Green Mountain

Writers Conference


Meet our writers

  • Elizabeth Inness-Brown
  • Patty Carpenter
  • Justen Ahren
  • Stephen Kiernan
  • Chuck Clarino

  • Director YVONNE DALEY has published six nonfiction books, more than 5000 works of journalism, fiction and non-fiction and has contributed to National Public Radio. Her journalism was recognized with more than 40 national and regional awards, including the Association Press's Community Service Award, Vermont Reporter of the Year, the Mavis Doyle Award, the New England Society of New Editors Master Reporter Award, the John S. Knight Fellowship in Professional Journalism at Stanford University, and the Freedom Forum Fellowship at Indiana University.

    Five years ago, Yvonne returned to her first genre, poetry, and has published extensively on the online magazine Poets Reading the News. She took part in the Tupelo 30/30 challenge in 2018.

    Her most recent book, "Prisoner of Hope," traces her reactions following the 2016 presidential election through this past February, allowing her poetry to describe her grief and confoundment with events outside her control and the actions and gifts that have sustained her through both the personal challenges and the shared ones of these turbulent years.

    Her most recent nonfiction book, "Going Up the Country: When the Hippies, Dreamers, Freaks, and Radicals Moved to Vermont," was published in 2018. Part nostalgia-tinged narrative and part clear-eyed analysis of the varied and uncoordinated phenomenon collectively referred to as the counterculture movement in Vermont, "Going Up the Country" tells the story of how young Northeastern migrants, largely from the cities and suburbs of New York and Massachusetts, turned their backs on the establishment of the 1950s and moved to the back woods of rural Vermont. In so doing, they spawned a revolution in lifestyle, politics, agriculture, sexuality, and business practices that had a profound impact on the state and the rest of the nation.

    For more information on Yvonne Daley, please visit her website, found at

    JUSTEN AHREN is a poet, writing coach and founder and director of Noepe Martha's Vineyard Center for Literary Arts, and a writing workshop, Cultivating a Daily Writing Practice, held in Orvieto, Italy, each November. Justen was West Tisbury, Massachusetts Poet Laureate from 2013-2016 and is the current Martha's Vineyard Poet Laureate. He has published two collections of poetry, "A Strange Catechism" (2013) and "A Machine for Remembering" (2019). His poems have been set to music by Grammy award-winning Composer Glen Roven, and Cuban composer Ileana Perez Valezquez. Justen's poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Cafe Review, Comstock Review and BorderSenses. A graduate of Emerson College with an MFA in Creative Writing, Justen lives with his family in Martha's Vineyard.

    Justen's three-day intensive workshop will focus on cultivating a daily writing practice, which will lead to an experience of creative connection and abundance. He writes, "There is no such thing as writer's block, but sometimes we just need to find ways to begin. This workshop provides tools to break the silence of the blank page. In-class exercises will give you the confidence and energy to begin writing, and playfully manipulate the images 'imprisoned within,' as Rilke says." Beyond that, Justen's workshops strive to "bring an awareness of how our creative energies are supported by the world around us, which is always willing to assist our dreaming, once we allow it to."

    Attendance in the three-day session with Justen Ahren will be limited to 8 individuals and will require early sign-up with the conference director, Yvonne Daley. Just write your interest on your registration form, please.

    T. GREENWOOD returns to us after a few years during which she has been busy working on her latest novel, "Keeping Lucy." As before, she brings her skills in creating plot and memorable characters in accessible novels that tackle difficult subjects. The author of thirteen novels, she has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Maryland State Arts Council. She has won four San Diego Book Awards. Five of her novels have been Indie Next picks. "Bodies of Water" was a finalist for a Lambda Foundation award.

    In reviewing "Keeping Lucy," author Mandy Mikulencak wrote, “Greenwood once again mines emotional depths that have become the hallmark of her writing. In fighting for the right to raise her daughter with Down Syndrome, a mother in the late 1960s harnesses the courage and confidence she didn’t know she’d possessed. Readers can’t help but be drawn into her heartbreaking and uplifting journey.” She teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer's Ink and for The Writer's Center. She and her husband, Patrick, live in San Diego, CA and have two daughters. She is also a photographer.

    VERANDAH PORCHE is a poet, performer and writing partner whose work explores the relationships between individuals and communities. Her latest collection, "Sudden Eden," has been praised in numerous reviews and by fellow poets, such as Stephen Sandy, who wrote, "Porche's tone is ingenuous yet sophisticated at once. The sections develop their own themes with style and forms to match; and grow to a wonderful climax."

    Based in rural Vermont since 1986, she has published two other books of poems, "The Body's Symmetry" and "Glancing Off." Verandah has published in Ms., The Atlantic, The Village Voice, The New Boston Review and Vermont Organic Farmer, among others. During the past thirty years, she has traveled from her home in rural Vermont, writing with and for people in grange halls and garages, elementary schools and Elderhostels, nursing homes and daycare centers, mansions and soup kitchens, veterans' centers, board rooms and basements, homes and jails, literacy programs and colleges. In so doing, Verandah has developed a practice called "told poetry" or shared narratives that enable people who need a writing partner to create, preserve and share personal literature.

    In the past few years, her work has been celebrated at the Boston University-sponsored Narrative Conference where she has worked with journalists and nonfiction writers, not only introducing them to the power of poetry to tell true stories but also bringing back to us the richness of narrative as it is being presented in both traditional and non-traditional formats, as well as leading us in a song-writing workshop with Patty Carpenter.

    Verandah lives in Guilford, Vermont on the land purchased 50 years ago as a commune founded by members of the Liberation News Service.

    One-on-one sessions with Verandah Porche will be available on a limited basis for an additional cost.


    JENSEN BEACH is the author of two story collections, most recently Swallowed by the Cold (Graywolf), which was awarded the 2017 Vermont Book Award. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as an MA and BA in English from Stockholm University. He teaches in the BFA program at Northern Vermont University, Johnson, where he is the fiction editor at Green Mountains Review. He is also on faculty in the MFA Program at New England College. His writing has appeared recently in A Public Space, the Paris Review, and The New Yorker. He lives in Vermont.

    Jensen will focus on the traditional short story, giving workshops on plot, endings, character development and other important aspects of the genre. He will be available for one-on-one meetings at a separate cost for short-story writers who wish to have some work critiqued.

    CHUCK CLARINO has worked as a journalist for 35 years, writing for the Rutland Herald, Vermont Sunday Magazine, Vermont Life, Varsity Sports New England, the Green Mountain Journal, Velo News and other publications. A recent inductee into the Sportswriters Hall of Fame, he has appeared frequently on television and radio as a sports commentator and analyst and, with his wife, Yvonne Daley, has published many travel stories. He is also an essayist and memoirist whose family stories and personal recollections delight the reader with historical detail and humorous anecdote. Chuck's short stories have been published widely, including in New Mellennium, which awarded his memoir pieces, "Randazzo: Jewels of Memory," and "Farley Binkey."

    He is working on a collection of true-life stories tenatively called "Work."

    Again this year, Chuck will lead a discussion about the joys of reading and the ways in which writers use the works of others as both inspiration and learning tools.

    Chuck's focus this year will be on the role of reading to the author, discussing ways in which your reading material both supports and inspires writers at any level of development.

    ELIZABETH INNESS-BROWN returns to us this year concentrating this summer on instruction surrounding the novel, short story and other aspects of fiction writing. A professor of English and Creative Writing at St. Michael's College, she is the author of the novel, "Burning Marguerite" (Knopf), about which the New York Times wrote, "Vivid yet concise, Inness-Brown's language burns away all but the essence of her story, as if to demonstrate what Marguerite tells young James early in the novel. 'Smoke loves a chimney,' she says. 'Smoke is the soul of the tree. Fire sets it free, and a chimney helps it find its way heavenward." Liz's stories have also appeared in the New Yorker, the North American Review, Boulevard, and other literary magazines. She has published two short-story collections, "Satin Palms" and "Here." Of the latter, a reviewer wrote that the book "maps a territory of loneliness and love. 'Here' is the sanctuary of the solitary mind, the land to which the unwanted exile themselves, the place to which we all retreat when life becomes too hot to touch. With wit, affection, and finesse, this collection shows us the dark side of our moon, the unfamiliar side that we nonetheless recognize as soon as we see it."

    With a second novel on the market now, Liz is at work on a third, and this year her workshops will help writers focus on long and short-form writing.

    JOAN ALESHIRE grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated from Harvard/Radcliffe in 1960, and from the MFA Program for Writers at Goddard College in 1980. She has published six books of poetry: Cloud Train (AWP Awards Series, 1982); This Far (Quarterly Review of Literature Series, 1987); The Yellow Transparents (Four Way Books, 1997); Litany of Thanks (Four Way Books, 2003); Happily (Four Way Books, 2012); and Days of Our Lives (Four Way Books, 2019). She has received a Pushcart Prize, the Emily Clark Balch Prize from Virginia Quarterly, and a grant from the Vermont Council on the Arts. She has published translations (from Russian) and essays, as well as poems, in various journals. She was a member of the poetry faculty at the low-residency MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College from 1983-2013, served on that program’s MFA Academic Board, and was several times the Acting Director. She co-founded, with Ellen Bryant Voigt, F Friends of Writers, Inc., a non-profit organization that supports MFA students through scholarships and grants. She has lived in an old farmhouse in Shrewsbury, Vermont since 1973. In 1975, she co-founded Shrewsbury Library, an all-volunteer organization now celebrating its 45th year. In 2013, she founded SAGE, a non-profit that promotes sustainable small-scale farming and local arts.

    STEPHEN KIERNAN As a journalist and novelist, Stephen Kiernan has published nearly four million words. His newspaper work garnered more than forty awards, including the George Polk Award and the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment. Stephen's newest novel, "Universe of Two," came out in May to much acclaim. He is also author of the novels, "The Curiosity" (now in television series development), "The Baker's Secret" (a regional Indie bestseller), and "The Hummingbird."" He has also written two nonfiction books, "Last Rights" and "Authentic Patriotism."" His work has been translated into many languages.

    Stephen was born in Newtonville, NY, the sixth of seven children. A graduate of Middlebury College, he received a Master of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has chaired the board of the Young Writers Project, served on the Vermont Legislative Committee on Pain and Palliative Care, and served on the advisory board of the New Hampshire Palliative Care Initiative. He has spoken and consulted around the country about hospice, palliative care and advance directives. A performer on the guitar since he was ten years old, Stephen has recorded 3 CDs of solo instrumentals, and composed music for dance, the stage and documentary films. He lives in Vermont with his two amazing sons.

    PATTY CARPENTER studied jazz at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with the great Archie Shepp and Max Roach, and was heavily influenced by many great women artists from Joan Baez and Roseanne Cash to Billie Holiday and Carmen McCrae. A lead member of the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band (DFJB), an incomparable collective with a Jazz/Americana/Soul/Folk sound, Carpenter and Porche have been lifelong friends and collaborators. Carpenter's music and voice are unforgettable -- bluesy and jazzy all at once -- and combined with Porche, the songs are rooted in today's political and social world, the world of families and friends, your world too. It will be a treat to have her join Verandah in a celebration of the art of working together. Over the year, they've worked on new pieces, separately and collaboratively. Along with leading us in the Green Mountain W riters Conference song, Carpenter and Porche will host a song-writing workshop and perform together in a concert celebrating poetry, song and spoken word.


    About the conference | Our writers | How to register
    Green Mountain Writers Conference
    Chittenden, Vermont | Aug. 2 - Aug. 6, 2021