Nature Writing Workshop (for both prose & poetry writers)

Writers and poets from Lucretius to Emily Dickinson, Sappho to Wendell Berry have long drawn on nature for a sense of purpose or belonging. What contemporary writers have lost, though, is easy uplift from descriptions of ocean vistas or Luna moth encounters. Spring peepers are no mere harbingers of the season when the current rate of amphibian extinction dwarfs background rates for the past 10,000 years. But if we can’t look to such songs for peace of mind, what are we to do? And if writers turn away, who will marvel at the long toes of the endangered long-toed salamander? Who will grasp Whitman’s ecstasy in Leaves of Grass?

This workshop will address how writing can grow our increasingly complex relationship to nature—whether we are experienced mountaineers or sleepers who love the sound of rain on the roof. Come prepared to read passages from classic and recent nature texts and to work with a range of writing prompts, at least one of which requires taking a beaten path into the great if not as wild outdoors. 

  • Instructor: Amy Wright
  • Length of Workshop: 3 hours
  • Date: Saturday, July 23
  • Time: 1 - 4 p.m. 
  • Cost: $50 non-members; $45 members
  • Location: Warner Parks Nature Center and grounds

About the Instructor: Amy Wright is Nonfiction Editor of Zone 3 journal, Coordinator of Creative Writing at Austin Peay State University, and author of Everything in the Universe and Cracker Sonnets. She also collaborated with William Wright on Creeks of the Upper South. Her first prose chapbook is Wherever the Land Is.