The Santa Maddalena Foundation for Writers and Botanists
The Santa Maddalena Foundation for Writers and Botanists was established with the later addition of the Festival degli Scrittori in Florence to honor the great novelist and memoirist Gregor von Rezzori. The Foundation’s aim is to offer a retreat to writers and botanists that provides freedom and tranquility for work. There are four resident Fellowships available during each season of the year. The Foundation gives special consideration to writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and scripts – and writers engaged in works on the natural world.
Gregor von Rezzori felt that his well being as a writer was made possible by the roots he was finally able to put down in Santa Maddalena. And though he often said that he was delighted his guests did not grow roots there themselves, he was happy in the knowledge that they did become addicted to the inspiring qualities of the place.
Bruce Chatwin described his love for Santa Maddalena in many of his writings. An accomplished traveler, he often noted how a place can fulfill essential needs for writers, providing inspiration and often the means for dealing with a paralyzing case of writer’s block. As Chatwin notes, this was as true for deskbound writers such as Flaubert, Tolstoy, Zola, and Proust, as it was for literary vagabonds like Melville,Hemingway, Gogol, and Dostoevsky, whose writing lives “were a headlong round of hotels and rented rooms-and, in the case of the last, a Siberian prison.”
“As for myself,” Chatwin wrote, “I have tried to write in such places as an African mud hut (with a wet towel tied on my head), an Athonite monastery, a writers’ colony, a moorland cottage, even a tent. But whenever the dust storms come, the rainy season sets in, or a pneumatic drill destroys all hope of concentration, I curse myself and ask: what am I doing here? “Why am I not at the Tower?”
- Michael Cunningham - Michael Cunningham received the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award, for his novel The Hours, which was filmed in 2002, directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. He is also the author of two earlier novels, A Home at the End of the World (1990) and […]Read More
- Jennifer Clement - Jennifer Clement is the author of the memoir Widow Basquiat (on the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat) and the novels: A True Story Based on Lies, The Poison That Fascinates and Prayers for the Stolen (a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice Book), which received an NEA Fellowship for Literature and the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award. […]Read More
- Selma Dabbagh - Selma Dabbagh is a British Palestinian writer of fiction. Her short stories have been published by Granta, International PEN, Wasafiri and Telegram. Her first novel, Out of It (Bloomsbury, 2011), was a Guardian Book of the Year in 2011 and 2012. In January 2014, BBC Radio 4 broadcast her first play, ‘The Brick.’ Selma lives […]Read More
- Ulf Peter Hallberg - Swedish author Ulf Peter Hallberg has lived in Berlin since 1983. Hallberg’s highly acclaimed essay-novel The Flâneur’s Gaze (1993) describes Eastern and Western Europe after the fall of the wall. In novels like Grand Tour, Legends & Lies, European Trash, The Meaning of Life and Other Troubles (with Erland Josephson), Hallberg has developed a cosmopolitan, […]Read More
- José Anìbal Campos - Born in Havana in 1965, Josè Anìbal Campos studied Germanic Philology at the Faculty of Foreign Languages , University of Havana, where he later became Professor of Translation. He was the co-founder and co-director of the Permanent Workshop in Literary Translation and in 1998, a visiting professor at the National University of Bogotá, Colombia, where […]Read More
- Michael David Lukas - Michael David Lukas has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a night-shift proofreader in Tel Aviv, and a waiter at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont. Translated into more than a dozen languages, his first novel The Oracle of Stamboul was a finalist for the California Book Award, the NCIBA Book of the Year […]Read More