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Course Catalog

Writing About Nature

This class will take place via video-conferencing (Zoom), Pacific Time.

Introductory/Intermediate | Using the techniques of literary journalism, we’ll read and write essays with a nature and environmental focus, taking cues from writers such as Pam Houston, Ana Maria Spagna, Rick Bass, and Louise Erdrich. Through reading, discussions, and workshops, we’ll discuss best practices and research methods, from in the field to interviews. Every writer will compose two pieces — one personal piece and one longer essay integrating research. We will also discuss publication.

Due to COVID-19, all classes will take place online until further notice. If there's a possibility that your class might take place in person, you will be notified in advance. Even if classes can be held in person, there will always be a hybrid option to participate via Zoom.

Classes with "Zoom" in the title will be held via Zoom even after our doors open. Classes listed as "Online" will be held on Wet Ink, our platform for asynchronous learning.

All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Instructor: Gail Folkins

Class Type: 8 Sessions

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Term: Summer 2020

Start Date: 07/01/2020

End Date: 08/19/2020

Days of the Week: Wednesday

Time: 7:10 pm – 9:10 pm

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$342.00 Member Price:
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$380.00 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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