Green Mountain

Writers Conference


Meet our writers

  • Chard deNiord
  • Justen Ahren
  • Patty Carpenter
  • Verandah Porche
  • Elizabeth Inness-Brown
  • T.Greenwood

  • Director YVONNE DALEY has published six nonfiction books, more than 5000 works of journalism, fiction and non-fiction and has contributed to National Public Radio. Her most recent book, "Going Up the Country: When the Hippies, Dreamers, Freaks, and Radicals Moved to Vermont," will be published June 1, 2018. Part oral history, part nostalgia-tinged narrative, and part clear-eyed analysis of the varied and uncoordinated phenomenon collectively referred to as the counterculture movement in Vermont, "Going Up the Country" is the story of how young Northeastern migrants, largely from the cities and suburbs of New York and Massachusetts, turned their backs on the establishment of the 1950s and moved to the back woods of rural Vermont spawning a revolution in lifestyle, politics, sexuality, and business practices that would have a profound impact on the state and the rest of the nation.

    Yvonne's previous 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.

    Yvonne's other 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 poetry collection. A memoir entitled "My First Murder," will be published in 2019.

    Along with workshops on narrative writing (fiction and nonfiction), Yvonne will offer a three-day intensive 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 importance of environmental detail. The three-day, two-and-a-half-hour memoir intensive will be kept intentionally small. Please indicate interest in your registration form. Attendance will be limited so request participation early, please.

    KATE RUSHIN is a writer, editor and educator who was for many years a member of the New Words Bookstore and produced women's community radio in Boston/Cambridge. She is the Pushcart Prize-nominated author of "The Bridge Poem" and "The Black Back-Ups," which was a New York Public Library "Books for the Teen Age" selection and a Lambda Award finalist. Kate has been awarded the Grolier Poetry Prize, the Rose Low Rome Memorial Prize, and Honorable Mention in the Galway Kinnell Poetry competition. She has received fellowships from the Artists Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cummington Community of the Arts, the Cave Canem Foundation, and a tuition scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference where she was part of the group that initiated the now-famous Waiter/Waitron Reading.

    Kate has been Artist-In-Residence at South Boston High and AS220 in Providence, Rhode Island. She has taught poetry and literature at UMASS-Boston, M.I.T., Brown University, and Wesleyan University. Kate has held short-term residencies at Westfield State University, Bowdoin College and has led poetry workshops for MassPoetry, Cambridge Adult Education, the Mark Twain House, Hartford Public Library, the Connecticut Office of the Arts and CTHumanities/Poetry Out Loud.

    Her work is widely anthologized and has been published in Raising Lillie Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy The Work Place, Poetry From Sojourner, New Worlds of Literature, Word Origins: Bringing Words to Life, The Black Women's Health Book, Ms. Magazine, Callaloo, The Cape Cod Poetry Review, The Poets Exchange, The Mom Egg, and WORDPEACE. Kate reads her work widely and has performed at Poets House, the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the American Booksellers Association, the Dodge Poetry Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe and the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas. She has participated in the Poetry Slam and performs her poetry with the jazz quartet, Nat Reeves State of Emergency. She has read her poetry on NPR and can be heard as a panelist on The Colin McEnroe Show/The Nose, on WNPR-90.5 FM, CT. She serves on the Poetry Committee of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the CT Poetry Circuit, and the James Merrill House Committee. Kate will offer a series of poetry workshops, concentrating on voice, rhythm and telling our own story.

    We are so excited to welcome T. GREENWOOD back to the conference after many years. We'll get a sneak preview of Tammy's twelfth novel, "Rust & Stardust" -- a fictional rendering of the true crime which inspired Nabokov's Lolita -- which will be published in August 2018. Altogether, Tammy's eleven novels have sold over 250,000 copies. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Maryland State Arts Council. H er novel "Bodies of Water" was a 2014 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist; "Two Rivers," "Grace," and "Where I Lost Her" were each named Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards, and "Where I Lost Her" was a Globe and Mail bestseller in 2016.

    She teaches creative writing at San Diego Writers, Ink and online for The Writer's Center. She lives with her husband and two daughters in San Diego, CA. but spends much of her summer near her childhood home in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

    More information can be found at and

    Tammy's workshops will concentrate on longer fiction. She'll offer workshops that can be taken separately or build upon one another, concentrating on the four elements of the novel and linked stories -- Premise, POV/Voice, Characterization, Plot/Structure.

    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. Justen'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 Justen'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, Justen'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.

    We are particularly thrilled to welcome CHARD deNIORD, the poet laureate of Vermont and author of six books of poetry, to the conference. Chard's most recent books of poetry include "Interstate," (The University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) and "The Double Truth" (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011). His book of essays and interviews with seven senior American poets (Galway Kinnell, Donald Hall. Maxine Kumin, Jack Gilbert, Ruth Stone, Lucille Clifton, Robert Bly) titled "Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs, Conversations and Reflections on 20th Century American Poets," was published by Marick Press in 2011. His new book of interviews with nine contemporary poets (Jane Hirshfield, Natasha Trethewey, Carolyn Forche, Galway Kinnell, Martín Espada, Stephen Kuusisto,, Peter Everwine, Ed Ochester, Stephen Sandy) and James Wright's widow, Annie, is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press this March under the title "I Would Lie To You If I Could." He is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Providence College and a trustee of the Ruth Stone Trust. He lives in Westminster West, Vermont with his wife Liz. Chard will lead a two-part workshop that he describes as focusing on reading and writing poems whose speakers place another before them, and then make charged figurative connections to what Walt Whitman called 'the other I am.' Kept intentionally small, workship participants will read each other's poems line by line, examining line breaks, poetic strategy, form, intention, imagery, tropes, verbal music, and what John Keats described in his definition of "negative capability" as the ability to "exist in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."

    chard will offer individual consultations with writers for a small fee.

    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 other books of poems, "The Body's Symmetry" and "Glancing Off." Verandah 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, veterans' centers, 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. In the past few years, her work has been celebrated at the Boston University-sponsored Narrative Conference where she has worked with journalists and nonfiction writers, not only introducing them to the power of poetry to tell true stories but also bringing back to us the richness of narrative as it is being presented in both traditional and nontraditional formats.

    Verandah has been engaged in residencies, including ones 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.

    Last year, 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 neighbor, 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 in both traditional and nontraditional formats and with musician 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 35 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. Chuck'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, Chuck will 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 smashing success last summer. Liz 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. This year, she'll concentrate on short fiction, especially the traditional and non-traditional short story, including the short-short and sudden fiction.

    STEPHEN KIERNAN has been able to balance fiction and nonfiction writing throughout his long career, in both genres concentrating on issues of import to the future of the human and the planet. He has published nearly four million words. His newspaper work has garnered more than forty awards, including the George Polk Award and the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment. Author of the novels "The Hummingbird," "The Curiosity," and the acclaimed new novel, "The Baker's Secret," he has also written two nonfiction books, "Last Rights" and 'Authenic Patriotism." A graduate of Middlebury College, he received a Master of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has chaired the board of the Young Writers Project, served on the Vermont Legislative Committee on Pain and Palliative Care, and served on the advisory board of the New Hampshire Palliative Care Initiative. Stephen travels the country speaking and consulting on how to expand use of hospice, palliative care and advance directives. A performer on the guitar since he was ten years old, Stephen has recorded 3 CDs of solo instrumentals, and composed music for dance, the stage and documentary films. He lives in Vermont with his two amazing sons. This summer, Stephen will conduct workshops that span the genres, blending instruction and exercises in bringing life to real and imagined stories and the characters who inhabit them, while also providing insight into ways to write about serious issues of death and dying, war and reconciliation.

    GARY MARGOLIS is the author of four poetry books: Raking the Winter Leaves: New and Selected Poems (Bauhan Publishing, 2013); Fire in the Orchard (Autumn House Press, 2002), which was nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for poetry; Falling Awake (University of Georgia Press, 1986); and The Day We Still Stand Here (University of Georgia Press, 1983). He shares his poetry freely online on Facebook and other sites, bringing nearly daily messages of love for the natural world, recognition of the human condition and reflections on complex and often confounding world events.

    A Robert Frost Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and a recipient of a Vermont Council on the Arts award, Margolis has published his poems in Poetry, American Scholar, Poetry Northwest, and other literary magazines.

    A licensed psychologist, Margolis is the former executive director of counseling and former associate professor of English at Middlebury College in Vermont. He lives in Cornwall, Vermont, where he is a volunteer firefighter.

    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 W riters 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 | July 16 - July 20, 2018