In June 2015, Middlebury College and the Vermont Land Trust, with the support of Louis Bacon ’79, signed a conservation easement forever protecting Middlebury’s 2,100 acre Bread Loaf campus. A photo exhibit in the Davison Library for the summer celebrates this initiative. Photographs by Brett Simison and stories from people involved in the conservation project illustrate not only the campus’s natural beauty, but also its literary lineage, ecological diversity, and imaginative space. This exhibit helps explain why Bread Loaf is a landmark place, and celebrates its perpetual protection. We invite you to come see these photos, read the stories, and think about why Bread Loaf is important to you.
Sponsored by Middlebury College’s Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest
In honor of the return of the 2015 faculty plenary meeting and lunch to the Bread Loaf campus, we have some recipes to share. Late this summer, Patti McCaffrey from Dining Services delivered a mildly corroded metal recipe box to the Archives. Uncovered during the Bread Loaf renovations, the box was likely the property of Alfleda De Gray, a longtime cook at the College and Bread Loaf. (Alfleda’s start day was July 1, 1945 and her last day was February 9, 1987. We’ll do the math: that’s forty-two years of feeding mouths at Middlebury and at Bread Loaf.) At the time, female cooks were responsible for cold salads, punches, and appetizers rather than main dishes, which were the territory of male cooks. We’re not sure what’s on the menu for this year’s lunch, but we offer a few options from Alfleda De Gray’s Bread Loaf recipe box: A “Thirst Inviting” dip; Wagon Wheel Cheese; and a Fruited Cheese Salad with lemon and strawberry gelatin. Enjoy!
Luckily, 16 mm film, common from the 1920s through the 1960s, is relatively durable stuff. This particular reel of film, which sat in the Middlebury College archives for over forty years, depicts Robert Frost for two glorious, full color minutes. For the first time in nearly half a century (thanks to a film preservation lab in Philadelphia), watch as Frost harvests vegetables from his garden at his Ripton, Vermont cabin (down the road from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference), frolics with his dog Gillie, and walks his mare Steeplebush and her colt Shadbush. Frost and Kay Morrison pop fresh berries into their mouths. Summer time on the mountain!
On a beautiful July afternoon, we asked students at Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont to tell us what course they were most excited about this summer. Some had a hard time choosing, but there was no shortage of enthusiasm. Here’s what they told us:
Summer may seem to be flying by, but there are still a few exceptional events not to be missed at the Bread Loaf School of English’s Vermont campus.
This year’s Elizabeth Drew Lecture takes place in the iconic Bread Loaf Barn on Monday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m., and features Natasha Trethewey, the United States Poet Laureate. Trethewey’s poetry is an evocative blend of the historical, philosophical, social, and personal aspects of her own mixed-race heritage. She’s published several books and won numerous awards, and is also the state poet laureate of Mississippi. (Last summer, Middmag caught up with Trethewey at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, where she was a returning faculty member.)
Taking the stage in Little Theater July 31 through August 4, the always-stellar Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble will present Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, directed by Alan MacVey. Tickets are available and free to the public beginning July 19—contact the Bread Loaf box office at 443-2771. Word from Bread Loaf is that the performance will take place in part outside the theater on the adjacent patio, weather permitting, and assistance will be available to those who might need it.