Carolyn Kuebler to Become Editor of NER

carolyn-kuebler-and-stephen-donadioFrom the Middlebury College News Room:

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury College has announced the appointment of Carolyn Kuebler as editor of the New England Review, a quarterly literary journal published by the college. She will assume her new responsibilities in January 2014, when Stephen Donadio steps down from his role as editor, a position he has held since 1994. Until the end of the year Kuebler will continue to serve in her current position as managing editor while preparing for the transition.

Since her arrival as managing editor in 2004, Kuebler has worked closely with Donadio to select fiction, nonfiction, poetry and translations for publication in the New England Review. She coordinates the production, marketing, fundraising and design of the literary quarterly, including its website. Kuebler initiated the NER Vermont Reading Series and NER’s internship program for Middlebury students, and also currently advises independent undergraduate projects in writing and publication.

“Carolyn was the obvious choice to take the reins at NER,” said Tim Spears, Middlebury College vice president for academic affairs. “In her work as managing editor, she has been open to new literary voices and enhanced the publication’s ability to provoke thoughtful discussion. She is ideally suited to maintain NER’s reputation as one of the nation’s most distinguished literary journals.”

Kuebler earned a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury in 1990, majoring in English with a concentration in Italian, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Bard College in 2001. She was the founding editor and publisher of Rain Taxi, a quarterly book review publication based in Minneapolis, and subsequently served as associate editor at Library Journal in New York. She has published book reviews, critical essays, and short fiction in numerous journals and newspapers, and has recently completed a novel.


“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead NER into its next phase, responding to changes in reading habits and technology, but also continuing to offer readers a magazine that demands and rewards their full attention,” said Kuebler. “I look forward to further strengthening the journal’s connections to the college, the students and our broader community as well.”

Spears praised Donadio’s leadership over the last two decades. “Stephen’s careful editing has helped to bring out the best in NER’s writers,” said Spears. “His unique eye for contemporary literature has helped make NER one of the top literary magazines in the country.”

While at NER, Donadio has published the work of some of the best new poets and fiction writers, in addition to memorable translations, plays and nonfiction of all kinds, including letters from abroad, historical explorations, and cultural criticism. In just the past decade, 21 poems published in NER appeared in the Best American Poetry series, and 28 stories were selected or listed as notables in Best American Short Stories. The current poet laureate of the United States, Natasha Trethewey, published some of her early work in NER, and continues to publish with NER today. Donadio credits much of the magazine’s reputation for first-rate poetry to the efforts of C. Dale Young, NER’s longtime poetry editor.


Donadio said, “More than anything else I’ve wanted to do my best to insure that every issue of the New England Review could be picked up 20 or 30 years from now and still seem fresh and compelling, in keeping with Ezra Pound’s demanding dictum that ‘literature is news that stays news.’

“Carolyn Kuebler has shared this vision,” added Donadio. “She is also a highly respected professional in the literary world. There could be no one better qualified to lead NER into the next phase of its distinguished history.”

After taking academic leave in 2013, Donadio will resume teaching and advising students in his capacity as Fulton Professor of Humanities at Middlebury, also serving as director of the college’s Program in Literary Studies. He will maintain an association with the New England Review as editor at large.

Middlebury College Students Launch “Room 404”

Room 404image, an interdisciplinary magazine with an emphasis on design, will release its first print issue this week. Conceived, edited, and designed by current Middlebury students, this magazine features “projects that don’t quite fit in any other publications at Middlebury,” according to Moss Turpan, who co-edits the magazine with Dylan Redford.

“The first issue,” Turpan says, “includes a series of logos for things that don’t need logos, a piece about using art as a tool for processing academic ideas (accompanied by a series of illustrations telling the tale of ancient Greek history), and an essay on the way the aesthetics of dorm rooms affect one’s life.”

Room 404 collaborates with its contributors, who come up with rough ideas for projects and develop them with the magazine’s managing board.

Free copies of the first issue are available by emailing A release party is scheduled on campus for Wednesday, January 16, at 8 p.m.

Room 404 Release from ROOM 404 on Vimeo.

Why Shakespeare Today? As You Like It at Middlebury

From Middlebury College’s events calendar:

“Sweet are the uses of adversity . . .” This new production of William Shakespeare’s beloved comedy As You Like It is a melancholy tale of love and exile, set in the early part of the 20th century, as the old world tips into the new, and all is forever changed.

The story takes on new meaning against the backdrop of unrest in Europe and the development of the First World War, as the unrest between the characters reflects the larger changes of the period.

Directed by Cheryl Faraone and sponsored by the Theatre Program, this production closes on the 17th of November in the Wright Memorial Theater with performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

A Q&A follows the afternoon performance:

“Why Shakespeare Today?” Panelists Melissa Lourie of Middlebury Actor’s Workshop, Lindsay Pontius, the Town Hall Theater Director of Education and UVM Shakespeare professor Stephen Schillinger will join Director Cheryl Faraone to answer questions after the 2 p.m. matinee.

Tickets for the performances are six dollars for current Middlebury students, ten dollars for faculty, staff, children, and alumni, and twelve dollars for the general public. To purchase tickets, please see visit the online box office.

Battle of the bards

Poor Form Poetry, Middlebury’s resident spoken word performance group, proudly returned from going head-to-head and verse-to-verse with poetry slam groups across New England. Over J-term, the college’s team of eight students advanced to finals at the Second Annual Regional Poetry Slam at Yale and won fourth place overall.

Maya Goldberg-Safir slams at Yale

According to founding Poor Form member Anna Gallagher, “we were very happy with this result because we felt that our style separated us from the competition’s typical techniques.” She explains that Middlebury’s team “emphasizes writing” and sincere, simmering emotionality while refusing to write about “things we can’t relate to.” Instead, the team took on a quirky, bittersweet range of topics from “almost getting a tattoo” to losing a loved one.

Reflecting on the newfound popularity of performing poetry, Gallagher notes that “it creates a weird tension between art and attention-getting, and there is less appreciation for the subtlety of page poetry. However, slam creates an undeniable energy—a team dynamic that is fostered in the most competitive of varsity sports. It also creates an intimacy unlike any other.”

The team consisted of four performers, Gallagher, Maya Goldberg-Safir, Olivia Grugan Carolyn Orsoz, and Jessi Stevens, two alternates, Lara Shabb and Emily Wheeler, and coach, Cody Ghol.

Watch clips of previous Poor Form poetry slams on YouTube.

News & Notes | NER Web Update

NER gratefully acknowledges its 2011 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for helping the magazine enhance its web content and design through this site. The new site represents more than a design upgrade and a technological improvement through its use of RSS-enabled posts and other content-sharing features. (NER would like to thank Middlebury College’s Curricular Technologist, Alex Chapin, for his technological assistance and advice in building this site.) In this space, NER will be posting regular links to new poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from NER’s current issue and classic works from previous issues, as well as recommending links to features from other literary web sites. NER Digital, a forthcoming feature, is planned to showcase original and innovative writing for the web. Our new Audio Highlights section will feature readings from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, which, like NER, makes its home at Middlebury College. NER is part of a vibrant community of arts and humanities at Middlebury, which has provided critical and generous support for the magazine since 1987.

If you are a NER contributor with good news to share, an NER author who would like to contribute original writing to NER Digital, an editor at a literary site with a link to an intriguing project, or a member of an organization or department at Middlebury that would like to share web content related to literature, arts, or digital culture, please contact web editor J. M. Tyree.