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Study Away


Summer Study Away in Cusco

June 10th - 26th, 2022

overview of squareThe MFA in Creative Writing program at Mount Saint Mary’s University is proud to announce its summer study away program in Cusco, Peru from June 10th to June 26th. Courses will be taught in English, although students may write in Spanish if they choose. This experience includes excursions to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu, as well as outings to pulsating restaurants, museums and cultural venues in Cusco. Accommodations and classes will be held at Hotel Tierra Viva-Cusco and Hotel Tierra Viva-Aguascalientes. The people of Cusco are warm and hospitable and the city is most welcoming for exploring its historic offerings.

cusco images

Creative Writing Coursework & Application

Students will enroll for both of the courses listed below, with the exception of those already in Thesis, who will enroll for one or the other. The course will largely follow the MSMU weekend summer calendar, with certain intensive activities and assignments happing during the period in Cusco.  Applications for Summer 2022 are now being accepted. Deadline to apply to the MFA program and participate in this study away opportunity is April 1st.

Fee: $9,256

Fee includes tuition for two courses, room and board, breakfast, tours, medical and travel insurance, and airfare to and from Los Angeles, or departure location with equivalent fare for those residing outside Southern California. All hotel rooms are single.

cusco photos, balcony door and courtyard

Course 1: Travel Writing and Latin American Chronicle: Beyond the Personal Essay
(Dr. Juana Moriel-Payne)

In this course we will combine the study and craft of both Travel Writing and Chronicle following a Global and the Latin American literary traditions, respectively. The Travel Writing will cover the Study away course that the CRW department organizes every Summer and encompasses the reading of Travelogues, observations that will end in a journal, group discussions, and creative travel pieces. The second part of the course will cover the Latin American Chronicle, one that has included both personal and journalistic essay forms using a narrator/observer who is emotionally involved in his/her socio-historical narratives. In this sense, chroniclers are enunciators who transgress the official social representations by exposing social tensions and conflicts. Students will write short chronicles (personal and journalistic essays) based on observation of their cultural environment, following each of the Latin American Chroniclers’ techniques and style. Students may write in English, Spanish, or both.  

Course 2: Latin American Short Story and Poetry
(Johnny Payne)

This course will introduce you to major writers of Latin America in two genres in the 20th century. Writers famous internationally, such as poets Borges, Neruda Mistral, are accompanied by writers influential within Latin America. In fiction, the extraordinary explosion of short fiction writers—Lugones, Quiroga, Hernández, Carpentier, Rulfo, Cortázar, Vargas Llosa, Lispector, and numerous others—gives evidence of an equally fertile century for narrators. The focus will be mainly on reading this literature and writing your own short stories and poetry, as we also put these modernist writings into their cultural and historical context to make sense of what Eduardo Galeano calls “The Century of the Wind.”

For more information: Johnny Payne, MFA director, | 213.477.2802