happening around here.
In December, I was very newly married, very happily working at my full-time teaching job, and generally content. Living abroad, although it’s something that I’ve always had a feeling I wanted do someday, was not something that entered my thoughts about the immediate future.
The American Academy of Arts & Letters, which is incredibly generously funding the prize, needed me to tell them whether I’d accept, if I won. So I spoke to my university—they’re kindly granting me a year’s leave. I spoke to my husband, who told me I’d be crazy if I didn’t accept. And then I spoke to the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and told them that I would.
In February, I was notified that I’d be receiving the award. Last night, at the Rome Prize ceremony in New York, the announcement was made public.
This means that, beginning in September, this will be my view (all photos courtesy of the American Academy in Rome website):
The craziest part: I’ve never actually been to Rome.
Also, I speak zero Italian. (Though Mac and I just signed up for Sunday-afternoon lessons, which I’m pretty excited about.)
Life works in unexpected, wondrous ways. I’ve worked full-time since the end of college, with a brief break for grad school, so a year to write is an immeasurable gift. I’m still wrapping my mind around the luxury of it and dreaming of what I’ll do.
Finally, if you are an expert on Rome, fast’n’easy language acquisition, the visa application process, or all of the above……send your advice my way.