The Top 18 Poets From Vermont

Written by Dan

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If you’re a teacher dedicated to introducing your students to the best of the literary world, then knowing where some of the greatest poetry and poets derive from is essential.

From Shakespeare’s works written in London during Elizabethan times to more modern voices like Maya Angelou sharing her work with the world from St. Louis Missouri – exploring all forms of diverse literature can introduce kids to many different perspectives.

And for those looking for an exploration into American History and how it relates directly to verse and poetic writing, a deep dive into iconic Vermont-based poets should be at top priority on your list.

In this blog post, we’ll cover 18 of Vermont’s most beloved poets—their inspirations, influences, contributions, and writings that have shaped generations past and will continue doing so well into the future!

Related: For more, check out our article on Famous Poets From Alaska  here.

The Top Poets From Vermont

1. Robert Frost (1874–1963)

Robert Frost, one of America’s most celebrated poets, was born in San Francisco but spent most of his life in rural New England, an environment that profoundly shaped his poetry. He drew inspiration from the natural world and the ordinary people in it, using them to explore complex social and philosophical themes.

A notable example of his work is “The Road Not Taken”, a poem that encapsulates Frost’s favored theme of individualism and the many paths life can present us. He primarily wrote lyrical poetry, often using traditional verse forms and metrics.

Related: For more, check out our article on Famous Poets From New York here.

2. Galway Kinnell (1927–2014)

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Galway Kinnell was an American poet who found inspiration in city life and nature. His poetry often explored human existence and its relationship with the physical world.

One of his most famous poems, “The Book of Nightmares,” delves into themes of mortality and love. Kinnell’s poetry is known for its lyrical beauty and profound depth of emotion, making him an influential figure in 20th-century American poetry.

3. Ruth Stone (1915–2011)

An award-winning poet, Ruth Stone was born in Virginia and lived in rural Vermont. She often drew inspiration from her personal experiences, particularly the loss of her husband, to explore themes of grief and survival.

Her poem “In the Next Galaxy” is a testament to her ability to find beauty in the midst of sorrow. Stone’s poetry is noted for its stark, clear language and deeply emotional content.

4. William D. Mundell (1912–1997)

Born in Massachusetts, William D. Mundell was a poet who found his muse in the everyday experiences of life. He was known for his narrative style of poetry, often drawing on his own experiences and observations of the world around him.

His work “A Song of Longing” is a beautiful representation of his poignant style, filled with longing and nostalgia.

Poetic quotes about america

5. Chard de Niord

Chard deNiord is a contemporary American poet hailing from New Haven, Connecticut. His work, often imbued with spiritual and metaphysical overtones, explores the relationship between the mundane and the divine.

His well-known poem “Interstate” exemplifies this exploration. deNiord’s poetry is characterized by its philosophical depth and lyrical elegance.

6. Ellen Bryant Voigt

Ellen Bryant Voigt, born in Virginia, is a renowned American poet whose work often features rural settings and touches on themes of family, community, and the natural world.

Her poem “Kyrie” is a notable example of her ability to weave these themes into a compelling narrative. Voigt’s poetry is recognized for its technical skill and emotional resonance.

7. Major Jackson

Major Jackson is a contemporary American poet born and raised in Philadelphia. His work frequently explores the African-American experience, urban life, and the power of music. His poem “Hoops” showcases his ability to bring these themes to life.

Jackson’s poetry is celebrated for its musicality, vivid imagery, and potent social commentary.

8. Pamela Harrison

Pamela Harrison is an American poet who draws inspiration from her experiences and observations of human relationships.

She is known for her narrative style of poetry, which often explores themes of love, loss, and resilience. Her poem “Out of Silence” represents her passionate and insightful writing style.

9. Dan Chiasson

Dan Chiasson is a contemporary American poet born in Burlington, Vermont. He is known for his exploratory and innovative style, often pushing the boundaries of poetic form.

His poem “Bicentennial” exemplifies his ability to meld personal experiences with broader societal reflections. Chiasson’s poetry is noted for its intellectual rigor and imaginative scope.

The Top Poets From Vermont

10. Paul Blackburn (1926–1971)

Imagine being part of the post-World War II New York poetry scene. You’re rubbing shoulders with the likes of Allen Ginsberg and Charles Olson. That was the world of Paul Blackburn, a poet who used his experiences in the bustling metropolis to craft engaging poems that still resonate today.

Born in Vermont, Blackburn was known for his conversational and observational style, best exemplified by his poem “The Journals.” His work continues to provide a unique insight into the urban life of his era.

11. Norman Dubie (1945–2023)

Ever wonder how personal experiences can inspire potent poetry? Look no further than Norman Dubie. Born in Barre, Vermont, Dubie used his own experiences and dreams as inspiration, creating vivid and surreal poetic landscapes.

His poem “The Spirit Tablets at Goa Lake” is a masterclass in using imaginative symbolism to evoke emotion. His work is a testament to the power of personal narrative in poetry.

12. Theodora Agnes Peck (1882–1964)

Let’s take a step back in time to the early 20th century, to the life of Theodora Agnes Peck. Born and raised in Vermont, Peck was not only a poet but also a historian and biographer. She used her deep knowledge of history to craft poems that were both informative and emotive.

Her poem “The Green Mountain Boys” portrays Vermont’s past, showcasing her ability to weave historical facts into compelling verse.

13. Lyn Lifshin (1942–2019)

Have you ever thought about how a single moment can encapsulate a whole range of emotions? Lyn Lifshin did. Born in Barre, Vermont, Lifshin wrote evocative poetry exploring love, loss, and longing themes.

Her poem “Not Made of Glass” is a poignant exploration of female resilience and strength. Lifshin’s work remains an inspiring example of the power of emotive storytelling in poetry.

14. Verandah Porche

Picture a poet who uses everyday language to create extraordinary poetry. That’s Verandah Porche. Residing in Guilford, Vermont, Porche draws inspiration from her rural surroundings and community interactions.

Her work often explores themes of friendship, shared experiences, and the beauty of nature. Porche’s poetry is a reminder that profound insights can be found in the simplest of moments.

15. April Ossmann

Ever thought about how poetry can challenge our perspectives? April Ossmann does just that.

A Post Mills, Vermont resident, Ossmann’s work often pushes boundaries and encourages readers to see the world through new lenses. Her poems explore the human condition, society, and the natural world.

16. Edward Weismiller (1915–2010)

Think of a poet who found beauty in the ordinary. Edward Weismiller was such a poet. Born in Philadelphia, he spent his later years in Vermont, where the quiet beauty of his surroundings deeply influenced his poetry.

His poem “The Deer” is a testament to his ability to transform simple observations into profound reflections. Weismiller’s work continues to inspire readers with its understated elegance.

17. Thomas Rowley (1721–1796)

Let’s travel back to the 18th century, to the life of Thomas Rowley. A Vermont native, Rowley was one of the earliest poets in the state.

His poems often reflect the realities and struggles of life in the early days of Vermont, offering a glimpse into the past. Rowley’s work serves as a reminder of the enduring power of poetry to capture the spirit of an era.

18. Jim Schley

Imagine a poet whose work is deeply rooted in his surroundings. That’s Jim Schley. Living in Tunbridge, Vermont, Schley’s poetry often reflects the rhythms and seasons of rural life.

His work, filled with vivid imagery and thoughtful reflections, paints a rich portrait of his experiences and the world around him. Schley’s poetry is an invitation to see the world with fresh eyes and a renewed sense of wonder.

And there you have it—a journey through the lush landscapes of Vermont, all from the comfort of your classroom or reading nook. We’ve met 18 remarkable poets who called this beautiful state home, each one bringing their unique voice and perspective to the world of poetry.

These Vermont poets are more than just writers; they are storytellers, historians, and observers of the human condition. They’ve drawn from their personal experiences, the world around them, and the rich history of their home state to craft poems that resonate with readers across generations.

From the bustling streets of post-WWII New York City to the serene beauty of rural Vermont, these poets have painted a vivid picture of life as they’ve known it.

As educators, we can introduce our students to these diverse voices. Through their poems, students can explore different perspectives, challenge their viewpoints, and gain a deeper understanding of American History.

But more than that, they can experience the power of poetry to evoke emotion, provoke thought, and inspire change.

So, whether you’re planning your next lesson or simply looking for some great poetry to read, remember these 18 Vermont poets. Their words have shaped the past, continue to influence the present, and will undoubtedly inspire future poets.

And who knows? Perhaps among your students, the next great Vermont poet is just waiting to be discovered. Happy reading and exploring!

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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