Nature’s Tongue: A Yellowstone Writing Workshop
November 29 - December 3
Lamar Buffalo Ranch
Illona Popper, M.A.
Art, Cultural History, Natural History
Writers have been captured by Yellowstone’s beauty and mystery even before the park was founded. Yet, this place is also a wild laboratory. Discover the ways your own personal field observations and the latest in Yellowstone science may inspire your writing or poetry.
Spend mornings in the field watching wildlife or taking hikes to beautiful places.
Afternoons adjourn to the studio to explore an organic way of writing, which draws on your unconscious, creative mind. Listen to each other’s drafts and work with techniques and readings. You’ll leave this workshop with lots of new drafts and sensory memories from the wild.
The itinerary is designed to take advantage of the best opportunities in the park, but may be adjusted to adapt to weather conditions, wildlife activity, holidays, and road construction. The details and timing of the agenda are subject to change. View the Course Letter below for more information.
- Day 1
Participants are welcome to check into the Lamar Buffalo Ranch starting at 4:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. Meet & Greet and Studio Session
- Introduction to the three phases of writing.
- In-session writing.
- Discussion of participants’ writings: identifying the core of a writing.
- Introduction to readings.
- Days 2-4
Morning FIELD SESSIONS will include some or all of the following:
- Early morning wildlife observation. (At least one day will focus on wolves.)
- Note taking or writing in the field.
- Hiking and/or stationary observations in the field.
- Afternoon STUDIO SESSIONS will include some or all of the following:
- Writing in-session.
- Visiting lecturer and/or readings of nature and other writers. (Visiting speakers will attend for about an hour, only if this meets covid restrictions.)
- Discussion of participants writings to identify the core ideas.
- Demonstration: the process from drafts and notes to a finished piece.
- Last day: Mini reading of Participants Expressive Stage writings.
- Day 5 Check out by 9:00 a.m
About the instructor
Ilona Popper, M.A., naturalist, poet, and freelance writer, has coached writers, edited their works, and taught writing for forty-four years. She is the author of the poetry book, Break, and her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Ilona publishes articles about wildlife and has written scripts for Landis Wildlife documentaries. She has worked as a biotech for private wolf research; as a wildlife guide; and as a naturalist in Yellowstone.
We are continually updating and refining our COVID-19 mitigation measures to ensure the health and safety our guests, staff and volunteers. Read our COVID-19 guidelines for program participants.