Silence, Ritual, and Discipline

Our first gathering, hosted by BACAS Founder Pietro Costa and Co-Founder of Literary Programs Denver Butson, is a ten-day exploration of those three elements of the artist’s practice.  As we experience and discover the region and commune with each other, we will notice and explore how these elements, when practiced daily, create pathways to truly seeing and experiencing the world around and within us.

Our relaxing and meditative mornings and afternoons will book-end our immersive excursions throughout this dramatic and ancient landscape and its culture, an exploration of ancient agricultural, artisanal, and culinary history as it exists side-by-side with globalization and the contemporary world.

One day, we might spend the morning visiting the nearby Grotte dell’Angelo and the Museo del Suolo seeing how the grotto’s Negro river has for millennia fertilized the soil and designed the flora and fauna that flourishes around it, or learning about the Palafitte - early prehistoric human settlements on stilts at the entrance of the cave. Our excursions will immerse us in this landscape and culture.  We will see what tourists rarely see, do what tourists are unable to do. 

Other daily excursions during our first gathering include:

  • strolling through and learning about other hilltop towns

  • exploring Greco-Roman temples in Paestum

  • guided tours of medieval monasteries and castles

  • visiting a local Agriturismo (working farm) where ancient grains are being saved from extinction and dining on the “as-local-as-you-can get” delicacies, planted, cultivated, harvested

  • visiting the only organic Buffala cheese farm and sampling its delicacies

  • enjoying a traditional seafood lunch with the Mediterranean lapping at your feet

  • or simply sitting in a cafe or a bluff and contemplating the changing light

Evenings, we might, commune with BACAS’s artists/scholars-in-residence.  We might visit their studios, listen to and participate in their conversations and presentations, hear their music, watch their performances, or simply break bread with them.

During this first Gathering, we will have the unique opportunity to participate in some of the following evening activities:

  • a keynote reading/talk by our Distinguished Writer-in-Residence, Edmund White;

  • a reading/conversation with Writer-in-Residence Garnette Cadogan;

  • studio visits to the studios of Visual Artists-in-Residence Karen Revis and Arturo Ianniello with host Pietro Costa;

  • the opening of the exhibition of guest documentary photographer Grace Morgan’s street art photography (and a conversation with the artist);

  • a poetry reading, possibly in collaboration with musicians, our host poet Denver Butson;

  • a reading/conversation on Homer's Odyssey and its relation to the region with Writer-in-Residence Tiziana Rinaldi Castro;

  • perhaps a conversation with all our resident artists/scholars on the topic of our gathering and the theme of walking (a prominent theme in many of their works; and

  • an evening of the gathered guests, sharing their own work and reflections from our time spent here.