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Words Out Loud

Art at the Kent~ Sundays @3pm

“Words Out Loud: Poetry, Place, and the Passage of Time” will offer a poetry series of readings by Vermont poets. Dates include;

September 17: Sean Prentiss and PSOV member, Scudder Parker

September 24: Sarah Audsley and Nadine Budbill

October 1: Nadell Fishman and Sydney Lea.

Scudder Parker reading from “Safe as Lightening” (video by rootstockpublishing.com)

For more about Words Out Loud go to: https://www.kentscorner.org/2023-readings

Arthur Wallace Peach Memorial Award 2023

the story I’m telling myself is . . .

after Brené Brown

no one intervenes.

call me a dead thing.
only then will you find
          no flaws.

steal my voice box. stuff it in
a letter like you’re spinning wildly
in a high slit. how dangerous.
send the lexicon spiraling
into satin luxury, won’t you
stalk me to silence

              until anthem turns dirge.
raise the statue of my mistakes
discarded pointe shoes and pink ribbons, then grab
a mirror, a hammer, and a dream with your teeth
it is you who refuse the dentist’s tricks.

     I’m sorry. I require more mistakes.

                             you’re too good
too good to dodge this dress rehearsal of tragedy
really how sad to squander even a second of joy

     I don’t deserve it.
     I denounce myself.

            you may have this dance.

poem by Bianca Amira Zanella

The Corinne Eastman Davis Award and the Arthur Wallace Peach Memorial Award are given for the best poem in the current issue of The Mountain Troubadour.

Corinne Eastman Davis Award 2023


She sat calmly on the neighbors’ porch
after two feet of snow. That was enough
to bring the whole street outdoors.

We’d glimpse her in the secret
of her own pursuits—a smudge of rust
at the wood’s edge. Now she sat there,

so much more intimate than myth—
almost too small to be real.
No evidence of cunning, as though

she would gladly come inside
out of February’s storm. Stand back,
we said, don’t let the pets out.

Make sure the children stay away.
Police were summoned. Fish
and Wildlife was besieged with calls;

soft hairs bristled on our necks.
Before she left, she paused in front of me;
full coat soft russet, legs delicate,

black-stockinged. She stood inside a distance
my body had been taught to keep,
squinting at me, neither offering nor asking—

then trotting down the path a neighbor
had dug to come see for himself—disappeared
in the snow’s deep before officials came.

poem by Scudder Parker

The Corinne Eastman Davis Award and the Arthur Wallace Peach Memorial Award are given for the best poem in the current issue of The Mountain Troubadour.

Vermont Summer Chairs

Summer Contest Results

Thank you for participating in the 2023 Summer Contests sponsored by the Poetry Society of Vermont. This year we received 180 entries, a record number. Many of our judges remarked on the quality of the poetry and the difficulty of selecting winners. The winning poems are listed below, along with the names of the poets. Also included are the winners of the Davis and Peach awards; these awards are given for the best poem in the current issue of The Mountain Troubadour.

Yours in Poetry,
Juliana Anderson, Contest Co-Chair
Carol Milkuhn, PSOV Vice President

Carol and Arnold Abelson Award
Judge: Baron Wormser
Winner: The Sparrows of Mariupol by Philip Coleman
Second Place: Judged by Judith Janoo

Mary Margaret Audette Memorial Award
Judge: April Ossmann
Winner: Word Salad by Matthew Dickerson
Honorable Mention: Eve Sues Apple for Trademark Infringement by Sarah Snyder

J. Richard Barry Memorial Award
Judge: Sydney Lea
Winner: This Poem Wants a Home by Sarah Snyder
Honorable Mention: The Black Van by Judith Janoo

Marian Gleason Memorial Award
Judge: Angela Patten
Winner: The One at the Wheel by Mary Donnelly
Honorable Mention: Gambling by Cindy Hill

Goldstein Memorial Award
Judge: Dianalee Velie
Winner: Liberty New York 1977 by Cindy Hill
Honorable Mention: Fran’s Hands by Mary Donnelly

Laura J. Spooner Memorial Award
Judge: Nancy Richardson
Winner: Spring by Ann Cooper
Honorable Mention: Still There by Sarah Snyder

Chris White Memorial Award
Judge: Neil Shephard
Winner: The Biopsy by Cindy Hill
Honorable Mention: Wanting to Defy Gravity by Sarah Snyder

The Corinne Eastman Davis Award and the Arthur Wallace Peach Memorial Award are given for the best poem in the current issue of The Mountain Troubadour. Click on the links to read the winning poems.

Corinne Eastman Davis Award
Judge: Joan Aleshire
Winner: Fox by Scudder Parker

Arthur Wallace Peach Memorial Award
Judge: Bianca Stone
Winner: the story I’m telling myself is . . . . by Bianca Amira Zanella

Buffy Aakaash

Buffy Aakaash’s chapbook, “Untangling the Knots” was published by Kelsay Books in 2022 and nominated for the Vermont Book Award.

This 20-poem chapbook arose out of the previously published poem, “How to Untangle a Knot.” It was birthed in the lonely isolation of a pandemic in the winter of 2020.


In Buffy Aakaash’s Untangling the Knots, we learn such essential skills as “How to Start a Fire,” “How to Undress,” and even “How to Pet a Cat.” But we are given surprise after surprise, as we discover vivid metaphors for deeper life lessons. Even though the title promises untangling, the “necessary fettered entanglement” of love, desire and authentic living is what this collection celebrates. And it does so with heart, honesty, and imagination, the stuff of life and poetry...

~Maxima Kahn, author of Fierce Aria, teacher, and firekeeper
Continue Reading Buffy Aakaash

In Memory of Inga Potter

In May the PSOV lost one of its oldest and most beloved members, Inga Potter. Inga joined the PSOV shortly after she moved to Vermont in 1972. Over the years she served in many roles on the Executive Council, including President, Troubadour editor, and Executive Secretary. 

Inga frequently wrote about her Swedish heritage; in one of her poems, “Busy Hands,” she explores the joy of Swedish baking. As you will see, I referenced Inga’s poem when I wrote “No Regrets.”

No Regrets


After I moved, I meant to still visit,
again coax my car up that mountain road,
take in the view of that sun-drenched Valley
while anticipating the feast ahead:
shortbread, homemade jelly and clotted cream,
tea cosseted in a quilted cozy
then poured into hand-painted porcelain,
antique cups reminiscent of
things past.

But I didn’t find the time.
I let those afternoons slip away,
along with those views of Vermont pastures
and the poems I shared with my friend–
until a phone call, just a word or two,
connected me to darkness
and to death.

So it’s only now I pull out chapbooks
long hidden in musty corners of closets,
rediscover her verses extolling
the exotic scent of ground cardamom kneaded
into the dough of vetebrod–
not to mention the impossibility of Swedish Spritz,
those fragile cookies I balanced
so lightly in my hand.

Carol Milkuhn

Continue Reading In Memory of Inga Potter