August 2, 2001

Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: August 2, 2001

MIDDLEBURY, VT - The Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the oldest writers' conference in the country, will meet from Aug. 15-26. Held every summer since 1926 on Middlebury's Bread Loaf campus in Ripton, Vt., the conference celebrated its 75th anniversary last year and remains of one of America's most respected literary institutions. At Bread Loaf, aspiring writers continue to seek inspiration from the same scenic wilderness setting that has attracted a long list of famous literary figures to the conference, from Carson McCullers and Robert Frost to Jhumpa Lahiri.

Bread Loaf's workshops, lectures and classes have introduced generations of participants to rigorous practical and theoretical approaches to the craft of writing, and have served as a model of literary instruction.

"Bread Loaf is not a retreat-not a place to work in solitude. Instead it provides a voluble congress of diverse voices in which we test our own assumptions regarding literature and seek advice about our progress as writers," said Michael Collier, director of the conference.

At the 76th session of the conference, more than 200 writers, faculty, and literary agents and editors from New York firms as well as smaller agencies and presses from around the country will gather. Several guests will give readings and talks, which are open to the public. A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and the current Vermont State Poet, Ellen Bryant Voigt will give a reading on Aug. 16. Novelist Thomas Mallon, whose work frequently appears in The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly, will give a lecture on Aug. 17.

The Bread Loaf faculty for this year's conference also includes such writers as memoirist and essayist Vivian Gornick, poet Linda Bierds and fiction writer Antonya Nelson.

The following is a list of the 2001 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference faculty:

  • Non-fiction: Vivian Gornick and Jim Paul
  • Poetry: David Baker, Linda Bierds, Michael Collier, Carl Phillips, Arthur Sze, Chase Twichell, Ellen Bryant Voigt
  • Fiction: Sandra Benítez, Robert Boswell, David Bradley, Lynn Freed, Randall Kenan, Thomas Mallon, Kyoko Mori, Antonya Nelson, David Shields, Joan Silber
  • Special guest: Andrea Barrett


To follow is a list of events open to the public:

Bread Loaf Writers' Conference

Events Open to the Public

Lectures, readings and a concert by the Vermont Symphony Trio are free and open to the public. Lectures are given by faculty and readings are given by both faculty and guests. All lectures and readings take place in the theatre at the Middlebury College Bread Loaf campus in Ripton, Vt. Since events are subject to change, confirm scheduled speakers by calling Noreen Cargill, administrative coordinator of the conference, at 802-443-5286.

Wednesday, Aug. 15
8:15 p.m. Reading with Michael Collier and Thomas Mallon

Thursday, August 16
9 a.m. Lecture with David Bradley, "The Tyranny of Talent"
4:15 p.m. Reading with Andrea Barrett and Barry Lopez
8:15 p.m. Reading with Roy Parvin and Ellen Bryant Voigt

Friday, August 17
9 a.m. Lecture with Thomas Mallon, "The Fiction in Fact"
4:15 p.m. Reading with Philip Stephens and Kyoko Mori
8:15 p.m. Reading with Terri Ford and David Shields

Saturday, August 18
9 a.m. Lecture with David Baker, "If: On Transit, Transcendence, and Trope"
4:15 p.m. Reading with Thisbe Nissen and Robert Boswell
8:15 p.m. Reading with Linda Bierds and Lynn Freed

Sunday, August 19
9 a.m. Lecture with Lynn Freed, "Embracing the Alien: Distance in Time and Place in the Perspective of the Writer"
4:15 p.m. Reading with Manuel Luis Martinez and David Baker
8:15 p.m. Reading with Cate Marvin and Joan Silber

Monday, August 20
4:15 p.m. Reading with Natasha Trethewey and Antonya Nelson
8:15 p.m. Reading with Jeffery Renard Allen and Chase Twichell

Tuesday, August 21
9 a.m. Lecture with Arthur Sze, "The Silk Dragon: Translating Chinese Poetry"
4:15 p.m. Reading with Mark Wunderlich and Sandra Benítez
8:15 p.m. Reading with Stacey D'Erasmo and Vivian Gornick

Wednesday, August 22
9 a.m. Lecture with Jim Paul, "The Found Life"
4:15 p.m. Reading with Chris Shaw and David Bradley
8:15 p.m. Reading with N. M. Kelby and Carl Phillips

Thursday, August 23
9 a.m. Lecture with Vivian Gornick, "The Art of Personal Narrative"
4:15 p.m. Reading with Carolyn Cooke, Lee Durkee, and Paisley Rekdal
8:15 p.m. Vermont Symphony Trio

Friday, August 24
9 a.m. Lecture with Ellen Bryant Voigt, "The Rhythm of Thought, the Rhythm of Song"
4:15 p.m. Reading with the 2000 Bakeless Literary Prize winners: Ann Pancake, Paula Peterson and Sam Witt
8:15 p.m. Reading with Spencer Short and Randall Kenan

Saturday, August 25
4:15 p.m. Reading with Rabih Alameddine and Jim Paul
8:15 p.m. Reading with Ellen Winter and Arthur Sze