Jelly Bucket speaks with BGWS MFA Graduate Assistant Ellen Mitchell about her 2017 Summer Residency in Lisbon, Portugal
Q. Why did you decide to satisfy the MFA residency requirement abroad?
A. I viewed the Lisbon writing residency as a major luxury (which it is, in objective terms). This may seem surprising coming from someone who spent 14 years living in France, but maybe for that reason, I saw Lisbon as a stretch. That said, I recall Robert-Dean Johnson’s remarks about how there is nothing like writing far away from your daily distractions and routines, and this is far more true than I understood before going to Lisbon. My three weeks there were especially productive and replete with insights. I made major breakthroughs on the plotline for my novel, and big strides in developing each of the characters in the story’s psychological triangle.