Summer 2018 | Thessaloniki and Thassos
Choose to spend two weeks in Greece, the cradle of Western civilization and the crossroads of the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. While immersed in the rich life of local villages, you’ll take part in Writing Workshops in Greece, a world-renowned program that has nurtured writers for six years. The experience will spark your creativity and challenge how you think about and use language and storytelling.
Live like Greek locals as you explore the pristine natural environment. Sail the Aegean Sea with a resident fisherman and cook up your catch for dinner. Spend time with a chef to harvest wild yeast and herbs, and bake sourdough bread in an outdoor oven. Enjoy dancing to live music under the stars. Take day trips to experience village life, explore ancient ruins, quarries and museums—and even attend a Greek Orthodox liturgy. All visits will inspire discussions and deepen your own thinking and writing.
Reading, Writing and Reflecting
Choose to focus on fiction/nonfiction or poetry and study with accomplished authors. All students will complete creative writing assignments, maintain a travel journal and study classic and contemporary writers. You’ll even hear from a few of them! Visiting writers and program faculty will hold public readings where you can enjoy and respond to their works. You will spend ample time at the island of Thassos’ many beaches—all within walking distance—reflecting and writing as part of your coursework. Plus, feel fully supported by invaluable one-on-one time with your professor, who will provide manuscript consultations, evaluate your progress and coach you to present your works to your peers.
History and Culture
Explore ancient Greece and analyze its historical and cultural influence across the centuries and into the present day. How does classical Greek mythology echo in contemporary life and literature? You’ll visit actual sites that figure in the old stories and witness firsthand how myths continue to resonate for contemporary Greek residents of Thassos, who still sometimes leave offerings and light candles in homage to the Gods.
A Greek language and culture class with a native scholar will deepen and enrich your time in the country. Decode the Greek alphabet so you can read road signs and menus—and learn memorable refrains from Greek rock music. Beyond basic phrases, you will also learn words for emotional experiences that don’t have direct translations in English—deepening your understanding of the Greek people and inspiring your creative work.
Courtney Zoffness, Visiting Assistant Professor of English
Courtney Zoffness currently directs the Creative Writing Program at Drew and curates the
Writers@Drew Reading Series. She won the 2017 Arts & Letters Creative Nonfiction Prize and the 2016 American Literary Review Fiction Prize, as well as fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and The Center for Fiction in New York City. A former editor at The Earth Times and Rolling Stone, she’s published in various venues, including Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Indiana Review and The Common.