NOVEMBER 10 – 19, 2023

A poetry workshop at the Civitella Ranieri Castle with instructors David Baker, Matthew Bevis, and Joanna Klink. Ten days of generative workshops, lectures, and tours in Perugia, Sansepolcro and Assisi.

Life and the world, or whatever we call that which we are and feel, is an astonishing thing.
The mist of familiarity obscures from us the wonder of our being. —Shelley, “On Life”

Explore wonder! Join us in Umbria—at the glorious Civitella Ranieri castle—as we study and share the ways in which wonder is manifest in poetry, in works of art, and in the landscapes of one of Italy’s most beautiful regions.

Each morning we’ll venture together on field trips and guided tours of the frescoes and paintings of Piero della Francesca and others, as well as of the towns around the castle and countryside.

Afternoons will provide time for writing and for workshops devoted to poetic craft and revision of your work. And the evenings will feature—in addition to readings— lectures on the lyric, ekphrasis, nature poetics, and the deep experiences of wonder. Participants will enjoy local Umbrian foods and wines and stay in artist studios in the castle itself.

During the last three days the workshop participants will give readings from their work and will have time throughout to reflect as a group on the many lives, sublime landscapes, and relations of wonder. How does wonder shape our very being? Perhaps, as Roethke says, “We think by feeling.”


Trip costs: a $4,500 tour fee covers all workshop, excursion, and entry fees, staff and tour guides’ work, and room & board for ten days at the Castle. This includes an apartment with a kitchenette, bedroom, bathroom, and studio, lunch and dinner each day, and access to all common spaces. Breakfast is not included.

Travel costs are not included in the tour fee.


Applicants should provide a writing sample of ten pages of poetry, in addition to a one-page cover letter. Applications are rolling until spaces are filled. To apply, please fill out this form.


David Baker is author or editor of many books of poetry and poetry commentary, including Whale Fall and Swift: New and Selected Poems as well as Seek After: On Seven Modern Lyric Poets and Show Me Your Environment. His poems and essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, New York Times, The New Yorker, Poetry, and elsewhere. Longtime poetry editor of The Kenyon Review, he currently curates the magazine’s annual ecopoetry feature, “Nature’s Nature.” He teaches at Denison University and lives in Granville, Ohio.

Matthew Bevis teaches literature at the University of Oxford. His books include The Art of Eloquence, Comedy: A Very Short Introduction, Wordsworth’s Fun, and Edward Lear: Moment to Moment. In 2018 he received the Editors’ Prize from Poetry magazine for his essay ‘In Search of Distraction’. His essays have appeared in the London Review of Books, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, Raritan, and other magazines. He is currently working on two books – Knowing Edward Lear (for Oxford University Press), and Then Again: Notes on Wonder (for Harvard University Press).

Across five books, Joanna Klink’s work has been marked by emotional intensity, her poems driven by the desire to connect “the endless daily sorting of our lives” and the otherworldly. In poems responding to the Rothko Chapel and Turrell’s Roden Crater, and in her most recent book, The Nightfields, she explores the fragility of self that accompanies vision. She has received awards and fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She teaches at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas.