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NYU students gather in Vamvakou for the second dissertation bootcamp

The quiet, idyllic environment in Vamvakou is an ideal setting for focused thinking and writing, which is why five New York University (NYU) master’s students are in the Laconian village for a dissertation boot camp.

Among the five students who arrive July 20 and will be there through August 4 are one fiction writer and four poets, along with their professor, poet Maya Popa.

Crawford, the group’s fiction writer, is writing a novel about home. Devi is writing poems about multilingualism, family history, and geography. Christine is writing poems about love. Suchita is writing poems in conversation with Indian epics, while Margaret is writing about walking. Vamkvakou is making its way into each of their projects.

The program includes study in the village school, trips and tours around Laconia, participation in cultural and sports activities, getting to know the place and its people, and interaction with the community, which is expected to be a source of literary inspiration. Members of the NYU group said the following about the program in the village: “Our three weeks in Vamvakou are dedicated to working on various writing projects in poetry and fiction. We are so grateful to the town of Vamvakou for the warm welcome and for allowing us to use the school as our workspace. Thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for supporting young artists like us!”

This is the second consecutive year of the student residency program; last summer, seven NYU students along with their professor, poet Major Jackson, stayed in Vamvakou for a month. Each year, participants in the program get to know the village and the region, while the community has the chance to meet and interact with new people who leave their own mark through interaction.

The student residency program is part of the Vamvakou Revival Initiative, implemented with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).