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Portrait of Chard deNiord Poet Laureate of Vermont

Chard deNiord is the author of six books of poetry, In My Unknowing (University of Pittsburgh Press 2020), Interstate (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), The Double Truth (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), Speaking In Turn with Tony Sanders, Gnomon Press, 2011, Night Mowing (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), Sharp Golden Thorn (Marsh Hawk Press, 2002) and Asleep In The Fire (University of Alabama Press, 1990). He is also the author of two books of interviews with eminent American poets: Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs, Conversations and Reflections on 20th Century Poetry (Marick Press, 2011) and I Would Lie To You If I Could  (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018).

He has co-founded a number of writing programs, including:

  • The Spirit and the Letter Workshop in Patzcuaro, Mexico which he co-directed with Jacqueline Gens from 1999-2000.

  • The New England College MFA program in Poetry in 2001 and served as its co-director until 2008. deNiord was the eighth poet laureate of Vermont from 2016 to 2019.

  • The Ruth Stone Foundation and served as a trustee of the Ruth Stone Trust from 2010 to 2021.


He retired from teaching at Providence College in 2020,where he is now Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing. He serves as board member of the Sundog Poetry Center in Vermont, is the essay editor at Plume Poetry Journal, and lives in Westminster West, Vermont with his wife, Liz.


In My Unknowing

University of Pittsburgh Press, February, 2020

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"'The force that gives us meaning/is terrible, bloody and sweet,' writes Chard deNiord in his astonishing new book In My Unknowing. DeNiord is a true spiritual visionary, which is to say there are no dialed-in answers, no self-defense, the stakes are sky-high, and everything happens in real time. The voice can be ecstatic or lacerated: it’s also funky, humane, topical, grounded. The cloud of unknowing can waft from a fine cigar. Lovers at a drive-in are moved to discover the night sky. A self-imposed chore reveals '[...] the lamp of internal difference that needs/the spark of my seeing anew to light its mantel.'

Always, Earth is the place of transformation. If ever there was a poet who answered the command in Rilke’s Ninth Elegy it’s deNiord. It’s thrilling how much he expects of language and experience, how little he takes for granted... In My Unknowing is charged with the pang of the insoluble mysteries: dreams, waking, the face of the one you love.”


Dennis Nurkse

I Would Lie To You If I Could

University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018

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University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015

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