The Neuroscience of Writing Has Me All Fired Up

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Joan Didion: “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. Why did the oil refineries around Carquinez Straits seem sinister to me in the summer of 1956? Why have the night lights in the bevatron burned in my mind for twenty years? What is going on in these pictures in my mind?”

Check this out too:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/science/researching-the-brain-of-writers.html?_r=0

But writing hurts! Why are positive things painful? Struggle uncomfortable? Because change requires effort, which is energy expended and evolutionarily speaking, the conservation of energy has survival benefits, and so sloth is rewarded? Don’t be a sloth. Your brain needs you. Get on that mental hamster wheel called writing, and churn till you burn.

Don’t Get Slipped Up

Even the discarded bits of life can be distracting. Don’t let anything occupy those precious moments carved out for writing.

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Obligations and people demand time. If they love you, they will understand. “‘It is only half an hour’—‘it is only an afternoon’—‘it is only an evening’—people say to me over and over again—but they don’t know that it is impossible to command oneself sometimes to any stipulated and set disposal of five minutes—or that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometimes worry a whole day. These are the penalties paid for writing books. Whoever is devoted to an Art must be content to deliver himself wholly up to it, and find his recompense in it. I am grieved if you suspect me of not wanting to see you, but I can’t help it.” —Charles Dickens (writing to Maria Beadnell Winter, a childhood sweetheart, who wished to make an appointment with him)

Come to the Providence Poetry Slam This Thursday

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This Thursday December 4th at 8:00pm, at AS220: 115 Empire St, Providence, Rhode Island 02903

Doors open and sign-up list goes up at 7:30.
Show starts at 8pm.
Cover: $4 (or what you can pay)No slam this week. Instead, they will have an extended open mic before and after the featured performance.In the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, this week’s show will be dedicated to an open mic/speak-out on police brutality, racism, and the way racist violence affects our communities. They hope for a night of mourning, healing, and action through poetic exchange. Their stage is open to all poems, songs, stories, raps, testimonies, elegies, community announcements, etc.#BlackLivesMatter #IndictAmerica #JusticeForMikeBrown #NoJusticeNoPeace

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ABOUT THE FEATURE:

Mckendy Fils-Aimé hails from Manchester, New Hampshire, where he is an instrumental organizer and co-host for his home slam, the long-running and wildly popular Slam Free or Die. A seven-time veteran of the National Poetry Slam and perennial semi-finalist, as well as the winner of the Boston Poetry Slam’s 2012 World Qualifier, he has been published in Freezeray, Word Riot, and Drunk in a Midnight Choir. The only thing Mckendy likes as much as poetry is his sneaker collection. He is currently working on his debut collection, Prayer in the Cracks.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/735704529839469/

Frequency Student Reading

Felix Edouard Vallotton

Join Frequency Writers for an afternoon reading of poetry and fiction produced by our students in the fall semister classes. There will be refreshments and time to mingle. This event is free and open to all.

Date: December 14, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Location: 186 Carpenter Street

Class Reading

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Check it out!

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Heather McHugh’s charity, Caregifted, which provides respite to long-term caregivers to the disabled, is holding a one day Manuscript Critique (fiction and poetry) sale tomorrow, 11/25 to raise money for their projects. Here’s a link.

http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=ebad25c49ed677ddf06f1306c&id=6d6b69aa12

Participating authors include:

Rae Armantrout, Mary Jo Bang, Robin Black, Matt Bell, Janet Burroway, Ron Carlson, Alexander Chee, Billy Collins, Nicholas Delbanco, Mark Doty, Cornelius Eady, Therese A. Fowler, Daisy Fried, Linda Gregerson, Mark Halliday, Matthea Harvey, Tony Hoagland, Major Jackson, Ben Lerner, Philip Levine, Thomas Lux, Rebecca Makkai, Michael Martone, Elizabeth McCracken, Joyelle McSweeney, Eileen Myles, Lucia Perillo, Joanna Rakoff, Roger Rosenblatt, Natalie Serber, Brenda Shaughnessy, Rebecca Wells, Joe Wenderoth, Hilma Wolitzer, Laura van den Berg, Dean Young, Matthew Zapruder