Spring Quarter Writers in Rome 2017

The Roman Forum and Colosseum on a sunny day.
The Forum and Colosseum, Rome
Program Dates: 
March 27, 2017 to June 2, 2017
Application Deadline: 
November 15, 2016

Program Information


Caput Mundi: Where All Roads Lead

JOIN a band of ink-stained wayfarers for a Mediterranean spring full of walk, talk, and literary comradeship in and about the Eternal City. As readers, we’ll consider the words and thoughts of novelists, poets and sundry quill-drivers who followed that road before us. As writers, we'll put ourselves in their shoes, pounding the cobbles daily, notebooks in hand. In addition to art and architecture, we’ll explore the natural history of an ancient environment that set the conditions for Rome to become Rome, the world’s first multicultural nation-state.

If one figures the imagination of the West as a spectrum whose color-bands are the academic disciplines, Rome is the prism before the scatter. Here science and art, language and literature, history and geography, the color and vagary and sensate onslaught of contemporary life all constellate in the literary imagination. All this is fair game for us. Writers are dedicated generalists, interested in everything. Like barbarians, they’re rapacious and interdisciplinary. Like barbarians, they ask what can we carry away? We'll test that question at the point of the pencil, transmute what we see, and so sack Rome.

Led by English Department faculty Kevin Craft and Katharine Ogle, the program offers 15 credits in English and Creative Writing.

We welcome all students. No experience in literary analysis or creative writing is presumed. Classes will be held at the University of Washington Rome Center at the 17th-century Palazzo Pio, situated in the vibrant center of the city’s historical district, as well as out and about in the city itself. A number of field trips, museum visits, and excursions will also be included in the program fee. Housing will be in shared apartments arranged by the UW Rome Center.


  • Pluck and good humor: we value verve, adaptability, and a spirited willingness to suffer minor inconveniences in the interest of the greater adventure.
  • Good shoes and stamina: this program is physically vigorous, involving a lot of walking (up to 5 miles per day) over stones in a busy urban environment, dogged on occasion by Roman summer heat and humidity.
  • Intellectual and imaginative commitment: Frost said Poetry is play for mortal stakes, and that’s how we see our agenda in Rome. It’s not Roman Holiday—classes meet almost every day. But the city itself is our classroom. You can expect the experience of a lifetime: joyful, serious, intense in every way.
  • No knowledge of Italian is presumed or required, but learning a few conversational phrases will likely enhance your experience.

Students in the program will maintain their University of Washington residency and any financial aid eligibility they have already established. Credits earned will be recorded on students' UW transcripts and will apply directly to UW graduation requirements. Credits earned in English courses may be used to satisfy requirements in the English major.


To apply, please use the online application on the Study Abroad website.

Application Deadline: November 15, 2016

Following the online application process, students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Depending on the number of applications submitted, we may maintain a waiting list for the program. Students who are invited to participate in the program will be required to return a signed payment contract before the deadline indicated in their acceptance email.

Contact Information: 

Nancy Sisko
Academic Adviser
(206) 543-2634

Kevin Craft
Program Director

Program Status: