Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Calendar Alert: Hayden Carruth Poetry Celebration, Sunday November 16, Montpelier

[photo by Ted Rosenberg]

Poets, friends, and family of Hayden Carruth will gather on Sunday, November 16 from 3 to 5:00 p.m. for a public celebration of the Vermont poet’s life and work. The celebration will take place in the College Hall Chapel at Vermont College of Fine Arts, 36 College Street, Montpelier, Vermont.

Hayden Carruth, a nationally recognized poet, had a strong presence in Vermont. Carruth, who lived in Johnson for nearly twenty years, became friend and mentor to a generation of younger Vermont writers, maintaining those relationships even after he moved to Syracuse in the 1980s. In his own work, Carruth's depiction of the Vermont landscape and its people was so accurate and indelible that a statewide tour was underwritten by the Lannan Foundation in 2002, during which he and dozens of admirers read his poems in four significant Vermont venues, including the State House. During the tour, Governor Howard Dean proclaimed November 12, 2002, “Hayden Carruth Day” in the state of Vermont.

After Carruth died in September, many of his fans and friends began planning the November memorial celebration. Members of Carruth’s family will also be present for the tribute.

“This event will be an expression of joy to honor Hayden’s memory and the enormous body of work he has left,” according to Wolcott poet David Budbill, one of the event’s organizers. “We’ve been lucky to find the perfect venue for this afternoon tribute in the Chapel at Montpelier’s Vermont College of Fine Arts. We have half a dozen poets lined up for brief readings of some of Hayden’s best poems, then we’ll open it up to anyone else who has brought along one of his shorter poems to read.”

Budbill and his organizing crew have crafted the event to reflect Carruth’s deep feel for music as well as poetry. “Hayden loved jazz and the blues,” Budbill said, “and they’ll figure prominently in the celebration. The afternoon will end with a reception provided by the New England Culinary Institute, during which we will all lift a glass and send our friend Hayden on his way.”

Providing support to the event have been a number of Vermont arts and educational organizations, including New England Culinary Institute, Vermont Studio Center, Vermont Arts Council, Johnson State College, Marlboro College, Bear Pond Books, and Vermont College of Fine Arts.


If you never met Carruth, it's not too late to be a friend to his family:

As you may imagine, the loss of Hayden Carruth has left his immediate family with some financial strains. Anyone wishing to help may send a check payable to HAYDEN CARRUTH MEMORIAL FUND c/o Paul V. Noyes, Esq. 131 Sherrill Rd, Sherrill, NY 13461. The fund will remain active until January 15, 2009; you may request anonymity or your name will be added (without the amount of your gift) to a list of contributors when Mr. Noyes gives Jo-Anne the proceeds (and any messages included with the donations) shortly after January 15. Please accept your canceled check as notification that your gift has been received.

~~The Hayden Carruth Memorial Fund Committee

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