Do you admire the arts and enjoy creative practices? Good news! One of Frequency’s most popular instructor’s, Victor Wildman is teaching a six-week writing workshop that focuses on art, the creative process, and collaboration:
Making Writing / Writing Art: A writing class for all
Mondays, 10/30-12/4, (6 weeks)
6:30-9PM at Ada Books
Victor took some time to answer some questions about the class—
What are your hopes and intentions for this workshop?
Part of me hopes that, by bringing artists and writers so closely together over the course of six weeks, something very exciting will happen; not only will it be the case that artists will be writing, but also that writers will be making art. Ultimately, I see it as a laboratory where experiments will be performed, and anything is possible.
Who is this class for? Is it open to people who are new to the creative process?
This course is really for any person – for writers at all levels, and for artists who would like to expand the range of what is possible, explore new ways of making texts through intimate encounters and engagement with the other arts – painting, photography, sculpture, film . . .
Why now? What is the importance of practicing art today, as a community?
Anyone who has taken a Frequency course with me before knows that, to quote from the title of Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge’s Selected Poems, ‘I love artists,’ and often I find ways of building a reading assignment or a writing exercise out of an exploration of an artist’s work. Artists inspire.
What is different about this course is that for the first time, artists and their work will explicitly be at the center of all that we do together over the entire six weeks. This is a course about learning from artists – and about artists learning from other artists – in ways that will make us more successful with our words and creative work.
What artists have inspired you and the course curriculum?
We will be reading the writings and thinking about the work of a number of artists who have found a way of making writing an intimate part of their art making practice. There are ways, for instance, in which Zoe Leonard’s texts on other artists do the same kind of work as her most interesting photographic and sculptural projects; in both she finds a formally incisive way to respectfully engage with her subject. Ray Johnson would be someone who virtually eradicated the life/art, writing/artmaking dichotomies, producing written objects he would mail that are virtually indistinguishable from his art.
Having working artists in the class will make things especially exciting, allowing an opportunity to look at what they’re doing and discover ways – formally analogous ways – of doing the same thing through a piece of writing. I think the fact that we will be drawing from the work of many artists will make this course a particularly exciting experience.
Testimonies of Victor’s previous writing students:
I don’t think I’d be writing anything if not for Victor. He keeps me moving forward by providing encouragement, inspiration and structure. His assignments have helped me look at writing – and how I write – in totally new ways. I didn’t even know I was in a writing rut until his assignments got me out!
I’ve been in Victor’s advanced workshop since he started it and it has helped me immensely. The advanced assignments are specific to the student’s chosen writing project – and Victor is really good at devising writing exercises that helped me develop the direction and voice for the story I’m writing. The weekly critique keeps me focused and able to edit and improve as I go along. He is passionate about teaching and interested and involved in everybody’s projects and I’m learning a lot from the other students’ writing because of that.
I took three of Victor’s seminars, and found them to be invaluable. I had had an idea for a writing project, but was not making much progress on my own, and Victor’s classes helped turn that around. First of all, his encouragement and enthusiasm was infectious and inspiring. I never felt any judgement, and his excitement about all of our work helped us to develop the habit of writing and to enjoy the process, rather than be focused on a final product. And, lastly, I’d say that he had a really unique ability to help hone some vague ideas into a place, an era, and characters. As a teacher, mentor, and editor, he was great, and I left each class much more inspired to continue my own work, and more equipped to do so.
I came to Victor’s workshop with hundreds of pages of transcribed interviews. Victor helped me re-imagine my project as fiction and in doing so taught me the redemptive power of fiction. Victor helped me feel my way into my characters lives so that gaps in my knowledge became opportunities to explore rather than barriers to writing.