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

Photo Courtesy of MacLean Charles Gander, Photographer

Shanta Lee Gander is an artist and multi-faceted professional in leadership, marketing, management, and a range of other areas. As an artist, her endeavors include photography, writing prose, poetry, investigative journalism, and photography. Shanta Lee's prose has been incorporated into her former weekly radio segments, Ponder This, on 100.3 FM/1490 AM WKVT. Her poetry, prose, and personal essays have been featured in The Crisis Magazine, Rebelle Society, on the Ms. Magazine Blog, and The Commons weekly newspaper covering Windham County, VT. Shanta Lee has been recently named a recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts due to her standing in the region and dedication to the arts in Vermont. Her contributing work on an investigative journalism piece for The Commons received a New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) 2019 award. She is the director of publicity and outreach of Mount Island—a small press and magazine dedicated to rural LGBTQ+ and POC voices/artists. 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. 

Shanta Lee is passionate about myths, fairytales, music, history, and the often illegal abandoned places she likes to photograph. 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. 

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