Contemporary Nature Writing was one of my favorite classes of all time. If you haven’t taken a class from Owen Grumbling, consider doing so because he’s amazing. This class was great because it introduced me to new writers I ended up falling in love with and I got to read a lot of poetry. We got to go outside and write in nature for several classes. Overall very fun and rewarding, and I ended up with several pieces of writing I’m proud of.
“This discussion course will examine representative samples of nature writing during roughly the last forty years in order to survey its diversity of form and theme, and assess its value to the individual reader in formulating the reader’s philosophy of nature. Forms to be explored include novel, wilderness journal, popular lyric, feature and documentary film, personal essay, environmental polemic, natural history essay and magazine writing. Emphasis will be on major figures such as Edward Abbey, Louise Erdrich, Wendell Berry, Leslie Marmon Silko, Margaret Atwood, Gary Snyder. Students will take turns presenting texts of their choosing as a basis for group discussion.”
– UNE Official Course Catalog
Nature Reflection Piece:
I believe this may have been one of our final reflection pieces for the class, but I can’t remember exactly. In this class we wrote a lot. In this piece, I discuss my experience going on my class senior trip and the ways it helped me move past the eating disorder I was diagnosed with when I was 15. I wrote this piece in 2016, I believe, reflecting on my senior year of high school (2014/15).
I wanted to show how healing nature can be when you’re struggling with internal problems, whether it be a physical or mental illness. It was cathartic to be able to write about the problems I had as a teenager and feel far away from them, and to know I’d gotten stronger for getting through them.