This summer, it is my good fortune to accompany my colleague, the (extraordinary) poet Jennifer Maier, on Seattle Pacific University's study abroad trip to Rome. I've been before, both as student and later as writer-in-residence, on similar trips with the University of Washington, and they have been absolutely formative for me as a scholar and as a person. At least half the poems in my coming book are responses to various phenomena I encountered there. A fair bit of my dissertation on The Drive to Failure was conceived as a response to the layers of empire on view in that city and the treatment of artistic fragments in same. I've published two essays about some art I saw in situ, this one on Caravaggio's Calling of St. Matthew and this one on Bernini's David. Basically, I know I would still have been me in some sense had I never been to Rome, but it's hard to imagine how.
Eligible SPU students should consider coming along. While there, we'll see more than anyone could put into words, in addition to furthering mastery of writerly discipline and literary interpretation. There's a reason that generations of Europeans considered their educations incomplete until they visited The Eternal City. Come find out why.
Some highlights, according to previous participants can be viewed in this gallery.
You can apply through the SPU study abroad office, or email me with any questions you might have.