Green Mountain

Writers Conference


Meet our writers

  • Justen Ahren
  • Patty Carpenter
  • Verandah Porche
  • Elizabeth Inness-Brown

  • Director YVONNE DALEY has published five nonfiction books, more than 5000 works of journalism, fiction and non-fiction and has contributed to National Public Radio. Her most recent book, "The Bend in the Road: The Lenny Burke Story," chronicles the life-changing brain injury sustained by a young Vermont athlete and scholar, his near-death experience and eventual recovery, and the lessons learned about the brain's ability to heal.

    Daley's previous books include, "A Mighty Storm: Stories of Resilience After Irene," an account of how Vermonters rebuilt their state after Tropical Storm Irene; "Octavia Boulevard," a neighborhood memoir that explores the clash between progressive politics and capitalism, the legacy of the counter-culture, and the idiosyncrasies, both good and bad, of San Francisco. She is currently finishing a book about the Sixties in Vermont and a collection of narrative stories and poems. Her next book, a memoir entitled "My First Murder," is under contract for publication in 2018.

    Along with workshops on narrative writing (fiction and nonfiction), Yvonne will offer a three-day workshop on memoir writing. In all of these, she will focus closely on character development, the importance of telling details, the demands of honesty and scene-setting. The three-day, two-and-a-half-hour memoir workshops will be kept intentionally small. Please indicate interest in your registration form. Attendance will be limited so request participation early, please.

    ELIZABETH ROSNER returns to us again this summer, bringing her useful and energetic style to her workshops and readings. Rosner is currently working on a collection of essays for publication and will add a workshop on essay writing to her repertoire of fiction and poetry workshops. Rosner's third novel, "Electric City," which was published by Counterpoint Press, is a coming-of-age love story set against the historical backdrop of a company town in upstate New York that once called itself "the city that lights the world." Featuring Charles Proteus Steinmetz, the protege of Edison who electrified the early 20th century, and a love triangle among the children of Electric City in the late 1960s, the novel interweaves past and present to explore the way inventions transform cities, heart and lives.

    A newly expanded poetry collection, "Gravity," was published by Atelier26 Books in October 2014. Like Rosner's celebrated novels, "Gravity" plumbs the deep complexities of inherited grief, but here the author discloses, with breathtaking candor and sensitivity, "what it felt like to grow up inside my family." Also featuring spellbinding a rtwork by Lola Fraknoi, these astonishing pages remind us that history happens at home and that the past is something we all embody, knowingly or not. Elizabeth Rosner's first novel, "The Speed of Light," was published in hardcover by Ballantine Books in September 2001. The novel has been translated into nine languages, was included in Book Sense 76 twice, and was selected as one of Borders Original Voices. Its central theme addresses the effects of the holocaust on the descendants of survivors; it is a story of loss and the redemptive power of storytelling and love. Rosner's second novel, "Blue Nude," was published in hardcover by Ballantine in May 2006 and reissued in paperback in 2010 by Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster). The subject of the novel was originally inspired by her involvement with a project called Acts of Reconciliation, which brought together second generation Germans and Jews in order to confront their shared legacy from World War II.

    Because Rosner writers across the genres, she is particularly adept at helping writers discover which format is best for their work. She will again offer workshops in poetry and fiction.

    We are so excited to welcome MAJOR JACKSON to the conference. Jackson is the author of three collections of poetry: "Holding Company" (W.W. Norton, 2010) and "Hoops" (W.W. Norton, 2006), both finalists for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry and "Leaving Saturn" (University of Georgia, 2002), winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for a National Book Critics Award Circle. Carl Phillips described "Leaving Saturn" as "largely about returning: to tradition, to a psychological landscape both American and African American, and to a recognition of that suffering without which 'how else/do we know we are here?' An ambitious debut, for which Major Jackson has coined an idiom and music all his own."

    He is also a recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. Jackson is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont and a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. He served as a creative arts fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at University of Massachusetts-Lowell and currently serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review.

    Major Jackson will teach poetry workshops and give a reading from his work.

    JUSTEN AHREN is a poet, writing coach and founder and director of Noepe Martha's Vineyard Center for Literary Arts, and West Tisbury, Massacusetts Poet Laureate (2012-2014). His first collection of poetry, "A Strange Catechism" was published in 2013. Ahren's poetry has appeared in numerous journals including, most recently, Cafe Review, Comstock Review and BorderSenses. A graduate of Emerson College with an MFA in Creative Writing, Justen teaches writing in Italy, Mexico, and Martha's Vineyard, where he lives with his family. The focus of Ahren's workshop this sumemr will be on cultivating a daily writing practice, which will lead to an experience of creative connection and abundance. He writes, "There is no such thing as writer's block, but sometimes we just need to find ways to begin. This workshop provides tools to break the silence of the blank page. In-class exercises will give you the confidence and energy to begin writing, and playfully manipulate the images 'imprisoned within,' as Rilke says." Beyond that, Ahren's workshops strive to "bring an awareness of how our creative energies are supported by the world around us, which is always willing to assist our dreaming, once we allow it to." Attendance in the three-day session with Justen Ahren will be limited and will require early sign-up with the conference director, Yvonne Daley. Just write your interest on your registration form, please.

    VERANDAH PORCHE is a poet, performer and writing partner whose work explores the relationships between individuals and communities. Her latest collection, "Sudden Eden," has been praised in numerous recent reviews and by fellow poets, such as Stephen Sandy, who wrote, "Porche's tone is ingenuous yet sophisticated at once. The sections develop their own themes with style and forms to match; and grow to a wonderful climax."

    Based in rural Vermont since 1986, she has published two books of poems, "The Body's Symmetry" and "Glancing Off." Porche has published in Ms., The Atlantic, The Village Voice, The New Boston Review and Vermont Organic Farmer, among others. During the past thirty years, she has traveled from her home in rural Vermont, writing with and for people in grange halls and garages, elementary schools and Elderhostels, nursing homes and daycare centers, mansions and soup kitchens, board rooms and basements, homes and jails, literacy programs and colleges. In so doing, Ms. Porsche has developed a practice called "told poetry" or shared narratives that enable people who need a writing partner to create, preserve and share personal literature. She has been engaged in residencies at Real Artways in Hartford, CT., and Gifford Medical Center in Randolph, Vt. Her project with Hartford, Ct. resulted in a published collection of her poems, In 1998, the Vermont Arts Council awarded her its prestigious Citation of Merit, honoring her contribution to the cultural life of Vermont.

    More recently, she worked with the artist, Kathleen Kalb, to create narratives of the loggers whom Kalb had captured in her art. The touring presentation has been seen at museums, the Vermont State House and throughout New England, bringing the stories of unsung workers who harvest the trees that make our homes, furniture and books, using the best environmental methods and, in so doing, managing our natural resources while contributing to human comfort. In celebrating ordinary people living in nursing homes, laboring in the woods, hanging out at a tavern or remembering a neihbor, Porche enters the lives of strangers, distilling insight gained through friendship or drawn from visits, phone calls, interviews, letters, and/or email. It's a unique and delightful process that lives alongside her more personal poems, written in response to life and death, history, betrayal and rejuvenation.

    Porche lives in Guilford, Vermont on the land purchased 50 years ago as a commune founded by members of the Liberation News Service. This summer, as in the past, she'll offer poetry workshops and with Patty Carpenter lead a blues-writing workshop. Bring your instruments should you like -- not required -- for the fun.

    One-on-one sessions with Porche will be available on a limited basis for an additional cost.


    CHUCK CLARINO has worked as a journalist for 31 years, writing for the Rutland Herald, Vermont Sunday Magazine, Vermont Life, Varsity Sports New England, the Green Mountain Journal, Velo News and other publications. A recent inductee into the Sportswriters Hall of Fame, he has appeared frequently on television and radio as a sports commentator and analyst and, with his wife, Yvonne Daley, has published many travel stories. He is also an essayist and memoirist whose family stories and personal recollections delight the reader with historical detail and humorous anecdote. Mr. Clarino's short stories have been published widely, including in New Mellennium, which awarded his memoir pieces, "Randazzo: Jewels of Memory," and "Farley Binkey."

    He is working on a collection of true-life stories tenatively called "Work."

    Again this year, he'll lead a discussion about the joys of reading and the ways in which writers use the works of others as both inspiration and learning tools.

    ELIZABETH INNESS-BROWN returns to us this year after a long hiatus. We're're thrilled to have this fantastic storyteller and teacher with us again. Innes-Brown is the author of the novel, "Burking Marguerite" (Knopf) and two short-story collections, "Satin Palms" and "Here." Of the latter, a reviewer wrote, "maps a territory of loneliness and love. "Here" is the sanctuary of the solitary mind, the land to which the unwanted exile themselves, the place to which we all retreat when life becomes too hot to touch. With wit, affection, and finesse, this collection shows us the dark side of our moon, the unfamiliar side that we nonetheless recognize as soon as we see it. Under the sensual and sometimes fanciful surface of these fourteen stories lurks a dark reality: what any of us will do, desperate for love. But within the reality gleams a kind of measured transcendence, the kind of reclaimed innocence and balance that come only from accepting things as they truly are. Her stories have appeared in the North American Review, the New Yorker, Boulevard and many literary publications. Innes-Brown will teach several fiction workshops, designed for writers of both long and short-form fiction. Her own concentration has often been the relationship between place and character, a subject she'll discuss in one of her workshops.

    PATTY CARPENTER studied jazz at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with the great Archie Shepp and Max Roach, and was heavily influenced by many great women artists from Joan Baez and Roseanne Cash to Billie Holiday and Carmen McCrae. A lead member of the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band (DFJB), an incomparable collective with a Jazz/Americana/Soul/Folk sound, Carpenter and Porche have been lifelong friends and collaborators. Carpenter's music and voice are unforgettable -- bluesy and jazzy all at once -- and combined with Porche, the songs are rooted in today's political and social world, the world of families and friends, your world too. It will be a treat to have her join Verandah in a celebration of the art of working together. Over the year, they've worked on new pieces, separately and collaboratively. Along with leading us in the Green Mountain Writers Conference song, Carpenter and Porche will lead a blues-writing workshop and perform together in a concert celebrating poetry, song and spoken word.


    About the conference | Our writers | How to register
    Green Mountain Writers Conference
    Chittenden, Vermont | June 24 - July 28, 2017