Sundog Poetry, Green Writers Press present an evening of poetry at Next Stage

PUTNEY — Celebrate National Poetry Month with an evening of poetry readings and a conversation with Bethany Breitland, winner of the Sundog Poetry Book Award, on Saturday, April 22, at 7 p.m., at Next Stage Arts, 15 Kimball Hill.

Breitland will read from her acclaimed debut collection, Fire Index, and will be joined on stage with the book award's final judge Shanta Lee for an intimate conversation on craft and the healing power of poetry.

Additional poets will read, including former Vermont Poet Laureate Chard deNiord, Shanta Lee, James Crews, Meg Reynolds, Dede Cummings, Ross Thurber, and Megan Buchanan.

Breitland's poetry debut collection measures the interior life of a survivor against the world she creates through her own fractured marriage, motherhood, and religion.

Breitland confronts the trauma of her brother's death, her father's abuse, and the complicated relationships to her sister, mother, and womanhood. She tells these stories in fragments, using hybrid and persona. She reckons with her complicit and often dishonest life and with how walking out from the burning construct demands her full attention, forgiveness, and responsibility.

Breitland was born in northern Indiana. Her people, she says, “are cult members, truckers, doctors, child-mothers, and business tycoons.” She has lived, studied, and taught on the West Coast, the South, and New England. Breitland earned her undergrad degree from Pepperdine University and her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

As an educator and activist, she has worked for more than 20 years concerning women's rights and the LGBTQ community. Fire Index is her first full-length book of poems and has received various poetry prizes, including as a semi-finalist for the OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize for Poetry. She lives with her children and her partner, Michael, outside of Burlington.

Shanta Lee is an award-winning writer across genres, journalist, visual artist, and public intellectual, actively participating in the cultural discourse with work that has been widely featured.

Shanta Lee is the author of poetry collections Ghettoclaustrophobia: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues (Diode Editions, 2021), and her new illustrated poetry collection, Black Metamorphoses (Etruscan Press, 2023).

Her latest work, Dark Goddess: An Exploration of the Sacred Feminine - which includes her photography, short film, interviews with the collaborators, and curated items from (1)the University of Vermont's Fleming Museum of Art's permanent collection - is on view at the museum. To learn more about her work, visit

Meg Reynolds is a poet, artist, and teacher from New England. Her work has been published in literary journals such as Mid-American Review, Rhino, and Iterant, and is forthcoming from Prairie Schooner and New England Review.

A graduate of the Stonecoast Master of Fine Arts program, her work has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and once for Best of the Net. Her poetry comic collection, A Comic Year, came out from Finishing Line Press in 2021. Her second collection, Does the Earth, is forthcoming in May from Harpoon Review Books.

Dede Cummings is a poet, book designer, author, and publisher from Brattleboro. Her poetry has been published in Mademoiselle, Connotation Press, MomEgg Review, Figroot, Bloodroot Literary, and Green Mountains Review. She was an undergraduate fellow at Bread Loaf and a contributing poet in 2013, as well as a 2016 recipient of a writer's grant from the Vermont Studio Center.

Her first poetry collection, To Look Out From, won the 2016 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize, and her second book of poetry, The Meeting Place, came out in 2020 from Salmon Poetry. Cummings is the founder and publisher of Green Writers Press and she lives in West Brattleboro.

Megan Buchanan's poetry collection, Clothesline Religion (Green Writers Press, 2017), was nominated for the 2018 Vermont Book Award. Her poems have appeared in The Sun magazine, make/shift, A Woman's Thing, and Iterant, as well as other journals and numerous anthologies.

Her work was featured on public display at Art at the Kent in 2021. Her interdisciplinary performance project Regenerations: Reckoning with Radioactivity was in residency at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center this past winter.

Buchanan's work has been supported by the Arts Council of Windham County, the Vermont Arts Council, Vermont Performance Lab, and the Vermont Studio Center. She lives in Putney and works with students with learning exceptionalities. Her work can be found at

Ross Thurber's poems have appeared in Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Chrysalis Reader, and Vermont Life; they are anthologized in So Little Time: Words and Images for a World in Climate Crisis, edited by Greg Delanty and published by Green Writers Press in 2014.

He was awarded an Emily Mason Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center in 2012. His debut poetry collection, Pioneer Species, was published by GreenWriters Press in 2018. Ross lives in West Brattleboro with his family and owns and operates Lilac Ridge Farm, a third-generation organic dairy and diversified hill farm.

James Crews is the editor of several bestselling anthologies, including The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy and How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope, which has more than 100,000 copies in print.

He has been featured in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The Christian Science Monitor, and on NPR's Morning Edition.

Crews is the author of four prize-winning books of poetry - The Book of What Stays, Telling My Father, Bluebird, and Every Waking Moment - and a book of short essays, Kindness Will Save the World: Stories of Compassion and Connection. He also speaks and leads workshops on kindness, mindfulness, and writing for self-compassion. He lives with his husband on 40 rocky acres in the woods of Southern Vermont.

Former Vermont state poet laureate, Chard deNiord is the author of six books of poetry, In My Unknowing (University of Pittsburgh Press 2020), Interstate (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), The Double Truth (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), Speaking In Turn with Tony Sanders, (Gnomon Press, 2011), Night Mowing (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), Sharp Golden Thorn (Marsh Hawk Press, 2002) and Asleep in the Fire (University of Alabama Press, 1990).

He is also the author of two books of interviews with eminent American poets: Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs: Conversations and Reflections on 20th Century Poets (Marick Press, 2011) and I Would Lie to You If I Could (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018). He co-edited Roads Taken: Contemporary Vermont Poets, 3rd Edition for Green Writers Press (2022).

Co-presented by Green Writers Press and Sundog Poetry, the event is free to attend with a suggested $10 donation. Tickets are available at

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