“Just to remind everyone exactly why we are here, the following:
Professor Emily Rosko and I are here in Spoleto with a group of creative
writing students from the College of Charleston, in residence for almost a
month to study writing, practice the art, to travel and, simply and
complexly, to be inspired by our sister city. Today we met, on behalf of the
College and the City of Charleston, with the mayor of Spoleto, Massimo
Brunini, to give him and his city our best wishes, to thank him for the
inspiration his city has afforded us, and to read from our original work.
The mayor was genuinely pleased by our visit with him, though that may be
because in the other room adjoining ours was the annual budget meeting going
on in full Italian force–we could actually hear raised voices coming from
next door, and the mayor made a few jokes about this annual event, Budget
Day, and how pleasant it was to take a break to meet with us.
We were delighted he made room for us, and when Raena Shirali read a poem of hers
inspired by the city, and after our translator, Massimo Evangelista, gave it
to him in Italian, the mayor was quite impressed, and spoke of Giancarlo
Menotti and his influence on both Spoleto and Charleston, and of the
importance of the continued cultural relationship our two cities share.
So this photo is to let you all know of the wonderful bit of symmetry
occurring at this moment: while the Spoleto Festival is being held in
celebration of the arts in Charleston, students from Charleston are in
Spoleto, creating art of their own.”