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Name Your Favorite Indie Bookstore!

Shanta Lee Gander, author of the forthcoming collection GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, shares her favorite independent bookstores in Vermont.


120 Main St

Putney, VT 05346

Antidote in Putney, a favorite for the enduring literary environment it provides. Prior to COVID-19, the owners invited a range of national and international writers to their space while also collaborating with venues across the state. This included many evenings at their “Cocktail Continuum” which is a collaboration between Antidote and Wunderbar in Bellows Falls. Antidote continues to nurture the literary life in Vermont in ways that I deeply admire and am fed by as a writer who also believes in building community with other writers within and beyond the borders of the state.

Everyone's Books

25 Elliot St

Brattleboro, VT 05301

I really do miss going into physical spaces. Some of my other mainstays...include Everyone’s Books and for the high of being surrounded by old books, Brattleboro Books does it for me too. It was in Brattleboro Books that I got reunited with a whole series that I recall from my childhood based on one sample book that just appeared at my house when I was a child. My parents never subscribed to the series that they were being tempted into purchasing, but I never forgot the cover or the look of the book. That of course is another story I will have to save for another time.

Brattleboro Books

36 Elliot St

Brattleboro, VT 05301


Shanta Lee Gander. Photo Courtesy of MacLean Charles Gander, Photographer
Photo Courtesy of MacLean Charles Gander, Photographer

Shanta Lee Gander is an artist and multi-faceted professional. Her endeavors include writing and photography with work that has been featured in PRISM, ITERANT Literary Magazine, Palette Poetry, BLAVITY, DAME Magazine, The Crisis Magazine, Rebelle Society, on the Ms. Magazine Blog, and on a former radio segment Ponder This. Shanta Lee’s photojournalism has been featured on Vermont Public Radio ( and her investigative reporting has been in The Commons weekly newspaper covering Windham County, VT. Shanta Lee is the 2020 recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts and 2020. Her contributing work on an investigative journalism piece for The Commons received a New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) 2019 award. Shanta Lee gives lectures on the life of Lucy Terry Prince, considered the first known African-American poet in English literature, as a member of the Vermont Humanities Council Speakers Bureau and is the 2020 gubernatorial appointee to their board of directors.

Shanta Lee is an MFA candidate in Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has an MBA from the University of Hartford and an undergraduate degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality from Trinity College. To see more of Shanta Lee’s work, visit


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