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Where to Get Bookish & Boozy in the Upper Valley

Oct 04, 2016 02:41PM ● By Gabrielle Varela
There is something about autumn in New England that evokes a sense of study. Perhaps it’s the years of associating this season with the return to school or the first frost marking the transition of from outdoor activities to cozier indoor pursuits. However, colder weather is no reason to hibernate. Here are three ways to get literary and lighthearted this fall.

1. In Vino Veritas

Immerse yourself in a community of writers and channel your inner wordsmith with a workshop at White River Junction’s The Writer’s Center. Founder and instructor Joni Beth Cole provides the paper and the provisions at her Friday workshop “Prompt and Pinot.”

Joni received a degree from Dartmouth’s MALS program and serves as an advisor to the Dartmouth Writer’s Society. Here, she brings her scholarly savvy to a much more casual atmosphere where wine and words conspire. With several free writing exercises initiated by prompts, this is a fun, expressive way to flex your writing muscles and gain feedback.

Workshops are Fridays from 6–8pm and are $25 per session. Contact [email protected].


2. Embrace the Art of Storytelling

The AVA Gallery and Art Center is dedicated to showcasing New England artists. Upper Valley residents are invited to share and listen to personal stories of all kinds—humorous, reflective, wild, and hopeful. As part of their new program, The Mud Room, five selected speakers tell audiences seven-minute tales centered on a theme. Live music is offered before and after the show, along with local foods and beverages.

This is your chance to learn from and meet others in the community and even tell a story of your own if you dare. Events take place quarterly with changing themes. You can purchase tickets online or at the door. The event is for those 18 and over.

To attend and check out more of their events, visit

or send your story to [email protected]

3. Literary Hike and Libations

Whether you are well versed in this prolific writer’s work or just a poetic soul, the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail offers a wonderful literary tour in Ripton, Vermont. Wander the paths where Frost spent his summers and taught for 42 years at the mountain campus of the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. His cabin and the Homer Noble Farmstead have been designated National Historic Sites.

The 1.2-mile loop hike includes tree identification markers, and several of Frost’s poems are mounted along the trail, including favorites such as “A Young Birch” and “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”

After your hike, head into downtown Middlebury for refreshments at The Lobby. Serving up New American fare and craft cocktails, their creative dishes like venison chili, balsamic barbecue wings, and potato tofu gnocchi paired with eclectic drinks featuring local distilled spirits will, as one reviewer puts it, leave you “feeling inspired!”

Robert Frost Wayside Interpretive Trail

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