Meet the writers: Bread Loaf campus to host public talks by pros

Professional writers are returning to Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf Campus in Ripton this week for two distinct — but related — gatherings: The Middlebury Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference and Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference. Both conferences are modeled on the oldest writers’ conference in the country, the Middlebury Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, which is slated for Aug. 15-25.
The 5th annual Environmental Writers’ Conference is designed to hone the skills of people interested in producing literary writing about the environment and the natural world. The 4th annual Translators’ Conference provides training and community to beginning as well as experienced translators in the pursuit of translating literary texts into English — or to those aiming to be more sophisticated readers of literary translation and to incorporate it into the classroom. The two conferences will each offer free lectures and readings to the public when they are in session June 1–6.
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 there are lectures in the Barn and Little Theater on the Bread Loaf campus given by faculty from the Translators’ and Environmental Conferences, respectively. Each evening there are readings offered by both conferences in the Little Theater.
The Translators’ Conference will feature such faculty as Susan Bernofsky (pictured, right), Sora Kim-Russell and special guest Emily Wilson (pictured, left). Bernofsky directs the Program in Literary Translation in the MFA Writing Program at the Columbia University School of the Arts. Among her many published translations are retranslations of Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha” (2006) and Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” (2014). A winner of numerous translation awards, she specializes in the work of the Swiss-German modernist author Robert Walser, and is currently writing his biography for Yale University Press. She will give a lecture on June 2 and a reading on June 5.
Kim-Russell lives in Seoul, South Korea, where she teaches literary translation at Ewha Womans University and at the Literary Translation Institute of Korea’s Translation Academy. Her translations include “I’ll Be Right There” by Shin Kyung-sook (2013) and “Our Happy Times” by Gong Ji-young (2014). She will give a reading on June 3 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 translation of selected tragedies by Seneca (2010). She will discuss and read from her groundbreaking translation of “The Odyssey,” followed by a Q & A, on June 2.
Ginger Strand (pictured, right) and Luis Alberto Urrea are among the faculty of the Environmental Conference. Strand is the author of one novel and three books of narrative nonfiction, including “The Brothers Vonnegut” (2015) and “Inventing Niagara” (2008). Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Harper’s, Tin House, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Pacific Standard, the Believer, OnEarth and Orion. Strand will give a lecture on June 2 and a reading on June 5.
Urrea is the best-selling author of 16 books, including “The Devil’s Highway” and “The Hummingbird’s Daughter.” He has won a number of awards, including an American Book Award and an Edgar Award. He will give a reading on June 6 at the final event of the conferences.
The complete schedules of the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference and Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference lectures and readings follows below. Events are subject to change. To confirm dates and times, contact the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences at 802-443-5286, [email protected], or [email protected]
Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference and Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference
Events are on Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf campus off Route 125 in Ripton. Events noted as “TC” are part of the Translators’ Conference, “EW” are part of the Environmental Writers’ Conference, and “EW&TC” are joint presentations.
Friday, June 1
8 p.m., Little Theater  (EW)
Welcome to the Environmental Writers’ Conference by Megan Mayhew Bergman
Reading by Scott Russell Sanders
8 p.m., Barn (TC)
Welcome the Translators’ Conference by Jennifer Grotz
Reading by Bill Johnston
Saturday, June 2
8:45 a.m., Little Theater (EW)
Lecture by Ginger Strand, “On Failure”
4:30 p.m., Little Theater (EW&TC)
Reading by Emily Wilson, “The Odyssey: A Reading and Discussion”
8:45 a.m., Barn (TC)
Lecture by Susan Bernofsky, “Translating in Rhythm, with Gass”       
8 p.m., Little Theater (EW&TC)
Readings by Brooks Haxton, Kazim Ali, and Deirdre Heekin
Sunday, June 3
8:45 a.m., Little Theater (EW)
Lecture by Scott Russell Sanders, “What We Write About When We Write About Nature”
8:45 a.m., Barn (TC)
Lecture by Kazim Ali, “Intentional Mistranslation: Locating the Transnational and Polylingual in Anglophone Postcolonial Writing”
8 p.m., Little Theater (EW&TC)
Readings by Ted Genoways, Sora Kim-Russell, and Amber Flora Thomas
Monday, June 4
8:30 p.m., Barn  (EW&TC)
Music at the Barn Pub with Caleb Elder (may have an admission fee)
Tuesday, June 5
8:45 a.m., Little Theater (EW)
Lecture by J. Drew Lanham, “Convergences – Finding Common Flow between Conservation Science and Art”
8:45 a.m., Barn (TC)
Lecture by Sora Kim-Russell
2:00  p.m., Little Theater  (TC)
Lecture by Karin Hanta, “Translating Stefan  and Lotte Zweig: A Case for Domestication”
8 p.m., Little Theater (EW&TC)
Readings by Susan Bernofsky, Ginger Strand, and Mónica de la Torre
Wednesday, June 6
8:45 a.m., Little Theater (EW)
Lecture by Brooks Haxton, “Images”
8:45 a.m., Barn  (TC)
Lecture by Bill Johnston, “Epic Foolishness: Translating Epic Narrative for the 21st Century”
8 p.m., Little Theater (EW&TC)
Readings by Megan Mayhew Bergman, Jennifer Grotz, and Luis Alberto Urrea
Lectures and readings are free and open to the public. Call 443-5286 to confirm days and times.

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