frost on the cover of the 1960 Troubadour, and even a video of Ann Day, Marian Gleason, and Nancy Brunelle reading poetry.

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A cursory review of poetry societies across the country reveals that 32 have their beginnings in—or at least now are attached to—the National Federation of State Poetry Societies organized in 1959. At least 30 are affiliated with the Academy of American Poetry’s Poetry Coalition and can be found at poets.org.

The Poetry Society of Vermont falls into neither of these camps. The PSOV archives remind us that “On May 15th 1947 at the Hotel Vermont in Burlington Mary (aka Mollie, PSOV’s fourth president) Newton Baldwin…witnessed the birth of a long-cherished idea…the creation of The Poetry Society of Vermont.”Continue Reading PSOV CELEBRATES 75 YEARS


Ann B. Day with daughter Deb and grandson Haven

Backlit by a late-winter glow and surrounded by books and poetry magazines, Ann Bemis Day, at 92, the oldest member of the Poetry Society of Vermont, recently talked to The Mountain Troubadour about her writing, life, and PSOV, of which she’s been a member since 1959. She joined us via Zoom from her cozy home at RiverMead LifeCare Community in Peterborough, New Hampshire.  

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First of a Kind

History of The PSOV, 1947-2023

The Mountain Troubadour cover 1961

On May 15th, 1947, at the Hotel Vermont in Burlington, Mary Newton Baldwin witnessed the birth of a long-cherished idea: the creation of The Poetry Society of Vermont. Long a believer “that there ought to be a statewide organization for poetry,” Baldwin had begun preaching her gospel in 1946 at a writer’s conference in Durham, New Hampshire. Such was the strength of her conviction that she had converted many writers and members of the Vermont intelligentsia into poetry activists; now finally, on that afternoon in May, surrounded by her adherents, she watched her vision become a reality.Continue Reading First of a Kind

A Look Back

To learn more about the PSOV’s history watch the video below which features PSOV members and past president Nancy Vandenburgh Brunelle, Marian Gleason, and Ann Day, reading poems and speaking about the PSOV’s 40th Anniversary in 1987 on WCAX’s program, Across the Fence.

Vermont Viewpoints Podcast

George Longenecker and Mary Rose Dougherty appeared on the WDEV radio program Vermont Viewpoints with Ric Cengeri to talk about our 75th anniversary. Their conversation is about 1:05 hours into the program.