Catamount Arts, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, and the St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce are delighted to announce events for PoemTown St. Johnsbury, a celebration of National Poetry month in April. Affiliated with PoemCity in Montpelier, PoemTown St. Johnsbury papers shop windows and storefronts with poems, hosts readings and remembrances, and decorates the town with yellow haiku circles.

This year’s programming includes two Zoom events hosted by the Athenaeum: an Open Mic poetry reading on Friday, April 16, at 6pm, and a Robert Frost Remembrance on Sunday, April 25th, at 4pm. Members of the public are also encouraged to contribute haiku circles throughout the month of April for inclusion in PoemTown St. Johnsbury decorations.

The Open Mic Zoom event on Friday, April 16, invites readers of all ages to share a poem, theirs or someone else’s, or attend as a spectator. Those wishing to read a poem must register online in advance to secure a slot in the program. Readers are not required to read their own work. They may read an original poem of their own writing, or they may read a selection from a favorite poet.

Patrons do not have to read a poem to attend the Open Mic Zoom event. All are welcome to attend as spectators to enjoy an evening of poetry and support local poets and poetry fans. Spectators and readers alike must register in advance, however, at the Athenaeum’s web site in order to get the link to this online event.

The Robert Frost Remembrance event, also on Zoom, will celebrate the poetry and legacy of the famed long-time Vermont resident and poet laureate. This event is organized by the Northeast Storytellers and hosted by the Athenaeum. To participate in this event by presenting or merely attending, please register in advance at the Athenaeum web site.

Selections of poetry to be pasted on shop windows and storefronts have already been collected, but it’s not too late to contribute haikus to decorate downtown. All are welcome through the entire month of April to pick up a yellow paper circle at Cosmic Cup Café on Eastern Avenue or on Railroad Street at Boxcar & Caboose or Moose River Lake & Lodge. Write a haiku in black ink on your circle, and then drop it off anytime this month in the bin on the front steps of Catamount Arts.

After last year’s events were canceled due to the pandemic, PoemTown St. Johnsbury 2021 feels particularly poignant, notes Catamount Arts Education Director Anne Campbell. “We’re so excited to bring poetry back,” she says. Campbell encourages everyone to take a stroll through downtown St. Johnsbury this month and enjoy some poetry. With over 100 submissions and counting, maybe you’ll spot contributions from friends, neighbors, and classmates you’ve missed this past year.

For more information on PoemTown St. Johnsbury, visit www.catamountarts.org and www.stjathenaeum.org.  

Schedules

  • Starting Thursday, April 1st, 2021, repeats every day until Friday, April 30, 2021 @ 12:00 am – 12:00 am

Venue

Downtown St. Johnsbury

Eastern Avenue, Railroad Street, and Memorial Drive
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819