The time has finally come. After a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Notes From The Underground (NFTU) hosted a reading for their new issue. Featured authors volunteered to read their work to fellow literature lovers at Midtown Reader on May 12 from 7:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. Family members, teachers and students packed the small upstairs of the bookstore to listen to the students share their own creative work. 

When attendees arrived, they were met with warm welcoming faces of the NFTU staff. Before the reading started, attendees could enjoy a variety of cookies and Publix lemonade to celebrate the spring issue. About 25 seats were placed just before the microphone where readers would sit on a small stool and share their poem or story. 

“I think the reading went pretty good,” senior Copy Editor Kanene Nwokeji said. “The staff, or at least me, was nervous as to how it would work out and how many people would come. It was pretty lively and fun. I’m graduating this year, so unfortunately I don’t think I’ll ever be involved in another NFTU reading because of college scheduling. The staff next year should definitely keep this going as a tradition, though! I hope they can do another reading this fall or winter and I know it will be just as amazing.”

By the time the reading started, the small upstairs room was completely full. There were about 55 people and 14 readers. The attendees who showed up late had to watch from the stairs, as all the chairs and standing space was completely full. 

“The reading went well,”  senior Fiction editor Mercy Crapps said.  “It was amazing to hear the voices behind the beautiful pieces NFTU publishes.  Further, it was a great chance to celebrate our contributors and their thoughtful pieces.”

Nwokeji announced each reader to the stage, and sophomore Sophia Krizner started the night off with her story. Then, thirteen other Maclay students followed: freshman Megan Vegas, senior Rhys Berk, Crapps, senior Editor in Chief Kate Krizner, senior Turner Beshears, Nwokeji, junior Heaven Hard, senior Eli Mears, junior Clayton Knox, senior Chloe Harbin, senior Kat Large, junior Efrem Rosenberg and junior Peyton Crumpler. Once the reading was finished, the attendees continued to celebrate the recent NFTU release, congratulated each reader and went home with a new NFTU book in their hands. 

“Beyond expectations,” NFTU sponsor Craig Beaven said. “I thought it went gangbusters. Everyone loved it. Everyone had such positive feedback.” 

SOURCECover Photo by RJ Hosay
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RJ Hosay is the Online Editor-in-Chief. RJ previously led the sports writing team. Every writer on the team received the All-Florida award from the Florida Scholastic Press Association in 2022 which is unprecedented in Andalusian history. RJ has received multiple FSPA All-Florida Awards during his tenure. He also served as the business manager of the newspaper. RJ is a Maclay Scholar Athlete and serves as Captain of Maclay’s varsity soccer team. He is also a multi-year letterman on the weightlifting team. RJ works as a licensed soccer referee and is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. Outside of the Andalusian and a rigorous academic schedule, you can find him spending time outdoors, working with his yellow lab or with his family and friends.