Attention, Film, & A Woman Alone with Frequency teacher Victor Wildman

Long-time Frequency instructor, Victor Wildman, answered a few of our questions about  his upcoming course and using cinema to become a more attentive writer.

Victor, you’ve taught numerous classes at this point where you incorporate the study of cinema in order to stimulate student writing. This one is focused on the figure of the Solitary Woman. Do you see this course as a meditation on character, setting or both those things?Victor Wildman

“Meditation” might be the right word here in so far as it necessitates a certain openness, a withholding of judgement, a holding back, and ultimately a capacity to stand before a character, not with the mindset of an all-powerful creator, but as a witness.  It’s about learning to pay attention, to wait for things to happen, or not happen. Observing a single character in a specific cinematic setting focuses your attention in a way that allows you not only to look, but to see.

How have you noticed your courses that braid cinema with literature affect student writing?

In a number of ways. Normally, it’s been about developing certain techniques for handling material. I often have students mimic in their writing something that a film is accomplishing on a formal level. For example, for Image into Text, one of the assignments was to generate, as Bergman does in Persona, a whole piece from a selected number of individual images, and just as Bergman brings the movie projector itself into the film, to make the physical process of writing the piece an element of the text. It was also about thinking about the kinds of things that, seemingly, only film could do, and to try to do them, in a formally approximating way, in the writing. I often use film to make students more viscerally aware of form, and this often leads to writing, that while initially restricted in its means, is surprising to the reader and the writer alike. In this way students often succeed in writing something that is awake, i.e. that feelsboth necessary and real.

Is there a particular text (novel or short story) you return to again and again for its cinematic quality or cinematic attention to detail?

The novel students will be reading during the six weeks of the course, along with watching and discussing the movies and doing the writing, Carpenter’s Gothic by William Gaddis. I see this book as the perfect literary analogue to the films we will be watching in that at the center of it is a solitary female character, Elizabeth Booth, who we come to know very well, not through any dominating authorial expositional intrusions but, much more cinematically, through observation. One of the most beautiful things about the book is how intimate we become with Elizabeth Booth by paying her the respect of our attention. And Gaddis makes our comprehension of even the minutest plot points dependent on precisely this attention. Moment to moment we are forced to give it to her, for otherwise we lose the sense of the entire book.



The Dramatists Guild & Frequency Writers Partner on Intro to Playwrighting

CSvich200On Friday, February 22, 2019 Caridad Svich will lead a free Intro to Playwighting class for Frequency Writers as part of the Dramatists Guild Foundation’s Traveling Masters program.  This class will be held at Ada Books from 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Caridad Svich received the 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement and a 2018 Tanne Foundation Award, as well as the Ellen Stewart Award for Career Achievement in Professional Theatre from ATHE. Her play RED BIKE is the recipient of an NNPN Rollling World Premiere. She also received an NNPN rolling world premiere and a 2012 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award for her play GUAPA, a 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize for THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS (based on Isabel Allende’s novel), and has twice won the National Latino Playwriting Award, including in the year 2013 for her play SPARK. Key works include 12 OPHELIAS, ALCHEMY OF DESIRE/DEAD-MAN’S BLUES, ANY PLACE BUT HERE, FUGITIVE PIECES, IPHIGENIA CRASH LAND FALLS ON THE NEON SHELL THAT WAS ONCE HER HEART and JARMAN (all this maddening beauty). She is also a theatrical translator, chiefly known for translations of the plays of Federico Garcia Lorca.
Workshop is free, but registration is required, as enrollment is limited to 12 participants.
Traveling Masters Logo 

We are looking for a few good people

Are you or someone you know interested in arts administration? We are looking for an Operations Director and Communication Assistant. Both positions are volunteer with a possible stipend.



OPEN POSITIONS: Please send cover letter and resume by February 22nd to

Operations Director: Oversees the daily operations of the organization while working independently and with stakeholders to plan Frequency’s long-term operational development. The Operations Director will work the Treasurer to compose and monitor the organization’s budget. They will also oversee the organization’s compliance, communications, marketing, space administration, and records and information management. With Artistic Director, creates and manages fundraising activities. This position is largely volunteer, with a possibility of a stipend. Work is done remotely, with 1-2 in-person board and staff meetings per month. Work time averages 6-10 hours per week. The ideal candidate will be local to Providence RI, have a passion for writing and community education, will be a thorough and organized administrator, and will be comfortable working with people of all ages and identities. Full job description here: Frequency Writers Operations Director full job description

Communications Assistant: helps to generate content for website, social media, and newsletter, manages website updates; familiarity with wordpress and paypal preferred, manages data for students, course registration, payment, and correspondence, table various events; approximately 4-5x per year, perform other administrative tasks as needed, team player as this position works closely with Artistic Director & Operations Director, mostly work from home; with occasional f2f meetings, 15-20 hrs per month with possible stipend.

Student Spotlight: Aishvarya Arora

f9506998-5152-4cbb-8b29-aae04b026a2dThe Writer

I am a first-generation, Indian American immigrant and this subjectivity is vital to all my work. In my poetry, I strive to name and interrupt the ongoing erasure of language, history, and memory that can occur during assimilation. I use poetry as a means to develop an Asian American political consciousness.
Who are you when you aren’t writing?
When I am not writing, I am doing clinical psychology research, and I am passionate about increasing access to mental health treatments in diverse communities.


The Writing Community

I took the open poetry workshop with Erica Mena last winter! I hope to take more classes this spring.
What stuck with you, and why?
Erica’s class was a wonderful experience. It was the perfect balance of flexible yet structured…always pushed students to consider how power and identity are at play in writing–and I was so grateful for this! We were challenged to read and think about some truly meaningful texts, and provided with some thought provoking, process-oriented writing prompts. I have a full time job and when I didn’t have time to produce new work, I was still encouraged to share existing writing with the class for workshop. 
How has being part of a writing community impacted your writing practice?
Being a part of the Frequency writing community allowed me to envision a new way in which poetry could continue to be a part of my life, even after leaving school.
As a newcomer to Providence, it also helped me make connections with other folks in the area who share similar interests.
Who would you invite to join Frequency Writers?

I really recommend Frequency for folks who might have a lot going on, but still want to refocus on their craft in some way. Folks who are new to writing or coming back to it after years–there is room for everyone!

I especially encourage other folks of color and queer folks to join the classes.


To learn more about our Current Courses and Scholarship offerings, explore our website or email inquiries to

Origin Stories for a New Year

This New Year’s we will start at the beginning: The origin.

screen shot 2019-01-11 at 2.24.25 pm
In this one day studio course we will take a look at the origins of space-time, the Earth’s geographical/topographical history alongside etymology (the origin of words) to generate new work or add to works already in progress. Appropriate for all genres, interests and levels of writing comfort!

Instructor: Nada Samih
When: Sunday January 27th
Time: 10:00 am to 2:00pm
Where: What Cheer Writers Club,
160 Westminster St, Providence, RI 02903
Tuition: $65

Read about Nada’s experience of starting out as a student of Frequency Writers workshop, or hear what she has to say about this class in the video below:


RSVP and invite folks on our Facebook Event pages.

bio 2018Nada Samih-Rotondo is a writer, teacher, and mother who is inspired by the relationship between personhood and place. Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, she immigrated to the United States at the age of six to Rhode Island as a refugee of the Gulf War. She has taught creative writing, literacy, and English as a second language to low income students in communities of color in grades 7-12 and through college. She holds an MFA from Lesley University in Fiction and loves creating from the intersection of all genres. She is interested in the slippery concepts of home, intergenerational trauma, and folklore. Her writing has been featured in the Masters Review, Squat Birth Journal and the Frequency Anthology. Nada can be followed on her blog:

Winter/Spring Workshops!

New workshops are posted, and registration is now open!

  • Start the New Year with a generative workshop all about origins.
  • Build worlds of sci-fi and imagination.
  • Develop mood and voice through music.
  • Explore more on our Current Courses page.

We invite you to join us for our Open House on Sunday, January 20th, 6:30 pm at Ada Books: 717 Westminster St, Providence, RI.  All are welcome to join us to hear from upcoming Frequency instructors and to mingle with budding and experiences writers alike in the local community!


Sunny, snowy downtown Providence.  Photo by MacKenzie Abernethy

Collaborative workshops will be led by Nada Samih, Karen Haskell, Amy Lewis of What Cheer Writers Club, Victor Wildman, Jodie Vinson, and Kristen Falso-Capaldi. Learn more about the many Frequency Writers leaders here:

Scholarship information for workshops available here:

Dynamic New Story-Telling Series, Stranger Stories, Clues Us In  

In May 2018 two Frequency alums, Judee Barr and Fallon Masterson, started Stranger Stories, a bi-monthly reading series where local writers come together to share true stories and personal essays in an intimate space. Artistic Director Rosalynde Vas Dias was thrilled to interview them. StrangerStories-logo_web

 Rosalynde: So, speaking for myself specifically and Frequency generally, it is pretty exciting to have two Frequency alums starting a story telling series here in the greater PVD area.  Can you fill us in on the origin story of Stranger Stories?  And have you used “Origin stories” as a theme yet?

Fallon: No, but that’s a great theme! The series came about because I lived in Chicago for a bit and took part in the live lit scene there. “Live lit” being defined as these readings of personal essays and creative non-fiction, a hybrid of storytelling and spoken word, but you’re “on-book” and reading from your work. (You can basically find a live lit show any day of the week there, it’s crazy how many there are!) When I moved back to Providence, I missed the ability to share my writing in that way and wanted to start a night. Then I met Judee at Frequency and realized she’d be the perfect person to bring the idea to life with me. She’d been hosting these salons at her apartment at the time, and had a real love for the community-building spirit of sharing your life experiences.

Judee: Yes, Frequency brought us together! Fallon wrote a piece about enchanted dust from New Mexico and another piece about being Italian, and I had to email her after class to say how much I enjoyed her writing. I loved her idea of creating a Providence space for writers of all levels to practice and share the personal essay form. I was holding these gatherings in my living room to make space for artists to share their work, and sharing pieces of our lives in a communal forum felt really powerful. We decided to give a reading series a shot! Thus began Stranger Stories. It’s been so much fun, and a thrill to get some support from the RI State Council of the Arts.

Rosalynde: Is there a particular bias you have as a ‘reader/curator’ when you are screening submissions for Stranger Stories?

Fallon: I’m always going to advocate for a story that I think will make an audience laugh. Even if it’s largely about something serious, if there’s a joke or two that seems like it’ll land, I’ll push for it. Pieces that are too maudlin risk veering on melodrama when they’re read out loud, if the writer isn’t careful. It can be done, though!

Judee: One of the things I love about creative non-fiction are those hilariously honest details that the writer can pinpoint in the process, the ones that are SO TRUE! and reel you right into their lives and their stories. The pieces that have sparks of that – the truth of someone, honesty that might be slightly embarrassing in a different setting – are the ones that really grab me.
Rosalynde: So this might be a softball, but can you tell us your fave non-fiction/CNF writer or tale-spinner?

Fallon: My CNF gateway, Joan Didion.

Judee: I don’t have a clear fav – I met the creative non-fiction form as a writer much more than a reader. But I have been blown away by Janet Malcolm.

Rosalynde: Can you challenge our readership with a CNF form they might use to access some particularly personal material?  OR what do you say when someone says their life is boring? 

Fallon: I like the Sherry Simpson “Tiny Masters” exercise, which comes off of a quote from Susan Orleans about how she’s most interested in writing about people who are masters of their “tiny domains.” Simpson’s idea comes from using this as a personal essay tool to shift the focus off ourselves, to our places of knowledge and power.  To do the exercise, you write a list of ten things you consider yourself a master at. Maybe you’re an insane parallel parker or bread baker or master of apologizing. Pick an item off your list and jump in. In drafts, ask yourself, “What is this really about?” and the deeper level of your essay will become clear. It’s a good way to get at some unexpectedly heavy stuff, but sort of through a side door.

Judee: Our lives are worlds of fascinating weirdness. It’s all about noticing those strange details that add up to being a person, finding a way to access them like with the exercise that Fallon suggested. We did an exercise that I really enjoyed in a Frequency class called “Margins” led by Evelyn Hampton – we wrote a short personal essay, added footnotes to the essay, and deleted the content so that the footnotes themselves became the entire piece. It produced a kind of detailed commentary and frank tone that was fodder for more reflection and writing.

Stranger Stories next event information is as follows:  logopins
Theme: Dinnertime!
Submission Deadline for Writers:
Sunday, December 30, 2018

Event Details:
6:30PM, Thursday, January 24, 2019
Artists’ Exchange @ 50 Rolfe Square, Cranston, RI 02910

You can learn more about Stranger Stories by following them on facebook, or checking out their website: