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NO. R-177.  House concurrent resolution congratulating Grace Paley on her outstanding tenure as Vermont’s state poet.


Offered by:  Representatives Masland of Thetford and Cheney of Norwich

Whereas, on February 7, 2003, based on the recommendation of the state poet advisory panel, Governor James Douglas named Grace Paley of Thetford as the new Vermont state poet, and

Whereas, thus commenced an exciting four years during which she traveled the highways and byways of Vermont visiting youngsters in classrooms, and adults as well, reading from her extensive lifetime personal library of poetic musings and engaging her audiences in stimulating and entertaining discussions, and

Whereas, Grace Paley began her life in the Bronx, New York, where she was born in 1922, and she moved to Thetford in 1988 where she found it most enjoyable to visit with neighbors at the recycling center just as she had in her former Bronx neighborhood, and

Whereas, her inaugural collection of short stories, “The Little Disturbances of Man,” appeared in 1959 and won considerable accolades, and subsequently several highly acclaimed compendiums of her fiction have been published, including “Enormous Changes at the Last Minute” in 1974, “Later the Same Day” in 1985, and the National Book Award finalist “Collected Stories” in 1994, and

Whereas, her thought-provoking fiction has been featured in magazines including the New Yorker, Ms., and Mother Jones, but during the last two decades her poetry, first published in a 1985 collection entitled “Leaning Forward” has served as her primary choice of literary expression, and

Whereas, she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Edith Wharton Citation of Merit, an award from the National Institute of Arts, a senior fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and, here in Vermont, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and 

Whereas, her teaching career has included lecturing at prominent institutions of higher education, including the City College of New York, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Syracuse University, and

Whereas, this still youthful master of the author’s pen is now concluding her special role as Vermont’s poetry ambassador and will be able to devote more time to exploring new writing adventures, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates Grace Paley on the conclusion of her outstanding tenure as Vermont’s state poet, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Grace Paley in Thetford.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont