Sunday, August 13, 2006

Summer Update

Dear Ones,

For those of you who haven't already heard, I'll be returning to Los Angeles more-or-less full-time, more-or-less "permanently," this fall. (Though an old friend wrote to me recently, "You're not abandoning your gypsy life, you're just fooling everybody for a little while--a totally Tsigan thing to do.") I'll be settling back into my apartment on Whitworth Drive in a couple of weeks, and will start teaching in the undergraduate creative writing program at USC almost immediately. I'm wildly grateful for this opportunity, and for the schedule, and for the structure I hope it will afford me for getting more of my own work done...

Some other wonderful news is that the chapbook manuscript I put together while I was at the castle-on-the-sea this winter has been chosen winner of Tupelo Press's Snowbound Competition, and will be published by Tupelo. So now I have the "core" around which to begin assembling a new book-length collection. I also hope to be able to get back to work in a serious way on the long prose project.

All of which is to say that I'm not sure, at this point, how much additional teaching/workshop-facilitating I'll be taking on. In addition to my classes at USC, I'll be continuing to teach in the Western Connecticut State low-residency MFA program, as well as directing the Idyllwild program. And I'm still working with a few people privately, as well. So I'll decide, once I've settled into some kind of routine in L.A. -- probably by late September -- whether or not that will leave me time to offer a private workshop Chez Whitworth. If I did, it would be a twice-monthly evening or Saturday group, dedicated to close-critque and limited to ten participants whom I'd ask to make a minimum two-month commitment. If that's something you might be interested in, please let me know. I should also know by late September if I'll be able to take on any more private students, but anticipate that would be two or three, at most, and have already begun a waiting list.

As to workshops abroad, the academic schedule at USC will allow me to continue to offer several overseas workshops a year, and I'm currently considering a number of options, and would love to have feedback from you as to which you might find appealing and might consider attending. Your input would help me decide which are most feasible, since I can't (can I?) do them all. Here are the options, as they stand now:

The Paris Poetry Workshop -- This is a "definite," as the workshop has had a very successful four-year run already, and is always so much fun. It will most likely be held in mid- to late-May in 2007. The cost is approximately $800, exclusive of travel and lodging and meals, for a week of workshops, seminars and readings that includes the anglophone Paris literary community.

Poetry Workshop at Chateau de la Napoule, France -- This is my "castle-on-the-sea" in the south of France, about 15 minutes from Cannes. The administration there is very excited about the possibility of my bringing a group of 10-12 poets for a week-long workshop. We would be housed in the villa -- a beautiful old mansion next to the castle and also facing the sea -- which also has two big rooms for meetings and readings, a kitchen, laundry facilities etc... A fee of approximately $1,500 would cover workshop fees, room and board. The train station is right across the street, which makes getting to the beautiful nearby towns and villages a snap. I would hold this workshop sometime in June 2007, if there's sufficient interest.

Creative Writing Workshop at Centro Pokkoli, Vittorchiano, Italy -- We had a fabulous time in Vittorchiano this past March, so I'd be happy to hold a workshop here again. This would be a mixed-genre group, limited to 10-12, staying in The Hotel Piccolo Opera, which is "basic" but sparklingly clean and offers rooms with private baths and full board -- delicious home-cooked, multi-course Italian meals. The workshop meets in the "centro" in a charming medieval village just a few minutes away by hotel van. We'd have time for excursions to nearby hill towns in the region, which is called the "Tuschia" -- catacombed with ancient Etruscan tombs -- and is about an hour and a half from Rome by train or shuttle. I would try to hold this workshop again in late March, during the academic spring break, and the fee would be approximately $1,500, including workshops, lodging, meals and at least one excursion. This past year, we also had opportunities to get together with ex-pat writers living in the area.

Poetry Workshop in Istanbul (or in a Turkish Holiday Village) -- I have a Turkish friend who's been researching possibilities and options for offering a workshop in Istanbul, which is asolutely thrilling to me. My friend has also offered to help me make contacts with writers living in Istanbul, and she would serve as our local facilitator. A week-long workshop in Istanbul would cost approximately $900, exclusive of travel and meals and lodging, though my friend and I would make arrangements for a group discount at a reputable hotel. (Istanbul prices for meals and lodging are comparable to Paris.) Istanbul seems to me cosmopolitan, ancient, gorgeous, and I'm very excited about it ...

However, my friend has also discovered another option: meeting at a seaside holiday resort on the Aegean near Izmir, Turkey. This latter option would allow us to have a more "secluded," retreat-like experience. It would also likely be less expensive, overall: a fee of approximately $1,600 would cover fees, lodging and meals. The resort also offers activities such as tennis, volleyball, horseback riding, a disco in the evening, opportunities for excursions to places like the ancient city of Epheseus.

If we can pull it together for this year, and if there's sufficient interest, I could probably offer a workshop in Turkey in late June 2007. If not, perhaps the following year ...

Creative Writing Workshop in Sydney (or the Blue Mountains), Australia -- An Australian friend who's recently moved back to Sydney has offered to help put together a workshop there, or in a beautiful, pristine resort area called The Blue Mountains. This would be a mixed-genre group, again limited to 10-12, and meeting for a week. If held in Sydney, the fee would be approximately $800, exclusive of lodging and meals. If held in The Blue Mountains, we should be able to work out a package deal that would include lodging and meals for approximately $1,500. My friend, Sarah Potter, who's a writer and scientist, would help faciliate contacts with the local literati, too. The best time for a workshop in Australia would be early December. If there's sufficient interest, this could happen in late 2006, or in 2007.

So, that's the lowdown. Please let me know if you have any thoughts about any of these workshops. I hope your writing is going well, and life, and that our paths cross again soon.

All the best,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted you to know what an honour it was to meet you at the WCSU residency and how you & poetry have changed my life. Maybe one day I will take your workshop in Italy! Stay well and stay in touch. Keep an eye out for those old theaters!

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This page is fantastic, what you show us is very interesting and important, do you want to see something more? Look: Great investment opportunity in jaco beach hotel, jaco beach front hotel , jaco beach hotel costa rica. Visit us for more info at:

9:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home