Rebecca Morgan Frank visited SNHU to share her talents with a poetry writing workshop class, as well as a reading from her new book Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country, on October 26.
Frank holds a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from Emerson College, as well as a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, New England Review and Harvard review, amongst many others.
Though Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country is her newest book, Frank has also written two other volumes of poetry, The Spokes of Venus and Little Murders Everywhere.
After reading from her newest book, released on October 17, Frank answered questions from the audience.
“Go somewhere you’ve never been in your hometown, and write about it, or write a poem about a mystery, something that’s unsolved,” Frank said when asked to come up with two original writing prompts on the spot.
Frank shared with students that “some poems are closer to their final form in the beginning” as opposed to others, when asked how long she spends writing her poems. Franks believes her poems are done once they are published, but there is still room to revise them even after publication.
Writer’s block and lack of motivation were popular topics during the discussion following Frank’s reading.
“I feel lucky I’ve never lost that [passion]. Writing communities keep me alive,” Frank said.
She then offered recommendations to break free of writer’s block.
“Use a prompt book, go to the library and use book titles as inspiration, hit “random” on Wikipedia, though this may take a few tries, write even when you feel like you have nothing to say or make yourself write for a certain amount of time every day,” Frank suggested.
Frank also pointed out the importance of not responding to outside factors when it comes to writing.
“Keep going and push through self-doubt. Find your sense of community and be happy for other people’s successes,” Frank said.
This was one thing that kept her invested in her own writing. Though she may not be the one being published, seeing an acquaintance be published or publishing them herself was just as rewarding an experience.
“Stubborn grit keeps me going,” Frank said.