The Joe Papaleo Writers' Workshop in Cetara, Italy

Contact

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914.395.2205

May 25 – June 1, 2018

Join The Writing Institute for a seven-day exploration into writing and painting in Cetara, an hour’s drive from Naples, on Italy’s resplendent Amalfi Coast. Daily sessions will be held in the grand Torre di Cetara with generative writing exercises led by authors Pat Dunn and Kathy Curto, as well as afternoon painting sessions with our host, Bill Papaleo. Both Kathy and Bill credit Bill’s father Joseph Papaleo, head of the Sarah Lawrence College writing program for thirty years, with their own creative passions.

There is a strong bond between the realms of writing and painting. During this special week, writers will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into the senses to embolden, color, and enliven their own writing acumen. This exploration into the seaside palette and its many textures will unleash feelings and emotions sure to migrate to the pages each of us will write in this Italian coastal haven.

In Honor of Joe Papaleo

Joseph Papaleo (1925–2004) was an Italian American novelist. An alumnus of Sarah Lawrence College, Joe was the Writing Department Chairman and faculty member from 1960 to 1992. Joe was a prolific writer of memorable, honest fiction, and a teacher with wisdom, generosity, and humor. He was a central figure in the development of the Sarah Lawrence writing program, and he was mentor and friend to generations of students, including E. L. Doctorow, William Melvin Kelley, and J.J. Abrams.

As a student at Sarah Lawrence, Joe was mentored by W. H. Auden and Horace Gregory, who had great faith in the budding poet, as did his other Sarah Lawrence teacher Marguerite Yourcenar. As a translator, he was the first to translate Eugenio Montale, Domenico Rea, and Dario Fo into English.

Joe published two novels, one novella, and over 40 short stories. The short story collection, Italian Stories, won the American Book Award. He also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a New York State CAPS award.

His poems and fiction appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, Dial Press, Playboy, Continental Drift, and various anthologies. He was awarded the Ramapo Poetry Prize at Ramapo State College.

His former student and current Writing Institute instructor Kathy Curto said: "In those first few months as an undergrad at Sarah Lawrence, I was trying to stay afloat in a new place that felt nothing like the Italian American household I left behind. Joe Papaleo, one of my first writing teachers there, was the perfect combination of familiar and comfortably eccentric. He read my stories. I asked him questions. He called me a writer. I found my voice."

Who Should Attend

The Joe Papaleo Writers’ Workshop in Cetara, Italy is recommended for writers of all skill levels. No painting experience is needed. This is a week for beginners, as well as for the more mature writer. It is for those who envision being writers, for people who aren’t sure if they have their words ready, and for writers who know that quiet away time in a natural setting is a gift. Just as we will unpack upon arrival, our daily workshops and painting sessions will help writers unpack their own words and creativity waiting to emerge.

The Basics

The Joe Papaleo Writers’ Workshop in Cetara, Italy is limited to 20 participants (over 18 years of age). Travel to and from Cetara is not included. We suggest flying Meridiana Airlines from New York direct to Naples. The town of Cetara is historic with cobblestone streets, ancient stairways, and a picturesque stony seaside. It is not easily accessed for those needing special assistance. Morning writing sessions will be held on the top floor of the Torre di Cetara. Elevators are not available and much of the town will be visited on foot. Good walking shoes and sunscreen are recommended.

Participants may bring a guest to share their room for an additional cost and guests are invited to join the group for breakfasts and dinners. Lunch is not included, allowing participants the opportunity to roam the picturesque town of Cetara and experience local establishments.

Internet access is limited and not guaranteed.

Transportation to and from tours and painting sites is included in the workshop cost for participants. Course materials and painting supplies will be provided.

Faculty

Kathy Curto teaches at The Writing Institute/Sarah Lawrence College, Montclair State University (MSU), and across the metropolitan area, engaging writers of all ages. She was recently chosen to serve as one of the 2016-17 Mentors in the MSU Engaged Teaching Fellows Program. Her work has been published in the anthology, Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now, and in publications including Barrelhouse, Drift, Talking Writing, Junk, The Inquisitive Eater, The Asbury Park Press, Italian Americana, VIA-Voices in Italian Americana, and Lumina. In 2006, she was awarded the Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellowship at Sarah Lawrence College. Kathy lives in Cold Spring, New York with her husband and their four children. For more information, visit Kathy's Facebook page or website.

Patricia Dunn, Director, The Writing Institute, and Assistant Dean, Graduate and Professional Studies, Sarah Lawrence College, received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College where she currently teaches creative writing. Her novel, Rebels by Accident, was released in December 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire. Formerly managing editor of Muslim Wakeup!, America’s most popular Muslim online magazine with over 200,000 monthly readers, her fiction has appeared in Global City Review, Salon.com, Women’s eNews, The Christian Science Monitor, The Village Voice, The Nation, and L.A. Weekly, among other publications. Her work is anthologized in Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write Their Bodies, Kent State University Press. Her recent essay, Love at Third Site, appears in Love Inshallah. The Bronx-raised rebel and former resident of Cairo is now settled in Connecticut, with her husband, teenage son, and toddler dog. Learn more about Pat

William Papaleo is an American artist who has lived and worked in Italy for more than twenty-five years. His paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe and the United States. He has received various awards in international and juried shows in Italy and America. Since 1981, Papaleo paintings and ceramics have appeared in Europe, the United States, Naples and Salerno, Italy in large exhibitions dedicated to art and immigration. Recently, Papaleo had a large retrospective at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center in New York, as well as, notably, one man shows at the Columbus Citizens Foundation and has been included in group shows at Sindin Galleries with emerging artists shown alongside Picasso, Diego Rivera, and Matisse. Papaleo is represented by Wohlfarth Galleries in Washington DC and Massachusetts. He is an instructor of painting at the Truro School of the Arts Castle Hill, Truro, Massachusetts, and he conducts art workshops for American and European Universities in Italy. Learn more about Bill

Cost

Full tuition $3950 ($500 deposit required after acceptance to program)
Application fee $50 (non-refundable)

How to Apply

If you wish to attend this summer’s The Joe Papaleo Writers’ Workshop in Cetara, Italy, please apply online.

  1. Applicants must upload a Statement of Purpose (up to 500 words or less) stating their current writing experience and their goals for this week in Italy.
  2. A short bio/resume is requested.
  3. A three to five page sample of your writing (double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman)
  4. Submit payment for $50 non-refundable application fee

Participant Testimonials

What was odd-and thoroughly wonderful-is that we immediately formed our own community in the classes we held. And almost just as fast, we all became part of the community of the town outside the castle walls in which we met daily.
That would be the Mediterranean in the distance ... Tell me you can't find inspiration in this town.
Every day in town felt like a party (to which all of us were invited).
All genres and styles. Thanks writers for your courage and for all that you shared. I’m honored to have spent the week with such a remarkable community of artists. Grazie, grazie, grazie! PS: Stay in touch!
Attendee David Masello wrote that on the day the students toured a museum in Paestum, he felt “an infusion of joy that comes only upon seeing a certain work of art that affects us for reasons we can't fully articulate.” Read more