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Newsletters, Spring 2017

Poetry Free for All

This summer in Vermont, Bread Loaf will sponsor a collaborative poetry reading with the Middlebury Language Schools, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the New England Review. The event, titled “Poetry Free for All,” will draw together distinguished poets from inside and outside our communities, to celebrate the power of language, community, diversity, creativity, and voice.

Democracy Week

How does democracy allow art and literature to flourish? And how do art and literature create a more engaged citizenry? Bread Loaf/Vermont will consider these questions and more during a special week of programming focusing on the theme of democracy and citizenship designed to engage the entire Bread Loaf community in discussion. Bread Loaf faculty member Douglas Jones, who is teaching the course Democracy and Its Documents this summer, will moderate a keynote conversation between Vinson Cunningham, staff writer at the New Yorker, and Jasmine Johnson, assistant professor of African and Afro-American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University. Bread Loaf faculty members will participate in a panel discussion on literature that considers and celebrates democratic life. Workshops and a film will round out the week’s events.

2017 Theater at Bread Loaf

Students at the Oxford campus this summer will enjoy all-school trips to Royal Shakespeare Theatre productions of Titus Andronicus and Antony and Cleopatra. (Please see the online profile of new faculty member Stephen Berenson for a listing of the plays students in the always-popular Page and Stage course will watch in 2017.) In Vermont, the Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble’s production of Othello promises to dovetail with a number of the summer’s course offerings, from Jeffrey Shoulson’s Race and Religion in Early Modern Drama and Caroline Bicks’s Sex, Gender, and the Body in Early Modern England to Lyndon Dominique’s Black British Literature and Angela Brazil’s Using Theater in the English Classroom.

The Elizabeth Drew Memorial Lecture

At last summer’s Vermont Commencement exercises, Bread Loaf was especially pleased to bestow an honorary Doctor of Letters on Nancie Atwell, one of the most respected and influential educators in the world. Atwell, who attended Bread Loaf from 1979–80 and in 1982, has been recognized as Poetry Teacher of the Year by the Library of Congress and as the first recipient of the Global Teacher Prize from the Varkey Foundation. This summer, Atwell will return to Bread Loaf to deliver the 2017 Elizabeth Drew Memorial Lecture. Atwell’s classic book In the Middle has been called “the greatest book on literacy teaching ever written in this country.” She is also the author of The Reading Zone, Systems to Transform Your Classroom and School, Naming the World, and Lessons That Change Writers. She teaches seventh and eighth grade writing, reading, and history at the Center for Teaching and Learning, a K–8 school she founded in Edgecomb, Maine, that advances excellence in teaching, teacher research, and writing, and to which she donated the entire $1 million Varkey Foundation award. The Drew Lecture, scheduled for July 5, will be streamed live for members of the entire Bread Loaf community to enjoy.

New Mexico, Revealed

A series of tours at the New Mexico campus this summer will connect students intimately with the landscape, history, and culture of Santa Fe and its environs. Lynn Cline MA ’97, author of the award-winning The Maverick Cookbook: Iconic Recipes and Tales from New Mexico, will introduce students to the flavors of the Southwest with a cooking demonstration, talk, and food tour of Santa Fe. Faculty member Annalyn Swan will shed light on the life and iconic art of New Mexico transplant Georgia O’Keeffe with a tour of her namesake museum in Santa Fe. And faculty member Rachel Lee will reveal a darker side of New Mexico’s history with a nuclear tour of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.