Past Course Offerings

Fall 2016

 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!

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

A note about our rates: Over the past several years, Frequency has decreased tuition costs to students. You will see that many of our classes are offered for sliding scale rates. We also offer need-based scholarships on a rolling basis. We offer these options in support of our goal of making writing classes available to all who wish to take them. By paying more when you are able to do so, you actively and directly support Frequency as well as your fellow community members. Thank you!

Open Poetry Workshop: Poetry for all levels

“I convinced myself that poetry was the purpose of life, poetry as counter-profession, as an expression of personal and mental freedom, as perpetual rebellion. Poetry became a revolution, and a permanent voyage.” — Etel Adnan, from To look at the sea is to become what one is

In the Open Poetry Workshop, poets of all ages and experiences, styles and interests, are invited to come together in joyful rebellion, voyage, and revolution through poetry. We’ll spend the sessions reading both others and each other’s work, and most importantly writing. This will be a generative workshop, one engaged in an ongoing practice of writing and experimentation in language, form, and content. We’ll encourage each other to try new voices and forms, styles and subjects, and imitate and (ethically) appropriate from writers including Etel Adnan, M. NourbeSe Phillip, Myung Mi Kim, Bhanu Kapil, Jennifer Tamayo and others. Everyone will have the chance to share their work regularly. All levels of writing experience welcome.

DATE: Wednesdays, Sept. 21- Oct. 12 (4 weeks)
TIME: 6:30-9:00pm
WHERE: 186 Carpenter Street, Providence RI

Writing Between the Lines: An Introduction to Playwriting

What is a play? What does a play “look like”? Why write one? In this six-week workshop, we will investigate these questions while exploring theatre’s transformative, transgressive power in voicing social urgency, political critique, and emotional poignancy. In addition to participating in solo and collaborative in-class writing exercises, students will read each other’s work aloud and respond afterwards from the basis of two questions: What draws you in? Where do you want to know more? By the end of the workshop, each student will have written a ten-minute play. Readings may include plays, provocations, and essays by boundary-defying artists such as Adrienne Kennedy, Harold Pinter, Charlotte Meehan, Maria Irene Fornés, Mac Wellman, Amiri Baraka, Caryl Churchill, and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.

INSTRUCTOR: Adara Meyers
DATE: Thursdays, Sept. 29-Nov. 3 (6 weeks)
TIME: 6:30-9:00pm
WHERE: 186 Carpenter Street, Providence RI
$160-$275 sliding scale

 Chapbook Workshop

This workshop will give you feedback on a chapbook of your own writing–prose, poems, anything in between or outside. We will meet each Sunday for six weeks, and in that time we’ll read chapbooks (by Gwendolyn Brooks, Carrie Lorig, Evelyn Hampton, and others) and talk about their structures and possibilities and secret lives. And of course we’ll look closely at your own chapbook in progress. All participants will get feedback on their chapbooks and also have the option of trying experiments with titles, chronology, and writing into their texts. This workshop will work best for writers with approximately 10-30 pages of work already in progress. This is an intensive class, limited to 8 students.

INSTRUCTOR: Darcie Dennigan
DATE: Sundays, Oct. 9-Nov 13 (6 weeks)
TIME: 5:00-7:30pm
WHERE: 186 Carpenter Street, Providence RI

The Essay as Form

According to Theodor Adorno, ‘The essay erects no scaffolding and no structure’ – whenever one tries to pin it down, the essay is always something else – infinitely flexible, open, subtle – and it takes its shape from what it seeks to find, discover, or explore. It is a form that is always starting again, it is an attempt, ‘to assay.’ To compose essays one must be very comfortable with not knowing, one must be curious, one must be open. Each week we will read or (assuming the logistics can be managed) see an essay (yes, there are essay films as well) that will serve us as a model for the essays we will make, which we will then discuss in class. And these will serve as joyful models for our own. All you need to be open, curious, ready to explore – to read and see – and then to write.

Among the possible writers we will be reading are Susan Howe, John Edgar Wideman, Chantal Akerman, and of course, Theodor Adorno, whose essential essay, ‘Essay as form’ will inaugurate the course.

INSTRUCTOR: Victor Wildman
DATE: Tuesdays, Oct. 11-Nov. 15 (6 weeks)
TIME: 6:30-9:00pm
WHERE: Ada Books, 717 Westminster Street, Providence RI
$160-275 sliding scale

Exquisite Frankenstein: Reanimate your writing

On a dark night 200 years ago, Mary Shelley wrought the nightmares of a year without summer and deep personal tragedy into the story of Frankenstein and his monster. In this course, students will step into a Regency-inspired space to cull inspiration from the darker wells and arcane secrets in Frankenstein and other works about reanimation. Led by Historical Fiction Collaborative’s Rekha Rosha, and Frequency’s Janaya Kizzie, for all levels and genres of writers.

INSTRUCTOR: Janaya Kizzie and Rekha Rosha
DATE: Saturday, October 29
TIME: 10am-2pm
WHERE: 186 Carpenter Street, Providence RI
$25-$60 sliding scale


Some of the courses we’ve offered in the past…

Winter/Spring 2015:

Narrative Strategies: A six-week fiction workshop

In this six-week workshop we will explore a variety of ways of constructing works of fiction. We will find our inspiration not exclusively through exposure to other works of fiction (novels, short stories, etc.), but from “real life,” from poems, works of non-fiction, photography, film and music. Each week we will read or see or listen to something that will serve us as a model for the fictions we will make, which we will then discuss in class. A joyful open attitude combined with a commitment to show up each week and do the work is all that I expect and hope you’ll bring.

Among the writers and artists whose work we may be encountering are William Boyd, William Gaddis, Thomas Bernhard, Janet Malcolm, Agnes Martin, W. S. Sebald, Morton Feldman, Barbara Guest, Philip Guston, Chantal Akerman, Zoe Leonard, Charles Reznikoff, Piero Della Francesca, and Jorge Luis Borges.

DATES: Wednesdays, March 4-April 8, 2015
TIME: 7:00pm-9:30pm
WHERE: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: Sliding scale $160-280


Collaborations: A multi-disciplinary, six-week writing course

This is a course for writers of all genres and levels of experience who are interested in collaborating with other artistic mediums. Visiting local artists will lead collaborations with writers in the course in different artistic fields. In-class and out-of-class exercises will guide writers in an interdisciplinary conversation with each other, with existing works, and with new ways of generating work outside of their primary form. The class will conclude in celebration with a public performance of created work.

INSTRUCTORS: Sarah Tourjee and Ren Evans
DATES: Sundays, March 22-April 26, 2015
TIME: 1:00pm-3:30pm
WHERE: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: $175  **Thanks to a grant from RISCA, we are able to offer this course at a significantly reduced rate. Thank you, RISCA!**


The Dreamlife of Objects: A four-week poetry workshop

During this course, we will expand our poetic registers by writing about objects a la various “schools” of poetic thought, ranging from Stridentism (in Latin America) to OULIPOU (Francophone nations) to some experimental techniques of the here and now (all over) as well as a few short essays on poetry. Each week, we will read and critique each writer’s poems and discuss the reading. The goal, as always, is to have fun and to play. Hopefully, participants will discover some new voices to emulate and techniques with which to experiment. The course will culminate in a reading. Required texts include: Ales Steger, The Book of Things (Please order from Ada Books in Providence). The instructor will supply additional texts, in the form of emailed PDFs and paper copies.

INSTRUCTOR: Nicholas Rattner
DATES: Saturdays, April 4-25, 2015
TIME: 10am-12:30pm
WHERE: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: $160
Click here to register


Sufficient Compensation: A one day studio translation studio

This one-day studio course is for writers who are working on a literary translation in any genre (poetry, prose, experimental or cross-genre work, etc). It is for writers who are just starting on their first translation and for experienced translators who want to think through the challenging moments in a text.  This class will focus on difficult spots in a translation and will consider several concepts for managing these difficulties. Key concepts will include: isolating and translating formal aspects of a text, choosing aspects of a text to foreground in translation, sacrifice and compensation in translation, translating literary effects. We will discuss translation in theory and in practice and we will work on and discuss our translations throughout the day. Students should bring an excerpt of translation that they are currently working on—2 or 3 pages of text. They should bring the original and their draft translation in hard copy.

DATE: Sunday May 3, 2015
TIME: 10am-2:00pm
WHERE: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: $50
Click here to register


Writing the Root: A one day studio course

Winter is the time to write inward rather than outward, to draw on what we’ve already gathered, to keep warm and close to home and dream. In this one-day workshop, we’ll work on writing that divines what sustains us through dark times; through poetry and prose exercises, both intuitive and formal, and some visualizations and tactile exercises, we’ll identify our resources and storehouses, our shelters and our warm cores. For shivering writers in any genre; poets should be prepared to try a little prose, and vice versa.

INSTRUCTOR: Kate Schapira
DATE: Sunday, February 8, 2015
TIME: 10am-2pm
WHERE: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: Sliding scale $25-$60


Fall 2014

Making Fiction Craft Studio

This class will explore nontraditional approaches to writing fiction. During the first part of the day, we will discuss craft through the work of writers including John Cage, WG Sebald, and Matthew Goulish. We will also examine some unusual journals, such as one documenting, with illustrations, the writer’s favorite kinds of light. We will look to other forms–such as the lecture, the catalog, the formula, the homage–and practice turning these forms into containers for fiction. Before taking a short break for lunch, we will watch several brief videos by physicist Richard Feynman illustrating the importance of curiosity and investigation to any creative endeavor. During the second part of the day, we will generate new writing through several short writing exercises. Besides creating new work, one of the goals of this studio is to emphasize that fiction can take an endless variety of forms.

This one-day studio is geared towards drafting new work and finding new ways to approach your craft. The pieces you’ll be drafting will be about, or inspired by, readings and prompts the instructor will share.

Instructor: Evelyn Hampton
Date: Saturday Dec. 6, 10:30am-2:30pm
Location: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: $25-$50, sliding scale

Poetry Off the Page

In this class we’ll write new poems whose true forms are something other than the printed page, as well as taking poems that started life as printed pages into four dimensions. We’ll try poetry in league with movement and performance, poetry mediated by technology, public and participatory poetry, and more, in a class with elements of discussion, workshop-style critique, and in-class and take-home exercises. Students should bring a long poem or sequence of poems to put through a series of transformations.
Instructors: Kate Colby and Kate Schapira

Dates: Tuesdays, Oct. 7 – Nov. 11 (six weeks), 6 – 8:30pm
Location: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: $250

Preservation Acts

During our six weeks together, we will immerse ourselves in projects that seek to preserve an aspect of our world, a moment of history, a work or person threatened with extinction of some sort—to see how through our writing we can find a way to leave a trace that brings closer the otherwise eradicated or forgotten. Through regular writing assignments, which respond to what we read or see or listen to for every class, we will dedicate ourselves to the creation of pieces that move forward our attempt to keep things living. A willingness to engage closely with the reading that is assigned, to take risks, and to do the necessary work, is expected. And the process, it is my hope, will be a joyful one—a reverential offering unto the world. The art of writing as preserving is the art of keeping things alive, and we should celebrate.
Among the writers and artists whose work we will likely be exploring are Susan Howe, Zoe Leonard, Ezra Pound, Walter Benjamin, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet, William Gedney, Paul Thek, Robert Smithson, Charles Reznikoff, Stephen Ratcliffe, Anton Chekhov, Wallace Shawn, and Hanne Darboven.

Instructor: V.H. Wildman
Dates: Thursdays, Oct. 9 – Nov. 13, 6 – 8:30pm
Location: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: $250

Improvisatory Poetics   

To write without a plan can open up unexpected avenues to meaning. In this six-week poetry writing studio, we will experiment with various ways in which poets can work closely with intention, fact, and true story, all the while leaving room in the writing process for improvisation, surprise, and even mystery. Our means will include commedia dell’arte, Mina Loy’s delirious word avenues, palimpsests, Kubla Khan, and the film Memento. Readings include poems by Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Mina Loy, Stevie Smith, Sylvia Plath, Li Young-Lee, Eduardo Corral, and Farnoosh Fathi. We will spend approximately half of each class reading and discussing, and the other half actively writing and experimenting with memory, dreams, language, characters, and texts. Bringing work in progress to class might be helpful but is not necessary. All are welcome.
Instructor: Darcie Dennigan
Dates: Sundays, Nov. 2 – Dec. 7, 2-4:30pm
Location: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: $250

Spring & summer 2013

That’s All She Wrote: Brief Encounters With Flash Fiction

A four-week exploration of flash fiction and the infinite possibilities of form, style, and subject that can be found in these shortest of short stories. We will read works by pioneering and contemporary flash fiction writers, generate new work through in-class exercises, share and revise new flash fiction pieces, and maybe even publish some of them.

Instructor: Kathryn Kulpa
Dates: Wednesdays, 6:30-9pm from May 8 – 29th (4 weeks)
Location: Ada Books, Providence
Tuition: $160

Serial Poems

How long can one poem be? What makes a group of poems into a series? In this four-week class, we will explore serial poetry in all its forms. We will look at how narrative, repetition, visual form, and meter can link a group of poems together, and we’ll learn techniques for expanding a single poem into a longer work. Participants will be encouraged to extend and sustain their writing practice, and expand on the themes that interest them most. Class will include readings, in-class writing exercises and weekly workshops.

Instructor: Mary Wilson
Dates: Wednesdays, 6:30-9pm from June 5 – 26th (4 weeks)
Location: 186 Carpenter Street, Providence
Tuition: $160

Genre-defying Prose

How do we write without the pressure of genre? What does this writing look like? In this workshop we will explore creative prose and its possible manifestations. We will read, and create, prose texts that invent themselves. Course readings may include selections from Nathalie Stephens, Mary Ruefle, Matvei Yankelvich, Gary Lutz, Virginia Woolf, Rosemarie Waldrop, Lydia Davis, and others. Workshop participants should obtain Walls (Anamneses) by Marcel Cohen, translated by Brian Evenson and Joanna Howard. The class is intended to be a positive and constructive space to take risks, share the results of these risks, and provide and receive feedback.

Instructor: Sarah Tourjee
Dates: Thursdays, 6:30-9pm from June 6 – 27th (4 weeks)
Location: Ada Books, 717 Westminster St. Providence
Tuition: $160

The Ongoing Conversation – How & Why To Pursue Publication for your Writing

In this intensive 4-hour class, we’ll explore the sometimes fraught landscape of literary publication. We’ll track through the importance of publication from both the spiritual / aesthetic side as well as from the more pragmatic perspective. We’ll itemize resources & discuss best practices while also examining the history of literary publication – both in terms of literary journals & publishing houses, as they are records of literary movements & as they forge sustaining relationships in the lives of our major authors. I’ll rely on my own experience as someone who cluelessly published his first poem at age 21 (in a journal I had never seen before…& in fact NEVER saw!) to where I am right now as a WRITER (my 6th book of poems just out & a long list of individual publications) & EDITOR (as my journal/press H_NGM_N enters its 12th year!). Participants are also invited to bring one short piece to workshop.

Instructor: Nate Pritts
Date: Saturday, June 22, 10:30-2:30.
Location: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition: $50

Word Makes World: Writing for Theater and Performance

Each play is a blueprint for an event and posits a world. The playwright writes language to be swallowed, absorbed by bodies and released back into space on breath, the new world enacted. In this class, we will explore the potential of text as nutrition for the transformative theatrical encounter. More simply, this is a six-week introductory class for anyone interested in writing plays or text for performance. We will read plays by writers who have pushed the form, do in class exercises and weekly assignments, and read and respond to each other’s work with the goal of engaging in a wide variety of techniques one can to use to approach playwriting from any direction.

Instructor: Casey Llewellyn
Dates: Mondays, 6:30-9pm from July 8-August 12
Location: Ada Books, 717 Westminster St. Providence
Tuition: $240

What Presses Most

This is a class for students who are ready to be braver in their writing practice and presentation. Writers will challenge themselves on two fronts: by writing in ways or under circumstances that are strange but important to them, and by exploring ways to arrange meetings between their work and the world. Plan for in-class writing, mini field trips, and the design and making of three chapbooks in six weeks. Writers in any genre are welcome; we will be reading and writing mainly short-form pieces.

Instructor: Kate Schapira
Dates: Tuesdays, 6:30-9pm from July 9-August 13
Location: Ada Books, 717 Westminster St. Providence
Tuition: $240 (does not include photocopying costs, which are estimated to be around $40. Frequency has a few scholarships available to cover the copying costs for those in need. Just let us know on your registration form that you’d like to be considered for a scholarship.)

Fall 2012

Archaeology of the Actual with Mary Cappello

Haiku Intensive: A Studio

Often misrepresented or only partially understood, the heart of Haiku contains many lessons for poets in its compacted form: image, metaphor, enjambment, attention, word choice, and silence. This intensive will survey the history and core principles while reading ancient and contemporary examples. Multiple haiku will be written and work-shopped throughout the intensive. By the end of the day you will be equipped to incorporate the powerful discipline of haiku into your life, using it to hone your poetic practice and increase your daily awareness. Bring lunch, and clothes suitable for going outside in.

Date: Saturday, December 15th, 11 am – 5 pm
Location: 186 Carpenter Street
Tuition is somewhat sliding scale: $85 – $100, according to your means
Instructor: Janaka Stucky
Janaka Stucky is the Publisher of Black Ocean, which has produced a number of best-selling contemporary poetry books as well as the annual poetry journal, Handsome. He is the author of Your Name Is The Only Freedom and The World Will Deny It For You. His poems have appeared in such journals as Denver QuarterlyFence and North American Review, and his articles have been published by The Huffington Post and The Poetry Foundation. He is a two-time National Haiku Champion and in 2010 he was voted “Boston’s Best Poet” in the Boston Phoenix.

Less is More: Letting The Poem Come to the Fore

Letting go is hard to do—particularly if you write, for writers are collectors, note-takers, cataloguers, hoarders, often tenacious in nature or practice…By looking at the minimal poems of Aram Saroyam, the Japanese form haiku, the work of Black Mountain poet Gary Snyder, Robert Creeley, Lorine Niedecker and others, we’ll set about paring down our own.  We will write poems and pull them through several drafts. We’ll cut the fat, keep the muscle, get to the meat and free ourselves from attachment to what is not working. It’s not going to be easy—especially for me—but we’ll be ruthless (and kind). Think: cleaning the house of the mind of the poem. Hope to see you on the other side: in the free and clear…

Instructor: Tina Cane
Dates: Thursdays, 7:00 – 9:30
Sept. 27 – Dec. 6 (10 weeks; class will not meet the week of Thanksgiving)
Location: 186 Carpenter Street

Hybrid Writing

In this workshop, we will consider what it means to operate between forms—prose (both fictional and factual) and verse. We will read work that isn’t easily classified as fiction, non-fiction, or poetry and share our own experimental efforts in a safe space. The literature we read will deepen our appreciation for the hybrid form while giving us insight into the more familiar terrain of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Texts will include: Danielle Dutton’s Attempts at a Life, Bhanu Kapil’s Vertical Interrogation of Strangers, Yoel Hoffman’s The Christ of Fish, Anne Carson’s Plainwater, and Lyn Hejinian’s My Life among other writings to be handed out in class. Students are asked to procure their own copies of The Christ of Fishand Plainwater. Writers of any genre and ability are invited.

Instructor: Evelyn Hampton
Dates: Tuesdays, 6:30 – 9:00
Sept. 25 – Dec. 4 (10 weeks; class will not meet the week of Thanksgiving)
Location: Ada Books

Writing in the midst of living: a studio class

Capturing life as it is being lived is a challenge for any artist, regardless of medium. During this daylong studio, we will practice techniques of writing (using sketches, notes, fragments, and catalogs) and observing (such as meditation) so as to add more of life to the page. We’ll also look at how structure (of pages, paragraphs, and sentences) affects the content and tone of what we write, making it seem more or less life-like. While our main focus will be non-fiction, the techniques we practice during this studio will benefit writers of fiction and poetry, too. Open to writers of all stripes and abilities and offered at a sliding scale to accomodate different budgets.

Instructor: Evelyn Hampton
Date: Saturday, October 6, 10am – 2:30pm (with a short break for lunch)
Location: Ada Books
Tuition: (sliding scale) from $25 to $80 (suggested) according to your means


Summer 2012

Open Fiction Workshop

In this four-week course, you’ll be introduced to techniques from a variety of practices, such as divination, method acting, and meditation, to broaden your ideas about what fiction is and how it can be written. We’ll explore what it means to see as writers so that we can transform the people, objects, and events of everyday life into the fiction we write. We’ll also read and discuss several stories by contemporary authors to learn how they’ve approached plot, character, and narration. Weekly discussions of your writing will offer feedback and fresh perspectives. Writers of any genre and ability are invited. Location: 186 Carpenter Street (in Providence)

Tuesdays, 6:30 – 9:00 pm; July 10 – July 31      Instructor: Evelyn Hampton

Open Poetry Workshop

How does what you read inform your writing? Is it possible to write a poem as if you were reading it, or vice versa? In this four-week course, participants will explore the poem from two points of view: that of the reader and that of the writer. We’ll examine the work of one contemporary poet (Robert Hass) and our writing will be prompted by the things we’ve read. Through close reading, weekly discussions, in-class writing and other activities, participants will learn to read creatively and write critically, and to draw their inspiration from a wide variety of sources. Location: 186 Carpenter Street (in Providence)

Wednesdays, 6:30 – 9:00 pm; July 11 – August 1     Instructor: Mary Wilson

Screenwriting Workshop

Have a great idea for a movie? Whether you’re an experienced writer new to screenwriting or a novice writer, this intensive workshop will enable you to learn strategies for planning and writing your feature screenplay. From honing your idea to building compelling characters and crafting effective scenes, you will learn the fundamentals of shaping and writing your script and receive feedback on your elevator pitch, treatment and the first act of your script. Location: 50 Orchard Ave, Providence, RI

Tuesdays, 7:00 – 9:30 pm; July 10 – July 31     Instructor: Michele Meek

Spring 2012

The Writer’s Notebook

This workshop is open to writers of all genres as well as visual artists (everyone!) We will indulge in notebooks by other writers as we expand our own raw scribblings. We will practice a variety of notes—the query, the list, the image, the character sketch, the paradigm shift. We will consider the raw bits of material that assert themselves before bending to a particular genre. Each meeting will include in-class writing and discussion of your work. You’ll be encouraged to generate new work each week and to submit revised work in May. You’ll have the opportunity to explore notebooks, defined in different ways, by Franz Kafka, Dorothy Wordsworth, Roberto Bolano, and John Ashbery (with Joe Brainard). These readings will serve as models as we experiment with form.
Instructor: Liz Howort

Open Poetry Workshop

In her Nobel speech, Wislawa Szymborska said that poets must keep repeating “I don’t know,” and that out of that confusion, dissatisfaction, and curiosity can come great poems. We’ll spend this session reading and drafting new work. Collections we’ll study–and steal from– include: GC Waldrep’s Archicembalo, Eileen Myles’ Sorry Tree, and Tony Hoagland’s What Narcissism Means to Me. Participants will be asked to try experiments that complicate and expand the possibilities of language and feeling in their poems, and everyone will have a chance to share work on a regular basis.
Instructor: Darcie Dennigan

FFFFound: Chance as Storytelling STUDIO

In this class, we’ll look at how randomness can help you generate new story ideas and open up new possibilities for stories-in-progress. All beginners welcomed.
Studios are geared towards drafting new work. The pieces you’ll be drafting will be about, or inspired by, select readings that the instructor will share with you. Come ready to read and discuss a little bit, and to write a lot.
Instructor: Matthew Derby

Writing Happiness STUDIO

In this course, we will look at a number of poetic attempts to write about happiness. How to do it? In fact, to do so seems almost taboo or somehow not part of what might be considered hip just now: the sexy, the edgy, the ironic. And, perhaps, also, more challenging to write. How to give happiness the same complexity given to sadness? Not a flat, one note song. How to do it without sentimentality? And, with sentiment? What makes a good poem about happiness? Can we even agree on that? Can it be sexy, edgy, ironic? We will read a number of efforts to “write happiness” and try, too, to write our own versions. All are welcome.
Studios are geared towards drafting new work. The pieces you’ll be drafting will be about, or inspired by, select readings that the instructor will share with you. Come ready to read and discuss a little bit, and to write a lot.
Instructor: Anna Catone


POETRY AND THE SACRED will consider a number of poetic efforts to map out the terrain between the ordinary, the everyday, and the sacred. We will read poems that are more direct or perhaps traditional in this thinking—as in poems that make use of Christian exegesis or midrash in the rabbinic tradition or Sufi poems that address the beloved as both the loved other and as God—and poems that are less transparent, or more secular. We will explore the work of poets who negotiate the space between the real before us now—the grass, the dirt, the bedrock—and imagination, poets who take up elemental human questions and human longing. We will read closely, too, for craft, for how a poet makes use of image and form, music and story, to deepen our considerations. And, we will keep as a kind of touchstone Keats’s idea of “negative capability”—to be able to be in an uncertainty or mystery without what he called “irritable” reaching after fact or reason—that this kind of engagement with belief has also at its heart the unknown, the uncertain, the contradictory, even doubt, disbelief. Instructor: Anna Catone
Winter 2012 Workshops:

Poetry Workshop This 12-week poetry workshop will give you a chance to make a sustained commitment to your work. Each meeting will include in-class writing and a discussion of your original poems. You’ll be encouraged to write one poem each week and to submit revised poems in March. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the work of three contemporary poets. These readings are designed to inspire and enlarge your work, and our discussions will focus on the poetry’s authentic rhythms, movements and sounds. Level: Open; Instructor: Liz Howort    January 5th – March 22nd

Poetry & Publishing Workshop This course is full. Check out our other January offerings!
This is a workshop for people who write poems, and who may be interested in publishing them. The focus will be on helping each participant to write, revise, and submit a packet of poems to several suitable publications. Along the way, we’ll read a variety of recent print & online poetry journals, as well as contemporary poetry collections, in search of the best place for each poet’s work. We’ll discuss titles, revision, editing, and cover letters, and most importantly, why the slow and sometimes agonizing process of submitting your poems is one of the best things you can do for your writing. Level: Intermediate; Instructor: Darcie Dennigan January 5th – March 15th (no class 3/1)

Creative Non-Fiction Workshop
This 12-week workshop will provide you the opportunity to enter different doorways to creative non-fiction, from the first person narrative to the travel log to the footnote.  Each meeting will include in-class writing and discussion of your original prose.  You’ll be encouraged to generate new work each week and to submit revised work in March.  You’ll have the opportunity to explore the work of many contemporary writers including David Foster Wallace, Annie Dillard, and Jenny Boully.  These readings will serve as models as we experiment with a variety of prose forms. Level: Open; Instructor: Liz Howort
runs January 3rd – March 20th


Fall 2011 Poetry Studios

These weekend studios are dedicated to helping participants draft new work. They are open to writers at any level— just bring a willingness to play on paper. 

Weekend Poetry Studio 2: Saturday, 12/3 10AM-2PM

Green How I Want You Green: Color in Poetry

We’ll spend the time considering how poets use color. Why do some poets pretend to have synesthesia? How can color words in poetry can help make language itself more concrete? Does each poet’s rhetoric have a corresponding color? From Rimbaud’s sonnet “Voyelles” to contemporary works by Dorothea Lasky, to Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Color, our readings will lead directly to experimenting with the ways in which color can be a theme, an element of craft, and even a tone of voice in poetry. Participants will begin or draft at least three poems during this studio, and leave with one more color-related prompt. 

Weekend Poetry Studio 1: Saturday, 11/5 10AM-2PM

This weekend studio is dedicated to the prose poem. We will consider Basho’s travel log as a hybrid text, encompassing prose and haiku to offer the haibun form. Basho will guide us as we consider the relationship between prose and poetry. We will engage in a series of in-class exercises to generate prose and haibun poems. Please come prepared to draft new work.

Matsuo Basho, The Narrow Road to the Interior
(Plus handouts provided by instructor)

Fall Poetry Workshop
A 12-week course open to writers at any level.
Texts: The Orchard, by Brigit Pegeen Kelly, For Love, by Robert Creeley, Selected Poems, Lorine Niedecker

Summer 2011 Mini-Workshops!
June’s text: Catharine Barnett’s Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced
July’s text: Kimiko Hahn’s Toxic Flora