Djerassi residency view of ocean

Djerassi/DVAN Retreat & Residency

The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) in partnership with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program offers nurturing, stimulating short and long-term artist residencies for emerging and established writers of the Vietnamese diaspora annually. This generous collaboration with one of the nation’s leading and most established residency programs began in 2018, upon an invitation from Djerassi director Margot Knight to Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Djerassi resident artist alumni.

The beautiful Djerassi Artists residence is located an hour South of San Francisco, on a 583-acre ranch above the crest of the Santa Cruz mountains, with views to the Pacific.

The retreats and residencies include lodging, meals by a local chef, and honorarium for a public event. Depending on available funding, we cover transportation costs.

Our residencies at Djerassi include:

  • A one week-long Retreat for ten writers, poets, or artists;
  • Followed by a public event.
  • A one month-long solo Residency for an emerging writer, poet, or artist

In September, I will be starting a fellowship at Stanford, so I knew that when I left Minnesota to attend a month-long DVAN residency at Djerassi, I was also leaving for the foreseeable future. I packed up my entire apartment, filled my car with as much stuff as I could, and drove to California from Minneapolis. Djerassi, compared to the flat plains of the Midwest, couldn’t be any further from the familiar, but it has been the perfect place for me to gather myself as I transition into the unfamiliar. It’s beautiful here. I’ve never seen any place like it. After dinner, we’d hike up the big hill to see the sunset above the fog line. Even my writing is inspired by the unfamiliar as I find myself exploring new genres. It’s been exciting. I don’t really know what I’m doing. But I’ve also learned here that you can be surprised by everything, even the things right in front of you. I say this as I learned that what I thought was the blue sky just beyond the mountaintops, is actually the ocean.

Hieu Minh Nguyen

DVAN Djerassi Artist Resident, Aug 2019

Writers Retreat in France

DVAN hosts summer writing retreats at a recently restored country house facing a valley and vineyards in the beautiful village of Vezelay (2.5 hours south of Paris). Vezelay is a magnificent medieval village in the heart of Burgundy, known for its UNESCO classified basilica and its wine patrimony.

With this residency, we bring together Vietnamese writers from Europe and the U.S. to forge dialogues across nations and encourage collaboration and mutual support. The residency closes with a public event in Paris in collaboration with IciVietnam.

This program would not be possible without the generous sponsorship of Jade Vu Henry, Ly Tran, Quoc Tran and Julien Nguyen.

Sunrise over Vézelay