Missing mommies in life and literature are nothing new, but the imprint, whether stark or nearly invisible, runs deeply foundational, both psychologically and culturally. American society stresses the importance of the mother and the maternal, while simultaneously reinforcing the invisibility of maternal practice and space. In this multi-session seminar workshop, we examine the role of the missing or absent mother in literature. Who are these women? What is their imprint? How do they materialize while they are not embodied? Ultimately, what does all of this say about the time in which each work was written, as well as our own time? We’ll delve into discussion and analysis, as well as some writing of our own, inspired by these various maternal muses. Click here for more information.

Is collaboration drawing from an outer muse or is it tapping into a muse that lies within? In whatever form muse takes, aim to see art as muse–to associate, draw parallels, and incorporate on the page. Designed as a two-day course, an artistic environment will be curated to influence, inform, and deepen your creative process. Various mediums will be provided like sensory tables, word banks, sound scapes, and 2D and 3D images. By the end of the second session, you will have created a handmade, bound book to house your poetic works. Click here for more information. 

The achievements and protections of the Enlightenment have nurtured the west for over three centuries. In our own era, the basic values and categories of the Enlightenment are under unprecedented stress from a myriad of social and historical forces, to the point where its central conclusions are considered primed for cultural re-negotiation. How did this happen? In this multi-session seminar, we will trace the history of the Enlightenment, and grapple with the endangered elements of its claims to reason and rationality, the economy and property, science and progress, happiness and the individual, and the concepts of truth and universality. We will discover, as well, what must endure, and must be defended, in the legacy of the Enlightenment. Click here for more information. 

Using the fragmented free verse of Instagram poetry, this course challenges writers to go deeper and to fight their inner censor. This class will help students break through their fears in writing poetry and hold space for student’s creative growth while remaining inspired by the Instagram poetry form.  Click here for more information.

A poetry workshop designed for serious writers who believe in the benefits of getting their work out in the world to receive feedback. Come share your poems with others who are dedicated to advancing their art. Harness a giving reader mindset and provide helpful responses for others. This monthly course is highly interactive. In establishing a supportive environment, be ready and eager to brave participation in active dialogue, discussion, and critique. This well-organized workshop will be co-facilitated and take place on the first Monday of each month. Click here for more information.

This class will help unpublished authors feel equipped to submit their work to literary magazines and journals. Stressing the significance of proofreading, editing, and workshop review with fellow writers, students will come to understand the basic parameters of the publishing world. Click here for more information.

Some people write better in a room with others. Like yoga, like meditation, writing is an act of self-care, and each of those practices can be enhanced when the space is shared with others on the same path. This is a weekly session where you come with a pen and some paper (or a computer, if that's more your speed), and you write. The instructor will provide some journal writing prompts and exercises, as well as some tips to ward off writer's block. This course is about experiencing the energy of a collection of people writing together in a room. Click here for more information. 

This class will explore the way the natural environment makes us feel and how it seeps into our daily lives. We’ll discuss how nature weaves into our writing, and through reading works written across multiple disciplines, we’ll learn how to portray nature uniquely in our work. Click here for more information. 

We are living in precipitous times. There is a palpable, shared sense that something has gone wrong, and that we are entering – or, perhaps, are already well within – a new, dangerous era. This discussion group addresses the features of the this new disorder – both global and domestic, abstract and concrete. Taking our prompts from the issues of the present day, we will endeavor to think through our predicament, and to maintain our capacity for intelligent argumentation as an end in itself. Though topically flexible, this group always asks three questions: what happened, or: how did we get here? In what condition do we find ourselves? What happens next? We will pursue these and related questions on the proposition that in an era when everything is once again “on the table”, what matters most is not what you think, but how you think. Click here for more information. 

The therapeutic properties of writing are manifold. Developing a regular expressive writing practice can elevate mood, decrease stress, improve sleep, and help process grief. Also, studies have shown these factors can even boost the body’s immune system. Joyce Kocinski, author of Letters from Mom – A Daughter’s Journal of Healing, is bringing her college course to The Republic of Letters this November for a special one-day workshop. Click here for more information. 

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Journaling as Healing: 

How to Control Stress and Enjoy Life 

Aim to see art as muse–to associate, draw parallels, and incorporate on the page. In this multi-genre course, an artistic environment will be curated to influence, inform, and deepen your creative process. Various mediums will be provided like sensory tables, word banks, sound scapes, and 2D and 3D images. By the end of the session, your writing will be refreshed and inspired in a new way. Click here for more information. 

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This course is dedicated to short story composition in the genre of gothic horror. The student will learn the tools to create a suspenseful and terrifying short story. In addition to in-class writing exercises, the students will learn, through discussion and examples, the basic storytelling structure of gothic horror, the visual and rhetorical elements, and the editing skills needed to execute a solid and suspenseful short story. Click here for more information.

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Third trimester ::
Finish your book in 3 months

This is for writers who have a completed rough draft. For projects that have already grown past their seedling ideas and sapling structures into an intimidating forest sprawled across thousands of words. This is the last stage before you send your book out to agents or presses. This class will help ensure your manuscript is as healthy and beautiful as it can be before it's released out into the wild world of publication. Click here for more information

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Some of writing is learning how to do it; much of it is learning what not to do. This course will explore elements of both as they relate to the mechanics of the sentence, the blight of cliché,  the uses of metaphor, and the consummation of style.  Click here for more information

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Putting Pain on the Page ::
Chronic Illness and Writing

This class is for any writer, (or want-to-be writer!), who struggles/has struggled with a chronic physical illness, ailment, condition, or pain. Whether you’re the one fighting the battle, or supporting someone through it, this class will help you verbalize and write about your experiences. Click here for more information

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The tarot, before it acquired prophetic powers, was just a game, each card represented a person, and that person represented an archetype. A story then emerges from this cast of characters. The trick is, no matter what three cards are pulled, there you are. This class will help you understand the delicate balance of this world of personalities, and have you rolling in story ideas. Bonus: you will also get a crash course on the tarot. Click here for more information

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The Republic of Letters' Creative Writing Workshop. This serious group is for people ready to make a commitment and go deeper into their writing practice through ongoing peer review and discussion. Click here for more information. 

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This quarterly course is an homage to our literary foremothers and, as Kate Zambreno puts it, the “genealogy of erased women.” Consider this a supplement to a lack in the accepted literary canon. A deep dive into one text at a time. Insights will be both academic and emotional. In other words, an intensive book club. Click here for more information

This season, we'll be discussing Women Who Run With The Wolves: Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Jungian analyst, author and poet Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Tuesday, May 21st.

* All images are from Roy Lichtenstein's Ten Landscapes series from 1967 courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Here at The Republic of Letters we offer a variety of unique courses and discussion groups within the sphere of the literary arts, many of which are free or with suggested donation. Our literary society is comprised of local volunteers and many people passionate about the literary arts. Our classes range from traditional workshops to esoteric specifics. 

 

If you have a class or discussion group you would like to propose, please contact us at: hello@rolnfp.org.

The Republic of Letters NFP

RoL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

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1 West State Street, Suite 103. Geneva, Illinois 60134

630-360-1902