Writing and thinking with Marianne is a privilege.

Matt Brown, Indiana Wesleyan University

I can’t think of an element of the workshop that wasn’t helpful and interesting. Looking at the world in a new way, which was part of what this course is about, is always beneficial.  Marianne is such a wonderful resource.  I really enjoyed her teaching.

Amy Vogelsang, University of Illinois-Champaign


I loved all of the exercises we did; they were very different and challenged us all.  We were able to have very thought-provoking conversations and share our opinions openly, discussing whatever we wanted without reservations. Marianne is amazing. She is so dedicated and so excited about this program.  She never failed to make each class new and exciting.  Young and fresh, she connects easily with each student, and she makes you think about life and appreciate the small things. She brought out my creative and pensive side.  I don’t really consider myself to be creative or a good writer,  but she was able to get some really good stuff out of me!  I think this workshop will help future students reflect upon all of their experiences in a way they never imagined.  I always left the workshop feeling very positive and refreshed.   Who knew I could be that creative!

Abby Walter, University of Illinois-Champaign


Creating Writing: On Being Foreign was just as much about the art of writing as the art of living.  Starting the class with a deep meditation, my peers and I were encouraged to reflect on our experiences as foreigners in Barcelona and use them to craft stories.  This class, and Marianne, not only taught us how to write, but  enabled us to better examine the life we were living, something that I feel has changed the way I now live.

—Nicholas Wallace, Fordham University

The workshop with Marianne really made writing a pervasive part of my Barcelona experience. With her encouragement, I walked through the streets thinking as a writer would, understanding the world around me in more beautiful ways.  I learned to think creatively in a second language, a skill that continually proves itself useful, and I learned to allow writing to be a part of my life outside the classroom.

—Lee Oglesby, Amherst College

For the past few years I´ve been getting increasingly frustrated with the fact that I was merely consuming music, art, and literature and that I wasn´t creating anything of my own. I´d attempted to write poetry and prose alike, and it never turned out how I wanted it to. Now I realize that I was trying too hard initially. In this workshop, I was able to explore my imagination differently than I have in years. After every session, I left with a sense of empowerment and creativity that I was not aware I had when I went in. Marianne catered to each individual student, offering us help outside of class and constantly being in touch through e-mail. I felt safe with her as my instructor and was willing to take larger risks. This workshop is probably one of the best things that has happened to me in Barcelona, as Marianne helped me to finally realize that I, too, can create. Currently, I am using everything I learned from the workshop and am writing a story.

—Rebekah Zale, University of Illinois-Champaign


This workshop pushed me to reflect about certain things I tend to send straight to the back of my head. I found the guided meditations inspiring, they helped me to get on “writing” mode, to clear up my head from everything else.  I’ve never had any desire to write a fictional story.  I was never really interested about writing stories in general until I realized that that’s what I do everyday. Either telling my parents about my travels, or writing in my journal – story-telling is everywhere.

—Sofia Lazo, University of California-Davis

I liked the visualizing stuff where we’re closing our eyes, it helped me lock in on some images and I like to make my writing really image-driven as much as I can.  I really really liked it when Marianne just kept feeding us topics like “religion…does god exist?…what’s the most important thing in life?”…etc… and we kept writing and writing.  I like looking back at my notes and seeing a ton of writing. It was awesome.

Alex Edstrom, University of California-San Diego




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