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Bennington College History Overview: Literature

A guide to archival, print, and visual resources about Bennington College.

Literature Readings & Lectures at Bennington (compilation is a work in progress)


  • Sept 14. Dorothy Canfield Fisher "The Creation of a Short Story" schedule
  • Sept 21. Frances Frost, poetry reading schedule
  • Sept 29. Arthur Guitermanpoetry reading schedule
  • Oct 2, 9, 16 & 23. (4 part lecture) Vincent Ravi Booth "Dante's Divine Comedy" schedule
  • Oct 13. Chard Powers Smith, poetry reading schedule
  • Oct 27. Robert Nation "Phantasy in Fiction" schedule
  • Dec 8 & 12. George Whicher "Emily Dickinson" schedule
  • Dec 15 Julia Peterkin "informal talk" schedule
  • Dec 16 Genevieve Taggard "Emily Dickinson" schedule
  • Dec 21. Isabel Patterson "The Literary Critic" schedule


  • Mar 29. C. Harold Gray "My Credo as a Literary Critic" schedule
  • Mar 30. Irving Fineman "Hollywood" schedule
  • Jun 6. Genevieve Taggard, moderator "Modernism: Poetry" part of a lecture series on Modernism schedule
  • Jun 8. Irving Fineman, moderator "Modernism: Prose" part of a lecture series on Modernism schedule
  • Dec 19. Granville Hicks, "Movement of Revolt in American Literature" attendance report




  • Apr 22 Irving Fineman, moderator, literature section of the "Art that Pays" lecture series summary



  • Mar. Francis Fergusson. ''Talking about Art" Art lecture series schedule
  • Mar. Catherine Osgood. "Analysis of Jane Austin's Emma" Art lecture series schedule
  • Mar. John H. Creighton. "Language as an Art Medium" Art lecture series schedule
  • Mar. Eva Wunderlich "Art as a Voice of Time" Art lecture series schedule
  • Mar. Wallace Fowlie. "Poetry and the Spiritual Problem of Man" Art lecture series schedule
  • Mar. C. Harold Gray. "The Judgement of Art" Art lecture series schedule




  • Mar 26. Marguerite Yourcenar, lecture "Three Romantic Visionaries: deNerval, deQuincy and Novalis" Barn 1. College Week
  • Apr Francis Fegusson "The Humanism of the Greeks" Humanism lecture series schedule
  • May 8. Eda Lou Walton, reading from American women poets. College Week
  • May 29. Sinclair Lewis, lecture "How Not to Write Popular Novels" Common Theatre. College Week
  • Oct 20. Richard A. E. Brooks, lecture. Barn 1. College Week
  • Oct 23. Harold Gray, lecture "Shakespeare on War and Lechery" Commons Theatre. College Week
  • Oct 30. Ralph Marcus, lecture "Religion & Literature in the Old Testament" Common Theatre. College Week



  • May 6. Francis Fegusson, lecture "Reading Dante in 1943"



  • Ralph Ellison  "American Negro Literature" evaulation
  • Kenneth Burke "Words, War and Peace" evaulation



  • Apr 7 William Troy "The Myth of the Hero" schedule
  • Apr 14 James Jackson, read his short story "The Burnt Lemon", Stanley Kunitz, gave his interpretation of it. Franklin Living Room. The Beacon
  • Apr Mercier "James Joyce and his Dublin" Franklin Living Room. The Beacon
  • Jun 2. Catherine Osgood Foster, "The Elizabethans" Franklin Living Room. The Beacon
  • Jun 9. Stanley Kunitz, poetry reading Franklin Living Room. The Beacon
  • Jun 16. Kenneth Burke "An Analysis of a Poem" Franklin Living Room. The Beacon
  • Jun 23. Pier Maria Pasinetti reading his short story, "Family History" Franklin Living Room. The Beacon
  • Jul 4. Peter Drucker "On Reading Prose" Franklin Living Room. The Beacon
  • Nov 6. Anaïs Nin The Beacon
  • Dec 11. Stanley Edgar Hyman "Primitive" The Beacon


  • Mar 1. Stephen Spender "Modern Poetry and Reality" The Beacon


  • May 17. Shirley Jackson, discussion of her work with Kenneth Burke. Canfield living room. College Week


  • Dec 4. William Jay Smith and Barbara Howes, poetry reading. Franklin living room. The Bennington Weekly



  • Apr 3. Barbara Golffing, Francis Golffing, Harold Kaplan, Wallace Fowlie, Howard Nemerov, Kenneth Burke reading of works in progress. Franklin living room. The Bennington Weekly
  • Apr 26. Ted Weiss, poetry reading. Franklin living room. The Bennington Weekly
  • May 29 Harry Duncan, poetry reading. Franklin living room The Bennington Weekly
  • Oct 29 Ben Belitt, Howard Nemerov, Barbara Golffing, Francis Golffing reading. Franklin living room. The Bennington Weekly article by Wallace Fowlie
  • Dec 17 Wallace Fowlie "The French Theatre, 1941-51" Carriage Barn. College Week












  • Oct 11. Louise Bogan "What the Women Said" lecture 








  • May 13. Don C. Lee, poetry reading. Barn 1. news clipping
  • May 15. Robert Sward, poetry reading. Carriage Barn. informal workshop, Woolley living room. announcement
  • Dec 15. Peter Wilson, Nicholas Delbanco, Richard Tristman, Stephen Sandy, Barbara Smith, Michael Dennis Browne and John Beary. "An Evening of Christmas Music and Readings" announcement




  • November 30. Camille Paglia. Barn 100. "I read excerpts from my then-in-process Yale dissertation, "Sexual Personae:  Categories of the Androgyne", ending with a free-standing Barthes-type encomiastic mini-essay about a photo of Australian singer Lana Cantrell, which I had had blown up large (in black and white) and pasted to a cardboard poster, propped on the chalk tray of the blackboard." (Source: email from Camille Paglia to Jared Della Rocca 7-29-2019)



  • October Ralph Ellison "Stanley Edgar Hyman Lecture" audio



  • September 21. Camille Paglia  "I read from several chapters in my ongoing expansion of my Yale dissertation on the image of the androgyne. I had received my Ph.D for the completed dissertation two years earlier and was working on the much larger manuscript that would eventually become Sexual Personae:  Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson...The lecture material was on Spenser's Faerie Queene, Yul Brynner, Gracie Allen, Diana Ross, and French film star Stéphane Audran. As Quadrille states, Don Raina (a Bennington facilities staff member) had kindly made color slides for me from publicity stills that someone had sent me from Paris.  Once again, the climax was provocative because Claude Chabrol's 1968 film Les Biches (starring his wife Audran) had a lesbian theme." (Source: email from Camille Paglia to Jared Della Rocca 7-29-2019). Quadrille vol 11 no 1
  • November 11. W. D. Snodgrass reading in Barn 1 announcement
  • November 15. Robert Peters, poetry reading in Bingham Living Room. announcement


  • September. George Steiner. First annual Ben Belitt Lecture. Carriage Barn. student newspaper








  • May 9. José Córdova and Ben Bellitt, bilingual reading "Homage to Neruda: Late and Posthumous Poems: 1968-1974" poster. Martha Hill Dance Workshop. poster 


  • Apr 10. Mary Ruefle and Stephen Sandy, poetry readings. Barn 1. document
  • Apr 17. Richard Kenney, poetry reading. Barn 1. document
  • May 1. John Ashbery, poetry reading. Barn 1. document
  • May. Bernard Malamud Memorial. Greenwall. document
  • Jun 6. Ben Belitt, poetry reading. document
  • Oct 29. Ben Belitt, lecture "Literature and Belief: Three 'Spiritual Exercises'" 8th annual Ben Belitt Lecture. Bennington Today
  • Nov 14. Joan DidionBennington Today
  • Nov 20. Kenneth Koch, poetry reading. Barn 1. poster 


  • Jun 4. Phebe Shih Chao. lecture "Palimpsests: Some Thoughts on Balzac, Barthes, Blanchot" Tishman. poster



  • Jun 1. Arturo Vivante. Reading From His Stories and Translations of Leopardi's Poems. Deane Carriage Barn. poster


  • Oct 4. Nadine Gordimer, lecture "Three in a Bed: Fiction, Morals, and Politics" the 13th annual Ben Belitt lecture. Greenwall. College Week
  • Oct 18. James Merrill, poetry reading. Tishman. poster
  • Oct 29. David Grene, lecture "The Puzzle of Antigone" Barn 1. poster
  • Nov 27. Craig Nova, reading from his work. Barn 1. poster


  • Mar 15. Jamaica Kincaid, reading. Bennington Early Childcare Center, now EAC. College Week
  • Mar 26. Galway Kinnell, poetry reading. Tishman. poster
  • May 14.  Karen Swann, "Cult of the Dead Boy Poet" Barn 1. College Week
  • Jun 2. Ammiel Alcalay, reading from his works and translations "The Geography of Time: Writing Around "Jews And Arabs" Stanley Edgar Hyman Lecture. Franklin living room. poster
  • Sept 21 Ann Rosalind Jones "Dreams of a Common Language : Wittig's and Kramerae/Treichler's Feminist Dictionaries" Barn 1. College Week
  • Oct  17. Roberta Fernández. Barn 1. College Week
  • Oct 22. David Bromwich, colloquium on free speech. Barn 1. College Week
  • Nov 7. Chard deNiord, poetry reading. Franklin living room. College Week
  • Nov 11. Mbulelo Mzamane, lecture "The Changing Culture of Liberation in South Africa: A Literary Perspective." Barn 1. College Week
  • Dec 4. Theoharis Constantine Theoharis. lecture "What Else Were They Invented For? Gender, Cosmology, and Form in James Joyce's Ulysses"  Barn 1.  College Week
  • Dec 5. Phebe Chao, lecture "In the Spirit of Alterity" Barn 1. College Week


  • Mar 5. Uwe Haus, lecture "Democratic Awakening in East Germany: Opportunities and Obstacles." Lester Martin. College Week
  • Mar 23. Richard Tristman, lecture "Ten Leagues Beyond Man's Life: Disjoining Perfection in the Myth of Art," Barn 1. College Week
  • May 12. Bei Dao and Duo Duo, poetry readings. Tishman. poster
  • Oct 1. Cynthia Ozick, lecture "James and Modernism" the 15th annual Ben Belitt lecture. Greenwall. College Week  Quadrille, Vol 25, No 1 
  • Nov 12. Stephen Sandy "A Cloak for Hercules: Translating Seneca" Franklin living room College Week
  • Nov 23. John Fuegi lecture, "The Zelda Syndrome: How to Make Women Writers Disappear." Barn 1. College Week





  • Apr 9. Mary Oliver, "An Evening with Mary Oliver" video
  • May 13. William Kennedy "Reading from The Flaming Corsage" Upstairs Cafe. poster
  • Sept 26. Rachel Hadas, reading. Deane Carriage Barn. poster
  • Nov 13. J. M. Coetzee, lecture "What is Realism?" 19th annual Ben Belitt Lecture. Martha Hill Workshop poster


  • May 6. Jack Selzer, "Kenneth Burke Remembered" Deane Carriage Barn. poster
  • May 13. Steven Cramer and Roland Merullo, readings. Upstairs Cafe. poster
  • May 28. Gladden Schrock, Stephen Sandy, Jonathan Livingston, poetry readings. Tom Nowell, play reading. Upstairs Cafe. poster


  • Apr 13. John Irving, reading. Deane Carriage Barn. poster



  • Jan 7. Coleman Bark, Robert Bly, Donald Hall. Writing Seminars. Usdan Gallery. poster
  • Nov 30. Eleanor Wilner and Constance Merritt, poetry reading . Barn 1. poster




  • May 5. Michael Fried, poetry reading. Welling living room. poster
  • May 5. Alicia Borinsky and Cola Franzen, bilingual reading and presentation. Welling living room. poster
  • May 8. Lydia Davis, lecture "On Translating Proust" and reading. Welling living room. poster


  • Nov 7. Robert Pinsky, poetry reading. Tishman poster




  • Nov 4. Galway Kinnell, reading. Tishman. poster


  • Sept 17. Roxana Robinson '68, reading. Franklin living room. poster


  • Dec 1. Jesse Katz '85, reading. Franklin living room. poster



  • May 11. Louise Glück, poetry reading. Tishman. poster


  • Oct 17. Dorothea Lasky, poetry reading. Franklin living room. College Week
  • Nov 14. Sven Birkerts, reading. Franklin living room. College Week


  • Sept 17. Mark Strand, lecture, "On Nothing," CAPA Symposium. College Week
  • Sept 18. Mark Strand, in conversation with Michael Dumanis. CAPA Symposium. College Week
  • Sept 18. Mark Strand, poetry reading. Tishman. College Week
  • Oct 2. Caleb Crain, reading. Franklin living room. College Week
  • Oct 9. Alex Dimitrov in conversation, EAC1. Poetry reading, Tishman. College Week
  • Oct 23. Douglas Bauer, reading. Franklin living room. College Week
  • Oct 30. Paisley Rekdal, talk "An Ode to English" in EAC 2. In conversation with Mark Wunderlich in EAC 2. Poetry reading in Tishman. College Week
  • Nov 4. Brooke Allen, Doug Bauer, Ioana Opris, Ali Faateh Khwaja, Isabel Roche. Panel discussion "Writing to Change the World: Literature as a Vehicle for Social Change and Public Action." moderator, Alison Dennis ’94. CAPA Symposium. College Week
  • Nov 6. David Slavitt. Franklin living room. College Week
  • Nov 19 Matthea Harvey, talk about poem titles. EAC 1. College Week
  • Nov 20 Matthea Harvey, in conversation with Mark Wunderlich. EAC 1. College Week
  • Nov 20. Matthea Harveypoetry reading. Tishman. College Week
  • Dec 4. Michael Gorra, reading. Franklin living room. College Week


  • Apr 29. Shane McCrae, conversation with Michael Dumanis. Franklin living room. poster
  • Apr 30. Shane McCrae, lecture "Generative Distraction: How to Write Poems About What You Believe Even if You Already Know What You Believe" EAC 1. poster
  • Apr 30. Shane McCrae, poetry reading. Tishman. poster
  • Mar 19. Brooke Allen, John Freeman, Liesl Schillinger, and Joel Whitney "How to Read Books for a Living (and Get Away with It.)" panel discussion moderated by Benjamin Anastas. CAPA Symposium. poster
  • Sept 10. Amity Gaige, reading. Franklin living room, poster
  • Sept 24. Mark Bibbins, poetry reading. Tishman. poster
  • Oct 8. April Bernardpoetry reading. Tishmanposter
  • Oct 29. Jorie Graham in conversation with Mark Wunderlich. CAPA Symposium. College Week
  • Oct. 29. Jorie Grahampoetry reading. Tishmanposter
  • November 5 Ben Anastas, reading. Franklin living room, poster
  • Nov 12. Timothy Donnellypoetry reading. Tishmanposter
  • Dec 3. Akiko Busch, reading. Franklin living room, poster


  • Feb 24 Phillip B. Williams, poetry reading. Franklin living room College Week
  • Apr 1. Claudia Rankin, poetry reading. Tishman. poster
  • Apr 8. Adam Begley, Laura Miller, William H. Pritchard, "The Afterlife of John Updike" panel discussion moderated by Benjamin Anastas. CAPA Symposium. poster
  • Apr 22. Kevin Young, poetry reading. Tishman. poster
  • May 6. Carmen Giménez Smith, poetry reading. Tishman. poster
  • May 15. CAConrad, poetry readingTishman. poster
  • Sept 9. Lee Clay Johnson '07, reading Franklin living room. College Week
  • Sept 14. Sophie McManus, reading. Franklin living room. College Week
  • Sept 23. Peter Cameron, reading. Franklin living room. College Week
  • Sept 30. Roger Reeves, poetry reading. Tishman. poster
  • Oct 7. Nami Mun. Franklin living room. College Week
  • Oct 14. Dorothea Lasky, poetry readingTishman. poster
  • Oct 27. Patrick Query, lecture “Waugh and Modernism Revisited: A Confession" Franklin living room College Week poster
  • Oct 28. Sarah Messer and Rick Barotpoetry readingsTishman. poster
  • Nov 4. Olena Kalytiak Davis, poetry readingTishman. poster


  • Mar 2. Christine Smallwood, "The Art of Reviewing" Franklin living room. poster
  • Mar 9. Orlando White, poetry reading. Tishman. poster
  • Mar 16. Wesley Brown, reading. Franklin living room. College Week
  • Mar 23. Ottessa Moshfegh. Franklin living room. College Week
  • Mar 30. Ann Goldstein ’71, "The Translator: The Writer's Double" dialogue with Barbara Alfano and Benjamin Anastas. Tishman. poster
  • Apr 6. Benjamin Moser“When Susan Sontag Came to Bennington” a dialogue with Benjamin Anastas. CAPA Symposium. College Week
  • Apr 20. Wayne Koestenbaum, poetry reading. Tishmanposter
  • Apr 27. Cathy Park Hong, poetry reading. Tishmanposter
  • May 11. Charles Simic, poetry reading. Tishmanposter
  • Sept 21. Safiya Sinclair and James Allen Hall, poetry readings. Tishman. poster
  • Oct 5. Mary Ruefle, poetry reading. Tishman. poster
  • Oct 26. Nick Flynn, poetry reading. Tishmanposter
  • Nov 9. Rae Armantrout and Monica Youn, poetry readings. Tishmanposter



The Academy of American Poets Prize

Poetry at Bennington Fall 2015 Readings

Kenneth Koch Reading From His Poetry

Roxana Robinson '68

Jesse Katz '85

Shane McCrae

Waugh and Modernism Revisited : A Confession

The Art of Reviewing

When Susan Songtag Came to Bennington

Senior Work in Literature in the Digital Archive

  • Pollen Black, Olivia (2019-05)
  • R(out)es Copperwheat, Nathan (2018-06)
  • KIKIMORA Bradley, Sydney (2018-05)

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