The Bread Loaf Writers; Conference gets some AP attention:
When they're not taking in poetry readings, learning about character development or getting other pointers from Pulitzer Prize winners, they can be found in the dining hall of the Victorian-era Bread Loaf Inn, taking orders or racing in and out of the kitchen.
"We're wearing aprons, but everybody who's here — the agents, the editors, the faculty, the fellows, the other contributors — knows that this person who's waiting on you is going to be a very important writer in four or five years," said Tiphanie Yanique, 29, a poet and fiction writer from New York who's the head waiter in this year's group. "So for us, it's kind of amazing. And I think for everybody, it's kind of amazing."
Founded in 1926 and named for a nearby mountain, the August Bread Loaf takes place at an idyllic campus about 10 miles east of Middlebury College, up a winding mountain road in a land that cell phones forgot. Its yellow-and-green wraparound porches, Adirondack lawn chairs and slamming screen doors.
Robert Frost, Theodore Roethke, William Carlos Williams, Truman Capote, Isaac Asimov and Toni Morrison have taught or lectured here. Past waiters include novelist Julia Alvarez, National Public Radio's "voice of books" Alan Cheuse and short story writer Amy Hempel.
The practice of making less established writers and poets work for their bread began in the 1950s, when Bread Loaf organizers at Middlebury College began steering students to the waitstaff jobs. Soon, that became competitive, drawing applicants from all over.