Workshops


Let’s work together!

I am available to travel and lead workshops on ecopoetry, ranging from single-session to multi-session workshops. See my events page for upcoming programs.

Below are examples of workshops I have taught that can be modified for different settings, both in person and online.

Please email redsofasalon@gmail.com to discuss.

Speaking for Earth: An Ecopoetry Walk

One 90-minute to 2-hour session, in person

“Each and every grass has a song” – Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav

We are living on a fragile and sacred planet that needs us to speak on its behalf. What happens when we attune ourselves to the songs of the grass, the trees, and the creatures that share our world? The act of reading and writing poetry can train us to listen deeply to the voices of the earth. We will come together for a nature poetry walk. We will read a selection of environmental poems that will open us up to different ways of speaking for the earth. Then we’ll take a walk and engage in writing exercises inspired by the landscape. Bring a notebook, pen, and an open mind. All are welcome – no writing experience necessary.

Testimonial

“Hila bridged the natural world with the literary one in her ecopoetry program in the woods she created for my organization. Our participants appreciated her depth of preparedness and breadth of poetry that she shared with us. We were grateful for the touchstone she provided for us to have the opportunity to experience and write. It was a meaningful program, and Hila executed it with grace, modesty, and intelligence.”  

Glenna Lee, Sisterhood President, Westchester Jewish Center

Songs of the Grass: Exploring Jewish Ecopoetry

Six 90-minute sessions, in person or online

“Each and every grass has a song” – Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav

The Jewish environmental movement has sought to excavate and breathe new life into ancient texts that call us to right relationship with this fragile and holy earth. Jewish poets vividly describe the human encounter with plants, animals, and the elements where they often find intimations of the Divine or cause for protest on behalf of the non-human world. Together we’ll read poetry and other Jewish writings that will inspire our own experiments with ecopoetry. Some poets we will read include Marge Piercy, Muriel Rukeyser, Alicia Ostriker, Adrienne Rich, Denise Levertov, Stanley Moss, Stuart Kestenbaum, Phillip Levine, Mónica Gomery, and more! We’ll engage in writing exercises, some of which will take us outside to our local environments to allow us to listen to, and translate, the voices of the earth. You will come away with a deepened appreciation for Jewish wisdom on the environment and a number of poem drafts that will help you envision your personal Torah of the earth

Writing Poems for the Earth: An Ecopoetry Workshop

Six 90-minute sessions, in person or online

What does it feel like to be a human on earth during the climate crisis? How can we find the words to express our concern, grief, and awe for this fragile planet that we call our home? In this generative, interactive workshop, we will trace the evolution of nature poetry from the Romantic tradition to what we now call “ecopoetry,” a poetry that interrogates the relationship between the human and non-human, shifting the human gaze to make room for other voices and perspectives. We will read poems that respond to the climate crisis and that explore the intersection of race and identity with experiences of nature. We’ll read works by Lucille Clifton, Ed Roberson, Camille Dungy, Juliana Spahr, Forrest Gander, John Clare, John Keats, Denise Levertov, Inger Christensen, and Brenda Hillman. Depending on the setting, we will also go on poetry walks, where the landscape will be our muse. Becoming deeply attentive to our environment, to its creatures and plants, to the places where human and nature meet, we will write our own poems and then share our discoveries with the group.