For Immediate Release: November 2, 2015
Providence, R.I. – Chard deNiord, a professor of English at Providence College, has been named poet laureate of Vermont. A resident of Westminster West, Vermont, deNiord replaces Sydney Lea as poet laureate.
deNiord, a longtime poet, writer, and educator, earned a bachelor's degree in religious studies from Lynchburg College, a master's of divinity from Yale Divinity School, and an MFA from the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. Prior to joining the PC faculty in 1998, deNiord taught English, comparative religion, and philosophy at the Putney School in Vermont.
deNiord was named the tenth recipient of the Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award at PC in 2011. That same year, he founded the Spirit and Letter Workshop, a ten-day program of workshops and lectures, in Patzquaro, Mexico, featuring faculty poets such as Thomas Lux, Gerald Stern, Jean Valentine, and Ellen Bryant Voigt, among others.
A cofounder of the New England College MFA program in poetry, deNiord is the author of the poetry collections Interstate (2015), The Double Truth (2011), Night Mowing (2005), Sharp Golden Thorn (2003), and Asleep in the Fire (1990). His book, Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs (2011), is a collection of interviews with various American poets, including Robert Bly, Lucille Clifton, Jack Gilbert, Donald Hall, Galway Kinnell, Maxine Kumin, and Ruth Stone.
As Vermont’s poet laureate, deNiord joins an exclusive club of official Green Mountain bards. Vermont's first poet laureate, Robert Frost, was appointed in 1961. He was followed many years later by Kinnell (1989-93), Louise Glück (1994-98), Ellen Bryant Voigt (1999-2002) Grace Paley (2003-07), Ruth Stone (2007-11) and Sydney Lea (2011-15).
deNiord's installation as state poet will occur in a ceremony at the Vermont Statehouse on November 2, 2015.