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NER intern Juliette Luini ’18.5 hosts the first episode of NER Out Loud: The Podcast.

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Students Help Launch NER Out Loud: The Podcast

November 28, 2018

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury’s literary quarterly, the New England Review (NER), has launched NER Out Loud: The Podcast. The first episode, hosted by NER intern Juliette Luini ’18.5, features students reading two recent pieces from NER that converge on the themes of art and destruction. Will Koch ’21 reads “Shotgun Elegy,” a poem by Henry Kearney IV (NER 37.3), and Gabby Valdivieso ’18 reads “Chinese Opera,” a short story by Anne Raeff (NER 37.2). 

According to Carolyn Kuebler, NER’s editor, the podcast came directly out of NER Out Loud, the literary journal’s annual collaboration with Oratory Now, a student-driven organization directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Dana Yeaton that offers training in oral expression, and Middlebury’s Mahaney Arts Center. At the event, students read poems and stories from NER in front of a live audience. This year’s gathering in October marked the debut of the podcast, which will be a monthly series.

“Something magic happens when you pair a new piece of writing with an attentive, thoughtful reader,” said Kuebler. “The words come alive in a new way, and what’s usually a solitary experience—­reading—becomes a shared experience. I don’t think there’s another podcast of its kind in the world of literary journals.

“We only have a live event once a year, and there are so many more pieces from NER we wanted to hear out loud, and so many talented students to read them,” Kuebler added. Future podcasts may include conversations with the readers and authors, snippets from the recording studio, or audio from the NER Out Loud live event, she said.

Students—including interns Kylie Winger ’19, Hannah Green ’19, and Luini ’18.5—played key roles in the podcast’s development and continue to work on the project. They looked through the magazine’s archives to identify stories, poems, and nonfiction that seem particularly suitable for vocal performance. They also edited the audio. Students from Oratory Now oversaw the recording process and provided coaching for the readers. Several other students have also participated in the podcast’s creation, including Emma Schoblocher ’20 and Sydney Warren ’19, the podcast’s sound engineers. The original theme music was composed by Thomas Wentworth ’18.

Sam Martin ’19, a head coach for Oratory Now, said, “From our selections, we happened to see that the poem ‘Shotgun Elegy’ by Henry Kearney IV and ‘Chinese Opera’ by Anne Raeff both had something to do with violence and woundedness, but also creativity and art, and so we decided to present them together for the first episode.” Martin said they hope to do more themed episodes in the future. 

The next episode of NER Out Loud: The Podcast will be available December 6 and will feature three poems by well-known American poets Bob Hicok, Victoria Chang, and C. K. Williams.

NER invites readers and listeners who have a favorite piece from the journal that they would like to hear read aloud to contact NER at NER Out Loud is available on Apple Podcasts. Listen and subscribe to NER Out Loud here.

Published by Middlebury College, New England Review is a nationally recognized literary journal that cultivates artistic excellence and innovation in contemporary writing and engages readers deeply in the literary arts through its quarterly publication, dynamic web presence, and public reading series. 

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