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Haybarn Lit Fest

Haybarn Literary Arts Festival

October 7 & 8 at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT - Free and open to the public

Haybarn Lit Fest


Cornelius Eady is author of many books of poetry, including Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the Lamont Prize of the Academy of American Poets; The Gathering of My Name, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; and Brutal Imagination. He is co-founder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. Eady is the featured Visiting Writer for the BFA in Creative Writing & BA in Individualized Studies Fall 2013 Residency.

Cerridwen Aker is a BFA in Creative Writing student entering her final year at Goddard. She enjoys writing creative non-fiction, poetry, and hybrid material blended with photography and painting. She recently moved to Portland, Oregon.


GaBrilla Ballard is a Goddard student in the BA in Individualized Studies option 2 (IBA2) program, a writer, singer/songwriter, and mother.  She writes at  For more information on her music, please visit her website at

Pamela Booker is a Goddard faculty member in the BA in Individualized Studies program.  She writes performance texts, plays, and currently, a novel. She has a past life in Broadway theater with August Wilson, Viola Davis, and Wendy Wasserstein. Published works have been staged Off-Broadway and internationally. This fall, her play Seens will be produced in Provincetown, MA.

Wendy Call has served as Writer in Residence at twenty institutions, including five national parks, four universities, two visual art centers, two high schools, a historical archive, and a public hospital. She co-edited Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide (Penguin, 2007) and her book No Word for Welcome: The Mexican Village Faces the Global Economy (Nebraska, 2011) won Grub Street’s National Book Prize for Nonfiction. Her essays and translations of poetry have appeared recently in Guernica, Kenyon Review online, and Michigan Quarterly Review, and Orion. She is a member of Goddard College’s BFA in Creative Writing faculty.

Erric Emerson is a writer from Philadelphia and a published poet. His primary concerns are poetry, short stories, and prose. He is a senior at Goddard in the BFA in Creative Writing program. Currently, he is working on a poetry collection and a novel.

Laurie Foos is a faculty member in Goddard College's BFA in Creative Writing program. She is the author of Ex Utero, Portrait of the Walrus by a Young Artist, Twinship, Bingo Under the Crucifix, Before Elvis There Was Nothing, and The Giant Baby. Her new novel, The Blue Girl, will be published in Spring 2015 by Coffee House Press. She also teaches in Lesley University's low-residency MFA program and lives on Long Island.

Lynn Marie “Babe” Helvey earned her BFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and recently finished the memoir “Lake Sherwood.” She has been a monthly columnist and recipient of many awards including New Mexico’s “New Century Scholar,” the NMWIF Athena Award, and the National River Awareness Essay Contest.

Fawn McManigal realized her adoration of fabulist fiction while honing her skills as a creative nonfiction writer. Now, she can’t get enough. After graduating from Goddard with a BFA in Creative Writing, she hopes to work toward earning an MFA.

Otto Muller, a faculty member in the BA in Individualized Studies program, is a composer, educator and collaborative artist whose work deals with the empty husks and dried stalks of expressive language.  His chamber music and multimedia projects have been shown across Europe, Israel, and North America. 

Michael Leong is the author of several books and chapbooks of poetry, most recently Cutting Time with a Knife (Black Square Editions, 2012), which won a Face Out grant from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. He is new to the BFA in Creative Writing faculty.

Nicole J. Persun started her professional writing career with her YA novel, A Kingdom’s Possession, which later became a finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. Aside from novels, Nicole has had short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and essays published in a handful of literary journals. She speaks often at writer’s groups and writer’s conferences across the country. She is a student in the BA in Individualized Studies (IBA) program.

Sam Rush is an IBA student studying language, peace, and conflict. She works on cross-community programs for young people from international cultures in conflict, at a New Hampshire non-profit. Sam makes music and poems and quite a few in-betweens.

Claire A. Siesfeld, a BFA in Creative Writing student, is an activist and a writer. Before moving to Vermont to pursue farming, she lived in Brooklyn, NY, where she worked for the Ms. Foundation for Women. She is a musician and lover of all things having to do with the sea.

Christian Smith is the actual name of a writer and musician currently residing in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. Through poetry and essay, he explores issues of identity, gender, time, memory, and matter, and their relationships and lines of flight with(in) creativity, culture, and the political worlds. He is a BFA in Creative Writing student.

Janet Sylvester is the Director of the BFA in Creative Writing Program.  Her books include The Mark of Flesh (Norton), That Mulberry Wine (Wesleyan) and Breakwater, (under consideration).  Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and PEN Discovery Award, among other honors.

Liz Uzzel happily studies creative writing at Goddard. She’s in a love affair with fiction and obsesses over fantasy; with a liking for creative nonfiction. She acquires writing material from shameless people watching, dancing past midnight, and recording her dreams.

M.A. Vizsolyi is the author of The Lamp with Wings, winner of the National Poetry Series; Notes on Melancholia; and The Case of Jane: a verse play.  Recent work appears in Gulf Coast, The New Orleans Review, Pleiades and Ploughshares. He is new to the BFA in Creative Writing program faculty.

Arisa White received her MFA from UMass, Amherst. She's a Cave Canem fellow, the author of Post Pardon, Hurrah’s Nest, and A Penny Saved, an advisory board member for Flying Object, and co-editor for HER KIND, an online literary community powered by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. She is new to the BFA in Creative Writing program faculty.

Herukhuti Williams' plays have been performed by The Village of Arts and Humanities (PA) and at the New York International Fringe Theatre Festival. His poetry appears in texts such as Ma-Ka Diasporic Juks. Becoming a spoken word artist in the 1990s, he has performed internationally including The Good Life (L.A.), Brooklyn Moon Cafe (NY), Bowery Poetry Cafe (NY) and Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (NL). He is a faculty member in the IBA program.

Mimi Yahn is a social-justice activist and cultural worker. She is currently in her final semester as an IBA student. Her home is Putney, Vermont.


Monday, October 7th

10:30-11:45 am Panel: "Socialized, Networked & Mediated:  How We Write in the Digital Age"
Moderator: Pamela Booker
Panelists: Otto Muller, Arisa White, Michael Vizsolyi, Janet Sylvester
1:00-2:30 pm Fiction Workshop
Moderators: Laurie Foos, Claire Siesfeld, Liz Uzzel
2:40-4:10 pm Exploring Creative Non-Fiction Workshop
Come explore the dynamic genre of creative nonfiction in general, and memoir in particular.  Learn how you can express your writerly vision through memoir. We'll explore memory, experiment with visualization, and complete a series of writing exercises to bring the rich detail of the past to the page.
Moderators: Wendy Call, Babe Helvey
4:20-5:50 pm Panel:  "Measures of Success:  What Publishing Your Work Really Means"
Laurie Foos, Wendy Call, Michael Leong and Arisa White will discuss contemporary publishing--what's it's for, what it means, and how to do it. Come prepared with questions.
7:30 pm Student & Faculty Reading & Reception
Reading briefly from their own work, students and faculty members will share poetry, fiction, nonfiction and hybrid forms. Participants: Arisa White, Michael Leong, Wendy Call, Michael Vizsolyi, Erric Emerson, Babe Helvey, Fawn McManigal, Claire Siesfeld, Christian Smith, Herukhuti Williams, and Janet Sylvester.

Tuesday, October 8

1:00-2:30 pm Poetry & Hybrid Forms Workshop and Meet the New BFA Faculty!
Moderators: Michael Leong, Michael Vizsolyi, Arisa White
  • Michael Leong: After reading from The Philosophy of Decomposition / Re-Composition as Explanation, a collage of Edgar Allan Poe and Gertrude Stein, Michael will discuss the possibilities of found text, appropriation, the place of poetry within a culture of remixability (which includes DJ remixes and YouTube mashups), and, more generally, how the words of others can inspire your own work.
  • Arisa White: Arisa will read a short selection from her second collection, A Penny Saved, which is inspired by the true story of Polly Mitchell, who was held captive for ten years in her Nebraskan home. She will give a short talk on the use of persona, the creative and personal risk needed to enter into an unfamiliar experience, and how to deepen and sustain the persona using craft and poetic form.
  • M.A. Vizsolyi: M.A. will read selections from The Lamp with Wings: love sonnets, a book of hybrid sonnets. After, he will discuss the importance of walking the line between sentiment and sentimentality in contemporary poetry and the pitfalls of moving too far in either direction. He will demonstrate how nursery rhymes touch something primitive and primeval in us, which allows us to look past the overt sentimentality at times. He will also give ideas on how to make use of the sentimental in our work.
2:40-4:10 pm Performance Workshop: "Lost in Language & Sound"
Moderators: Otto Mueller, Pamela Booker, Gabrilla Ballard, Claire Seisfeld
In her essay collection, "Lost in Language & Sound," author/poet/choreographer Ntozake Shange speaks to performance as a creative expression grown from those “who are able to move /to speak/to sing and dance & play a myriad of instruments…” Drawing from discourses in theater, performance art, and music, faculty and students will discuss and demonstrate the ways that written language translates into time-based forms, “the text,” song and composition, space, motion, and sound, through their own works and those by other “creators.”
4:20-5:50 pm  Student & Faculty Reading
Reading briefly from their own work, students and faculty members will share poetry, fiction, nonfiction and hybrid forms. Participants: Laurie Foos, Liz Uzzel, Mimi Yahn, Nicole Persun, Cerridwen Aker, Mischa Downing, Samantha Rush, GaBrilla Ballard, and Pamela Booker.
Cornelius Eady is author of many books of poetry, including Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the Lamont Prize of the Academy of American Poets, The Gathering of My Name, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and Brutal Imagination. He is co-founder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets.


For more information, please contact BFA in Creative Writing Program Director Janet Sylvester at or 802.322.1691.