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  • The Five Senses and the Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry

The Five Senses and the Four Elements: Connecting with the Body and Nature Through Poetry

  • 04 January 2016
  • 14 February 2016
  • Online


  • $40 per week
  • for special circumstances only

Registration is closed

We move our bodies through this world, experiencing it daily, but often not connecting with either the world or our selves in a conscious and intentional way. This six-week class will help us to slow down, breathe deeply, and experience our bodies in this world. Through a variety of readings and texts, online discussions, and creative writing exercises, participants will investigate what it means to be in their bodies in the natural world. Read an interview here with Angie about the class!

Participants will be invited to engage in the natural world in whatever means possible for them – be that on a park bench in a busy city, through an apartment window in the suburbs, camping in a forest, walking through open fields, or working in a garden – and to embrace their bodies in their current state of being. Creative writing will focus on the senses of the body, the elements of nature, and the ways we can be more aware of those things in our daily life. We will explore these themes through various forms of poetry including traditional nature-based forms such as the bantu, haiku, and renga, as well as forms such as the pantoum, free verse, and communal writing.

Week by Week

Week One ​will begin with an overview of sensory-based writing and a discussion of the benefits of using the natural world as a way of talking about our bodies and selves. We will also do introductions of ourselves and our daily worlds, and be introduced to the idea of the “small noticing.”

Weeks Two through Week Five will each focus on a different element - earth, air, water, and fire - and the ways we can connect with both with these elements and with our selves through writing. We will do various readings each week and experiment with different forms of poetry.

Week Six​ will bring the various writing we’ve done throughout the course together, and will include a community written poem as well. Additionally, we will reflect on what we’ve gained and learned over the last several weeks and ways we plan to continue this work.


This is an online class. Each week will include various texts to help us explore the topics. Each week will also include discussions of the readings and our personal experiences, as well as creative writing prompts. Participants should expect to spend around three to four hours per week on this class. If you have specific accessibility needs please contact the facilitator.

Who Should Take This Class

This class is ideal for anyone wanting to get more in touch with themselves or the world around them, and those wishing to expand their creative practices. Participants will also learn more about various types of poetry and should expect to spend around three to four hours per week on this class.

About the Teacher

Angie River is a writer, educator, activist, and performance artist. She has taught writing workshops and done performances in various states across the country, and is published in “Tidepools Literary Magazine,” “Reading for Hunger Relief,” The Body is Not an Apology webpage, and the upcoming anthology “Queering Sexual Violence,” as well as having her own blog (https://nittygrittynakedness.wordpress.com/) and zines. Angie fully believes in the power of writing to help us gain a better understanding of ourselves, to build connections and community, and to make personal and social change.

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