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J. Drew Lanham, a professor of wildlife ecology at Clemson University, will be on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference.

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Bread Loaf Conferences for Translators and Environmental Writers Offer Lectures and Readings

May 22, 2019

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Middlebury Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference and Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference will each offer free lectures and readings to the public when they are in session May 31–June 6. Both conferences are modeled on the Middlebury Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the oldest writers’ conference in the country.

The Translators’ Conference, now in its fifth year, is the first such forum to highlight the important role that literary translators of poetry and prose play in the United States and beyond. The sixth annual Environmental Writers’ Conference is designed for those who want to bring more depth of knowledge and understanding to their writing about the environment and the natural world. The two gatherings will take place concurrently at Middlebury’s Bread Loaf campus in Ripton.

The intensive weeklong sessions incorporate the Middlebury Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference model of small, focused workshops coupled with readings, discussions, lectures, and specialized classes focusing on the craft of writing at the Environmental Conference, or, in the case of the Translators’ Conference, on the art of literary translation. Each morning in the Barn and Little Theater on the Bread Loaf campus, there are lectures given by faculty from the Translators’ and Environmental Writers’ Conferences respectively. Each evening there are readings offered by both conferences in the Little Theater.

Edward Gauvin, the translator of eight works of prose fiction and more than 250 graphic novels, will be a member of the faculty at the Bread Loaf Translators' Conference.

The Translators’ Conference will feature such faculty as Edward Gauvin and Emily Wilson. The translator of eight works of prose fiction and more than 250 graphic novels, Gauvin is a contributing editor for comics at Words Without Borders. He is also a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Translation Fellow whose NEA grant supports his work on 20th-century French poet and artist Pierre Bettencourt. Gauvin, who has received numerous prizes and fellowships, will give a reading on June 1 and a lecture on June 5.

A professor in the Department of Classical Studies and chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania, Wilson has served as the classics editor of the Norton Anthology of World Literature for many years. Her books include The Death of Socrates (2007) and a verse translation of The Odyssey (2017)—the first in English by a woman. She will give a lecture on June 1 and a reading on June 2.

The Environmental Writers’ Conference includes faculty members Helen Macdonald and J. Drew Lanham. Macdonald is a writer, poet, illustrator, naturalist, and an affiliated research scholar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of the bestselling H Is for Hawk (2014), as well as a cultural history of falcons, titled Falcon (2006), and three collections of poetry, including Shaler’s Fish (1997). Macdonald has worked as a professional falconer, and has assisted with the management of raptor research and conservation projects across Eurasia. She now writes for the New York Times Magazine. She will give a lecture on June 3 and a reading on June 4.

J. Drew Lanham is a professor of wildlife ecology at Clemson University whose writing reflects the interplay between culture and conservation. Widely published in periodicals, including Orion and Oxford American, his work has also been featured on NPR, National, New York Times, and The Guardian. He is the author of The Home PlaceMemoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature (2016). He will give a reading on June 2 and a lecture on June 4.

The conferences will kick off with a welcome from Megan Mayhew Bergman, director of the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference; Jennifer Grotz, director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences; and author and environmentalist Bill McKibben on Friday, May 31, at 8 p.m. in the Little Theater. 

The complete schedules of the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference and Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference lectures and readings are available here

Events are subject to change. To confirm dates and times, contact the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences at 802-443-5286,, or

More information about the Middlebury Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences is also available here.