VCFA offers residencies abroad for alumnx and current students, in a thrilling range of locations.
MFA in Writing
Students and alumnx in the MFA in Writing program can opt for a winter residency in Cozumel, Mexico, or a summer residency in Slovenia.
These residencies abroad coincide with the program’s Vermont residencies and are open to any student who has completed their first semester. The group typically consists of 14–20 people, including two to three MFA in Writing faculty.
The Slovenia residency is divided between the ancient town of Škofja Loka and the capital, Ljubljana. The residency schedule includes excursions to cultural, artistic, historical, and natural settings, as well as meetings, lectures, and readings with Slovene writers. Recent visiting writers have included Branimir Mozetič, Andrej Skubic, Mira Rosenthal, and Evald Flisar, among many others.
Students can look forward to possible excursions to the Soca valley where Hemingway began A Farewell To Arms; a cave Dante visited before writing the Inferno; the award-winning World War I museum at Kobarid; the alpine towns of Bled and Bohinj, with its 15th Century Church of St. John the Baptist; a hike to the falls in the national park Slap Savica where one of France Prešeren’s most well-known poems is set; a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp with wall writings including a quote from Dickens; Roman ruins; mountaintops; and medieval churches with intriguing frescoes.
The Cozumel residency includes conversations with Mexican and Mayan writers, historians, and long-time islanders. Workshops, lectures, and faculty, visitor, and student readings take place in a gorgeous tropical setting, along with programs that afford full immersion in Yucatecan and Mayan culture. One day is set aside for a day-trip to the Mayan ruins at Tulum, one of the most important sites of the ancient Mayan world.
Cozumel is a land of magic. From the birds, to the crystalline waters, to the soft sea breezes, to the rich Mayan culture, the island sparks the imagination. In keeping with that, the residency’s focus is on creativity and the multitudinous aspects of place. Generative workshops and lectures explore immersion in place, people, and things; additionally, participants explore notions of translation and its many meanings (language translation, expectation translation, oral history translation, interpersonal encounters in a foreign land translation, revision as translation).
MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults
Oxford and Bath Spa, UK
Students and alumnx seeking an international experience may attend the program’s summer residency in England. Based in Oxford, the Oxford/Bath Spa residency shares many of the same features as the Vermont residency, including lectures by VCFA faculty and graduating students, craft-focused workshops, and student readings. In addition, Oxford/Bath students from VCFA spend two days on the campus of Bath Spa University participating in shared lectures and readings with BSU’s MA in Writing for Young People program.
In Oxford, students dine at Exeter College’s High Table alongside a Visiting Writer (past Visiting Writers have included Elizabeth Wein and Phillip Pullman). They take a historical tour of children’s literature at Oxford University, visit the world-famous Bodleian library, and have plenty of time to explore other famous sites in this literary city. Students and alumnx are able to apply for this summer residency option each spring.