Free Creative Writing Workshop June 27 with Oregon Author & Poet Charles Goodrich

High Desert Museum and Waterston Desert Writing Prize Co-Sponsor Workshop

Author and poet Charles Goodrich will conduct a free creative writing workshop titled “Shrines to the Ordinary: Writing to Illuminate Persons, Places, and Things,” Wednesday, June 27, 3-4:30pm at the High Desert Museum, Bend. The workshop, co-sponsored by the High Desert Museum and the Waterston Desert Writing Prize, is part of the celebration of the 2018 winner and finalists of the Prize, who will be honored at an award event, also June 27 at the Museum, starting at 6pm. The workshop is limited to 20 participants to ensure a quality experience.  To register for the workshop, click here.

Workshop participants will consider how our love for the world gets organized in many different ways. Maybe we have a special arrangement of keepsakes and photos on the night stand bedside our bed. Or we’ve placed a big chunk of obsidian under the lilac to recall a glorious, youthful adventure. Or we simply maintain an orderly arrangement of our hand tools on the wall of the garage. We create shrines with words, too, consecrating a place, a person, or a moment in vivid language. Participants will consider the altars in our ordinary lives and write short pieces in prose or poetry that enshrine a moment. Everyone is welcome, whatever the genre preference or level of experience. Please bring a laptop or notebook for the writing exercise.

Charles Goodrich is the author of three books of poetry, A Scripture of Crows; Going to Seed: Dispatches from the Garden; and Insects of South Corvallis, and a collection of essays, The Practice of Home: Biography of a House.  He has co-edited two anthologies, Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest and In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mount St. Helens.  His poems and essays have appeared in Orion, High Country News, The Sun and many other journals and anthologies. For many years he supported his poetry habit by working as a professional gardener. Goodrich recently retired from his post as director of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word at Oregon State University.

In addition to leading the workshop, Goodrich will participate in a panel discussion, “A Desert Conversation,” along with three other distinguished experts, Rebecca Lawton, Dr. Jay Stratton Noller and Richard Wilhelm, as part of the award ceremony. Adam Davis will serve as moderator. The award event is free and open to the public, and pre-registration is required. To reserve for the award event, click here.

The 2018 winner of the Prize, Patrick Mondaca from Montclair, New Jersey will be honored at the award ceremony, and will read an excerpt from his writing. In addition, one of the two finalists, Kathryn Wilder from Dolores, Colorado, will attend the ceremony and read from her work. The other finalist, who is unable to attend, is Diana Woodcock from Midlothian, Virginia. More information about the winner and finalists is available here.

The Waterston Desert Writing Prize was established to honor creative and literary nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy, with the desert as subject and setting. Inspired by author and poet Ellen Waterston’s love of the high desert of Central Oregon, a region that has been her muse for more than 30 years, the Waterston Desert Writing Prize recognizes the vital role deserts play worldwide in the ecosystem and the human narrative.

For more information about the Waterston Desert Writing Prize, visit, email or call 541.480.3933.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *