Writing in a more-than-human world
Whether nature is backdrop, inspiration, or the primary subject in our narratives, the way we regard it and present it matters. Using examples of accomplished nature writing, we will examine successful writing practices at work: how to record and translate what you observe, how to use science, how to widen the inquiry to other ways of knowing, and how to improve listening and awareness. Participants should bring appropriate outdoor clothing, as well as a journal and pen.
I am a prairie naturalist, activist, and writer living on the northern edge of the Great Plains in Regina, Saskatchewan. My fourth book, The Road is How: A Prairie Pilgrimage through Nature, Desire, and Soul was published by HarperCollins in April, 2014. Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds (HarperCollins, 2009) was a Globe & Mail Top 100 book, was listed by Quill and Quire on its 2009 list of 15 books that matter, and shortlisted for the Writer’s Trust Non-Fiction Prize, the Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction, and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing (non-fiction). My first book, River in a Dry Land: a Prairie Passage (2000), received several national awards and a nomination for the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction. My second book, Jacob’s Wound: a Search for the Spirit of Wildness (2004), was nominated for several awards, including a short-listing for the Writer’s Trust Award for Non-Fiction. My writing has appeared in the Globe & Mail and Canadian Geographic, as well as several anthologies. I have written two radio documentaries for CBC Ideas and I am a regular guest on CBC Radio Saskatchewan’s Blue Sky. My wife, Karen and I have four children, two of whom live with us in Regina. I post regularly on my grassland blog, Grass Notes.
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