Women of Weird Fiction: a Reading Group at The Providence Athenaeum

ProvAth_Pretty-Deadly

From the graphic novel Pretty Deadly, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios

Led by Janaya Kizzie, the interim Co-Director of Frequency Writers, this reading group will explore great weird works of female authors past and present. In collaboration with Frequency Writers, group members will receive an optional writing prompt to further delve into the potential and craft of the weird in their own work.

This reading group meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7pm, September 13 through June 13, at the Providence Athenæum.

For a detailed reading schedule, more information, and registration, click here.

In addition, Frequency Writers is offering a spooky one-day writing workshop on October 29th, Exquisite Frankenstein: Reanimate your writing, also led by Janaya Kizzie along with Rekha Rosha. Information about other writing classes, community events, and scholarships are available on the Frequency Writers website: https://frequencywriters.org/.

Janaya

Janaya Kizzie lead last year’s Halloween day Frequency Writer’s workshop, Voices from Beyond, at the Providence Public Library’s Rare Book Collection room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcing Fall 2016 classes!

 This fall, Frequency is pleased to offer classes focused on poetry, playwriting, essay, and chapbooks, plus the much anticipated return of our Halloween workshop.

You are invited to our Open House on Sunday, September 18 at 186 Carpenter St. from 4:30-6:30 pm. Meet instructors and mingle with other writers in the Frequency community!  Click here for full course details and registration.

9/21-10/12: Open Poetry Workshop: Poetry for all levels with Erica Mena
9/29-11/3: Writing Between the Lines: An Introduction to Playwriting with Adara Meyers
10/9-11/13: Chapbook Workshop with Darcie Dennigan
10/11-11/15: The Essay As Form with Victor Wildman
10/29: Exquisite Frankenstein with Janaya Kizzie and Rekha Rosha

Accepting Anthology Submissions

We are thrilled to announce the 2016 Frequency anthology, City and Sea. Last year’s anthology collected writing about Providence and the many perspectives herein. This year, we invite you to submit writing that explores and imagines our urban and/or oceanic ecosystems.  

Submit your writing (in any genre) to frequencyprovidence@gmail.com by August 1. Prose submissions should not exceed 5 double spaced pages. Poets may submit up to three poems.

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Be Unique this Summer Break: An interview with Kate Schapira on Book City

With school out for the summer, there’s plenty of time to create! Even better than a summer vacation is the chance to use your imagination and learn clever skills that stay with you your whole life. Why not join Book City, a summer writing and bookmaking workshop for teens, taught by the brilliant Kate Schapira?  She spills more about into what to expect during Book City in our interview below.

Class starts on Tuesday, July 19 and runs twice a week for 4 weeks. The cost of the course is pay-what-you-can with a sliding scale of $10-175.  No prior writing experience required! Register today to secure your spot.

Thank you to RISCA for supporting this class!

Q: Can you imagine what it might be like as a teenager interested in writing, but possibly intimidated to share secret thoughts?

A: Not only can I imagine that, I’ve been that! It was a while ago, but I remember it well enough to say a few things that I wish someone had told me at that time:

  • You don’t have to share your secret thoughts. The things that you include in your writing can be things that the people who know you already know you think, or things that you make up. Writing has more power for both writer and reader when it feels true, but that’s not always the same as telling every bit of the literal truth, though it can be. The writers whose poems we’ll read together are all over the map in terms of how much they choose to reveal. You can do what works for you.
  • It’s really natural to compare what you FEEL like to what everyone else SEEMS like—you’re the only person you know from inside, after all—but it can be helpful to keep in mind that everyone who writes has truths they’re worried about saying out loud or writing down, that everybody has moments of more or less confidence and moments when the possible consequences of telling the truth makes them nervous, and that everyone’s truth is important to tell and important to hear, when they’re ready. That includes you, and it includes the other participants in this class too, which is why we’re going to write AND read, talk AND listen.
  • We—the class as a whole—are going to do our best to make the room in which we write together an exciting, kind, and fair room, a room where sharing your thoughts (whatever kind) feels possible to you. If you have ideas about how we could make the room more like that as the class goes on, please let us know; think, too, about how what you’re doing could make the room more exciting, kind and fair for your classmates!

Q: Is it okay if students don’t have any prior experience?

A: Absolutely! This is a class for people who write on their own a lot, for people who never do, and for people anywhere in between. The exercises/suggestions for writing will be various and easy to try. If you think you might like to write a bunch of poems that go together and make a book out of them, this class is for you. 

Q: How is collage a good entry point into creative exploration?

A: Collage lets you make up some of it but not all of it, whatever “it” is. Someone else has done the making; you get to do the choosing and arranging. If making something new is feeling a little daunting to you, or if you don’t know where to start, collage lets something else provide you with the starting point, and you can continue on from there; it can be like getting a boost over a wall. It can also help you come up with combinations of words, images or ideas that you might not have thought of on your own, which can in turn get you started on trains of thought that are your own. This is true of words, images, or a combination!

 

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Dressing the Bones of Old Tales: An Interview with Rosalynde Vas Dias

Fairy Tales starts on Sunday, July 10. The class runs for 6 weeks and is offered sliding scale $160-275. Long-time Frequency enthusiast, instructor, and board member Rosalynde Vas Dias will guide you as you rediscover fairy tales. She took the time to talk with us a little about why fairy tales are the most important form you might not know you’ve been missing.

There are still some spots open. Register today!

FREQUENCY: Why are fairytales useful to writers of all ages and genres?

ROSALYNDE: Fairy tales or other received stories are like a rag-bag or button box the writer can turn to at any point in a story or poem to see what might be useful there. Sometimes a folk or fairy tale might provide an entire foundation or framework for a novel or linked short stories or linked poems. In other circumstances, the writer might just steal a little element to tweak a character or create a mood.

Literary authors like A.S. Byatt & Margaret Atwood have used fairy tale elements in ‘serious’ fiction and Helen Oyeyemi seems to have built all or most of a fine career on borrowing heavily from the fairy tale form. Indeed, the strange flatness of the fairy tale almost begs the writer to re-create and re-imagine new permutations to dress the bones of old tales.

F: How have fairytales influenced your own work? Which are your favorites?

R: I think the most obvious way that fairy tales have affected my own work is simply that they were among the first stories I heard or read on my own.   So, they were places I borrowed from to make narratives for myself which would have been for amusement only or wish fulfillment maybe. Later—in high school or college—I wrote one or two things that directly connected to a fairy tale or mythical tale, but I think I also wanted to use other things—relational things maybe—the way characters are bound together in service to a narrative or an outcome—they must do what they will do. Also, anyone who’s read my work or heard me read might guess that transformation fascinates and worries me—though I would credit religion and nature as provoking that preoccupation as well as all my childhood reading (except did I separate those things in my mind neatly or were they all part of a private cosmology?).

My dad read me Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales pretty early on & then I read them for myself when I could. Wilde’s stories are tragic, socially pointed, & often ending with strong Christian messages. I don’t know if I loved it, but the Hans Christian Anderson tale, The Tinderbox was quite vivid to me—I was a dog-obsessed child and there are three dogs in that story that function more like djinn. One dog has eyes as big as saucers and guards a chest full of copper, the second dog has eyes as big as millstones and guards a chest of silver and the third dog has eyes as big as the Round Tower and guards a chest of gold—now I know I must have loved the progression of the largeness of the dogs’ eyes and the guarded wealth—that’s internal & inscrutable logic. Also, this story required my father to explain both what a tinderbox was and what a millstone was (our neighbor, incidentally, had some outdoor steps made from millstones so that would have certainly come into the vocabulary lesson that ran parallel to the reading of the story).

F: What will the class sessions be like?

R: I like to begin with a little bit of writing time and that is often a good way to close as well.   After the warm-up writing, we’ll discuss the reading, maybe do some reading aloud & possibly some processing of writing progress/goals. There should be plenty of time each week for a critique component, but I don’t necessarily want that to dominate the class.

 F: What excites you most about the class?

 R: Nerdtastically, the reading material & other source material I’ve been gathering together is the most exciting part for me. I like to offer audio-visual resources for writers to look at as well as course reading & there’s no shortage of fairy tale narratives and/or imagery out there in pop culture. I think one is always drawn to teach what one wants to study and I could spend a long time with fairy tales and not grow bored.

 F: Word association! 

R: Witch – Bernadette Peters

Unicorn  – Peter Beagle

Shoes – dancing to your death?

 

 

Rosalynde vas Dias’s poetry has appeared in Crazyhorse, The Cincinnati Review, West Branch, The Pinch, Laurel Review, The Collagist, The Four Way Review, and elsewhere. Her first book, Only Blue Body, won the 2011 Robert Dana Award offered by Anhinga Press.  In the fall of 2014, a selection of her linked poems, ‘Sweet Herald’, was a Campbell Corner Distinguished Entry.