Summer 2020 Creative Writing in Rome (Cancelled)

Roman Forum and Colosseum
Program Dates: 
June 22, 2020 to July 19, 2020
Application Deadline: 
January 31, 2020
Information Sessions: 
Friday, January 10, 2020 @ 1:30pm (Allen Library Auditorium)

Program Information


***Application Deadline: January 31, 2020***

Rome is truly an Open City: a city where a wildly vibrant street life swirls against a background of ancient temples and High Renaissance cathedrals, where we can watch the clashing of contemporary cultures and politics and see how much of our own moment is a continuation of centuries-old struggles, triumphs and defeats, all recorded in the materials of the city around us. This is the city of Romulus and Remus, of Caesar and St. Peter, the Popes, Mussolini and Berlusconi.

Students will live in the center of Rome and walk through historical sites with pen and notebook in hand, guided by texts by historians, novelists and poets, and in their creative responses record how all these histories and places are felt and experienced now. Through mindful responses to historical sites and classical, renaissance and contemporary texts, students will experience the many ways in which the contemporary artistic imagination is rooted in the forms and practices, the ideas and ideals, that make Rome the Eternal City.

Led by English Department faculty Andrew Feld, the program offers 12 credits in English and Creative Writing.

The Summer Writers in Rome Program is open to anyone (undergraduates, graduates, graduate students, alumni, citizens-at-large) seeking to join an intensive program in the written arts. 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. All field trips, museum visits, and excursions are included in the program fee. Housing will be in shared apartments arranged by the UW Rome Center. No knowledge of Italian is presumed or required.

The student experience on this program is joyful and intense. Requirements include:

  • Pluck and good humor: we value verve, adaptability, and conviviality in dealing with the vagaries of life abroad, with a group of adventurous writers.

  • Good shoes and stamina: this program is physically vigorous, involving a lot of walking over cobblestones in a busy urban environment, dogged on occasion by Roman summer heat.

  • Intellectual and imaginative commitment are the cornerstones of this program.

Robert Frost said poetry is "play for mortal stakes," and that’s how we see our agenda in Rome—joyfully engaged with the fundamentals of art and life, Italian style. This program is decidedly not "Roman Holiday"—classes meet almost every day. But the city itself is our classroom. You can expect the experience of a lifetime: collaborative learning in the ancient, ongoing sense, in the most beautiful city in the world.

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.

Contact Information: 

Andrew Feld


Mary Malevitsis
Graduate Program Coordinator
(206) 543-6077

Program Status: