Writing Place: Awakening the Interior Landscape with Caroline Froh – G240131.1
This class is for anyone looking to incorporate a stronger sense of place into their own writing. The landscape of Ghost Ranch has proven inspirational to writers and artists from time immemorial, and now it is your turn to channel this incredible landscape yourself. Through a combination of gentle hikes and outdoor wanderings and exploration, reading and discussion, and a range of generative writing exercises, we will deepen our relationship to the place we now find ourselves in. By learning how to awaken to what we find around us, we will in turn awaken to what is within, and tune our ear to what might be waiting to pass through.
During our time together, we will spend time thinking, learning, and writing about the landscape immediately around us. Students will be asked to bring warm clothes so that they can partake in outdoor activities, which include but are not limited to hikes, gentler, meditative walks, and potentially even writing outside. We will read and discuss works by a number of place-based writers, paying attention to their tools and strategies so that we become better aware of what we might utilize in our own practice. There will also be craft talks and exercises throughout.
This one-week course will explore the ways texts are shaped by places in various ways, with an emphasis on Southwestern and desert writing. To better understand what it means for a work to be rooted, we will also look at the ways a text is affected when it moves from one place to another. We will also make time for a turning inward, which will emphasize students’ connections to the places that have shaped them personally. In addition to short in-class writing exercises and assignments, students will be expected to produce a substantial piece of writing to be turned in at the end of the week (individual projects to be discussed and agreed-upon in advance with the instructor). Students will also be expected to keep a journal throughout their time here, and although this will not be turned in, there will be opportunities to share over the course of the three weeks if students feel comfortable doing so.
*Note: this is a safe space open to writers with a range of experience and writing abilities. Beginners are welcome! While open to poets, this course is designed primarily with writers of fiction and creative nonfiction in mind, and exercises will be oriented around those genres.
Caroline G. Froh is a writer and literary translator based in the mountains of northern New Mexico. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa, where she was also one of the 2020-2021 Provost’s Postgraduate Visiting Writers. The recipient of multiple grants and fellowships, she was most recently awarded a 2023 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant to support her translation of Words of Resistance by Yenish-Swiss writer Mariella Mehr. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, and her translation of Milena Michiko Flašar’s novel, Mr. Katō Plays Family, is newly released from Forge Books.