Student Spotlight: Mike Crowley

Frequency is honored to feature the voices and writing of community members. Our Student Spotlights bring you the words of some of our inspired writers. If you would like to share your own thoughts, please email coordinator@frequencywriters.org.


The Writer

With writing I don’t really have a clue, no plan no theme nothing really.
When I write I usually I go someplace. In addition to my own backyard, I have the George B. Slater Memorial Grove just outside of Pawtuxet Village with a distant view of the Providence river, or I drive all the way to Beaver Tail Lighthouse or up to Lincoln Woods or to the Providence Athenaeum.

I have an 8’ x 11 Mead spiral notebook, a black Uniball, and I’ll sit at a desk, in my car or on the rocks and stare at my notebook until some words come.

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For example, I might start: “At my usual spot near the cove, Providence River low tide, a couple of swans, gulls, crows… Almost quiet. A distant plane. Doppler drizzle hits the metal roof.”  Writing like this goes on for a page or two. Then a day, week, or years later I’ll look through the notebook and find lines and connections that I type up as a poem. For me, form comes later, way after I’ve got the words.

A Place to Land
It’s good to have someplace to go,
someplace from which to come,
a color scheme, an action plan,
a girl next door,
the why and wherefore,
will and won’t,
do and whatever you do, don’t;
a never never and a place to land
a pause in the warp and weave,
all hands on deck, hearts on sleeve,
heads that roll, a lost and found
and hills with variegated hues
when the sun sets, then night looms.

The Community

Frequency workshops are a joy.  I always wind up reading a lot of new (to me) poets and filling a notebook. I’ve taken a lot of Frequency workshops over the past few years, dealing with reading and writing poetry.

I remember it was a little intimidating to walk in, the first time, to sit down with 10 people I’d never met and share my writing. But the atmosphere is always relaxed, without pressure to produce.

The age range seemed to go from collage age to Baby Boomers, and anybody in between. There were no levels of proficiency or writing experience needed. No style required. Some members may never have written anything and/or shared it with others before.

My first workshop was led by Darcie Dennigan; an inspired and inspiring teacher and poet. The group would read a few published poems and talk a little bit about them. Then Darcy would make some suggestions for writing; sometimes with a specific prompt, sometimes just free-writing for 5 or so minutes. Members of the group can share or not share what they produced.

There’s no need to be brilliant, no pressure to compete.

Over the past few years, workshops with Frequency have always gotten me to write more, both in the workshop as well as afterwards. In all of the number of workshops I’ve taken, I’ve left with extensive and thoughtful feedback from the group.

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