NER Vermont Reading Series | Monday, November 9

A Reading with Castle Freeman Jr., Kathryn Kramer, and Rebecca Starks

The NER Vermont Reading Series and Vermont Book Shop present three writers in three genres: Castle Freeman Jr., Kathryn Kramer, and Rebecca Starks will read from their fiction, memoir, and poetry, respectively, at 51 Main at the Bridge in Middlebury, VT, on Monday, November 9, 7 p.m. This event is free. Light refreshments will be served. Books, cocktails, and other beverages will be available to purchase.

castle-cropCastle Freeman Jr. is a longtime contributor of short fiction to NER, most recently with “Squirrel Trouble at Uplands” (2015). His new novel, The Devil in the Valley, was just released from Overlook Press. He’s the author of four other novels, including All That I Have and Go With Me (coming as a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Julia Stiles), two collections of short stories, and many essays and other nonfiction. His stories have been mentioned or included in The Best American Short Stories and other major collections. He lives in southeastern Vermont.

KramerKathryn Kramer is the author of the recently published memoir Missing History: The Covert Education of a Child of the Great Books. She has also published the novels A Handbook for Visitors from Outer Space, Rattlesnake Farming, and Sweet Water, and is co-author of a language textbook, Welcome to Vermont: English for Working and Living. Her recent essays have appeared in New England Review and she teaches at Middlebury College.

rebecca starksRebecca Starks’s poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Slice Magazine, Carolina Quarterly, Raintown Review, and elsewhere. Her fiction has appeared in Crab Orchard Review. She edits Mud Season Review, a literary journal run by members of the Burlington Writers Workshop, and teaches literature courses for the Osher Institute of Lifelong Learning program at the University of Vermont. She has a Ph.D. in English from Stanford University and a B.A. in English from Yale University, and has sought out writing communities wherever she has lived.

NER Vermont Reading Series | July 22, 2015


The NER Vermont Reading Series and the Vermont Book Shop are pleased to present Michael Coffey, Penelope Cray, and Rebecca Makkai, who will read from their poetry and fiction at Carol’s Hungry Mind Café. From as far as Chicago and as near as Shelburne, these three writers represent an extraordinary range of literary imagination. Join us at Carol’s Hungry Mind Café (24 Merchants Row, Middlebury, Vermont) on July 22nd at 7:00pm. Books will be available for signing.


Coffey by Nancy Crampton

 Michael Coffey is the author of three books of poems and of 27 Men Out, a book about baseball’s perfect games. He also co-edited The Irish in America, a book about Irish immigration, a companion volume to the PBS documentary series. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in NER and NER Digital, and his first book of fiction, The Business of Naming Things, is just out from Bellevue Literary Press. He lives in Manhattan and Bolton Landing, New York.



 Penelope Cray’s poems and short shorts have appeared in such literary magazines as Harvard Review, PleiadesBartleby Snopeselimae, and American Letters & Commentary, and in the anthology Please Do Not Remove (2014). She holds an MFA from the New School and lives with her family in Shelburne, Vermont, where she operates an editorial business.


Makkai photo-cropRebecca Makkai is the author of the new story collection Music for Wartime, as well as the novels The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower (which has been published in nine translations and chosen as a Booklist Top Ten Debut). Her short fiction, which has appeared in NER, was featured in the Best American Short Stories anthologies in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, she teaches at Lake Forest College, Northwestern University, and StoryStudio Chicago.

Poems, Crime, and Punishment

Gottshall and Katz read poetry and translation

Coming within 24 hoGottshall-River-Authorurs to a coffee shop hopefully near you! Poet Karin Gottshall and translator Michael Katz will read from their most recent work. The event will take place on January 22, 7:00pm, at Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe (24 Merchants Row, Middlebury, VT). On behalf of all NER afternoon interns: see you there!

Karin Gottshall‘s new book, The River Won’t Hold You, won the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry. Her first book, Crocus, won the Poets Out Loud Prize in 2007 (Fordham University Press). She is also the author of three poetry chapbooks: Flood Letters, Almanac for the Sleepless, and Swan.

KatzMichael R. Katz recently published The Kreutzer Sonata Variations, a compilation that includes his new translation of Tolstoy’s Kreutzer Sonata and the recently discovered “counterstories” written in response by his wife and son. He is currently working on a translation of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, and recently published a translation of Turgenev’s Fathers and Children (Norton).

Samples from past NER Vermont readings are available at our YouTube channel and on Facebook. To sign up for the NER Vermont email, send your address to



NER Vermont Reading Series | October 23, 2014

Please join us in Middlebury on October 23rd, 7 p.m. at Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe for the next reading in our series, featuring Emily Arnason Casey, Kathryn Davis, and
Diana Whitney.


CaseyEmily Arnason Casey‘s writing has appeared in Mid-American Review, Sonora Review, the anthology Please Do Not Remove, and elsewhere. She was a finalist for the 2014 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. She earned an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches writing at the Community College of Vermont. An editor at the online journal Atlas & Alice, Emily lives in Burlington with her husband and two sons, and is working on a collection of essays about loss and longing.

Kathryn Davis (c) Anne Davis-resize

Kathryn Davis is the author of seven novels: Labrador, The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf, Hell, The Walking Tour, Versailles, The Thin Place, and Duplex (Graywolf, 2013). She has been the recipient of the Kafka Prize, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2006 Lannan Award for Fiction. She lives in Montpelier and is Hurst Senior Writer-in-Residence in the MFA program at Washington University in St. Louis.


DianaWhitneyheadshot-cropDiana Whitney‘s first book of poetry, Wanting It, was released in August 2014 by Harbor Mountain Press. Her essays and poems have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, Crab Orchard Review, Puerto del Sol, Numéro Cinq, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, and elsewhere. She graduated from Dartmouth College and Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and attended the Warren Wilson College MFA Program. A yoga instructor and lifelong athlete, Diana lives in Brattleboro with her family.

NER Vermont | BigTown Gallery Reading

20140706_180301New England Review was pleased to partner with BigTown Gallery to host a memorable reading on Sunday, July 6, with poets Terri Ford and Jamaal May. Many fans meandered to the back garden of the gallery to soak up the afternoon sun and to listen to poetry about the birds of Detroit, love in seams, outfits, leeches, and the anatomy of Australia.

Learn more about The NER VT Reading Series, which will resume in the fall, and about Rochester, Vermont’s BigTown Gallery Summer Reading Series.


NER Vermont / BigTown Gallery Reading: Sunday, July 6

Terri Ford-use this one
Terri Ford

The NER Vermont Reading Series and BigTown Gallery are pleased to present Terri Ford and Jamaal May, who will read selections from their poetry on Sunday, July 6, at 5:30 PM at BigTown Gallery, 99 North Main Street, in Rochester. This summer gathering at the gallery will celebrate live readings and the people who value them most, creating a link between two of Vermont’s most lively reading series and from one side of the Green Mountains to the other.

This reading is followed by a special catered reception in the garden. Please RSVP to the BigTown Gallery at NER is arranging for transportation from Middlebury over the mountain to Rochester — if you’d like a ride, please email Seating is limited!

Jamaal May

Terri Ford is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She’s been a fellow at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a summer resident of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown through the Ohio Arts Council, and the recipient of several grants. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Conduit, Forklift Ohio, and many other journals. She is the author of Why the Ships Are She and Hams Beneath the Firmament.

Jamaal May was born in Detroit, Michigan. His first book, Hum, received the Beatrice Hawley Award, the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award, and an NAACP Image Award nomination. He has been awarded a Rose O’Neill Literary House Cave Canem Residency, the Kenyon Review Fellowship, and a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in Italy, among other awards and fellowships. His poems appear in such periodicals as New England Review,, New Republic, Believer, Poetry, Ploughshares, and Best American Poetry 2014. He co-edits the poetry section of Solstice, teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program, and co-directs the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series with Tarfia Faizullah.

NER Vermont Reading Series | Thursday, April 17, 2014


Please join us in Middlebury on Thursday, April 17, 2014,
7 p.m., at Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe
for the 
spring reading in our quarterly series,
with Emily Casey, Don Mitchell,
April Ossmann, and Ross Thurber.

NOTE: We regret that Emily Casey will not be able to make it to the event, due to a family emergency, but we leave her bio here for those interested in knowing more about her work.

 Emily Casey’s writing (Burlington) has appeared in Mid-American Review, South Loop Review, upstreet, Sonora Review, and The Salon. She is a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA in writing program, where she was nominated for an AWP Intro Award in Fiction. She teaches writing at the Community College of Vermont and is currently at work on a collection essays about loss and longing.

DonMitchell_CreditEthanMitchell_LR-1Don Mitchell (New Haven) is a novelist, essayist, and screenwriter whose most recent book is Flying Blind: One Man’s Adventures Battling Buckthorn, Making Peace with Authority, and Creating a Home for Endangered Bats (Chelsea Green, 2013). He’s also the architect and builder of more than a dozen low-cost, energy-efficient structures on Treleven Farm, and a shepherd with thirty-five years’ experience managing a flock of sheep there. He taught creative writing at Middlebury College from 1984 to 2009.


April Ossmann Author PhotoApril Ossmann (West Windsor) is the author of Anxious Music (Four Way Books, 2007) and the recipient of a 2013 Vermont Arts Council creation grant. Her poems have appeared widely in such journals as the Colorado Review and the Harvard Review, and in anthologies. The executive director of Alice James Books from 2000 to 2008, she is Editor-in-Residence for the low-residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College and an editing and publishing consultant (


RossThurberRoss Thurber (Brattleboro) is a farmer and poet. He manages Lilac Ridge Farm, an organic dairy, vegetable, and maple sugar operation in Brattleboro. His poetry has been published in the Chrysalis Reader, Root Stock, and in a new poetry anthology So Little Time published by Vermont’s Green Writers Press.

NER Vermont Winter Reading: Thursday, Jan. 16, 7 pm

New England Review is pleased to present Ryan Kim, April Ossmann, Jay Parini, and Ryan Walsh, who will read from recent work as part of the NER Vermont Reading Series, this Thursday (Jan. 16, 7 p.m.) at Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe, 24 Merchants Row, in Middlebury.

RyamKim3Ryan Kim (Middlebury) is a native of Newport Beach, California, a graduate of the Putney School, and a senior economics major at Middlebury. He wrote for Middlebury Magazine and gave a TEDx talk about the Amtrak trip he took around America. His industrial design photography is currently on exhibit at the Burlington Airport. After graduation, Ryan will head west to seek employment on a dude ranch before moving to Mexico to write and teach English.

OssmannApril Ossmann (West Windsor) is the author of Anxious Music (Four Way Books, 2007) and the recipient of a 2013 Vermont Arts Council creation grant. Her poems have appeared widely in such journals as the Colorado Review and the Harvard Review, and in anthologies. The executive director of Alice James Books from 2000 to 2008, she is Editor-in-Residence for the low-residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College and an editing and publishing consultant (

PariniJay Parini (Weybridge) is a novelist, poet, biographer, and critic. His seven novels include The Last Station, Benjamin’s Crossing, and The Passages of H. M. His poetry includes The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems. He has written biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, and William Faulkner. His nonfiction includes such books as The Art of Teaching, Why Poetry Matters, and Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America. His latest book is Jesus: The Human Face of God. He is Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College.

WalshRyan Walsh (Johnson) is the author of The Sinks, winner of the 2010 Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest (Midwest Writing Center Press). His poems have appeared in Ecotone; FIELD; Forklift, Ohio; Green Mountains Review; Narrative; and elsewhere. He received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and was a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship finalist in 2011. He is Writing Program Director at the Vermont Studio Center.

Samples from past readings are available at our YouTube channel and on Facebook. To sign up for the NER Vermont email list send your address to

NER Vermont Reading Series: November 21, 2013

Please join us on Thursday, November 21, 2013, 7 p.m., at Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe for the fall reading in our quarterly series, with Julia Alvarez, John Elder, Jessica Hendry Nelson, and Christopher Shaw.

Julia-AlvarezJulia Alvarez (Weybridge) has been practicing the craft of writing for over forty years. She has brought a variety of work to readers of all ages, including novels, picture books, novels for middle readers and young adults, collections of poetry, and nonfiction—most recently A Wedding in Haiti: The Story of a Friendship. She has taught English and creative writing at every level, from elementary schools to senior citizen centers. She is currently a writer in residence at Middlebury College.

JE_2726webJohn Elder (Bristol) taught English and environmental studies at Middlebury College from 1973 until his retirement in 2010. His books Reading the Mountains of HomeThe Frog Run, and Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa explore the meaning of Vermont’s landscape and environmental history for him as a teacher, writer, and householder. Recently he has also completed a memoir called Picking up the Flute that chronicles his obsession since retirement with learning about and playing traditional Irish music.

Jessica_Hendry_Nelson_courtesyJessica Hendry Nelson (Colchester) is the author of the forthcoming memoir in essays, If Only You People Could Follow Directions (Counterpoint, 2014). Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, PANK, Carolina Quarterly, Best American Essays 2012, and elsewhere. She teaches writing at Johnson State College. She is also the managing editor and nonfiction editor of Green Mountains Review and the cofounder of the Renegade Writers’ Collective in Burlington.

chris_shawChristopher Shaw (Bristol) is the author of Sacred Monkey River: A Canoe Trip with the Gods and a former editor of Adirondack Life. He teaches creative writing at Middlebury College and codirects the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism. His essay “At Panther Gorge with William James” appeared recently in NER.

New Books from Vermont Authors: If Only You People Could Follow Directions

hendry bookVermont writer Jessica Hendry Nelson’s debut book, a memoir of linked essays from Counterpoint Press, will be published in January 2014. Nelson is the cofounder of the Renegade Writers’ Collective in Burlington, Vermont, and is the senior nonfiction editor of Fiddleback. Her work has appeared in Threepenny ReviewPANKCarolina QuarterlyBest American Essays 2012, and elsewhere.

From Josh Cook of Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA: “Memory doesn’t move in a straight line. It is chaotic, digressive, and imperfect. While most memoirs force life into the restrictions of straight lines, Nelson embraces the chaos by moving back and forth in time, free associating among memories, and organizing her life into a series of essays. What could be just another memoir of a family disintegrated by substance abuse becomes a vibrant and challenging exploration of abuse, obsession, coping, family, friendship, and self-discovery.”

Nelson will appear as a featured author at the upcoming Vermont Reading Series event on November 21st.

If Only You People Could Follow Directions will be available from Powell’s Books and from  local independent booksellers.