Writing Beyond the Field

Writing the Natural World Beyond the Pastoral

A One-Day Workshop with Poet, Heather J. Macpherson

In this workshop we will question the idea of nature and aspects of the natural world: conceptually, what is the meaning of nature? How does nature affect our everyday lives? How can our experiences, past and present, between our human selves and the outside world, engage our senses and visual instincts in the act of writing poetry? How does the agrarian environment thrive on the edge of the industrial landscape?

Writing Beyond the Field

Sunday, Nov. 13th, 9am-3pm

The Barred Owl Retreat Center

The Barred Owl Retreat Writing & Learning Center, 88 Marshall Street, Leicester, MA. We'll meet in the parking area of the property and walk over to the outdoor classroom space together. Please wear, or bring a pair of outdoor boots/shoes for hiking and exploring the property.

Cost: $40.00/per person, includes snacks and bottled water. Bring a bagged lunch if you wish. Includes instruction booklet with poems for discussion. Register here!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.


  • 9:00 AM: Meet in parking area; head to the outdoor classroom
  • 9:15-11:15 AM: Conversations about the world around us; discuss "The Darkling Thrush," by Thomas Hardy et al. Poetry prompt.
  • 11:30-12 PM: Working brown-bag lunch break w/ poetry reading and discussion
  • 12:00 PM-2PM Walk and write--exploration for the senses.
  • 2PM-3PM: Draft share. We meet back at the classroom to share our work and provide constructive feedback to each other.

About Heather

Heather J. Macpherson writes from Central Massachusetts. Besides her role as executive director of Damfino Press, her work has appeared in numerous publications including The Parlour, Radius Lit, CLARE Literary, Blueline, Spillway, Pearl, Atomic, Niche, The Broken Plate, OVS, Wicked Alice, and The Heron Tree. Heather has twice been features editor for The Worcester Review, and she was the founding publisher and editor of Ballard Street Poetry Journal. She holds a MEd. in Library Media Studies and is completing her Master's in English thesis at Worcester State University. You can also find Heather at her blog, Scribble Hysteria.