Peter Gould to read from 'Horse Drawn Yogurt'

PUTNEY — Peter Gould will read from his new non-fiction book about the Vermont back-to-the-land movement, Horse-Drawn Yogurt: Stories from Total Loss Farm, at Putney Public Library on Thursday, July 13, at 7 p.m. Marlboro musician Dan MacArthur will also be present at this very special event to play some songs with Peter. Admission is free. There will be a donation

basket, and baked goods by donation: for the benefit of Cynthia Payne-Meyer, a beloved Putney resident and storyteller friend of Peter's, who sustained a very serious injury in April. Half of Peter's book sales for the evening will also go to Cynthia. Peter will also auction a complete set of all his published books, from "Burnt Toast" to "Horse-Drawn Yogurt!"

Gould was a founding member of the 1970s "Back-to-the-Land" commune movement in Vermont, a story he has told in various ways in his two nationally-known novels, Burnt Toast (Alfred A. Knopf, 1971) and Write Naked (Farrar Straus, 2008), which won the 2009 National Green Earth Book Award.

"Horse-Drawn Yogurt," from Green Writers Press, is his first published non-fiction book. It's a collection of true-life stories of a young man's life on a Vermont farm commune at the height of the utopian movement.

In Horse-Drawn Yogurt, you'll learn how locals and newcomers helped each other out in a pivotal moment of U.S. history, and how young people, new to the land, learned to cut wood, clear fields, tend organic gardens, and raise animals, while still belonging to a national movement against the Vietnam war and for peace and justice around the world.

"But, this book is not a memoir," Gould says. "It's a comforter. I didn't throw all those old clothes away. I cut and pieced them and sewed them together. Now they keep me warm."

The Vermont Historical Society says, " Peter Gould's voice and personality shine through all the stories with wit and incisive insight. His perspective on life in Vermont's 1970s counterculture is an invaluable one...incredibly helpful, personal and emotional,"

Local timber-framer Dan MacArthur writes, "I read every last word of every last page, and now I sit here dewy-eyed at your honesty, insight, and superb use of the language of story. You got me!"     

Vermont author and National Book Award Finalist Howard Norman says, "Gould is the dramaturge of our wordly problems and sense of wondrous possibility — he is a national treasure."

The Putney performance is free, accessible, and open to the public. Gould will read from the book, and will have copies for sale. They are also available at Everyone's Books, and at bookstores throughout the country.

Across Vermont, Gould is known for more than his writing. Peter received the 2016 Arts Education Award from the Vermont Arts Council. In the 1970's he was one of five growers who started the Brattleboro Farmers Market, now a centerpiece of our community. He founded and still runs the "Get Thee to the Funnery" youth Shakespeare camp in the Northeast Kingdom, directs at the New England Youth Theatre, and he will always be the smaller half of the legendary physical comedy team of Gould & Stearns.


Putney Library is located at 55 Main Street in Putney, VT. This program is free and open to the public.

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