Student Spotlight: Everett Epstein

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

As a writer, I’m about 40% more observant of the world around me than I am in my everyday life. This makes revising my work always a bit of a surprise. I like to believe that I’m capturing the textures of a character’s world or the subtle nuances of conversation, but often I find drafts overwritten or too flourish-y.

That said, the process of rereading my own writing instructs as often as it embarrasses; revisiting a sentence, a paragraph, a story allegorizes that daily act of toggling between selves, between presence and detachment. This divergence, I hope, clarifies both selves:             the one on paper and off.

The former likes clarity, precision, and an adherence to detail (often exaggerated by parenthetical asides). He also loves to leave things a bit opaque. The latter teaches high school English, listens to emo music, follows the Houston Rockets, and uses a SonicCare Toothbrush. They’re both invested in the zine form and the intersection between graphic design and fiction.

To read some of Everett’s Epstein’s creative writing check out, “Lyndon, Reticulate.”

The Community

Everett’s writing is featured in the Frequency Writers anthologiesMissing Providence and City & Sea. He has taken over six Frequency Writers workshops.

Victor Wildman’s courses have stuck with me for their keen commitment to complexity and academic rigor; yet, I find the practical value of the readings and suggested prompts becomes clearer as I revisit assignments for my own practice….

S. Tourjee’s workshop…engaged me in zine design, which has been enormously impactful and generative. I still consider the final assignment: binding and then decaying the writings produced through the workshop. Often, I’ll find myself unwilling to kill darling sentences; having permission to rip a story into confetti was so liberating!

As a writing instructor myself, Frequency has been transformative for my teaching craft…. [M]any of the readings suggested in class, I’ve recycled to challenge high school students to think of their writing in more rigorous terms….

Beyond teaching, I think Frequency has forced me to more readily set aside time to observe, focus, and construct new writing. Doing so has (I hope) improved my design craft — having text to manipulate, collate, and bind…. I imagine that others share this feeling of growth in their practice: whether two or three-dimensional.

I would invite people looking to grow as observers and listeners to join Frequency…. Frequency workshops ask you gently and kindly to decouple yourself from your ego and attend to other people’s work and the world around you. Anyone caught up in themselves would benefit from the empathy and quietude that these workshops cultivate. I feel at my best — at my most attuned — after leaving class, a testament to the instructors, prompts, and Frequency community.

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