Mid-week Break | Peter Ho Davies Reads at Bread Loaf

2006 smiling photoPeter Ho Davies reads his short story “What You Know” at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

“What You Know”

Peter Ho Davies is the author of the novel The Welsh Girl and the story collections The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love. His work has appeared in Harpers, Atlantic Monthly, and Paris Review, among others, and his short fiction has been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. In 2003 Granta magazine named him among its “Best of Young British Novelists,” and he was a 2008 recipient of the Pen/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story. Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, Davies now lives in the US. He teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Michigan.

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

Midweek Break | Justin Torres Reads at Bread Loaf

SUB-BOOK-AUTHOR-articleInline-v2Justin Torres reads an excerpt from his novel We the Animals at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

“We Wanted More”

Justin Torres’s work has appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Glimmer Train, and other publications. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and previously a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford and a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. One of the National Book Foundation’s 2012 5 Under 35s, he is a recipient of the Rolón United States Artist Fellowship in Literature, a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. He teaches at Columbia University, Lesley University’s Low Residency MFA Program, and The Writers’ Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph’s College.

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

The Right Address

Photo credit to iloveoldny.com
Photo credit to iloveoldny.com

Emily Mitchell’s short story “Lucille’s House” appeared in NER 28.2:

“What were you waiting for?” Lucille asks when he gets to the top. 

“Well, I wasn’t sure this was the right address,” he says. “I didn’t want to go knocking on someone else’s front door in the middle of the night, scaring them half to death. What would you think if some strange black man came to your door in the middle of the night in this neighborhood . . .”

“I would think he probably needed a cup of coffee.”

“You know what I mean.”

“Sure, but I gave you the correct address, baby. I can see you’ve got it right there.” And indeed, he is holding the piece of paper she gave to the driver. It has the address written on it in her own handwriting. 

“I know. But, honestly . . .” he is looking past her now into the front hall. His eyes look like a child’s at Christmas before the presents are opened. “I didn’t believe that a house this nice was mine. Is it?” She sees that he is crying. He has never had a house of his own before, either. 

“It is,” she says. “It’s yours. I promise.”

Natasha Trethewey Reading at Bread Loaf

informalauthorphoto-1Natasha Trethewey has been a frequent contributor to NER since 1999, including work in issues 20.2,  22.4,  23.4,  25.4,  27.2,  30.4, and 32.3. Her poems “Genus Narcissus” and “Elegy” are available in full on our website.

She is the 19th United States Poet Laureate and the author of Thrall (2012), Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin), for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf, 2002), which was named a Notable Book for 2003 by the American Library Association, and Domestic Work (Graywolf, 2000). She is also the author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (University of Georgia Press). A memoir is forthcoming in 2013.

Trethewey read from her book of poetry Thrall at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference on August 19, 2012.


“Mano Prieta”


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


What I Never Said

Elmo Lum’s short story “What I Never Said” appeared in NER 27.3:

We dragged my mother by the feet from the van. It was my father to the legs, my brothers to the head. Together carrying my mother to the grave. She was too long. My father grabbed the shovel, hacking again, pebbles ringing, the shade shortening, the sky lightening, turning orange. Then my father and my brother laid my mother in. We took turns shoveling dirt over, pouring the soil over her feet and her body and her clothes.

“Her clothes,” my father said.

We ransacked the van for everything that was my mother: her clothes, her shoes, her socks, her sandals, her hat, the ties for her hair, her hairbrush, her comb, her toothbrush, her jewelry, her journal and sketchbook, and her mysteries. We dropped it all on my mother, half-covered, and buried her together. My father stalked the spot, spreading pebbles with his shoes. He dragged over a run-over cactus.

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Grim Tales

Norman Lock’s short story “Grim Tales” appeared in NER 23.4:

The trees now grew without observing any longer the limits assigned them by nature. They reached into the sky until they looked out over “the floor of heaven.” Recalling the old story, boys climbed them. Not only boys but men and even some old men who wished for gold. One by one they fell–the old men and the young, and the boys, too–not one of them having reached the top branches let alone the floor of heaven. Instead, they fell, all of them, earning for themselves neither wealth nor fame, only death at the foot of the unruly trees. And still the trees continued to grow without regard for the limitations of their kind until the roots tore from the ground and the earth was broken into pieces and destroyed.

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Ramona Ausubel Reading at Bread Loaf

DSC_0247Ramona Ausubel is the author of No One is Here Except All of Us, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Huffington Post. Her most recent book, A Guide to Being Born, is a collection of short stories.  Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, One Story, The Best American Fantasy and shortlisted in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading.

Ausubel read an excerpt from her novel No One Is Here Except All of Us at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference on August 20, 2012.

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


Rob Hardy Revitalizes Aeschylus’s Oresteia

Photo by Linnea Bullion
Photo by Linnea Bullion

Last May, NER contributor Rob Hardy’s adaptation of Aeschylus’s Oresteia was performed at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. The production featured a massive set by Twin Cities designer Joseph Stanley and music by composer Mary Ellen Childs. From Eric Dugdale’s review in Didaskalia: “Hardy’s adaptation offers a stripped-down style in which every word counts and immediacy trumps Aeschylean grandeur…Hardy has succeeded at producing a script that is evocative and unhurried.”

Hardy also had one of his poems imprinted on a Northfield sidewalk last August as part of the Sidewalk Poetry Contest, sponsored by the city’s Arts & Culture Commission. The contest is now open for submissions for 2013.

Rob Hardy has appeared numerous times in NER, most recently in 28.1. His essay Theodore Roosevelt and the Masculine/Feminine Complex was featured on our site.

2013 Honickman Book Prize Winner Maria Hummel

NER contributor Maria Hummel has received the 2013 APR/Honickman First Book Prize. Her manuscript House and Fire was chosen by this year’s guest judge, Fanny Howe. Howe will also write an introduction for Hummel’s book.

Maria Hummel’s poetry and fiction have appeared in NER, most recently in 31.2. Her story “No Others Before Me” and her essay “Kingdom of Dumpling” were featured on our site.