Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘Breadloaf’

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Bread Loaf Lectures and Readings Available on iTunes

Didn’t make it to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference this summer? You can now download many of the lectures and readings from the 2009 session for free on iTunes. A partial list is available now; more will be added soon. Lectures include Ellen Bryant Voigt on irony, Charles Baxter on lush styles in prose, and Thomas Mallon on the letters of presidents . And there’s a wide selection of fiction readings, including faculty members Maud Casey, Thomas Mallon, and Luis Alberto Urrea; special guest Lorrie Moore; and fiction fellows Lauren Groff, Aryn Kyle, Skip Horack, and many more–plus readings by […]

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Dispatch From Bread Loaf #4: What I Learned from Ann Hood

With all the posts on lectures and readings, you may be surprised to hear that we had any time to workshop at the conference at all. I was very lucky to be in Ann Hood’s workshop, as Ann offered specific concrete approaches to thinking about plot, theme, tension, and all of those nebulous concepts fiction writers have to deal with. We had a lot of novel excerpts in the class, so much of the workshop discussion focused on issues of the novel rather than the short story—a change from the norm. Fellow Bread Loafer Eugene Cross has written an account […]

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Dispatch from Bread Loaf #3: Maud Casey on Historical Fiction

Toward the end of the conference, I was seriously overstimulated and running on an average of 5 hours of sleep per night. But the title alone of Maud Casey’s lecture, “The Secret History: The Power of Imagined Figures in Historical Fiction,” lured me out of bed that very last morning. Although I haven’t yet written any historical fiction myself, I’m especially interested in the space where the fictional meets the real, and how writers balance the responsibilities they have toward historical fact with the responsibilities they have toward emotional and aesthetic truths. Casey’s lecture was more than worth the lack […]

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Dispatch from Bread Loaf #2: On Lushness, Irony, and Honesty

At Bread Loaf, the first thing people asked–after “What’s your name?”–was often “What genre do you write?” There wasn’t any great divide between poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers, but somehow it seemed important to know. Maybe this is because we tend to think of our genres as very different forms with very different concerns and goals. I can’t count how many times I heard fiction writers say, “But I don’t know anything about poetry…” and poets say, “Well, I don’t get plot.” But actually, I think that poets and fiction writers have more overlap than they often believe. A […]

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DISPATCH FROM BREAD LOAF #1: What I (Heard) Read This Summer

I was lucky enough to attend the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont this summer, as a tuition scholar, and I’m still processing all that I learned. In the 12 days I spent on the mountain, I heard 101 people read in 24 separate readings. I attended 5 workshop sessions, 5 lectures, 3 craft classes, and countless cocktail hours. And I’m still kicking myself for not doing more. But I guess that’s part of the experience. Bread Loaf is an exercise in excess: a positive glut of new ideas and voices and inspirations. I left completely overstimulated, with a stack […]