Applications for our Summer in Paris (July 16-21, 2020) Writing Retreat are now live! Apply by May 30, 2020!


The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place July 16-21, 2020 in Paris, France. The retreat offers participating writers of all genres and levels to work alongside award-winning authors and editors. Participating writers will hone their craft and expand their writing skills, while working on new or existing projects. There will also be time to explore the city of Paris in all of its historical, literary, and romantic charm. Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm.

Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, and a chance to explore the literary history of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to bask in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris! Tuition is $3,875, which includes lodging in central Paris, creative writing workshops and writing seminars with our supportive and award-winning faculty of writers and editors, and daily breakfast.

Faculty includes internationally renowned authors, David Shields (personal essayist, documentary filmmaker), Diana Norma Szokolyai (poetry, nonfiction), and Rita Banerjee (poetry, nonfiction, fiction).

If you’d like to join us in Paris, please apply online by May 30, 2020, and include $10 application screening fee and a 5-10 page writing sample of poetry or prose. Please also include the following in your cover letter:

1. Full Legal Name
2. Contact & Address
3. Age & Nationality
4. Prior creative writing experience and publications
5. Creative writing goals for the retreat
6. Short one paragraph biography
7. Contact of Two Personal References (Name, Email, Address, Phone, Relationship to Applicant)

Due to limited seats, early applications are strongly encouraged.  Our Scholarship deadline is March 1, 2020, and thus, we encourage applicants to complete their applications by our priority deadline of March 1, 2020. Our Paris retreat tends to fill up quickly, so feel free to send in your application early.

Featured Faculty:

jUSEu2sSo4RfT2C6eSXb6-plQPuQlknv-LggVh9tpUs David Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty-two books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Other People: Takes & Mistakes (NYTBR Editors’ Choice). The film adaptation of I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel was released by First Pond Entertainment in 2017. Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention was published in 2018; The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power is forthcoming in March 2019. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and a senior contributing editor of Conjunctions, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Salon, Slate, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into two dozen languages.

Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her edited volume, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, will be released by C&R Press in May 2018.  She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers including David Krebs (US), Robert Lemay (Canada), Claudio Gabriele (Italy), Peter James (UK), Jason Haye (UK), and Sebastian Wesman (Estonia). Diana Norma is a founding member of the performing arts groups Sounds in Bloom, ChagallPAC, and The Brooklyn Soundpainting Ensemble. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause, “Space Mothlight,” hit #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Her work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in VIDA: Reports from the Field, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase QuarterlyThe Million Line Poem, The Cambridge Community Poem, and elsewhere, as well as anthologized in Our Last Walk, The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering, and Teachers as Writers.  She is currently at work on her next book and an album of poetry & music.  Diana Norma holds a M.A. in French (UCONN, La Sorbonne) and an Ed.M in Arts in Education (Harvard).

ritabanerjee

Rita Banerjee is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).   She is the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018), which was nominated for the 2019 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize at the Academy of American Poets, featured on the Ruth Stone Foundation podcast, and named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018”, and was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry.  Banerjee is also the author of the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010).  She is the co-writer and co-director of Burning Down the Louvre (2020), a documentary film about race, intimacy, and tribalism in the United States and in France.  She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and she is a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant, the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, and South Asia Initiative and Tata Grants.  Her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, PANK, Nat. Brut.The ScofieldThe Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an Associate Scholar of Comparative Literature at Harvard.  She is currently working on a novel, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.  Her writing is represented by agents Jeff Kleinman and Jamie Chambliss of Folio Literary Management.

FAQ:

What Happens After I apply?
Once you apply, you can expect to hear from us within 10-14 days and know whether you were accepted into the program.

What is the process of paying tuition?
Once you are accepted into the program, you will need to pay a 30% tuition deposit to hold your seat within 3-5 days of acceptance. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable. The remainder of tuition will be due by May 30, 2020. Our standard and preferred method of payment is PayPal invoice, which does have a service fee. You can also mail us a check. Please email us if you prefer to send a check and we will give you the mailing address.

What is included in tuition?

    • lodging in central Paris
    • daily breakfast at the hotel
    • creative writing workshops
    • craft of writing seminars
    • a celebratory meet-&-greet dinner with faculty

Where will the program be held?
The program will be held at Hôtel du Midi Paris Montparnasse, 4 Avenue René Coty, 14th Arr., 75014, Paris, France.

What language is the program in?
The program is in English, but French or other non-anglophones are welcome as long as you can speak, read and write in English!

I’m local to Paris. Is there a tuition only option?
Yes. For more information, please inquire at directors@cambridgewritersworkshop.org.

What if the deadline has passed? Can I still apply?
Sometimes, we do have seats open after our deadlines have passed. Please apply or just email us directly at directors@cambridgewritersworkshop.org to check whether there is still availability.

Happy New Year ’20 from the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop!!

From our staff and board at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, we’d like to wish you a festive, fun, and very creative New Year 2020!

Let’s make this next decade shine for creativity, art, and new voices in the field!  Thank you to all of the writers, colleagues, artists, and institutions that have supported the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop since 2008!  We’re looking forward to seeing what our second decade brings!

More news regarding accepted authors for Disobedient Futures will be announced in Spring 2020!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will also be at the AWP 2020 Conference in San Antonio, TX from March 4-7, 2020.  Come stop by our AWP Bookfair Table T2164!  We will also be having an off-site reading for AWP 2020 so stay tuned for details about that!  And of course, check our CWW Creative Director Rita Banerjee’s panel “Dismantling the White Imagination: On Intimacy in Creative Nonfiction” on Saturday, March 7 from 9-10:15 am in Room 205, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level (San Antonio, TX).

Finally, we are delighted to announce our instructors for our Spring and Summer 2020 writing retreats.  Our 2020 award-winning faculty includes essayist David Shields, playwright Stephen Aubrey, poet Diana Norma Szokolyai, and poet and essayist Rita Banerjee.  Course registration for our 2020 Spring in New Orleans Writing Retreat (March 19-22) and Summer in Paris Writing Retreat (July 16-21) will be going live on this website and on cww.submittable.com shortly!  So stay tuned!

 

And in the meantime, let’s have an amazing 2020!  Here’s to the return of the “Roaring 20’s” and art that’s not afraid to make the world vibrate just a little bit!

Cheers,
The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris 2019 Retreat Schedule Announced

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place from July 17-22, 2019.  Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm and our classes will take place in a beautiful Moroccan themed room that opens to a courtyard that can also be used by our writers.  Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, literary tours of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris!   The faculty includes award-winning writers Kazim Ali, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai.  Genres include poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

The schedule for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Retreat (July 17-22, 2019) has been announced.  More details about classes and instructors follow below! À bientôt!

Schedule:

Writing about Space and Place (with Kazim Ali)
We experience place through multiple present tense lenses– sensory perception, kinesthetic observation, relationship of inner reality to outer surroundings– as well as through history, language, geography, botany, biology and zoology.

Craft Seminar:
We will look at a number of writers who have engaged space and place in their work and discuss what techniques and forms they developed, often very site-specific. Writers discussed will include Layli Long Soldier, Craig Santos Perez, Cristina Peri Rossi and Georges Perec

Generative Workshop:
Using techniques of walking meditation, we will experience the surrounding neighborhood of the conference venue (including the Cemeterie Montparnasse) as a launch point to generate work and provide feedback and critique to one another.

Ekphrasis: Writing Confronts Visual Art (with Diana Norma Szokolyai)

The word “ekphrasis” comes from the Greek, referring to a literary response to a visual scene, or more commonly, a work of art. By engaging in the imaginative act of reflecting on the action of a work of visual art, the writer expands the meaning of the art. After reading literary examples and holding a discussion about applying the practice of ekphrasis to our own writing, our classroom will be one of the most beautiful museums in Paris: The Musée D’Orsay.

Flâneurs, Essays, and Provocateurs (with Rita Banerjee)

An essay is an attempt.  A trial. A test. In this class, we will explore how evocative essays are attempted and constructed.  We will explore how being a flâneur and an essayist are intimately combined. And we will study how essayists from Montaigne to James Baldwin to Lauren Elkin to Edmund White to David Shields to Yoko Tawada redefine the environment they inhabit and create a space for electric art.

Featured Faculty:

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an M.F.A. from New York University. His books encompass several volumes of poetry, including Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth DayAll One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. Ali has taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary’s College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a professor of Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego.

ritabanerjeeRita Banerjee is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).  She is the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018),which was named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018”, was nominated for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry.  Banerjee is also the author of the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and she is a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant, the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, and South Asia Initiative and Tata Grants. Her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, Nat. Brut.The ScofieldThe Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Tahoma Literary Review, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an Associate Scholar at Harvard, and the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest. She is currently working on a novel, a documentary film about race and intimacy, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.

Diana Norma Szokolyai is an author, educator, interdisciplinary artist and artistic director. Her books are CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing(edited anthology), Parallel Sparrows(poetry + photography), Roses in the Snow (poetry + photography), and Blue Beard, Remixed (poetry + short story + art). Her poetry was shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Prize and received honorable mention in the 87thAnnual Writer’s Digest Competition (2018). She also performs her poetry with music and her collaboration with Project 5 a.m., “Space Mothlight,” hit #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015 and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. She is Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, where she leads writing retreats, and Co-Director of Chagall Performance Art Collaborative. She holds an Ed.M in Arts in Education from Harvard University and an M.A. in French from the University of Connecticut.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat (July 17-22, 2019) – Apply by June 15, 2019!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place July 17-22, 2019 in Paris, France. The retreat offers participating writers of all genres and levels to work alongside award-winning authors and editors. Participating writers will hone their craft and expand their writing skills, while working on new or existing projects.

There will also be time to explore the city of Paris in all of its historical, literary, and romantic charm. Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm and our classes will take place in a beautiful Moroccan themed room that opens to a courtyard that can also be used by our writers.

Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, literary tours of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris! Tuition is $3250, which includes lodging in central Paris, daily creative writing workshops and writing seminars, daily breakfast, and a walking tour of “literary” Paris.

Faculty includes internationally renowned author Kazim Ali (fiction, poetry), Diana Norma Szokolyai(poetry, nonfiction), Rita Banerjee (poetry, nonfiction, fiction).

Schedule:

Writing about Space and Place (with Kazim Ali)
We experience place through multiple present tense lenses– sensory perception, kinesthetic observation, relationship of inner reality to outer surroundings– as well as through history, language, geography, botany, biology and zoology.

Craft Seminar:
We will look at a number of writers who have engaged space and place in their work and discuss what techniques and forms they developed, often very site-specific. Writers discussed will include Layli Long Soldier, Craig Santos Perez, Cristina Peri Rossi and Georges Perec

Generative Workshop:
Using techniques of walking meditation, we will experience the surrounding neighborhood of the conference venue (including the Cemeterie Montparnasse) as a launch point to generate work and provide feedback and critique to one another.

Ekphrasis: Writing Confronts Visual Art (with Diana Norma Szokolyai)

The word “ekphrasis” comes from the Greek, referring to a literary response to a visual scene, or more commonly, a work of art. By engaging in the imaginative act of reflecting on the action of a work of visual art, the writer expands the meaning of the art. After reading literary examples and holding a discussion about applying the practice of ekphrasis to our own writing, our classroom will be one of the most beautiful museums in Paris: The Musée D’Orsay.

Flâneurs, Essays, and Provocateurs (with Rita Banerjee)

An essay is an attempt.  A trial. A test. In this class, we will explore how evocative essays are attempted and constructed.  We will explore how being a flâneur and an essayist are intimately combined. And we will study how essayists from Montaigne to John McPhee to Richard Rodriguez to David Shields to Teju Cole and Lauren Elkin redefine the environment they inhabit and create a space for electric art.

Featured Faculty:

Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an M.F.A. from New York University. His books encompass several volumes of poetry, including Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth DayAll One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. Ali has taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary’s College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a professor of Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego.

ritabanerjeeRita Banerjee is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).  She is the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018),which was named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018”, was nominated for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry.  Banerjee is also the author of the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and she is a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant, the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, and South Asia Initiative and Tata Grants. Her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, Nat. Brut.The ScofieldThe Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Tahoma Literary Review, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an Associate Scholar at Harvard, and the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest. She is currently working on a novel, a documentary film about race and intimacy, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.

Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her edited volume, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, will be released by C&R Press in May 2018.  She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers including David Krebs (US), Robert Lemay (Canada), Claudio Gabriele (Italy), Peter James (UK), Jason Haye (UK), and Sebastian Wesman (Estonia). Diana Norma is a founding member of the performing arts groups Sounds in Bloom, ChagallPAC, and The Brooklyn Soundpainting Ensemble. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause, “Space Mothlight,” hit #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Her work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in VIDA: Reports from the Field, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase QuarterlyThe Million Line Poem, The Cambridge Community Poem, and elsewhere, as well as anthologized in Our Last Walk, The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering, and Teachers as Writers.  She is currently at work on her next book and an album of poetry & music.  Diana Norma holds a M.A. in French (UCONN, La Sorbonne) and an Ed.M in Arts in Education (Harvard).

If you’d like to join us in Paris, please apply online by June 15, 2019, and include $10 application screening fee and a 5-10 page writing sample of poetry or prose.  Please also include the following in your cover letter:

1. Full Legal Name
2. Contact & Address
3. Age & Nationality
4. Prior creative writing experience and publications
5. Creative writing goals for the retreat
6. Short one paragraph biography
7. Contact of Two Personal References (Name, Email, Address, Phone, Relationship to Applicant)

(Due to limited seats, early applications are encouraged, but check for rolling admission after deadline, depending on availability). More information available at cww.nyc

apply

Deadline: June 15, 2019

Happy New Year 2019 -💖- the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

Happy New Year 2019 from all of us here at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop! We are looking forward to another year filled with inspiring and creative writing workshops and retreats, readings and a variety of other ways to connect with new and old CWW writers and artists. Thank you to all of our CWW participants, teachers, friends and all of you who helped make this year creatively productive and inspiring.

2018 was a wild ride but looking back on the events of the past year we are overwhelmingly grateful for the ways we were able to connect with new and old friends through writing and art. Over the past year CWW held retreats and workshops in Europe and the United States, and connected with other writers at readings and events throughout the country.

We kicked the year off at AWP 2018 in Tampa, FL. This year’s AWP marked several important moments for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. It was there we released our first ever anthology, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, published by C&R Press. The anthology featured over fifty writers sharing their personal writing manifestos, essays on the craft of writing, and writing exercises to show where the field of literature is heading in the 21st century. This release coincided with a reading at the Spontaneous Reading Party, where CREDO authors Rita BanerjeeJanine HarrisonKevin McLellan,  Nell Irvin PainterAnca L. Szilágyi, and Diana Norma Szokolyai shared their work along with other authors from C&R Press and Women’s National Book Association. It was also during this event that we announced our call for submissions for our next anthology, Disobedient Futures. The speculative literature anthology asks writers to imagine what the future cultures of America and the world might look like, and submit their work on the following topics: Disobedient Women, Disobedient Class, Disobedient Tribes, and Disobedient Futures. Submissions will be accepted until February 14, 2019.

We also continued to host our national and international writing retreats in 2018. In April, we traveled to New Orleans, LA, where Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, and literary agent Natalie Kimber held writing workshops on subjects like finding a literary agent and Rasa theory, all while participants enjoyed staying in a house in the famous Algiers Point neighborhood. In July, we traveled to Paris, France, where we were joined by authors Kathleen Spivack and Kristina Marie Darling for poetry and memoir writing workshops in one of the most famous literary cities in the world. In August, we returned to Granada, Spain with author Tim Horvath to use the diverse and unique city to aid in our writing processes.

It was also in 2018 that we held several great literary readings and events. Earlier in the year, CWW Creative Director Rita Banerjee released her new poetry collection Echo in Four Beats. This included a workshop on Literary Manifestos and What’s at Stake? in Weehawken, NJ, followed by a launch party that same night, which included writers Dallas Athent and Jonah Kruvant. That same month, Banerjee was a part of the literary panel “Fantasy As Reality: Activism & Catharsis in Speculative Writing,” which was part of the Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness (April 19-21, 2018) in Washington, D.C., along with poets Christina M. Rau and Marlena Chertock. The panel demonstrated how non-realist poems and prose can offer a space for political critique and empowerment. The panelists also held a reading entitled “Disobedient Futures,” which included CWW Communications and PR Manager Alex Carrigan.

On June 2nd, CWW’s Artistic Director, Diana Norma Szokolyai, was a featured performer at the Grolier Poetry Bookshop’s 90th Anniversary Celebration. She performed her poetry with musical collaborators Dennis Shafer (saxophone) and Audrey Harrer (harp). Cambridge Writers’ Workshop was also represented by readings given by faculty member Kathleen Spivack and contributor to CREDO, Kevin McLellan. That afternoon, Diana Norma Szokolyai also led a Writing Workshop on Literary Manifestos and Jumpstarting the Process of Writing inside the Grolier Poetry Bookshop  using exercises like her own “What’s At Stake” and Kathleen Spivack’s “Words as Inspiration” from CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing.

In September, the CWW also made an appearance at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Along with hosting a table at the event, the CWW held a reading at WORD Bookstore, featuring several CWW members and affiliates, including Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, Alex Carrigan, Amanda Toronto, Emily Smith, Stephen Aubrey, Madeleine Barnes, Elizabeth Devlin, Jonah Kruvant, and Devynity Wray. These authors welcomed the festival by sharing some of their original poems, short stories, and play excerpts.

We wish to give a warm congratulations to the CWW Co-Directors Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai for some notable honors in 2018. Rita Banerjee’s book Echo in Four Beats was nominated for the National Book Award in Poetry by Finishing Line Press. Diana Norma Szokolyai’s poem “Shadows of the Pantry” was shortlisted for the prestigious Bridport Prize, received honorable mention in the 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, and will be published in 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition Collection.

With 2018 over, the CWW is now looking forward to what 2019 has in store. We are still looking for literary submissions to our Disobedient Futures anthology, so please read over our guidelines to find out how you can submit. We are also planning to once again host retreats in New Orleans and Paris, featuring Stephen Aubrey, Carly Dwyer, and Kazim Ali. More information about the retreats will be announced in the coming months.

We hope to see you sometime this year!

 

Apply to the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris (July 17-22, 2019) Writing Retreat by May 15!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place July 17-22, 2019 in Paris, France. The retreat offers participating writers of all genres and levels to work alongside award-winning authors and editors. Participating writers will hone their craft and expand their writing skills, while working on new or existing projects.

There will also be time to explore the city of Paris in all of its historical, literary, and romantic charm. Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm and our classes will take place in a beautiful Moroccan themed room that opens to a courtyard that can also be used by our writers.

Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, literary tours of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris! Tuition is $3250, which includes lodging in central Paris, daily creative writing workshops and writing seminars, daily breakfast, and a walking tour of “literary” Paris.

Faculty includes internationally renowned author Kazim Ali (fiction, poetry), Diana Norma Szokolyai (poetry, nonfiction), Rita Banerjee (poetry, nonfiction, fiction).

If you’d like to join us in Paris, please apply online by May 15, 2019, and include $10 application screening fee and a 5-10 page writing sample of poetry or prose.  Please also include the following in your cover letter:

1. Full Legal Name
2. Contact & Address
3. Age & Nationality
4. Prior creative writing experience and publications
5. Creative writing goals for the retreat
6. Short one paragraph biography
7. Contact of Two Personal References (Name, Email, Address, Phone, Relationship to Applicant)

(Due to limited seats, early applications are encouraged, but check for rolling admission after deadline, depending on availability). More information available at cww.nyc

apply

Deadline: May 15, 2019

Featured Faculty:

Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an M.F.A. from New York University. His books encompass several volumes of poetry, including Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth DayAll One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. Ali has taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary’s College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a professor of Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego.

ritabanerjeeRita Banerjee is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).  She is the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018),which was named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018”, was nominated for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry.  Banerjee is also the author of the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and she is a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant, the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, and South Asia Initiative and Tata Grants. Her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, Nat. Brut.The ScofieldThe Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Tahoma Literary Review, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an Associate Scholar at Harvard, and the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest. She is currently working on a novel, a documentary film about race and intimacy, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.

Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her edited volume, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, will be released by C&R Press in May 2018.  She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers including David Krebs (US), Robert Lemay (Canada), Claudio Gabriele (Italy), Peter James (UK), Jason Haye (UK), and Sebastian Wesman (Estonia). Diana Norma is a founding member of the performing arts groups Sounds in Bloom, ChagallPAC, and The Brooklyn Soundpainting Ensemble. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause, “Space Mothlight,” hit #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Her work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in VIDA: Reports from the Field, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase QuarterlyThe Million Line Poem, The Cambridge Community Poem, and elsewhere, as well as anthologized in Our Last Walk, The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering, and Teachers as Writers.  She is currently at work on her next book and an album of poetry & music.  Diana Norma holds a M.A. in French (UCONN, La Sorbonne) and an Ed.M in Arts in Education (Harvard).

FAQ:

What Happens After I apply?

Once you apply, you can expect to hear from us within 7-10 days and know whether you were accepted into the program. Once you are accepted, you will receive a welcome packet with detailed information regarding the program.

What is the process of paying tuition?

Once you are accepted into the program, you will need to pay a 30% tuition deposit  to hold your seat within 3-5 days of acceptance. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable. The remainder of tuition will be due by May 15, 2019.  Our standard and preferred method of payment is PayPal invoice, which does have a service fee. You can also mail us a check to:

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, Inc.
PO Box 380482
Cambridge, MA 02238 USA

What is included in tuition?

  • lodging in central Paris
  • daily breakfast
  • creative writing workshops
  • craft of writing seminars
  • manuscript consultation
  • a literary walking tour Paris
  • a celebratory meet-&-greet dinner with faculty


Where will the program be held?

The program will be held at Hôtel Denfert-Montparnasse, 70 rue Daguerre, 75014 Paris, France.

What if the deadline has passed?  Can I still apply?

Sometimes, we do have seats open after our deadlines have passed.  Please apply or just email us directly at directors[at]cambridgewritersworkshop.org to check whether there is still availability.

Summer in Paris 2018 Writing Retreat: Day Four

Saturday, July 28, was a full day for our retreat faulty and participants. In the morning our guest faculty member Kristina Marie Darling taught her “Prose, Poetry, and Micro-Fiction” workshop. This course focused on prose poetry, meaning prose that draws from the extensive tradition, formal repertoire and literary devices that readers associate with poetry. Questions explored in class included: How can poets effectively and economically use the tools of fiction in their craft? What formal variations on the prose poem are possible? And how can prose poems compliment work written in more traditional poetic forms? Students ended the class with drafts of their own prose poetry or micro-fiction.

In the afternoon, CWW director Rita Banerjee held her workshop “Flâneurs, Essays, and Provocateurs.” Before meeting for Rita’s workshop, the participants were given a writing assignment where they were asked to spend 30 minutes “flaneusing or flaneuring” around Paris or Versailles in order to observe as much as they could about the people, places, animals, things, order, disorder or culture they were saw around them. These observations and experiences were then translated into a central question or thought that then became the beginning of an essay. Students were then asked to write until they found a solution to their central question or until they discovered an epiphany hiding in their work.

Following Rita’s workshop, faculty and writers traveled to Versailles where they explored the palace and gardens of the Chateau de Versailles. The Chateau de Versailles is perhaps best known as the residence of Louis XIV, who installed the Court and government at Versailles in 1632. Versailles is considered one of the greatest achievements of French 17th century art. The group ended their evening with an illuminated fountain and firework show in the gardens.

Summer in Paris 2018 Writing Retreat: Day One

Wednesday, July 25, marked the first official day of our 2018 Summer Writing Retreat in Paris! The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop directors and faculty prepared for the arrival of writers and scouted the neighborhood for the group.

 

During their exploration, Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai enjoyed galettes from La Crêperie Bretonne and stumbled upon a poem on Blvd Edgar Quinet.

 

Paris faculty, Kristina Marie Darling and Kathleen Spivack, arrived and instructors and participants had an orientation and luncheon together on the patio at La Baraka (authentic Moroccan restaurant.)

Following dinner, the group paid a visit to Amorino for some gelato and settled in at Hôtel Denfert-Montparnasse, home of the retreat for the next week.

July 10, 26, & August 9, 2018: SpokenWord Paris feat. Kathleen Spivack & Paris Lit Up feat. Rita Banerjee & Kristina Marie Darling

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is delighted to have our writing faculty from our 2018 Summer in Paris Writing Retreat featured at SpokenWord Paris and Paris Lit Up this summer!

SpokenWord Paris featuring Kathleen Spivack
Adrian Leeds’ Après-Midi (Café de la Mairie) * 3-5 pm
corner of rue des Archives & rue de Bretagne
Paris, France 75003

Kathleen Spivack will read from her latest novel Unspeakable Things, which deals with refugees from Eastern Europe coming over to New York during World War II. The main characters are members of a string quartet smuggled out of Europe and deals with their displacement and eventual redemption.

Begun in France while the Maurice Papon Trials were going on, in Unspeakable ThingsKathleen weaves her own family’s experience as immigrant refugees with her encounters with individuals she met when she lived and taught in the French university system off and on for almost 30 years. France has been a home and a temporary way stop for people escaping oppression, and this is why Kathleen is so very happy to be able to share this novel with you.

qpi9e9Kathleen Spivack is the author of ten books, prose and poetry (Knopf, Doubleday, Graywolf, etc).  Her most recent novel Unspeakable Things (Knopf) centers on European refugees in New York City, struggling to survive during the last years of the Second World War. Kathleen’s previous book was With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Plath, Sexton, Bishop, Rich, Kunitz and others (University Press of New England). Kathleen arrived in Boston in 1959 on a scholarship to study with Robert Lowell. Lowell introduced her to the poets of that time, who took her under their wing. This memoir centers on how these poets approached their work.

Other books include: A History of Yearning, Winner of the Sows Ear International Poetry Prize 2010, the London Book Festival Poetry Prize, and others; Moments of Past Happiness (Earthwinds/Grolier Editions); The Beds We Lie In (Scarecrow), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; The Honeymoon (Graywolf); Swimmer in the Spreading Dawn (Applewood); The Jane Poems (Doubleday); and Flying Inland(Doubleday). She has also published in magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The Chicago Review, Poetry, Massachusetts Review, Solas Awards, and many others. Her work has also been translated into French.  Her work has been featured at festivals in France and in the United States. She performs in theatres, often with music. Kathleen is a recipient of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and a Discovery Winner among many others. She has also received grants from the Fulbright Commission, National Endowment for the Arts and various organizations. Her residencies include Yaddo, MacDowell, the American Academy in Rome, Ragdale, Karolyi Foundation, etc.

Since 1990, Kathleen has been a visiting professor of American Literature/Creative Writing (one semester annually) throughout the French University System. In the U.S. she directs an advanced writing program and has been named by the National Writers’ Union as “best writing coach”. Her students have published widely and won major prizes. You will too! For more information on Kathleen Spivack, please visit her website at  www.kathleenspivack.org. You can also follow her on Facebook.

Paris Lit Up featuring Rita Banerjee
Culture Rapide * July 26, 2018 * 8:45 – 11:00 pm
103 rue Julien Lacroix, 75020 Paris, France

Paris Lit Up will host Rita Banerjee as their featured writer on July 26, 2018 from 8:45 – 11:00 pm!  Banerjee will read from her new poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (FLP, march 2018), which was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry, and her edited volume CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).  Banerjee will also read from her new collection of essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool, and her novel-in-progress about a Tamil-Jewish family in crisis during a post-authoritarian regime. 

Writers from the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris (July 25-30, 2018) Writing Retreat will also read during the open mic portion starting at 8:45 pm.

Paris Lit Up  is a non-profit community organization that aims to intensify collaborative artistic practices through community events, performance and publication.  With emphasis on transnational writers, artists and musicians, Paris Lit Up promotes the importance of artistic synergy through transparent, democratic, consensus-based decision making.

ritabanerjeeRita Banerjee is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).  She is the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018),which was named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018”, was nominated for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry.  Banerjee is also the author of the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and she is a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant, the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, and South Asia Initiative and Tata Grants. Her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, Nat. Brut.The ScofieldThe Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an Associate Scholar at Harvard, and the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest. She is currently working on a novel, a documentary film about race and intimacy, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.

More information about Rita Banerjee’s Echo in Four Beats and CREDO Book Tours available here!

Paris Lit Up featuring Kristina Marie Darling
Culture Rapide * August 9, 2018 * 8:45 – 11:00 pm
103 rue Julien Lacroix, 75020 Paris, France

Cancel any August vacation right now. Why? Because we are incredibly luckily to be hosting the writer extraordinaire Kristina Marie Darling on August 9 at the PLU open mic! Sign up from 8pm, wiggle your bums down around 8.45pm. Here’s her delicious bio… seriously, read it.

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of thirty books, including Look to Your Left: The Poetics of Spectacle (University of Akron Press, 2020); Je Suis L’Autre: Essays & Interrogations (C&R Press, 2017), which was named one of the “Best Books of 2017” by The Brooklyn Rail; and DARK HORSE: Poems (C&R Press, 2018). Her work has been recognized with three residencies at Yaddo, where she has held both the Martha Walsh Pulver Residency for a Poet and the Howard Moss Residency in Poetry; a Fundación Valparaíso fellowship; a Hawthornden Castle Fellowship, funded by the Heinz Foundation; an artist-in-residence position at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris; three residencies at the American Academy in Rome; two grants from the Whiting Foundation; a Morris Fellowship in the Arts; and the Dan Liberthson Prize from the Academy of American Poets, among many other awards and honors. Her poems appear in The Harvard Review, Poetry International, New American Writing, Nimrod, Passages North, The Mid-American Review, and on the Academy of American Poets’ website, Poets.org. She has published essays in The Kenyon Review, Agni, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, The Iowa Review, and numerous other magazines. Kristina currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press and Tupelo Quarterly, an opinion columnist at The Los Angeles Review of Books, and a contributing writer at Publishers Weekly.

Apply by Friday, June 15 for our 2018 Summer Retreats in Paris and Granada!

Applications close this Friday, June 15, for our 2018 Summer Writing Retreats in Paris, France and Granada, Spain. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to study with award-winning faculty in an inspiring and supportive community of writers. Scholarships are available. Apply today!

CWW-2018ParisRetreat

Summer in Paris

Our Paris retreat will be held from July 25-July 30 with faculty Kathleen Spivack, Kristina Marie Darling, Rita Banerjee, and Rita Banerjee. Students will stay in the heart of the Montparnasse neighborhood, enjoy classes in a beautiful Moroccan-themed room with an open-air courtyard, and take literary tours of Paris.

 

CWW-Paris2018Schedule

Memory/Memoir (with Kathleen Spivack)

We will be working with memory, memoir, the other, and ourselves as we explore the role of memory in our writing. We will focus on new work or, if you prefer, working on projects you bring to the class.

How can we use memory? Where do fact and fiction collide? What is a memoir and where exactly do we focus? How do we locate ourselves in our writing and where do we find the starting place and point of view? There are many ways of approaching memory/memoir in our writing and we will explore a few of them.

Prose Poetry and Micro-Fiction with (Kristina Marie Darling)

In this course, we will focus on prose poetry, meaning prose that draws from the extensive tradition, formal repertoire and literary devices that readers associate with poetry. We will work toward a set of drafts that enact the full range and diversity inherent in this exciting literary form. Questions we will address in this class include: How can poets effectively and economically use the tools of fiction in their craft? What formal variations on the prose poem are possible? How can prose poems complement work written in more traditional poetic forms? Readings will include work by Rochelle Hurt, Carol Guess, Kerri Webster, Joanna Ruocco, Jenny Boully, Sarah Vap, G.C. Waldrep, Suzanne Scanlon, and other writers as determined by student interest.

Grants, Residencies, & Publication (with Kristina Marie Darling)

This workshop will walk students through the basics of writing convincing and persuasive applications to fellowships, residencies, grants, and other opportunities.  We will begin with a discussion of strategies for researching those professional opportunities that best fit one’s chosen project. We will also address such topics as crafting personal statements, writing compelling project proposals, choosing the writing sample, and compiling your dossier as a whole.  Students will leave the workshop with a packet of resources for researching residencies and grants, as well as sample application materials and strategies for effectively presenting their own writing to selection committees.

Ekphrasis: Writing Confronts Visual Art (with Diana Norma Szokolyai)

The word “ekphrasis” comes from the Greek, referring to a literary response to a visual scene, or more commonly, a work of art. By engaging in the imaginative act of reflecting on the action of a work of visual art, the writer expands the meaning of the art. After reading literary examples and holding a discussion about applying the practice of ekphrasis to our own writing, our classroom will be one of the most beautiful museums in Paris: The Musée D’Orsay.

Flâneurs, Essays, and Provocateurs (with Rita Banerjee)

An essay is an attempt.  A trial. A test. In this class, we will explore how evocative essays are attempted and constructed.  We will explore how being a flâneur and an essayist are intimately combined. And we will study how essayists from Montaigne to John McPhee to Richard Rodriguez to David Shields to Teju Cole and Lauren Elkin redefine the environment they inhabit and create a space for electric art.

CWWGranadaPoster2018FINAL

Summer in Granada

Our Granada retreat will run from August 1-August 6 with faculty Tim Horvath Diana Norma Szokolyai, and Rita Banerjee. Intellectual, diverse, and artistic, Granada will always have creative opportunities and events to experience. No matter how you choose to spend your time, this city is full inspiration. The retreat offers multi-genre workshops, as well as craft seminars and time to write.

CWW-Granada2018Schedule (2)

Leyendo Intensamente: Reading Spanish Language Literature (in Translation) as a Writer (with Tim Horvath)

It is a given that writers must learn to read closely, with attention to nuance and craft, to unravel the methods by which other writers have managed to tell stories effectively and adapt them for their own purposes. In this class, we’ll focus on contemporary writers in Spanish. Beginning with now-canonical figures like Borges, Valenzuela, and Cortázar, we’ll look at the history of mid-twentieth century literature in Spanish, and explore how social and political conditions shaped the dissemination of that literature through the Western world. We’ll then look at how today’s writers are both continuing and radically transforming that tradition in light of contemporary issues. In particular, we’ll examine writers such as Valeria Luiselli, Andrés Neuman, Cristina Rivera Garza, and Samanta Schweblin, each of whom bends narrative, language, and thus our understanding of reality itself. We’ll also explore the fraught, infinitely rich topic of translation, discussing its complexities and the ways that understanding the innumerable decisions involved in bringing a work into another language can shed light on the act of “translating” any experience or concept from mind or world onto the page, i.e. writing itself.

The Poetry of Flamenco (with Diana Norma Szokolyai)

In this class, we will explore the fantastically concise and heel-­to-­floor transmission of passion through the lyrics of flamenco music. Packed with intense rhythms, rhymes, and imagery to match the intensity of the music, flamenco songs are a form of poetry developed by Romani people to express the deepest human experiences of love, death, and oppression. We will examine symbols and structures in the poetry of flamenco, learning the distinctions between siguiriya, tango, playera, soleá, and carcelera. Complementary to the class, we will visit an authentic flamenco performance and get a tour of the Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte, where Romani people have traditionally lived in cave dwellings and practiced the art of flamenco.

Character Development & the Law of Desire (with Rita Banerjee)

Femme fatales, gumshoe detectives, star-crossed lovers, wicked stepmothers, wise fools, empathetic anti-heroes: dynamic and archetypal characters can be key to making a good story or lyrical piece tick and pulling in the reader deeper into your creative work. In this workshop, we will discuss how dynamic and archetypal characters can help structure stories, propel narratives forwards, and how each character’s desire provides interesting ethical dilemmas and emotional spectrums to narratives and verse. We will learn about the building blocks of creating strong, unforgettable characters, discuss the connection between desire and plot, and learn how playing with persona can help liberate nonfictional stories and lyrical poems.