I founded the interdisciplinary Art + Ecology program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where I taught undergraduate and graduate students about painting, drawing, ecological issues, visual culture, critical theory, research, writing, and pedagogy from 2007 – 2020.
I am a faculty member of Signal Fire‘s Wide Open Studios educational trips and I teach a range of topics with Literary Arts, Portland Underground Graduate School, PLAYA, and the Sitka Center for Art + Ecology.
I am available for a limited number of sliding-scale individual mentorships to help support and deepen your creative practice. I am currently working with both creative writers and visual artists.
Please be in touch if you are interested in learning more about personalized, individual mentoring or small group classes. I’m often working through a waiting list but will always be delighted to learn about you and your work.
Mondays, March 15 through April 19, 2021
This course explores the mysterious and beautiful ways that pigments are themselves makers — of places, people, politics, and prayers of all sorts. The root of the word poem is poiesis, “to make.” Pigments make and remake the world, bringing into existence all manner of things, energies and ideas. Together, we’ll consider the capacity of pigments to make — as actants, as forms of living history, as participants, transmitters, and collaborators.
Each week, you’ll receive carefully curated materials to read, listen to, or watch, including poetry, essays, fiction, podcasts, interviews, and more. Our class time will focus on conversation, creative prompts, and guided visualizations.
On week two, we’ll be joined by textile artist, researcher and educator, Lucille Junkere, whose recent work focuses on the legacy of colonialism on African Caribbean textile history, and explores the idea of reconnections.
February 17-March 24, 2021, Wednesdays, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. PST
Consider the sphinx: head of a woman, haunches of a lion, wings of a bird. A creature powerful and wise enough to guard the seam between the sacred and the secular, life and afterlife. Hybrid forms of writing possess a similar power, harnessing two or more established forms to create something new, unique, and potent. Hybrid forms are actually ancient, preceding all genres — genres are forms into which the hybrid was broken. When we reunite these forms, we welcome new, transformative forces into our work. In this course, we will consider various hybrid literary forms: lyric essay, poetic memoir, prose poetry, flash fiction, and visual/verbal hybrids. We’ll look, too, at forms meant for digital platforms that are especially relevant and exciting in our current cultural moment, such as videopoems, podcasts, and animated works. We’ll consider the unique powers of each of these hybrid forms and see how they can expand and invigorate our writing.
February 25 – March 18, 2021, Thursdays, 6:00-8:00 p.m. PST
To write a letter is an inherently generous act that rewards both the writer and the recipient. Letters are also an accessible, relational, and forgiving form; everyone can write a letter. Letters bridge distance by slowing us down and fostering deep connections. In this class, you will write four letters. These four letters will serve as the four posts in the foundation of your new letter writing habit. You’ll receive inspiration, prompts, support, and guidance. We’ll learn from each other’s work and by looking closely at several remarkable epistolary exchanges.
Nature Writing Now with Literary Arts
March 2 – April 6, Tuesdays, 6:00-8:00 p.m. PST
(registration link coming soon!)
What does it mean to write about nature now? We are living at a time of great ecological peril and promise, when some thinkers are questioning whether “nature” still even exists. How to write about this complexity in authentic and evocative ways? How to convey both the beauty and the corruption of beauty? Together, we will consider some historical and contemporary nature writing. Noticing how the genre has changed over time will help us understand how our cultural conceptions of self and nature have both changed and remained the same. Contemporary nature writing often reflects complex social and political realities, while also reminding us of the abiding depth of feeling created by, for instance, placing one’s hand on a tree trunk and pausing to simply feel. In this course, your writing will be informed by both the timely and the timeless. You’ll be guided by wide-ranging prompts and supported by shared explorations in this rich, essential, and deeply meaningful way of exploring the world.
Here are two public lectures I gave as a Guest Artist for PNCA’s Creative Writing Residency:
“Chromophilia and a New First-Person”: https://vimeo.com/445295445
“Unhinged Hinge : Writing in the ecotone-of-here-and-now”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPeTmGph6Vk&list=PLiMdk6fp6oxZpmm9VU-TQ2AS6uw7IjpJq&index=5&t=0s&app=desktop
Here are examples of some courses and workshops I designed and taught:
* An interdisciplinary studio/seminar course for undergraduates focusing on climate change and the role of artists, designers, and creative agitators in addressing this global challenge;
* A graduate-level seminar on critical pedagogy offering critical theory, community engagement, and practical teaching preparation;
* Multiple interdisciplinary graduate-level lectures on the intersection of creative writing with socioecological issues;
* An interdisciplinary course about the history and practice of foraging and preparing natural pigments. The course also taught students the basics of color theory and compositional principles;
* An atelier-modeled, media-blind painting and drawing course for upper division undergraduate students;
* A foundational drawing course for first-year undergraduate students that seamlessly incorporated current events and DEI training with studio techniques;
* An introductory seminar on contemporary visual culture for first-year undergraduate students;
* A team-taught course focusing on the intersection of illustration & creative writing for undergraduate students;
* A watermedia painting workshop focused on experimental approaches;
* A botanical illustration workshop for artists and non-artists;
* A backcountry creative writing workshop with Signal Fire;
* A creative writing course focused on contemporary nature writing;
* A creative writing course focused on hybrid writing that blends genres and approaches.
I am available for lectures, courses, or workshops (online or in person). Please contact me for more information or with questions.
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