Of fairy tales, Lynda Barry writes, “I believe there is something in these old stories that does what singing does to words. They have transformational capabilities.” Fairy tales invite us to contemplate birds who bestow ballgowns, fins that become legs, axes that free devoured grandmothers, and other unlikely scenarios. They are spaces where the usual rules don’t apply, where the impossible becomes abruptly, miraculously possible. In this workshop, we will explore the power of fairy tales and other fantastical stories. Drawing from poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, film, animation, artwork, comics, and music, we will chart new paths into the forests of ourselves and the world around us, shapeshifting and transforming as we go. Each week, we will approach the fairy tale genre from a different angle and create new, standalone work based on one or more prompts. Lessons are designed to embrace whatever genre(s) you prefer to write in, so you are free to stick with one, experiment across forms, or explore hybrid styles. Prompts are built around the following themes and questions (though these are just starting places!):
Week 1: The Woods
Week 2: Heroes and Journeys
Week 3: Villains and Obstacles
Week 4: Helpers
Week 5: Transformations
Week 6: New Horizons
This workshop is being taught by Catherine Kyle!
Catherine Kyle is the author of Shelter in Place (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019), Saint: A Post-Dystopian Hagiography (dancing girl press, 2018), Parallel (Another New Calligraphy, 2017), Flotsam (Etched Press, 2015), Gamer: A Role-Playing Poem (dancing girl press, 2015), and Feral Domesticity (Robocup Press, 2014). Her writing has been honored by the Idaho Commission on the Arts, the Alexa Rose Foundation, and other organizations. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Western Michigan University and is pursuing an MFA in Poetry through New England College’s low-residency program. She teaches creative writing at the College of Western Idaho and through The Cabin. Her website is www.catherinebaileykyle.com.