What You'll Do

You will participate in one of two small workshop groups led by one of our teachers, Martha Cooley and Sheridan Hay. Each 2.5-hour session will be specifically geared toward participants’ individual aims and abilities. Instruction will focus on imaginative vigor and clarity, elements of craft, and modes and means of revising. There will be no more than 8 people in each workshop group. Outside the workshop itself, you will have a half-hour private conference with your teacher, along with daily opportunities to share ideas and questions with both teachers and with participants in both groups.

You’ll also have plenty of time to read, write, take walks, and rest. (You can even schedule a massage with our on-site massage therapist!) And if you like, private Italian-language instruction will be available, either singly or in a group conversation.

Our Teachers


Martha Cooley

Photo 24

Sheridan Hay


Antonio Romani

Contact Us

Please email us using the form below if you have any questions.

Guesswork by Martha Cooley


Having lost eight friends in ten years, Cooley retreats to a tiny medieval village in Italy with her husband to recover from la strage, or “the massacre.” There, in this sun-drenched paradise where bumblebees nest in the ancient cemetery and stray cats curl up on her bed, she examines what we all must confront one day, mortality: how to cope with our lost intimates and how to reckon with our own inevitable demise, yet she goes on, eating fresh fish from sea, drinking espresso, nursing both her memories and her dreams of happiness to come. Linking the essays is Cooley’s escalating understanding of another, more painful death on the way—that of her ailing mother back in the States. Blind since Cooley’s childhood, her mother’s dry wit and refusal to be pitied leave them both stranded without a language to talk about her impending passing. But somehow, by the end, Cooley finds the words—each one graceful and wrenching.

Part memoir, part loving goodbye to an unconventional parent, Guesswork transforms a year in a pastoral hilltown into a fierce examination of life, death, grief, and—ultimately—release.


Available from Catapult.