Inspired by the Duwamish River? Learn to put it into words

(WSB file photo)

While much of Seattle’s only river, the Duwamish River, has been pressed into service as industrial “waterway” over the decades, some stretches retain remnants of its original wild beauty. In all its roles, the Duwamish can be a source of inspiration, and a writer who grew up in West Seattle wants you to know about a writing workshop he’s leading soon – not in WS but not far away. Here’s the announcement:

This winter Simon Wolf will offer Place Based Poetics: Writing with the Duwamish River, a workshop through Hugo House, an essential literary community in Seattle. The course draws on documentary and ecopoetic work that has preoccupied Wolf for the past three years, including his University of Washington Bothell MFA thesis, Charging. That project drew from Seattle settler history texts, family migration stories, and reflections on urban experiences, with the Duwamish River as a grounding line through every element. In his current work he questions his preconceived notions of nature and explores new ways of approaching the Duwamish River through writing, research, and his work in land restoration.

The course considers, “How can we write poems from a river? How can this river be the line that guides us through the violent past of Seattle? Part Seattle history, part eco-poetics, we will read excerpts of history texts and discuss poets that engage rivers, industry, and pollution in their work. Students will practice incorporating research into their poetry, will visit the river at least once, and leave class with two river poems.”

Registration is open. Hugo House members receive a discounted rate for the class, which meets in person at Hugo House Tuesdays 5 to 7 pm from February 28 through March 21, 2023.

Wolf also hosts a free monthly Writing Circle at Blue Cone Studios, on Capitol Hill, in Seattle that meets the last Friday of the month from 6-8 pm. Participants are invited to read and discuss poetry, make work together, and to share work in progress — all are welcome!

2 Replies to "Inspired by the Duwamish River? Learn to put it into words"

  • tim February 20, 2023 (8:12 am)

    the brdge was broken-that  day I was awoken-amazing river-

  • Simon Wolf February 20, 2023 (8:29 am)

    Thank you for sharing! I want to also share this quick two-minute video about the class, what it will cover, and why the Duwamish River is the perfect place for a poet and an integral part of seattle’s history.

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