Veteran Bread Loaf faculty members are presenting new and original work this summer as a way to provide access to writers and readers across the country and the globe. Every ticket supports the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences and allows us to provide high quality instruction, mentorship, and community to writers. Please purchase a ticket, subscribe to the whole series, or consider purchasing additional tickets to support us in making this programming available to every interested writer, regardless of funding.
Check out the amazing lineup below and look for the schedule and tickets to be posted soon!
Access to Bread Loaf Lecture Series - June
Featuring Lectures by Bread Loaf Environmental
and Bread Loaf Translators’ Faculty including:
Kareem James Abu-Zeid
Jennine Capó Crucet
June Lecture Tickets Coming soon!
June Lecture Ticket, $25
Subscription to the June Lecture Series (including all lectures for BL Environmental and BL Translators’), $100
Some support will be available for writers in need to assist with ticket fees.
Access to Bread Loaf Lecture Series - August
“Creatures of Impulse: What Fictions Writers Can Learn From TV,” with Dean Bakopoulos
This lecture will focus on the way popular TV series hook the viewer, construct scenes, build character, and structure an episode, and how this can easily be adapted to add energy to short stories and novels.
“Charisma and Characterization,” with Charles Baxter
What makes us fixate on a character so that we cannot look away? What causes a character to have power over us? Why do such people make us think about them? This is an immensely important and difficult topic, especially in these times, and I would like to talk about such characters as Morrison’s Sula, Melville’s Ahab, Dostoevsky’s Stavrogin, and possibly one of Shakespeare’s characters as “magnetic personalities.”
“The I As Multitudes,” with Reginald Dwayne Betts
The ways in which writers engage the I has always been worthy of discussion. But mostly not for what the I says about the writer - and yet, what we imagine the I says about the writer is what frightens so many of becoming multitudes. This class asks questions about the I and what it means to embody multitudes, what it means to be more than ourselves on the page.
“The Art of Describing,” with Jane Brox
The most memorable prose descriptions make use not only of word choice but of syntax, context, rhythm, and sound for their effectiveness. In this class, we will discuss examples of exemplary descriptive prose as a means of helping participants enhance their own powers of description.
“Remember When We Talked About the Future? Memory and Aspiration in Poems,”
with Gabrielle Calvocoressi
I don’t know about you but I’ve spent this last 12 months living in the past and future tense, while also experiencing the most intensely sad, frustrating, surprising, ______ (you name it), present moment of my life. What does that mean for my person and my poems? In this class we’ll look at the ways poets use both memory and aspiration in their poems to create a vibrant and fully realized world. We’ll think about tense as a psychic as well as pragmatic space in our poetics. At a moment where we will (hopefully) be entering a gateway to a new chapter, let’s work together in the poem lab to remember and look forward all at once. This class aims to be a collaborative space of rigorous compassion and experiment where we’ll talk and work a ton.
“A Belief in Angels: Joy in Poetry,” with Victoria Chang
What is a poem of joy? Or a line of poetry that evokes joy? In this talk, we’ll think through what joy means, what a poem of joy might look like, and how a poem of joy might affect its readers. In the process, we’ll look at poems by various poets such as Frank O’Hara, Robert Hass, Li-Young Lee, Ross Gay, Elizabeth Bishop, and many others.
“What Is the Novel For?” with Alexander Chee
“The Art of Revision,” with Peter Ho Davies
“Magnitude and Bond: Imagery and the Sensual in the work of Gwendolyn Brooks and Lucille Clifton,” with Vievee Francis
In this lecture I will explore the way Brook’s and Clifton’s provocative and surprising use of imagery allows broad readings of the black body’s restraint and boundlessness. Through this exploration we may all find a means of (re)claiming our bodies for ourselves.
“Through a Childs’ Eyes: Childhood Memoirs and Their Narrators,” with Reyna Grande
Capturing the “voice” of our child selves can be daunting but deeply rewarding. In this lecture, we will discuss successful approaches to child narrators in memoir and explore techniques you can apply to your own work.
“An Anatomy of Surprise in Fiction,” with Tania James
Surprise creates a rupture in the reading experience; we are stunned, stilled, caught. In this class, we’ll discuss surprise in terms of craft, and consider ways in which to manage surprise, suspense, reversals, and plot twists in fiction. The class will include discussion of published stories as well as in-class exercises aimed toward rendering surprise on the page.
“Fragmentation, Witness and the (Power) Structure of Story,” with Ana Menéndez
This lecture concerns itself with the fragmented narrative as a vehicle for bearing witness.
“Slightly Odd or Profoundly Bizarre: Notes on Defamiliarization,” with Matthew Olzmann This lecture will explore the idea that poetry should “make the strange familiar, and the familiar strange.” How does something recognizable or mundane suddenly find itself charged with mystery? How does something wild and surreal feel immediately connected to our daily lives? At a glance, it might seem like I’m describing two very different types of poems: one invested in our ordinary world, the other reaching for the absurd. The real and the unreal. However, in each of these modes, the effect I’m describing is actually achieved through similar means. Regardless of subject matter, these poems rely on the poet shifting the context through which we view the poem’s emotional or conceptual core. Let’s talk about how that happens.
“On the Writing Life,” with Carl Phillips
“White Elegies: On Whiteness and Cultural Appropriation in Poetry,” with Paisley Rekdal
“Friend to Friend in the Endtime: Imagining Solidarity, Writing the Future,” with Jess Row
Dystopian or post-apocalyptic novels like Parable of the Sower, Station Eleven, Severance, Fiskadoro and Dhalgren often imagine relationships of love, companionship, and interdependence across lines of race, gender identification, class, age, nationality. This lecture (class) raises the question of why these stories seem so attractive in the future, yet impossible in the present, and what we can learn from dystopian narratives about creating better characters in any story.
“Debut Books of Poetry: Notes on Sounding Like Yourself,” with Brenda Shaughnessy
You’ve immersed in flow, process, form, revision, workshop, submissions, and now—what will/could all that creative and administrative energy add up to? What are the hallmarks, conventions, and pitfalls of the debut collection? How can a book “sound like” its author? This talk explores the elements of and issues around the debut poetry collection, both in contemporary literary history and in current publishing practices—and is meant to inform, inspire, and challenge those poets working on their first manuscripts.
“Literature in Real Time,” with Craig Morgan Teicher
Diary, daybook, to do list: these quotidian forms can be fruitful fodder for works of imaginative literature in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, spurring and dramatizing consciousness self-discovery in what feels like real time. This lecture will examine works by Hilton Als, A.R. Ammons, Sarah Manguso, Enrique Vila-Matas, and others to see what can be accomplished when these kinds of real-time check-ins are used as literary forms.
“Fiction Forms,” with Tiphanie Yanique
Poets use form to challenge themselves by the form’s limitations. Poets also use form to participate in poetic tradition. In many cases, poets push against the limitations for forms as a way to push against the traditions which created those forms. Specific forms, however, have specific strengths which allow for specific dynamics to arise in the poem. To this end, poets have often created new forms as ways to reference new cultural limitations, create new traditions and make possible new dynamics. Fiction writers, however, have not made as much intentional use of form, though we often do abide inside of received forms. But what are the fiction forms? What are fictional elements in the world that might be called upon as references for new written fictional forms? What new fiction forms does our culture need now? In this lecture Tiphanie Yanique will explore these questions and how she begins to answer them in her own work.
August Lecture Tickets coming soon!
August Lecture Ticket, $25
Subscription to the August Lecture Series (including all August lectures), $250
Some support will be available for writers in need to assist with ticket fees.