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NORTH BENNINGTON — The Park-McCullough Historic Governor’s Mansion is offering an exclusive conversation and reading with former Vermont governor and United States ambassador Madeleine May Kunin at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 11.

Well-known author and artist Sandra Magsamen will moderate this special online event, which will be broadcast live via Zoom from the Governor’s Parlor inside the mansion. Kunin will speak about her life in politics, read from her newest book of poetry, “Red Kite, Blue Sky,” and take questions from the viewing audience.

The cost is $25, which includes a signed copy of “Red Kite, Blue Sky.” Zoom invites will be sent out to registered participants on Thursday. Proceeds will benefit the Park-McCullough Historic Governor’s Mansion.

To register, visit


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Madeleine Kunin was the first woman to be elected governor of Vermont, serving three terms. She was also U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and U.S. deputy secretary of education. She has written four previous books: “Living a Political Life” (Knopf) and “The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family” (New York Times Editor’s Choice), “Pearls, Politics and Power,” and “Coming of Age: My Journey to the Eighties” (GWP).

She is currently James Marsh Professor-at-Large at the University of Vermont, where she gives guest lectures on feminism and women and politics. She also serves on the board of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, a nongovernmental organization that she founded in 1991, and she recently launched Emerge Vermont to encourage and support women in politics. She lives in Shelburne.


“Red Kite, Blue Sky,” the debut poetry collection from Madeleine Kunin, celebrates life and the natural world, occasioned by the birth of grand-children, the memories of friendship and past birthdays/Bar Mitzvahs, a gift of plum-colored gloves from the poet’s daughter, the Sicilian sun which “melts my argument against myself,” with sharp observations and humor.

Like Emily Dickinson before her, Kunin does not shy away from death; rather she embraces the anticipation “before death drags me deep,” the gap in her life when her beloved husband dies, the fear of immigration to America during World War II with “an H for Hebrew, I found out later,” and the sadness of being isolated as an older woman living alone during the pandemic.


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