Verandah Porche works as a poet-in-residence, performer and writing partner. Verandah began working as a poet in the schools in the 1970s. She initiated—and for almost 30 years taught—the poetry program at Vermont’s Governor’s Institute on the Arts. Based in rural Vermont on the notable commune Total Loss Farm, since 1968, she has published Sudden Eden (Verdant Books), The Body’s Symmetry (Harper and Row) and Glancing Off (See Through Books). Verandah developed a practice called ‘told poetry’ or ‘shared narrative’ to create personal literature with people who need a writing partner. She has run collaborative residencies in hospitals, factories, nursing homes, senior centers, a 200 year-old Vermont tavern and an urban working class neighborhood. Listening Out Loud documents her residency with Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT.
She writes and performs song with Patty Carpenter, and the Dysfunctional Family Jazz band. She has read her work on NPR stations, in the Vermont State House and at the John Simon Guggenheim Museum. The Vermont Arts Council presented her with its Award of Merit, and its first Ellen McCollough-Lovell Award. Marlboro College gave her an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2012. Verandah was featured in “Freedom and Unity: The Vermont Movie.” Her recent project, “Shedding Light on the Working Forest,” exploring the lives of people who work in the woods, a collaboration with visual artist Kathleen Kolb, has been touring New England. Broad Brook Anthology, a play for voices, honoring the lives of elders in Guilford, Vermont, was recently presented in her home town.
She currently serves on the Guilford Selectboard, exploring the poetics of civic life.