It’s been said that the Grand Canyon defies words. With this workshop we plan to put this theory to the test! Participants will use nature—both around them, in the Grand Canyon’s beautiful environment, and within them, through thoughts, associations, and memories—as a catalyst for creative writing.
Topics include: assembling the nature writer’s toolkit, using the five senses (and more) to pay attention, and making connections.
Hike/write along the Transept Trail toward the North Rim Lodge along this gentle rim trail full of wildflowers and canyon views, stopping to write along the way.
After-dinner stroll to enjoy a golden sunset over nearby Transept Canyon; campfire story sharing
Topics include: big issues hidden in small small things, the element of surprise, and origin stories.
Short hike/write options: Bright Angel Point or the Widforss Trail.
Hike/write along exceptionally scenic, 20-mile drive to Cape Royal. Hike/write options include: Cape Royal, Angel’s Window, Cliff Springs, Walhalla Ruins/Overlook.
Sunset at Bright Angel Point and/or Grand Canyon Lodge ranger talk and/or campfire storytelling.
Topics include: Your “voice” and “style,” and how to combine those into artful story-telling.
The final day’s hiking adventure: we’ll take our lunches with us on a below-the-rim hike on the North Kaibab Trail. Participants will choose a distance they feel comfortable with; we will stop and write along the way.
“Reading to the Canyon.” We will decide on a suitable location—perhaps Point Imperial, the highest viewpoint on the North Rim, where the west-facing cliffs of the Marble Platform glow ever more brilliant as the sun sets, then fade into purple shadow.
In 2011, Thea spent three life-changing weeks at the North Rim as National Park Service Artist-in-Residence; now she returns to Grand Canyon as often as possible to wander and write, both along and below the rim.
After teaching writing at Concordia University Irvine from 1997-2017, Thea took an early retirement to allow her to spend even more time outdoors, writing and leading creative writing adventures.
A native of Orange, CA, Thea loves her local wild lands and works to educate others about the importance of native flora through her work on the Board of Directors of the Orange County chapter of the California Native Plant Society.
Thea's poems and essays have appeared in a variety of chapbooks, journals, and anthologies, including New Poets of the American West; On Foot: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories; and Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon.
Price for the class includes:
You are responsible for:
Our family’s experience was nothing short of amazing! "Slim" provided a perspective we would have never been able to get on our own and we learned so much. Her passion for the Canyon and what she does came through too, which made our time something we’ll never forget!”
The guides were awesome – so educational and patient!!! Encouraging & helpful in every way. Such an amazing first visit to the canyon – Life changing to have experienced the GC up close & personal… Thank you so much!”
I've brought many School groups to the Field Institute and the quality of instruction provides them with an understanding of American Indian cultures, diverse ecology, and geologic history. Students leave with a stronger sense of self confidence, an intimate connection to nature, and memories that will last a lifetime.”
Top to bottom, the Institute exceeded all of my expectations .... they ensured we packed wisely for our trip and saved me from lugging around 5 lbs junk I didn't need. Overall, it's packed with value that I don't think commercial outfitters would provide, and delivered a deeply rich experience.”