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Course Catalog

Writing About Nature

All Levels | Taking cues from writers such as J. Drew Lanham, Ana Maria Spagna, Rick Bass, and Aimee Nezhukumatathil, we’ll read and write essays with a nature and environmental focus. Through reading, discussion, and writing practice, we’ll explore literary tools along with research methods such as personal observation and interviews. Every writer will compose a place-based essay integrating narrative and information. We’ll share these essays in a supportive workshop setting.

Due to COVID-19, all classes will take place online-either through Zoom or through Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform-through Spring quarter 2021.

All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Instructor: Gail Folkins

Class Type: 4 Sessions

Term: Summer 2021

Start Date: 08/04/2021

End Date: 08/25/2021

Days of the Week: Wednesday

Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm PDT

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$216.00 Member Price:
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$240.00 General Price:

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Gail Folkins

Gail Folkins often writes about her deep roots in the American West. She is the author of two creative nonfiction books from Texas Tech University Press: a Pacific Northwest memoir titled Light in the Trees (2016), and Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit (2007), which was a popular culture finalist in ForeWord Review’s 2007 Book of the Year Awards. Folkins’ essay “A Palouse Horse” was a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2010. Her essays and poetry have appeared in publications such as River Teeth Journal - Beautiful Things, North Dakota Quarterly, Wisconsin Life, Texas Highways, and Wildflower Magazine. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Edward’s University (Austin), and Austin Community College.

Teaching philosophy: My goal is to further understanding of craft while also encouraging expression of students’ unique voices. Students have praised my workshop format and student-centered approach. Students learn to not only share a narrative, but to also explore their experiences and discoveries. I encourage students to read as writers, meaning focusing on elements of craft in addition to literary themes.

Writers I return to: Edward Abbey, Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Kim Barnes, Rick Bass, Dennis Covington, Louise Erdrich, Ernest Hemingway, Pico Iyer, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Favorite writing advice: Find the extraordinary in the everyday.

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