Writing in Assisi

As some of you may have picked up over the years, SJ Rozan is one of the friends I’ve made in this odd business, where colleagues tend to be spread very, very thinly around the world. But since her home base is New York, and since I go to NY once a year and we both often go to BoucherCon at its various sites, it does mean that I manage to see more of SJ than I do a lot of my other writing buddies.

This past week I had breakfast and two parties with SJ, catching up on the year, and she told me about her plans for a summer in Assisi. And I nodded in polite interest. I asked the right questions, showed the proper enthusiasm. And I was happy to hear that she might be able to do this again, really I was. But I was also deeply, grindingly, jealous. I SO want to go. Not to teach, you understand, but to take a class—from her, or a class in painting, or Italian cooking, or anything.

Imagine: two weeks, living in a community of creative people intensely focused on their work, in one of the most beautiful small cities in the world. Here’s SJ’s own description of a morning in Assisi. Think of it: breakfast with painters and poets, classes that treat your passion seriously, in a setting that makes the spirits soar with its physical and historical perfection.

As SJ says:
What I emphasize to prospective students is not only the things they’ll learn and the work they’ll accomplish in the writing workshop, but also the joy of being able to sink into two weeks of the company of other writers, painters, dancers, poets — artists of all kinds. It’s a feeling that can’t be beat, and in this case, neither can the location or the food.

Oh, I love SJ, but I want to be her.

So if you know anyone who would love this, please send them the link—sure, the exchange rate is foul, but this also means that the student has more of the instructor’s time and attention. And SJ is a very fine teacher.

Please sign up—if nothing else, in order to share your bliss with us here at Mutterings!

Posted in


  1. Sara on May 4, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    The schedule for the Culinary class looks scrumptious…the entire week’s menu is planned already! Imagine- italian food actually made in Italy…

    I think the visual arts classes would be hard- how can you possibly feel confident enough to make your own art while surrounded by Italian masterpieces?!? They are to be used for inspiration, I am sure, but even with a BFA under my belt, I’d be hard-pressed to put a brush to canvas, or pastel to paper.

    But I SO want to go, as well.

  2. maryD on May 5, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    We stayed in Assisi about 25 years ago when backpacking through Europe. We camped in a site terraced down the mountain with panoramic views over the valley. There was a ‘restaurant’ above us which consisted of a vine-covered pergola with ovens built into the back wall. Carafes of red wine were a pittance and you could sit all day and soak in the atmosphere. If you have a chance…DON’T miss Assisi….

Leave a Comment