The DISQUIET Residency in Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel in the Azores
July 7-16, 2019
“With the trip to the Azores, the Disquiet International organizers have created a winning paradigm for a writing residency. The mixture of dedicated writing time, mingling with Disquiet alumni and light programming, made this far more productive and pleasurable than I could have expected. Hopefully they’ll revisit this model for years to come.” – Samuel Autman, 2017 Residency Participant
For years now, alumni of the program have been telling us that they leave Lisbon so charged up that it’s a shame they couldn’t just go somewhere to write for a week, activating all the inspiration from Lisbon and writerly community at the DISQUIET program and critique gleaned from workshops. So we came up with a plan to offer just that at the post-program DISQUIET Residency in Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel in the Azores. You may think of the DISQUIET Lisbon program as culture and adventure and the DISQUIET Residencies as escape and craft.
The DISQUIET Residencies are just that: time spent writing with a group of dedicated writers. Residencies are informal but participants should expect scheduled writing time, either in your room or in a reserved space overlooking the Jardim José do Canto, a nearby 7-hectare botanical garden. All participants are welcome to attend all scheduled writing sessions or may pick and choose and find their own places/times to write. In the evening participants may choose to gather and read from work in progress with discussion to follow. Several evenings the group will be joined by local Azorean writers, and several informal and optional day trips will be planned to explore the area and environs. The city of Ponta Delgada is a cultural hub featuring the University of the Azores, regional archives, museums, theaters, and Portugal’s oldest post-Inquisition synagogue, which has recently been restored. And while known for its stunning volcanic landscape, São Miguel has also given rise to important Portuguese writers including the 19th-century poet Antero de Quental, activist writer Natália Correia, and contemporary novelist João de Melo.
Residents will stay at the Hotel do Colégio, a centrally-located hotel in a former music school, close to the marina, in either the superior or standard room. All rooms have wifi, a writing desk, a private bathroom, and include breakfast.
Key Dates: July 7 – 16, 2019
The following is a tentative schedule to give residents an idea of what to expect. Note that each day involves community breakfast followed by dedicated writing time, which is a chance to come together as a group and write–on our own, but together. It means not being left to go on Facebook or read Pessoa and sleep in. Of course, if you’d rather write in your room and from your bed, that’s fine too! Dedicated writing time is just about giving you the time and space to write, however and wherever you prefer.
- Sunday, July 7: arrive, reception + informal dinner
- Monday, July 8: breakfast, dedicated writing time, walking tour of town, panel with local authors
- Tuesday, July 9: breakfast, dedicated writing time, optional excursion (e.g. geothermal pools)
- Wednesday, July 10: breakfast, dedicated writing time, evening reading with guest author #1 and residents
- Thursday, July 11: breakfast, dedicated writing time, free evening
- Friday, July 12: breakfast, dedicated writing time, optional excursion (e.g. hiking the crater of a volcano)
- Saturday, July 13: breakfast, dedicated writing time, evening reading with guest author #2 and residents
- Sunday, July 14: breakfast, dedicated writing time, optional excursion (e.g. beach day)
- Monday, July 15: breakfast, dedicated writing time, closing reception
- Tuesday, July 16: breakfast, depart
Flight: Many round trip flights from Lisbon to Sao Miguel can be had for less than $150USD
Accommodations and Program Fees: DISQUIET has arranged accommodations for the residency at the Hotel do Colégio, which includes breakfast. The full price of the program depends on the type of room you’d like. The following includes residency fees, two half-day excursions, daily breakfast, and your accommodations for the ten-day program:
- The “superior” room: $2,595USD
- The “standard” room: $2,195USD
(The standard rooms are equipped with usual amenities including A/C, WiFi, writing desk and natural lighting. The superior rooms have the conveniences of the standard rooms but tend to be larger, with higher ceilings and a modest living room area. They are also in a quieter wing of the hotel.)
A deposit of $150USD will be required as part of the application.
“Whether we were discussing plot and character, or blowing off steam sharing thoughts by the pool, or soaking in thermal baths, being with a group of strangers who quickly became friends, while secluded in an island in the Atlantic ocean, with the common element of writing and creating, was a memorable experience and one that has further enriched me, as Disquiet always does.” — Marilyn Duarte, 2017 Residency Participant
We’re excited to welcome guest writers Natasha Trethewey and Karan Mahajan to the 2019 Azores residency.
Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014). A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she is the author of five collections of poetry, Domestic Work (2000), Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002), Native Guard (2006)—for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize—Thrall, (2012) and, most recently, Monument: Poems New and Selected (2018). In 2010 she published a book of non-fiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. In 2017 she received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities. A member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is currently Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University.
Karan Mahajan is the author of Family Planning, a finalist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, and The Association of Small Bombs, which was shortlisted for the 2016 National Book Award, won the 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award from the NYPL, and was named one of the New York Times Book Review’s “10 Best Books of 2016.” In 2017, he was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. His reporting and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, The New Yorker Online, and other venues. From 2018-2019, he was a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.
To apply, send a max. 15 page writing sample, contact information, the names and contact information of two references, and a brief bio to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Azores Residency” in the subject line.
Or, fill out a DISQUIET application and, under “Applying For” select “DISQUIET Residency in the Azores.”