“Keep on, Strong Heart” Writing for the Reeling World

Rising winds, souring seas, collapsing ecosystems, cascading injustices – how weary we are of assaults on the beautiful planet and its small lives. Our love for the world is deep and complex, and so (like E.B. White) we “arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day.” This is a workshop for writers who are determined to do both.

How can our love for the world empower our voices in its defense? How can we open readers’ hearts without breaking them? How can we move people to action by inspiring, rather than scolding, them? How can we alert people to the enormity of the peril, without immobilizing them? How can we summon the wild imagination, the joy, even the laughter we will need to defend what we love too much to lose?

We will explore old and new forms of writing – the personal essay and the op-ed, but also the witness, the radical imaginary, the lament and the apologia – and old and new forms of publication. Together, in a community of caring, we will find the courage in our hearts, the clarity in our minds, and the power in our words.

Kathleen Dean Moore

Kathleen Dean Moore, Ph.D., is a philosopher and writer, best known for award-winning books about our cultural and spiritual relation to wet, wild places. Among them are Riverwalking, Holdfast, Pine Island Paradox, and Wild Comfort. Until recently Distinguished Professor of Environmental Ethics at Oregon State University, Moore’s love for the reeling world has led her to a new life of climate writing and activism. Her most recent book, Great Tide Rising: Toward Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change, follows the pivotal Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, testimony from the world’s moral leaders about our obligations to the future. Moore’s environmental writing returns to the wild-weather coast in her newest book, The Piano Tide, “a savagely funny and deeply insightful” novel about a small town’s struggle to defend its fresh water. Her work has won the Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Association Award, the Oregon Book Award, the WILLA Award for Contemporary Fiction, and the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. She writes from Corvallis, Oregon and from a small cabin where two creeks and a bear trail meet a tidal cove in Alaska.


Read more about Kathleen Dean Moore.