From Former Beaver to Published Poet: Zackary Lavoie

From Former Beaver to Published Poet: Zackary Lavoie

By Emilee Eustis Contributing Writer

Zackary Lavoie is a pickleball master, a heavenly singer, the owner of a guinea pig named Gerald, and now a pu-

2017 Graduate Zack Lavoie published his first chapbook in early 2018.(Photo courtesy of Zack Lavoie

blished writer. The UMF graduate is making waves in the business of poetry writing with his recently released chapbook Upheavals.

   Though Lavoie majored in English, his interest has always been in poetry. “I find a lot of beauty in the brevity of [poetry],” said Lavoie. “It forces one to read intensely, and I think that is a great thing.”

   Today, Lavoie works as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Specialist Editor for a global platform and edits documents for those whose language is not primarily English. But when Lavoie is not editing, he is feverishly working on his poetry.

    During Lavoie’s time at UMF, he was awarded with the Alice James Books Director’s Chair Fellowship, which gave the benefits of working one-on-one with publishers to strengthen his skills. Like many successful writers, Lavoie’s publication did not come without struggles.

   “Grammar plays a different sort of role in the book. Capitalization, spacing, and even spelling all shift and wobble, and letting that happen is difficult,” Lavoie said, “Sort of like holding the leash of an angry, out of control, ten-thousand-pound dog.”  

   Through his journey, Lavoie has made many connections to remind him that the struggles are worth the outcome. “I’ve been lucky enough to meet some really wonderful poets, editors, and other incredibly influential folks while writing Upheavals,” said Lavoie. After two years of meeting and greeting, long editing processes, and publication work, Lavoie’s chapbook Upheavals has made it to print – but his work does not end there.

   Lavoie has much to celebrate, but he understands that work cannot always be perfect. Lavoie quickly learned that it is easy to become “to

Zack Lavoie’s chapbook, “Upheavals.” (Photo courtesy of Zack Lavoie)

o poetic” and let a poem become bigger than it should.

   “It’s important to remember to be observant, and sometimes that means narrowing your focus to little moments,” Lavoie said. But Lavoie also realizes the boundaries that poetry can challenge, and said, “It’s our jobs as poets to translate it.”

   Lavoie has poems online and in print in Empty Mirror Magazine, OCCULUM Journal and Dirty Paws Poetry Review, with his next piece waiting to be published in the Longleaf Review. As for more books, Lavoie said he has a manuscript for a full length that is being worked on, but it is “still in infancy.”

   On April 12th, Lavoie will be attending a reading at the Farmington Public Library with Jeffrey Thomson, a UMF poet and professor, and another UMF grad, Audrey Gidman.

   Copies of Lavoie’s chapbook can be purchased online at Amazon, online and in-stores at Barnes & Noble, at the Farmington Public Library, and on his website

Farmington Recreational Department Brings Futsal to Farmington Residents

By Emilee Eustis Contributing Writer

With the popularity of its futsal program last year, Jaycee Jenckes, the Assistant Director of the Farmington Recreation Center, is hoping to see a similar turnout for the 2018 spring season.

    “Futsal is a modified form of soccer that’s played indoors,” said Jenckes. “We borrow rules from both professional futsal leagues, and indoor soccer leagues to best fit with our facility.”

   The Rec. Department prepares for the futsal season by keeping the floor in good condition and properly staffing enough referees to keep the games under control and keep track of the score. The Rec. Department also provides all the necessary equipment like balls, pennies, and goals, so all players need to bring is shoes.

   “We have college students, UMF faculty, [community members], Mt. Blue school teachers and parents, and even a few out of town folks who all just love to come together and play a little competitive soccer,” said Jenckes.

   Anyone 18 years and older are allowed to register, and the mix of UMF students, faculty, alumni, and community members helps to intensify the levels of the game. The teams play for a championship at the end of the season.

   “The winners of the league get individual jerseys however they want to have them designed and also get their names on our Futsal Trophy so we budget to be able to buy those prizes for people.” Jenckes said.

   Seeing members of the community come together and enjoy themselves for one night is one of the highlights of their program. Since many of the programs put on by the Rec. Department are centered around children, this program is very important to them. This is one of their few that programs that supports the adult community, and their health and activities. Futsal games take place on Friday nights and each game is 40 minutes long, split into two 20 minutes halves.

   The futsal program will continue to evolve, as the Rec. Department has added a Fall season as well. The Rec. Department has other programs such as Pickleball and rock climbing on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

   For further information, anyone can stop by the Community Center located at 127 Middle St., or they can call the Rec. Center at 207-778-3464. They also post updates and flyers about all of their programs on their Facebook page, at

Options in the Dining Hall Pose Problems for UMF Student

By Emilee Eustis Contributing Writer

The dining hall at UMF has given one student months of frustration after Sodexo has been unable to accomodate the student’s diet. Adlin Chaparin is a first-year student at UMF “on a strict vegan diet” due to a severe lactose intolerance. Because of Chaparin’s strict diet, options in the dining hall are very limited.

   “Since I am a first-year student here at UMF and living in residence halls, I am required to have the all access meal plan, which is something I cannot be paying for while also paying for my weekly groceries,” Chaparin said. This poses a big problem because Chaparin has to pay for a meal plan she isn’t using as well as pay for groceries that she needs due to her inability to eat in the dining hall.

   Chaparin has tried many times to go to the dining hall and make the best of her situation. “One day I went into lunch between my classes, and the options for me were very limited. I asked for a veggie burger, which I waited twenty minutes to receive, and when I finally got it, it was burnt completely and inedible.” She said many weeks she would go to the dining hall, and end up eating nothing.

   Chaparin also said the issues with the dining hall are affecting her health, and could be affecting the health of many other students who are faced with the same problems. “I lost a lot of weight which wasn’t healthy, and I overall didn’t feel good. On days when I was able to find something in the dining hall to eat, I would always feel very sick afterwards, and I’ve heard the same remarks from other UMF students.”

   Chaparin is also a collegiate athlete and burns “approximately 2,500 calories a day” but was only taking in about 1,250 calories,  making it difficult to perform well in sports or in the classroom.

   To make changes in the dining hall, Chaparin said that involvement from students on the campus could be beneficial, since complaints from a few students do not seem to wield results. Chaparin had “heard a lot of students complaining” about the food in the dining hall and knows a few other vegans/vegetarians on campus who are fighting a similar battle.

   Moving forward, Chaparin wishes to see the dining hall have a wider variety of choices, and for members of the UMF community to understand that students are paying a lot money for a service, that does not always accommodate to the needs of everyone. Sodexo has not made a comment at this time.