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

UMF Softball Swings Into Victory Against Alumni

By Alicia Davis – Contributing Writer

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the UMF softball team had a game against alumni at the softball field. UMF softball beat the alumni team 3-­2.

   Coach Kat McKay, who will be entering her second year as the softball coach at UMF, felt that the game went well. “For the first year in many years without an alumni game, this

year was fantastic. I believe [the alumni] had an absolute blast,” said McKay. “They showed they still have all the skills to get the job done.”

   Kailyn Hill, a junior at UMF and member of the softball team for the past two years, felt that the alumni game was very competitive. “We had a lot of fun. We had a back and forth game, so it was very competitive,” said Hill. “I pitched the first three innings, and then I played first base after.” This upcoming spring will be her third year playing softball for Farmington.

   Alison Hamilton, a UMF alum, returned to play for the alumni team. She reclaimed her spot

in right field, where she played all four years during her time on the team at UMF. Hamilton’s favorite part about the game was getting to see her friends she met from softball.

   “It was nice to see some former beavs, and reminisce about our time at UMF,” said Hamilton.

   Eight alumni showed up to play in the game. “Because the alumni were down a player, the

UMF softball team leant us a player until Coach Pratt came in during the 5th inning to play for us,” said Hamilton.

   The game was close to being tied in the end. The alumni and the UMF softball team felt both teams played well. “Our skills were equally matched,” said Hamilton. “We kept scoring back to back until we finally pulled through near the end of the game.”

   McKay is looking forward to the spring season. “ I’m truly excited about this spring. We lost a handful of good athletes from our roster last year, but were able to replace and refocus with a large freshman class.”

   Alyssa Dillan, a sophomore at UMF who will be playing her second year for the softball team this spring, is looking forward to what the season will bring for the team.

   “I have high hopes for the spring season,” said Dillan. “I think that we have a lot of potential right now and I trust coach McKay will help us reach that potential.”

   “We are selling pies to support our team to go to Florida in the spring,” said Hill. The softball team has an annual trip during the March spring break to Florida, where they will practice against other teams in preparation for the upcoming season.

   People can support the UMF softball team by purchasing pies for their fundraiser. If anyone wants to purchase a pie, they can contact Coach Kat McKay for more details.