Writing Master Classes in Mexico

Under the Volcano is a working break designed for writers who are ready to come up for air in an atmosphere of focused and generous critique. Convening in the foothills of central Mexico, in a setting of great beauty and cultural depth, we spend a week together outside ordinary time, in a program designed to stimulate both mind and heart. All our workshops combine high-level literary interaction with ample opportunity for relaxation, discovery and solitude.

Our roots in the village of Tepoztlán enable us to offer our participants an insider’s look at one of Mexico’s most beautiful and historically rich pueblos, one that has maintained its pre-Hispanic dignity through an impressive array of traditions and proud resistance to over-development.

All Under the Volcano Programs Offer:

  • flexible blend of scheduled and unscheduled time
  • range of accomodation for all budgets
  • interaction with Mexican writers & local residents
  • evening readings & informal discussions
  • excursions to nearby ruins & museums
  • optional on-site Spanish classes
  • local library project

“Tepoztlán is a magical setting for writers, and the workshop week was perfectly structured. Activities and events were paced extremely well, and there was always plenty of time for quiet reading by the pool or strolling the marketplace, exploring a fiesta or having coffee with new friends. The workshops themselves were of the highest quality. The teaching was superb, and I found myself looking forward every day to the group critiques, individual meetings, and evening readings. All in all, Under the Volcano was an amazing and memorable creative experience.”

“I’m still suffused with the warmth of Tepoztlán and the support of the group. The schedule offered just the right blend of work and holiday, and the right balance of group and independent meals. Best of all was the good will and generosity of all involved — the faculty as well as the participants.”

“The unexpected beauty of the village and the Posada left me spellbound; I’m still walking those cobblestoned streets, up the steep hills, turning a corner and stopping, dumbstruck at the bright colors of the ‘papel picado’ paper streamers festooning the streets and houses, hearing the electronic christmas carols chirruping out of one small backyard nativity scene after another. All of it an enormous gift.”

“I never anticipated that a single week could draw people together so closely, or that its effects would be felt so strongly several weeks later. When I sit down to write now, I still feel strengthened by that sense of community–which went well beyond the excellent advice I was given in workshop. I feel excited by the range of work I saw there, by the commitment of the program’s leaders, and by a certain urgency of purpose that I sensed in the best of its writers; that excitement is finding its way into my own work, even now.”

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