Writing Retreat: Changing Bodies, Changing Landscapes

Saturday, June 24 through Sunday June 25, 2023
12:00pm Saturday – 12:00pm Sunday

$260 per person ($230 for Friends of Pepperwood)
Ages 18 and up welcome
Meet at the Bechtel House

From floods to fires to the on-going pandemic, we have been living at the epicenter of the climate crisis in Sonoma County.  As many of us know, our bodies have changed through these times as much as the landscapes themselves. Some of these changes are expected, some taboo, some unexplored, some take us to our knees. By offering participants the chance to observe regeneration while reflecting on their relationship to body, they will begin to understand nature not as a destination, but as a part of what it means to be human. 

In Changing Bodies, Changing Landscapes, writer, naturalist and educator Kelly Gray will lead participants through a two-day workshop designed to cultivate skills in observation, the craft of written story, and offer opportunities for participants to see their lives reflected in the natural world and the natural world reflected within them. By using the landscape of Pepperwood as a backdrop for the workshop, there will be time in nature to look, feel, and write, as well as utilize the expertise of the staff regarding fire ecology, indigenous land practices and native flora and fauna. Special attention will be paid to the land affected by fire and celebrating disturbances in writing. Writing that comes from BIPOC, disabled, and queer/trans experiences will be prioritized in our reading and group discussions. This workshop will provide a safe place to receive writing encouragement and feedback while focusing on the art of revision.

This workshop will explore writing topics ranging from birth to death and everything in between. Writing exercises will ask participants to examine their relationship to the nonhuman world as well as the human world, and everything that entails. We will set up an agreed upon system for content warnings, but it should be expected that we will be reading and writing about experiences that bring us into places of discomfort. From this place of discomfort we will do the work of imagining a better world, a more profound writing practice, and the courage to share our words. 

Homebase for the weekend is Pepperwood’s Bechtel House retreat cabin, with a wrap-around deck overlooking breathtaking vistas. Bring your camping gear to sleep under the stars or reserve a bunk bed in the house (for an additional fee). Some of the weekend’s activities will be held in the field and will include hiking 1-3 miles over varied terrain at a slow pace. Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast are provided, and you are welcome to bring your own favorite snacks and beverages. A detailed list of what to bring will be shared after registration. 

COVID Protocols: All events will follow current regional health safety guidelines. Please practice good health hygiene, and physical distancing when possible. If you do not feel well, please do not attend.

Cancellation Policy: a full refund will be given for cancellations 21 days (3 weeks) or more before the start of this event. For cancellations within 20 to 8 days (2 weeks) before the event, a 50% refund will be given. Refunds will not be given for cancellations within 7 days of this event. (Exception: cancellation due to a verifiable medical reason within 20 days (2 weeks) before camp begins may receive a full refund.)

About the Instructor:
Kelly Gray (she/her/hers) lives in Northern California on unceded Coast Miwok and Kashaya Pomo land in a very small cabin with her beloved family. She writes about what she knows or is trying to know; weaving eco-grief into community resiliency, parenting, beauty in the face of systemic violence, prophetic animals, relationships to self and others, and rural life. 

Gray is the author of Instructions for an Animal Body (MoonTide Press, 2021), Tiger Paw, Tiger Paw, Knife, Knife (Quarter Press, 2022) the audio chapbook My Fingers are Whales and Other Stories of Cetology (Moon Child Press, 2021), and her chapbook Quag Daughter is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in 2023. She is the recipient of the 2022 Neutrino Short-Short Prize for her story “A Note on Sex and Death on the Beach” and her writing has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions. Most recently her work has appeared in Southern Humanities Review, Northwest Review, and Passages North

As a long time educator in reproductive health, a community organizer, and a certified naturalist, Kelly brings a deep reverence for the written word and the experience of body and place. Her classes call forth participants to examine their relationships to self, the non-human world, autonomy, and interconnected living through the craft of writing and revision.
 
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Register for this class using the secure form below.

To register, select the applicable level below, either General or Friends of Pepperwood and click +Add. On mobile devices, you may need to scroll all the way to the right to find the +Add button. In the pop up window, enter your attendee information and scroll to the bottom to click “Continue”. Repeat this for other attendees. If you want to reserve a bunk bed, do so by clicking +Add for the bunk of your choice. Next, on the main form, you may add an additional donation amount in the open field, then click the green “Continue” button to move to the final page for payment. Click the green “Process” button on this final page to complete your transaction.

For all questions about this event, please contact Holland Gistelli, Education Program Coordinator, at hgistelli@pepperwoodpreserve.org or (707) 591-9310 x 124.

Early bird registration for Friends of Pepperwood begins at 9am on Monday, December 5, 2022. Enter the code you received as a current Friend of Pepperwood to access early registration and to receive your discount. If you’re not sure about your Friends of Pepperwood status or don’t know the code, contact Sloane Shinn, Donor Relations, at sshinn@pepperwoodpreserve.org or (707) 591-9310 x 133. Click here to become a Friend of Pepperwood today!

Registration for the general public begins at 9am on Monday, December 12, 2022.

2023-06-24 12:00 2023-06-24 12:00 America/Los_Angeles Writing Retreat: Changing Bodies, Changing Landscapes

Saturday, June 24 through Sunday June 25, 2023 12:00pm Saturday – 12:00pm Sunday $260 per person ($230 for Friends of Pepperwood) Ages 18 and up welcome Meet at the Bechtel House From floods to fires to the on-going pandemic, we have been living at the epicenter of the climate crisis in Sonoma County.  As many […]

sbeard@pepperwoodpreserve.org