Maritza Rico Interviews Rich Farrell
Rich Farrell invites anyone who is interested to explore the creative and abstract format of collage in the unexpected platform that is prose.
Farrell is challenging artists, musicians, sculptors, mathematicians, teachers and anyone else who is interested in creativity through the form of language to attend the “Collage in Prose Writing” workshop, Saturday, February 8th at San Diego Writers Ink.
This workshop is designed to be opened ended. The attendees will work together to create new art, breaking the traditional form of prose and exploring new mediums.
Farrell answered some questions regarding his workshop where he covered the inspiration behind the innovative course, as well as what students should look forward to when attending.
Maritza Rico: What should people expect when attending your workshop? What new knowledge will they acquire from attending?
Rich Farrell: The idea of this workshop is to examine boundaries in writing. Too often, we can become trapped in our own habits of mind, and collage forms are an exciting and even daring exploration of new possibilities for writers. By challenging traditional forms, combining media, and blending genre, I hope we can re-vision our own writing into something innovative and exciting.
MR: Collage in prose seems like an innovative, fun idea. What does this consist of and what inspired you to create a workshop surrounding that idea?
RF: In one sense, art is always the attentive arrangement of materials into a unified whole. For a prose writer, the material traditionally consists of words arranged into sentences, and sentences built into paragraphs, and paragraphs ordered into stories or essays. But what if the prose writer shakes up that notion a little? What if the prose writer mixes in a haiku and a grocery list into a short story? What if she borrows sounds and sights and materials that disrupt the orderly flow of words? For a long time, this type of writing was exclusively in the domain of poets and the occasional iconoclast (think: James Joyce). But with the advent of digital technology and the new ways to publish and read books, the prose writer is, more and more, challenging conventions.
MR: What are some exercises the participants will be doing? What products can they hope to produce?
RF: I honestly don’t know! I don’t want to sound unprepared, and I will certainly come in armed with examples and ideas, but my hope is that this workshop will be a mutual exploration. We will challenge each other.
MR: Who would you say should attend the workshop, people with specific interests or knowledge?
RF: The very nature of this type of workshop lends itself to anyone with an interest in the creativity associated with language. I’m a prose writer, and that will be how I approach the subject, but I’d love to have visual artists, musicians, sculptors, mathematicians and teachers sign up. This workshop is for people who want to think about the nature of how language is used to create art. I hope that’s a pretty inclusive invitation.
So come prepared to learn a new technique that challenges traditional conventions and unleashes the creativity in you!
Sign up here, and enjoy a great class with Mr. Farrell full of fun and surprises.
Richard Farrell is the Creative Non-Fiction Editor at upstreet and a Senior Editor at Numéro Cinq. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he has worked as a high school teacher, a defense contractor, and as a Navy pilot. He holds an MFA from the Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is currently at work on a collection of short stories. His work, including fiction, memoir, essays, interviews and book reviews, has appeared in Hunger Mountain, A Year in Ink, upstreet, New Plains Review, Descant (Canada) and Numéro Cinq. He lives in San Diego.