by Katie Lafferande
On November 11, the Sewanee Review held an open house to commemorate Veterans’ Day and the end of World War I. The review also celebrated their eleventh Literature of War issue that was published last spring, as well as the recently published Fall issue, entitled: “the Umbrella of Fact and Fiction.” Students and community members gathered in the McGriff Alumni Hall for snacks, a reading, and the chance to win prizes. Before the poetry reading began, guests were encouraged to participate in a raffle. Prizes included a Barnes & Noble gift card, a subscription to the Sewanee Review, books of poetry, and a rare collection of translated fairy-tales. The winners, as well as the 29th recipient of the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry were to be announced after the reading.
The reading began with work by the war poet Siegfried Sassoon read by Matt Irvin. Essays and poems on the subject of war were continued by preceding readers, with the work changing in tone about half way through the reading. The rest of the reading went in a different direction, with some works, specifically Gerald Smith’s memoir, being taken out of the Fall 2014 publication. At the end of the evening, as promised, the winners of the raffle were announced. Following this Leigh Anne Couch revealed the recipient of the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry: Marie Ponsot. The evening concluded just in time for the rain to end. Students and Community members alike left McGriff Alumni Hall feeling grateful for the Sewanee Review’s hospitality.