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Winners of contest to honor Lucy Terry Prince announced

A contest designed to honor the first known African American poet in English literature has announced its winners.

Brittny Ray Crowell's "Blood Petition: A Prayer of Reckoning" has won the grand Mount Island's Lucy Terry Prince Prize, named for Guilford landowner, community organizer and orator Lucy Terry Prince.

The runner up poems are: "The Big Day" by Jordan Charlton and "Can You Taste the Ivory Coast Chocolate?" by Mervyn Seivwright. Prince was known for "Bars Fight," a poem that documents a raid in Deerfield, Mass., in 1746. The prize's inaugural judge, Major Jackson, is a celebrated poet whose most recent poetry collection, "The Absurd Man," is followed by many others such as "Roll Deep" (2015), "Holding Company" (2010), "Hoops" (2006) and "Leaving Saturn" (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems.

Jackson has made his final decisions among the following list of poems that have been selected as finalists by the editorial team at Mount Island. This was a blind contest, which means he chose winners without having any identifying information of the poets.

The finalists included: Brittny Ray Crowell: "Blood Petition," "Your Navel Cord's Well" and "Down 59;" LN Bethea: "where i'm at," "Poor White Man" and "Black on Me;" Mervyn Seivwright: "Can You Taste the Ivory Coast Chocolate?," "Stick, Hook, and a Pile of Yarn" and "Red Stripes on the flag;" Sarah Audsley: "Still Life with the Watermelon Seeds" and Jordan Charlton: "The Big Day," and "When/I Know."

Organizers of the contest would like to thank the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity and Vermont African American Heritage Trail for their sponsorship support of this prize.

Mount Island is a literary magazine for rural LGBTQ+ and POC voices, according to its website.

"There's no better time to honor the legacy of Lucy Terry Prince than 2020, the year of our Black Spring. I'm proud as a peach that we've brought rural people of color from around the country together in the name of a Black woman who made her home a sanctuary for her community in colonial Vermont—and that in doing so, we are able to tangibly support three exceptional Black writers here and now," founder and editor-in-chief Desmond Saunders Peeples said in a statement.


Bard Owl, Stephen Iachetta to perform at farmers' market

Bard Owl will perform Friday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the West Townshend Farmers' Market with Stephen Iachetta, known in the Albany area from which he hails as the "Shaker fiddler."

Bard Owl, T. Breeze Verdant and Annie Landenberger, has been making music since 2016 honing harmonies, driving rhythms and several originals by Verdant. Iachetta and Verdant have performed together for over a decade finding themselves at farmers' markets, fairs and festivals, brew pubs and opening for Natalie Merchant.

West Townshend Farmers' Market, on Route 30, features several area vendors and renowned wood-fired pizza.


The Miles Band to perform in park

The Miles Band will perform a free concert Sunday at the Dover Town Park from 2 to 4 p.m.

Peter Miles, of Dover, and his seven-piece band will play rock 'n' roll classics and originals.

The park is on Route 100 in West Dover. Social distancing is required.


LA photographer to speak via livestream

A photographer whose work documents the lives of people living on Los Angeles' Skid Row will give a free online talk presented by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

Michael Christopher Brown will be interviewed by Katherine Gass Stowe at 7:30 p.m. July 30. Brown, of Los Angeles, said in a recent National Geographic article about the project, Brown wrote, "It's the first time working in America that I've felt such a connection to a community—a place where no matter how broken someone may be, people do their best to take care of one another."

The interview, presented via livestream, will draw connections between Brown's work and two exhibits related to homelessness currently on view at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. Stowe curated one of the exhibits. The interview will be presented on Zoom and livestreamed on the museum's Facebook page. For more information, visit


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