The Student Newspaper at Middlebury College

The Middlebury Campus

Blackbird Takes Off

Courtesy of Blackbird

By DAVID GOSSENS

The Blackbird Fall 2017 issue came out on Thursday, Nov. 30 at the organization’s launch party in the Gamut room. There were several pizzas from American Flatbread, an ample amount of refreshments and the music of 10” Personal Pizza to celebrate the occasion. Some attendees grouped around the couches and chatted while others sat by the band and read the new issue together. Editors-in-chief Maya London-Southern ’20 and Zoe Harris ’20 brought several of the contributing authors on stage, giving the audience the pleasure of hearing the pieces out loud. All readers performed beautifully. The poetry was thoughtful, stylistic and well-delivered and speaking them out loud gave them life.

The editors were pleased with the event, which managed to maintain a chill and friendly vibe throughout.

“I think this is one of the best turn-outs we’ve seen for a launch,” said Nick Kaye ’17.5, another of the editors-in-chief and a seasoned Blackbird veteran. “It’s great to see students take a break from finals-season hell to get jazzed about art and literature.”

“I am so proud of the students who put themselves out there and shared their work with us,” said Harris. “I hope Blackbird helps make people more aware of the vibrant arts community on campus.”

The new issue features 66 pages of the finest student drawings, poetry, prose, paintings and photography. The cover illustration depicts the inner rings of a lying log. The significance of the drawing is meant to be ambiguous, though Kaye, who designed the cover, suggests it could  have something to do with the layers of depth that hide within the pages of Blackbird. The magazine received a larger amount of submissions than usual this semester which allowed the editors to choose a variety of different viewpoints and tones throughout the issue, ultimately achieving this sense of depth.

After the poetry readings, London-Southern and Harris honored Kaye for his contribution to Blackbird. Kaye has been involved with the magazine since his freshman year, but this semester’s issue is his last, as he will graduate in February. Once Kaye graduates, London-Southern and Harris will officially take over the next issue.

“Having a role in every step of the publication process made the experience so much more exciting and the finished product of the magazine and the launch party all the more gratifying,” said London-Southern. “I’m so happy I got to work with such a great team, especially Nick, who has been on Blackbird since his first semester and was a greater teacher to Zoe and me.”

The editors note that they are always looking for new submissions and there is no cap on the number of submissions a student can send in.

“We want the magazine to serve as a microcosm of the entire campus’ diverse creative output,” Kaye said. “I hope to see more and more students submitting work to help us accomplish this goal.”

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