Program details

Humans in the Environment: a writing and research residency

Program details

The schedule for the residency will include stays in Ho Chi Minh City (January 1 – 4), Bidoup Nui Ba National Park (January 4 – 7), and Dalat (January 7 – 9).

In Ho Chi Minh City, we will focus on orienting ourselves to Vietnam by visiting sites including the War Remnants Museum and Fine Arts Museum. We’ll take a trip through Ben Thanh Market, and experience local cuisine and history at Pho Binh, a secret headquarters of the Viet Cong. Our workshops and presentations will begin here at our hotel and at the Southern Institute of Ecology.

We will take a flight to Dalat and pack up into vans for the short drive into Bidoup Nui Ba National Park. A group of researchers will be holding scientific workshops concurrent with our generative workshops focused on environmental writing. Joint sessions will encourage interdisciplinary exchange. Plans also include hiking to a famous waterfall and a visit to a village of the K’Ho indigenous people, one of many ethnic minorities within Vietnam. Participants will also be invited to give a public reading in the park office in Dalat.

Our time in Dalat will be filled with sightseeing as well. A walk around Xuan Huong Lake with readings from the eponymous 17th-century, anti-authoritarian poet’s work, a visit to a spectacular pagoda, and perhaps a perfect café-au-lait at a fair-trade coffee co-op. Workshops’ focus here will be the poetics-of-place.


Before our trip:

Pre-travel orientation and writing session at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the tree ring lab with scientific researcher Dr. Brendan Buckley.

Participants will prepare 25-minute presentations in advance of the residency on environmental writing, eco-poetics, or other landscape-related literary topics. These talks will be presented during our trip.

Your facilitators will send a list of suggested readings with the residency packet. We will discuss these works in fiction, non-fiction and poetry during our time in Vietnam.