Poetry Festival 2024

April 18, 7 to 8:30 PM at Hartland Public Library

Featured Poets for the Eighth Annual Hartland Poetry Festival

Laura Jean Gilloux
Taylor Katz
Hatsy McGraw
April Ossmann
Ivy Schweitzer
Diana Whitney

Laura Jean Gilloux

Laura Jean (she/her) is a poet, musician, and singer/songwriter. Her poetry is rooted in the everyday moments of her life in Wilder, Vermont. She is a graduate student in the MFA Program for Writers at
Warren Wilson College and plans to publish a forthcoming collection of poetry after her graduation in 2025. Her music is best described as city-folk. Part farmer’s market, part Chelsea Market. She fronts the
trio Tiny Top Hats and is a member of the good-time bluegrass band Reckless Breakfast. When she’s not writing or performing, LJ is the Development Manager at the Lebanon Opera House where she’s dedicated
to removing barriers to arts access and broadening cultural horizons through the performing arts. She lives in Wilder, VT with her husband, two young sons, and an extraordinary amount of boardgames. 

Taylor Katz

Taylor Mardis Katz is a poet, herb farmer, and shopkeeper living in Chelsea, VT. A native of New York, she moved to San Diego for three years to get her MFA before moving to Vermont with her partner to start Free Verse Farm. She worked for years as a poet for hire, writing poems for strangers who found her on the internet, though now she prefers to share poems with people through her community work at her shop. She is currently submitting
her first poetry manuscript, titled Honeymeadow, and estimates that during the winter months, her body is comprised of 30% Vermont cheddar.

Hatsy McGraw

Hatsy MCGraw has published poems in several journals including Bloodroot, Hanging Loose, The Salon, and Across Borders. Her poems also appeared in the anthology, Birchsong: Poetry Centered in Vermont. Her poem, Neighbors in the North End, won the Robert Penn Warren Prize for free verse in 2004 and she
was a finalist for the Sundog Poetry Book Award in 2023. Hatsy is a member of a group of local Vermont poets, sometimes referred to as “The Pie Poets,” who have published two collections of poems, Perhaps It Was the Pie and The Party Cabinet. A graduate of Vermont College’s Writing for Children/ YA program,
she lives in Hartland, Vermont with her husband, painter Tom McGraw, and their two cats, Leon and Dali. 

The Truth

Here is what I can do when you are not looking –
spit fireflies from the screened porch to the farthest
post on the neighbor’s fence, cook a pot of jam
so rich and red when it crystalizes it’s spiked with rubies,
call down finches from high branches to perch
on my outstretched arms, sing all of Beethoven’s Ninth
backwards while holding my breath, hang a spoon
from my nose while running a marathon, barefoot.
Here is what I can do when you are looking:
all of these things only much faster.

Hatsy McGraw

April Ossmann

April Ossmann is the author of We (forthcoming January 2025 from Red Hen Press) and Event Boundaries and Anxious Music. She has received a Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant, was a finalist for the Vermont Book Award, and former executive director of Alice James Books. She is an independent editor of poetry manuscripts and has taught at low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Programs.

Ivy Schweitzer

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Ivy Schweitzer has lived for many years in Norwich, Vermont and taught English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth College. Most recently, her poems have appeared in the Passager Poetry Contest for 2022,  RitualwellTikkunNew Croton ReviewMississippi Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. A collection titled Within Flesh: In Conversation with Our Selves and Emily Dickinson, co-written with Al Salehi, appeared in February 2024. Her solo collection titled, Tumult, Whitewash, and Stretch Marks, will be published next year by Finishing Line Press.

“Four and a Half’’

Catching the phrase on the news
I thought, so brief

and innocuous, really
tumbled it around my mind
feeling it’s not quite fiveness—
five fingers ten toes 
all the little piggies 
little Indians 
fears shrunk down to child’s play.

But the newscaster said hours
interviewed a couple who traveled to Ferguson
where they met a man who cried
hours he lay
in the hot street just down from my door
four and a half
bloody hours covered and cordoned
off from his mother his people
and what that means
just leaving him there— 

The couple bowed their heads fingers entwined.

        Ivy Schweitzer 

Diana Whitney

Diana Whitney writes across genres with a focus on feminism, motherhood, and sexuality. She is author of two collections of poetry and the editor of the bestselling anthology You Don’t Have to Be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves, winner of the Claudia Lewis Award. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Kenyon Review, Glamour, Crab Orchard Review, and many more. Her first book, Wanting It, won the Rubery Book Award in poetry. Her latest collection, Dark Beds, was released in fall 2023 by June Road Press and became a small press bestseller. Diana has an MFA in poetry from New England College and a Masters in English Literature from Oxford University. She lives in Vermont with her family, where she leads writing workshops and works as an editor and writing coach. Find out more at www.diana-whitney.com

The video of the 2023 Poetry Festival is here.