Rebecca Taylor Fremo

Rebecca Fremo

Rebecca Taylor Fremo, of the English department, is a poet and essayist. She's begun work on a new project, which engages with the topic of our changing climate in surprising ways. 

She writes: My new project, tentatively titled Growing Things, explores the specificity of place.

Growing Things is a collection in two parts: Part I includes essays that map the multiple ways that specific places are constructed and revised through competing narratives told about those places; and Part II is poems that seek to understand how the place in which we put down our roots, and the ways in which the "soil" (metaphorically speaking) accepts those roots, can enable certain kinds of growth.

"Growing Things," the title essay, is an attempt to revise family history, and it's rooted in the gardens of my rural Minnesota backyard. 

t's no secret that, as a suburban Richmond, Virginia native, it's been hard for me to make peace with what I see as "dueling Minnesotas": the frigid hell-scape of frozen misery outside my window from November to April, and the vast wonderland of prairie miracles I find from May until October. Growing Things seeks to reconcile these two places, using a two part, dual-genre structure in order to locate both places and my relationship(s) with them.

Furthermore, my own recent curricular work at Gustavus has focused increasingly on studying the landscape, or taking students out of the "regular" classroom, in order to interact with the people and places that surround us. Recently, I've developed a course called "Digging In," a place-based course focused on Seven Mile Creek Park's ecosystem, team-taught with Biologist Cindy Johnson; and a re-imagined ENG 256: Writing Creative Nonfiction, which will now invite students to read and write place-based eco-critical personal narratives.