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Terroir at Terroir: How place seeps into your writing

March 5, 2019


For our 10th anniversary event, happening all-day April 20 in McMinnville, we are revisiting the idea behind Terroir. Whether or not you can pronounce this word, thrown around by wine aficionados and cheesemongers alike, terroir very much affects your writing.

We’ve got a program incorporating the wisdom of writers on the idea of terroir, or a the distinct character that emerges from a place. Here are some of the workshops and talks you can look forward to:

Morning Keynote: Kim Stafford
Reunion of the Rare: Gathering Testimony for Precious Place 

The terroir of your creative practice gives tone to your writing as earth gives particular notes to a fine wine. Writing for happiness, then—the mysterious “hap” of your story—is a matter of paying attention to your place, your moment, and your calling.

Workshop: Kim Stafford
Earth Verse: Writing for the Good Earth 

In the beginning, creatures said to writers, “Tell our story.” We do this by writing earth verse, for spells, charms, poems, psalms and songs have long provided solace, clarity, and a chance to make peace with ourselves, each other, and Earth. Through poems, trees teach, and rivers guide.

KimOREGON POET LAUREATE KIM STAFFORD is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, and editor of half a dozen others. His book Having Everything Right: Essays of Place won a citation for excellence from the Western States Book Awards in 1986. Stafford has received creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Governor’s Arts Award, and the Stewart Holbrook Award from Literary Arts for his contributions to Oregon’s literary culture.

Workshop:  Bette Lynch Husted
Writing the Stories of Home

What stories grow from the soil you live—and how can you discover them?  In this workshop we will follow the trail left by writers whose work has explored “a sense of place” in order to nurture the seeds of the your own stories.

lives in Pendleton; the characters in her novel All Coyote’s Children live on the nearby Umatilla Indian Reservation. A sense of place inspired her poetry collection At This Distance and two memoirs, Lessons from the Borderlands and Above the Clearwater: Living on Stolen Land (an Oregon Book Award finalist).





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