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One Flesh: Writing the Inner and Outer Landscape

October 21, 2023 @ EST 10:00 am - 4:00 pm


An All Genres Workshop at Gell with Anais Salibian

Gleason Lodge, Gell: A Creative Finger Lakes Retreat
6581 West Hollow Road, Naples, NY 14512

“Body and land are one flesh,” Scott Russel Sanders writes in his essay “Earth’s Body.” “They are made of the same stuff. Their beauty is one beauty, their wounds are the same wounds . . . We explore them alike, honor or abuse them alike. The health or sickness of one is inseparable from that of the other. There is no division between where we live and what we are.”

What better place than the Gell Center to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the land as we explore our kinship with it? We’ll read and discuss essays, stories, and poems by writers whose work is grounded in nature: Barry Lopez, Annie Dillard and Mary Oliver. Prompted writing exercises will get our pens flowing. But as we’re doing our own “nature writing,” we’re exploring something else: how writing, like nature, helps us know what we are. How writing contributes to the health of those inseparable two: ourselves and our earth.

Sanders’ essay begins in a dark night of the soul and ends with these lines: “The only sure antidote to oblivion is the creation. So I loop my sentences around the trunks of maples, hook them into the parched soil, anchor them to rock, to moon and stars, wrap them tenderly around the ankles of those I love. From down in the pit I give a tug, to make sure my rope of words is firmly hooked into the world, and then up I climb.”

There will be breaks for lunch and outdoor walks, as well as opportunities to write outdoors. Participants bring their own lunch and beverages; snacks provided. Wi-Fi available.

Anais Salibian is a certified teacher with over 25 years of experience as a body/mind practitioner, writing instructor, and support group leader. Her memoir, personal essay, journaling, and writing-to-heal offerings have long been recognized in Rochester as life-changing, joyful experiences. In 2004, she received Writers & Books’ Teacher of Adults Award. Anais brings to all her classes and workshops an exceptional ability to create a safe environment, ask the right questions, give feedback that moves people to their next level of awareness or skill, and work with diverse groups. Read more at Awareness Heals.

In-person tickets (limited to 16): $90 general public; $80 members; scholarships available

Reading Downloads:

Landscape and Narrative,” from Crossing Open Ground, by Barry Lopez

Asters and Golden Rod,” from Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Total Eclipse,” from Teaching a Stone to Talk, by Annie Dillard

Available at Ampersand Books:

Crossing Open Ground
Braiding Sweetgrass
Teaching a Stone to Talk
Staying Put
Small Wonder


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October 21, 2023
10:00 am - 4:00 pm


Writers & Books
(585) 473-2590
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Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat
6581 W Hollow Rd.
Naples, 14512 United States
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If you would like to make a request for any accommodation, please email us at accommodation@wab.org at least 10 days prior to the event or workshop.

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