Books

Courtesy, Fay Webern

In the opening chapter of her new book, Montpelier author Fay Webern reveals to the reader, in frank language, the devastating origins of her given name. And throughout the rest of the book's 42 chapters, the 89-year-old writer conjures up a clear picture of her family life and the warm, creative, resourceful people who resided alongside them in the Utopian housing community known as Lavanburg in 1920's New York City's Lower East Side.

Geography, personal insecurity, and poverty are just some of the powerful forces that Angela Palm has struggled with and against in becoming a writer. That may be surprising to some, because Palm's memoir Riverine is a triumph of a book, named the winner of the 2015 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize.

Courtesy of Henry Holt and Company

As the United States was fighting furiously to throw off the shackles of British oppression in the late 1700s, nearly a million people were enslaved in American colonies. That number would reach around four million by the 1860 census. So how did Washington, Jefferson and some of the other founding fathers justify the nation's freedom from England while denying it to enslaved people?

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

One long table dominates the open space in the center of the tiny, 150-year-old Peabody Library in Post Mills. Around that table, a group of Dorothy's List readers – ranging in age from 9 to 11 – are tying lengths of rope into knots. The knots are keeping their hands busy as they discuss the book Circus Mirandus.

Artist, Ellen Tumavicus

A writer and an illustrator from Brattleboro have written a new picture book aimed at kids that asks them to put aside fears of our differences and embrace them instead.

Steve Solberg

Early Sunday morning, Vermont lost one of its defining voices. Poet, playwright and musician David Budbill died at the age of 76.

Poet and University of Vermont professor Major Jackson was announced as the winner of this year's Vermont Book Award on Saturday night at a gala at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Courtesy

Once called the unofficial poet-laureate of the Northeast Kingdom, poet Leland Kinsey has died at the age of 66. 

DNY59 / iStock

Returning from the holiday weekend, we'll be again sharing two memorable Vermont Edition pieces from this spring – one dealing with coincidences and the other about recycling containers.

Book-lovers have the opportunity to mix and mingle with authors, poets and other readers at Brattleboro's The Lounge every Thursday night. 

Courtesy of Doubleday

Central to the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders was a critique of the role of money in politics, especially large donations from wealthy individuals to help candidates who support their policies or principles.

Clearly, millions of people agree with Sanders and supported him, yet more and more money – including "dark money" from undisclosed donors – is pouring into politics in the hope of influencing elections.

Jane Lindholm; Courtesy of Dana Walrath

We continue to highlight past segments from Vermont Edition, and we're sharing again our conversations from the spring with librarian Jessamyn West and writer Dana Walrath.

Ric Cengeri / VPR File

The course of history is often shaped by the outcome of battles, even small ones.  That's the case with the Battle of Bennington, which was fought back in August 1777.  Phil Holland is an English teacher at Community College of Vermont and the author of the new book A Guide to the Battle of Bennington and the Bennington Monument.

Mercedes Rancaño Otero / iStock

Finding and mapping typical story arcs is nothing new, but now a group of researchers at the University of Vermont's Computational Story Lab has used data mining to look at the emotional arcs contained in thousands of stories. They've identified six basic core arcs that form the emotional foundation of complex narratives.

Matthew Thorsen

If you know a young adult reader who likes the kind of books that you need to store in the freezer at night, you might steer them toward the newest thriller from Margot Harrison.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

Writer David Budbill is well known in Vermont and beyond for his play Judevine, as well as for his work as a poet. Over a year ago, Budbill was diagnosed with PSP, or progressive supranuclear palsy – a degenerative condition that is characterized as a rare form of Parkinson's Disease. Now based in Montpelier, he spoke to Vermont Edition about his current life and work, including the effects of his illness.

coloroftime / iStock

Summer is perfectly suited for reading. Lazy days on a beach towel, in a hammock, or in an overstuffed chair at the lake are the perfect venues to curl up with that novel you've been putting off reading. Or it's an ideal time to read a non-fiction, graphic novel, young adult fiction, or even try some recipes from that cookbook you received as a gift.

Courtesy of the Del Bianco Family Collection

There are few more impressive combined engineering and artistic marvels in this country than Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. One of the individuals who had an integral role in its creation was its chief carver, Luigi Del Bianco, an Italian immigrant who spent some time as a stonemason in Barre.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Author and illustrator Cece Bell was in Montpelier Wednesday night. The author of the graphic memoir El Deafo was in Vermont to accept this year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award.

Liz Hawkes deNiord

Vermont's poet laureate, Chard deNiord, wants you to know that one mode of language that is too often neglected, and for all the wrong reasons, is poetry.

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