Syndey “Syd” Lea, author of a forthcoming book from University of Michigan Press tentatively titled Hundred Himalayas, has been selected Poet Laureate of Vermont by Governer Peter Shumlin. A public ceremony honoring Lea will be held on November 4 at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Montpelier.
Long a professor on the graduate faculty at Dartmouth, Lea has published extensively, in multiple genres, in a wide variety of places, including the New Yorker, The New Republic, and the New York Times. Among very many distinctions, he is the founder of the New England Review; he was a panelist in 2008 for the NEA poetry fellowships; a Hopwood Prize judge in 2002; and a panelist for fellowships for the Fulbright Foundation.
According to the Vermont Arts Council,
“The Advisory Committee found Sydney Lea’s poetry to be virtuosic in texture and form, yet likely to be engaging to a diversity of readers and listeners because of the work’s dramatic intensity, narrative momentum, and musicality, and because of this poet’s extraordinarily evocative descriptions of northern New England’s landscapes, animal and plant life, and the seasonal panorama. Through all of his books, Lea has paid particular attention to the stories of generations living alongside one another in north-country villages, including the interactions of ‘old-timers’ and relative newcomers. He continues the tradition of Vermont poets who are both singular — one of a kind — and broadly accessible.”