POETRY: The Muses Workshop

POETRY: THE MUSES WORKSHOP

The Poetry workshop will take place in June 16-28, 2015.

 

Imagine yourself writing poetry in Greece. Imagine yourself inspired by the country of Homer, of Sappho, of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, in the city where Socrates, Aristotle and Plato walked the streets and taught in the Agora and the Academy.

The summer poetry seminar is a three week session focusing on the writing and appreciation of poetry in the land where western literature was born, and which has continued to inspire English-language poets through the ages, from Byron and Rupert Brooke to James Merrill and Seamus Heaney. The Athens Centre has been sponsoring poetry programs in Greece since 1970; well-known writers who have taken part in the programs over the years include Gregory Corso, James Merrill, Alan Ansen, Rachel Hadas, David Mason, Christopher Bakken, Katerina Angelaki-Rook, Tassos Denegris, and many others.

The seminar has been led for the past ten years by poet Alicia Stallings (a.e.stallings), with the participation of visiting guest poets. People of all ages and backgrounds, including those with little previous experience of writing poetry, university students, high school and university teachers of literature and creative writing, writers, and published poets are all typical participants in the program. While one is welcome to bring old material to the workshop, the program emphasizes producing drafts of new work, with an eye to exploring myth and form, and within the context of reading and discussing poetry (in English translation) from or inspired by Greece, from ancient to modern times, Homer to Heaney, Cavafy to Merrill. Classes meet from 9:30am – 1:00pm, Monday through Friday.

In the workshop, you will have the opportunity to explore how contemporary poetry can flourish in the fertile soil of ancient myth and modern Greece. Each week, one or two evening poetry readings by guest poets are arranged at the Athens Centre. All poetry participants attend the readings, but other students and guests are also welcome. There is a reception after each reading, giving participants an opportunity to meet and converse with the poets. A public reading of new works by seminar participants takes place towards the end of the third week of the program.

Course duration: The full program is three weeks in duration. Participants with less time at their disposal are welcome to register for one or two weeks of the session. 

Alicia (A.E.) Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Greece since 1999.  Her first collection, Archaic Smile, was awarded the 1999 Richard Wilbur Award.  Her second collection, Hapax, received the 2008 Poets’ Prize.  She was also recently awarded the 2008 Benjamin H. Danks prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  Her verse translation of Lucretius, The Nature of Things, is out from Penguin Classics, and she has received an NEA translation grant for work on the Erotokritos. She was recently honored as the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and has also won the «genius grant» from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation!

 

University credit is available for eligible students from the University of Oregon. For more information regarding U. of O. credit, email Emily Leuning at eleuning@uoregon.edu. There are additional fees charged by the university if participants request academic credit. Other colleges and universities often grant credit for the workshop to their own students by special arrangement with the registrar or Studies Abroad office. Teachers can earn credit towards their continuing accreditation by participating in the program. Creative Writing instructors who participate in the program frequently find that they learn new teaching skills to bring to their classes.

Classrooms:  Classes are held in the Centre’s air-conditioned neo-classical building in the central residential area of Mets. There is a full view of the Acropolis from the rooftop terrace.  The Athens  Centre office and classrooms are located 15-30 minutes walk from the most important museums and archaeological sites of Athens, including the Acropolis, the new Acropolis Museum, the Agora, and the Benaki and Cycladic Museums. The Plaka and Monasteraki flea market neighborhoods are within walking distance, as are the major shopping areas of central Athens.

Housing: The housing arranged by the Centre is in furnished, air-conditioned studio apartments with bathroom and simple kitchen. The studios are located in a residential area five minutes walk from the Athens Centre.  Double or single accommodation is available.

Program activities: Included in the program fees are one or two guided visits each week, to sites which include the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum, art galleries and other cultural and historical places in the city. A day trip to a nearby island will provide an opportunity to hold class in a very different setting, with plenty of time during the day to swim in the clear blue waters of the Aegean, Homer’s “wine-dark sea”. The evening poetry readings at the Athens Centre are always enjoyable occasions, as is the public exhibit of work by the Art Workshop participants, who will be at the Athens Centre during the same weeks. Welcome and Farewell dinner are arranged at the beginning and end of the session.

Independent activities: Athens Festival events, including theatre, dance and music, take place during the summer at the Herod Atticus theatre under the Acropolis, and at other venues in Athens and Piraeus. Most participants will choose to attend at least one of these performances.  Weekends are free for independent activities or travel. Many students elect to go to the Peloponnese to visit Nauplion, Mycenae, or Epidaurus, or to nearby islands such as Hydra, Spetses, Mykonos or Santorini. Others stay in the city to explore Athens in more depth, and take advantage of the many events and cultural activities which take place each summer.

Computers: Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops with them. Most computers have built-in adaptors to use with the electric current in Greece, which is 220v. There are five computers and a printer available for student use at the Centre’s computer facility. Wifi covers the classrooms and courtyard.

Program DatesJune 16 – 28, 2015. Participants arrive on Monday, June 15. A reception for students and faculty of all the summer programs takes place on Monday evening in the Athens Centre courtyard. The Welcome Dinner at a nearby taverna follows the reception. Classes begin on Tuesday morning at 9:30am. The last day of class is Saturday, June 28.  Students depart on Sunday, June 29.

Registration: To register for the Poetry Writing Workshop, complete the registration form on the Athens Centre’s web site, at Fees/Registration page. A deposit of 250 Euros is required to reserve a place in the workshop.  (The deposit is credited towards the full tuition fee of 1280 Euros).

A detailed pre-program bulletin will be sent to participants upon registration for the program and receipt of the course deposit.   

Tuition fees:  1280 Euros. You can make your payment at our Fees/Registration page.

Housing fees:  Information about the housing can be sent upon request at athenscentre@ath.forthnet.gr

Housing  fees are pro-rated for those registering for less than three weeks of the program.

Refunds:  Full deposit, tuition and housing fees are refunded if a participant cancels before June 1. If cancellation occurs on or before June 8 half the fees are refunded. No fees are refunded after June 11, but a tuition and housing credit valid for one year will be given.  

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