14 Students Prepare for Fiction Residency in Umbria

By Purnell T. Cropper | July 1, 2011

On Thursday, 14 students will jet off to Umbria, Italy, for Arcadia’s first-ever fiction writer’s residency abroad. The 10-day experience includes intensive writing workshops, a visit with poets Allan Williamson and Jeanne Foster, and five cultural excursions to nearby hill towns.

“What I’m most excited for about going to Italy is the chance to have the experience that so many of the greats had back in the day, going to a foreign country and experiencing a different culture while getting the chance to write about it all,” says David Dill, a graduate student in the Master of Education program. “There’s so much more history in the places we’ll be visiting in Italy, and I feel like it will give me a different perspective on place and time, something that my writing could definitely benefit from.”

“Writing in Italy will help me to compare and contrast the culture and the outdoor scenes to the environment I am used to here in the States,” says Ellie Hutchison ’10,’11M. “I can’t wait for the peace of the country to slide its way into my writing.”

On the itinerary are visits to Bevagna, Spello, Assisi, Spoleto and Montefalco. In addition to touring historical and cultural sites, students will participate in writing exercises during these full-day and half-day excursions. They also will enjoy the tranquility of the B&B San Marco, which will serve as the group’s retreat. Students will have ample time to study and write, while enjoying home-cooked meals and the company of their peers.

Dr. Richard Wertime, Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies in English and the Humanities, is teaching the course and Michelle Tooker ’07,’10M is serving as the assistant trip leader. Tooker will send updates throughout the group’s time in Italy, so be sure to check Arcadia’s Facebook Page and the Bulletin to learn more as the trip progresses.