Library hosts virtual poetry slam

By Yasmin Tayeby

Observer correspondent

The Dorothy Alling Memorial Library will be hosting a virtual poetry reading on Jan. 27 featuring three Vermont poets. The event is open to the public to participate in or view online.

The evening will kick off with readings from three of Vermont’s own — Joanne Mellin, Tricia Knoll and Geof Hewitt, before transitioning into an open mic for local poets. 

Program Services Librarian Kristin D’Agostino, the moderator of the event, said she chose the featured poets specifically for their tone and material.

“I tried to choose poets who would either inspire or make people laugh, just based on the current time,” D’Agostino said. “So, Geof Hewitt is laugh-out-loud funny and is the reigning Vermont Slam champion. As for Joanne Mellin, she’s kind of like got a dark, dry sense of humor.” 

D’Agostino described Knoll, a resident of Williston, as more of a nature poet who writes about social justice and the natural world.

When asked what she might read at the event, Knoll said in a phone interview that she was still narrowing her set down.

“I’m going to focus on poems from a manuscript of mine called ‘Wild Apples,’” Knoll said. “I will be reading some poems about Vermont, and possibly a little bit about the isolation of COVID.”

Knoll said that she doesn’t often write humorous poems, and that she mainly sticks to material about hope and gratitude.

Each poet will read for about 10 minutes, after which the floor will be open to those interested in reading some of their own material. D’Agostino said that she hopes to get people of all levels to participate in the event.

Half of the 10 slots available for the open mic have already been reserved. If you are interested in performing, visit the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library website ( and follow the registration link on the event page. The event will run from 6:30-8 p.m.

To simply attend and not perform, visit the same registration page to receive the Zoom link for the event. To either attend or perform, register on the library’s website by Tuesday, Jan 26.