Colosseum Summer Institute | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Colosseum Summer Institute

    A course and workshop in the art of poetry for aspiring writers. James Matthew Wilson, director

    Colosseum Books and Franciscan University of Steubenville invite applications to the Colosseum Summer Institute. The Institute is an annual, intensive course and workshop in the art of poetry for aspiring writers who wish to apprentice themselves to the great and enduring tradition of Catholic letters. Come to the Franciscan University campus (in Steubenville, OH) for four days of study, conversation, writing, and critique.

    We will examine the philosophy of art and beauty alongside the history of poetic form, and will gather all things together in the actual practice and discussion of the art of poetry. We hope to renew the tradition, to strengthen contemporary literature, and to build up a community of writers who care about making a good work, at once well-crafted and spiritually profound.

    The Colosseum Summer Institute will begin the evening of July 8, 2019, with a dinner reception and public reading. For the next three days, participants will convene each morning for two courses: the first, to discuss the philosophy and purpose of art and beauty in the life of the Christian, and the second, to study the history and practice of prosody in English verse. After lunch, participants will have much of the afternoon to work on their poetry, before convening in the late afternoon for an intensive workshop to evaluate and improve their work. Each evening, after dinner, participants will have the opportunity to attend a public poetry reading by a distinguished writer or musical performance and to gather for convivial discussion. Opportunities to learn more about contemporary literary publishing and for participants to perform their own work will also be included among the activities. The Institute will conclude on the afternoon of July 11, 2019.

    The tuition for the Institute is $550 and is all inclusive: each participant will have a private room (with air conditioning and private bath); all meals catered (breakfast, lunch and dinner); and we will also provide transportation to and from the Pittsburgh airport, for those who need it.

    To Apply

    To apply, please send (as a single .pdf document) a letter explaining why you wish to attend the Institute and a portfolio of 4-5 poems, with “Colosseum Summer Institute” in the subject heading, to fup@franciscan.edu (limited to 15 students; application deadline is May 31, 2019). Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by start of the Institute on July 8, 2019. Accepted participants will be expected to be familiar with the basic terms and concepts of English prosody prior to their arrival for the Institute; a recommended reading list in support of that end will be sent to all participants in early June.

    About Colosseum Books.

    Colosseum Books is an annual series of volumes of new poetry and poetry criticism that exhibit spiritual and intellectual depth and an understanding of verse as a craft guided by enduring tradition, metrical rigor, and a commitment to the well-made thing. Each Colosseum book will be published by the Franciscan University of Steubenville Press. In the ancient world, the civilizational achievements of Rome were transformed and leavened by the spirit of Christianity. The Colosseum stood as a symbol of the struggle and suffering such a new birth entailed, but also of final victory and union, as Christendom emerged to take possession of the treasures of Athens and Jerusalem with Rome as its spiritual capital. We honor that spirit of engagement and enduring tradition by seeking to perpetuate it through the publication of good new work by contemporary writers.

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