Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
The answer, of course, is an emphatic, No! Carpe diem—seize the day—as the Roman poet Horace declared. Come to La Romita and join poets Kim Addonizio and Flower Conroy for a workshop inspired by the landscape, the food, the history, and the poets who have come before – Montale, Catullus, Petrarch, Gregory Corso, John Keats, Jorie Graham, and so many others. This is an opportunity for poets at all levels to find poetic inspiration and share work in an intimate setting, and experience the delights only Italy can provide.
You will read all sorts of poems, have writing sessions, and talk about craft and process, revision, and whatever else comes to mind.
On a typical day, there will be time to write and relax. Before dinner the group might discuss a poem by Cesar Pavese or a sonnet by A. E. Stallings before you each share your work. The following day might include a trip to a surrounding hill town, a beach, a Tarot garden, a museum, or some ancient ruins. You’ll visit the Keats-Shelley house in Rome, where Keats spent the last months of his life. The workshop finale will be a performance/reading with local Italian poets and a musician or two!
I’ve been to La Romita only twice, but I feel like it’s home. Edmund and everyone at La Romita make you feel that way. The view is wonderful, the courtyard, the church that’s cool even in the hot afternoon sun, and the food, as well as the day forays into small towns and even Rome. Kim is an amazing teacher; the workshops always open up new ideas for poems and how to make poems better. There’s time to share meals and conversation, to travel, and to have space to moodle and write. I’ve loved my times at La Romita. I want to go back.
Both of my experiences at La Romita were truly transcendent. Lightly fried, fresh zucchini flowers for dinner; swaying cypresses, a grove of olive trees, and wild asparagus throughout the grounds; carefully curated outings to small hill towns or the Mediterranean with a printed map in one hand a packet of poems in the other; each day was not only full of adventure and culture and post-card-worthy moments, but it was creatively fruitful, as well. It was certainly a retreat, to say the least. Staying in a former monastery with such thoughtful hospitality from all of the staff, and the chance to work with a poet I so admire, forging life-long friendships with other poets—I am a better version of myself as a writer and as a person after the gift of my time at La Romita.
Kim Addonizio is the author of seven poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry, The Poet’s Companion (with Dorianne Laux) and Ordinary Genius. She has received fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation, Pushcart Prizes in both poetry and the essay, and was a National Book Award Finalist in poetry for her collection Tell Me. Her latest books are Now We’re Getting Somewhere: Poems (W.W. Norton) and a memoir, Bukowski in a Sundress (Penguin).
Kim’s poetry has been translated into several languages including Arabic, Chinese, Hungarian, Italian, and Spanish. Her books have been published in Argentina, China, Lebanon, Mexico, Spain, and the UK. Her work has been widely anthologized and published in many journals, including American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, Poetry magazine, The Nation, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Yale Review, and many others.
Kim’s focus is on meeting each writer where they are, from beginning to well-published poets, balancing the demands of craft with the joys of inspiration. Kim has thirty-plus years of teaching experience in various settings, from MFA programs to community colleges to private Zoom workshops. She lives in Oakland CA. Visit her at https://www.kimaddonizio.com for information on her workshops, retreats, and conferences.
My teaching philosophy is simple. I try to meet you where you are right now, whether you’re a beginner or well-published. My goal is to help you learn the craft that will enable you to express your own vision, to respect you as a writer, and to encourage you to keep exploring this beautiful, challenging, and rewarding art.
What happens when you cross Emily Dickinson, medical jargon and a sci-fi poster? Or are given a scavenger list of words to find their way into a new poem only to find your map switched at the end? Find out in Flower Conroy’s generative writing prompts where craft is juxtaposed with camp, and technique and mixed-media are unleashed in a maze of imagination—promising to startle your writing into wonderfully odd sub-terrain.
Flower Conroy, an LGBTQ+ artist/writer, NEA and MacDowell Fellow, and former Key West Poet Laureate, is the author of “Snake Breaking Medusa Disorder” (winner of the Stevens Manuscript Competition) and “A Sentimental Hairpin” (a Small Press Distribution Bestseller); her third collection, “Greenest Grass” has won the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize and will be published later in 2023. She has also published five chapbooks: “Escape to Nowhere,” “Facts About Snakes & Hearts” (winner of the Heavy Feather Review Prize), “The Awful Suicidal Swans,” “And Haunt the World” (co-written with Donna Spruijt-Metz), and the forthcoming “Talking Around the Coma.” She has been nominated for Best of the Net, Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions. Conroy was a panelist for PEN America Miami/ South Florida Chapter and has led workshops for Write Here, Write Now as well as the Key West Library and served on The Studios of Key West’s Artist Advisory Council and their Poet-in-Residence judging board. Her poetry will/has appeared in American Poetry Review, American Literary Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Notre Dame Review and others. She currently lives in New Orleans with her wife and two Papillions, Lexi and Fiddler.
As La Romita School caters to multiple levels of instruction and various forms of the arts, prices will vary by session, season, instructor, and offerings.