The Program 

Lisbon: the city of poets, sailors, and adventurers, where the Portuguese refer to their their great writers like old friends: Camões, Pessoa, Sophia, Antunes, Saramago...

Lisbon: a city that has for centuries transfixed the world's greatest writers, Byron, Woolf, Fielding, and on and on.

Lisbon: a city possessed of its own rich literary and cultural history as well as a thriving young literary and artistic scene.

Lisbon: the westernmost European capital just off the beaten touristic path, with world-class beaches to boot...

Lisbon: the host of Dzanc Books' International Literary Program in 2011.

What better place to spend two weeks in intensive and intense writing workshops with leading writers from around the world? 

The ILP has two primary components: 1) Two-week workshops in Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Photography and Visual Storytelling. 2) A Literary and Cultural program featuring contemporary Portuguese writers, lecturers, and thinkers.

While our inaugural roster of North American faculty and guests includes three Pulitzer Prize winners and among the most compelling and interesting writers working today, we select our teaching faculty primarily on the basis of their strong reputations as just that: teachers of writing and the arts.

The ILP programming will take place at venues throughout Lisbon, which is easily and cheaply navigable by subway, streetcar, and bus, including the Center for National Culture, NOVA the New University, the University of Lisbon, the American Embassy, at the headquarters for the Luso-American Development Fund and others.

The ILP is open to writers of all levels and all ages. We invite you to join us for writing workshops and an absolutely unique immersion in one of the mythic literary epicenters of the world.


The Workshops

The ILP workshops are small groups of writers critiquing each other's work led by an accomplished writer. Workshops meet six times during the two weeks of the program. Participants may select one morning workshop and attend either the Photography workshop or the Portuguese Literature and Culture lecture series in the afternoon. 2011 workshops are as follows:

Fiction: Brian Evenson (Morning)

Workshop in prose fiction.

Fiction: Horacio Castellanos Moya (Morning)

Workshop in prose fiction.

Poetry: Kim Addonizio (Morning)

Workshop in poetry.

Poetry: Nick Flynn (Morning)

Workshop in poetry.

Non-Fiction: Josip Novakovich (Morning)

Workshop in prose non-fiction.

Writing the Luso Experience: Frank Gaspar (Morning)

Led by one of the leading Portuguese-American writers, this multi-genre workshop will specifically address the problems and concerns of those writing about their Luso heritage. Participants will include writers from North America and Portugal interested in writing about these issues and experiences.

Photography and Visual Narrative: Deanne Fitzmaurice (Afternoon)

Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist Deanne Fitzmaurice will lead this workshop on photography and multimedia storytelling. Participants signed up for this workshop must provide their own camera and equipment.


Lectures on Portuguese Literature and Culture

In cooperation with CETAPS-FCSH (Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, the ILP will offer a series of lectures on Portuguese literature and culture spanning a wide array of topics. This lecture series is the ideal context in which to study the intersections between Portuguese and Anglophone literature and culture and contemporary Portuguese literature. These informal lectures and talks will take place in the afternoons after the workshops on the NOVA campus.

Some of these will include:

  • Camoes and the Epic Portuguese Discoveries
  • Jose Saramago and the Post-Modern Portuguese Historical Novel
  • The Portuguese Empire in Anglophone Literature: Macao
  • Round table on representations of Lisbon in Anglophone Travel Writing

In addition to the workshops and lectures the ILP offers literary walks; excursions to places such as Sintra, Cascais, and Porto; readings by faculty, guests, Portuguese writers, and participants; faculty craft talks; discussions on publishing with editors from North American and Portugal; a tribute to Alberto de Lacerda; and much more.


Alberto de Lacerda

The inaugural year of the ILP is dedicated to the memory of Portuguese poet Alberto de Lacerda and will include a special tribute to him. We consider two of his most deeply held values to be important aspirations for the character of the ILP itself. Alberto lived in Mozambique, London, Austin, and Boston. With friends all over the world, he was a man and a poet who spanned continents and cultures, both of which served as the inspiration for his life and work. Alberto also had a unique vision of artistic merit. For him, good work was good work whether it was written in someone's sprawling hand or printed in a leather bound book. He believed art should be judged on its own terms, not upon the value the culture assigned to it. Whether someone had published a lot or not at all was of no real concern to him. Of course, Alberto didn't disparage publishing, but he did believe that concentrating solely upon publishing as a measure of worth, either of an individual or of his work, was dangerous.

Alberto was born on September 20, 1928 on the island of Mozambique to a colonial Portuguese family. At the age of 18, he arrived in Lisbon and promptly had his first book of poems accepted by Fernando Pessoa's publisher. A few years later, he left Portugal for London, where he made immediate inroads in London's literary crowd. Edith Sitwell was one of his greatest friends, and he was admired by such luminaries as T.S. Eliot, Evelyn Waugh, Jean Cocteau, and Arthur Waley, who translated 77 Poems, Alberto's first book of poems to appear in English. During this period, Alberto worked mainly as a broadcaster for the BBC. In the late sixties, Alberto took a job at The University of Texas at Austin, and later, at Boston University, where he was an inspired teacher. All of his life, he wrote poetry, founded journals, and wrote art criticism. He died in London on the 27th of August, 2007 just a few weeks shy of his eightieth birthday.