On Saturday, Sept. 23, the Colby men’s soccer team, women’s soccer team, and field hockey team all traveled to play games against Williams College.
The Colby men’s soccer team faced one of the best teams in the NESCAC conference. Williams currently holds the top spot in the league with an unbeaten record. The Mules are closely following behind, with a 2-point gap tied for fourth place.
While Colby has a notoriously poor record against Williams, losing 16 of their 22 previous games, the Mules hoped to turn their fortunes around with a win on Saturday.
The first half of the game had minimal action to speak of. The match was in stalemate as the midfield continuously exchanged possession in what was a very physical game. Both teams elected to play the long ball instead of passing short. In part due to each other’s elite defenses, which have both not conceded a goal all season. Viewers could easily note the excellent defense of both teams throughout the game, particularly in the first half. While the second half did provide a few opportunities for both teams, the game ended in a 0-0 tie. On the field next to the men’s soccer game, the women’s soccer team headed into an important match in which they hoped to pick up their first win of the season.
The match started unfavorably for the Mules as Williams started strong by maintaining control of the game. The Mules responded by vigorously defending against Williams’attacks. Thanks to this defending, Colby scrapped by, only conceding one goal heading into the second half.
Aided by the first-half defensive performance, Colby slowly eased into the game. With Williams struggling to maintain their performance from the first half, the game saw possession moving back and forth. The 72nd minute saw Colby have its most significant chance of a comeback with a shot coming off the inside post, only to be denied by a last-minute clearance. This would be the last chance that Colby saw to equalize the score. The game concluded with a 4-0 loss for the Mules.
After beating the University of Maine-Farmington in a 12-0 win, the Colby women’s field hockey team hoped to continue their form against the William Ephs. Unfortunately, Colby started the game in disaster, conceding two goals in the span of four minutes. Williams, considered to be one of the best offensive teams in the division, continued its onslaught of shots and goals throughout the game, leaving the Mules to relentlessly defend. The only goal scored by Colby came in the form of Charlotte Epker `24, who scored her first goal of the season. By the end of the game, Williams saw a total of 31 shots with 20 on target relative to Colby’s six in total and two on target. The game ended with an 8-1 loss to Williams.
~ Darin Gildea `27
On Tuesday, Sept. 19, Colby women’s Soccer faced the #19 ranked University of Hartford Hawks, coming away with an exciting victory following a dramatic goal in the final minutes. The Mules entered the game with a 1-3 record after opening their season with a win over Husson, while the Hawks entered at 4-1 with wins over #14 Emory and #17 Montclair State, as well as a narrow 2-1 loss to Division I Merrimack College.
The Hawks are playing their first season at the Division III level after nearly 40 years in the Division I America East Conference. In 2021, Hartford’s Board of Regents voted to reclassify their athletic programs to Division III, with many of their recruited players remaining on athletic scholarships through the end of this academic year.
Despite this, the Mules rose to the occasion and competed for a complete 90 minutes in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. The Mules came out of the gates quickly, as first-year Madison Genser put a shot on goal within the first two minutes. Hartford responded shortly after with an attempt on goal of their own, but it was saved by Colby’s sophomore goaltender MK Marshall `26. Hartford kept the pressure on, shooting five more times in the half and forcing Marshall to make two more saves. The Mules made five substitutions in the 22nd minute, but Hartford responded well, finally finding their way past Marshall with Rebbeca Obdenbrouw’s shot in the 36th minute. The Mules had several opportunities, including a pair of corner kicks, but could not manage a score before the half.
Colby made another set of substitutions at the beginning of the second half, bringing on Jackie Portogallo `24 and Elo Luczkow `27. Sophomore Sophia DiGrande had the first shot on goal of the second half in the 51st minute, but it was turned away by Hartford’s goaltender Sejal Johnson. The Mules dominated the ball in the second half, and had two more attempts on goal in the next four minutes. After making six more substitutions in the 82nd minute, the Mules finally scored, as DiGrande scored off of a free kick. With a draw secured, the Mules did not let up, as Fati Salifu `26 ripped a left-footed shot from outside of the box in the final second of the 89th minute. The shot hit the crossbar and went in, prompting a loud celebration from the Mules bench and the fans gathered at Serdjenian Field. The Hawks did not have enough time remaining to mount their own attack, and the referee blew the final whistle on a 2-1 Mules victory.
Colby looks forward to a weekend doubleheader in Massachusetts with contests against Williams and Amherst on the 23rd and 24th, before returning to Waterville to face Tufts on the 30th. Meanwhile, the Hawks continue their inaugural Division III season in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with matches against Gordon College and Suffolk University.
~ Matt Quealy `26
The Mules hosted the second week of NESCAC competition, facing off against a challenging Trinity side who have yet to lose a matchup since October of 2021. The Bantams arrived in Waterville with momentum on their side after beating one of the top NESCAC offenses–Tufts– during Week 1, while Colby were looking to rebound after a tough one-score loss to Williams.
Colby won the toss and elected to defend first, and the defense certainly delivered. Julian Young `24 made two critical consecutive stops for no gain to force a Trinity four and out on the first drive of the game.
Colby managed to keep the momentum rolling on attack as they took the field for their first offensive drive of the game. A pass interference call canceled out an early sack from Trinity as the Mules were able to progress down the field to Trinity’s five yard line. Miles Drake `26 completed a pass to Jack Sawyer `25 for the first score of the game, followed up by the made extra point. Colby successfully climbed on top early against the reigning NESCAC champs; however, there was still plenty of time left in the ball game.
After receiving the kickoff, the Bantams were able to make their way down to Colby’s 35, setting up a 25-yard completion that put the Mules defense on the hot seat on their own 10. Colby managed to hold Trinity’s offense to a 3-yard rushing gain and two interceptions to set up the successful field goal attempt from the seven yard line.
The Mules were still up 7 – 3; however, Trinity quickly shut down any hopes of expanding that lead by forcing a punt from the Mules on the next drive.
Trinity’s offense relied heavily on their run-game to get down to Colby’s 40 yard line before Trinity quarterback Spencer Fetter completed a 23-yard pass to set the Bantams up on the Mules’ doorstep. Colby’s defense stepped up once again in the red zone with a critical QB-hurry from Payton Reid `24, a team sack, and a tackle for loss from Matt Goodman `25; however, the Bantams were able to slot a kick through the posts on fourth down to make it 7 – 6.
Trinity’s defense ramped it up a notch on the next drive, sacking Drake before forcing the punt on fourth down. On their next offensive drive, Trinity managed again to march their way into the endzone and set themselves up on Colby’s 2. Young, Wellington Pereira `24, and Jackson Murray `24 combined for key stops for no gain or a loss, before an incomplete pass on third down set up Trinity’s third field goal of the game to take a slight lead at 9 – 7.
Colby relied on running back Locksley Burke `25 to secure the first down on the next drive, but an interception put the ball back in Trinity’s hands with 4:40 to go in the half right on Colby’s 20. Sebastian Romain `26 came up with a big sack right out of the gate to force a fumble recovered by Andrew Hart `23, ensuring Trinity were not able to score off Colby’s turnover.
Colby was not able to capitalize off the forced fumble recovery, but Eli Soehren `27 did manage to pin Trinity at their 1 with a well-placed punt. Trinity ran out the clock to finish the half up by 2 on the trailing Mules.
Colby’s defense was certainly looking to apply the pressure right out of the gate after not letting up a touchdown to the reigning conference champs in the first half; however, the second half saw a completely fresh Trinity offense emerge from the locker room. First, their defense forced a punt from the Mules before the Bantams’ quarterback efficiently completed passes as they worked their way down to the Colby 4. This time around, Trinity was able to punch it in for their first touchdown of the game to bring their lead to 16 – 7.
On the next drive, the Mules were not able to answer; Trinity managed to return the punt to their 41 yard line, setting themselves up well to launch another attack. The Bantams only needed one play to secure their three-score lead with a 58-yard completion from Fetter. Trinity finally had control of the game, despite the Mules’ strong start. Their offense and defense would finish off the half by taking turns either hammering it in for the touchdown or forcing a punt from the Mules. The final score was 48 – 7.
As the Mules head into their Week 3 matchup away at Bates, they will certainly be looking to channel their first half performance against the Bantams. Both the Bobcats and the Mules head into the matchup hungry for their first win of the season in a critical CBB Trophy contest.
~ Rohan Sinha `24
In the tumultuous cauldron of 2011, the Arab world witnessed an awakening—an unprecedented wave of uprisings collectively christened the Arab Spring. Across the arid landscapes of the Middle East and North Africa, from the bustling streets of Cairo to the medina of Tunis, voices of discontent, yearning for change, justice, and an end to oppressive regimes, reverberated through the alleys and boulevards. Yet, amidst this cacophony of defiance, another form of resistance arose—one marked by vibrant murals that transformed the very streets into canvases, bearing witness to history’s tumultuous stride and embodying the essence of rebellion.
The Living Canvas of Cairo: Graffiti and the Revolution
In the heart of Cairo, Egypt, a singular square emerged as a symbol of courage and resistance during the Arab Spring—the fabled Tahrir Square. Here, amid the cries for justice and the fervor of protest, the concrete walls and barricades became not just barriers but canvases. Artistic rebels, their brushes the instruments of dissent, their palettes filled with hopes and dreams, splashed their visions across the city’s skin. These urban artists etched the movement’s spirit onto walls, capturing the collective aspirations and determination of a generation that yearned for change.
One iconic mural, destined to etch itself into history, portrayed a young protester poised to throw a rock—a powerful embodiment of the Arab Spring’s spirit. The image transcended paint and plaster; it encapsulated the courage of ordinary individuals confronting the formidable might of oppressive regimes. This humble yet defiant artwork became the indomitable symbol of resistance, a rallying cry for those who dared to challenge the status quo.
The Artistic Tapestry of Unity: Inclusive Collaboration
Beyond being mere adornments of defiance, the murals of the Arab Spring nurtured a sense of unity and belonging among the diverse tapestry of protesters. Artists from every background and walk of life joined forces, harmonizing their talents and ideologies on the canvas of the street. Their work didn’t just embellish the environment; it served as a unifying force, dissolving boundaries and divisions, reaffirming the shared pursuit of justice and freedom. One particularly poignant mural featured hands of different colors, entwined in unity—a visual testament to the power of diversity. This mural resounded deeply with those who beheld it, a striking reminder that strength is often found in the bonds of solidarity and in the shared aspiration for a brighter tomorrow.
Art’s Voice of Dissent: A Call to Action
The murals of the Arab Spring were not mere art; they were political manifestos writ large. They chronicled the events unfolding in real-time, preserving the agony, determination, and hope of the protesters. These murals were more than visual storytellers; they were sentinels of history, ensuring the world would never forget the sacrifices made and the injustices confronted by those who dared to defy oppressive regimes.
Moreover, the murals themselves were acts of protest, a testament to the resilience of creativity. In a climate characterized by censorship and repression, art provided a voice for dissent that could not be immediately stifled. It was an act of defiance, challenging the prevailing order and inspiring others to join the cause.
The Resonance of Art and Resistance Today
The legacy of the Arab Spring’s murals endures, transcending borders and epochs. In a world grappling with a new set of challenges, art remains a catalyst for resistance. Street art, particularly, has emerged as a powerful medium for marginalized voices. Movements such as Black Lives Matter, climate activism, and women empowerment draw inspiration from the artistic expressions that emerged during the Arab Spring.
As we reflect on the enduring role of art in resistance, we are reminded that it transcends temporal and geographic boundaries, touching the universal desire for justice and freedom. The murals of the Arab Spring remain vibrant testaments to the dynamism of art, its power to evoke empathy, provoke reflection, and instigate action.
In the grand narrative of history, these murals stand as tributes to the indomitable spirit of those who refuse to be silenced. They affirm the potential of creativity in the face of repression and echo the timeless message that art has the power to illuminate the path toward a brighter, more equitable future. The murals of the Arab Spring continue to remind us that even in the darkest of times, art’s luminance can guide us forward.
~ Muhammad Saif `27
Cranberries, pumpkins, apples, and allspice—the start of fall calls for nothing less. ‘Tis the season where students find new ways to enjoy the crisp multicolored atmosphere before school starts rapidly picking up pace. On the list of fall “must-dos,” autumn stirs up a culture of relaxation and baking, occasionally with a side of warm apple cider and candlelight.
Many cherish memories of making pumpkin-flavored treats in the kitchen as they hum to the beat of Norah Jones (or another relaxing artist of choice), occasionally peeking out at the red or orange trees. It just feels so good to stir the ingredients together, sprinkle in some cinnamon, and jam out to good music with friends.
In terms of sweet items, some fall favorites include pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, lattice apple pie, apple spice donuts, and pumpkin bread. So long as you have the baking basics lying around (flour, sugar, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, etc.) there are so many variations of these recipes that one can make.
As for the apples and pumpkin ingredients, students at the College can make a fun day of apple picking with some friends down at the Apple Farm in Fairfield, Maine.
For those who prefer more of a lazy vibe, the Waterville Walmart sells both pumpkin purée and apples for the humble prices of $1.45 a can and $1.30 an apple.
Who knows, your neighbor might even have quite the stock of ingredients they could share with you, as long as you ask nicely, of course!
Another popular fall treat is apple turnovers. For one student, who wishes to stay anonymous, this delicious recipe makes for an excellent fall experience that sweet lovers can take solace in.
“I made some apple turnovers the other day with my boyfriend after we went apple picking and they were both so fun to make and so tasty,” she said in an interview with the Colby Echo.
Some people even maintain baking traditions, sticking to their usual recipes of the season, and delighting in the simplicity of knowing that a good recipe is still good, even after a couple of years.
One student, Tegh Khosla `24, shared one of his fall family favorites in an interview with the Colby Echo. “My favorite fall recipe would probably be my mom’s paneer which she cooks for me usually on Diwali or whenever I am home,” said Khosla.
Paneer is a cheese cut in a cube-like form. It is used in traditional Indian cooking and is commonly served in savory dishes during Diwali (the Hindu Festival of Lights). Though the dates of this holiday change every year, it is always celebrated in autumn between October and November.
Walmart also sells this creamy, vegetarian-friendly fall dish in a variety of packages with differently-styled cooking instructions.
Inspired by one Trader Joe’s specialty item, one can also learn to make pumpkin-stuffed samosas, another Indian treat that synergizes the sweet, savory, and even spiced flavors of fall.
To make this specialty dish, one must first mix up the dough which consists of typical household baking ingredients, before getting to work on the stuffing.
For the stuffing, one can grill up some chopped potatoes and veggies, stirring in a few tablespoons of pumpkin purée.
Like all recipes, of course, it’s up to the cook to play with the ingredients, choosing some vegetables that go well together. This dish can also be flavored in a variety of different ways. More traditional samosas contain curry spices and red peppers, but those of us with more of a sweet tooth can sprinkle in some cinnamon and nutmeg for a softer flavor.
All in all, baking is an excellent way to make use of the wonderful fall days here at the College. It can be a great way to relax, have some moments of introspection, or facilitate bonding with roommates or friends. Now, with some more ideas floating around, you might even feel inspired to make some treats of your own, embracing the cozy season that is fall.
~ Jenna Boling `24
Medical ethics is a complex and evolving field, and one of the most contentious issues within it revolves around a healthcare provider’s right to refuse certain medical procedures. This debate appears most on the issue of abortion. The topic raises important ethical questions about the responsibilities of healthcare professionals, patient autonomy, and the balance between personal beliefs and professional obligations.
Respect for patient autonomy is a fundamental principle in medical ethics. It means that patients have the right to make decisions about their bodies and healthcare, provided they are fully informed about their options. When it comes to abortion, it is crucial for healthcare providers to ensure that patients receive comprehensive information about the procedure, its risks, and alternatives. However, when a doctor refuses to provide an abortion due to personal beliefs, they may infringe upon a patient’s autonomy by limiting their access to a legal medical procedure.
Doctors take an oath to uphold the well-being of their patients and provide care that is in their best interests. In cases where a patient seeks an abortion, healthcare professionals need to provide appropriate care, whether that means performing the procedure themselves or referring the patient to a colleague who is willing to do so. By refusing to provide abortion services, doctors may be failing in their professional responsibility to put the patient’s interests first.
On the other hand, some argue that doctors have the right to conscientiously object to certain medical procedures, including abortions, on the grounds of their deeply held personal or religious beliefs. This perspective emphasizes that healthcare providers are individuals with their moral values and should not be compelled to perform procedures that go against their convictions. However, this right to conscientious objection must be balanced with the duty to ensure that patients still receive timely and appropriate care, even if it means transferring them to another provider who is willing to perform the procedure.
The ethical implications of doctors refusing to provide abortions are amplified when considering the broader implications for society. Lack of access to abortion services, particularly in rural or underserved areas, can disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, limiting their reproductive choices and potentially endangering their health. Healthcare professionals have a societal responsibility to ensure that necessary medical services, including abortion, are accessible to all patients, regardless of their geographic location or personal beliefs.
The ethical implications of doctors refusing to provide abortions are multifaceted, involving considerations of patient autonomy, professional responsibility, conscientious objection, and societal access to care. Striking the right balance between respecting the beliefs of healthcare providers and ensuring patients’ rights and well-being is a complex challenge. Ethical guidelines and regulations should be developed to navigate these issues in a way that respects both patients and healthcare providers while upholding the fundamental principles of medical ethics. Ultimately, these discussions highlight the importance of ongoing dialogue and reflection within the medical community to find ethical solutions that best serve all parties involved.
~ Saathvika Diviti `25
The kindness of strangers has been beaten to a pulp, juiced by a world wrought with wretchedness — and compassion, well / the well of compassion has run dry as the floodplains run with the blood of a world without trust — but trust that this isn’t the whole story / and that better stories write themselves in / condensation hearts on windshields / an old woman’s soft smile on a crosswalk you’ll never cross paths with again / a random man lending a hand with the boxes you can’t quite carry / a ten dollar bill to fund the first meal someone has had in days, courtesy of a nameless someone else / baristas that treat you to coffee at five in the morning just to help you get going, throwing in a breakfast sandwich on the house when your card stalls and stops working / an airport receptionist calling your departure gate to wait for you, reassuring you that no, you won’t miss your flight when she sees the tears dripping down your face from fear of being stuck in an unknown place / somewhere in some city on some street, a stranger on the bus stands up to let you take a seat — a sea of people swimming in completely different currents, currently intersecting just enough to tip the scales in your favor and suddenly, the floodplain looks less like blood and more like water because trust that there is still life in this deceptively barren land / and that the kindness of strangers still stands.
~ Maaheen Shaikh `25
Every day, a man named Leo and his friend play basketball at the playground across the street from North Street Dairy Cone as a means to stay sober.
“I respect that, so I give them a slushie on the house,” store owner Mike Sholz said. “That’s the way things have always been here – a place dedicated to improving people’s lives through ice cream. No matter who they are.”
Sholz became owner of the iconic institution last spring when, after six decades of ownership, the Gagnon family retired from the ice cream business. But he prefers not to be called the owner of Dairy Cone.
“I’m merely its steward,” Sholz said. “This place is much bigger than me.”
Dairy Cone’s genesis was in 1941 when Roy Gagnon constructed the building the business currently uses for a creamery. Nearby farmers would come to the two windows at the front with milk, and Gagnon would homogenize it, bottle it, and deliver the product to nearby camps.
Two decades later, Gagnon decided to try his hand at ice cream making. Since then, not much has changed. The recipes remain unaltered, now yellowed by age. The ice cream machine is older than the owner, and the business remains a small operation, with only two windows to service customers.
Dairy Cone has become synonymous with the essence of the Waterville community, providing mill workers and college students alike with quality ice cream at a fair price.
“When I came to Dairy Cone as a kid, it was when they were still running logs down the river and you could hear the mills humming,” Sholz said. “Colby hadn’t built like they have. And Dairy Cone has seen it all, positioned here on North Street, a mile from the Ville and a mile from the Hill.”
For Sholz, coming into the business gave him a new perspective on the relationship between Waterville and the College.
“I see Colby students and people who live in town come here grumpy and leave happy,” Sholz said. “I see professors taking their students here, I see local kids doing math in their head about how many scoops they can buy with their allowance money. I see community.”
But because Dairy Cone is predicated on a transaction, Sholz believes that Colby can become closer to the Waterville community through earnest engagement.
“Meet someone not from Colby. Have a chance encounter. Get in a scrap. Things necessary to building communities,” Sholz said.
According to Sholz, the College has recently done a better job of valuing Waterville.
“There’s only so much hill,” Sholz said. “It’s so nice to see y’all running by the river and living downtown,” Sholz said. “It’s getting better, but don’t hesitate to engage with Waterville outside of Colby’s initiatives.”
In this time of transformation for the Waterville-Colby community, Dairy Cone’s mission is the same as it has been since the Mayflower Hill Campus was opened and the mills were still open: “Make quality ice cream not because it’s easy, but because it’s the best.”
“Whether you’re out of work or just got tenure, we’re all the same,” Sholz said. “You recognize really good food – well made by someone who cares about it.”
~ Wilson Bailey `27
Since 1877, The Colby Echo has been an institution on campus. Since its inception, it has been entirely student-organized and run, allowing students a place to voice their thoughts, opinions, and critiques of the college without the administration stepping in.
However, the death of print culture in the world outside the College Bubble has begun to seep into our community, with fewer and fewer readers of every issue (besides the esteemed joke issue, of course). With everything that everyone has going on in our lives, it is easy to forget how important this newspaper is to our campus.
Betsy Greenberg `25 pointed out that there is no way to reach the whole student body besides anonymous apps like YikYak and Fizz, which lack the credibility that The Echo has.
“I think students should read The Echo because it’s a great way to hear about what’s going on around campus. It’s the most honest, trustworthy source we have,” Greenberg said.
She pointed out that it highlights groups that students may not be aware of and can recognize student accomplishments that are not deemed important enough to go on the College’s official Instagram.
“It’s a good way to hear about new clubs and events around campus that I wouldn’t otherwise know about. It’s inspiring to see everything that students are up to around campus! My favorite part is looking out for news about some of the clubs and organizations my friends are in and seeing photos,” she said.
More than just opening a window to the less publicized happenings on campus, Aubrey Adkins `25 explains how The Echo can also provide students a look into the world outside of Colby.
“As a student-run paper, I think the Echo gives students important insight into what their peers’ views on events at the College and beyond are. I think that sometimes Colby students feel disconnected from the larger community; reading the Echo can make them more aware of what’s happening at Colby outside of their circle, as well as what’s happening in Waterville, the state of Maine, or somewhere else entirely,” she said.
The Echo gives students the ability to speak to the broader campus in a forum unregulated by the administration. Students can write about the true problems on campus without censorship. More than that, the board of trustees reads every issue, which means these problems are not just brought to the students’ attention, but those in the highest positions of power at the College as well.
Professor Sam Plasencia, who studies print culture, explains how The Echo opens a space for students that they otherwise would not have.
“I think it’s important to have a public forum space that isn’t quite controlled by the institution where student voices can be heard–especially when it comes to critiquing or holding Colby accountable. The Echo seems to be one of those spaces,” she said. Plasencia elaborated, explaining how student reporters are more attuned to the issues that the student body faces, as the administration may not understand or even be aware of some of the things students are facing.
“I think journalists (and in this case, students who are starting to build their journalist chops)–are an essential component of any just society because they’re the ones with eyes and ears to the ground; it’s their job to sound the alarm when harm is happening or policies are being considered that might bring harm–especially to underrepresented populations. It’s their job to gather and inspire people–to funnel people’s energies into specific issues. It’s a tremendous responsibility that I don’t think should be taken lightly. But when done well, journalism can be a real force for good,” she said.
The Echo serves so many important purposes for The College as an independent, student-run paper that offers the whole community an insight into what is happening on and off campus. However, the paper has faced problems with budgeting, which is doled out by the Student Government Association (SGA), because although the administration may not be able to control what The Echo writes, they control how much money they have, which impacts their publishing schedule.
Co-Editor-in-Chief Adrian Visscher `24 pointed out that The Echo is severely underfunded, as not only do they have to pay writers and staff, but they also have to pay to physically print the paper. “Our budget has not increased since last year, and it still isn’t enough to print the amount of issues we were hoping to. We have to move issues online and will only be able to pay people enough to do six issues this semester,” he said.
He continued, explaining that there is no guarantee they can even print six the next semester, and they might have to further decrease the number of print issues. “We are hoping to negotiate some funding with SGA to ensure we can go 6 in the spring too,” he said.
How can The Echo continue to be the community staple it is, when it is not given enough money to even print issues?
So, this article is not just a hype-up of our wonderful newspaper, but a plea to those few of you who are reading this right now. Like, retweet, and subscribe. Tell your friends to read the paper, and help us keep the freedom of the press at this school, so not all news comes from David Greene emails that have been through so many rounds of editing that they look like an actor with bad plastic surgery.
~ Mairead Levitt `25
On Jan. 2, 2023, Waterville resident Maddie Smith launched the Banned Bookstore, an online bookstore that sells traditionally banned books, among other titles, at reasonable prices. She announced its arrival using social media. In July, Smith had the idea of organizing a festival to celebrate literature and encourage literacy in Maine. Now, the festival she envisioned is approaching and set to take place on Oct. 1.
Stevens Commons in Hallowell will host the Maine Book Fest. The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. with a live recording of Foreword, a podcast that focuses on young adult literature reflecting the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals.
“The live podcast recording was something that I really wanted to happen. I think that’s pretty unique,” Smith said.
The Maine Book Fest will also feature a market and book fair with multiple vendors. The Banned Bookstore will be there, as will Twice Sold Tales, Quiet City Books, and a literary-themed food truck called Plot Twist Pretzels, as well as many others.
The Banned Bookstore, which Smith owns and operates, was inspired at its core by Smith’s love for reading. It’s also intended to bring awareness to banned books and censorship today, with a portion of its inventory dedicated to banned and challenged literature. According to Smith, the store carries books—especially classics—that customers might not expect to be banned.
Smith discussed the goal of the Banned Bookstore as it relates to book bans. “I mostly just want people to be aware that it’s still an issue and ultimately how silly it is. Because you’re not banning the book from existence. You’re banning someone from getting the book, which is going to make them want to read it more.”
Smith also spoke about the culture of independent bookstores in Maine, especially those involved in the Maine Book Fest. “I really love it,” she said. “It’s really nice. I love meeting everyone else who sells books like me.” For more information about the vendors who will be present at the festival, visit themainebookfest.com.
Other activities and events taking place at the Maine Book Fest on Oct. 1 include a talk with the Lone Pine Book Club on starting a book club, readings from local authors, raffle drawings, a close reading workshop, guest speeches, and live music by the Midnight Ramblers at 4 p.m. “I think everything is pretty exciting,” Smith said.
The goal of the Maine Book Fest is to promote education and literacy in the state. Smith also hopes that the festival will bring together readers and writers from all over Maine and give them an opportunity to meet and share ideas. “I really just want people to be more passionate about reading,” she said.
This is the first time the Maine Book Fest will take place. Smith has plans to expand it in future years as the event gains traction. “I’d like for it to be a two-day weekend event instead of just the one day,” Smith said. She also hopes to bring together more authors and vendors in years to come.
The Maine Book Fest was inspired by a book festival in Cleveland, Ohio that one of Smith’s friends attended. She wanted to bring a similar kind of literary event to central Maine.
Smith started organizing the event by sending messages to those in the Maine literary community, and interest grew from there. “It’s a lot,” she said, describing the process of putting together the Maine Book Fest. But she remains enthusiastic about it. “I think I’m just excited for it to finally happen,” she said.
~ Elias Kemp `27