(Photograph by Tessa Franz)
For those of you unacquainted with St. Andrews Presbyterian College, here is a brief and non-inclusive primer on the Brunnenburg program.
Mary de Rachewiltz (Photograph by Tessa Franz)
In 1976, a professor and a small group of students set out for the Sudtirol of Italy, bound for American poet Ezra Pound's estate. The estate, called Brunnenburg (which means "castle of fountains"), sits in a glorious valley in the Tirolean Alps, and it provided a home for that professor (Dr. Dick Prust, FYI) and his small group while they studied Pound's famed work THE CANTOS under the direction of his daughter, Princess Mary de Rachewiltz. Thirty-two years later, St. Andrews is still sending one lucky professor and up to fifteen lucky students to Brunnenburg, where they still study under Mary and her son, Sizzo, and are provided the tremendous opportunity to travel, both individually and as a group, all over Europe. They also do a meager repayment to the de Rachewiltz family by providing manual labor for the fully functional vineyard on site.
Sizzo de Rachewiltz (Photograph by Tessa Franz)
The students who travel to Brunnenburg take four courses: a class on THE CANTOS with Mary de Rachewiltz, Agro-Archaeology and Saints and Heroes with Sizzo de Rachewiltz, and a course with the chaperoning professor. While Creative Writing and English professors have often been the ones to go on the trip, students have also had the pleasure of studying things as varied as art history and even film. As a Brunnenburger, I went with the head of the St. Andrews Communications Department, and we made a full-length feature film during our stay in Italy!
Professor Ted Wojtasik, left (Photograph by Tessa Franz)
In 2007, a group of St. Andrews' finest assembled in Italy with Ted Wojtasik, a creative writing professor. At the Fortner Writers' Forum tonight, we featured work from those students and proudly turned the gavel to Dr. Wojtasik, the night's gracious guest host.
You can hear tonight's forum on the web or, as always, you can subscribe to the podcast for automatic updates.