Writing Workshops

**COVID-19 Update: For the forseable future, all of our workshops available will be offered in an online format so we can continue to practice our writing and learn from each other while respecting social distancing recommendations**

Our group writing classes are the perfect setting to learn from those who have interests similar to your own. These classes are offered either online or in-person at different locations around the Madison area. Group classes cover topics related to nature, sustainability, poetry, creative writing, and wellness. These classes are for those looking to learn new skills or simply enjoy discussing and journaling about some great books and interesting topics.

The Nature Fix – Nature Writing and Well-being

In this nature poetry writing class, we will first take a look at the profound new observations made by researchers, journalists, and leaders in the ‘reconnect to nature’ movement as they, and so many others, redefine our modern need for nature experience.

 

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Mary Oliver Society

On the Yahara Writing Center has presented a variety of Mary Oliver appreciation classes and poetry workshops in the Madison area for the last several years. There has been a very warm and enthusiastic reception by participants for these classes. The Madison Area Mary Oliver Society is meant to serve as an extension of these past classes as well as to continue an evolving conversation of appreciation, topics, techniques and feedback.

 

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Eco-Poetry: Following W.S. Merwin

This class will be at once a conversation revolving around topics of ecology, eastern spirituality, and poetic technique.

 

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Nature Poetry

This class is meant to be a broad sampler of modern nature poetry, covering poets from Gary Snyder to Joy Harjo to Evie Shockley.

 

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Writing Mindfulness and Eastern Poetry

In this class, we will take a look at ways for re-thinking about daily writing as a spiritual process that can bring us closer to the natural world and promote creative positive images.

 

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The Poetry of Aldo Leopold in the “Marshland Elegy”

An elegy acknowledges sorrow and loss. Aldo Leopold eloquently used the elegiac device in the essay “Marshland Elegy.”

 

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Best Food Writing 2020

This class is meant for all those interested in contemporary non-fiction food writing. This collection pays special attention to the relationship between food and culture during these unprecedented times of change and pandemic. As a four-part series, we will begin by reading a quarter of the book per class, discuss the writing itself and the […]

 

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Winter Morning Walks

These workshops are inspired by the poetry collection by the same name written by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. These casually observed poems are called ‘postcards’ to a friend and offer readers a very approachable form of poetry to read and consider for our own written observations as we take our local walks this winter. This class will be  a sequence of observation and […]

 

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Morning Nature Walks

This workshop is inspired by the poetry collection by the same name written by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. These casually observed poems are called ‘postcards’ to a friend and offer readers a very approachable form of poetry to read and consider for our own written observations as we take our local walks. This […]

 

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Eco-Poetry as Healing Art

“The Great Work, based on the story of life’s unfolding, moves us away from a preoccupation with the self into the larger ecologicial self of the Earth Community. This movement has deep implications for our psychological healing, awakening in us a sense of both awe and belonging.” – K. Lauren de Boer, “Healing and the […]

 

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Nature Poetry for Seniors

This two-part class is created for seniors, but all are invited for a gentle walk along the Pheasant Branch Trail for the sake of experiencing movement and wonder at the nature world. We will offer a variety of genres of nature writing as common reading and consider ways that we might write and share our […]

 

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Mary Oliver and the Art of Observation in Nature

In this class we will introduce the poetry of acclaimed nature poet Mary Oliver and cover the essence of four different thematic techniques of observation which will greatly enhance our ability to write nature poetry spontaneously and regularly.

 

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Poem-a-Day: The Essential Guide to Writing a Poem a Day

In this class we will learn how to efficiently read for writing, draw essential material from daily life, the advantages of free verse, natural line lengths, the fun of sound, and most importantly the benefits of mindful and spontaneous writing.

 

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Nature Journaling

This is a “no-stress zone” nature writing class, meant to encourage not only our observations and sketches from the prairie trails, but to then turn those observations to a comfortable writing style.

 

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The At-Home Nature Journal & Daybook

A daily journal can take many forms, but one thing they all have in common is our desire to connect to the details surrounding our life in a meaningful way through less formal prose.

 

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Writing Mindfulness

First we will learn several essential tenets of eastern thought so that we have a firm understanding of what mindfulness is and then will learn how it is represented in ancient Chinese poetry.

 

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Art & Nature: An Illustrated Anthology of Nature Poetry

In this class we will celebrate the profound connection between visual art and poetry by taking a look and reading through pairings of the two

 

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Your Daily Food Blog: The Prep and the Cooking

This 1.5 hour workshop is designed to go over the principal aspects of blogging about food while we hang out in a casual setting and learn from each other.

 

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Humor & Non-Fiction

In this class, we’ll take a look at different types of humor from a fine cast of non-fiction authors, and then see if we can ourselves dabble in the lost art that apparently never was lost.

 

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Journal to Poem

This class offers an accessible and engaging nature writing process emphasizing the importance of place-based writing based on nature journal techniques.

 

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Urban Nature Appreciation

The first thing we will learn in this class is the process of re-seeing urban nature through the lens of historical examples of nature writing including the journal entry and poetry.

 

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Blog Serial Novel

You will learn a set of essential rules for incremental novel writing, including scratch planning, finding plot momentum, picking characters, and maintaining themes.

 

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Touching the Earth

Celebrate the Earth by working through the mindfulness practices offered us by Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Peace is Every Step and draw insights to write your own daily meditations and poetry.

 

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Creative Nonfiction: Weaving together Essential Strands

This class uncovers secrets to writing engaging, meaningful, even humorous, nonfiction by presenting the process of writing nonfiction as weaving together essential thematic strands.

 

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The Art of Writing Food: A Food Writer’s Workshop

Monthly meetup for people who are interested in getting together with others that share their interest in cooking, recipes, food trends, and forms of food writing.

 

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