Summer A-Term in Rome

"Creative Writing in Rome"

June 18 - July 18, 2014

(Modified A-Term Dates)


JOIN a band of ink-stained adventurers for a month of concentrated exercise and conversation in and about the Eternal City. We explore Rome from a variety of perspectives--as avid readers and intrepid writers, through history and geography, art and architecture, language and literature, not to mention the color and flavor of daily life in Italy, where they know carpe diem is more than a catch-phrase. Following in the footsteps of those poets, painters, saints and soldiers who for some two and a half millennia have traveled where all roads lead, we'll write our way into the heart of the city, poking into the foundations of civilization as we go, honing our writerly skills and enthusiasms in conversation, practice, and stride.

We welcome all students. No experience in literary analysis or creative writing is presumed. The Summer Creative Writing 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. The ideal participant for this program will be interested in creative writing, ready to take intellectual and creative risks, open to the challenges and excitement of living in a foreign city, and open to having a grand adventure.

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.


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.

Courses and Credits

Undergraduates will receive 15 credits [ENGL 363, Literature and the Arts; ENGL 395, English Study Abroad; and ENGL 493, Advanced Creative Writing Conference —with some flexibility, depending on individual student degree requirements]. Credit questions should be directed to English Undergraduate Advising.

MFA students will receive 10 credits [ENGL 586, Graduate Writing Conference, and ENGL 600, Independent Study or Research.] Credit questions should be directed to Professor Pimone Triplett, Director of Creative Writing.

MA/PhD students are also welcome to apply. Credit questions should be directed to Kathy Mork in the English Graduate Office.

Sacking Rome: Rome From a Writer's Perspective

ENGL 493 Creative Writing Conference
5 credits VLPA
taught by Johnny Horton, Sierra Nelson, and Talia Shalev

This course is designed as an introduction to imaginative thinking, from the writer’s perspective, with Rome as a focus. What does it mean to be an artist—an American writer— in Rome? Between “what is art?” and “what is Rome?” lie the several literatures of Rome and Italy, Europe and America, travel and history, culture and archaeology. Apprenticed to all of these, walking the cobbles daily with notebooks in hand, we’ll read, write, converse, and experience personally that carriage of mind which makes art sensible and possible, and so in literary terms sack the city at the center of the world.

This course can be tailored to meet appropriate Creative Writing requirements and may also count as a creative writing elective for English Language and Literature majors.

Reading Rome

ENGL 395, English Study Abroad
5 credits, VLPA
taught by Johnny Horton, Sierra Nelson, and Talia Shalev

Read and discuss works from some of Rome's great poets, writers, and historians.

This course may count as an English major elective in the Creative Writing or Language and Literature Pathways. It may also be tailored to meet the pre-1900 requirement for English majors, as long as arrangements are made with the program faculty prior to the start of the program.

Roaming Rome

ENGL 363 Literature of the Arts and Other Disciplines
5 credits, VLPA
taught by Johnny Horton, Sierra Nelson, Talia Shalev, and various guest speakers

Roam Rome with experts in its art, architecture, history, and culture. This course will include various guest speakers and field trips.

This course may count as an English major elective in the Creative Writing or Language and Literature Pathways.

Pre-Departure Orientations

Participants will be required to attend a total of three pre-departure orientations in Seattle during Spring quarter. Two of which will be offered by the UW English Department.

Program participants are also required attend a general in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the UW Study Abroad Office. Students must register for this orientation through their online study abroad accounts in order to attend scheduled orientations. For more information, visit the Orientation section of the IPE website to view the current orientation schedule.

The general Study Abroad Orientation must be completed prior to May 1, 2014.

Any problems or financial losses that occur as as a result of not attending the orientations are entirely the responsibility of individual students.

Program Leaders

John W. Horton

Johnny Horton, Program Director

John Wesley Horton was born in New London, Connecticut, and raised in Northwest Indiana. His poems appear in Poetry Northwest, Golden Handcuffs Review, Cutbank, Notre Dame Review, Pageboy, The Los Angeles Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Fourteen Hills, The Laurel Review, and Willow Springs. He’s also been anthologized in City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry and Alive at the Center: An Anthology of Northwest Poems. His manuscript, A New World Where We Can Stand to Live was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. He’s been the recipient of a Washington Artist Trust GAP grant and residency fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He holds a BA from The Evergreen State College and an MFA from the University of Washington. Currently, Johnny teaches poetry at Richard Hugo House and English at Seattle Central Community College.

Sierra Nelson

Sierra Nelson, Giordano Bruno Teaching Fellow

Sierra Nelson is a Seattle-based poet, artist, and alumna of the University of Washington (M.F.A. in Poetry, 2002) and Vassar College (B.A. in English, 1997). She is author of the award-winning I Take Back the Sponge Cake: A Lyrical Choose-Your-Own-Adventure made with visual artist Loren Erdrich (Rose Metal Press, 2012), chapbook “In Case of Loss” (Embark, Toadlily Press, 2012), and collaborative books Who Are We? with 7-inch record, T.Y.P.O, and 13 Love Poems & One Ugly One, among others. As co-founder of acclaimed literary performance art groups The Typing Explosion and the Vis-a-Vis Society, she has collaboratively written, performed, and created installations nationally and internationally for fifteen years, including at the Venice Biennale, Frye Art Museum, and the Wave Books Poetry Bus Tour. Sierra has co-lead U.W.’s Creative Writing in Rome Program with Rebecca Hoogs and John Horton in 2010 and 2012, teaches creative writing at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle, and is a Senior Writer-in-Residence at Seattle Children's Hospital through Seattle Arts & Lectures' Writers in the Schools Program. She is also a MacDowell Colony Fellow, founder and president of Seattle’s Cephalopod Appreciation Society, and co-editor of the journal Mare Nostrum. She is also teaching literature and creative writing this Autumn Quarter for the UW Marine Biology Quarter at Friday Harbor.

Talia Shalev

Talia Shalev, Giordano Bruno Teaching Fellow

Talia Shalev teaches or has taught writing in Seattle, Bryn Mawr, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. At present, she is an Enhanced Chancellor's Fellow at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she studies poetry written at the extremes of the self: in devotion, in trauma, in trance. Talia is a co-editor of the recently released “What We Are Part Of: Teaching at CUNY: 1968 1974,” a selection of Adrienne Rich's teaching materials published through Lost & Found, and Talia's poems have appeared in Mare Nostrum and The Seattle Review, for which she received the journal's Kameros Family Scholarship. Talia is the assistant poetry editor for the Los Angeles Review and an alumna of the University of Washington (MFA), UW Creative Writing in Rome, and Sarah Lawrence College (BA). Currently, Talia is working on a series of verse and prose "redirections" of the work of Henry James, Wallace Stevens, Matthew Arnold, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and others. She is excited to be reunited in Rome with Saint Cecilia in Trastevere and Baffeto (uno and due).

Application and Deadlines

To apply, please use the online application on the study abroad website.

Application Deadline: January 31, 2014

The application includes

Following the online application process, students may be contacted by the Program Directors for an in-person interview.

Summer A-Term in Rome 2014 Online Application

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 and risk form before the deadline indicated in their acceptance email.

Questions? Contact Bridget Norquist in English Advising for more information.


The program fee will be $4,565 (based on current exchange rates). This fee includes instructional costs, group field trips, housing, Rome Center services, and facilities at the Palazzo Pio. No additional tuition payment is required. Resident and non-resident students pay the same fees. Graduate Students also pay the same fees.

Fees do not include the $300 non-refundable Study Abroad Office fee, airfare, food, mandatory Study Abroad Insurance, other health expenses, or personal spending money.

Non-Matriculated participants must also pay an additional, non-refundable administrative fee of $250.

Note: program fees are paid in dollars; most program expenses are paid in euros. Unavoidably, we must reserve the right to modify charges in case of unfavorable currency fluctuation. In this unlikely event, students would be notified, and an adjustment made to the final payment.

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to participants' MyUW student accounts and can be paid the same way that they pay tuition and other fees. A $350 non-refundable program deposit and $300 non-refundable IPE Fee will be charged to students' MyUW accounts once their signed contracts have been received by the Study Abroad Office.

Total fees: $4,865.

Health Insurance

The University of Washington has a mandatory comprehensive health insurance plan that is specifically for students studying abroad on UW programs like the Department of English Spring in Rome Program. It has a very low premium: it costs approximately $42 per month for the duration of the program.

Please visit the webpage or contact the Study Abroad Office for more information.

Mandatory UW Study Abroad Health Insurance Plan

Withdrawal Policy

The $350 program deposit and the $300 Study Abroad Office Fee are non-refundable. Students withdrawing from the program will be responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee, determined by the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy will be included in participants' payment contracts. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the Study Abroad Office.

Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing, according to the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the program directors that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Financial Aid

Matriculated UW students can apply any federal, state, or institutional aid awarded to support their study abroad costs but cannot use tuition waivers or work-study awards. Private scholarships are generally applicable to study abroad but you must verify the conditions of your award with the scholarship administrator or donor directly.

Revision Request:

You can request an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds) from the Financial Aid Office if the cost of the program exceeds the regular budgeted amount for a student living in the Seattle area. To do this, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

1. Summer Application for Financial Aid (scroll to bottom of page)

2. Revision Request Form

3. Budget of student expenses for your program: e-mail


Please remember that financial aid and most scholarships will be disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid award will not be disbursed until after the start of the program. If your program begins after the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid award will be delayed until the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare and health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you plan your foreign study.

Short-term Loans:

The Financial Aid Office does have a Short-Term Loan Program to assist students with temporary cash flow problems. To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled in regular classes in the UW Student Database. Students studying abroad during spring quarter will need to apply for a short term loan before the end of winter quarter.


There are funding opportunities through the Global Opportunities Program, and students should also reference the UW Study Abroad website, including their Funding Options page, for more information about Financial Aid and scholarships, including the quarterly Fritz Grant and Go Global Scholarships.

UW Scholarship Office

Contact Information

Bridget Norquist
Academic Adviser

Johnny Horton
Program Director


Participants will need a passport to travel to Italy. It can take time for your passport application to be processed and your passport issued, so it's a good idea to get the wheels turning as early as possible. As of September 2013, according to the U.S. government's passport services website, the total cost is $135 for a 10-year passport, and the University Neighborhood Service Center, 4534 University Way NE, is the passport acceptance facility closest to campus. The most extensive passport information, including application procedures, fees, office locations, and even printable application forms you can download, is available from the State Department's passport services website. Some general information on applying for passports is also available by calling the National Passport Information Center toll-free number: 1-877-487-2778. An automated appointment line and some general information is available at the Seattle Passport Agency: (206) 808-5700.

As of September 1, 2010, students from countries with short-term visa exemption may enter Italy for academic purposes, for periods of up to 90 days, without a study visa. Citizens of the U.S., Canada, and EU countries fall into this category. Program participants from other countries should consult the Italian Consulate website to determine if they need visas in order to study in Italy. If a visa is required, students should review the application requirements on the Italian Consulate's website and contact Katherine Kroeger in the Study Abroad Office if they have questions and to receive an enrollment letter.

Important: Participants who need a visa to travel to Italy must apply in-person. Participants will either need to make an appointment at the San Francisco consulate or with the Vice Consul in Bothell, WA. The Vice Consul is just one person and he is often out of town, so it is important that participants sort this out early because applying for a visa may involve a trip to San Francisco. The earliest you may submit your application to the consulate is 60 days from the start of the program (beginning of April) but you should try to make arrangements with the Vice Consul as far in advance as possible.

**Please note that, regardless of citizenship, the 90 day period includes any travel before or after the study program within the entire Schengen area of the EU. Students who stay in the Schengen area beyond 90 days will be in violation of the 90-day visa waiver and risk being fined and/or detained and even banned from travel in the Schengen area for significant periods of time.**

More Web Sites

There are innumerable Rome sites on the web -- let your favorite search engine loose and explore.  Here are a very few to get you started. (Remember, some sites will be in Italian; these often have English translations, which you can access by clicking on a little English flag or graphic -- but this is usually the Union Jack, not the Stars and Stripes.  In Europe "English" usually means "England.")

Thanks to Carol Light and Rebecca Hoogs for the beautiful Rome photos!

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