Friday, March 28, 2008

Alumni Reading Announced

Chester College will host a reading for several of its distinguished alumni this Monday, March 31st, at 6 P.M. in Powers 29. Reading will be Eric Crapo, Kiki, and Chris Sumner, with an opening by sophomore Maggie Alerding. Refreshments and good times will both be present.

Eric Crapo (Graduated Dec. '06)
Eric is a frustrated poet pursuing a Master's degree in the field while teaching undergraduates. He writes about God (who is a great kisser) and fuzzy animals.

Kiki (Graduated '06)
Kiki is a friend of small woodland animals and Larry, a well-known Norwegian fish. She enjoys apples, deep space travel and complaint rock.

Chris Sumner (Graduated '07)
Chris is a writer of short fiction, novels, graphic novels, and folk tunes. He likes watching his characters as they try to put their lives back together.

First Senior Show to Open

Chester College is pleased to announce that the first senior show of the Spring 2008 semester will open on April 2, showcasing the art of Kayleigh Hayes, Aime Horton, Natasha Peasley, and Cynthia "Davyn" Walsh. The opening festivities will last from 7:00-9:00pm on the 2nd, with a senior reading by Tiffany Etter at 8:00pm.

Shown here are two sample pieces by Natasha Peasley (Left) and Davyn Walsh (Right).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SO Good Announces First Issue Contributors

SO Good is pleased to announce the contributors for its inaugural issue. If your work was accepted, please email a BRIEF bio to us at before noon, Friday, March 28. If we've listed your work as "untitled" and it does have a title (or we got it wrong) please include that in your email.

2008 Contributors
Maggie Alerding, "Fish"
Joe Brown, "Utopia," and "Streets of Venice"
Serah Carter, "Dear Valentine"
Jesse Cloutier, "Tip of the Tongue"
Dawn Coutu, "Construction Site" and "An Unexpected Stay in a Hotel"
Shane Ernest, two black and white photographs from Thailand
Tiffany Etter, "That Day is Always Yesterday"
Matt Grubb, "Gas Mask"
Rachel Liberman, "Seeing a Mermaid While Swimming"
Madison Mastri, "Couch" and "Train"
Mike McCracken, two untitled photographs from Thailand
Jeff Metcho, "The Hills Surround Us"
Beth Ann Miller, "Battery Park"
Alexa Patrick, two untitled figure drawings
Shannon Sopha, "Man on Board"

Faculty Favorites (accepted for publication)
Emma Haskins, Textile Piece, nominated by Jason Bagatta
Maggie Hatfield, "Strong as You Keep," nominated by Chris Anderson
Kelly Knowles, "Identity," nominated by Liz Buckley
Kristen Koczarski, "My Everest: An excerpt from Out of Joint"
Matt LaVergne, "Marionette," nominated by Liz Buckley
Renee Mallett, "Guns and Porn," nominated by Eric Pinder
Julian Moore, "Father," and "More Than A Rusted Bed Frame," nominated by Liz Buckley
Laura Spencer, "This is Not a Love Story," nominated by Monica O'Brien

Faculty Favorite nominations not accepted will be noted in the publication.

Thanks to everyone who submitted and nominated. Watch for the first-ever print edition of SO Good during finals week!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Senior Shows & Readings - Updated and Corrected

March 31-April 6
Kayleigh Hayes
Aime Horton
Natasha Peasley
Cynthia Walsh (Davyn)
Opening April 2, 7-9 p.m.
Reading at 8 p.m. by:
Tiffany Etter

April 7-April 13
Danielle Provencher
Georgianna Jennison
Wendy Mierop
Marie Stern
Opening April 9, 7-9 p.m.
Readings at 8 p.m. by:
Michelle Daugherty
Marie Stern

April 14-April 20
Rachel Russell
Jessica Richardson
Mindy Kern
Opening April 16, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
Readings at 8 p.m. by:
Dawn Coutu
Ben Cardoza

April 21-April 27
Morgan Kristy Reynolds
Emily Couture
Joshua Dix
Matthew Masloski
Opening April 23, 7-9 p.m.
Readings at 8 p.m. by:
Chris Christie
Jess Marshall
Erika Bluemel

April 28-May 2
Jamie Furtak
Courtney Brown
Beth Russell
Stacey Brunette
Thomas Elmore
Heather Cahill
Opening April 30, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
Readings at 8 p.m. by:
Morgan C. Reynolds

Friday, March 7, 2008

Alumni Success

Chester Alumni Success Eric Crapo, a recent graduate of Chester College, is now back as the professor of Introduction to Poetry. After finishing his Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree in December of 2006, Eric went on to a Master of Fine Arts program in poetry at New England College.

New England College nurtures the individual in the art process as well as putting an emphasis on peer critique and group workshops. Their low residency program allows a writer to generate ideas and drafts alone fully immersed in life, not isolated in an academic environment. This promotes a more organic root to writing.
The two week residencies are a form of poetry boot camp where one can be expected to wake in the middle of the night with a fully formed poem that must be written.

Eric’s writing is frequently in meter, but its formal approach tends to end there. With subject matter that stretches from God, to bodily functions, Eric’s writing has something for everyone. During his senior project Eric presented a play he wrote to analyze friendship and romantic urges in a diner setting. His play was presented at the end of a semester and is remembered still as an avant-guard display.

At the last Spoken Word event in Dalrymple, Eric read a poem especially for his students, about a cheeseburger: " force it / into your mouth / grease dripping across / your fingers, down / your chin, onto / the plate where crumbs are saved / to fill in the cracks.

Spoken Word is a regular open mic on the Chester College campus. Every other Sunday, students gather to share their work and hear what a guest reader presents. After his twenty minute set, Eric Crapo found his seat through a loud applause and stayed afterwards to answer questions and hear the response to his work.

Student response to Eric’s class is overwhelmingly positive. They feel comfortable and inspired. Ashley Kreutter, one of his students, came to the reading. Afterward she hung out in the room and joined in the conversation about meter. Students were quizzing Eric on the scansion of specific words. Words were thrown out or used in a sentence and on the spot Eric turned it into a lesson, not only calling out the stresses, but over emphasizing them and asking students to identify the type of foot.

The Lyceum Gallery presents... From Chester

From March 5 to April 13 The Lyceum Gallery at The Derryfield School will Manchester presents a group show titled From Chester. From Chester features the work of selected seniors and recent alumni from the Fine Arts and Photography departments at Chester College of New England.

The show is an example of some of the exciting and inventive work that is being produced by the artists studying visual arts at Chester. The show includes a range of two dimensional media, styles, and artistic methodologies that develop as the artists build toward their thesis work.

From Chester features: figurative charcoal drawings by Kerri Aines, pop narrative paintings by Mike Durkee, mixed media work by Daniel Fadley, platinum palladium prints by Madison Mastri, mixed media assemblage from Bryan Johnson, photography by Ashley Moore, & images of mixed media installations by Jodi Ramos. The exhibition was curated by Christina Pitsch, Chair of the Department of Fine Arts.

Please join us for the Artists Reception on March 7th from 5:30-7:00 pm.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Chat With the Chester Vagina Monologues Cast

After Chester College’s first performance of the ever popular Vagina Monologues on Feb. 15, SO Good's Kelsey McCarthy was lucky to catch up with a few of the performers--students Dawn Coutu, Rachel Lieberman, Tiffany Etter, and Shannon Malloy, and faculty members Nanette Thrush and Monica O'Brien--to get their take on the show and what it speaks to so many about.

SO Good: Put yourself two years in the past. Could you still see yourself being a part of this performance?

Dawn Coutu: I think I was still rather shy and uncomfortable with myself two years ago. I avoided saying the word "vagina." Since Friday's performance, I feel comfortable saying it more than I ever have.

Rachel Lieberman: I think two years ago I could have seen myself doing this performance, but certainly a little more hesitant given the fact that I was in high school. For some reason the two environments are very, very different from each other.

Tiffany Etter: Absolutely not. It's not the content that would have prevented me, but stage fright. I have no problem voicing my opinion in discussions, but put the focus on me directly while standing and reading in front of a crowd and I have mild panic attacks.

Nanette Thrush: Yes, I would have been a part of this performance two years ago.

Monica O’Brien: I definitely would've done this two years ago. I would've been open to doing it at any time in my life if I felt camaraderie with the people doing it.

Shannon Malloy: Oh definitely. I've always been pretty comfortable with myself, and in high school I read one of the Vagina Monologues for my drama class. I don't think I would have done the monologue I did, but two years ago I would have done it.

SO Good: How important do you think positive sexual education is in society today? (Meaning seeing sex in a positive, natural light.)

Coutu: I think it is important to teach healthy acceptance of sex as a natural desire. I think this should be taught as well as accepting our bodies for each variously voluptuous shape.

Lieberman: To me, it's important to make sure students know the risks that can be associated with sex, but I don't believe in painting sex itself in a bad light. Safe sex should be the focus of sex education.

Etter: I think it's very important. Our priorities as a society seem to be off kilter. We have no problem letting children play with guns or watch violent movies, but let something sexual like a breast flash and we freak out. Girls, especially, should be taught that they're bodies are beautiful and sacred, and they can choose what they wish to do with their body.

Thrush: I think sex education overall is crucial--as it is, teens are taught to be ashamed of sex and sexuality, which only leads to problems.

O’Brien: I think positive sexual education is one of the most important things we can offer young people, but I think it needs to be in conjunction with teaching critical thinking and cultural studies. It's great for a woman to be taught to love her clitoris, but that only goes so far if she subscribes to patriarchal definitions of womanhood.

Malloy: For hundreds of years, humans have made sex out to be this horrible thing, even though it is completely necessary. By doing things like the Vagina Monologues, we show the new generations coming out that these are the things our bodies do, and how they are, and make sure in the process to show that there is nothing wrong with sex. This is especially important at a female perspective because women have only been shown to be sexual in the last hundred years or so. Without things like the Vagina Monologues, or the Penis Monologues (obviously a male perspective), religion and ancient morals will always say sex is bad.

SO Good: What was the hardest part of your performance? Why?

Coutu: Accentuating the proper words for "The Flood" was difficult because it made the difference between the audience catching on to my monologue's humor and listening to an old lady gab in monotone about her first boyfriend.

Lieberman: At first, it was difficult to get into the idea of using certain language and conveying certain ideas with my monologue. I'd never done anything like this before, so it was odd, but after awhile I really got into it.

Etter: Just getting over the nerves before the actual performance. Once I realized that everyone is here for a great cause and it's not the end of the world if I flub a line.

Thrush: The most difficult part of my performance was trying to decide what "emotion" to give the piece. The words alone could have been angry, funny, or melodramatic.

O’Brien: The hardest part of the performance was acting. I don't act. I'm just not good at it and it makes me uncomfortable. So it's good that I had a part that could be delivered more like a lecture!

Malloy: Moaning. It was hard to get up there and do something so personal, being a moaner myself. It took a lot of opening up to do most of them. Having Jenna, Cassandra and Vanessa up there with me made me feel so much better, and realize that it isn't about just me, it is about everyone.

SO Good: Some of you are currently professors at the college. Did this fact make it easier or harder to perform in front of students? Why or why not?

Thrush: Performing the piece in front of the students wasn't difficult for me, but I wonder if it was for them.

O’Brien: The fact that I'm a professor here made me want to participate. However, I'm glad I didn't have a part that required me to act in a sexy manner or moan--these days I don't think I would do those things for anyone except my husband!