In 2006, BigTown Gallery of Rochester, Vermont, created its Summer Reading Series, with the intention of showcasing for its central Vermont communities the work of some of the many fine writers and poets who spend time here in Vermont each summer. The Reading Series' programming, over its eight years, has featured many acclaimed and accomplished writers and poets presenting their work, a roster that has including Mark Strand, Paul Muldoon, Ellen Bryant Voight, John Elder, Gregory Maguire, and Tracy Smith, to name a few. The Reading Series is now hosted and produced by BigTown Projects (BTP), a 501c3 certified organization created to continue refining the gallery’s efforts in support of the cultural arts in the rural community of Rochester and beyond. The Reading Series' curatorial partnership with writers Tracy Winn and Joan Hutton-Landis brings to the Sunday evening readings a vivid spectrum of extraordinary voices from locations both distant and near.

BigTown Projects' annual literary arts series takes place at 5:30 pm in the main gallery. Free and open to the public. Refreshments will follow

Saturday, June 7 Rick Bass & Jane Brox
Sunday, July 6 Terri Ford & Jamaal May
Sunday, July 27 Henriette Power & Rebecca Makkai
Sunday, August 3 Cynthia Huntington, Michael Collier & Cleopatra Mathis
Sunday, August 10 Alan Shapiro & Louis Urrea
Sunday, August 24 Joan Landis & Tracy Winn

Saturday, June 7 Rick Bass & Jane Brox
Rick Bass is the author of over 30 books, including, most recently, a novel, ALL THE LAND TO HOLD US. His short stories and essays have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best Spiritual Writing, Best American Science Writing, Best American Travel Writing, and numerous other anthologies. His books have been nominated for or received The Story Prize, the PEN/Nelson Algren Award for fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the John Burroughs Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He has received fellowships from the national Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Lyndhurst Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. He has taught creative writing at the University of Montana, the University of Texas, the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Iowa State University, and Beloit College. He lives in northwest Montana’s Yaak Valley.

Jane Brox‘s fourth book, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, was named one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2010 by Time magazine. She is the author of three other books: Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm; Five Thousand Days Like This One, which was a 1999 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction; andHere and Nowhere Else, which won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She has received the New England Book Award for nonfiction, and her essays have appeared in many anthologies including Best American Essays, The Norton Book of Nature Writing, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She has been awarded grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Maine Arts Commission. She has taught at Harvard University and Bowdoin College and is currently on the nonfiction faculty of Lesley University's low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing. She lives in Brunswick, Maine.

Sunday, July 6 Terri Ford & Jamaal May
Miss Terri Ford is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.  She’s been a fellow at Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, a summer resident of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown through the Ohio Arts Council, and the recipient of several grants. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Conduit, Forklift Ohio and many other journals. She is the author of Why the Ships Are She and Hams beneath the Firmament. She once made a friend laugh so hard that her tampon fell out.

Jamaal May was born in 1982 in Detroit, MI where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer. His first book, Hum, received the Beatrice Hawley Award, the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award, and an NAACP Image Award nomination. Other honors include the Indiana Review Prize, the Spirit of Detroit Award, and the Stadler Fellowship. Most recently, Jamaal has been awarded a Rose O’neill Literary House Cave Canem Residency, the Kenyon Review Fellowship, and a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in Italy. Jamaal’s poems appear in such periodicals asNYTimes.com, The New Republic, The Believer, Poetry, Ploughshares, and Best American Poetry 2014. A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers, Jamaal co-edits the poetry section of Solstice, teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program, and co-directs the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series with Tarfia Faizullah.

Sunday, July 27 Henriette Power & Rebecca Makkai
Henriette Lazaridis Power's debut novel The Clover House was published by Ballantine in 2013 and was a Boston Globe best-seller and a Target Emerging Authors selection. Power has degrees in English Literature from Middlebury College; Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar; and the University of Pennsylvania. She taught English literature at Harvard for ten years. Her work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, New England Review, the New York Times online, The Millions, Huffington Post, and elsewhere, and she was the recipient of a 2006 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists Grant. In 2010, she launched The Drum, a literary magazine publishing exclusively in audio form. A competitive rower, Power trains regularly on the Charles River in Boston.

Rebecca Makkai is the author of two novels, The Hundred-Year Houseand The Borrower, the latter of which was a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, and an O Magazine selection. Her work was chosen forThe Best American Short Stories in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and appears regularly in publications such as Harper’s, Tin House, Ploughshares, New England Review and Ecotone, and on public radio’sThis American Life and Selected Shorts. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca teaches at Sierra Nevada College and StoryStudio Chicago. She lives in Chicago and in Leicester, Vermont.

Sunday, August 3 Cynthia Huntington, Michael Collier & Cleopatra Mathis
Cynthia Huntington is a poet and memoirist, and professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. She has received grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, as well as two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her most recent book of poetry is Heavenly Bodies (2012), which was nominated for a National Book Award.

Michael Collier’s poems often reveal a fascination with objects and their significance; they are populated with, according to poet and critic James Longenbach, a “sinister and yet oddly comic cast of misfits, ogres and giants.” One of his poems from The Neighbor (1995) juxtaposes a map of Vietnam, bread balls, and fish hooks for catching bluegills; in “All Souls,” macabre, costumed revelers watching a raccoon are dressed as historical and political figures. Collier himself has noted, “I suppose . . . that I believe almost literally in Williams’ notion of ‘no ideas but in things.’ I’m a consumer. I like things.” Beyond the surfaces of the things and characters, Collier’s poems reach for moments of truth and clarity.
Collier grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, studied with William Meredith as an undergraduate at Connecticut College, and received his MFA from the University of Arizona in 1979.
He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Thomas Watson Fellowship. Michael Collier served as Maryland's Poet Laureate from 2001-2004. A former director of poetry programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Michael Collier joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1985. Currently, he directs the University's creative writing program.
As an editor and director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference since 1995, Collier has been an influential member of the writing and teaching community, saying in a blackbird interview about teaching poetry, “I think poetry does have this ability to help us deal with things that aren’t black and white and make our thinking more subtle.”
He is the editor of two acclaimed anthologies of poetry, The Wesleyan Tradition: Four Decades of American Poetry (1993) and The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology (2000).
His own works include: The Folded Heart; The Clasp; The Neighbor; The Ledge, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Dark Wild Realm; Make Us Wave Back, a book of essays; and most recently, An Individual History.
Currently, he resides in Catonsville, Maryland, with his wife and two children.

Cleopatra Mathis was born and raised in Ruston, Louisiana, of Greek and Cherokee descent. Her first five books of poems were published by Sheep Meadow Press. A sixth collection of poems, White Sea, was published by Sarabande Books in 2005. Cleopatra Mathis’ work has appeared widely in anthologies, textbooks, magazines and journals, including The Best American Poetry, 2009, The New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Tri-Quarterly, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry, The Extraordinary Tide: Poetry by American Women, The Practice of Poetry, and Best American Poetry: 2009. Various prizes for her work include two National Endowment for the Arts grants, in 1984 and 2003; the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poems in 2001; the Peter Lavin Award for Younger Poets from the Academy of American Poets; two Pushcart Prizes: 1980 and 2006; The Robert Frost Resident Poet Award; a 1981-82 Fellowship in Poetry at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts; The May Sarton Award; and Individual Artist Fellowships in Poetry from both the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey State Arts Council. Most recently, she was the Poetry Fellow at the Dora Maar House in Menerbes, Provence, France, sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.
Cleopatra Mathis is the Frederick Sessions Beebe ’35 Professor of the Art of Writing at Dartmouth College, where she has directed the Creative Writing Program since 1982.

Sunday, August 10 Alan Shapiro & Louis Urrea
Alan Shapiro, is author of 12 books of poetry (most recently Night of the Republic, a finalist for both the National Book Award and The Griffin Prize) and 4 books of prose (most recently Broadway Baby, a novel from Algonquin Books). He’s won numerous awards, including The Kingsley Tufts Award, LA Times Book Prize, an award in literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2 NEAs, a Guggenheim and a Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Award. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His new book of poems, Reel to Reel, will appear in April 2014, from University of Chicago Press.

Luis Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph.
Born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother, Urrea has published extensively in all the major genres. The critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 13 books, Urrea has won numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. The Devil's Highway, his 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. An historical novel, The Hummingbird's Daughter tells the story of Teresa Urrea, sometimes known as the Saint of Cabora and the Mexican Joan of Arc. The book, which involved 20 years of research and writing, won the Kiriyama Prize in fiction and, along with The Devil's Highway, was named a best book of the year by many publications. It has been optioned by acclaimed Mexican director Luis Mandoki for a film to star Antonio Banderas.
Urrea's most recent novel, Into the Beautiful North, imagines a small town in Mexico where all the men have immigrated to the U.S. A group of young women, after seeing the film The Magnificent Seven, decide to follow the men North and persuade them to return to their beloved village. A national best-seller, Into the Beautiful North, earned a citation of excellence from the American Library Association Rainbow's Project. A short story from Urrea's collection, Six Kinds of Sky, was recently released as a stunning graphic novel by Cinco Puntos Press.Mr.Mendoza's Paintbrush, illustrated by artist Christopher Cardinale, has already garnered rave reviews and serves as a perfect companion to Into the Beautiful North as it depicts the same village in the novel.
Into the Beautiful North, The Devil's Highway and The Hummingbird's Daughter have been chosen by more than 30 different cities and colleges for One Book community read programs.
Urrea has also won an Edgar award from the Mystery Writers of America for best short story (2009, "Amapola" in Phoenix Noir). His first book, Across the Wire, was named a New York Times Notable Book and won the Christopher Award. Urrea also won a 1999 American Book Award for his memoir, Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life and in 2000, he was voted into the Latino Literature Hall of Fame following the publication of Vatos. His book of short stories,Six Kinds of Sky, was named the 2002 small-press Book of the Year in fiction by the editors of ForeWord magazine. He has also won a Western States Book Award in poetry for The Fever of Being and was in The 1996 Best American Poetry collection. Urrea's other titles includeBy the Lake of Sleeping Children, In Search of Snow, Ghost Sickness andWandering Time.
Urrea attended the University of California at San Diego, earning an undergraduate degree in writing, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, Urrea moved to Boston where he taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard. He has also taught at Massachusetts Bay Community College and the University of Colorado and he was the writer in residence at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, IL, where he is a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Sunday, August 24 Joan Landis & Tracy Winn
Joan Hutton Landis was born in Morristown, New Jersey. She majored in English at Bennington College, where she studied poetry with Stanley Kunitz, Howard Nemerov, and Ben Belitt. After working in publishing, she married Kendall Landis and lived in Paris, Jeddah, Beirut, and Casa Blanca. During those years she wrote and published poetry and was active in theater. Returning to the States in 1967, with her husband and three sons, Landis studied poetry with Richard Wilbur at Wesleyan University, where she earned her masters degree. During that period her work was published in small journals, as well as in the Transatlantic Review and The New York Times.
Landis continued her education, earning a Ph.D. at Bryn Mawr. She was awarded a Danforth Graduate Fellowship for Women. Her articles on Shakespeare were published in Hamlet Studies, The Upstart Crow and the Shakespeare Quarterly, among others. Her reviews of the poetry of Louise Gluck, Ben Belitt, and John Peck appeared in Salmagundi. 
In 1977 Landis began teaching at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, helping to form the core curriculum, initiating both poetry and fiction workshops and becoming the first Chair of the Liberal Arts Department. She participated in Frank Bidart’s poetry workshops at the New York Summer Writers’ Institute in Saratoga Springs, where she was encouraged to work on the manuscript that eventually became That Blue Repair. Landis’s most recent poetry has appeared in Parnassus: Poetry in Review, The Gettysburg Review, Poetry, Salmagundi, and Spoon River. 
In March 2012, Landis’s poem, That Blue Repair inspired a musical piece for strings and cello, composed by Chris Rogerson and commissioned by the New York Youth Orchestra, which was performed at Carnegie Hall and received a rave review in the NY Times. Rogerson has been commissiomed by Orchestra 2001, to set another of Landis’s poems for performance in 2013.
In 2011, Landis’s poems Autobiography, March Simile and Amherst Noon were set to music by composer, John B. Hedges, and performed by the Chestnut Street Singers in Philadelphia in June. 
Joan Landis was a featured reader at The Barn’s 2011 summer series, with poets Bill Wadsworth and Galway Kinnell. Additionally, she read new works at Bigtown Gallery’s 2011 summer series, in Rochester, VT.

Tracy Winn, who earned her MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, is the recipient of grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Barbara Deming Memorial Trust, and the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Millay Colony. Mrs. Somebody Somebody, her debut collection of fiction, has been recognized as a Must Read by the Massachusetts Book Awards and as a finalist for the Julia Ward Howe Award. Her short stories have appeared in journals such as the Alaska Quarterly Review, The New Orleans Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Harvard Review. Tracy lives near Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband. She works with Gaining Ground, an organic farm that gives all of its produce away for hunger relief.