Wild Writers Seminars

Salmon Creek Trail

Wild Writers Seminars began in spring of 1994 as a creative-writing-from-nature class at Marylhurst University. Its students included Claire Nail, whose own novel came out some years later, and the then-teenaged poet Michael Dickman, who smuggled his brother Matthew into the class too. These two went on to become quite prominent poets, and I am able to say I did not appear to have damaged them, at least. They were fun to work with.

The Seminars then moved into my living room, offered typically once or twice a year as a three-hour Sunday meeting over eleven weeks. We explored a variety of topics in the seminars; see below for a description of the last two. Wild Writers is now suspended.

Wild Writers Seminars brought me joy and creative contact with many aspiring and accomplished Portland writers.

Recent Seminars

Wild Writers Seminar: “The Nonlinear Memoir: It’s Not All About You.”  An intensive dive into techniques of focusing a memoir not on chronology but on a leading idea, theme, or path of discovery. January – March 2020.

Wild Writers Seminar: “Writing in a Dark Time.”  As our nation faces a presidency of unprecedented deceitfulness and demagoguery, what is the role of writers? How to avoid ranting and merely temporary wrangling? Where is the heart? In this dark time, what is light?  In our eleven weeks we found our voices and sent pieces off for publication (including pieces in Terrain.org’s “Dear America” series).  We sent out a call to writers and received work from all over North America, assembled into the book Come Shining: Essays and Poems on Writing in a Dark Time (Kelson Books 2017). January – March 2017.