Frequency is Hosting a Fiction Craft Session!

It’s Time To Write

Making Fiction: a 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
Dec. 6, 10:30am-2:30pm
Location: 186 Carpenter Street Providence RI 02903
$25-$50, sliding scale

Sign up at: Making Fiction


Meet and Greet Frequency’s Fall Teachers

186 Carpenter













Join us for a chance to meet Frequency’s talented writers: Kate Colby, Kate Schapira, V.H. Wildman, and Darcie Dennigan. These writers will give short readings and talk about their upcoming fall courses. This event runs from 3-5pm September 14th at 186 Carpenter Street. There will be refreshments and a chance to mingle. There is no charge and writers of all levels and interests are welcome!

Summer reading recs from local authors; or, Who is Mark Baumer?

Welcome to the second installment of our summer reading recs from local writers. This time, fiction writer Mark Baumer has three reading experiences to recommend to you.

We're not sure if this is Mark Baumer.

We’re not sure if this is Mark Baumer.


Mark Baumer once taught a class on mathematics at Hudson City Community College, but his formulas were so abstract that no students signed up for the class. To make up for the emptiness in the classroom, Mark drew human shapes on a brick wall and stood three inches from the brick wall while he gave his lectures. A few of his lectures have been archived at:


from Mark:

  • My favorite “novel” ever is one that I actually read yesterday. It is called “The Survivors”. I’m not sure who it’s by, but from what I can tell a bunch of children wrote it. One of the children is named “Bear Paradise.” Some people might not believe me when I say it’s the greatest novel ever written, but it is…so there’s nothing to not believe. Here is the opening paragraph: “At11:30am, central standard time something happened. It’s not clear what it really was. The human world just kind of ended. No one floated away or acted crazy with signs about the end. No one even died. Not immediately. They all just fell asleep. Like millions of bears in winter. Except that it was summer…” From there it went to glowing purple bears to farting trees and smoking peaches.


  • The third greatest book ever written is “Ghost” by Sarah Tourjee. This book is like a beautiful, high-powered racing horse that never dies because after its racing career ends it begins a secondary career as an economic consultant on a spaceship orbiting a distant planet thousands of years after earth melted. ***
vision quest

  • If I was only allowed to read one book the rest of my life I would probably read “Vision Quest” by Terry Davis because it is the only book I’ve read that was better than the movie version while also existing in a world where the movie version was also better than the book version. The movie and book versions of Vision Quest both exist in equal parallel universes of greatness in my own brain. 

Thanks, Mark!

***Note– we did not pay Mark to recommend Sarah Tourjee’s book. It just so happens that Frequency has the author of “the third greatest book ever written” teaching a class for us this summer. Coincidence.



Three lit events this Thursday!

Providence has lots going on in the literary world this Thursday.

Unknown-1At Books on the Square, Amy Brill will read from her first novel, The Movement of Stars.





Frequency’s workshop, Genre-Defying Prose, starts at the wonderful Ada Books.


And over at the Providence Public Library, it’s a literary Gala– info below:

New England Poetry & Art Gala


Providence Public Library Grand Hall, Providence, RI

Please join us for a special evening of Poetry, Paintings & Music, on Thursday, June 6, at 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM in the Library’s newly renovated Grand Hall and Ship Room.  Meet and be inspired by the poetry of Fred Marchant, Stephen Dobyns, Rick Benjamin, Wendy Mnookin, Richard Hoffman, Alan Feldman, Alice B. Fogel, Jennifer Militello, Vivian Shipley, and others!  A buffet and refreshments will be served. Doors open at 5 PM for registration, appetizers and art exhibits.

Featuring Guest Poets from throughout New England, the Gala celebrates the contributors of The Loft Anthology: New England Poetry and Art.  Winners of the 2013 Loft Prize for Poetry, judged by nationally acclaimed poet Denise Duhamel, will be announced live at the Gala.

Tickets: $15 by June 1. To reserve seats, please send a check with names and emails of attendees to:  The Poetry Loft, PO Box 8235, Cranston, RI 02920.  A confirmation will be sent to you with program details and additional information.

We welcome your questions at

Summer Reading Recs– post #1

This week’s recs come from RI poet talvi anselTalvikki Ansel, who has published two books of poems: My Shining Archipelago (Yale Series of Younger Poets Award) and Jetty & Other Poems. Her poems are currently or forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Kenyon Review, and in the anthology The Hide-and-Seek Muse: Annotations of Contemporary Poetry (Drunken Boat, 2013). She has received a Stegner Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, a Lannan Residency Fellowship, and a grant from the Money for Women / Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. She is an adjunct instructor at The University of Rhode Island.

And may we just also add what a lovely poet she is. Check out some of her work online at The Poetry Foundation.

Thanks, Talvi!!

woolfThe Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume III: 1925-1930
This volume of her diary covers the years Woolf was working on To the Lighthouse, Orlando, and The Waves. It’s mesmerizing, and unmediated by a biographer though there are plenty of notes to explore; read it straight through, or dip into it: observations on life (moths, running a press, the labor strike), fellow writers (numerous, including a visit to Hardy), family dynamics, and of course the unfolding novels.

summer bookThe Summer Book, Tove Jansson
First published in 1972, reprinted as a New York Review Books Classics series. A grandmother and child on an island in the Gulf of Finland. We don’t hear much from the widowed father, and the mother is an absence. The grandmother and child are close, cantankerous, and curious. The island is unforgettable: stone ledges, moss, visitors by rowboat, an ancient salt-water soaked bathrobe, and drift-wood creatures in a forest. It’s a novel, the scenes strung together like memory or prose poems.

montaleEugenio Montale’s poems. I happen to have Collected Poems: 1920-1954 (trans. by Jonathan Galassi) and Montale in English (various translators, Harry Thomas, ed.) handy; there are others. The poems make summer and Montale’s coastline seem elemental and timeless. The poems allow for intrusions—the insect bursting into the oval of light above a reader, and regularity—the cicadas’ cries, heat, and geology. Striated and layered, with wisps of history and narrative, I can’t let go of these poems.

… check back early next week for recommendations from Mark Baumer, Mary-Kim Arnold, and other local writers whom the vast Frequency Office Staff admire.

In love with Daniil Kharms

daniil kharms

daniil kharms

Maybe this just continues my tradition of falling for emotionally unavailable totally checked-out men, but in the case of Kharms, who cares.

Daniil Kharms (1905-1942) is a writer of short fiction, a poet, a diarist, a playwright– all of those things but none of them. As his translator, Matvei Yankelevich, says in the intro to Today I Wrote Nothing, “…in many of his best works, Kharms tests the waters of oblivion and then dives into negation, perhaps knowing that nothingness and infinity are one and the same.”

George Saunders wrote in a review of Kharms’ work a few years back (paraphrasing here) that in the process of trying to pound a nail, Kharms vaporizes his own hammer. Unknown

I love how his pieces feel strange but not, never, artificial. I never see the “writerly” or workshop-y move. It’s as if he’s too honest to actually be a writer.

Here’s one of his short pieces.

Blue Notebook #10

There was a redheaded man who had no eyes or ears. He didn’t have hair either, so he was called a redhead arbitrarily.
He couldn’t talk because he had no mouth. He didn’t have a nose either.
He didn’t even have arms or legs. He had no stomach, he had no back, no spine, and he didn’t have any insides at all. There was nothing! So, we don’t even know who we’re talking about.
We’d better not talk about him any more.


Hot off the press!

H_NGM_N, a magazine of poetry & poetics has a brand-new issue out and for many reasons, it’s close to our Frequency hearts.

First, Frequencier Andy Axel has part of his awesome “Futuroscope” series in it:

Second, H_NGM_N’s founder & editor Nate Pritts, who is also a fabulous poet, has agreed to teach a one-day workshop on publishing for us.
**Should you publish your work? Where should you publish your work? How do poets the world over deal with rejection?** These are issues Nate will cover in the class!  WRITING CLASS RI

Nate Pritts

Nate Pritts