Literary Vermont, Inspiring Writers Across Long Seasons of History
The Vermont Author Adventures Trail includes four literary homes and ideas for additional places to visit along the way.
As the first US colony to abolish slavery, Vermont has attracted the talent of a distinct lineage of writers for more than 200 years, largely because of its notable universities.
In addition to its impactful leaders in early US history, its academic institutions have drawn in several significant contemporary 20th and 21st century writers who decided to make Vermont their home for a time. They include Anne Forrester Holloway (Bennington College), Jamaica Kincaid (Bennington College), Walter Moseley (Goddard College), and Miriam Jimenez Roman (Middlebury College). Additionally, in his later years, Julius Lester was a religious leader for a decade at Beth El Synagogue in St. Johnsbury, following his conversion to Judaism. Their homes are not open to the public so the addresses are not published on this website.
Other noted major writers who once lived in Vermont include John Dewey (ashes buried at the University of Vermont Chapel in Burlington), Arthur Goodenough (West Brattleboro), H.P. Lovecraft (West Brattleboro), Robert Penn Warren (buried in Stratton), and Tasha Tudor (Marlboro). The homes where they lived are not open to the public.
Click any link below for author and place information.
A. Rudyard Kipling, Dummerston
B. Robert Frost, South Shaftsbury
C. Lemuel Haynes House and Marker, South Granville. The Lemuel Haynes House is in New York, just beyond the Vermont border, near West Rutland, Vermont. It is now privately owned and generally not open to the public. Our page explains its significance and the location of a marker that can be visited at another important location nearby.
D. Maria von Trapp, Stowe
If Traveling from the Boston Area
For those driving up from the Boston area, another possible stop is Abijah Prince Road in scenic Guilford, Vermont. “Bijah” Prince was one of the original landowners of Guilford, having moved there with his wife Lucy Terry Prince in 1764, according to Guilford town records. Bijah Prince, who had been enslaved by a Massachusetts clergyman, was freed upon the clergyman’s death who bequeathed property in Vermont. Once in Guilford, the Princes started a family and raised their children there. Though the road commemorates their memory, the homestead no longer exists.
According to http://brattleborowords.org, Lucy Terry Prince was the first known African-American poet. Prior to marrying, she had been the historian of her hometown of Deerfield, Massachusetts. According to https://guilfordvt.com: “In 1746 Lucy witnessed the terrible Indian massacre, known as the Bars Fight. This was one of the many similar tragic events in Deerfield’s history as a frontier outpost. Lucy was only sixteen at the time, but she wrote two poetic versions of the battle, ‘The fullest contemporary account of that bloody tragedy which has been preserved’… Once, when Colonel Eli Bronson attempted to steal land that was rightfully the Princes, Lucy spoke in the Supreme Court against two of the leading lawyers in the state, one who later became the chief justice of Vermont, and she won. One man said he had never heard a better argument from any Vermont lawyer.”
Read “Bars Fight” here: https://allpoetry.com/Bars-Fight.
Ideas for Children
Additional tourist attractions in Vermont, friendly to children and children-at-heart, include the Ben & Jerry’s Factory (www.benjerry.com) in Waterbury for Vermont-born ice cream, Shelburne Farms, and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company.
The map of the Vermont Author Adventures Trail below includes the historic literary homes and other places to visit mentioned above.