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2 weeks ago
For anyone who was thinking about applying to the PSP 2020 session: Should the program be canceled this year, your acceptance and scholarships would be postponed to the following session. And it just so happens to have always been our policy that if you wish to postpone your participation, for any reason, including avoiding travel right after a pandemic, you may do so whilst retaining your scholarship, even should we decide to run the program this year! So now, in fact, is still a good time to apply.
- there is no application fee
- every application is read by director Richard Katrovas and receives feedback
For more info, see letter from founder and director Richard Katrovas to the writers accepted to the 2020 session. ... See MoreSee Less
Prague Summer Program for Writers added 26 new photos.
8 months ago
Some snapshots from this year's PSP session - already memories. Eighteen writers hailing from the US, Ireland, Belgium and India attended this year's workshop. We presented readings by (in order of appearance) Francesca Bell, Stu Dybek, Kate Gale, Mark Slouka, Joshua Mensch, Justin Quinn, Richard Katrovas, and Patricia Hampl. Highlights of the special events include a wonderful lecture on publishing by Kate Gale, founder of Red Hen Press, followed by Q&A with Hana Zahradníková and Joshua Mensch and a visit to the samizdat library, Libri Poibiti, where students could pass around underground literature publications while listening to a lecture by samizdat publisher Mr. Gruntorád. And, like every year, we had tours by Miloš Čuřík (pictured) and professor Petr Bílek. We look forward to next year! ... See MoreSee Less
9 months ago
And...we're off! First day of workshops today, here in Prague at the University of Creative Communication, with a very engaging group of writers. Looking forward to the rest of the exciting month we have planned! ... See MoreSee Less
There's still time to apply to the 2019 Kurt Brown prizes! From their website: "Thinking about attending a summer writers’ conference? The Kurt Brown Prizes award $500 each year to emerging writers in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency." ... See MoreSee Less
For our Prague (and Czech-speaking or at least Czech-curious) folks, there is a reading coming up of Mark Slouka's memoir /Nobody's Son/ translated into Czech as /Daleko v srdci/! ... See MoreSee Less
Václav Havel and Arnošt Lustig both died in winter seven years ago (December 18th and February 26th respectively.) Today, sometime between the anniversaries of their passing, is as good a day as any to go back to some memories we happened upon in our archives: The presentation of honorary doctorates to these two men by the PSP and WMU over a decade ago (to browse the content of this longer video, please view it directly on YouTube.) ... See MoreSee Less
Finally, the next video in our little series of interviews with our faculty, this time with Patricia Hampl. For those of you who visited Prague and attended the PSP already, this video will not contain a lot of new information but it WILL allow you to be in the warm, glowing presence of Patricia Hampl as she bravely weathers the direct summer sunshine (courtesy of inexperienced camerawoman, Ema Katrovas.) ... See MoreSee Less
Jan Palach, the Czech student who set himself on fire to protest the re-occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, died 50 years ago today, after a three-day battle with his burns. On the anniversary of his self-immolation three days ago, Czechs gathered on Wenceslas Square and over a hundred other places across the Czech Republic to pay their respects. ... See MoreSee Less
Yesterday, the 17th of November, saw the 29th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Many Czechs took to the streets to continue protests which had started last spring, focusing on the controvery surrounding prime minister Andrej Babiš. This is a story to follow if you're interested in how the issues facing the US are, in fact, part of a larger picture, a conflict unfolding in Europe as much as in the US. ... See MoreSee Less
For our friends in New Orleans, we recommend this Improv Conference starting November 30th. The conference in New Orleans brings together internationally known performers, artists and scholars in an exploration of improvisation across the arts – cuisine, music, literature, visual arts, politics and oral history. More at: www.improvconferencenola.com ... See MoreSee Less
Another interview made during the PSP this summer - this time with National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon! ... See MoreSee Less
This is the first in a small series of interviews about the Prague Summer Program which we filmed in Prague this summer. Short interviews with Jaimy Gordon and Patricia Hampl coming soon! ... See MoreSee Less
We have been quietly assembling our Meluzína zine since it launched at the end of July. These are our humble beginnings. Alongside past PSP students, you may find works by Barbara Cully, Stu Dybek and Richard Katrovas. Are you a former PSP student or faculty member? Consider submitting to our anthology zine! Visit www.meluzinazine.com! ... See MoreSee Less
Our 2018 PSP family is dispursing today - armed, we hope, with lots of new knowledge and experience, though, like every year, the teaching was mutual. And we will never forget the 25th-birthday cake with which this year's students surprised Richard and Ema! ... See MoreSee Less
Nearly three decades after /A Romantic Education/, Patricia Hampl shares the story she did not tell in her first book about traveling alone in totalitarian Czechoslovakia. You'll want to listen to this excerpt all the way through or, better yet, read Hampl's latest book /The Art of the Wasted Day/. ... See MoreSee Less
2 years ago
Self-proclaimed "ex-poet" Richard Katrovas reads from his current project /Chained to a Tree: A Memoir in Essays About Poets and the Fools Who Love Them./ Don't be fooled by the sarcasm; Richard's love for poetry runs deep. ... See MoreSee Less
Prague Summer Program for Writers is with Stuart Dybek at Shakespeare and Sons Bookstore and Cafe.
2 years ago
Spoken stories and written stories blended together seamlessly at Stuart Dybek's reading for the PSP last week, where he read from his now-classic /I Sailed with Magellan./ ... See MoreSee Less
Prague Summer Program for Writers is with Jaimy Gordon at Shakespeare and Sons Bookstore and Cafe.
2 years ago
Ever wonder what National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon has been working on? At Tuesday's reading, she gave us a sneak peek of her next novel and introduced us to her compelling anti-heroine Frau Doctor Änne Lepus-Fuchs. During her reading, Jaimy looked up and said: "By the way, don't be afraid to laugh. My whole take on life is to laugh at macabre things." ... See MoreSee Less
At yesterday's reading, Joshua Mensch read from his new lyric memoir /Because/ and (at 4:57) talked about the refrain "because," around which he structured the narrative. /Because/ was published by Norton in May and is available at the Shakespeare and Sons bookshop (see link in comments to order online.) ... See MoreSee Less
In the spirit of today's walking tour on Franz Kafka, here are some bizarre incarnations of him captured around Prague - besides the, now classic, statue by Jaroslav Rona next to the Spanish Synagogue (at which today's tour will end), there is also the installation by prankster-artist David Černý behind the shopping mall on Národní třída and - even stranger - the shopping mall's Kafka-themed ad campaign and a restaurant in Old Town offering "Kafka snob food." Kafkaesque? Certainly. ... See MoreSee Less
Prague Summer Program for Writers is with Mark Slouka at Shakespeare and Sons Bookstore and Cafe.
2 years ago
From last Thursday's Prague Summer Program reading: Mark Slouka, inspired by the Harely-Davidson convention in Prague last week, reads his story "Angels Come to Panorama Heights" from his latest book /All That Is Left Is All That Matters./ ... See MoreSee Less
From last night's reading: Sylva Fischerová reads her poem "Hydra of the Little Daily Octopuses" co-translated into English with Stuart Friebert. ... See MoreSee Less
The first PSP reading of the year, with poet Justin Quinn, went by very fast last evening. Justin read not only his own poetry but also his translations of Czech poet Bohuslav Reynek. We will continue with the contemporary Czech tradition this evening with Czech poet Sylva Fischerová! ... See MoreSee Less
Yesterday was the last day to send work to our Meluzína zine - but don't worry, once we go live on July 23rd, we will be accepting submissions continually! We look forward to reading the work of our past students during July - and look forward to meeting this year's students later today! ... See MoreSee Less
To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we will launch our very own online zine at the end of our 2018 session which we will call Meluzína! The zine will consolidate the works of our past students and faculty, including the students who will participate in the program this year! Are you a past PSP student we have not yet contacted? If so, let us know! In the meantime, enjoy our logo! ... See MoreSee Less
It´s the last day to apply to the Prague Summer Program 25th anniversary session! We´ve received some great applications (and perhaps still will) and look forward to meeting everyone in the summer! ... See MoreSee Less
We're excited to finally announce this year's PSP faculty! Stuart Dybek, Jaimy Gordon, Patricia Hampl, Joshua Mensch, Justin Quinn and Mark Slouka will lead workshops, conduct conferences and give readings with spirited Q&A sessions! Our Czech faculty includes literary scholar Petr Bílek and Hana Zahradníková, editor at the prestigious Argo publishing company. We are also happy to have Czech poet Sylva Fischerová on board for a reading and a talk on the Czech literary scene after 1989. As in the past, we will also arrange Skype conferenced with writers who are yet to be announced. Once our student list is complete, we will post faculty spotlights! ... See MoreSee Less
It´s legends Thursday again! Here we bring you another Czech legend, this time about Horymír, his talking horse, Šemík, and their battle with greed. Take note: Like the last one, this legend also partially takes place at Vyšehrad, just up the hill from Hotel Inos, where our students stay throughout July! praguesummer.com/bohemian-legends-ii-horymir-and-his-loyal-steed-semik/ ... See MoreSee Less
One of the Czech Republic´s many strange destinations - and our students get to see it every year! ... See MoreSee Less
Why is the Prague Summer Program the world's best residency for writers? Richard Katrovas has put together a list which you can now read on the front page of our website. However, it bears repeating here:
--Beginning in 1993, PSP was the first study-abroad program for writers; we’ve learned how to blend creative writing and culture studies in a way that enhances the creative process.
--The PSP is tethered to one of the world’s safest, most beautiful, most culturally rich cities.
--The PSP is the best-organized program of its kind in the world.
--The PSP is the least expensive program of its kind in the world.
--The PSP works with home institutions in the granting of academic credit.
--No one is invited to join the PSP whose work doesn’t show promise.
--The PSP mentors strike a balance between honesty and compassion.
--The PSP offers significant financial assistance in the form of partial scholarships.
--The PSP honors all aesthetic and philosophical points of view that are compassionate and life-affirming. ... See MoreSee Less
It´s never too early to begin planning for study abroad. Here´s a motley list of things to see in Prague during the PSP! It´s on our blog, where we post on a range of topics related to the program. More soon! praguesummer.com/have-fun-storming-the-castle-places-to-see-in-prague/ ... See MoreSee Less
Prague Summer Program for Writers is at Bubenské Nábřeží.
2 years ago
This piece of graffiti depicting Hašek´s iconic character and Czech mascot the Good Soldier Švejk is visible from the exit of Prague´s Vltavská metro stop where perhaps a thousand people see it each day. Hašek´s iconic character was a kind of non-violence activist; he avoided combat and conflict by acting child-like and naïve, the absurdity of which was at the heart of the comedy of Hašek´s writing. However, he came to represent the average Czech, and thus Czech pub and beer-drinking culture, which can be nationalistic and often xenophobic, even as it remains fundamentally passive and non-violent. Needless to say, we prefer this version of the Good Soldier. (Photo by Ema Katrovas, 10.5.17) ... See MoreSee Less
Join us for our 25th anniversary! ... See MoreSee Less
3 years ago
I believe this program was a turning point for me. While I have published in various venues, I've never worked really hard at keeping it up. This summer in Prague was beyond enriching, and has encouraged me to begin writing a memoir of growing up in central Texas in a small Czech community, populated by relatives and friends of relatives who immigrated from what was then part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire in the early to mid 1900's. Wonderful program led by inspiring and gifted folks! ... See MoreSee Less
On this day in 1939, World War II officially began. Today, our thoughts are with our former faculty member, the late Arnošt Lustig, writer and Holocaust survivor, who both inspired and challenged us throughout his collaboration with the Prague Summer Program. The Holocaust was only one of many hells which humans have created for each other. In remembering it, we acknowledge all such hells. ... See MoreSee Less
On the night from the 20th to the 21st of August, Soviet tanks occupied Czechoslovakia, ending the Prague Spring. This is a clip from the film based on Milan Kundera´s novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being, mostly a collage of actual footage from the occupation. If you ever come to Prague, you´ll never take lightly this moment in history. www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FfR64aJ7fI ... See MoreSee Less
One of the many views from Vyšehrad, the oldest part of Prague, where all the legends come from: ... See MoreSee Less
The most beautiful library in the world, and it's in Prague!
A must see! ... See MoreSee Less
The amazing 2017 PSP writers! So wonderful to have shared Prague with you, and to have your wonderful work shared with us! Thank you! ... See MoreSee Less
Thank you Gao, from PSP 2017, for capturing this beautiful sunset over Prague this summer! ... See MoreSee Less
It's always a blessing being in Prague! Can hardly wait to meet the PSP students 2017! Safe travels! Private message us for any questions regarding your journey to Prague! ... See MoreSee Less
Prague Summer Program is excited about our upcoming 24th year this July! It's always a magical time! 2017 Participants, We look forward to sharing this amazing program with you! ... See MoreSee Less
Yet another reason to study writing with the Prague Summer Program: There are amazing fruit stands, EVERYWHERE!
Applications are still being accepted for July 2017!
www.Praguesummer.com ... See MoreSee Less
Prague Summer Program is excited for 2017! It's going to be special!
Still accepting applications for this summers session to be held in July!
Come write in Prague for an entire month, and fall in love with Prague! ❤️😊❤️ ... See MoreSee Less
Founding Director of PSP is on the organizer committee at WMU for this very important gathering on Addressing Threats to Justice, the Climate, and Civil Rights!
MLK Jr. Day
The Bernhard Center
Western Michigan University ... See MoreSee Less
Prague Summer Program for Writers's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less
Happy Holidays from all of us at Prague Summer Program!
❤️🌲❤️ ... See MoreSee Less
Prague Summer Program for Writers's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less
In remembrance of Dennis Chiang. 🙏
Dennis Chiang first came to my attention as the 2015 PSP applicant whose last name I misspelled innumerable times. Anyone who has dealt with lists of names—alphabetizing, logging into flowcharts, etc.—understands how vexing an oddly spelled name can be. That “I” before “a”, no matter how many times I noted it, messed up a number of my more fastidious bureaucratic efforts.
So, when I first met Dennis in Prague, he was the guy whose name had messed up several of my charts, my neat little lists (the fact that I blamed his name and not my own sieve-like memory will be lost on no one who reads this). He was, at first flush, a quiet, unassuming fellow, so I forgave him that “I” before “a”!
A single image of Dennis is seared into my memory. The program was coming to a conclusion; like everyone else, and like every other year but that July even more intensely, I felt sadness that something fun and edifying was drawing to a close. I came upon Dennis as he conversed with another program participant, and I realized that over the four weeks of the program I’d had virtually no contact with him. “Where have you been?” I asked, and kind of meant it. Where had he been? He’d not complained about anything. He’d neither engaged me in conversation nor requested a manuscript conference. I’d discovered later that he’d indeed attended most of the program events, but I’d not noticed him.
“I’ve been here,” he answered, smiling. And “here” was an odd, oddly beautiful indicator. Of course he hadn’t meant on that bit of sidewalk, on Sinkulova, in front of Hotel Inos in late July of 2015. “Here,” even in that moment, resonated as an existential marker.
He was a serious, self-deprecating, ironic, sincere, smart, sensitive, caring, deeply decent young man, and a truly promising writer.
As long as there is a Prague Summer Program, he will be here, inhabiting its ethos, representing the best of what we are.
Rest In Peace, Dennis. ❤️ ... See MoreSee Less
For 23 years the Prague Summer Program has brought together budding writers and some of the world's greatest recognized writers, together as one, for a glorious month in Prague! May writing programs such as these continue to thrive! ... See MoreSee Less
Prague Summer Program for Writers is with Patricia Hampl and 2 others at Shakespeare and Sons Bookstore and Cafe.
4 years ago
Symposium on publishing with the greats (from left Patricia Hampl, Hana Zahradníková and Richard Katrovas) in Prague during the PSP 2016 session ... See MoreSee Less
We are pet friendly! Pets and Prague Summer Program. They make great listeners! ❤️🐶❤️ ... See MoreSee Less
Powerful reading by founding director of Prague Summer Program, Richard Katrovas, at the Shakespeare and Sons bookshop in Prague! ... See MoreSee Less
After Yoga bliss views in Prague. ❤️🙏❤️ ... See MoreSee Less
Our first faculty reading was such a gift! The winner of the National Book Award, Jaimy Gordon, on her birthday, the 4th of July, in Prague! Thank you Jaimy! ... See MoreSee Less
Writing teacher hard at work on student work..., always.
Richard Katrovas-Founding Director of PSP! ❤️ ... See MoreSee Less