Packing my bags for Florida

Blog, Improve your writing

I’m pretty excited to be attending my first artist’s residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida (above) starting on Monday 13th May. I’ll be one of eight people working with acclaimed British writer Geoff Dyer, the author of some of my favourite difficult-to-classify books including Out of Sheer Rage and But Beautiful.

The Center describes the interdisciplinary nature of its residency program thus:

The essence of Atlantic Center’s Artists-in-Residence program is to provide talented artists the opportunity to work and collaborate with contemporary masters. Through a competitive application process, the associates are selected by the master artist with whom they wish to work. The associate artists come from around the world, and are university professors, post-graduate students, professionals, or full-time writers, dancers, painters or composers. During their stay, the artists spend a portion of the day working with the master artist and their group in meetings, workshops, casual conversations and other activities. They are free to spend the remainder of their time pursuing their own projects. The residencies culminate with a public presentation of works-in-progress developed during the residency.

I’m looking forward to meeting the other writers in my workshop as well as the musicians and other interdisciplinary creative types working with writer/performance artist Coco Fusco and composer Judith Shatin. Here’s a full list of attendees of the 149th Artists in Residence Program.

My goal for the residency is to find a clear path to finishing my work in progress, which is coming together but still feels a bit wobbly and unbalanced.

Advice from friends who have attended residencies in the past has ranged from “take a flashlight” to “remember, you can always leave.” I’ll let you know how I go.

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