Workshops

Each faculty member will lead a workshop with a maximum of 10 students for four daily 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 event, a celebration of the arts open to community members with music, hearty appetizers, and a silent and live auction.


Debra Magpie Earling

Capture Story Through Voice and Images

Have you begun a novel only to become stymied? Did you lose the narrative thread, or worse, the desire to press on? In this quick-step generative workshop we will ignite the page and get you started on something new. What fascinates you? What literary work thrills you? What images have thunderstruck you? Through articles, contemporary ballads, poetry, and selections from new novels and short stories, we will create our own shimmering and captivating images that spell the essence of great stories and novels. Come to the workshop with an open mind and open heart. Come with a desire to create something astonishing and begin a new epic writing journey. You will need to bring three (3) selections from favorite novels and/or short stories, each no longer than a page. I will supply many examples to help foster your new work.


Jamie Ford

Opening Gambits

Agents, editors, and more importantly, readers, are often turned on or off by the first chapter, even the first page. In this workshop, we’ll analyze opening scenes we’ll focus on immersing the reader, sinking story hooks, banking and spending emotional currency, creating likeable protagonists (or loveable anti-heroes), and examine the types of contracts we make with readers on page one. All genres of fiction are welcome in this generative workshop.


Sean Hill

Discovering Connections

How are we voices for wildness? How does the way we are seen in the places we call home affect how we write about place? Can we re-see through defamiliarization? How do the tools of the craft of poetry teach us how to connect with wildness — both ours and that which is outside of us?

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, connecting others to our words — to illuminate connections with the non-human world. Daily discussions of selected poems and unique writing prompts will guide this exploration. Come prepared to generate and share work written during our time together. Our goal will be connections, generation, exploration, and creating handfuls of drafts, new poems that will guide others in their explorations.


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.


Sean Singer

Poetry as a Verb

This lecture-based and generative poetry class will clarify our understanding of poetry
as a verb: a process, action, and tool for personal and social change. At a time of
climate and environmental crisis, we need this tool more than never.

A poem is a verb—a poem means to be attentive, to do the work of personhood, to be
in the right relationship with yourself, and the world around you. It is a mirror through
which we can see the world more clearly, in its problems, power and possibilities—and
ourselves, too.

What can we learn from poets and poems about how to live in a wounded world? How
do poems help us to see the future and change the present? How can the practice of
reading and writing poetry help us to imagine, then author, a liveable future? Questions
like these will shape our encounters (with poetry, ourselves, and each other) in this
session.

Through lectures, readings, and engaged conversation, we’ll explore ways to
understand and expand poetry’s function, poetry as craft, and poetry as a tool to think
through climate and environmental emergencies. Each meeting, we’ll focus on a
specific aspect and read poems that illustrate its nature. Through this, you’ll gain
mindsets, skills, models, and habits that can help you make poems with the most
beauty, most meaning, and that most match your intention.

Before our session begins, I’ll share a packet with readings and generative prompts to
guide our first meeting. There will be opportunities to workshop your poems, but this is
not required.


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