The Bread Loaf School of English


See archived 2011-2012 student achievements here.

Richard Meyers MA '04, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications and Tribal Relations Director at South Dakota State University, has been selected as the main researcher and writer for a US Navy project to protect Native American sacred sites.

Alfredo Lujan MA '87, beloved Santa Fe Director's Assistant and intrepid Dawn Patrol leader, was one of only seven New Mexico teachers this year to win that state's Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching.

Heather Ott MA '95 was one of four teachers selected by the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools to receive the Hubert Smothers Award for commitment to and demonstrated excellence in teaching. Ott has taught at the Baylor School since 1986.

Robbie Harold MA '01 published her second Dade Wyatt historical mystery, Murdered Sleep (Station Road Press, April 2014), set in early-twentieth-century Washington, D.C. The novel is a sequel to Heron Island, set in Vermont and New York City in 1903.

Marshall Highet MA '07 published the science fiction book Spare Parts (Archway Publishing, October 2014), 

Susan T. Moss MA '76 published her second chapbook, In from the Dark (Antrim House, September 2014), with poems exploring loss and solace.

Lee Gaillard's (MA '70) essay on the role of luck in the Battle of the Midway, which first appeared in Proceedings as "The Great Midway Crapshoot," was selected for inclusion as Chapter 45 in The Battle of Midway: The Naval Institute Guide to the U.S. Navy's Greatest Victory (Naval Institute Press, 2013), edited by Thomas C. Hone.

Reese Fuller (current) published the piece "Young Writer Chronicles: Conceiving the Inconceivable" in the National Novel Writing Month blog.

Emily Johns (current) presented "Linking Lives: Confidence, Competence, Courage and Community in Integrative Education for Girls" with her colleague Ned Edwards at both the National Conference on Girls Education and the National Association of Episcopal Schools biennial conference.

Rebecca Makkai MA ’04 published The Hundred-Year House (Viking, 2014), a novel formed of three narratives spanning a century and connected by the thread of an artists’ colony in Illinois.

Washtenaw Technical Middle College, where Sam Rosewig (MA '12) teaches English, was selected as the 2014 Arts School of Michigan, based on the English department's curriculum based on Bread Loaf's popular Page and Stage course.

Jeffrey Price MA ’14 published a review of The Hundred-Year House for the July 23, 2014 edition of Seven Days, a Vermont weekly newspaper. Price also recently published pieces for Electric Lit  (“An Interview with Scott Cheshire,” July 6, 2014) and The Daily Beast (“Novelist D. Foy Dubs His Debut ‘Gutter Opera’ and Who are We to Argue?,” May 12, 2014).

Scot Slaby’s (attended ’01) chapbook of poetry entitled The Cards We’ve Drawn, was a co-winner of the 2013 Bright Hill Press At Hand Chapbook Competition and was published in July 2014 (Bright Hill Press).

Griffen Stabler (current student) received the 2013-14 Goldenheim Award for Excellence in Teaching at Green Farms Academy, where he serves as 8th Grade Dean and English teacher.

Kevin Brown’s (current student) poem “No Grandfather’s Hands” was published in the Franklin and Marshall Alumni Arts Review (May 2014).

Jennifer Brewer MA ’14 released her first young adult science fiction book, Vagabond, under the pen name J.D. Brewer in May (CreateSpace, 2014).

Matthew Roach (current student) earned the Dr. Wilbour Eddy Saunders Society Award for excellence in classroom teaching during the Peddie School’s 2014 commencement ceremony. 

Lincoln Adjacent, a play written by Roger Mason MA ’14 and Stephen Blackburn, won an Encore! Producers’ Award at the 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Lorena German (MA '14) has been selected as one of only six national recipients of the 2014 NCTE Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award. As a recipient, German will attend the 2014 NCTE annual conference and present in a session during the 2015 convention. German acknowledges the support of BLTN in her growth as a teacher and her motivation to apply for the award.

Quality of Life, Jason Tandon's (MA '01) third full-length collection of poetry, was published by Black Lawrence Press in September of 2013. Read more at

Benjamin Landry (MA '06), Meijer Post-MFA Fellow at the University of Michigan, published the book of poetry Particle and Wave (University of Chicago Press, April 2014). He has previously published An Ocean Away.

Ceci Lewis (MA '99), doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona, has received the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry Fellowship from that institution to support Lewis' presentation of a traveling museum exhibit that centers on women of Mexican descent who lived, worked, and raised their families in Douglas, Arizona from 1920 through the 1940s.

Roger Mason (current) has written, along with Stephen Blackburn, a collection of short works entitled Lincoln Adjacent: Three Plays NOT About Abraham Lincoln. Mason's two pieces focus on Elizabeth Keckley (Mary Todd Lincoln's seamstress and confidante) and John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln Adjacent is being performed as a part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival and runs June 8 through 26, 2014. 

Mark Elberfeld MA '07, former fiction editor of Georgia State University's journal New South, published a review of Kristina Marie Darling's Brushes With in NANO Fiction Volume 7, Number 2.  

Brandon Abdon (MA '12) has accepted a position as Director of Advanced Placement (AP) English Curriculum and Content Development for the College Board. As Director, Abdon will help design and manage the AP English Language and AP Literature exams taken by over one million students in more than 10,000 high schools around the world each year. Read more in a feature by the University of Kentucky.

Dan Toomey (MA '89) published his article "Believing It In: Robert Frost, Walter Hendricks, and the Creation of Marlboro College" in The Robert Frost Review (No. 22, Fall 2013). Toomey briefly discusses the history of Bread Loaf (both the school and the writer's conference) in the article.

Monica Weis (SSJ, MA '73), was one of five plenary speakers, including Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder, at the week-long Festival of Faiths in Louisville, Kentucky from May 13-18. Responding to the festival theme of "Sacred Earth/Sacred Self," her talk was titled "Discovering Oneself in the Cosmic Dance: Nature's Grace for Thomas Merton." She is also beginning research on her third book on Merton, investigating his fascination with Celtic spirituality.

Betsy Sullivan (attended '13) presented a paper on Hamlet at the "Worlds Elsewhere: Globalization and Early Cultures" conference at UC Irvine, April 18-19, 2014, where Bread Loaf/Oxford '13 faculty member Alexa Huang gave a keynote on "Global Shakespeares as Methodology."

An essay by Jennifer Crystal (attended '04) has been included in an anthology exploring 'reverse culture shock' called (t)here: Writings on Returnings, edited by Brandi Dawn Henderson. Crystal's essay is entitled "Coming Back to Life, Chronic Illness Style."

Den Latham (MA '89) published Painting the Landscape with Fire (University of South Carolina Press, 2013). The book explores the role of controlled burns in protecting longleaf pine forests and has been reviewed by Bread Loaf professor John Elder.

A play Mary Spence (MA '12) began writing in Dare Clubb's playwriting class at Bread Loaf, entitled "A Prayer for Romania," was workshopped at the Young Vic in London on February 18th with a cast of three and direction by David Weinberg.  

Jack C. Hill (MA '13) published an article in the January 20th edition of The Baltimore Sun sharing his reflections of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Lynda Healey (MLitt '07) published her first book, A Leap to Freedom: Boston Harbor 1989 (CreateSpace, 2013), a fictionalized account of the life of Edziu Polonka, the son of a Polish Communist Party official, and his defection from a Polish fishing trawler in Boston Harbor.

Christopher Gilbert (MA '10) has written a piece for The Washington Post in which he criticizes the privatization of public education in North Carolina, where he teaches English.

Lou Bernieri (MA '80), teacher at Phillips Academy Andover, executive director of Andover Bread Loaf, and a four-year volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) was honored with the 2013 Jeannie Melucci Award on November 27. “We’re very appreciative to Lou for his remarkable, and at times life-changing, impact on our kids,” said Markus Fischer, executive director of the BGCL. “He has opened up a new world of creative writing and arts to our youth members, and unlocked the potential of becoming a writer or poet for many of them.”

Bernieri has also been named co-chair of Lawrence, Massachusetts Mayor Daniel Rivera's Youth Council and to serve on Mayor Rivera's Education Transition Team.

Kurt Heinzelman, (MA ‘72) Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, published his fourth book of poetry, Intimacies & Other Devices (Pinyon Publishing, September 2013). Heinzelman is also editor of Texas Studies in Literature and Language (TSLL).


Ann McCluskey  (MA '73; MLitt '82) was awarded the rank of Professor Emeritus at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, acknowledging her 30 years of service to the college. See more here

Knute Skinner (MA '54) published his fifteenth book of poetry, Concerned Attentions, this September (Salmon Poetry, 2013). He is also the author of a memoir, Help Me to a Getaway, (Salmon Poetry, March 2010).

Charles Butterfield's (MA '75) poetry collection, Field Notes, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Butterfield has also published the biography of a disgraced Revolutionary War officer from Westmoreland, New Hampshire titled In the Shadow of Cedars (Historical Society of Cheshire County, NH).  

Herbert Woodward Martin (MLitt '72), Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Dayton, opened Detroit's centennial celebration of poets Dudley Randall and Robert Hayden (1913-2013) with a reading of their work. On November 9th, Martin also narrated Copland's Lincoln Portrait with the Springfield (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra. In September, Martin published his 9th volume of poetry titled On The Flyleaf (Bottom Dog Press). 

“Dangerous Archaeology: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother (and Others) – a memoir in fragments” – written by Martha Andrews Donovan (MA ’89) in collaboration with photographer Autumn E. Monsees – was named to the “Notable Essay” section of The Best American Essays 2013. This mixed-genre/hybrid essay was published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Issue 50 (Spring/Summer 2012).


photo credit: Autumn E. Monsees

Renee Moore (MA '97; BLTN member) was quoted in a November 5, 2013 article by Larry Ferlazzo in Education Week.

David Koehn's (attended '97) full-length manuscript, "Twine," has won the 2013 May Sarton Poetry Prize, and will be published by Bauhan Publishing in Spring 2014. His chapbook "Coil" won the Midnight Sun chapbook contest at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. See more at

An essay by Jamie Sweitzer Brandstadter MA ’13 entitled “The Innocence of Ice” appeared in the new anthology Facing the Change: Personal Encounters with Global Warming, ed. Steven Pavlos Holmes (Torrey House Press, 2013). The anthology, described by Bread Loaf’s John Elder as “eloquent and original,” merges essays, poetry, and short stories that reflect on the writers’ concrete experiences of climate change.

Christopher Gilbert's article "Changing the Lens: The Necessity of Visual Literacy in the ELA Classroom" (English Journal, March 2013) has received NCTE's Paul and Kate Farmer Writing Award. In the article, Gilbert makes the case for visual literacy as a pedagogical approach for critically consuming the countless images that students encounter on a daily basis.

Christopher Ross (MA '04) has published his first book, Resucito (CreateSpace, 2013). Ross' epic poem is a playful "mish-mash of history" that Kirkus Reviews praises as "An engrossing, eccentric, inventive, poetic reimagining of the Revolutionary era in the United States."

See more at

See Josina Reaves (MA '01; MLitt '11), who teaches at the Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, in the June 26, 2013 edition of the New York Times. Photographer Aliza Eliazarov took Reaves' photo (third in the slideshow) as part of her project documenting the end of the teaching day.

Eric Bliman's (attended 2003-05) chapbook of poems, Travel and Leisure, was chosen by Vijay Seshadri as a winner of the 2013 Poetry Society of America's National Chapbook Fellowship. Bliman teaches writing at the Harrisburg campus of Penn State University.

Tom McKenna (MA '96: BLTN member), has been named a Teaching Ambassador by the US Department of Education for 2013-14, one of only about 40 such ambassadors named since 2011.

Rebecca Makkai's (MA '04) memoir, "Three Legends," appears in the July 2013 issue of Harper's magazine.

Jim Brewer (MA '66) received the Holderness School's Theuner Award at its 2013 commencement exercises in recognition of his twenty-three years of service to the school as an English teacher, department chair, director of development, director of college counseling, director of publications, assistant headmaster, and football coach.

Dean Woodring Blase (MA '01; BLTN member) has been selected as Wellesley Public School's new Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Blase was an inaugural member of the Doctor of Education Leadership program at Harvard University.

Sarah Nichols Dille (MA '04) has received the Teacher of the Year for Austin ISD, the public school district in Austin, TX, composed of over 118 campuses.

Terri Vest (MA '84; MLitt '95) is the recipient of an America Achieves Fellowship. As such, she attended several sessions of Education Nation had an opportunity to speak to a number of policy-makers including Secretary of Education Duncan. Vest is also in her second term on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards board of Directors.

Heidi Boisvert (MA '00), a PhD candidate in Rensselaer's Department of the Arts, directed the premiere of "[radical] signs of life," a performance featuring the use of biotechnology to integrate music and images generated from networked dancers. Heidi is a new media artist and game designer who worked with a team of international artists on the project.

Lucille Rossbach (MA '02) has edited Returning the Arts to Language Arts (Royal Fireworks Press, 2013), a collection of reflections on best practices from teachers in the Colorado chapter of the Bread Loaf Teacher Network.

Bread Loaf senior Holly Spinelli, member of BLTN and a recipient of the prestigious Esperanza Fellowship, has written an article in the Huffington Post about her experience in a master class with Gloria Steinem as a fellow in Sam Swope's Academy for Teachers.

Lois Kim (attended '92) has been named the Texas Book Festival’s executive director, responsible for managing staff, programs, operations, external relations, and resource development. Kim is currently the associate director of University Extension at the University of Texas at Austin.

Janet Atkins (MA '97, MLitt '08, BLTN member) has been named a finalist in the 2013 Sidney Lanier Award Poetry Competition for her poem "Retrospective on an Empty Nest."

Janet Atkins (MA '97, MLitt '08, BLTN member) published her poem "Saturday Visitation" in the English Journal (Vol. 102, No. 4, March 2013). Janet is a National Board certified teacher at the Wade Hampton High School in South Carolina.

Novelist and Middlebury College writer-in-residence Julia Alvarez's (attended '79 & '80) piece, "Stories to Steer By," appears in the December 2012/January 2013 edition of The Progressive. She was also interviewed on The Bob Edwards Show on April 11, 2013.

Look for two Bread Loaf names in the March 25th edition of The New Yorker: Sam Swope's Academy for Teachers recently hosted a master class with Gloria Steinem for nominated fellows, including City-as-School teacher Holly Spinelli. Rebecca Mead's Talk of the Town article describes some of the conversation that took place on the seminar's topic of feminism in the classroom.

Evelyn Begody (current student) reports that five students at the Window Rock High School where she teaches English in Fort Defiance, Arizona have been selected as Gates Millenium Scholarship Finalists.

Christopher Gilbert (MA '10) has recently been published in The Washington Post and two issues of the NCTE's English Journal.

Daniel Picker (MA '92) has published his first book of poetry, Steep Stony Road (Viral Cat Press, July 2012). The book includes the poem "River Goddess,"winner of The Dudley Review Poetry Prize of Harvard University. Frost scholars John Elder (with whom Mr. Picker studied at Bread Loaf) and Seamus Heaney praise the book. 

Heather Adams (MA '08) has been awarded the 2013 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Dissertation Award for "Secrets and Silences: Rhetorics of Unwed Pregnancy Since 1960." Heather is a 2012 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where Bread Loaf professor Cheryl Glenn was her dissertation advisor.

Martha Brennan (current) and Rebecca Slagle (MA ‘05) have been named winners of the 2012 NCTE/SLATE Intellectual Freedom Award, given in recognition of those who show courage in advancing the cause of intellectual freedom or fighting censorship.

Kurt Caswell (MA ‘98) chronicles his walking journeys in Grand Gulch, Utah in "A Short Walk in Anasazi Country," published in the inaugural issue of Earthlines magazine.

Elizabeth Neely Clauser (MA ‘04) received a Fulbright grant to Brazil to sponsor the last chapter of her dissertation research for her Ph.D. in Literature at the University of North Texas on "Elizabeth Bishop in Brasil: An Ongoing Acculturation."

Cathy Eaton (current) has a fiction website at, where her first collection of short stories is now available. Her story “Raggedy Slipper” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012.

Lorena German (current) has written an account of her experiences as both a student and a teacher at Lawrence High School in the May issue of The Advocate, a journal of the Massachusetts branch of the American Federation of Teachers.

Nagihan Haliloğlu's (MA '01) book, Narrating from the Margins: Self-Representation of Female and Colonial Subjectivities in Jean Rhys’s Novels (Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2011) has been reviewed by Lee Garver of Butler University in the current edition of Postcolonial Text.

Kurt Heinzelman, (MA ‘72) Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, this year published his third book of poems, The Names They Found There  (Pecan Grove Press, 2011), cited by Poetry International as one of the "Notable Poetry Books of the Year." 

Sushma Joshi's (MA '05) play, I Killed My Best Friend's Father, was read as part of the Kali Talkback Festival of staged readings at the Arcola Theatre in London on December 8, 2012. The play deals with the struggle of two teenaged girls to maintain their friendship after being displaced by the conflict in Nepal.

Sørina Higgins, (MA ‘07) adjunct professor of English at Lehigh Carbon Community College, published her first full-length book of poetry in February, entitled Caduceus (David Robert Books, 2012)See more at

Cynthia Huntington,(MA '83) Professor of English at Dartmouth College and former New Hampshire State Poet Laureate, has published her fourth book of poems, Heavenly Bodies (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012). The book, which focuses on the drama of the 1960s,  was included as an "Editor's Selection" in the press’s Crab Orchard Poetry Series.

Eileen (Rosenbaum) Landay (MA ‘85), Adjunct Senior Lecturer, co-founder and Faculty Director of the ArtsLiteracy Project, and retired Clinical Professor of English Education at Brown University, has published Reason to Read: Linking Literacy and the Arts (Harvard Education Press, 2012) with Kurt Wootton.

Charles Lear (MA '03), director, actor, and playwright, has published Post-Apocalyptic Macbeth and the Girls (CreateSpace, August 2012), an accounting of his rooftop production of Macbeth in Brooklyn.

Robin Lehleitner (current) presented "Bridging the Gap: Helping Non-elite Students Create Relationships with Literature” at the Transitions and Transactions: Literature Pedagogy in Community Colleges Conference at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, in April 2012. Robin teaches English and Creative Writing at Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. 

Andrew Mahlstedt (MA '06) has successfully completed his PhD in literary studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Rebecca Makkai (MA '04), novelist, has published the article "Mapping a Novel" in the November 30, 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal. In the article, she relates her experience blueprinting the haunted house in her upcoming novel.

Renee Moore (MA '97; BLTN member) gave the keynote speech at the Powerful Learning Practice conference PLP Live - Inspire. Collaborate. Shift. on September 28th in Philadelphia.

Flor Mota (current), who received a Write to Change grant to create a writing center at McCallum High School in Austin, Texas, has now received that school's Teacher of the Year award.

Charlene Ortuno (current; BLTN member), a teacher at iPrep Academy in Miami, Florida, linked her students with the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum in Miami Beach to design and create game-based curriculum on democracy.

See the resulting website Teen Thoughts on Democracy and the accompanying book.

Julie Porter,(MA ‘06) who was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2010, received a Ph.D. in education from Columbia University in May, 2012.

Myra Shapiro (MA '73) has published a new book of poems entitled 12 Floors Above Earth (Antrim House, 2012). Described by Tony Hoagland as "a wonderfully alert and honest collection of poems," the work draws upon Myra's Jewish background, her love of family, and her rejection of convention.

Frank Reetz (MA '10) has edited Gathering Conifer's Stories Project, a collection of stories written by Colorado youth about the traditions, people and history of their communities.

Lillian Reeves, (BL ‘07) doctoral student in Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina-Columbia and member of the BLTN Advisory Board, has published (with A.J. Lachuk and D. DeFord) “The Things They Carried: 100 Years of Literacy Learning and Scholarship,” a review of the book Reclaiming Reading: Teachers, Students, and Researchers Regaining Spaces for Thinking and Action, edited by J.R. Meyer and K.F. Whitmore, in Language Arts (2012).

Dan Sharkovitz (MA '90) published the article "On Anarchy and the Teaching of English" in the Fall 2012 issue of The Leaflet, the professional journal of the New England Association of Teachers of English.

Karra Shimabukuro (MA '10) presented papers entitled "More Grimm Than We Remember: Our New Interest in Fairy Tales and Its Significance" at Popular/American Culture Association in the South (September 2012) and "The Modern Day Bogeymen Freddy Krueger's Folkloric Roots" for the Modern Day Fairy Tale in Film and Television panel at SAMLA (November 2012).

Lee (Skip) Smith (MA ’80), who teaches Advanced Fiction Writing at Champlain College in Burlington, published a collection of short stories entitled Views Cost Extra (Fomite Press, 2011).

See more at

Nina Sokol (current) published her poems "Trill" in Ardent: A journal of Poetry and Art (Dec. 2011) and “Everyday Betrayal” in the e-zine Nite Writers International Literary Arts Journal . Nina’s Danish-to-English translation of Twenty Minutes After Death, a play by Thomas Markmann, was selected by the Scandinavian American Theater Company to be read in their "Contemporary Scandinavian Reading Series" at Scandinavia House in Manhattan.

Bill Sowder (MA '89) has published "Keeping the Teacher in Teaching" in English Leadership Quarterly (October 2012). Bill, who retired from public teaching and supervising in 2010, now teaches at The College of New Jersey.

Holly Spinelli presented a workshop on 'Fearless Writing' at the 2012 Performing the World Conference in New York City on October 7th. The conference is attended by educators, performers, artists, and students from around the world.

Holly Spinelli (current) has been nominated as a Fellow in the Academy for Teachers, the brainchild of Bread Loaf faculty member Sam Swope.

Emily Stigliani (current) is attending the University of Missouri School of Journalism on a graduate fellowship (2011-13).

Mike Sunderland (current) and his students at Red Cloud High School were featured in the August 2012 National Geographic cover story about the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The storytelling collaboration between Mike’s students and National Geographic photographer Aaron Huey can be viewed here.

Stephanie Tam, one of the three inaugural Princeton/Bread Loaf Fellows at the Oxford campus last summer, has been named one of the two recipients of the Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship at Princeton University, where she is a member of the class of 2013. As a Sachs Scholar, Stephanie will be studying  postcolonial and world literatures at Worcester College, University of Oxford. Read more here.

Mohsin Tejani (MA '01), in collaboration with Andover Bread Loaf (ABL), has established the Karachi School of Writing in Pakistan. The School of Writing, which functions as a comprehensive community writing center, addresses the literacy needs of students, professionals, and organizations, using the arts, technology, and other resources to develop participants' 21st-century literacy abilities.

Laura Van Der Ploeg (attended '97; member BLTN) has published Literacy for a Better World: The Promise of Teaching in Diverse Classrooms (Teacher's Press, 2012). The book explores socially-just teaching practice through a combination of literacy research and pedagogy.

David Wandera (MA ‘08 and current MLitt student) has been awarded a Martha King Scholarship Award for his continued doctoral study in the College of Education and Human Ecology Scholarship at Ohio State University for the 2012-13 academic year.

Monica Weis (SSJ, MA '73), Professor of English and Director of the MA in Liberal Studies program at Nazareth College, published her second book, The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton (University Press of Kentucky, 2011) and spent the fall teaching American literature at the University of Pannonia in Veszprém, Hungary, as a Fulbright Visiting Professor.