Author

Tammis Coffin

Date of Award

12-2001

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Mary Bird

Second Committee Member

Aram Calhoun

Third Committee Member

John Daigle

Abstract

Finding poetry in nature is a project about cultivating receptivity and curiosity to the experiences of the natural world. It is about using language imaginatively to deepen a responsiveness and respectfulness towards nature. The project is allied with movements in Environmental Education and Language Arts Education that address sense of place and "place-based" education. My discoveries take the form of a literature review, a set of facilitation techniques, and samples of my own nature writing. An exploration of a sense of place is enriched by actively integrating four different perceptual paths. Attentiveness to sensory and imaginative impressions as well as emotional and intellectual responses deepen a responsiveness to the natural world. Touching on these four paths allows nature writers and other observe is of nature to be guided to meaningful discoveries and new perceptual terrain. Facilitation techniques from contemplative practices can help awaken reverence and sense of wonder and techniques from the expressive arts and other therapies can help tune sensory awareness, prompt curiosity, and free creativity. I experiment with these techniques in my own writing practice and share the results.

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