Bread Loaf 2019!

The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference has been a part of my life for several years now. As a work-study scholar the last few years, I've met some of the most incredible writers and workshopped poems with my heroes. I've stood and read my work where Toni Morrison, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, and Ellen Bryant Voigt have stood and read theirs. There are fields of goldenrod that glow during the day and mist that fills the fields at night. Every time I go, I work my ass off, sleep very little, and weep at least twice: once from love, once from exhaustion.

This was my last summer as a work-study scholar, which makes me more than a little emotional. I could go on and on and on. But in lieu of recapping the whole conference, I'd like to just share a few of the things poet and powerhouse Vievee Francis told me during our one-on-one meeting this year, which I wrote in my notebook and have been rereading multiple times a day ever since.

"I give you permission to be ferocious."

"Uncage emotion and don't care what people will think."

"Risk clarity."

"Don't restrain your bite."

"The mystery is not in the poem—It's in you."

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