A Second Look

    Following our last issue of Bennington, I heard from many readers the three words editors love more than any others: cover to cover. Of course that is our aim, to make all of the stories worth your attention—from the stories you share in class notes, to those we find tucked away in books, to those we feature. And at Bennington there are so many. Yet the stories I appreciate the most are those that invite you to respond, to transform a story into a conversation. After reading last issue’s article on the Dimensional Application, Marilyn Kropf Kurtz ’58, PhD and Chris Gage P’18 did just that, sharing memories of their own application—Marilyn as a student, Chris as a parent remembering his child’s first view of Bennington (below). Rob Faucette ’96 responded to another story in this issue. He completed the assignment given by Allen Shawn to compose a piece for Emily Dickinson’s “I felt a Funeral in My Brain.” Uploaded to Bennington’s SoundCloud channel, https://soundcloud.com/groups/before-they-were-big, the piece inspired this from Shawn: “nice urgency... makes you hear/feel the poem.” We hope you’ll listen and be inspired, too.

    In putting this issue together, I had the wisdoms of commencement speeches past and present to inspire me: Gloria Steinem and faculty member Sherry Kramer. Each speech should be read (or watched) in the fullness with which it was delivered, but for the purpose of this issue I am, forgive me, putting their ducks in a row. Ducks, which have come to mean for me a way of being and seeing. This issue of Bennington is threaded with stories about being and seeing—from a cacophonous social telling of Bennington’s 24 Hour Plays to the stories about new ways to start political and social revolutions (p. 22 and p. 25) as well as the little heard stories of women in history (p. 16) and those of the scarcely seen in war zones (p. 38) that would go untold if not for award-winning alumni writers Megan Mayhew Bergman MFA ’10 and Luke Mogelson ’05.

    Of course, there are two stories very dear to us at Bennington—those that trace the work of retired faculty members Becky Godwin and Andy Spence, emblems of what it is to be in a perpetual making and re-making of work, looking and re-looking, in the sweet spot of being and seeing that gives you a way to find what is new again.

Sincerely,
Briee Della Rocca
Editor 

#Bennington24 img
#Bennington24

One night only: A vivid tribute to former faculty member Nicky Martin.

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The Provoker img
The Provoker

Following the earthquake in Nepal, Ujwal Thapa '00 rose to the occasion and now is rising in political popularity, by Crystal Barrick '11.

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Briefs img
Briefs

Lessons on looking again.

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An Andy Abstract img
An Andy Abstract

Retracing the work of retired faculty member Andy Spence, by Briee Della Rocca

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From Every Vantage img
From Every Vantage

Becky Godwin’s journey to and through Bennington, recounted by her former student, Crystal Barrick ’11.

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The Seeds That Became Stories img
The Seeds That Became Stories

An excerpt of the author notes from Almost Famous Women wherein Megan Mayhew Bergman MFA '10 describes the initial inspirations for her stories.

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A Digital Union img
A Digital Union

To remain relevant and agile, worker organizations must embrace the opportunities the digital landscape brings. From top down to ground up, by Jess Kutch '03.

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Fat Is Not A Feeling, Facebook img
Fat Is Not A Feeling, Facebook

How recent graduate Catherine Weingarten '13 changed Facebook, by Bruna Lobato '15.

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The Quiet Giant img
The Quiet Giant

A glimpse into the two major solo exhibitions mounted by faculty member Liz Deschenes.

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The Duck Rabbit img
The Duck Rabbit

Faculty member Sherry Kramer addresses the Class of 2014.

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The Necessary Thing To Do img
The Necessary Thing To Do

A career built in the shadow of 9/11, by Jeva Lange '15.

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Book- Roosevelt and Stalin: Portrait of a Partnership
Susan Butler ‘53 (Alfred A. Knopf, March 2015)
Book- Sitting in Bars with Cake
Audrey Shulman ‘09 (Harry N. Abrams, April 2015)
Book- The Good Luck Cat
Lissa Warren MFA ‘99 (Lyons Press, October 2014)
Book- Shirley, a novel
Susan Scarf Merrell MFA ‘09 (Blue Rider Press, June 2014)
Book- Almost Famous Women
Megan Mayhew Bergman MFA ‘10 (Scribner, January 2015)
Book- Dietland
Sarai Walker MFA ‘03 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2015)
Book- Sparta
Roxana Robinson ‘68 (Picador, June 2014)
Book- Bennington Girls Are Easy
Charlotte Silver ‘03 (Knopf Doubleday, July 2015)
“A solid, comprehensive account...” The Wall Street Journal
“...bitter, sweet, savoury…” The Guardian
“...turns darkness into light…” The Boston Globe
“... a hypnotic story line...” The Washington Post
“These stories feel both specific and flexible.” New York Times Sunday Book Review shortlist
“Its earnest idealism is infectious.” New York Magazine
“...a sort of explosive device.” The Washington Post
“[A] snarky, superb look at female friendship.” Entertainment Weekly