“NER Out Loud” is a collaboration of the New England Review, Middlebury’s Mahaney Arts Center, and Oratory Now. In the tradition of NPR’s “Selected Shorts,” Middlebury student actors read selections from the New England Review in a live performance, lending their voices to the work on the page and bringing it to life for an audience of students, faculty, and community members. Each year the event also features students reading their own work in a “S’More Readings” reception, representing a variety of student-edited journals.
The seventh annual NER Out Loud event, like everything else in 2020, did not go on as planned. But it also wasn’t canceled! Instead, two students readers were matched up with two works from NER authors, which they rehearsed and read on stage in Robison Hall—to an audience of three. The student readers then did a Zoom interview with the authors, whose works they’d become intimately familiar with. The readings and conversations were recorded for our podcast, to be released in spring 2021. The first episode features Madison Middleton reading from the short story “Suffering in Motion” by McKenna Marsden. The next episode will feature Celeste Levy reading “Offered as Suddenly a Forest,” a poem by Zach Linge.
Friday, Nov. 8, 2019
The sixth annual NER Out Loud and S’More Readings Reception took place in the Dance Theatre at the Mahaney Center for the Arts, Middlebury College. Live readings of prose and poetry from the New England Review by Oratory Now were followed by dessert and more readings of original creative writing by students. Find event photos here.
• Kamari Williams ’23 reading Still Still Still by Matthew Lippman
• Dave Anderson ’19.5 reading Breathe by Jerald Walker
• Andrés Santana ’23 reading Last Sundays at Bootleggers by Carlos Andrés Gómez
• Steph Miller ’20 reading Protozoa by Ella Martinsen Gorham, edited and directed by Cole Merrell ’21
• Cole Merrell ’21 reading For You by Aleš Šteger
• Max Padilla ’22 reading Caterpillars by Rosaleen Bertolino
Friday, Oct. 26, 2018
• Melanie Rivera ’19 reading “In Order of Appearance,” a poem by Heather Christle
• Gillinda James ’21 reading “Dead Weight,” a story by Raven Leilani
• Masha Makutonina ’21 reading the story “Biomass” by Alla Gorbunova, translated from Russian by Elina Alter
• Pele Voncujovi ’19 reading the poem “Don’t tell them we’re going or they’ll want to come too” by Nathan Trantraal, translated from Afrikaans by André Trantraal
• Sam Martin ’19 and Rebecca Berlind ’21 reading “Modal Window,” a story by Janet Towle
Followed by students reading rom their own work in the Mahaney Center lobby.
November 10, 2017
The fourth annual NER Out Loud event took place at the Dance Theatre in the MAC. Live readings of prose and poetry from the New England Review were followed by readings from student magazines Blackbird and MiddGeo. Sign language interpretation by Trudy Gilbert. Photos from the event can be found HERE.
• Pele Voncujovi ’19
Reading “Origin Story” by Kazim Ali
• Sam Martin ’19
Reading “Take Stock” by Clarence Orsi
• Paige Guarino ’18.5
Reading “Philomath” by Devon Walker-Figueroa
• Nia Robinson ’19
Reading “The Doll Family” by Rosaleen Bertolino
• Dominick Tanoh ’18
Reading “Horn of Plenty” by Paisley Rekdal
• Amanda Whiteley ’19
Reading “War Stories” by David Heronry
The performance was followed by S’More Readings, with readings from student magazines and dessert.
February 24, 2017
The February 2017 program, held in the Dance Theatre, included Ellen Colton ’19 (reading Alison Stagner’s “Midnight”), Josh Espy ’17 (reading Maciej Milkowski’s “The Week of German Cinema”), Jabari Matthew ’17 (reading Cortney Lamar Charleston’s “Still Life…”), Steven Medina ’17 (reading Alex McElroy’s “Endure”), Melanie Rivera ’19 (reading Alia Volz’s “Chasing Arrows”), and Nia Robinson ’19 (reading Franny Choi’s “The Price of Rain”). Student publications featured at the S’More Readings reception included Blackbird, Frame, and Translingual .
The second annual NER Out Loud, in the Robison Concert Hall, featured 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. ASL interpretation by Eliza Goodhue.
At the “S’more Readings” reception, NER intern Isabelle Stillman ’16 welcomed the student magazines and readers. 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.
The first NER Out Loud event took place on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, in the Robison Concert Hall at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. 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.
For more details and recordings of this event, LOOK AND LISTEN HERE.