In this class we will explore the intersection of writing and day-dreaming. And what better place to do this than Italy? Using Freud's principle that a writer is "a dreamer in broad daylight", students will participate in a series of guided writing investigations and experiments based on our time in Assisi, utilizing the magic and wonder of the town, engaging both the sights around us and the broader issue of how travel transforms the self. We will look at excerpts from a series of writers working in a similar aesthetic terrain. Students will also have the opportunity to workshop excerpts from manuscripts they are working on: writers of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and cross-genre writing are all welcome. Attention will be given to the practicalities and nuts and bolts of craft, so that we can welcome the reader into our daydream. Our goal will be to use the inspiration of our time here to return to our own lives and writing projects with renewed focus and energy.
Alistair McCartney is the author of two experimental novels, The End of the World Book (2008) which was a finalist for the PEN USA Fiction Award 2009 and the Publishing Triangle's Edmund White Debut Fiction Award 2009, and The Disintegrations (2017), which won The Publishing Triangle’s Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction. He is currently working on 2 new books of poetry and hybrid texts. In 2019 he was Art Workshop International's Artist in Residence. Originally from Australia, he lives in Los Angeles where he directs Antioch University LA's undergraduate creative writing concentration and teaches fiction in their MFA Program.