Poetry with Paul Muldoon, 2014


Our fiction master class is open to those working on fiction of any length, from short stories to novels and all forms in between. Participants should be prepared to send one submission in advance by email and to distribute further work, either by hard copy or as email attachments, once in Tepoztlán. Individual submissions should not exceed 20 pages in total; the week should allow for at least three.

A cover letter to the group is generally welcome and will help orient your readers with respect to your goals for the workshop, the issues on which you would especially appreciate responses and the nature of your project. Those working on a novel should include a synopsis with their first submission.


Este taller abarca proyectos de ficción desde cuentos a novelas. Se les pide a los participantes enviar un primer texto antes del inicio del programa. Una vez en Tepoztlán se podrá distribuir otros trabajos, ya sea en copia dura o como archivos adjuntos enviados por correo electrónico. Los envíos no deben de pasarse de 20 cuartillas cada uno; en el transcurso de la semana cada quien podrá compartir hasta tres con el grupo.

Se sugiere incluir una carta al grupo para orientar a los demás participantes, hacienda hincapié en tus metas generales como escritor/a así como los aspectos literarios en los que te gustaría que la gente enfocara sus comentarios. A los que traen novelas se les pide incluir una sinopsis.


The poetry master class is a close-reading workshop that includes discussion of existing texts by other poets as part of the process. A brief assignment will be given in advance by email and further prompts will be given throughout the week for new poems to be exchanged each day. Each participant will receive a one-to-one tutorial at which either prior work or new poems written during the week can be discussed. The workshop aims to develop and challenge participants’ understanding and use of form, lyricism, imagery and narrative with a view to creating penetrative, honest poems in which the personal resonates in the universal.


Alison Wearing’s memoir workshop will focus on the unique joys and challenges of chronicling one’s life on the page. In addition to focused one-to-one sessions (in which guidance and feedback on specific projects will be offered), participants should also expect lively talks and discussions about what makes a memoir sing, writing a personal story in such a way that it has broader resonance, the dangers (and delights) of writing about one’s own family, the line between truth and fiction (if such a line exists) and the unique challenges of travel memoirs, as well as a broad romp through some of the finest memoirs of our time with an aim to understanding why they work so well.

While there will be ample time available for writing and daily exercises will be offered, participants are also invited to consider this a time of inspiration and broadening perspectives and are free to tailor their experience and output to suit their particular situation.

“It’s not that Alison simply holds a mirror to reflect what you need to see within yourself and your writing; rather, it is as if she holds a body of water of immeasurable depth that allows you to go as deep as you must to find out who you really are and what you want to say.” ~ Carolyn Agis, Brooklyn, New York



Drawing equally on the rich immediate surroundings of Tepoztlán, a vibrant, constantly changing village in the heart of Mexico,  and on participants’ professional and subjective experience, cultural journalism sets the point of view of the writer within the context of live, evolving stories.  Members of Jonathan Levi’s workshop can bring existing projects to the table or develop new work through explorations and interviews in Tepoztlán and nearby Cuernavaca. Daily sessions, special all-group performances and presentations, and meetings with leading artists and local figures, will provide depth and context for individual writing that culminates in an extended piece of publishable cultural reportage.

Draft work will be presented by mid-week to allow time for feedback and revision. A final one-on-one meeting with each participant will focus intensively on language.

Writers in languages other than English are welcome to apply, but group sessions require fluent conversational English. Previous journalistic experience highly desirable but not required, as is knowledge of Spanish for those intending to pursue locally based projects.  Peer interpretation can be arranged in advance upon request at no additional charge.

“Jonathan laid out the tools of the trade and, like an impeccable coach, got us writing at dizzying speed. He fine-tuned our work day by day until we each had a piece that could be published.” ~ Gobi Stromberg, Cuernavaca, Mexico


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Our Special Projects option is available to writers who have already taken at least two Under the Volcano master classes and who are engaged in a sustained (book-length) work in any genre or in a project that for one reason or another defies easy classification. This option is available to no more than two participants per session and requires the permission of the director. Special Project participants meet with Bogin by appointment three times during the workshop week and join the rest of the group for evening activities but do not attend group lunches.

2014 Faculty & Director: Alison Wearing, Jonathan Levi, Magda Bogin, and Paul Muldoon