To Look Out From| my own poetry

•September 28, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I have some news . . . My first poetry collection is coming out in 2017!

tolookoutfrom_frontcoversep25sml“In To Look Out From, Dede Cummings takes good advantage of the imaginative fluidity that poetry offers. Even her poems of memory and family are driven by curiosity and enlivened by quick maneuvers and spritely turns. And she is careful never to leave the reader behind.” — Billy Collins

Dede Cummings is the winner of the 4th annual Homebound Publications Poetry Prize for her collection To Look Out From, which will be published by Homebound Publications in April 2017. The collection is drawn from poems that span 30 years in a narrative of place explored through craft and form: from growing up with four sisters, to alibis for secrets, family, memory, leaving home, and a mother’s grief; through poems that take the reader deep into forests and unexpected treasures found in nature.

According to acclaimed poet Clarence Major, Dede Cummings’ poems in To Look Out From are breathtakingly vivid. Deeply felt, they often chronicle the relationship between self and the natural world, between self and others. These are New England poems that transcend New England. They are well-crafted testaments, often pastoral, to the cycles of life. At times they are elegiac and bittersweet, yet attentive in their hopefulness and trust in the Great Wonderments and mysteries. At times gracefully discursive and always brilliantly paced, they are poems given to recovery and renewal. This is a book I will read over and over.”

dede-cummings_bandw_byhowardromeroDede Cummings is a writer, literary agent/publisher and commentator for Vermont Public Radio. At Middlebury College, she was the recipient of the Mary Dunning Thwing Award, attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference as an undergraduate waiter, and studied with Hayden Carruth at the Bennington Writers’ Workshop. In 2013, she was a poetry contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her poetry has been published in Mademoiselle, The Lake, InQuire, Vending Machine Press, Kentucky Review, Connotation Press, and Bloodroot Literary Magazine. She was a Discover/The Nation poetry semi-finalist and was awarded a writer’s grant and a partial fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center in 2016. Dede lives in Vermont where she designs books and runs the startup Green Writers Press. (Author photo by Howard Romero.)

To Look Out From, poems
by Dede Cummings
PUB DATE: April 17, 2017 •   ISBN: 978-1-938846-83-0
6 x 9; First Edition Hardcover; 92 pages; $16.95  Review copies available upon request.
I will be touring throughout the year, beginning April 7th at Next Stage Arts in Putney, Vermont, with short story writer, Tim Weed. There will be a launch party for his book, A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing and mine at the same time.

Homebound Publications ~ Ensuring the mainstream isn’t the only stream.

Live the Best Story of Your Life

•May 31, 2016 • Leave a Comment
We have exciting news at our literary agency today—A Book Launch!

A head’s up that one of our agency author’s, Bob Litwin, has a new book “LiveThe Best Story of Your Life: A World Champion’s Guide to Lasting Change” that will be published today by Hatherleigh Press and distributed in partnership with Random House.

Do you want a new story? Most of us do. From dieting to work addiction, we are all looking to shift the stories in our lives. But the question remains: How?
Bob Litwin is an 18-time US National Champion, formerly ranked #1 in the world in senior tennis and is in the Eastern Hall of Fame. Bob has been coaching highly influential people both on the court and in the office for years. If you are looking to change absolutely anything in your life, this book can help you do it instantaneously.  This tool is faster and more effective than therapy and it’s simple, we’ve been using it our whole lives without even realizing it.
I have read the book a few times and always find more things to help me with telling my OWN story! Bob is really an amazing person who has helped many people in all walks of life. Bob Litwin is also a real-life example of the Wendy Rhoades character in Showtime’s hit show Billions (which I love!)
BobLitwinAuthorPhotoIn his new book, Live the Best Story of Your Life: A World Champion’s Guide to Lasting Change, Bob reveals the secrets of his trade.
 Bob helps some of the busiest people around — tennis world champs, Wall Street CEOs, top journalists — turn their stress and anxiety into the fuel that powers their continued ascent. In the new book, Bob combines his experience at the highest levels of sports and business and distils them into lessons meant to change the way you tell your story. He argues the stories we tell ourselves and others have dramatic power to shape our lives. Rethinking our stories can rewrite our lives without years on the therapist’s couch. It’s easy work for the hard worker.
Here is some Advance Praise for the book:
“Unbelievably effective, and everyone can do it.”

 —Joel Greenblatt, author of The New York Times bestseller The Little Book that Beats the Market

“…has taken his powerful teachings off the court in order to make an even greater impact in the world of business and life.”

—Billy Jean King, 39-time tennis Grand Slam champion and author of Pressure is a Privilege

“The single most important book you will ever read… dramatically shifting your idea of what you are capable of.”

—Jay Goldman, Founder and CEO of J. Goldman & Co.
Please join me at the Dede Cummings Literary Agency in applauding Bob’s literary debut!


•March 27, 2016 • Leave a Comment

So in love with the writing of one of our debut novelists at Green Writers Press! Brett does a great job of drawing the reader into her real, or imagined world.

Stony Soil Vermont

Long after sunset last night, my daughters and I went walking, in that thick rural dark broken only by the lights of the single house across the road, the lights of our kitchen behind us, and overhead all those stars. The little girl, fearful of the dark, walked between her sister and me. Those glimmering, oh-so-bright stars twinkled in the treetops, still bare and leafless at this time of year.

Earlier that day, the younger girl had dug quartz pebbles from the roadside mud, washed them clean in a puddle, and gave them to me to put in my pockets for safekeeping. My diamonds, she called them.

Shiny bits of stars, bright bits of stone.

As we walked back to our house, guided by the compass of our kitchen light, the older daughter told us she parted her curtains every night and slept every night with a windowful of…

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Iceland in August 2016 with Green Writers Press!

•December 7, 2015 • Leave a Comment

100_2182Announcing the first Green Writers Press travel program for writers and readers, with a focus on incorporating a sense of place into your writing.

Located between 61 and 66 degrees north latitude on the southern edge of the Arctic Ocean, Iceland is a country of dramatic extremes, where geysers and steaming lava flows coexist with powerful waterfalls and vast calving glaciers. Due to its location at the edge of the Artic Circle much of the country remains under ice; Iceland contains the third-largest ice cap in the world after Antarctica and Greenland.

But the glaciers are melting quickly. As in other arctic and sub-arctic regions around the world, global climate change is an accelerating and highly visible phenomenon. 6A

At the same time, as an island straddling the rift valley where the American and European tectonic plates diverge, Iceland is one of the most volcanically active countries on the planet. Seventy percent of its energy is renewable, mostly from geothermal sources, considered one of the most promising non-carbon-based sources of future world energy.

The program begins in vibrant Reykjavik, Europe’s northernmost capital. Learn about Iceland’s rich literary tradition and its fascinating Viking history; visit Reykjavik’s famous Blue Lagoon geothermal pool; and get essential background on climate change, Iceland’s volcanoes and glaciers, and the country’s exciting alternative energy programs, Participate in a field-based journaling exercise designed to begin incorporating the dramatic north Atlantic landscape into your writing.

4AFrom Reykjavik we travel south and east to Höfn, remote gateway to mighty Vatnajökull Glacier, the world’s third-largest ice cap. In Höfn, we meet up with GWP author M Jackson, who is spending the year in Iceland on a U.S. Fulbright-National Science Foundation Arctic Research Fellowship

We’ll spend our days writing, reading, and venturing out to expl100_2211ore Iceland’s rugged and beautiful wilderness. Hike to stunning waterfalls that tumble over basalt cliffs to roaring glacial rivers and uninhabited fjords.

With M as our local expeditionary guide, we’ll take part in extraordinary adventures such as glacier trekking, cruising on glacial lagoons, and soaking away the chill at the end of the day in one of the country’s natural hot springs.

M will take us off the beaten path and share incredible local places few travelers to Iceland ever see.

IMG_1929The program will feature evening talks by GWP writers Tim Weed on the power of descriptive writing in narrative prose and M Jackson on evocative “science” writing and creating place in memoir, along with publisher Dede Cummings on using poetry as a tool for activism. Daily field-based writing and reading exercises will allow participants to enhance their skills as writers and their appreciation as reaAuthor MJackson_rgbders for the power and impact of descriptive writing in literary prose and poetry in the context of the changing global climate.


Note: This program includes moderately strenuous activity and participants must be in good physical condition. Accommodations are in simple, well-located Icelandic hostels. The tentative dates of the program are August  6– 12, 2016. The approximate cost of the program will be $3000-$3500 including RT airfare from Boston to Reykjavik.

Below are some of M Jackson’s amazing photos of where we will be going!

Contact Dede Cummings for more information and to reserve a spot . . . or 802-380-1121

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More photos—the latest!—from M Jackson:

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¡Viva Cuba! … and other Trips

•November 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

What an amazing first trip to Cuba! I’m co-leading trips occasionally and helping to find clients for my friend, Tim Weed. His Creative Travel Arts and my Green Writers Press are even going to collaborate next year on a few adventure travel trips: Iceland, Cuba, Tierra del Fuego. 

If you are interested in finding out more about my trips with Tim Weed, writing retreats with Suzanne Kingsbury (Ireland!), etc., email me at:

~~~ Here is a snippet of my time in Cuba, along with a few photos. Thanks for reading my work!


Running along the Malecom

I pass small antiquated fishing boats, and run toward the Castle of el Moro, built out of the rock as a Spanish fortress, which guards the bay of Havana. Running past fisherman standing before a crumbling bench — graffiti of Che and Castro adorn the sides of buildings — the spray of a wave soaks me. I grow more confident feeling my legs stretch behind me. Leaving old Havana I pass other runners. I stretch, noticing a dark cloud that brings rain that pours down. The squall soaks me through. I turn back and run into the headwind slowly. I cut across the Malacon and walk down a side street where there is a restored pink Dodge, an old fishing boat named Havana and a horse and buggy. A rainbow appears and the Havana light sets a yellow house ablaze. I see an old man and ask him in halting Spanish how to say “rainbow” in Spanish. Puffing out his chest, he says “yellow house.”



Bees are My New Passion

•October 15, 2015 • 2 Comments

51FWZ57xI+LMy beekeeping book is coming out in February! I am really excited about this because not only did I learn a lot about bees, I also found that I am passionate about the little critters and want to set up a hive, maybe come springtime.

Here is a bit about my book

The Good Living Guide to Beekeeping

Secrets of the Hive, Stories from the Field, and a Practical Guide That Explains It All

Beekeeping is nothing new—the ancient Egyptians were well versed in the benefits of living with bees—but in recent years, there has been a surge of folks struck with the desire to build and nurture a hive of their own. Beekeeping has become the passion of farmers in rural Vermont, urbanites with rooftops in LA, and thousands of people in between. This book is for beginners and experts alike, with all the basic information you need to get started, as well as stories and tips that will inspire and instruct the most seasoned beekeeper.

In this guide, you will learn how to:

  • Choose a spot for your hive
  • Build a hive with simple tools and materials
  • Buy bees or attract them to your hive
  • Harvest the fruits of the bees’ labor
  • Make beeswax candles and lip balm
  • Utilize honey, wax, and propolis for medicinal purposes

And much more!

I offer readers something truly unique—a book that comes alongside you like a wise friend, offering sage advice as well as humorous anecdotes and fascinating interviews with beekeepers across the country. Equally good for reading while curled up inside during the long winter as for carrying with you to the hives mid-summer, this will be a welcome addition to any bee enthusiast’s library.

A Book is On the Way
I had tons of help from beekeepers I interviewed and the help of my fabulous high school intern, Lindsey Vachon, along with my friends and colleagues, Danielle Gyger, Sierra Dickey and Rose Alexandra-Leach, of course my editor, Abigail Gehring, was amazing to work with.  It is so exciting to have a book coming out that is good, and helpful, and was mostly fun to write!

logoIf you want to preorder a copy, you can go to Indiebound and order from your local, independent bookstore! Thanks for supporting my writing and, of course, the bees!

Here is the link and information about the book.

Good Books, Hardcover, 9781680990591, 192pp.

Publication Date: February 2016

San Juans by Dede Cummings

•April 1, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Pretty happy to have a poem published today! I’ve been working on this for twenty years, off and on. I dedicate it to my dear friend, Annie Philbrick​, whose generosity and spirit (not to mention my first host to the San Juan islands!) has been so dear to me. And also a big shoutout to my friend, colleague, mentor, editor, collaborator, and Gateless Writers​ founder, Suzanne D. Kingsbury​ for teaching me a new way to write and “unteach” the old! Vending MachinePress​ is the publisher, and my editor is Mike Lafontaine​. Thanks to my blog readers, too!

vending machine press

From here she can see no islands, only a mountain beyond water
mostly purple-black and defying the orange-spreading sky.
Beginning a new day with a fragment of a dream, she moves
around the garden — a space for the plant, or imprint for the seed.
She throws stones over the fence, the sun-warmed crescents rest
upon the crusty soil, except for a circled one which she tucks away.
Transparent green leaves appear poised below a climbing trellis
on which last year’s scorched vines cling.

This morning she begins to watch for the orcas.
Her eyes know the spot as if by heart from a dream:
the black and white bodies lean and glistening,
the splash she thought she heard in the dream—
she awakens to her body erect and taut like a fishing line.

A funnel kite dances around the flagpole like in a childhood game.
Twisting her plaid uniform…

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