Travel is on my mind…I just returned from Nashville (more about that later!) and I’m on my way to Iowa in 10 days. Perhaps that’s why I was so taken by this report from a writing conference in Portugal. Disquiet is the name of the conference, which was co-founded by Scott Laughlin, currently a Converse MFA fiction student.
On the South85 blog, participant Annie Liontas gives her view of the fabulousness that is Portugal, that is stepping outside daily life, that is, as resident writer Denis Johnson said, “Writ[ing] yourself naked, from exile, in blood”:
“After working in isolation in Philadelphia for the past year, I started to realize that I’ve been waiting to be disquieted for some time. I was ready to be unsettled: I felt it in my bones, the restlessness, the need to find others like me. Somehow I knew I’d have to travel 3,500 miles before I could be reminded that there is but one nation, and that is the nation of writers.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve traveled, and never have I traveled for writing. This summer I answered Disquiet’s call, which proclaims that “stepping out of the routine of one’s daily life and into a vibrant, rich, and new cultural space unsettles the imagination, loosens a writer’s reflexes.”….
Warning: you’ll quickly find yourself longing for a glass of wine….