Backyard Writers Residency in Tufo

Consider the boot of the map of Italy, and more specifically its shin: grape-growing Campania. In the heart of that region is the hilly, sulfuric town of Tufo, at the bottom of which is a pink house with marble floors and four open beds–Rosa di Tufo. For the last two weeks of June 2017 the Backyard Writers, in partnership with the DeVito family, will offer their first-ever public writers residency program to four writers of prose and poetry.

Writers in residence will occupy their own private rooms in the house, but are encouraged to work at the dinner table. There’s something to be said about co-working spaces, and something, too, to be said about new and unique spaces–what travel can do to stir the creative spirit. Something about leaving things behind for a while–empty your pockets before you sit down–now more than ever.

At Rosa di Tufo–you can view the AirBnB listing here–writers can expect a safe and quiet space to focus on their work during the day. Espresso is on the house, and the doorways to the balconies let in the sun and cross-breeze. Tufo itself, a town of about a thousand, is quiet enough that you can take walks up through town or down by the river without anything that might count as distraction. It’s remote in a way you can feel, sitting in the dusty piazza.

Silence, exile, and cunning, Joyce said.

On cunning: yellow grapes are grown in the hills and turned to white wine–Greco di Tufo is the town’s chief export. We offer two family-style dinners–first and last–on the house, but writers are welcome to the kitchen, and encouraged to share meals and discuss their work, craft and purpose. Patrick McNeil,  captain of the Backyard Writers Workshop and founder and director of the residency, will make himself available for consult at the writers’ discretion.

Room and board is offered free of charge, though cost of travel and food is the writer’s. Placements are to be awarded by merit: prospective writers should submit a sample of work (under 5,000 words) along with a resume to Patrick at pjdmcn@gmail.com, and are encouraged to do so soon.