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International Summer Residency in Lisbon, Portugal

streetcar in Lisbon"I can’t imagine anyone with an interest in writing or literature going through the Disquiet program and not being profoundly transformed—by the quality of the teaching, by the magic of Lisbon, and by the way the program is organized, which guarantees intellectual and cultural immersion to an extent unimaginable to the casual tourist. Disquiet is, to my way of thinking, the very best program of its type in the world: intense, humane, wildly energetic, with its heart in exactly the right place."       
—George Saunders
   (Pastoralia; CivilWarLand in Bad Decline)

The Bluegrass Writers Studio™ offers our International Summer Residency in partnership with the dynamic and wildly successful creative writing program Disquiet International in Lisbon, Portugal. To see a gallery of photos from our 2013 session, check out our Gallery.

group holding books in front of their facesDisquiet International—named for the multi-genre masterpiece of vignettes, The Book of Disquiet, by Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa—is organized by the famed US independent publishing house, Dzanc Books, in conjunction with the Portuguese Centro Nacional de Cultura.
It is an intense program of workshops in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry with some of the most engaging and acclaimed teacher/writers in the United States and Portugal. It is also a deeply immersive series of lectures, presentations, readings and excursions involving Portuguese literature, art, and culture.

Past guest writers and faculty include Denis Johnson, Padgett Powell, Erica Dawson, Colson Whitehead, Kim Addonizio, George Saunders, Brian Evanson, Robert Olmstead, Sam Lipsyte, and many more.

Pessoa statueFor more information on Bluegrass Writers Studio, contact us.

For more information on Disquiet International, please visit their site. 

Check out some testimonials from current and former Disquiet International attendees here.

Also, take a look at this short piece about wandering the streets of Lisbon by Disquiet attendee Kaitlin Solimine.

Finally, join the Disquiet International Facebook page for insider and up-to-date information!

Past Residency Faculty and Guests Include:

Joseph Boyden, Amanda Boyden, Natasha Trethewey, Andrei Codrescu, Dinty Moore, Rick Barton, Kevin Moffett, Steven Church, Miles Harvey, Kristin Iversen, Hank Lazer, Steven Bogart, Bill Lavender, Jim Grimsley, Susan Schultz, Henry Griffin, Michael Winter, Jim Winter, Tayari Jones, Adam Levin

Working at a cafe in Lisbon


Group dinner in LisbonResidency Activities

The Bluegrass Writers Studio™ Summer Residency is either two or four weeks - depending on how long you wish to attend - of intensive workshops, lectures, readings, and author socials. Focusing on individual writing, MFA participants experience the richness of a full semester of writing craft and critical analysis of their and their peers' creative works. The typical day includes morning workshops in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Workshops are led by program faculty and visiting writers. Afternoons may be free or dedicated to craft lectures and readings. Informal dinners with faculty and visiting writers and organized readings in local venues round out the days.

Residency Facilities

Classes for Summer Residencies are held at the Centro Nacional de Cultura. Modern and reasonably priced hostel rooms are made available to all residency participants, or apartments may be rented. Those attending solely the Disquiet portion may arrange accommodations at the Living Lounge Hostel through Disquiet. Participants staying for both sessions may book rooms at the Lisb'on Hostel, through Bluegrass Writers Studio.

Participants wishing to arrive early or stay late may contact the hostel directly and arrange addditional time, or choose housing not arranged by EKU.

Residencies and Degree Requirements

Four sections of ENW 800 Writing Residency are required to obtain the MFA at Bluegrass Writers Studio™. Each section is 3 credit hours. Both the Domestic and Overseas Summer Residencies earn either 3 credits (if you stay two weeks) or 6 credits (if you stay four weeks). Two month-long Summer Residencies will also fulfill the residency requirement. You may combine credits from both Residencies to earn a total of 12 hours (ENW 800).

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