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English Honors Student Headed to Italy

May 06, 2014

An English major from Texarkana, deBie will spend May 25 through June 21 in Florence studying poetry and generating her own work under the mentorship of award-winning poets Dorothea Lasky, assistant professor of poetry at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, and Eileen Myles, professor emeritus of writing and literature at the University of California-San Diego.

Villa La PietraVilla La PietraIn addition to workshops and crafts classes in poetry, the program includes lectures on writers and writing, as well as readings and talks by acclaimed guest writers.  Participating students will reside and study at the historic Villa La Pietra and will take field trips to cultural sites throughout the Tuscan countryside.

deBie’s travel and program costs are being funded through ASU’s Alvin and Patricia New Honors Program Enhancement Fund, which was created in 2008 through an initial $250,000 donation to the ASU Honors Program by former San Angelo Mayor Alvin New and his wife, Patricia, who are both ASU alumni.

In her application for funding, deBie wrote that in addition to the opportunity to study with acclaimed poets, “Florence as a city and Italy as a country both hold endless possibilities as sources of inspiration for a young poet and writer such as myself.”

Dr. Shirley Eoff, Honors Program director, said, “This truly is a tremendous opportunity for Jenni to walk in the footsteps of writers who have produced great works in the past.  It will allow her to hone her craft and find inspiration in a unique setting while experiencing the support, guidance and camaraderie of a true writer’s community.  It really is the chance of a lifetime and a potentially life-altering opportunity.”

More information on the New York University Writers in Florence program is available online at

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