David Oates PortraitMy work as a writer and teacher explores how our human world connects with the larger world of natural wildness.

We need to deeply reconsider how we live on this planet. The next generations will face changes in climate and almost unimaginable losses. But I believe – I sense this in both my mind and body – that the natural world is full of renewal. We need to consciously align ourselves with this amazing, sometimes scary force.

How to do it? By engaging the imagination.

Imagination is wild. Dreaming, writing, even building cities – these are instances of the mind’s wild ability to do what nature does: create something new. The whole self is engaged when the imagination is active: intellect – heart – body – community. Imagination is a natural resource, endlessly renewable, implanted in us and ready to spin wonders (if we let it).

My life’s work is to connect with this abundant, joyous process, and to help others do so.

For the Winter/Spring Semester of 2012, I’ve been invited to mentor a select group of emerging writers, as the Kittridge Distinguished Visiting Writer of the Environmental Studies Writing Program (University of Montana, Missoula). See “Events” page for more info.