It is 11 a.m. as I am writing these words. I am in Rome, Italy. Specifically, I am in the Northern part of Rome. To give you an idea, I am north to the Colosseum, north to the Trevi Fountain, north to the Vatican, to Pope Francisco and to all the locations of Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”. More specifically, I am sitting at a table in a coffee shop named “Non Solo Caffè” (“Not just coffee”). Even though to an external and unfamiliar eye this may look like a simple coffee shop, “Non Solo Caffè” is a universe on its own, a closed system like a Leibniz’s monad, whose inhabitants are teenagers feeling old drinking aperitivi and smoking cigarettes, white-haired people killing the passing time reading La Repubblica and playing cards, skinny Italian women eating tiramisù and men dressed up in suit, staying for just un-espresso-per-favore!. I am part of this universe too, from time to time, when I am back home from St Andrews. As a matter of fact, I am a habitant of this universe now, not as an insider anymore (I’ve given up that role the moment I moved to the bubble), but as an observer. It’s 11.30 a.m.. I am now drinking a cappuccino and talking to Emilio, the bar man, about Italian football (Francesco Totti played his last game with Roma yesterday, after being leader of the team for about 20 years, kind of a big deal around here). Emilio has good banter, as my British friends would say, and, even though he is fan of Lazio, the eternal enemy of Roma, he has kind words for Totti (I’ll miss seeing him on the pitch he says, and then he adds of all the bastardi of Roma, he was the best). I laugh, a little, and he smiles. What are you doing? he asks. I am supposed to write an article I say. Fico! (Cool!), he says, an article about what? About me being creative writing editor of the Tribe, I say. Seeeee, he says, which translates in English as That’s bullshit I am not a fool I don’t believe the words you are speaking (you can say a hell of a lot in Italian with just one word). And what are you saying about yourself? he continues. I am not sure yet, I say. Emilio is too busy to keep talking to me, there are many people in the universe-shop and they all need to be entertained. Besides, he is wasting his time joking with me. I don’t need to be entertained; I am just the observer, remember? A croissant for you? Emilio asks to someone whose face I can’t see. I stare back at the screen and keep on writing.
My name is Silvia Ventura. I am a second year Philosophy and Psychology student and I will be the creative writing editor of the Tribe during the next academic year. My love for writing started when I was a child and, incapable of writing myself, I would tell my dad poems and stories that he would then transform into words on paper- needless to say they were absolutely awful and embarrassing, but the point is: since then, writing has occupied a very big part of my life; over the past five years I have taken creative writing courses, participated in creative writing workshops and camps in Italy, USA and Scotland, where I have had a chance to develop my writing and editing skills.
My plan as creative writing editor is to make the creative writing section of the Tribe a chance for everyone to present and share their written pieces (like the ones that may be hidden or forgotten somewhere in a drawer but are worthy of being read). I would like to form a group of writers that meets every two weeks to brainstorm and write, where people can provide constructive feedback to each other and have fun producing pieces that can be published on the website. Furthermore, I am planning on organizing open mic nights and competitions for both poetry and prose. These will be advertised at the beginning of the year.
I am very happy to be next creative writing editor and I’ll do my best to be a good one.
Are you done? Emilio asks from behind the counter. Sì, I think so, I say, can I have another espresso per favore?
Interested in submitting your creative work to us? Email Silvia at firstname.lastname@example.org