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
In 1961, Vermont established a state poet laureate position, which is currently held by Mary Ruefle, who was appointed to a four-year term in 2019. Ruefle is the author of over a dozen full-length poetry collections, the most recent of which is Dunce (Wave Books, 2019), which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Poetry.
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.
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
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.
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.