Words in the Woods Returns for the 2024 Season

An image showing the selected poets for the 2024 Words in the Woods event series.

Vermont State Parks is excited to announce the return of the Words in the Woods program. These programs allow Vermonters and visitors to enjoy our state’s natural beauty while listening to and reading literature in the outdoors. Words in the Woods events are made possible by Vermont Humanities, the Vermont Arts Council, and a sponsorship by a Northeast Kingdom donor in honor of poet Judy Chalmer.

This year, we look forward to joining five Vermont poets in-person at different Vermont State Parks. Join us in celebrating Vermont Humanities' 50th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of Vermont State Parks by registering for a program today! Vermont Humanities will cover the entry fee for the park, so feel free to explore the wilderness after the event.


Elizabeth Powell

June 2 at 11:00AM
Knight Point State Park, North Hero

Elizabeth A.I. Powell is the author of three books of poems, most recently “Atomizer” (LSU Press). Her second book of poems, “Willy Loman’s Reckless Daughter: Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances” was a “Books We Love 2016” by The New Yorker. Her novel, “Concerning the Holy Ghost’s Interpretation of JCrew Catalogues” was published in 2019 in the U.K. Recent poems appear in The New Republic, American Poetry Review, and Women’s Review of Books, among others. She is a Professor of Creative Writing at Northern Vermont University.

Ellen “LN” Bethea

July 6 at 11:00AM
Kill Kare State Park, St. Albans

Ellen “LN” Bethea has long been inspired by Desmond Tutu’s words- “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” For over 20 years, LN has volunteered locally. Whether reading for library Story Times or setting up tents for art events, each “little bit” is intended to actualize accessibility and build community. LN volunteers in hopes of developing nurturing spaces were creativity and connections thrive. LN has performed as a Spoken Word Poet across Vermont from Morrisville to Brattleboro. She was thrilled to have been chosen by Vermont Arts Council as an “I Am A Vermont Artist 2021.” Sharing her poetry, volunteering in her community and being a part of Vermont Humanities are all meant to celebrate creativity and connection with others through “a little bit of good.”

Ellen “LN” Bethea event - Registration, Accessibility, and Accommodations request page 

Verandah Porche

July 13 at 11:00AM
Molly Stark State Park, Wilmington

Verandah Porche works as a poet-in-residence, performer, and writing partner. Based in rural Vermont on the notable commune Total Loss Farm, since 1968, she has published Sudden Eden (Verdant Books), The Body’s Symmetry (Harper and Row) and Glancing Off (See Through Books). She has read her work on NPR stations, in the Vermont State House, and at the John Simon Guggenheim Museum. Verandah creates poems for moments and milestones. See more poems by Verandah Porche.

Alison Prine

July 21 at 11:00AM
Mt. Philo State Park, Charlotte

Alison Prine’s latest collection of poems, LOSS AND ITS ANTONYM (Headmistress Press, 2024), won the 2023 Sappho’s Prize in Poetry and was published this March. Her debut poetry collection, STEEL (Cider Press Review, 2016), was named a finalist for the 2017 Vermont Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Five Points, Harvard Review, Prairie Schooner, and others. She lives and works in Burlington, Vermont. Visit her at alisonprine.com.

Major Jackson

August 10 at 11:00AM
Coolidge State Park, Plymouth

Major Jackson is the author of six books of poetry, including Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. He has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, 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. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, Orion Magazine, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry London, and World Literature Today. Major Jackson lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University.


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