Worcester Think Tank
36 Harlow Street | Worcester, Massachusetts | 01605
Documenting Think Tank's Creative Writing course one publication at a time...
FILAMeNT is Think Tank's freshly official Creative Writing journal. Our first edition is a 57 page collection of short stories written by students of the Fall 2011 Creative Writing class. May the following excerpts be only an appetizer before the main course. Get your copy exclusively at Think Tank for $7.
"The shadows of the trees lie sleepily along the street. A few cars go by, but not many. Their headlights are sharp; they cut into the night cruelly. I shiver (the air is bitter and cold, and so am I); I rub my hands up and down my arms. I think of how you sometimes look at me and forget what you're saying, and of how you sometimes turn remote, like a stranger."
--Amnesia (a love story)
"Arnold couldn't understand; he had gone to school, he had gotten good grades, but somehow he ended up working for Puffworks Nose Tissue Department. He was standing outside Juicedale Mall giving out free samples of a new tissue that was suppose to be ten times softer, when Arnold knew for a fact that it was the exact same tissue as the last model but in a different wrapping."
On Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 our class was visited by three local literary artists. Clarissa Gartner, a former Think Tank student, joined us and talked about her first self-published book, Dichotomy. Clarissa read an excerpt from her book and shared some of her poetry. We were also joined by local fiction artists, Susurrus Din and Bret Herholz, who recently published an illustrated book of poetry titled, Gloomy Presentiments Of Things To Come. Susurrus and Bret discussed some of their inspiration and influences with the class and Susurrus read several entries from their book. Gloomy Presentiments shares blood with the likes of Edgar Allan Poe and Edward Gorey though certainly maintains an original tone as Herholz's illustrations thoughtfully "color" Din's poems. Clarissa, Susurrus, and Bret all published their work through Lulu.com, a website designed to make the printing, binding, and publishing process easy for a broad range of artists.
If you're interested in supporting these artists you can purchase Dichotomy HERE and Gloomy Presentiments HERE.
Our newest publication, FILAMeNT (abridged), is a singe-sheet publication produced and formatted by students of the Creative Writing class. View the digital copy HERE or find a free hard copy at Think Tank!
During Think Tank's 2011 Spring semester the Creative Writing class thoroughly work-shopped, wrote, and edited submissions for our third class journal! The journal includes five short stories based upon an original science fiction theme followed by a separate section of student poems. I am grateful to all the students who took part in the process of bringing the Spring journal to completion. You are all amazing authors!
We will be publishing a new journal in this Fall's Creative Writing class, marking the first bi-annual publication. Sincere thanks to all who have been involved!
You can receive a 1st run hard copy of the journal at the Think Tank... OR you may dowload the PDF template here and print a copy of the journal at home or a local print shop. *Please note that the template is formatted to print double sided.
Last week the author Stephen Vincent Benet came to mind, again. Years ago I discovered his short story By The Waters Of Babyon which I immediately took to and shared with some students at the time. I reread the tale several times over a short period and still marvel at the almost paranormal intuition certain authors possessed with work that dates back to the early-mid 1900s. When it comes to science ficiton and suppositions on the future I'm easily enamored, but that is a topic for another time.
While preparing for my 1st writing class of the semester Benet's name entered my mind and I immediately sought out his information. Preceding By The Waters Of Babylon is the Faustian tale(see wiki article on Faust HERE) titled The Devil and Daniel Webster, a tale about an unlucky New Hampshire farmer who inadvertently calls upon the devil who, in turn, offers up a deal to make things easier for the protagonist.
After a quick search I found a minimal type-o version of the story HERE. I confess, I did not enjoy the tale as much as By The Waters but found it to be a compelling allegory that drums up many familiar visions of struggle and the devil(a tall, partially defined, yet sharply dressed, man). I want to share with you the section of the tale that struck me most. It's when the devil is defending himself after being called a foreigner:
Dan'l Webster's brow looked dark as a thundercloud. "Pressed or not, you shall not have this man!" he thundered. "Mr. Stone is an American citizen, and no American citizen may be forced into the service of a foreign prince. We fought England for that in ‘12 and we’ll fight all hell for it again!"
"Foreign?" said the stranger. "And who calls me a foreigner?"
"Well, I never yet heard of the dev— of your claiming American citizenship," said Dan'l Webster with surprise.
"And who with better right?" said the stranger, with one of his terrible smiles. "When the first wrong was done to the first Indian, I was there. When the first slaver put out for the Congo, I stood on her deck. Am I not in your books and stories and beliefs, from the first settlements on? Am I not spoken of, still, in every church in New England? 'Tis true the North claims me for a Southerner, and the South for a Northerner, but I am neither. I am merely an honest American like yourself—and of the best descent—for, to tell the truth, Mr. Webster, though I don't like to boast of it, my name is older in this country than yours."
It's this last paragraph that I appreciate so much. I talked with my students about its metaphorical quality; how the devil wasn't physically there on the deck of the first slave ship- he was in the hearts and minds of the men charting the voayage. I love how this is conveyed here, and how it's the devil incarnate that reminds us of his presence.
Please check out the story and feel free to share your thoughts!
FILAMeNT(abridged) is our single sheet publication designed to showcase some of the exercises and stories we do during class. For its second edition I had students select and compile a mixture of MULTI-AUTHORIAL FICTION stories and FOUND POETRY they had written earlier in the semester. Our first publication followed a more formal style of formatting. This time around I encouraged the students to create a collage involving the written work and imagry ripped and/or cut from magazines. Tonight we finish up the process- students will scan and copy their personally formatted version. Hard cpoies will likely be in black and white to conserve ink, though you can download the original full-color scans below!
Hannah Nori Michelle Adam
© 2008-2015 Worcester Area Think Tank, LLC.
36 Harlow Street Worcester, MA 01605 508-757-TANK (508-757-8265)