Remote Session (OCWW is remote only through Dec. 2020)
While poets from Mary Oliver to Ross Gay have shown that the pastoral is not an experience limited to the poetic adventurings of straight, white men, wilderness writing is still a frontier dominated by the conventions of colonialism and domestication. However, as more of us leave the garden and go off-road, new poetic exploration occurs. In honoring the complexity of our relationship to the wild and what each individual experience of gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity might bring to the intersection of the human and non-human world, we’ll write poems or prose towards answering the questions that critic Carol Anne Douglas has posed: “What is wilderness? A European invention to make the natural world seem more mysterious and forbidding? A place in which to scare ourselves into feeling brave? A place that belongs to other species, which humans should enter only on their terms? Any place that gives humans a wilderness feeling, whether it be a child's backyard lot or a city street at night?” Through our own poetic explorations, we’ll learn to wield the chainsaw that cuts that line between ourselves and the wilderness on the page.
Bio: Keetje Kuipers is a poet, essayist, story writer, and editor. She is the author of three poetry collections: Beautiful in the Mouth, The Keys to the Jail, and All Its Charms. Her poems have been featured in the Best American Poetry anthologies, The Academy of American Poets’ Poems have been featured in the Best American Poetry anthologies, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and NPR. In addition to her poems, Keetje’s essays and short stories have appeared in over a hundred journals and magazines. She has been a Stegner Fellow, a Bread Loaf fellow, and PEN Northwest’s Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident. Keetje lives with her wife and children on an island in the Salish Sea, a short ferry ride away from Seattle, where she teaches at Hugo House and serves as Senior Editor at Poetry Northwest.
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