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Bennington College History: Literature: 1980s Literature Readings and Lectures

A guide to the history of literature at Bennington College

1980s Literature Readings and Lectures


  • Bennington Workshops (1980- June 29 - July 26)  Writing Workshops BrochureQuadrille, Vol 13, No 4
    • Vivian Gornick will teach a two-day seminar in works of feminist writers 
    • Poetry Faculty: Stephen Sandy. Guest Artists: John Ashbery, Cid Corman, Jill Hoffman, Michael Malinowitz, and John Frederick Nims
    • Fiction: Faculty: Nicholas Delbanco, George Garrett, Susan Shreve, Hilma Wolitzer. Guest Artists: Ann Beattie, Gail Godwin, Maria Katzenbach, Norman Lear, Bernard Malamud, Grace Paley, David Salvit, Arturo Vivante, and Elie Wiesel
    • Nonfiction Faculty: Alan Cheuse, Richard Elman. Guest Artists: James Atlas, Betty Friedan, Sam Kaplan, Phillip Lopate, Ved Mehta, Susan Stamberg, and Elie Wiesel. Photo |  Photo | Photo | Literary Bennington article
    • Children's Books Faculty: M. B. Goffstein, Lore Segal. Guest Artists: Susan Shreve, Hilma Wolitzer
  • Harold Bloom. "To the Tally of My Soul: Whitman's Image of Voice" The Third Annual Ben Belitt Lecture. (1980-10-15) Chapbook.
  • Maxine Kumin and Linda Pastan. Poetry reading. (1980-11-06) Photograph



  • Richard Tillinghast. Poetry reading. (1982-03-18) The Collective vol 1 n1 Article: Poetry At First 'Difficult Because Sight Easy'
  • Sydney Lea. Poetry reading. Barn 1. (1982-04-08) College Week
  • Bennington Writing Workshop College Week 
    • Scott Spencer. Reading. (1982-07-14) 
    • Richard Elman and Craig Nova reading. Tishman. (1982-07-15) 
    • Galway Kinnel. Reading. (1982-07-16) 
    • Susan Shreve and Dara Wier. (1982-07-19)
    • Nora Ephron. Reading. (1982-07-20)
    • Allen Wier (1982-07-21)
  • Marc Cohen. Bennington July Program poetry reading. Tishman. (1982-07-17) College Week
  • Ted Mooney. Bennington Writing Workshops and Bennington July Program reading. Tishman. (1982-07-17) College Week
  • Stuart Kaufman. Bennington July Program reading.  Tishman (1982-07-18) College Week
  • Irving Howe. "The Making of a Critic." The Fifth Annual Ben Belitt Lecture. (1982-10-04) College Week



  • Tom Fels. "George Lyman Kittredge and the Modern Popular Folk Song". "An investigation of the cultural significance of the folk idiom in contemporary popular music. Sponsored by the Literature Division." (1984-04-19) College Week
  • Ann Lane, "Women and Insanity: The Case of Charlotte Perkins Gilman" Bennington and WilIlams Women's Studies Speakers Series. (1984-05-01) College Week
  • Willis Barnstone. Reading from his book "The Other Bible: Jewish Christian Gnostic Scriptures" (1984-05-10) College Week
  • Bernard Malamud. Reading from his recent books, God's Grace and The Stories of Bernard Malamud.  Tishman (1984-05-13) College Week
  • Poetry and prose reading featuring senior work of Ely Coughlin, Sam Putnam, Julie Shackford and Kelly Sleadd. Jennings Garden. (1984-06-05) College Week
  • Howard Nemerov. Commencement speaker. (1984-06) Photograph
  • Bernard Malamud. "Long Work, Short Life" The Seventh Annual Ben Belitt Lecture. (1984-10-30) 
  • John Bart Gerald. Reading from Lecture for Nonconformists, Conscience, and other poems and short stories. Barn 1. (1984-11-07) College Week
  • Film screening. Memories of Underdevelopment directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea Sponsored by the Literature and Languages Division. Tishman (1984-11-14) College Week
  • Masao Miyoshi. "The Modern Japanese Novel" Barn 1. (1984-11-15) College Week


  • Film screening, Double Suicide.  Adapted from an 18th Century puppet play by the dramatist Chikamatsu. Sponsored by Literature and Languages Division. Tishman (1985-05-13) College Week
  • Camille Paglia (1985-10-08) Minutes of the Literature and Language Division Thursday , September 26, 1985
  • Ben Belitt. "Literature and Belief: Three 'Spiritual Exercises'" The Eighth Annual Ben Belitt Lecture. Tishman. (1985-10-29) Bennington Today | Chapbook | poster
  • Joan Didion. Reading. (1985-11-19) Bennington Today v 1



  • Mary Rueffle. Poetry reading. (1987-02) photograph of Arturo Vivante at Mary Rueffle Reading 
  • Saul Bellow (1987) photograph
  • Luis Monguio, Emeritus Professor of Spanish Literature at UC Berkeley. Sponsored by the Literature and Languages Division. Barn 1. (1987-03-19) College Week
  • D. Bruce Lockerbie. "The Abdication of Belief: A Poet's Struggle with God" Lockerbie, a Staley Foundation Scholar-in-Residence and distinguished Christian scholar, will speak on Emily Dickinson's poetry. This lecture is made possible by a grant from the Staley Foundation and is sponsored by the Bennington Christian Fellowship. Barn 1. College Week
  • Sue Miller. Reading from her book The Good Mother. Barn One (1987-04-02) College Week
  • Lewis Hyde. "The King Who Was Fried: Gift Exchange and Imagination" Lewis Hyde is the author of The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property. Barn One. (1987-05-07) College Week
  • Saul Bellow. "Summing Up" about summaries writers create for themselves as to what the modern world is, and the perspectives and responsibilities that are part of such an understanding." The Ninth Annual Ben Belitt Lecture. Tishman. (1987-05-12)  College Week | photograph | poster
  • The Literature and Languages Division presents: El Censo and El Delantal Blanco ´╗┐Carballido, Emilio; Vodanovi─ç, Emilio; Esteban, Ana, director; Dueñas, Oscar, director (1987-05-17) program | College Week
  • Student poetry reading. Eric Arehart, Patrick Murray and Sean Flaherty. Carriage Barn (1987-05-21) College Week
  • Harry Mathews. Reading. Tishman (1987-05-26) College Week
  • Susan Stewart. "Out of Missouri: Toward a Historical Ethnography of the Senses." Barn One. (1987-05-28) College Week
  • Phebe Chao. "Palimpsests: Some Thoughts on Balzac, Barthes, Blanchot" An illustrated lecture dedicated to Georges Guy. Tishman (1987-06-04) College Week | Poster
  • Silo poetry reading. Franklin Living Room. (1987-06-07) College Week
  • David Konstan. "Whores, Wives, and Concubines in Ancient Comedy." (1987-09) (possibly on the 28th) College Week | Quadrille Winter 1988.
  • Stephen Sandy. Poetry Ready. Part of Parent's Day and Elizabeth Coleman Inauguration. (1987-10-07) College Week
  • A Symposium on Discovery. Moderator: F. Champion Ward. Panelists: Howard Nemerov, Jules Olitsky, Roger Rosenblatt, John Reid, and Nancy Wexler. Part of the Elizabeth Coleman Inauguration. (1987-10-10) College Week | Quadrille Winter 1988
  • Hugh Kenner. "Magic and Spells: About Curses, Charms, and Riddles." The Tenth Annual Ben Belitt Lecture. (1987-10-29)  Quadrille Summer 1988 p7 | Chapbook | poster


  • David Slavitt and Stephen Sandy. Equinoctial, poetry reading. (1988-09-21) Poster
  • Peter Heller. "Nietzsche and 'The Will to Power'" Barn One. (1988-05-16) Poster
  • A Senior Reading. Eva Mergner, Claudia Rowe, Ehran Elisha, Rebecca Morton, Melanie Bush, Max Weiss. Bingham Living Room. (1988-06-06) College Week
  • Elizabeth Frank, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning biography, Louise Bogan: A Portrait. Commencement address "Work and Days." (1988-06-11) Quadrille Fall 1988 pp. 12-19. | commencement program
  • Literature Panel: Novelists Bret Ellis, '86 and Jill Eisenstadt, '86, critic Anna Shapiro, '73, Publishers Eden Collinsworth, '74 and Cal A Navarre, '74. Alumni Reunion (1988-06-11) Quadrille Winter 1988 p.47
  • Bennington Writing Workshops. Fiction, Poetry Nonfiction, Translations and Writing for Children. July 3-30, 1988. Quadrille Winter 1988 p.62
  • Richard Rorty. "The Barber of Kasbeam: On Cruelty." The Eleventh Annual Ben Bellit Lecture. (1988-10-27) Chapbook


  • Maurice Sendak. (1989-04-18) Lecture Video | Quadrille Winter 1989 p 2.
  • Ben Belitt and José Córdova. Homage to Neruda: a Bilingual Reading of Late and Posthumous Poems: 1968-1974. Martha Hill. (1989-05-09) Poster
  • Arturo Vivante. Reading From His Stories and Translations of Leopardi's Poems. Carriage Barn. (1989-06-01) Poster | Photo
  • Phebe Chao. "On Chinese Cuisine: Lake-weed and Swallow-nest" Sunday Night Seminars series. Leigh Living Room  (1989-09-24) poster
  • "The Salman Rushdie Affair" Panel discussion by faculty: Mansour Farhang, Jonathan Haynes, Joanna Kirkpatrick and Avraam Koen. (1989 fall) Quadrille Fall 1989 p 39.
  • Jamaica Kincaid, Ian Frasier, Veronica Geng, and David Updike. Benefit reading for the Bennington College Early Childhood Center. (1989 fall) Quadrille Fall 1989 p 39.
  • René Girard. "Collective Violence and Sacrifice in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar" The Twelfth Annual Ben Belitt Lecture. (1989-10-10) Quadrille Fall 1989 p 39. | Quadrille Winter 1990 p 7 | Chapbook
  • Nancy Nystul. "Sleight of Hand: Narrative Displacement and Condensation in the Nineteenth Century" a study of Charlotte Brontë's Shirley. Tishman. (1989 fall)  Quadrille Winter 1990 p 7