Upcoming workshop at Cache Creek Nature Preserve: SENSE POETICS

Happy March, all!

I’m happy to announce that the third (and final) workshop in the 2010-2011 workshop series at Cache Creek Nature Preserve is now open for registration:


This group will consider Diane Ackerman’s assertion that “Our senses define the edge of consciousness, and because we are born explorers and questors after the unknown, we spend a lot of our lives pacing that windswept perimeter… The senses don’t just make sense of life in bold or subtle acts of clarity, they tear reality apart into vibrant morsels and reassemble them into meaningful patterns.” In this workshop, we’ll delve into Ackerman’s encyclopedia of sense explorations and discuss the ways poetry both communicates sensory existence and expands one’s conscious experience of the world. Our goal is not just to come to conclusions about our human faculties, but to facilitate new levels of connection between our bodies, minds, and souls as working artists while enjoying the grab bag of new subjects that awaits us. While we’ll be observing the same organizing principles we usually do (the first hour of class devoted to group discussion, the second hour to independent work at the Preserve site), there will also be official homework and reading between class sessions (some of which will be self-assigned by the participants). This ten-week workshop will meet indoors in the Preserve’s education office on cold or rainy winter days, or outdoors in our gorgeous 130-acre riparian classroom as weather permits. Registrants are required to commit to regular attendance, and will need to purchase a copy of Diane Ackerman’s “A Natural History of the Senses.” Early registration is strongly advised; space is limited.

Thursday mornings, 10 AM – 12 PM.

Ten weeks: March 31 – June 2, 2011.

Meets at Cache Creek Nature Preserve in rural northwest Woodland, California.

Free to the public. (Donations to Cache Creek Nature Preserve are accepted in any amount to help support the program; no one will be turned away for lack of funds).

To register, simply drop me an email [at rgouirand (at) gmail (dot) com] with your name, email, and contact phone number. All registered writers will receive an official confirmation email in the week preceding the first class meeting.

The WIR program has offered these workshops free of charge to the public since its genesis in 2002, which has allowed area writers unparalleled access to the structure and stability that local workshops promise those living writing lives. The Cache Creek Conservancy’s visionary understanding of the arts as a mode of environmental stewardship provides the greater Sacramento area with an enriching literary resource for writers at all levels of experience.

The Preserve is located in rural Yolo County, five miles northwest of downtown Woodland, California. The 130 acres of outdoor classroom are augmented by indoor offices and an antique barn. The surrounding habitats include riparian forest, wetlands, willow thickets, open water, heritage oak woodlands, and grasslands bordered on one side by Cache Creek.

All interested community members are welcome, regardless of whether or not they already think of themselves as ‘writers.’ The ultimate goal of the WIR workshops is to stimulate new growth, new thinking, and new direction for creative practice. Our outdoor classroom and gathering spirit make this workshop series a unique opportunity for those who would like to grow their creative lives from the support of both human and natural community.



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