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Writing the Lives of the Sonoran Desert: Exploring nature with words


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Friday, December 13 – 5 pm to 7 pm in the Tumamoc Library

Saturday, December 14 – 9 am to 3 pm at Tumamoc Hill

Sunday, December 15 – 9 am to 3 pm at Tumamoc Hill

$145 per person

In this class you will learn to explore nature with words, from poetry to fiction to science writing. You will learn to participate in nature fully and honestly, as well as to observe, record, and express nature in writing, without “purple prose.”

Nature writers Jonathan and Roseann Hanson will share with you their “secret” for a daily dose of wildness, along with a simple process of recording what you observe accurately, of researching facts and details, and then potentially producing an article or essay for personal enjoyment or publication.

The class will include:

Prior to the workshop: The Hansons will share a suggested reading list and a few easy assignments to give you content to bring to the first class.

On Friday evening in the beautiful Desert Laboratory library, which resonates with over a century of powerful words about nature (it is the birthplace of the field of ecology and the venerable journal Ecology), Jonathan and Roseann will introduce types of writing and share samples to discuss:

- Nature writing (more poetic writing; examples of writers: Terry Tempest Williams, Gary Snyder)

- Natural history writing (combining science with creative prose; examples of writers: Gary Paul Nabhan, Robert Michael Pyle, Ann Zwinger, Pete Dunne)

- Interpretive writing (careful interpretation of science-based facts into interesting writing for very general use)

- Or a combination of all three, such as Diane Ackerman’s Natural History of the Senses.

On Saturday and Sunday the class will spend time exploring Tumamoc Hill and engaging with its wildness through writing exercises. Bring a lunch each day to enjoy in the Sonoran Plant garden courtyard. Throughout the weekend we’ll share writing, and discuss ways to overcome common challenges such as overly “purple” prose or writer’s block.

By the end of class, you will come away with a new outlook on nature writing, along with new skills. Along the way the Hansons will challenge your perception of nature and your role in it—and spark your creative process.

TO FIND OUT MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/writing-the-lives-of-the-sonoran-desert-tickets-69223668857

Earlier Event: November 18
Custom Training Weekends