The Workshops: Nature Writing

June 16-23, 2018

Nature Writing, Poetry

Last summer the Kenyon Review inaugurated its workshop in nature writing within the genre of poetry, and we are thrilled to be making this workshop a regular offering. During this week, participants investigate classical and modern poems in rhetorical categories to show different ways to write about nature: the pastoral (descriptive); the georgic (instructive, didactic); and the eclogue (involving two or more voices, and perhaps some debate). Writers in this workshop also look at neoclassical, romantic, modern, and contemporary aesthetic models.

In addition to daily reading assignments that coordinate with writing prompts, there are daily engagements in science and field work in the bucolic countryside surrounding Kenyon’s campus. Participants will then share their works in progress with one another as well as select portions to share with the larger writers workshop community when everyone gathers for our nightly readings.

Nature Writing, Prose

This summer, in the wake of the success of last year’s nature writing workshop in poetry, we are adding a nature writing workshop in prose. In addition to the daily reading and writing done within our regular workshop model, our nature writers will embark on guided explorations of the natural world through daily field activities such as stargazing and bird netting in and around the lovely landscapes of Kenyon College, allowing observations and reflections from these engagements to then inform the development and writing of an essay or short story.

Workshop conversations offer writers opportunities to share work and receive feedback as well as study how others have incorporated the natural world into their writing, either through essays and stories specifically about ecological matters or through stories that use environmental engagement as a support for other character or personal narratives.

Each Workshop is limited to 10 participants. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, and we make every effort to notify applicants within four weeks of application. The application consists of the online application form, a resume, and a sample of your work. The sample should be no more than five pages and can be either three or four poems or one short story or essay or a prose excerpt from a longer work. This class is taught by David Baker (poetry) and A.J. Verdelle (prose) together with members of the Kenyon College Biology Department.

Questions? Please email or call 740-427-5196

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