Self-Portraits and Landscapes: Bringing the Personal into Nature Writing An In-Person Workshop with Fishtrap’s Writer in Residence Liza Birnbaum
When we write about nature, there’s always an observing “I” embedded in what we describe—and when we write about our personal experience, there’s always some context beyond our human surroundings. In this class, we’ll try our hand at writing prose that brings the relationship between the self and the nonhuman world into sharp focus. We’ll look at examples by Annie Dillard, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and others, focusing on the craft choices they use to paint dual portraits of themselves and their surroundings. You’ll leave with new writing and inspiration for moving forward.
Liza Birnbaum’swriting has appeared inWeb Conjunctions, jubilat, Tammy, Open Letters Monthly,and other publications. She lives in Seattle, where she runs a yearlong workshop for prose writers and teaches at Hugo House, Bard College’s Language & Thinking Program, and the Washington Corrections Center for Women through the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a BA in Written Arts from Bard College. In 2022, she’ll be an artist-in-residence at Fishtrap and at Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture. She’s at work on a novel and a short book of criticism about Sally Rooney’sConversations with Friends.