I’m excited to be teaching writing in Havana for the first time, March 2-10, with the prestigious Santa Fe Writers Lab. Well spend a week studying one of the most elusive questions in global culture right now: what happens next to Cuba?
Our case study is Havana. From our home base of the Converto Santa Brigida—a beautifully restored convent in the heart of Old Havana—we spend the week unwrapping the layers of Cuban identity, history, culture, and politics, to form a comprehensive overview of a striking and unique society on the cusp of difficult changes. We begin by exploring some of the oldest streets in the Americas, and work our way upward and outward through seven days of urban exploration.
Our goal is a stimulating engagement with Cuba from its founding to its current dramatic moment of transformation. Participants spend half of each day engaged in group activities in Havana and the surrounding countryside, and half engaged in writing and editing their individual works of travel literature. We study the history of Havana deeply to learn what is continuous, novel, or hybrid, and we visit Cubans from all walks of life to ask what the profound and exceptional culture of Cuba stands to gain or lose.