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Across our culture, monsters have taken on every form that ranges from the stories we have told and retold about the figure of the vampire to a range of stories that are unique to different regions of our country (for example, the boo hag — a witch who could slip out of her human skin — is specific to Gullah culture in the south). Within literature, the figure of the monster circles the globe from what resides within a range of holy traditions to old stories like the Chinese tale of “The Painted Skin.”
Given that we are the tellers of the tale, the monster is a part of our psyche. And alongside this legacy of the tales of the monster have been moments of history raising the question of who is the real monster? The creatures we have created on screen, on figures that appear on the page, or the reflection staring back at us? We can point to everything from the phenomenon of witch trials around the globe through history to the stories that continue to fill headlines about what humans are doing to other humans. Of course the most obvious monsters we can point to reside in the constant resurfacing of the serial killer in ways that invite us to explore who and why they are. The who within this inquiry of the figure of the monster is being reflected in shows like the Hulu series Monsterland and Jordan Peele’s film, Us, to name a few examples.
In both of those examples, human behavior and the ways we try to hide the monstrous or dark parts of ourselves is presented in a way that erodes the line of the other when it comes to scary creatures thus making it clear that the monster resides within us. Specific to these examples, and many others, ourselves as the scary creature is reflected in the way that is uttered in the last lines of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness by the main character, Kurtz screaming out, The horror! The horror!”
What can we explore within our psyche, lived experiences, or what we have taken in that will cause us to scream our own version of these lines on the page?
This workshop will explore ways we can uncover the grotesque, the scary, the horrid and wretched when it comes to exploring who or what is the monster on the page in verse and prose. Over the next several weeks in September, we are going to look at the ways that the monster has been fashioned and created within snippets of podcasts based on true events, on screen and on the page as we create our own.
This is an invitation to erode the line between the monster that is separate from the monster that is the human. You have been warned. Come prepared to monster with us!
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FInancial aid is applied for on a class by class basis. Not all classes offer financial aid. There is a limited amount of funding available, and aid is awarded in the order received.
This financial aid form is for:
The Ruth Stone House BIPOC Fellowship
Includes: Full tuition, Room and Board at the Inn for a BIPOC poet
Lucy Terry Prince Fellowship
Includes: Full tuition, Room & Board at the Inn for a Poet of Color living in Vermont, or with roots in Vermont
The James Tate Scholarship
Full tuition for a poet under the age of 40 (does not include Room & Board)
Award for $600 reduced tuition for a BIPOC poet.
Need-based scholarships awarded to poets of merit with expressed socioeconomic need