Because Paris is so rich in history, almost every step outside of the classroom will reveal a tidbit of art, architecture, or historical fact hiding around the corner, waiting for discovery. Literary walking tours of Paris and field-trips to sites frequented by Hemingway, Proust, Zola, Balzac, Hugo, Stein, Fitzgerald, Wilde, Voltaire, Diderot, Verlaine, Sartre, Kerouac, Joyce and other writers will provide a sense of the literary history of the city. Students may also visit museums with special guided tours to learn more about current exhibitions.
Students who participate in Writers in Paris choose to focus on either poetry or fiction and attend daily writing workshops and craft seminars. Students are mentored by accomplished professional writers and attend readings and special seminars led by visiting writers and editors. Writing and reading assignments are designed to encourage immersion in the city. For example, poets might visit the Louvre to write ekphrastic poems or create Parisian street sonnets by taking a 14-block walk of the St. Denis area, where François Villon lived, and generating a line of poetry per block. Fiction writers might study dialogue by listening for overheard speech at a sidewalk café or learn about description and setting by writing a story set in the neighborhood where Hemingway lived and worked. Students in the program work intensively to generate new writing and also attend a lively series of readings, lectures, literary walking tours, and special events.
All students participating in the program are required to live in NYU-provided housing. Students are housed in single studios with kitchenettes in the Résidence République, operated by Les Estudines and located in the 11th arrondissement. There are laundry facilities and a small gym on-site. In Résidence République, students are situated near the Place de la Bastille, site of the legendary storming of the Bastille prison by masses of workers at the outset of the French Revolution. Though no trace of the Bastille prison remains, the Place de la Bastille is now the site of the Opera Bastille, home of the Paris National Opera. The residence is also just a short, 15-minute walk to Notre Dame and a quick Metro ride to all sites within Paris. The 11th arrondissement of Paris (called “le Onzième” by locals) is home to a bustling cosmopolitan community of artists, musicians, filmmakers, craftspeople, students, and writers; it is stocked with plenty of hip cafés, quirky neighborhood restaurants, and trendy music venues.
Program activities include literary readings, panels, and tours; a Bastille Day cruise on the Seine (with fireworks!) and visits to parks, restaurants, cafés, and historic neighborhoods where famous writers have lived and worked.
Coursework consists of alternating afternoons of craft seminars and writing workshops. Evenings feature readings, lectures, panel discussions, and special events. The schedule includes time for writing, reading, and exploring Paris, and the program culminates in a celebratory reading showcasing student work.
Students must register for one of the following courses:
Each of these courses is comprised of a writing workshop, craft seminar, and nightly literary events. Students work closely with two accomplished world-class writers—one in the context of the writing workshop, and another in the context of the craft seminar.
Workshops provide students with guidance on the art of revision, as well as with experience giving and receiving feedback. Individual private conferences supplement coursework, and each student submits a final portfolio of writing at the end of the program. In the craft seminars— literature courses taught by writers for writers— students study great works of literature in order to learn how to create their own. Emphasis is on close reading and the basic elements of craft. Poetry students read exemplary poems and study voice, style, line, image, music, metaphor, syntax, and diction. Fiction writers consider stories and novels with a focus on the basic techniques of fiction, including plot, narrative, dialogue, tone, structure, rhythm, setting, and style.
Students also attend a nightly series of readings, lectures, panel discussions, publishing forums, literary walking tours, and special events. These events feature program faculty as well as Paris-based and visiting writers, teachers, and editors.
Monday – Thursday
3:30pm - 6:00pm: Daily workshops and craft classes in either fiction or poetry
7:00pm - 9:00pm: Nightly readings, talks, and special events
Sample Syllabi - Writers in Paris: Fiction
Sample Syllabi - Writers in Paris: Poetry
Deborah Landau (Director) is the author of The Last Usable Hour, a Lannan Literary Selection published by Copper Canyon Press, and Orchidelirium, which won the Anhinga Prize for Poetry. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Grand Street, The Paris Review, Tin House, The Antioch Review, American Literature, The Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, The Best American Erotic Poems, The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and The Harvard Review, and have been translated into Mongolian, Romanian, Russian, and Greek. She was educated at Stanford, Columbia, and Brown, where she was a Javits Fellow and received a Ph.D. in English and American Literature. For many years she co-directed the KGB Bar Monday Night Poetry Series and co-hosted the video interview program Open Book on Slate.com. She is Clinical Professor and Director of the Creative Writing Program at New York University.
Chris Adrian (Fiction) is the author of a short story collection, A Better Angel, and three novels, Gob's Grief, The Children's Hospital, and The Great Night. He has received an NEA grant for fiction writing and a Guggenheim Fellowship, was selected as one of the New Yorker's 20 writers under 40, and recently completed training as a Fellow in Pediatric Hematology Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco.
Catherine Barnett (Poetry) is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, and a Pushcart. Her first book, Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James Books, 2004), won the 2003 Beatrice Hawley Award, and she received the 2012 James Laughlin Award for her second book, The Game of Boxes (Graywolf Press, 2012). Barnett has taught at Barnard, the New School, and NYU, where she was honored with an Outstanding Service Award.
Nathan Englander (Fiction) is the author of the internationally bestselling story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, the novel The Ministry of Special Cases, and the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (Knopf, Spring 2012). His short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington Post, as well as The O. Henry Prize Stories and numerous editions of The Best American Short Stories. Translated into more than a dozen languages, Englander was selected as one of “20 Writers for the 21st Century” by The New Yorker, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Award, the Bard Fiction Prize, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He’s been a fellow at the Dorothy & Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and at The American Academy of Berlin. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Myla Goldberg (Fiction) Myla Goldberg is the bestselling author of The False Friend, Wickett's Remedy, and Bee Season, which was adapted to film, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2000, winner of the Borders New Voices Prize, and a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award, the NYPL Young Lions award, and the Barnes & Noble Discover award. She is also the author of the essay collection Time's Magpie and the children's book, Catching the Moon. Myla’s short stories have appeared in Harpers.
Meghan O'Rourke (Poetry) is the author of The Long Goodbye (Riverhead), a memoir about grief, and the poetry collections Once and Halflife (W.W. Norton). A former poetry editor for The Paris Review, she is also a culture critic for Slate magazine and a founding editor of the web site Double X. She is the recipient of the 2008 May Sarton Poetry Prize. Her essays and poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Best American Poetry, 32 Poems, and more. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she grew up.
Matthew Rohrer (Poetry) the author of A Hummock in the Malookas, Satellite, A Green Light, Rise Up, A Plate of Chicken, and Destroyer and Preserver. With Joshua Beckman he wrote Nice Hat. Thanks. and recorded the audio CD Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. Octopus Books published his action/adventure chapbook-length poem They All Seemed Asleep in 2008. His poems have been widely anthologized and have appeared in many journals. He’s received the Hopwood Award for poetry and a Pushcart prize, and was selected as a National Poetry Series winner, and was shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize. Recently he has participated in residencies/ performances at the Museum of Modern Art (New York City) and the Henry Art Gallery (Seattle). Matthew teaches in the Creative Writing Program at NYU and lives in Brooklyn.
Helen Schulman (Fiction) is the author of the novels This Beautiful Life, A Day At The Beach, P.S., The Revisionist and Out Of Time, and the short story collection Not A Free Show. P.S. was also made into a feature film starring Laura Linney and was written by Helen Schulman & Dylan Kidd. She co-edited, along with Jill Bialosky, the anthology Wanting A Child. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in such places as Vanity Fair, Time, Vogue, GQ, The New York Times Book Review and The Paris Review. She is presently the Fiction Coordinator at The Writing Program at The New School where she is a tenured Associate Professor.
Darin Strauss (Fiction) is the author of the international bestseller Chang and Eng, and the New York Times Notable Book The Real McCoy, one of the New York Public Library's "25 Books to Remember of 2002," the novel More Than it Hurts You and most recently a memoir Half a Life, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. His work has been translated into fourteen languages, and he teaches writing at New York University, for which he won a 2005 "Outstanding Dozen" teaching award. Also a screenwriter, Darin sold the rights to Chang and Eng to Disney, and is currently adapting the novel for the screen with the actor Gary Oldman. Another screenplay on which he collaborated is in pre-production at Paramount Studios. Darin was awarded a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction writing.