COVID-19: Essential Information


Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writers' Conference to convene Aug. 16-27

July 31, 2006

Readings and lectures free and open to the public

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- The Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the oldest writers' conference in the country, will meet Wednesday, Aug. 16 - Sunday, Aug. 27.

Held every summer since 1926 on the college's Bread Loaf campus in Ripton, the conference remains one of America's most respected literary institutions. Two weeks of workshops, lectures, classes and readings present writers with rigorous practical and theoretical approaches to their craft, and offer a model of literary instruction. A dynamic setting, the mountain campus has attracted many renowned literary figures such as Robert Frost, Carson McCullers, John Irving, Terry Tempest Williams, Ted Conover and Julia Alvarez.

"Bread Loaf is not a retreat-not a

Michael Collier, director

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, the director of the conference.

This year, 270 writers, students, faculty, literary agents and editors will gather at the 81st  session of the conference. The general public, too, is invited to attend a daily schedule of readings and lectures where faculty, fellows and guests gather in the Little Theatre, on Route 125, to talk about writing or to read from their works.

The 2006 session of public events will open on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 8:15 p.m. with a welcome by Collier, who will also give a reading the next day, Friday, Aug. 18, at 4:15 p.m. Collier is the author of five books of poems, including "The Folded Heart;" "The Ledge," which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2000; and most recently, "Dark Wild Realm," published in 2006. He has received Guggenheim and Thomas Watson fellowships; two National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowships; a "Discovery"/The Nation Award; the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America; and a Pushcart Prize. Poet Laureate of Maryland from 2001-2004, he is also co-editor of "A William

Special Bread Loaf guests,
Paul Lisicky and Linda Pastan

Maxwell Portrait," with Guggenheim Foundation President Edward Hirsch and author Charles Baxter, who received the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1997. Collier teaches in the University of Maryland Creative Writing

Following Collier's welcome will be readings by two Bread Loaf faculty members, Percival Everett and Linda Gregerson.

Everett is the author of more than 15 books of fiction and recipient of the American Academy Award for Literature, the Hurston/Wright LEGACY Award, and the Hillsdale Award for Fiction. He is a professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Gregerson is the author of five books including "The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep," a finalist for both the Poets Prize and the Lenore Marshall Award; and "Waterborne," the winner of the 2003 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. She has also received awards and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Poetry Society of America, Poetry magazine, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Guggenheim Foundation, and two from the NEA. Gregerson is the Frederick G. L. Huetwell

The gate in a stone wall leads from a Bread Loaf lawn to the adjacent mountain pasture.

Professor of English at the University of Michigan.

Other highlights of the public events will include readings on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 8:15 p.m. by Bread Loaf faculty member Ted Conover, and on Thursday, Aug. 24, at 4:15 p.m. by special guests Paul Lisicky and Linda Pastan. At 8:15 p.m., following the readings by Lisicky and Pastan, an evening of music will feature Middlebury College Alexander Twilight Artist-in-Residence François Clemmons. Clemmons, who is also director of the college choir, will be accompanied on piano by George Matthew, Jr.

Conover's book "Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing" won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Conover is also the author of "Whiteout," "Coyotes," and "Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails with America's Hoboes." He contributes to the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly and many other publications. Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he is a New York University Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in the department of journalism.

Lisicky is the author of "Lawnboy," "Famous Builder, " and the recently completed "Lumina Avenue." His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Short Takes, Open House, Boulevard, Flash Fiction and many other anthologies and magazines. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he is the recipient of awards from the NEA, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, the Henfield Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was twice a fellow. Lisicky teaches in the graduate and undergraduate writing programs at Sarah Lawrence College.

Pastan has published 11 volumes of poetry, including "PM/AM" and "Carnival Evening:

Mark Doty,
Bread Loaf faculty

New and Selected Poems," both finalists for the National Book Award. Her most recent book is "The Last Uncle," and "Queen of a Rainy Country" is forthcoming in the fall of 2006. Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991 to 1995, Pastan won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2003. She was a member of the Bread Loaf faculty for 20 years.

Additional highlights include a lecture titled "Whitman in Tears" on Friday, Aug. 25, at 9 a.m. by Mark Doty, followed later in the day at 4:15 p.m. by readings by Eric Puchner and Ursula Hegi.

Doty's seventh book of poems, "School of the Arts," was published in 2005. He has also published three volumes of nonfiction prose,

Bread Loaf fellow
Eric Puchner,
Middlebury Class of 1993

including "Heaven's Coast," which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Nonfiction Award. A book of prose, "Dog Years," is forthcoming. Doty, who will also give a reading at 8:15 p.m. the Monday before his lecture date, has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers' Award, a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Ingram Merrill foundations.

Puchner, a John Gardner Fellow in Fiction, is the author of the story collection "Music Through the Floor," which was a San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. His short stories have appeared in Zoetrope: All Story, Chicago

Ursula Hegi,
Bread Loaf faculty

Tribune, the Sun, Missouri Review, and Best New American Voices 2005. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, and a 2006 NEA grant. Puchner, a 1993 graduate of Middlebury College, is currently the Marsh McCall Lecturer at Stanford University.

Hegi is the author of six novels: "Sacred Time," "The Vision of Emma Blau," "Salt Dancers," "Floating in My Mother's Palm," "Intrusions," and "Stones from the River," which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her awards include NEA and Artist Trust fellowships, and she has served as a juror for the National Book Awards and the National Book Critics Circle Awards. Hegi has also written a children's book, "Trudi & Pia;" two collections of stories, "Hotel of the Saints" and "Unearned Pleasures;" and a book of nonfiction, "Tearing the Silence: On Being German in America." Her books have been translated into many languages.

All events are subject to change - members of the public should contact the Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writers' Conference to confirm days and times. Prior to the first week of the conference, call 802-443-5286; after Aug. 15, call 802-443-2700.

To follow is a list of free conference events open to the public.

Public Events Listing Aug. 16-26
2006 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference

All events will take place on the Bread Loaf campus in the Little Theatre, on Route 125 in Hancock.

*Please note the later start time for the afternoon reading on Aug. 17; all other afternoon readings begin at 4:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 16

8:15 p.m.  Welcome by Michael Collier and readings by Percival Everett and Linda Gregerson

Thursday, Aug. 17

9 a.m.   Lecture by William Kittredge, "Getting Started, or Unexpected Consequences"

4:30 p.m.* Readings by Richard Siken and Antonya Nelson

8:15 p.m.  Readings by Sally Keith and David Shields

Friday, Aug. 18

9 a.m.   Lecture by Robert Boswell, "Process and Paradigm"

4:15 p.m.  Readings by Gina Franco, Alison Smith and Michael Collier

8:15 p.m.  Readings by Barbara Klein Moss, Emily Raboteau and Kevin McIlvoy

Saturday, Aug. 19

9 a.m. Lecture by David Baker, "Lyric Poetry and the Problem of Time"   

4:15 p.m.  Readings by Gonzalo Barr, Tim Bascom and David Tucker

8:15 p.m.  Readings by Linda Bierds and Randall Kenan

Sunday, Aug. 20

9 a.m.   Lecture by Josip Novakovich, "Writing in English as a Second Language"

4:15 p.m.  Readings by Peter Orner and Toi Derricotte

8:15 p.m.  Readings by Thomas Heise and Helen Schulman

Monday, Aug. 21

4:15 p.m.  Readings by Oni Buchanan, Katharine Noel and Cheryl Strayed

8:15 p.m.  Readings by Rachel DeWoskin and Mark Doty

Tuesday, Aug. 22

9 a.m.   Lecture by Linda Gregerson, "Praising and Blaming: The Ode"

4:15 p.m.  Readings by Jennifer Grotz, Robert Hill and William Kittredge

8:15 p.m.  Readings by Ted Conover and Helena María Viramontes

Wednesday, Aug. 23

9 a.m.   Lecture by Kevin McIlvoy, "Somatic Wisdom in Fiction"

4:15 p.m.  Readings by Evan Wright and Josip Novakovich

8:15 p.m.  Readings by Laila Lalami and Carl Phillips

Thursday, Aug. 24

9 a.m.   Lecture by David Shields, "A Literary Collage on Literary Collage"

4:15 p.m.  Readings by Paul Lisicky and Linda Pastan

8:15 p.m.  An evening of music: François Clemmons, with pianist George Matthew, Jr. accompanying

Friday, Aug. 25

9 a.m.   Lecture by Mark Doty, "Whitman in Tears"

4:15 p.m.  Readings by Eric Puchner and Ursula Hegi

8:15 p.m.  Readings by Thomas Sayers Ellis and Robert Boswell

Saturday, Aug. 26

4:15 p.m.  Readings by Nicholas Montemarano, Glaydah Namukasa and Jason Schneiderman

8:15 p.m.  Readings by David Baker and Sigrid Nunez

All events are subject to change - members of the public should contact the Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writers' Conference to confirm days and times. Prior to the first week of the conference, call 802-443-5286; after Aug. 15, call 802-443-2700.