A Window on the Lake – Meditations on Lake Champlain by Poet Daniel Lusk

By Eloise Beil, Director of Collections

As this showery month of April comes to an end, it also means National Poetry Month is almost over. Take a moment with us today as we explore and find inspiration from works by Vermont poet Daniel Lusk, Lake Studies: Meditations on Lake Champlain.

In 2009, inspired by Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s discoveries of underwater artifacts, Lusk embarked on a voyage of discovery: two years of conversations with divers, browsing through archives, and traveling around the lake by ferry, tour boat, and sail.

The resulting poems imagine the region’s prehistory, recall maritime tragedies, and evoke underwater mysteries. Natural and human history, legends and lore, shipwrecks, prehistoric items, and ancient species are woven together to transport the reader into the depths of the lake.

This publication was a new departure for the Museum, a recognition that poetry offers different insights into the natural and cultural history of the lake. Photographs taken by Pierre LaRocque, a member of the Museum’s dive team, were among the illustrations chosen to accompany several poems.

Daniel Lusk, an Emeritus professor at the University of Vermont, worked with the Museum to design several broadsides of the poems with LaRocque’s underwater images. 

The research and writing project was funded by grants from the Vermont Community Foundation Arts Endowment and the University of Vermont, and the publication was supported by Lake Champlain Maritime Museum through the generosity of the Marian S. Ware Charitable Lead Annuity Trust.

Take a moment and enjoy a selection of Daniel’s poem broadsides: