Midweek Break | David Baker Reads at Bread Loaf

David Baker reads his poems at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference.


“Simile” was first published in NER 32.2.

“Magnolia,” from Southwest Review.

David Baker is author or editor of sixteen books of poetry and criticism, including Scavenger Loop (W. W. Norton) and Never-Ending Birds (W. W. Norton), for which he was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize in 2011. Other honors include fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Society of Midland Authors, Poetry Society of America, Mellon Foundation, and others. He holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair at Denison University and teaches regularly in the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College. He is poetry editor of Kenyon Review. 

All Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference readings are available on iTunesU. To hear more, please visit the Bread Loaf website.

Jennifer Chang Reads at Bread Loaf

jchangJennifer Chang reads at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference.

“There Are Too Many Other Birds to Write About”

“The Strangers” was originally published at The Rumpus.

To listen to the entire reading, or to other readings and lectures from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, visit their iTunesU site.

Jennifer Chang is the author of The History of AnonymityHer poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, The Nation, A Public Space, The Rumpus, and Best American Poetry 2012, and she has reviewed poetry for The Believer, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Virginia Quarterly Review.

New Books from NER Authors: The Art of Intimacy


NER contributor Stacey D’Erasmo has just released her new book, The Art of Intimacy, the newest contribution to Graywolf’s Art of series. From the publishers:

“What is the nature of intimacy, of what happens in the space between us? And how do we, as writers, catch or reflect it on the page?” Stacey D’Erasmo’s insightful and illuminating study examines the craft and the contradictions of creating relationships not only between two lovers but also between friends, family members, acquaintances, and enemies in fiction. She argues for a more honest, more complex portrait of the true nature of the connections and missed connections among characters and, fascinatingly, between the writer and the reader. D’Erasmo takes us deep into the structure and grammar of these intimacies as they have been portrayed by such writers as Joan Didion, Toni Morrison, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and William Maxwell, and also by visual artists and filmmakers. She asks whether writing about intimacy is like staring straight into the sun, but it is her own brilliance that dazzles in this piercing and original book.”

Stacey D’Erasmo teaches at Columbia University, and is the author of the New York Times Notable Books Tea and The Sky Below. Her essay “Influence: A Practice in Three Wanders” appeared in issue 31.4.

The Art of Intimacy is available at Powell’s and other booksellers.

Scott Russell Sanders Reads at Bread Loaf

scottrussellsandersScott Russell Sanders is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including A Private History of Awe and A Conservationist Manifesto. The best of his essays from the past thirty years, plus nine new essays, are collected in Earth Works, published in 2012 by Indiana University Press. Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University, where he taught from 1971 to 2009. He and his wife, Ruth, a biochemist, have reared two children in their hometown of Bloomington, in the hardwood hill country of Indiana’s White River Valley.

An excerpt from Scott Russell Sanders reading his essay “The Way of Imagination” (The Georgia Review) at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference.

To listen to the entire reading, or to other readings and lectures from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, visit their iTunesU site.



nick flynn4From Nick Flynn’s poem “Swarm” (NER 23.1).

Cosmos. Lungwort. Utter each

& break

into a thousand versions of yourself.

You can’t tell your stories fast enough.
The answer is not one, but also

not two.

[read the poem]

New Books from NER Writers: Love Among the Particles

lock2NER contributor Norman Lock has released his new collection of short-stories, Love Among the Particles. From the publisher:

“Love Among the Particles is virtuosic story telling, at once a poignant critique of our romance with technology and a love letter to language. In a whirlwind tour of space, time, and literary history, Norman Lock creates worlds that veer wildly from the natural to the supernatural via the pre-modern, mechanical, and digital ages. His characters may walk out of the pages of Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Franz Kafka, or Gaston Leroux, but they are distinctly his own. Mr. Hyde finally reveals his secrets to an ambitious journalist, unleashing unforeseen horrors. An ancient Egyptian mummy is revived in 1935 New York to consult on his Hollywood biopic. A Brooklynite suddenly dematerializes and passes through the Internet, in search of true love . . . Love Among the Particles will thrill Norman Lock’s devoted fans and dazzle new readers with its dizzying displays of literary pyrotechnics. It is nothing less than a compendium of the marvelous.”

Norman Lock has published novels, short fiction, and poetry as well as stage, radio, and screen plays. His honors include The Paris Review Aga Kahn Prize for Fiction and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Love Among the Particles includes three stories first published in New England Review: “Tango in Amsterdam” (24.4), “The Captain is Sleeping” (26.4), and “The Monster in Winter” (28.3). Lock’s new story, “A Theory of the Self,” will appear in NER 34.2 this summer.

Love Among the Particles is available at Powell’s and other booksellers.


From Henri Cole’s poem, “Insomnia” (NER 23.3).

Storm_Wellington_HarbourDear unnatural Ariel, I loved him, 
the island setting, the auspicious revenge—
how could I resist? The rain came down, 
filling up time like sand or human               understanding. 

(read more)

New Books from NER Writers: Truth’s Ragged Edge

guraPhilip F. Gura’s new book, Truth’s Ragged Edge, explores the development of early American fiction. An excerpt appears in the current issue of NER.

From the publisher: “Truth’s Ragged Edge is perhaps the first comprehensive study of the early American novel since Richard Chase’s 1957 classic, The American Novel and Its Tradition. Gura opens with the first truly homegrown genre of fiction: religious tracts, short parables intended to instruct the Christian reader. He then turns to the city novels of the 1830’s, which depicted with mixed feelings the rapid growth and modernization of American society. He concludes with fresh interpretations of the introspective novels that appeared before the Civil War, such as those by Hawthorne and by Melville, from whom Gura takes his title. The grand narrative sweep of the book is balanced by Gura’s great insight that the early novel never fully left its origins behind, even as it evolved—it remained a means of theological and philosophical dispute, and reflected the oldest and deepest divisions in American Christianity, politics, and culture.”

Philip F. Gura is the author of nine books and currently teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2008, Gura received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Division on American Literature to 1800 of the Modern Language Association. His  essay “The Transcendentalist Commotion” appeared in NER 28.7.

Truth’s Ragged Edge is available at Powell’s and other booksellers.

New Books from NER Writers: The Clover House


NER contributor and Middlebury alumnus Henriette Lazaridis Power has just published her debut novel, The Clover House, and she’ll be reading from this book in the NER Vermont Reading Series on April 18. From the publisher:

“Boston, 2000: Calliope Notaris Brown receives a shocking phone call. Her beloved uncle Nestor has passed away, and now Callie must fly to Patras, Greece, to claim her inheritance. Callie’s mother, Clio—with whom Callie has always had a difficult relationship—tries to convince her not to make the trip. Unsettled by her mother’s strange behavior, and uneasy about her own recent engagement, Callie decides to escape Boston for the city of her childhood summers. After arriving at the heady peak of Carnival, Callie begins to piece together what her mother has been trying to hide. Among Nestor’s belongings, she uncovers clues to a long-kept secret that will alter everything she knows about her mother’s past and about her own future.

Greece, 1940: Growing up in Patras in a prosperous family, Clio Notaris and her siblings feel immune to the oncoming effects of World War II, yet the Italian occupation throws their privileged lives into turmoil. Summers in the country once spent idling in the clover fields are marked by air-raid drills; the celebration of Carnival, with its elaborate masquerade parties, is observed at home with costumes made from soldiers’ leftover silk parachutes. And as the war escalates, the events of one fateful evening will upend Clio’s future forever.

A moving novel of the search for identity, the challenges of love, and the shared history that defines a family, The Clover House is a powerful debut from a distinctive and talented new writer.”

Henriette Lazaridis Power is a former professor and academic dean at Harvard University and the founder of the audio literary magazine The Drum. Her story “Chess Lessons” appeared in NER 27.3.

The Clover House is available at Powell’s and other booksellers.

Red Herring

450px-Terrasse_d'un_café_de_Paris-Paul_Munhoven“Red Herring,” by Tomás Q. Morin, appeared in NER 32.2.

I say “my love” in a reluctant French,
even though I hate the French, not the people
who never did me harm, just the nectar-hearted
sounds of mon amour, mon chérie, that always
live in the right mouth on the brink
of tumbling into beauty, a sad truth
revealed to me when I overheard a socialite
ordering a café noisette on the Champs-Élysées
with the same river of honey
spilling from the lips of a street vendor
offering directions to the nearest toilet.

(read more)