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Literary Bennington Launches in October

On October 2015, students in a course taught by faculty member Benjamin Anastas launched a blog tracing Bennington’s outsized impact on the world of literature and asking what accounts for it. Literary Bennington features author interviews, short pieces of journalism and reviews, and coverage of literary events on campus.

Literary Bennington

The response to the new site has been enthusiastic; it was featured in a story by the Rutland Herald and several posts have been picked up by Lit Hub, an influential website on writers and writing based on New York.

The goal of the blog, as described on the website, is to ask the question “Why does a small experimental school at the ankle of Vermont loom so large in the American literary landscape?” Noting the number of prize-winning and ground-breaking novelists, journalists, poets, and critics who have attended the College or served on its faculty, along with the notable memoirs produced by the actors, painters, dancers and “love-lorn undergraduates” who have passed through the campus, the blog hopes to examine “the popular myth of Bennington as a laboratory for new and ever-more expansive acts of freedom.”

The first articles on the blog will include Katie Yee ’17 on reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt ’86; an interview by Kevin Hughes ’16 of Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Megan Marshall ’75about a disastrous reading that poet Elizabeth Bishop gave on campus in 1978; an interview with Brett Easton Ellis ’86 by Janie Radler ‘18; Kevin Costello’s (‘18) quest to find the reclusive poet and former Bennington faculty member Mary Ruefle; and Lilly Houghton ‘17 on the #BenningtonGirlsAre controversy.

Every student in the class, including incoming freshmen, will eventually post stories on the blog, and all students will take part in editing, production, story development, promotion, and outreach.