The Sewanee Review continued one of its favorite traditions this November by hosting its semi-annual Open House in McGriff Alumni House. It was a chilly evening, but students, faculty, and neighbors gathered together to bask in the warmth of food, fellowship, and fantastic literature.
The readings began with "One Page at a Time," a poem by Billy Collins that appears in the current issue. Faculty members and students then joined in the sharing of literature, highlighting pieces from the SR ranging from winter 1961 to the current fall 2012 issue. Dr. Robert Benson read an excerpt from his own "Wedding the Wild Particular"; one student read the poems of two of the three Sewanee students who have been published in the Sewanee Review—Ewing Carruthers and Richard Tillinghast—and another shared the poem "Fall Day" by Rainer Maria Rilke, as well as an excerpt from "Speech After Long Silence" by longtime SR favorite Wendell Berry. There were two poems by X. J. Kennedy: the immensely entertaining "On a Young Man Remaining an Undergraduate for Twelve Years," and then the sobering but beautiful "The Poems of Wilmer Mills." The tribute to Mills continued when a faculty member read Mills's "The Flowerbeds of War," which Mills himself read at the first SR Open House. Dawn Potter's "Ode to My Son's Audiobooks" from the current issue was featured, as well as a funny piece on pacifism from Wilfred Stone's "Redemption." Dr. W. Brown Patterson shared his own "Tribute to John E. Palmer," former editor of the Sewanee Review, and the night ended with some spectacular fiction: an excerpt from Fred Chappell's short story "Things Beyond Us," and an immensely entertaining excerpt from Gladys Swan's "The Orange Bird."
In what is now becoming a tradition, we also held a booksale from the SR library, and many guests picked up some new reading for the winter nights. Door prizes were also awarded, including the new book of poems by William Wenthe, books by new SR contributors Philip Terzian and Robert Schirmer, a year's subscription to the Sewanee Review, a Barnes & Noble gift certificate, and a "Sewanee Writer's Care Package," which consisted of a Sewanee coffee mug, a moleskine notebook, and a Seven-Year Pen.
Thanks to everyone who attended, and we hope to see you in the spring!