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Words in Place

Reconnecting with Nature through Creative Writing

Paul Matthews

288 pp.  
5 3/4" x 8"

Hawthorn Press


Published:  August 2007


  • “Inspirational to those committed to the art of education, in the broadest senses, and, most especially, to those drawn to both the art of writing and the art of healing.” —Peter Abbs, Professor of Creative Writing, University of Sussex

    “. . . a wonderfully beautiful book that creatively blurs the boundaries between writing and life.” —Robert Sardello, The School of Spiritual Psychology

This nine-week writing course follows a path through the realms of nature, from mineral to plants, animal, and people. By exploring the qualities of each, Words in Place encourages writers to find a unique, authentic voice and to forge a new relationship the inner and outer worlds.

Words in Place is a creative writing sourcebook with a difference; it invites us to experience nature afresh and to explore plants, animals, minerals, and place as a way of reconnecting with language. Artists, students, poets, educators, and nature lovers will appreciate the playful and witty exercises, such as “Haiku hikes,” word and story games, written conversation, collaborative writing, and “tiny tales.” These spells will help you see into nature’s secrets and re-imagine the world.

This powerful and unusual book will be enjoyed for its insights into the nature of imagination, richly illustrated by the work of the poets and writers who have created the literary landscape of Sussex and the author’s workplace at Emerson College.


  • WEEK ONE: Opening Our Senses to Each Other and the World
  • WEEK TWO: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire
  • WEEK THREE: Turning a New Leaf
  • WEEK FOUR: The Flowering Garden and Our Responses to It
  • WEEK FIVE: The Animal in Nature
  • WEEK SIX: Giving Voice to the Animals
  • WEEK SEVEN: Being Human
  • WEEK EIGHT: The Story We Belong to
  • WEEK NINE: Walking Back the Way We Came

Related Titles

  • History in English Words
  • The Spirit of the English Language : A Practical Guide for Poets, Teachers & Students
  • Sing Me the Creation : Creative Writing Sourcebook (2nd Edition)
  • Parables

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Arts & Literature: General ; Science & Nature: Environment and Waldorf & Special Needs Education: Art & Literature