Writing Ourselves Home
An Online Workshop to Write From Body & Earth
October 11 - November 21
By writing about where we are -- in time, as bodies, and on the earth -- we can generate a lot of powerful, new writing as we deepen our sense of being at home in the world.
We live in concentric circles, starting at our most local home of our bodies, and rippling out through our homes, communities, ecoregions, planet, and universe. This class draws on a bioregional perspective that home informs who we are and how we are live.
Come create new poems, stories, songs, or whatever genre the emerging writing wants to be. We'll explore identity, callings, embodiment, personal history, ecology, and what it means to both live in specific bodies and places. Most of all, we'll be illuminating how to make the visible – what's right here in/of our bodies, dwellings, local terrain, weather and skies – more visible, and use that new vision as a lantern to lead us toward greater homecoming.
Ah, not to be cut off,
not through the slightest partition
shut out from the law of the stars.
The inner -- what is it
if not the intensified sky,
hurled through with birds and deep
with the winds of homecoming.
~ Tomas Transtromer
What This Class Gives You
This exploration in writing from where you live provides you with the following each week:
- A body of new writing, whether it's poetry, fiction, memoir, or other (your choice).
- A community of support and inspiration online and on Zoom.
- Immersion into the writing and vision of a variety of poets and writers who can show you new ways to work with language to speak more in your most authentic voice.
- Craft investigations to strengthen your writing.
- Podcast reflections or meditations on what it can mean to write from our bodies, places, communities, and eco-communities.
- Inviting and vibrant writing prompts to spark your creative fires.
- Discussions on writing as a way to come home to where we are and to find the words to speak our truths and perceptions.
- A short one-on-one coaching session on your writing (with a special package available for additional coaching).
Who Should Take This Class
This is a generative class for all people who want to discover more about the transformative power of language to connect us to where and who we are. Because the class is designed to meet you where you are, all who write or want to write are welcome. This includes people just starting out or already seasoned in poetry, memoir, fiction, drama, and songwriting as well as other who draw on the power of words as their art in storytelling, spoken word, and other forms. All the writing prompts are aimed toward you unearthing the writing that's ripe in whatever genre calls to you at the moment.
How This Class Works
This is an online class with two Zoom meetings and a short one-on-one coaching session with me. The details are:
- Online class with new lessons opening each Monday and your responses due by the following Monday. Each week includes a reflection or meditation on the week's focus, an exploration of a particular writer; such as David Abram, Linda Hogan, William Stafford, Pattiann Rogers and others; a discussion on the craft of strong writing; several writing, storytelling and/or expressive arts prompts to lead you to your own best words; and a discussion question to ponder.
- Two Zoom meetings, each on a Sunday (7 p.m. CST/8 p.m. EST/ 6 p.m. MST/ 5 p.m. PST), one at the beginning (Sunday, Oct. 17) to get to know each other, and one at the end (Nov. 21) for a celebratory reading together.
- One 20-minute coaching session to discuss your writing, the writing life, ways to share your work through publication or readings, or whatever else you'd like to chat about, which we'll schedule at your convenience.
- Peer support through encouraging comments and questions throughout the class.
You should expect to spend 3+ hours per week perusing resources and readings, answering a discussion question, engaging in exercises, and responding to peers’ work.
Additional Coaching Add-On: All people enrolled in the class can purchase a discounted coaching package with me for more in-depth one-on-one guidance (more on coaching here): 3 sessions for $225 (a $30 savings). Sessions can be scheduled during and/or after the class. Payment can be made by check (contact me for details), Venmo (Caryn-Goldberg-2 and please email me so that I have your contact info.), or Paypal.
Week By Week
Week 1 / Home to the Body: Our Most Local Address: Our most intimate home is the local ecosystem of being a body. We'll romp and roll through prompts and questions about what our bodies have to say and how they say it over our history, and consider through what we create the possibilities of more embodied writing and living.
Week 2 / Dwellings and What It Means to Make a Home: What does it mean to live in a house, apartment, yurt or wherever you hang your hat and aim yourself toward a good night's sleep on a regular basis? Drawing on such works as Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space, we'll write and play our way into the signs and symbols we find right at home and over time in our various dwellings.
Week 3 / Watersheds and Watershed Moments: Our homes are part of a watershed, the area that is drained by a river, creek, stream or other defining ground of our waterways. At the same time, we'll look at the watershed moments of our lives that changed everything, and how to gain greater vision of what such moments mean, and how to understand, honor, and learn from our inner and outer watersheds.
Week 4 / Ecoregions and Mapping Our Stories: Expanding out, we land in our land form, whether we live in the tallgrass prairie, the eastern woodlands, the Sonoran desert, the Rocky Mountains or elsewhere. In exploring a little more about the common plant and animal associations of our area, we can also cultivate greater connections with the more-than-human species among us. At the same time we look at mapping where we live in place, we'll play with mapping where we are in time by following the stories we've lived.
Week 5 / Earth and Sky: We're part of an evolving, ailing, regenerating, suffering, and changing planet. At the same time, the sky begins at our feet, and we live in weather -- both inner and outer. This week journeys across the lands and skies of our imaginations as we use our writing to connect with the larger planet and constantly shifting sky.
Week 6 / The Cosmos: The Visible and Invisible: Our planet rotates in a vast universe, and beyond our universe, universes beyond universes. In concentrating on what we can learn about the cosmos and our local universe, we'll also travel through the cosmos of our infinite imaginations. This week also includes some circling back to body and place to better see the concentric circles of home where we live, what we've created, and what calls to us beyond this call.