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"As we sat around the table each writer seemed a vessel for an entire universe, an abundance of memory in need of a method of making its way to the page. Linda gently draws her workshop members into a place where they attempt to capture memory as not just a flat, visual thing but a three dimensional, multi-sensory experience. Steeped in memory, the writer can render both places far away and directly in front of her. I left the session feeling full of possibility and connected to other writers who also seek meaning in the world." Virginia Ripley. L.A.

New York writer Dahlma Llanos, who participated in Ms. Lappin’s workshop on “The Spirit of Place,” praises the unique setting that brought the purpose of the workshop alive:

“There was certainly the natural and architectural beauty of Vitorchiano with its winding streets and potted gardens and ancient walls. There were the scattered medieval towns of Tuscia overlooking the lakes and valleys that few American tourists get to see. But beyond that, there was a heavy sense of a different time and people, that made the location of the workshop so special. Linda's lecture on the Spirit of Place was particularly helpful to me since in my journal writing I try to capture the essence of the place as well as its physical beauty. The experience was a much richer one than I had anticipated.”

Anna Duke Reach, assistant to the Kenyon Review writing program commented: ”Linda Lappin's ‘Spirit of Place’ workshop offered us a moment to pause, savor and reflect upon the layers of inspiration the town offered. Many writers created new work set in the town, but imagination transformed time. The place certainly transformed all of us—it was a wonderful trip!”

California writer, Sandy Sims, former Program Chair of the Bay Area Travel Writers association—writes: Linda's ‘Spirit of Place,’ was fascinating. She talked of place having ‘Indwelling Spirit.’ That is spirit indwelling the land itself, and that people, unknowingly, are always communicating with this spirit. That humans are an expression of their landscape. It's good to know the history of a place to understand this indwelling spirit. I have read several pieces and books of Linda's and she captures place beautifully and deeply with details that bring a place to life. I think a full week working with her would be a major asset to my or anyone's writing.”

Tuscia was the setting where my sleeping spirit was awakened. Far from the tourist-choked streets and throngs of museum seekers that is the daily grind of Rome and Florence, Tuscia's tranquil surroundings and unhurried pace is but one of the differences that sets it apart.

Within its immense structure lies a separate presence that is bound not only by the age of its weathered peperino stone foundation or the solid village dwellings constructed above it, but the feeling of a spirit of serenity and enchantment that comes from the natural beauty of the place itself.

Leah Cano

"When the opportunity to participate in a poetry workshop in Italy, led by Houston poet, Randall Watson, presented itself I knew I had to go. My visit there far exceeded any of my expectations. This area called Tuscia is fascinating because of the centuries of history that can be observed from the Etruscan tombs to ruined Roman theaters, Medieval towns, Gothic churches, and Renaissance gardens all placed in a forested and farmed landscape of ancient volcanism only hinted at by hot springs nearby. What made our stay especially nice was the warm hospitality of the people we met. My imagination is forever enriched by my time spent in Tuscia, a place I hope to return to soon."

Carolyn Tourney Florek
Poet, painter and publisher of
Mutabilis Press
Houston, Texas

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founder and director of Centro Pokkoli. Instructor for "Survival Italian," Italian culture and cuisine workshops. Glottodrama instructor and video maker. Learn more about him here.