Current Courses

Spring 2018

Tuesdays 5/3 & 5/10: Urban Wildlife: Writing to Co-Exist

Tuesdays 5/8-5/29: Magical Realism

Thursdays 6/7-7/19: Preservation Acts (No class 7/5)

Sundays 6/17-7/8: Sudden Address

Tuesdays 7/17-8/7: Flash Fiction

Saturday 9/15: Nature Writing

SUMMER YOUTH CLASSES – grades 9 to 12
7/9-7/30: Creative Cartography YOUTH

7/14-8/4: Facing Our Fears: Monsters, Myths & Fairy Tales YOUTH, ONLINE

A note about our rates: Over the past several years, Frequency has decreased tuition costs to students. You will see that some 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!

Magical Realism 
“Realism is a kind of premeditated literature that offers too static and exclusive a vision of reality . . . but disproportion is a part of our reality, too. Our reality is in itself all out of proportion.” – Gabriel García Márquez
This four-week course will explore the literature and craft of reading and writing magical realism, an international narrative style in which the miraculous coexists with the quotidian, and magic is employed in the service of truth. Students will learn about the origins and contemporary trends of magical realism and its use to express cultural collisions, experiences of marginalization, and differing perspectives on how, and by whom, reality is defined.

Readings will be drawn from both historic and cutting edge bodies of international literature, including classics by Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, and Gabriel García Márquez up through Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, and Isabel Allende. Students will practice craft techniques and generate original stories inspired by readings, visual art, in-class exercises, weekly assignments, and creative journaling.

Instructor: Maryann Ulmann
Dates: Tuesdays May 8th –May 29th
Time: 6:30PM -9:00PM
Where: Ada Books, 717 Westminster Street, Providence

SOLD OUT! This class has reached full capacity. Sign-up to be added to the waitlist.

 Urban Wildlife: Writing to Co-Exist

Creature Conserve is grounded in the belief that science provides the guidelines for how to save rare animals and live in balance with urban ones. But we need art to motivate us to understand and follow them. This workshop is grounded in the practice of this belief, by bringing the science of urban wildlife to interested writers who may use this science to create new writing that is relevant to their community and the creatures living there.

What happens when fiction writers and poets learn the science behind healthy co-existence with wildlife? How does the art of writing change to accommodate information one would normally find in technical papers and conferences attended by biologists and ecologists who work in conservation?

This workshop will draw on the usual suspects – voice, point of view, time, character, and narrative strategies to create urgent and compelling work – but with a twist. Around the clock and in every season, wild animals, both native and introduced – invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and non-human mammals – share urban space with people. Human-led expansion creates new homes for some animals even as it displaces others. Science (biology, ecology) can provide us with guidelines for how to save rare animals and live in balance with urban ones, but we need motivation to follow them.

This workshop will encourage and inspire you to generate new material through in-class writing exercises informed by exploring the latest in scientific discoveries about urban animals. Open to writers interested in all genres.

Course Texts will include scientific articles, poetry, and prose on the question of co-existing with urban species.

Instructor: Susan Tacent & Lucy Spelman
Dates: Two Thursdays, May 3rd & May 10th, 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Time: 6:30PM -9:00PM
Where: Ada Books, 717 Westminster Street, Providence

Preservation Acts
The art of writing as preserving is the art of keeping things alive. During our six weeks together, we will immerse ourselves in projects that seek to somehow preserve some aspect of our world, some moment of history, some 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 the otherwise eradicated or forgotten somehow close. 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.
Instructor: Victor Wildman
Dates: Thursdays, June 7th to July 19th (No class 7/5)
Times: 6:30 pm to 9:00pm

Sudden Address

In this Frequency class, “Sudden Address,” we’ll explore the ways that poets write letters, whether to convey a message to a friend, to defend their poetics to a financial benefactor, to give advice to readers, or to treat a reader like a confidant. From Langston Hughes’s Selected Letters to Elizabeth Bishop’s correspondence with Robert Lowell, from Diane DiPrima’s poetry collection Revolutionary Letters to June Jordan’s poem “Letter to the Local Police” and Frank Bidart’s “Queer” — we’ll talk about the performative elements of letter writing, the textual space where letters and poems overlap, write letters of our own (as true poets, with an open-minded perspective about what a letter can be), and read/discuss our letters with classmates in a workshop format.

Instructor: Sara Wintz
Dates: Sundays, June 17 to July 8
Times: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

 Flash Fiction
We will begin the course by reading a piece of “flash” fiction and discussing the use of story elements such as character’s wants/desires, conflict, character’s growth/change and resolution. We’ll also briefly discuss figurative language and author’s style. Each week, students will write one short piece of fiction with a maximum of 500 words.

By the end of the course, students will have generated 5-6 500-word fictional pieces.

Instructor: Kristen Falso-Capaldi
Dates: Tuesdays, July17th to August 7th
Times: 6:30 pm to 9:00pm

Nature Writing
Slow down and savor words in a natural setting away from your screens. Reconnect to the elements, observe the world around you, and connect with other writers. Learn nature journaling techniques using all your senses, and reflect on your relationship with the natural world. Read, listen and discuss pieces from authors, poets, and science writers such as Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Mary Oliver, Clare Walker Leslie, Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson, Winona LaDuke, and Richard Louv.

Instructor: Maryann Ullmann
Dates: Saturday, September 15th
Times: 10:00 am to 1:30 pm

Summer Youth Classes, for Grades 9 to 12:

Creative Cartography
This course is for teens in grades 9-12 (exiting 12th is fine, too). Multilingual backgrounds welcome with proficient level of English.
“The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into a new land.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Maps can be used as devices for inspiration, brainstorming, exploration, or visual and spatial expression. Explore creative cartography, non-linear storytelling, and visual poetry as a means of discovery and communication. Create new worlds or navigate new paths and ways of seeing in existing ones. Map internal worlds, dreams, abstract ideas or physical landscapes. Explore characters and narratives as they journey through places and construct the shapes of their stories. This is an experimental, multi-genre, and multimedia class designed to liberate us from the limitations of laying down letters like marching ants across on the page and more fully inhabit the worlds of our stories.

Instructors: Maryann Ullmann & Eve Kerrigan                                                                                            This course is being sponsored by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities      
Dates: Mondays, July 9th to July 30th
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Facing Our Fears: Monsters, Myths & Fairy Tales  (ONLINE CLASS)
Are there monsters under your bed? Perhaps in your closet? Are there monsters that you have to face on a daily basis? This four week online class will explore the role of “monster” in fairy tales and , myths, and our everyday society. The multi-genre class will focus on the central questions: How do myths/fairy tales/folktales help society face our collective fears? We do we keep re-telling these stories? How does the re-telling keep the fear alive, or alternatively keep us safe? Students will complete at least two significant writing pieces with a large focus on revision and the workshopping process.

Instructor: Karen Haskell                                                                                                                                  This is a pilot course. We are charging 50% of our regular 4-week class fee.                             You must have a gmail account as this class utilizes google classroom.
Dates: July 14th to August 4th


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