2023 Writers

Melanie Finn is the author of Away From You, The Underneath, The Gloaming and, this year’s winner of the Vermont Book Award, The Hare. Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards, including the IMPAC Award, the Orange Prize for Fiction, The Guardian’s Not the Booker, and the New England Book Award.  The Gloaming was a New York Times Notable Book of 2016.  She has also worked as a journalist and screenwriter, and she is the writer and producer of the Disney Nature wildlife epic Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos.  Born and raised in Kenya and the US, Finn is the co-founder and director of the Tanzanian-based charity, Natron Healthcare, which brings health education and sustainable healthcare to remote Masai communities. She and her family actively re-wild their remote hillside in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.


Gish Jen is the author of two books of stories, five novels, and two works of nonfiction. Her work has been chosen for The Best American Short Stories five times, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century (1999), edited by John Updike. She was featured in a PBS American Masters special on the American novel and her work is widely taught. Her most recent book is a collection of short stories, Thank You Mr. Nixon (2022). Her honors include a Fulbright Fellowship, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; as well as the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction and the Mildred and Harold Strauss Livings Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Jen is currently a Visiting Professor at Harvard and splits her time between Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

Baron Wormser is the author of twenty books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, including his memoir, The Road Washes Out in Spring: A Poet’s Memoir of Living Off the Grid (2006), about the experience of 25 years of living in rural Maine. His latest book of poems is The History Hotel,published by CavanKerry Press in 2023. His honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation; the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry; and the Kathryn A. Morton Prize. From 2000 to 2005, he served as Poet Laureate of the State of Maine. He is the founding director of the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching and the Frost Place Seminar.  His essays were included in Best American Essays 2014 and 2018, and his poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. Wormser lives in Montpelier with his wife Janet.

Ron Padgett is a poet, teacher, translator, collaborator, memoirist, and editor.  His book, How Long (2011), was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry; his Collected Poems (2013) won the LA Times Prize for the best poetry book of 2014; and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. His most recent book of poems is Dot (2022). He has translated Guillaume Apollinaire, Blaise Cendrars, Max Jacob, and Pierre Reverdy. Among his many honors are the Harold Morton Landon Award from the Academy of American Poets for his translation of Apollinaire’s selected poems; the Shelley Memorial Award (2009) and the Frost Medal (2017), both from the Poetry Society of America. Seven of Padgett’s poems were used in Jim Jarmusch’s film,Paterson (2016). He divides his time between New York City and Calais.

Ellen Bryant Voigt is the author of eight collections of poetry. Her most recent work, Collected Poems, was published by W.W. Norton in February 2023. Her book, Shadow of Heaven (2002), was a finalist for the National Book Award; Kyrie (1995), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Messenger, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Voigt’s honors include an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the 2002 Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets; the O. B. Hardison, Jr. Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and numerous grants and distinguished fellowships.  In 2015 Voigt was the recipient of a MacArthur ‘genius’ award. She has served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and as the Vermont State Poet. She now lives in Cabot,Vermont and St. Paul, Minnesota.  

Didi Jackson is the author of Moon Jar (2020) and the forthcoming collection, My Infinity (2023.). Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review; Kenyon Review; The New Yorker; Ploughsharesand Virginia Quarterly Review, among other journals and magazines. She has had poems selected for Best American Poetry; Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day; The Slow Down podcast with Tracy K. Smith, and Together in Sudden Strangeness: America’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic. She is the recipient of the Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and was a finalist for the Meringoff Prize in Poetry. Jackson is Assistant Professor of English at Vanderbilt and lives in Tennessee and Vermont with her husband, poet Major Jackson.

Kerrin McCadden is the author of American Wake (2021), a finalist for both the New England Book Award and the Vermont Book Award; and Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes (2014), winner of the Vermont Book Award and the New Issues Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, Keep This to Yourself (2019), was the winner of the Button Poetry Prize. In 2022 she was the recipient of the Herb Lockwood Prize for artistic excellence that inspires and enriches the community. Recent poems appear in American Poetry Review; Beloit Poetry Journal; New England Review; Ploughshares, and Prairie Schooner. McCadden is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Vermont Studio Center; and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. She teaches at the Center for Technology, Essex, and lives in South Burlington.