Home Academic writing Because Hamiltonians rewrite: V. Hansmann ’72 – News

Because Hamiltonians rewrite: V. Hansmann ’72 – News


By his own admission, V. Hansmann ’72 said that changing his life after youthful rebellion and excesses during his university years led him to his current satisfying literary mission of leading a writers retreat at North Bennington, in Vermont.

“I bought an abandoned nursing home in December 2018, spent two years renovating it, and opened it as a 12-bedroom writers’ residence last June,” V said of his Prospect Street Writers House. The renovation of the Victorian home earned an Honor Award for Historic Preservation from the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2021.

V. Hansmann ’72 outside the library.

V runs “the front of the house”, looks after guests, cooks dinner for up to 14 residents, and performs the endless household chores that come with running a hostel. For him, it’s a way to get back to his roots as an aspiring writer before college life took over.

“My academic major at Hamilton was English, but my real majors were beer and pot,” he admitted. “I didn’t graduate with my class, nor did I graduate in 1974 after my second time as a senior in college.”

Memories that stand out from his years on the Hill are his participation in the student strike after Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia and his driving to California and returning a week after the fall weekend in 1970.

After leaving Hamilton this second time, V took on a series of literature-related jobs, culminating in a long stint at his father’s Wall Street office, helping manage other people’s money. “When the office closed in 2008, I decided to become the English major I had always wanted to be,” he said.

V’s first checkup was in 1985. “I got sober and my life slowly got better,” he said. Then the Bennington Writing Seminars MFA program admitted him without a bachelor’s degree. He graduated in 2011 with a concentration in poetry and non-fiction.

With that degree in hand, he could call himself a writer, not just someone who wrote. “What I loved more than anything was the company of other writers. It was a real experience of coming to Jesus,” said V.

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He now takes fulfilling pleasure with his retirement home by providing a haven that can open the door to creativity, revive a stalled project, renew overdue confidence, put the finishing touches on a manuscript, and restore a sense of purpose. community of the solitary writer.

V plans to oversee Prospect Street for another 10 years and hopes the company will soon turn black.