Workshops

Each faculty member will lead a workshop with a maximum of 10 students for four morning sessions. These workshops will be augmented by craft talks, student readings, and lectures by guest speakers. In addition, students may choose among a variety of planned excursions and outdoor adventures. The event concludes with our annual Gala Faculty Reading, a celebration of the arts open to community members with music, plated dinner, and a silent auction.


Camille Dungy

Putting Poems on the Page

In this generative workshop, we will write daily and discuss our work toward the goal of building new poems and developing new ways of thinking about our work and the work of other writers. During our week together, we’re going to observe what happens when our poems walk beyond our minds and into the world. We’re going to seek out the moments in our work and the work of our peers that lead toward engaging lines of inquiry (and also those that might lead our readers astray). We’re going to learn how to better identify the moments of our poems that cause genuine delight and productive wonder. Bring your imagination and energy to the class. We’ll be writing and talking a lot!


Sean Hill

Discovering Connections

In this generative workshop, we will explore the connections we can build with poetry — marrying disparates with metaphor, stringing sound in patterns of rhythm and rhyme, nudging words to find their place in syntax — to illuminate our connections with the non-human world. Daily discussions of selected poems and writing prompts will guide this exploration. Come prepared to generate and share work written during the workshop. Our goal will be having drafts of several new poems as well as delving into new and old connections with the world around us.


J. Drew Lanham

Writing through Culture to get to Wildness

How does who we are impact how we see nature? How we define wildness? How we hear bird song or view forests and trees? Does ethnicity or gender/non-gender designation (or how and who we choose to love) make a difference in how we feel toward sunsets or national parks?

Using identity as the conduit for understanding perceptions of nature is the goal of this memoir-oriented workshop. We’ll use who we are to leverage stories (long-form essay) about how we “go into” nature. Although place is among the deepest traditions in nature writing, it has lacked color and a depth of diversity beyond patriarchal whiteness.

In this workshop, we will write toward inclusion and non-convention using a novel technique of differential reading exposure and group critique to improve our writing and crafting processes. Students must be willing to read and constructively critique their peers. This workshop requires a willingness to not just write toward intense introspection, but to do so with the vulnerabilities of an open mind and heart. The crafting circle will be a safe space for all and a crucible for creativity and growth.


Beth Piatote

Short Form Joy

The core of this workshop is flash fiction, but the technique of crafting vivid stories in short form can be used for prose poems, fiction flashbacks, and essays. In workshop, we will offer feedback on submitted pieces, study the works of other writers, and generate new material through prompts. Hone your skills and try something new. And small.


Laura Pritchett

What Wild Power: Writing Place in Experimental Forms and Techniques

Experimentation, exhilaration! This class will be about all things rule-bending. About playing the edges. About taking risks. We’ll try out forms such as episodic, listical, epistolary, image-based, recipes, alerts, etc, and you’ll leave having generated creative, original work by taking stylistic risks. We’ll have reading examples by contemporary nature writers (including the faculty here) who illustrate that form can INform content in brilliant ways. Our guiding idea will be this perfect bit by Annie Dillard: “The writer knows his field—what has been done, what could be done, the limits—the way a tennis player knows the court. And like that expert, [s]he, too, plays the edges. That is where the exhilaration is. [S]he hits up the line. In writing, [s]he can push the edges. Beyond this limit, here, the reader must recoil. Reason balks, poetry snaps; some madness enters, or strain. Now, courageously and carefully, can [s]he enlarge it, can [s]he nudge the bounds? And enclose what wild power?” Let us find our wild power by writing about place in the most edgy, new, experimental ways. Appropriate for all genres.