Teaching and Speaking Opportunities

I am available to speak to groups, formally or informally, and to offer writing and creativity workshops at conferences and literary events.

I try to follow the example of the late Portland poet William Stafford, who always kept the focus on the work and the listener. His was a great and kind spirit, generous with time and joyous about the work of writing. That’s my goal as I interact with audiences and workshop participants. If you would like to inquire about bringing me to your organization or event, please send me an email (see the “Contact” page).

Regularly recurring workshops: Wild Writers Seminars – intensive 11-week sessions in Portland.

Speaking Opportunities

At educational meetings, clubs, organizations, colleges etc., audiences respond to my message of passionate connectedness: that there is a wildness that links humans (mind and body!) with the living world around us. Despite our many problems – despite our environmental mistakes and misdeeds – “nature is never spent”! It is literally never too late: Nature is not “ended” and in the very moment we stop our nonsense, nature will resume its restless, ceaseless, surprising re-creation of the world. We must make ourselves partners with that process.

As an environmental writer, my materials include topics from recent books and research presently underway:

  • Dispossession and identity: Stories from the Columbia River of 1820-50 – a “half-breed” Chinook/Scot who travels the world. . .
  • The Snake and Columbia rivers (imagine the future: 500 years until Eden?)
  • The Portland Urban Growth Boundary (paradoxes of inside/outside: nature on both side of every border!)
  • Art, landscape, and the environmental imagination (artists keep telling us how to see…)
  • Some ways higher education and the environment need to redefine each other (how we redesigned environmental education at Clark College)
  • Women, Men, Queers, and Others (mountaineering, machismo, and beyond…)

 Selected events:

Whidbey Island Writers Program (MFA): Three lecture sessions over three days on “The writing life.” August 2014. Here I offered the concept of “enoughness” and a way to ground ourselves in creative process that connects with actual people (not “markets”).

Sitka Center for Art and Ecology: Two-day writing workshop “The Shore Ode.” So much great poetry and prose has arisen from the simple act of walking along shorelines and rivers! We read, walk, write, and revise. Good things happen. Summer 2014.

MRCSE Midwest Regional Collaborative for Sustainable Education. “Wise Elder/Sage” (their language!). Northlands College, Ashland, Wisc. July 2009.

“Stealing your Voice.” Workshop, Write on the River. Wennatchee, Wash. May 2008.

“City Limits.” Tom McCall Lecture, 1000 Friends of Oregon. Portland, Ore. 8 May 2008.

“Lacking the Subjunctive.” Oregon Association of Press Women, Annual Meeting. Gresham, Ore. 26 April 2008.

Sometimes a Great Notion, Panel Moderator, onstage discussion of Portland Center Stage  production. Portland, Ore. 6 April 2008.

“City Gods and Sacred Waters.” The Other Portland: Art and Ecology in the 5th Quadrant.  Portland, Ore.  9 Feb. 2007.

“Writing Portland.” Panelist, City Club of Portland. Portland, Ore. 15 December 2006.

Western Literature Association conference. Invited panelist for Plenary Session: “Queer Frontiers.” Big Sky, Mont. October 2004

City Club of Portland. “Citizen Read” book club selection and presentation. August 2004.

University of Oregon. Environmental Studies guest speaker. Eugene, Ore. May 2004.

PAMLA (regional MLA) Conference. Featured presenter: “Looking for Paradise: An evening of prose and poetry.” Scripps College, Claremont, Calif.  October 2003.

Washington State Association of Trustees – Community and Technical Colleges Annual Spring Convention.  Presentation: Environmental Education in the College Curriculum. Vancouver, Wash. May 2002.

Lewis and Clark College – Environmental Issues Symposium (October 2001)
Presentation: Creativity, Wildness, and Environmental Writing

Caldera Arts Camp. Workshop: Speaking for nature
Workshop: Parallel stories. Caldera, Ore. August 1999 and August 2000.

Clark College: Annual Poetry and Fiction Workshop.
Workshop: Metaphoring.  Vancouver, Wash. April 1999.