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.

Middlebury Faculty and Alumni Author Reading | June 6

New England Review is pleased to present a gathering of alumni and faculty authors during Middlebury’s reunion weekend on Saturday, June 6, at 2:30 p.m. Writers who will read from their work are Professor Emeritus John Elder, Lucas Gonzalez, Sydney Landon Plum, India Hixon Radfar, and Sue Ellen Thompson, in the Middlebury College Axinn Center, Room 229. Free and open to the public!

JE_2726webJohn Elder (Professor Emeritus) 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.

Gonzalez Lucas Gonzalez (2010) was born and raised in New York City and works as an English teacher in Palo Alto, California. He first attended Middlebury as a high school student at the New England Young Writers’ Conference. He published his first young adult novel, The Maple Machine, in 2006. During his time as an undergraduate, Lucas served as a co-creator of Blackbird, a student-led undergraduate publication still in print today. He was also NER’s first summer intern. Since graduating from Midd, Lucas has gone on to pursue his MA at the Bread Loaf School of English, attending each of the four campuses and organizing the graduate student reading series. He is thrilled to be back in the company of NER, Middlebury, and his beloved Green Mountains.

SydneyPlum-photo1 Landon Plum (1970) teaches online for the University of Connecticut. Solitary Goose, her book of essays about life on a small pond in Connecticut, was published by University of Georgia Press in 2007. She also contributed a chapter to the anthology Facing the Change: Personal Encounters with Global Warming, edited by Steven Pavlos Holmes. Plum has worked for the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Environmental Writers’ Conference in Honor of Rachel Carson, and served on the committee establishing a new major in Environmental Studies at UConn. She is currently working on essays exploring ordinary encounters—with a Benedictine monk in Vietnam, a rug salesman in Istanbul, and an eel fisherman and a snapping turtle in Maine.

India RadfarIndia Hixon Radfar (1990) has published four books of poetry: India Poem (2002), the desire to meet with the beautiful (2003), Breathe (2004), and Position & Relation (2009), in addition to a chapbook, 12 Poems That Were Never Written (2006). She teaches poetry for California Poets-in-the-Schools and expressive writing (for Writegirl and The Creative Minds Project at UCLA) with populations of the homeless, the mentally ill, the imprisoned, and those doing early parenting. She is a Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator for the International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy and just received an A.I.R. grant from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to do a large writing project with the homeless youth of Los Angeles.

Sue Ellen Thompson (1970) published her fifth book of poetry, They, in 2014. Her work has been included in the Best American Poetry series and read on National Public Radio by Garrison Keillor. In addition to a Winter Term course at Middlebury, she has taught at Wesleyan University, Binghamton University, Central Connecticut State University, and the University of Delaware. With her husband, Stuart Parnes ’70, she lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where she mentors adult poets and teaches workshops at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda and Annapolis. She was awarded the 2010 Maryland Author Prize from the Maryland Library Association.

NER presents a reading from “Please Do Not Remove”

Please-Do-Not-Remove_cover-front-finalIn partnership with Middlebury’s Special Collections and Archives, NER is pleased to present a reading from Please Do Not Remove: A Collection Celebrating Vermont Literature and Libraries, in the Davis Family Library Special Collections and Archives Room 101, at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 10.

The book’s editor, Angela Palm, and a lineup of three stellar Vermont poets—David Dillon, Karin Gottshall, and Gary Margolis—will read from and discuss selections from the anthology. Refreshments and door prizes too! Free and open to the public.

“NER Out Loud” Brings the Page to the Stage

ner_35-2_front_cover-sqIn the tradition of Public Radio International’s “Selected Shorts,” Middlebury College students will read selections from the New England Review in a live performance entitled “NER Out Loud” at the Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall on February 24, 7:30 p.m. The event will be followed by a “S’more Readings” reception with the readers and NER staff, along with representatives of several student literary magazines. Both events are free and open to the public. ASL interpreting provided.

Readers will include Kevin Benscheidt ’17, Brenna Christensen ’17, Caitlyn Duffy ’15.5, Cole Ellison ’17, Jabari Matthew ’17, Melissa MacDonald ’15, and Sally Seitz ’17, with Debanjan Roychoudhury ’16 as MC. Editors and contributors to the student literary magazines Sweatervest, Blackbird, and Room 404 will also be on hand at the post-show reception to discuss their publications and give sample readings from their pages. Attendees will be invited to enjoy s’mores while listening to the readings in the lobby.

NER Out Loud is the result of a new partnership between the Mahaney Center for the Arts, the Oratory Society, and the New England Review. NER Out Loud will take place on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, at 7:30 P.M. in the Concert Hall of the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts. The reception will take place in the downstairs lobby immediately following the performance. Admission is free and the public is welcome. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south, on the campus of Middlebury College. Free parking is available. For more information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to

Seattle’s Hugo House Hosts NER

Wednesday, January 28 at 7PM

A release party for NER Volume 35.4 will occur at the Hugo House in Seattle! Poetry editor Rick Barot will emcee, and copies of his inaugural issue will be available. Readers include NER contributors Kelli Russell Agodon, Kevin Craft, Susan Rich, Christopher Robinson, and Michelle Peñaloza.

NER poetry editor Rick Barot has publishRick Baroted two books of poetry with Sarabande Books: The Darker Fall (2002), and Want (2008), which won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Artist Trust of Washington, the Civitella Ranieri, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace E. Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer. His third collection, Chord, will be published by Sarabande in 2015. 


Kelli Russell Agodon

Kelli Russel Agodon is an award-winning poet, writer, and editor from the Pacific Northwest. Her most recent collection is Hourglass Museum (White Pine Press, 2014) and The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice, which she coauthored with Martha Silano. Her second collection, Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room was chosen by Carl Dennis for the winner of the White Pine Press Book Prize, and was also the Winner of ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year in Poetry as well as a Finalist for the Washington State Book Prize.


Kevin CraftKevin Craft is the editor of Poetry Northwest. His books include Solar Prominence (Cloudbank Books, 2005), and five volumes of the anthology Mare Nostrum, an annual collection of Italian translation and Mediterranean-inspired writing. New poems have appeared recently in Poetry, Kenyon Review, Collagist, and New England Review. He lives in Seattle, and directs both the Written Arts Program at Everett Community College and the University of Washington’s Creative Writing Summer in Rome Program.


Michelle Penaloza

Michelle Peñaloza grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared most recently in Asian American Literary Review, TriQuarterly, Oversound, Pinwheel, and INCH. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the University of Oregon, Kundiman, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Hugo House, and Literary Arts. Her chapbook, landscape / heartbreak, is forthcoming from Two Sylvias Press in Spring 2015.



Susan Rich

Susan Rich is the author of four collections of poems: Cloud Pharmacy, The Alchemist’s Kitchen, Cures Include Travel, and The Cartographer’s Tongue /Poems of the World. She has received fellowships and awards from Artists Trust, the Times Literary Supplement, PEN USA, and the Fulbright Foundation. Susan’s poems have appeared in many journals including Alaska Quarterly Review, Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, and New England Review. She is co-founder of Poets on the Coast: A Writing Retreat for Women and the new Seattle reading series WordsWest.


Christopher Robinson

Christopher Robinson’s debut novel, War of the Encyclopaedists, co-authored with Gavin Kovite, will be published by Scribner in May 2015. His work has appeared in Missouri Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s Online, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, and the Djerassi Resident Artist program, among others. He earned his MA in poetry from Boston University and his MFA from Hunter College. His secret underground lair is located somewhere in Seattle.

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 Authors Take LA

NER recently held its first West Coast reading at Stories Books in Los Angeles, and we’re still basking in the afterglow. To extend the joy even further we’re sharing this series of photographs of the authors and SRO crowd, care of photographer Thomas Moore.

Lou Mathews
Lou Mathews

The reading featured writers published in current and past issues of the New England Review: Sands Hall and Lou Mathews from the current issue, 35.2; Steve De Jarnatt from 34.1; and Charles Hood, with a recent piece in NER Digital.

The reading attracted a large and enthusiastic audience, which spilled out into the courtyard beyond. Thanks to Lou Mathews for putting all the pieces together, and to the authors, the audience, Tom Moore, and Stories Books. For more photos from the event, click here.

NER Reading at Stories Cafe, Los Angeles | Fri., Sept. 26

StoriesLAStories Books in Echo Park 1716 West Sunset Boulevard will host the first New England Review reading in California on Friday, September 26, 7:30 p.m.

Fiction writers Steve De Jarnatt, Sands Hall, and Lou Mathews, and poet, essayist Charles Hood will read from their work published in the current and past issues of the magazine.

Steve De Jarnatt (NER 34.1) grew up in the small logging town of Longview, Washington across the Columbia River from where Raymond Carver was born. He recently “broke out” of show biz after a long career writing and directing film and television, (the cult feature Miracle Mile is among his many credits), and he received his MFA from Antioch Los Angeles and is now pursuing the lucrative world of short fiction. Steve’s work has appeared in many journals, and one of his stories was among the 100 Distinguished Stories for Best American Short Stories 2013.

Sands Hall, whose story appears in the current issue, is the author of the novel, Catching Heaven (Ballantine) a Willa Award Finalist for Best Contemporary Fiction and a Random House Reader’s Circle selection; and of a book of writing essays and exercises, Tools of the Writers Craft.  She holds an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and a second MFA in Theatre Arts. As a graduate of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre’s Advanced Training Program, Sands has worked extensively as actor and director. A singer/songwriter, Sands recently produced a CD of her tunes, Rustler’s Moon. She teaches creative writing at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA,

Charles Hood recently published a piece in NER Digital. He is an essayist, poet, and photographer and a Research Fellow at the Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art. He teaches English at Antelope Valley College. A graduate of U.C. Irvine, he studied under Charles Wright, Louise Glück, and James McMichael. His awards include a Fulbright in Ethnopoetics, an NEH, an Artist-in-Residency with the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, an Artist-in-Residency with the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and a National Science Foundation Fellowship to Antarctica. His most recent book, South x South, won the Hollis Summers prize from Ohio University Press. He is finishing three manuscripts, including a poetry book about all 150 moons in the Solar System.

Lou Mathews, who also has a story in the current issue, is a Los Angeles based journalist, fiction writer, playwright and a fourth-generation Angeleno. Married at 19, he worked his way through U.C. Santa Cruz as a gas station attendant and mechanic and continued to work as a mechanic until he was 39. His first novel, L.A. Breakdown, about illegal street racing, was picked by the Los Angeles Times as a Best Book of 1999. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, a California Arts Council Fiction Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize and a Katherine Anne Porter Prize. His novella, The Irish Sextet, won Failbetter’s Tenth Anniversary novella contest. His story in the current New England Review “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others” is from a new manuscript Hollywoodski. He has taught in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program since 1989. He was also a contributing editor and restaurant reviewer for L.A. Style Magazine for seven years and 43 pounds.