2020 Keynote Speaker: Lily King
LILY KING’s first novel, The Pleasing Hour, won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book. It was followed by The English Teacher (2005), a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and the winner of the Maine Fiction Award. Her third novel, Father of the Rain (2010), was a New York Times Editors Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Novel of the Year and winner of both the New England Book Award for Fiction and the Maine Fiction Award. Her fourth novel, Euphoria (2014), won the Kirkus Award for Fiction 2014, the New England Book Award for Fiction 2014, and was a finalist in the National Book Critics Circle Awards. Euphoria was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by The New York Times Book Review, and was included in TIME’s Top 10 Fiction Books of 2014 and the Amazon Best Books of 2014. It has been optioned by the BBC as a limited series.
Lily King’s new novel Writers & Lovers is the New York Times Book Club pick of the Month, an Indie Next List March pick, the Amazon Spotlight of the Month, the Today show’s Read with Jenna March pick, and number eight on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
Paige Ackerson-Kiely is the author of 3 books of poetry, most recently, Dolefully, a Ramapart Stands (Penguin, 2019). She lives in Peekskill, NY with her dog Lonesome, and works at Sarah Lawrence College.
PHILIP BARUTH is a novelist and non-fiction writer living in Burlington, Vermont. His writing tends to be all over the map: his last three books are, in order of appearance, a time travel novel about a 109-year-old technologically enhanced Bill Clinton; a historical thriller involving the writer of the first dictionary, Samuel Johnson; and a full-length biography of Vermont’s senior US senator, Patrick Leahy. He teaches creative writing and other things at the University of Vermont.
LILLIAN-YVONNE BERTRAM is the author of three books, Travesty Generator (Noemi Press, 2019); Personal Science (Tupelo Press, 2017) ; and But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise (Red Hen Press, 2012). They are an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, where they teach in and direct the UMass Boston MFA in Creative Writing Program, as well as the Chautauqua Institution Writers’ Festival. Lillian’s honors include a 2017 Harvard University Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Grant, a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, finalist nomination for the 2013 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Cave Canem.
Jaed Coffin is the author of Roughhouse Friday (FSG), a memoir about the year he won the middleweight title of a barroom boxing show in Juneau, Alaska. He’s also the author of A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants (Da Capo), which chronicles the summer he spent as a Buddhist monk in his mother’s village in Thailand. A regular contributor to Down East Magazine, Jaed’s essays and stories have appeared in the New York Times, Nautilus, The Sun and he’s been a storyteller for the Moth Radio Hour and TEDxPortsmouth. He teaches creative writing at the University of New Hampshire and lives in Maine with his wife and two daughters. For more information: www.jaedcoffin.com
J.C. ELLEFSON. At one time or another, J.C. Ellefson has made his living as a hired hand, a blacksmith, an apprentice Rolls Royce mechanic, and a fiddler in an old-timey band. He has taught at Shanghai International Studies University, the Universidade Dos Acores, and has published poems and short fiction in magazines throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, and Japan. Jim currently teaches writing and literature at Champlain College, where he is Poet-In-Residence, and chair of The Committee on Verbal Insurrection. His book, Foreign Tales of Exemplum and Woe, came out on Juneteenth Day, 2015. His second book, Under the Influence: Shoutin’ Out to Walt came out in the fall of 2017. He and his wife, Lesley Wright, own and operate Summer’s Gale Farm in Leicester, VT and direct the Vermont Young Writers’ Conference.
GEOFFREY GEVALT is an award-winning journalist with a 33-year-career mostly in newspapers, last as managing editor of The Burlington Free Press in Burlington, VT, where he also served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in Beat Reporting for two years.In 2006, he founded Young Writers Project, a nonprofit that has provided 100,000+ youths in schools and workshops and online with support, instruction and affirmation. In 2019, after transitioning the new executive director, Gevalt left YWP and is working on his own writing, photography and digital projects. A sampling of his work can be found at: https://geoffreygevalt.com.
GEOF HEWITT lives in Calais, Vermont. Vermont’s slam champion, Geof has been teaching, editing, writing, performing, and passing out wolf calls for forty-five years. This makes him sound like an oracle, and he is. His latest books are Only What’s Imagined (poems) and Hewitt’s Guide to Slam Poetry and Poetry Slam, which comes with a DVD and won the Mom’s Choice award for poetry in 2008. His collection of selected and new poems, The Perfect Heart, is due from Mayapple in the fall. (Photo credit to Jeb Wallace-Brodeur)
BRIONNE JANAE is a poet living in Brooklyn. She is the recipient of the 2016 St. Botoloph Emerging Artist award, a Hedgebrook and Vermont Studio Center Alumni and proud Cave Canem Fellow. Her poetry and prose have been published by, the Academy of American Poets, the American Poetry Review, the Sun Magazine, and the Los Angelas Review among others. Brionne’s first collection is titled After Jubilee and was published by Boaat Press.
SHEILA LIMING is a new Associate Professor in the Professional Writing program at Champlain. She is the author of two nonfiction books, What a Library Means to a Woman, just published in April 2020, and Office, forthcoming in fall 2020. Her essays have appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, Lapham’s Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere.
JENNY LAND was born in Vermont, studied Creative Writing at Dartmouth College, completed post-graduate work at the University of Oxford and the University of St. Andrews, and returned to Vermont to write and and to teach at St. Johnsbury Academy. She publishes poetry and historical fiction. Last year, on her sabbatical year in Britain, she won a national poetry contest to honor the queen’s 90th birthday. She lives in Peacham, Vermont with her husband and twin daughters.
GennaRose Nethercott is the author of The Lumberjack’s Dove (Ecco/HarperCollins) selected by Louise Glück as a winner of the National Poetry Series, and Lianna Fled the Cranberry Bog: A Story in Cootie Catchers (Ninepin Press). A born Vermonter, she tours nationally and internationally performing from her folkloric works and composing poems-to-order on a manual typewriter with her team, The Traveling Poetry Emporium.
ALEX SMITH. Born and raised in the rural Adirondack Mountains in Northern New York, folk singer Alex Smith builds songs from stories that are neither contrived nor romanticized–simply keenly observed and honestly told. Smith sings with a rich baritone, and his characters live and breathe a balance between beauty and imperfection. He has been touring nationwide since 2009, and was awarded an NTCMA Award for his 2013 release Hamilton County. After a brief stint in Colorado, Smith moved to Bristol, VT with his wife Zelie and son Archer. His new album, More Than Any Stone, is being recorded in the Fall of 2020, when it will join Live from Caffe Lena (2018), Close to Home (2016), and Hamilton County (2014) in Smith’s discography.
JENSEN BEACH is the author of Swallowed by the Cold. His fiction has appeared recently in A Public Space, the Paris Review, and The New Yorker. He teaches at Johnson State College and in the MFA Program in Writing & Publishing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
PETER BIELLO is the host of All Things Considered on New Hampshire Public Radio and a writer of short stories, novels, radio journalism, book reviews, essays, and the occasional blogpost. His short fiction has appeared in Lowestoft Chronicle, Gargoyle, and other publications, and his story “Break and Enter” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He reviews books for Three Percent and Necessary Fiction. At NHPR, he’s the host of The Bookshelf, a twice-monthly podcast that is available on iTunes. He is the founder of the Burlington Writers Workshop and co-founder of the literary journal Mud Season Review. He lives in Concord, New Hampshire.
SETH JARVIS is a writer, director, producer, and performing artist. Several of his original plays have been produced, including The Once & Future Ubu, The Next State, Icon, The Moreau Horrors, and last fall’s Transitions…, commissioned by the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. He has produced and co-hosted several series over the years, including The Burlington Poetry Slams, artsProject VT, and Playmakers. Jarvis has been a teaching artist for over twenty-five years, most recently with FlynnArts, Vermont Young Playwrights, and Champlain College. He currently works at the Vermont International Film Foundation.
TONY MAGISTRALE is the author of 20 books, most recently Dialogues Among Lost Tourists (poems) and The Shawshank Experience: Tracking the History of the World’s Favorite Movie. Currently, Tony is Professor of English at the University of Vermont.
KERRIN MCCADDEN is the author of Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, winner of the Vermont Book Award and the New Issues Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation Writing Award, and her poems have appeared in such places as Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. She is the associate director of The Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, and teaches at Montpelier High School. She lives in Montpelier, Vermont.
JESSICA HENDRY NELSON is the author of If Only You People Could Follow Directions (Counterpoint Press, February 2014), which was selected as a best debut book by the Indies Introduce New Voices program, the Indies Next List by the American Booksellers’ Association, named a Best Book of 2014 by Kirkus Review, and was a finalist for the 2015 Vermont Book Award. Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Tin House, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Carolina Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Columbia Journal, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Rumpus, Drunken Boat and many others. She teaches writing at Champlain College and the low-residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. She serves as the Managing & Nonfiction editor of Green Mountains Review.
JERICHO PARMS is the author of Lost Wax (University of Georgia Press). Her essays have appeared in Fourth Genre, The Normal School, Hotel Amerika, American Literary Review, Brevity and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, noted in Best American Essays, and anthologized in Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, and Waveform: Twenty-First-Century Essays By Women. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches in the Professional Writing program at Champlain College.
GENEVIEVE PLUNKET’S stories have appeared in New England Review, Willow Springs, Massachusetts Review, Crazyhorse, West Branch, Colorado Review, and Arts & Letters. In 2017, she was a recipient of the St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award in Literature. Her short story, “Something for a Young Woman,” was included in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2017 and her story, “The Buried Man,” appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2018. She lives in Bennington, Vermont.
ADRIENNE RAPHEL is the author of What Was It For (Rescue Press, 2017), selected by Cathy Park Hong as winner of the Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize; and the chapbook But What Will We Do (Seattle Review, 2016), selected by Robyn Schiff as winner of the Seattle Review Chapbook Contest. She writes for the New Yorker online, and her work has also appeared in the Paris Review Daily, The New Republic, and Lana Turner Journal, among other publications. Born in New Jersey and raised in Vermont, Raphel graduated from Princeton and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is currently earning a PhD in English at Harvard and is working on a book about crossword puzzles.
SHUCHI SARASWAT‘s photographs and prose have appeared in Ecotone, Tin House online, Literary Hub, and Quick Fiction. She received a Gulliver Travel Research Grant and scholarships to Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Writers Omi at Ledig House, The Writers’ Room of Boston, Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop, and the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. Shuchi is Curator of the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith, a reading series focused on migration, exile, displacement, and translation, and is one of the judges for the 2019 National Book Award in Translated Literature.