WDtS Mattapan: Folktales & the 21st Century
This class is free and you do not need to pay or apply for a scholarship. Instead, to join this class fill out this form. DO NOT apply for a scholarship through the Grubstreet website.
Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, wrote that “Negro folklore is not a thing of the past. It is still in the making…nothing is too old or too new, domestic or foreign, high or low, for its use. …The automobile is ranged alongside the oxcart.”
Folktales have the distinction of being as plainspoken as postcards while carrying the emotional heft of entire cultures. The written and spoken history of folktales, myths, and legends spreads through African, African-American, Caribbean, Latin-American, Native American, Japanese, and Irish histories, along with many more. Not just with narratives about clever animals, petty gods, crafty children, and magic but, according to Ralph Ellison, folktales also depict “the humor as well as the horror of living,” and project “life in a metaphysical perspective and…with a complexity of vision that seldom gets into our writing.”
In this four-week class, we’ll read through a diverse selection of folktales and discuss how they connect to our modern stories and lives, because sometimes talking spiders and rabbits vie for power the same way politicians do. Each week, we’ll also be taking steps toward writing our own 21st century folktale.
Families welcome. Coffee and snacks provided. Teens are welcome to attend with an older relative. We will provide simple activities to keep young children occupied.
Who Should Register?
Write Down the Street has a special focus on making the creative writing workshop more accessible to those who face challenges due to cost, language skills, lack of access to transportation, and other barriers. We believe that all voices must be spotlighted with the range and fullness they deserve.
These programs are offered tuition-free thanks to the support of generous donors who are committed to our mission of ensuring all voices are heard.