Sunday, August 30, 2009

the night before the first day back

(photo taken on Ryan's camera phone)

Tomorrow begins orientation for those teaching comp. I've got two semesters' worth ahead of me, and I think I prefer teaching any sort of writing to teaching literature, but I could certainly be wrong. Improving writing feels more tangible to me than improving literature comprehension, but I might just be saying that because it's what I face. It's a bit like the current season often being my favorite--we're facing autumn, so I'm in love with autumn; as winter approaches, I look forward to the snow; we live in Minnesota, so I yearn for spring long before we see evidence of it; summer coming means camping and hiking and Hay Creek.

Things this semester:
- Teaching comp. to first year students
- Taking thesis seminar with Ray Gonzalez, a memoir class with Trish Hampl, and an independent study that will focus on Emily Dickinson + Edna St Vincent Millay + Elizabeth Bishop with Michael Dennis Browne, who is retiring after this semester
- poetry editor for dislocate
- and a few mysterious projects I'm hoping to share in the near future.

Tonight is my last night of summer, always that strange portal of time, and after dinner, while listening to "Heart and Bones" by this local band, my husband and I held hands and watched the fingers of pink and blue mingle with the Mississippi River.

Friday, August 28, 2009

bread loaf in pictures

Day 1: Depart Twin Cities to long delay in Newark airport. From Burlington, we take a shuttle onto "the mountain," as it is called, in cell-phone-less country. Dinner, settle into rooms, opening remarks with Michael Collier followed by a reading by Trish Hampl and Michael Collier.

Day 2: First workshops, readings by special guests Lorrie Moore (fell in love with Lorrie Moore when reading Anagrams and Self Help--these were my just-before-sleep books while at BL) and CK Williams, evening readings with Lynn Freed and Alan Shapiro.

Day 3: Second workshop day. Spent most of today exploring and even more: reading. And reading.

Day 4: Trish Hampl's lecture on memoir (which can be found in this collection), sat in on Copper Canyon press talk, first craft class on diction.

Day 5: Third poetry workshop, Charlies' talk on "Lush Life" as well as a panel on the editing process with Baxter, Thomas Mallon and their editor Dan Frank. Craft class on verb tenses, and more readings. I wandered across the field and into the woods that face Bread Loaf.

Day 6: Today was a "day off" (no workshops--fiction and poetry/non-fiction alternate days) with a "Writer's Cramp" race to begin the day. Lunch was a picnic at the Robert Frost farm where Middlebury professor John Elder gave a talk about Frost's experiences in Vermont and how that was reflected in his writing. The evening readers were Robert Cohen and Natasha Tretheway.

Day 7: Tom Sleigh gave a lecture called "Thom Gunn's New Jerusalem, or How to Voice Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll" (which EBV piped up during). I went on an afternoon Robert Frost trail walk with John Elder, went to a craft class given by James Allen Hall on adding the element of surprise, went to the book signing on Treman Lawn, then the reading given by Sigrid Nunez and Ellen Bryant Voigt.

Day 8: Fourth day of workshop for the poets. Today was the sit-down lunch served by faculty and fellows, which proved to be highly entertaining, as I suspect it is every year. Had a craft class on found poetry, went to a reading with Matthew Dickman, Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes, and Ann Hood, and in the evening, the readers were Vikram Chandra and Arthur Sze.

Day 9: Alan Shapiro gave a lecture on "Translation and 'Linguistic Hospitality'" in which there was a guest performance by Matthew Dickman. I sat in on a talk with Gary Clark from the Vermont Studio Center (and lusted after the idea of a month to write and nothing but), attended an excellent class on lineation, attended a panel with editors from New England Review, Ploughshares, and Atlantic Monthly.

Day 10: Last day of workshops. Sat in on Louise Gluck's talk on the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Craft class on revision with Tom Sleigh. Evening readers were Charlie Baxter and Ed Hirsch.

Day 11: I explored the woods at the back of the campus. Evening readers were Lisa Fugard, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, and David Shields.

There were several events that I was either not present at or did not bring my camera. For a full list of Bread Loaf's 2009 public offerings, you can open this pdf file.

Check out my full Bread Loaf Flickr photo set, which has so very many more pictures. \

Also: If you want to use my photographs, please email me (acertainslantoflight at hotmail dotcom) for permission. I've never declined permission, of course, but it makes me feel a lot better to know. Please also make sure you attribute those photos to me (Molly Sutton Kiefer) and if you link, you can use my homepage, which is THANKS!