A new anthology of contemporary Vermont poetry, Birchsong: Poetry Centered in Vermont, published by The Blueline Press, includes work by 56 poets living in Vermont or closely connected with the state. The book’s 92 poems reflect a place where living is dictated by the seasons, farming is a way of life, and towns may have only one main street. But for all the appeal of its picturesque landscape and simplicity of rural life, Vermont, in this volume, is not portrayed as a Norman Rockwell painting. While some poems describe real Vermonters, those born to the land, others are from the perspective of those who have discovered it. All the poems, whether narrative or reflective, open a window on a region of contradictions where natural beauty and neglect, wealth and poverty, often exist side by side.
Birchsong editors are Alice Wolf Gilborn, Carol Cone, Brenda Nicholson, and Monica Stillman. Guest editor Rob Hunter, who teaches English at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, is the author of a book of poetry, September Swim. Birchsong’s colorful covers were painted by Burr and Burton’s art teacher, Betsy Hubner, who also did the interior artwork.