Bread Loaf Sicily 2018 Recap

This post comes to you from the ultra-glamorous lobby of my local Long Island garage, where the Honda is having its oil changed, so rest assured: Sicily was an aberration in the life of this gal, and things are back to normal: the suburban soccer mom gig is alive and well, my friends.

But I shall spend this post mostly in photographs, documenting the best parts of Sicily (although our running joke was about how absolutely none of these do justice to the beautiful views from Erice). 

Before we get to the vacation slides, though (I'm channeling every 1950s father here . . .), I'll share that Bread Loaf Sicily was a really wonderful program. Far less formal and intense, I believe, than the regular program in Vermont, but no less useful for this particular writer. In fact, I'd venture to say -- even though I've never attended the regular program -- that it was probably far more useful than the regular program ever could have been. 

I learned much from observing C. Dale Young teach our poetry workshop -- practical things (skills? techniques? I'M A WRITER!!) that I can carry back to my own creative writing classroom, and my conference with him was extremely helpful in terms of my new, emerging manuscript (there, I said it). Also: writing time! I continued with my a.m. writing sessions, albeit NOT fueled with coffee because it wasn't available that early in the morning -- and between that and the airplane travel, and even without the caffeine, I wrote 6 new poems over the course of the week. 

BAM. Also, also, A. and I met some of the nicest and most charming people, which felt lucky. I mean, being thrown into these conference things, you can't trust that you're going to find anyone you genuinely like and admire, let alone a whole table full of them, but we did. Including two Jonathans, one prose writer and one poet, both talented writers, but whom A. and I sadly could not convince to fight to the death, Highlander-style. Because, you know. There can only be one. 

So now I'm back to the grind, which honestly feels like far less of a grind after taking 10 days to travel in Italy. (Even with all of the terrible things that happened during and afterwards, nationally and internationally -- North Carolina flooding, Kavanaugh, Khashoggi, Trump/Kanye, just to name a few). I am so very grateful to whatever powers-that-be for my time over there. It is a challenge, though, to get my head back in the game of class prep and grading, and so the past two weeks have been a wee bit rough.
The weather is supposed to be terrible this weekend, though, so there's a small chance that my soccer-mom gig will be curtailed a little bit and I'll have time to catch up on the grading. Which sounds JUST as thrilling as drinking wine on a cliff beside a Spanish fortress on the edge of a medieval city, doesn't it?

First day view
Second day, by the Spanish fortress
Second day, by the Spanish fortress   
View during Monday evening's reading
View during Monday evening's reading
View during Tuesday evening's reading
Lobby of our hotel (a former monastery)
Little friend on bedroom ceiling
Hotel patio garden


Wednesday/Thursday walks
Wednesday/Thursday walks


Wednesday/Thursday walks 
Gatto
The elusive A and one of the Jonathans



Friday's walk around the Erice perimeter
Friday's walk around the Erice perimeter
He was having a better time than this. Promise.
Friday's walk around the Erice perimeter
Friday evening's aperitivo before the reading and farewell dinner
The view from Friday evening's reading and farewell dinner
The view from Friday evening's reading and farewell dinner
This was the second evening, and sure, I'm grinning like an idiot, but I think it sums up my experience pretty well.

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