Writing Poems for the Earth: An Ecopoetry Workshop with Hila Ratzabi




What does it feel like to be a human on earth during the climate crisis? How can we find the words to express our concern, grief, and awe for this fragile planet that we call our home? In this generative, interactive workshop, we will trace the evolution of nature poetry from the Romantic tradition to what we now call “ecopoetry,” a poetry that interrogates the relationship between the human and non-human, shifting the human gaze to make room for other voices and perspectives. We will read poems that respond to the climate crisis and that explore the intersection of race and identity with experiences of nature. We’ll read works by Lucille Clifton, Ed Roberson, Camille Dungy, Juliana Spahr, Forrest Gander, John Clare, John Keats, Denise Levertov, Inger Christensen, and Brenda Hillman. After soaking in these voices, we will then engage in writing exercises based on the works we read. Becoming deeply attentive to our environment, to its creatures and plants, to the places where human and nature meet, we will write our own poems and then share our discoveries with the group.

NB: This recorded class is available to rent for two weeks through a private YouTube link. The link will be sent to the email you use to enroll (check your spam).  Please email [email protected] with questions.

Please note: this recording is for the renter’s email only. After purchase of rental, you will receive the link to the private YouTube video of the recorded class. You will have access to the class for two weeks. If you share this recording elsewhere, you may be excluded from being able to purchase other classes.

Hila Ratzabi is the author of the poetry collection There Are Still Woods (June Road Press, 2022). Her poetry has been published in Narrative, Linebreak, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Adroit Journal, and other journals, and in The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry and Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology.She was editor-in-chief and poetry editor of Storyscape (2011–2017) and holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is Director of Virtual Content & Programs at Ritualwell.org and lives in Oak Park, Illinois.