Throughout the centuries, the city of Rome has fascinated many of the world’s great writers: German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, English Romantic poets Keats and Shelley, and American writers Henry James and Mark Twain. In more recent times, Rome has welcomed writers such as Gore Vidal, Zadie Smith, and Muriel Spark. The city’s reputation for attracting and inspiring some of the world’s finest writers lives on today.
A Ground-breaking Writer in Residence
As part of an American university in Rome, John Cabot University’s Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation is proud to host noted writer Edmund White as its Writer in Residence for 2015. White is best known in the literary world for his trio of autobiographical novels, A Boy’s Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty and The Farewell Symphony. White’s work draws heavily on his personal experiences as a gay man, and was particularly ground-breaking during the controversial and tumultuous gay rights struggle of the late seventies and early eighties.
Later, White’s play Terre Haute, inspired by the correspondence between writer Gore Vidal and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy MacVeigh, has been produced in New York, San Francisco and Edinburgh. White received The Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1982, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1983, was made a Chevalier (later Officier) de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, and won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for biography of Jean Genet. In 1997 he was made a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 1999 was made a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The First Graduate Writing Courses
Edmund White is the ninth Writer in Residence for our American college in Rome. John Cabot University’s previous prestigious guests include such literary giants as Joyce Carol Oates and Billy Collins. During his stay, White will give a reading of his work in the Roman Forum, host talks on the craft of writing, and conduct a master class for graduate students in creative writing. Summer 2015 marks the first semester JCU will offer such graduate courses.
Drawing Inspiration from the Experts
Since its founding six years ago, the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation has become a thriving center for writers living in Rome. Students will have the opportunity to study abroad in Italy with the poet David Keplinger, novelist George Minot, and nonfiction writer Elizabeth Geoghegan.
How does being a student in Rome inspire your creative side?