“NER Out Loud” is a collaboration of the New England Review, the Mahaney Center for the Arts, and Oratory Now. In the tradition of NPR’s “Selected Shorts,” Middlebury student actors and orators read selections from the New England Review literary magazine in a live performance. Students present poems, memoir, and short fiction from the pages of NER on the Concert Hall stage, lending their voices to the work on the page and bringing it to life for an audience of students, faculty, and community members.
NER presented the second annual “NER Out Loud” event on Friday, March 4, 8 PM. Six Middlebury students read selected pieces published in NER in 2015, accompanied by an ASL interpreter. After the program, the audience gathered in the art center lobby for more readings and a reception, where they browsed copies of NER plus four student publications—Blackbird, Frame, Middlebury Geographic, and Translingual—and heard another 10 students read their own work from those magazines.
Students readers were Sally Seitz ’17, reading “The Red Painter” by Penelope Cray, a Vermont author who attended the reading; Alexander Burnett ’16, reading a “Rediscovery” from 1870 by Henry Reed Stiles, titled “To Bundle or to Tarry”; Mariah Levin ‘16.5, reading the poem “High School in Suzhou” by Cate Marvin; Kathleen Gudas ‘16.5, reading from the short story “Forty-Two” by Lisa Taddeo; Melanie Rivera ’19, reading the poem “At the Tribunals” by Patrick Rosal; and August Rosenthal ’17, reading from the story “Eleven Girls” by David Ebenbach. Adding another layer of artistry, and making the event accessible to the deaf community, was American Sign Language interpreter Eliza Goodhue. RECORDINGS OF THIS EVENT are available here.
At the “S’more Readings” reception, NER intern Isabelle Stillman ’16 welcomed the student magazines and readers—with chocolate and marshmallow treats. Student editors, who introduced their magazines, and in some cases read their own work, included Nicholas Kaye ’17 of Blackbird, Filippos Papageorgiou ’16 and Anthea Viragh ’16.5 of Middlebury Geographic, Natalie Figueroa ’18 and Maya Reich ’19 of Translingual, and Meg Daly ’18 and Wendy Walcoff ’16.5 of Frame. Other student writers who read were Christina Brook ’18, Anna Parker ’17.5, Naomi Eisenberg ’18, Lizzie Apple ’18, Taylor Scott Berkley ’16.5, Daria Cenedella ’18, and Samuel Wegner ’18.
Middlebury students edit and publish a wide range of literary magazines each year. Blackbird is literary arts magazine presenting fiction, poetry, and artwork by Middlebury students. Frame, new this year, is a handmade staple-bound booklet featuring highlights from a student-led creative writing workshop. MiddGeo, a glossy magazine full of photography, is designed to capture and celebrate the academic work, independent research, and worldwide adventures of Middlebury College students. Translingual offers translations by Middlebury students of their own writing, and writing by others, in multiple languages. Students reading from this journal read their work in English but also in Maori, Japanese, and Spanish. Photos of the reception are available on our Facebook page.
Our first NER Out Loud event took place on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Students readers were Kevin Benscheidt ’17 (reading Matthew Olzmann), Brenna Christensen ’17 (reading Kelli Russell Agodon), Caitlyn Duffy ’15.5 (reading Allegra Hyde), Cole Ellison ’17 (reading James Hoch), Jabari Matthew ’17 (reading Larry I. Palmer), Melissa MacDonald ’15 (reading Kate Lebo), and Sally Seitz ’17 (reading January Gill O’Neil). Eliza Goodhue provided ASL interpretation, side by side with the student orators, who remained on stage throughout the production.
More details, and recordings of this event, are available here.