Italy Writing Workshop Nov. 9-15, 2014.


Where will you take your writing?

Where will your writing take you?

West Tisbury Poet Laureate Justen Ahren leads this week long writing workshop and retreat, in the ancient hill town of Orvieto, Italy.  Cultivate a deeper connection to written expression, and access the beauty and abundance that infuses creative work.  This retreat and workshop is for writers, of any genre, seeking to establish a daily writing discipline and those who want to experience where their writing can take them when they ‘give it’.  This workshop borrows principles found in spiritual practices throughout the world, principles such as devotion, prayer, acceptance and faith.  

If you would like to establish a deeper connection to the interior and exterior worlds through writing,  and be able to access the beautiful and abundant images and memories which can infuse your work with dimension and surprise, this workshop is for you.  

How do spiritual devotees (monks) nurture their connection to the divine?  What can we learn from their adherence to ritual practices and concepts such as gratitude, surrender of individual will, trust, and devotion?  How, as writers, can we develop practices along similar lines that will bring us to abundance and connection with the creative energy of the universe that is waiting to assist us?

Each morning we will meet as a group for three hours.  During this group time we will generate new writing through prompts and discussions.  After lunch, participants are to write, visit nearby attractions, cultural sites and shops or relax in the Hotel Duomo, our home for the week.  We will reconvene or dinner and, afterwards, share our work with one another.

This is not a workshop that deals requires or promotes any set of religious beliefs or adherence.  Participants don’t need to believe in God, or belong to any religious order.  We will talk generally about principles found across all religious belief systems, and discuss how these principles can aid our work as writers and creative individuals.

The workshop will take place in Hotel Duomo, a beautiful renovated house on the main square, as well as in and around the town of Orvieto.

Only one hour north east of Rome on the main train line, Orvieto is easily reached by train or car.

The town has many cultural sites, churches, restaurants, shops and markets.  Orvieti is known for its rich Etruscan heritage, its distinctive wine and Umbrian cuisine.

Immerse yourself in this ancient village, its creative heart, and be part of a nurturing writing community.

Space is limited to ten participants.

costs:  $1,395.00 includes:

6 nights accommodation

Breakfast daily

Welcome reception

5 days of workshops (3 hours each day)

*does not include airfare or transportation to and from Orvieto.

Justen Ahren is West Tisbury, Ma., Poet Laureate.  His work has appeared in numerous journals, including BorderSenses, Fulcrum, Borderlands Texas Poetry Review and Comstock Review.  His work has been nominated for two Pushcarts.  Mr Ahren has worked and performed in Seattle, Tacoma, Dallas, Key West, Boston and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  His poetry collection, A Strange Catechism, was published in 2013.

Testimonials: “I make a list for Thanksgiving of things I am grateful for, and the Italy Retreat was one of the things on it. I got so much out of it both for my writing and for deepening my life, it was certainly worth it.”–Kate M., Los Angeles

“You provided such a safe place in which to share my writing. I am forever grateful.” –Christina V., Toronto

“Justen, what can I say? Thank you for believing in us.” Rose C., NYC

For more information  click here, or email with questions.

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