“Having never left the states before, I found the Prague Summer Program to be a vital component to my cultural, personal, and academic growth. Aside from the obvious pleasures of being able to see a new part of the world and explore a different culture, I was thoroughly pleased with the experience of being fully able to immerse myself into a community of writers from varying backgrounds, as well as being able to meet and discover like-minded artists via community readings and weekly lectures. This made for a comforting and educational month of cultural exposure and literary indulgence that I will value for the rest of my life."
“My greatest pleasure was the workshop with Stuart Dybek. He was always a writer I loved; he is now a teacher I truly respect. I will teach my first creative writing class this semester and I feel that experiencing Stu in the workshop was great preparation for that. The way he dissects a story, the way he gets to the heart of it, the methods of his discussion and terms he uses were in my opinion all perfect and I learned about writing when he critiqued another’s story as much as I did when he critiqued mine. Dybek is a man who loves art and lives for it, an unsurpassed writer of place teaching the art of writing in one of the most beautiful and inspirational places in the world."
“The landscape, history, and beauty of the city itself—of Prague—was the aspect of the PSP fellowship that proved most valuable to me. I have listened to Mozart’s Requiem in the beautiful St. Nicolas Church and have crossed the square to listen to a Jazz Festival in the pouring rain. I know where the best vegetarian place is in the city—Lehka Hlava—and I know how to get there without a map. I’ve drunk wine with German friends on the Charles Bridge and talked about how far we’ve come, and how much further we have to go. I am a part of this place—or at the very least, I feel as if I am; the pulse of the river, of this city, is now in my veins. Sometimes we feel more comfortable not in the cities where we are born or raised, but in cities that nourish the soul, that deepen the love we have for others, that inspire us to create art. Life is funny that way sometimes, and glorious, too. I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to live in Prague and to now call it a home."
“I returned from Prague with a new sense of appreciation for language. Being somewhere that spoke a different language (this immersion in another language for such a period of time) changed my relationship towards my own language. When I write now, there is a different feeling to how I approach English. I no longer view it as the be-all-and-end-all, but merely another form of artistic expression. It’s hard to explain really, but the world of words feels larger to me, more complex, and infinitely riper with possibilities."