Student Spotlight: Nada Samih

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

Nada Samih
Who are you as a writer?
I am a Palestinian American writer inspired by the relationship between personhood and place. I am interested in the slippery concept of home, local histories, and monster folklore.

Who are you when you aren’t writing?
When I am not writing I am finding troll bridges with my three kids (aged 6 months, 3 yrs, & 9 yrs), partner and parent village I’ve built over the years. I am also an English teacher and medicinal herb enthusiast.

To explore some of Nada’s writing and creative work, visit her blog: nowapproachingprovidence.wordpress.com.

The Writing Community

Which Frequency classes/events/anthologies have you joined?
My writing was featured in the “Missing Providence” anthology and I have been taking Frequency courses since 2014. Some of the more recent ones I took were: Urban Wildlife and Publishing Basics.

Which Frequency workshops stuck with you most, and why?
I took a writing course a couple years back taught my Seth Tourjee that blended and mixed genres, art forms, and methods. The readings, discussions and prompts encouraged me to build, break and rebuild my ideas in ways helped take my writing in different directions and break new ground. I often return to my writing from that course for inspiration.

How has being part of a writing community impacted your writing practice and life beyond the page?
Being part of a writing community has been extremely vital to my sense of self as an artist and has helped etch out a space for my practice even in the midst of the most challenging and time consuming aspects of raising a family. I am so grateful to have found a space post-MFA that has been sustainable, generative, and inspiring to my practice. My writing community has made it possible for me to make space for my emotional and mental health in ways that only tending to my writer-self can.

Who would you invite to join Frequency Writers?
Folks of all ages and writing experiences would benefit from joining Frequency Writers, but I want to send a special request to the parents and particularly other moms of color out there to join. The accessibility, availability of scholarships, variety of workshops, and amazing supportive instructors make it more than worth it to check out Frequency. Making time for yourself to think, read, write, and create are all acts of revolutionary self-love and therefore of the upmost importance for caregivers. No one can pour from an empty cup.

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Poem-Production at PVD Fest: Success!

 

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Thank you all who joined Frequency Writers at this past weekend’s PVD Fest extravaganza.

We enjoyed typewriting Poetry on Demand, and received such a growing list of poem requests that we will be wrapping up and sending out the poems yet to be collected. So good to know that many people appreciate and cherish the poems and possible poems in their day to day!

Special thanks to our volunteer writers, and those able to make donation-contributions. We loved featuring on-the-spot poetry by local writers:

MacKenzie Abernethy
Al Anderson
Jessica Kowal
Ehlayna Napolitano
Nate Vaccaro
Oliver Strand
Patrick Riedy
Rekha Rosha
Nate Vaccaroa
Rosalynde Vas Dias

If unable to attend but interested in contributing to Frequency, please visit our Support page, and learn about upcoming Writing Workshop on the Current Courses offerings page. Thank you all!

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Letter-Writing Workshop! Micro-Interview with Instructor Sara Wintz

Frequency instructor, Sara Wintz answered a few of our questions about the role of letters in her writing practice.  Her class starts June 17th, so there is still time to enroll!

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Do you remember the first letter you received/wrote? 

I don’t remember the first letter that I wrote or received, but I remember writing very lengthy thank you notes to family and friends. When I was a teenager, I had a very long correspondence with a relative, after his partner died. We collaborated on a fictional story together as a way to bond and transcend the grief, escaping into an imaginative space. It was the kind of optimism that only a child could have. I can’t imagine proposing a correspondence like that now – grief seems too complicated for fiction. But at the time, I think that it really helped.

Is there a particular literary figure, living or dead, you’d want to get a letter from? 

Dorothy Parker, because she was such a character.

What’s a published/literary letter or written exchange that you think about/return to over and over again? 

There’s a recording of Frank O’Hara reading “To the Film Industry in Crisis” with the Metro-Goldwyn Mayer theme playing in the background that I downloaded a while back on my phone and listening to it makes me smile. It’s such a clever, creative setting for a really, really good poem!

In your opinion, what is the advantage of a poem in letter form? 

A poem in letter form is another way to create a more intense level of intimacy with the reader. We associate letters with official or highly personal correspondence. It’s also extremely rare to receive a letter anymore! Social media is a popular form of communication between people and, messages published on social media often are statements shared with many people, all at once, rather than 1:1. This workshop explores communication, as one of many quintessential elements in poetry.

REGISTER NOW
Dates: Sundays, June 17 to July 8
Times: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
$160

 

Keep Alive nearly Forgotten Stories

One of Frequency’s most popular instructor’s, Victor Wildman is teaching a writing workshop that focuses on how writing can save and keep what we cherish:

Preservation Acts

Instructor: Victor Wildman
Dates: Thursdays, June 7th to July 19th (No class 7/5)
Times: 6:30 pm to 9:00pm
$250 (Partial and full scholarships available.)
REGISTER

Why write to preserve? Why now?

People make art, and people write, for a variety of reasons: maybe to communicate an idea, or express a feeling or a thought; maybe to enter into a dialogue with an audience. In the end, the marks on paper o (be they photographs or sculptures, paintings or films) are an attempts to fix something that would otherwise disappear, by giving it a form that brings others in…. [A] way to keep something that would otherwise simply vanish….

This impulse, usually in the background of artmaking practices, I am bringing explicitly to the fore by offering this course. Why? Because the way the world is increasingly moving—the pace at which life comes at us as mediated through our technologies—makes the act of preserving more important, and more difficult, than it has ever been.

How have you found inspiration in Zoe Leonard’s creative preservations? 

img-zoe-leonard_075409238391-769x1000Think of Zoe Leonard, all of whose work, in one way or another, comes from an impulse to keep alive the things she considers important. Her decade long project, Analogue, uses alternative Analogue photography which is more and more being displaced by the slick convenience of the digital.

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Analogue, 1998-2009

She photographed storefronts all along the Lower East Side, where she grew up, to capture the quirky, individual characters of these mom and pop establishments before they shut down, before they became the latest victims of gentrification to be replaced by the identical, chain stores we see popping up everywhere. She found a way to keep a world that has forever disappeared. Yet it is kept alive through these hundreds of photographs. It is still here and, because of this creative material work, it will never be entirely forgotten.

This course is ultimately about paying attention—looking and listening….

Listening to the world around us, in ways that we are perhaps not accustomed to doing so intently. This heightened attention has formal implications:

When Susan Howe tries to do for Lake George what Thoreau did for Walden Pond, she uses radically different means—a de-layering and a re-layering of history, an explicit thematization of the words we use in our descriptions. By revealing the strangeness of our naming practices, she liberates Lake George again into the wild…allowing us to see it, one more time.

Often things get lost, not because they are no longer there, but because we become no longer capable of seeing them.

So, in this writing workshop, we will read and consider films by artists who, through a radicalness of form, enable us to see things that would otherwise be unseen.

Everyone is welcome—all that matters is that one be ready to read and do the work, so that together we can move through some of the technical means necessary for keeping things alive— towards a space of greater awareness and shared respect.

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Testimonies of Victor’s previous writing students:

Marcy Wintrub

I don’t think I’d be writing anything if not for Victor. He keeps me moving forward by providing encouragement, inspiration and structure.  His assignments have helped me look at writing – and how I write – in totally new ways. I didn’t even know I was in a writing rut until his assignments got me out!

Evelyn Zepf

I’ve been in Victor’s advanced workshop since he started it and it has helped me immensely.  The advanced assignments are specific to the student’s chosen writing project – and Victor is really good at devising writing exercises that helped me develop the direction and voice for the story I’m writing. The weekly critique keeps me focused and able to edit and improve as I go along. He is passionate about teaching and interested and involved in everybody’s projects and I’m learning a lot from the other students’ writing because of that.

Kevin Neel

I took three of Victor’s seminars, and found them to be invaluable. I had had an idea for a writing project, but was not making much progress on my own, and Victor’s classes helped turn that around.  First of all, his encouragement and enthusiasm was infectious and inspiring.  I never felt any judgement, and his excitement about all of our work helped us to develop the habit of writing and to enjoy the process, rather than be focused on a final product.  And, lastly, I’d say that he had a really unique ability to help hone some vague ideas into a place, an era, and characters.  As a teacher, mentor, and editor, he was great, and I left each class much more inspired to continue my own work, and more equipped to do so.

Todd Yonkman

I came to Victor’s workshop with hundreds of pages of transcribed interviews. Victor helped me re-imagine my project as fiction and in doing so taught me the redemptive power of fiction. Victor helped me feel my way into my characters lives so that gaps in my knowledge became opportunities to explore rather than barriers to writing.

 

 

Typewriter Poems on Demand at PVDFest!

Come find us for interactive urban-jungle poetry at PVDFest 2018.

On Saturday June 9th, Frequency Writers invites you to contribute to our creative writing. The fun starts at noon on Saturday, with poets writing at least until 3PM. We will be downtown on Washington St., nearing the corner of Union St.

Know a poet or two who would like the opportunity to write poems for the public with Frequency? Please email coordinator@frequencywriters.org for more information about this opportunity and compensation.

The Creative Capital comes alive for this free four-day festival that celebrates artists from around the globe and around the corner.

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Student Spotlight: Kik Williams

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

I started writing poems the year I turned sixty. Since taking my first class at Frequency, everything changed.

I didn’t read until I was in my teens, with ADD and dyslexia, so, intellectually, I didn’t have much “school” confidence. If you know me, I’m sure you find this hard to believe. (I have tons now.)

I try to write daily….  think that part of my writing process is taking classes. Sometimes I use a technique that my Frequency teacher, Nick Rattner, taught us: start with “Today I have nothing to write….” Go from there. It works for me!

If I’m not writing poems, my goal is to edit old poems and to submit [for publication]…. I have tons of rejections but also personal responses saying things like, “your poem sat with us a long time, we really liked it, but in the end have chosen not to publish it.”

This past year I started to apply to residencies and workshops. Last October I spent a month in France in a residency with nine artists who have become life long friends. In December, I was supposed to go to Kenya for a residency, but there were political troubles and the residency was canceled. This summer I’m going to Sarah Lawrence College for a weeklong workshop. All three have given me stipends.

These opportunities would not have presented themselves without my Frequency background. I’ve taken over twenty-five classes with Frequency and never left a class feeling unsatisfied….

I encourage anyone to take a Frequency class…. Everyone is welcome, from the non-writer, to those with published books. (fingers crossed I get one someday!)

The Writing

I love getting in the zone, getting totally lost, without even thinking just writing a poem. Those are usually the best. I wrote one called “Kiss Men in Their 70’s and in Their 30’s” on a napkin, while I was waiting for my dinner in a Mexican restaurant. I am often creating poems in my head; I see something and the poem begins. I never remember them. Oh the lost poems in my head!

Kiss Men in Their 70’s & in Their 30’s

to feel love to know love
to touch my toes in love
feel my teeth in love
pull my hair in love
polish my nails in love
walk down the stairs in love
get a new hip in love
slick up my lips in love
let my boyfriend love me in love
perfume my breasts in love
pap my pussy in love
meditate in my chair in love
boy friend moves in in love
smell my pit hairs in love
scrub my dry skin in love
walk on my tippy toes in love
blink my eye lids in love
pucker my lips in love
look in his eyes in love
lust in love
drink margaritas in love
play with dogs in love
pick up chickens in love
let Lettie move to LA in love
she LOVES LA
drive the highway in love
sing along to the radio in love
buy a dress in love
snuggle in a blanket in love
go in the hot tub in love
talk on the phone in love
look on the net for love in love
wear a crazy hat in love
snowshoe in love
walk an icy path to the chickens in love
wear hearing aids in love
charge up the bitch in love
hug often in love
blab with friends in love
buy stuff in love
get in the pool in love
listen to music in love
write poems in love
divorce in love
eat Indian food in love
have a boyfriend move out in love
pee outside in love
plant a garden in love
hold the grandbabies in love
love the grandbabies in love
kiss in public in love
wash my hair in the tub in love
swim laps in love
imagine the water is your hands in love

To read more of Kik’s spotlight and creative work, visit the Frequency Writers blog.

Make Time to Write: Upcoming Workshops!

This season, Frequency is pleased to offer classes focused on nature, flash fiction, two youth classes including one online, and more!

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

Tuesdays 5/8-5/29: Magical Realism

Sundays 6/3-6/24: Sudden Address

Thursdays 6/7-7/12: Preservation Acts

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

Click the links above for full course information and registration.

We also offer gift certificates and scholarship opportunities!

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Writing can be an uphill journey; more joyful in good company!