Magazine debuts with reading in local bookstore

Chronicle Staff

Four rows of chairs cramp the smoky cafe room in Dutton’s bookstore. A microphone and a stand for resting paper on are set a few feet in front of a retro-styled chandelier that hangs from a cracking mustard-colored ceiling.

Madeleine Witenberg ’08, co-editor of Stonecutters, the upper school literary magazine, with Charlie Green ’08 and Kiran Arora ’08, takes the stand.

Though she is holding her poem “You and Those Lightbulbs,” the copy is unnecesary because Witenberg has memorized the entire poem, which spans over two columns in the magazine.

On Nov. 16, Stonecutters debuted its fall issue at a reading held at Dutton’s bookstore in Brentwood. The issue is titled “The Future” and has a black and gray glossy cover.
The reading was the first public performance of poetry in the magazine’s brief history and was well-received by the audience.

The staff plans to do other readings at Dutton’s after future issues, Arora said. The evening included several student-written poems, Sebastian Spader’s ’08 western-style short-story called “A Gang of Four” and a surprise finale.

Several selections were read by Arora and Green, both of whom announced that they had been accepted into Bard University that day. Green, clad in a maroon Bard shirt and an old golf cap, leaned into the microphone to better articulate and emphasize his works.
He first read his poem “Past Thickets and Forests,” which was inspired by an artist in Omaha who taught him about himself, Green said. His second poem was “Quitting,” written about the habit of smoking cigarettes.

Arora presented both a short story titled “Harbinger” and Max Ritvo’s ’09 “A Brief Introduction to the Theory of Plate Tectonics.” Ritvo is currently undergoing medical treatment in New York. Other selections include Eli Petzold’s ’10 “Crosswalk,” Siena Leslie’s ’08 “Spiraled” and Melissa Saphier’s ’08 “Obituary of a Suckling Pig.”
The reading was concluded with a surprise musical finale with magazine advisor Ryan Wilson playing his acoustic guitar and Wilson, Witenberg, Green and Arora reciting lyrics that had been written to the music.