Science and memoir from the urban-wild borderlands
As a teacher and writer, I love to talk with people and share skills and adventures. I am available for readings, book-group visits, writing workshops, and classroom discussions. See below for details and email me to schedule.
Part Wild: One Woman’s Journey with a Creature Caught
Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs
Book-group visits are available in person or via call-in
Workshops are tailored to the needs and interests of participants. For example:
Strong Medicine: Writing from Your Home Ground
In Earth of Mind, David Orr writes, “I do not know whether it is possible to love the planet or not, but I do know that it is possible to love the places we can see, touch, smell and experience.” Through several writing exercises, short readings, and nature walks in which participants are introduced to local medicinal plants, we develop a practical and precise vocabulary of place that students can then apply to their own beloved places, even if the writer’s home ground is the buckled concrete and “weeds” of a city lot. In this nonfiction workshop participants will learn how to move from a detailed field journal to a polished narrative, applying a variety of observational tools, including poetry, science, history, medicine, and personal experience. This workshop will culminate in a medicine-making demonstration, and participants will take home a local plant remedy of their own making.
The Stonemason’s Craft: Discovering the Keystone of Your Story
A keystone is the central stone at the summit of an arch that interlocks all the parts together. This building element is equally important to the architecture of a creative non-fiction essay. In this workshop participants will merge the tenacity of a journalist who reports verifiable facts about a subject, event, or person(s) with the novelist’s attention to lyrical description, dialogue, and story arc, making scenes and characters electric with life. Through short readings, analysis of strong voices in the genre, and several writing exercises, participants will learn how to weave researched information into their stories to make an eminently readable and informative essay that takes readers on a significant journey.
CLASSROOM VISITS & PRESENTATIONS
Choose from a wide range of topics for your students
- Wolf conservation and management in the Pacific Northwest
- Biology of wolves and dogs
- Domestic animal behavior versus wild animal behavior; learned tameness versus genetic tameness
The future of captive wolf facilities in
wild wolf conservation
- Urban ecology: living on the urban-wild border, including opportunities and challenges we face in the Portland metropolitan area
- Invasive species and restoration ecology
Medicinal plant workshop and plant identification walk