Hiking Converges with Literature in Poet-Laureate Hosted Walks
The landscape of the West has long inspired some of America's greatest poets. Follow in their foot steps with the Hike and Write program, where Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austin will host guided hikes followed by brief writing sessions.
The landscape of the West has long inspired some of America's greatest poets and, this summer, you can take an afternoon to follow in their foot steps.
For the second year, Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission are offering the Hike and Write program. Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austin is hosting guided hikes followed by brief writing sessions.
“Spending time surrounded by natural beauty—even the severe beauty of a rocky or desert landscape — calms the chatter in my mind, lets me drop into a more receptive, associative state of mind,” said Austen. “My hope is that people who are curious about either hiking or poetry will give this a try, that it will be a safe and welcoming way to do something new—or to do something familiar in a new way.”
Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but a new poem
Austen says her goal with Hike and Write events is for people to leave with a first draft of a new poem and the desire to keep experimenting with writing and poetry. The program organizers insist that no hiking or writing experience is required, however.
July 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
West Lake Mills Trail, Olympic National Park
Participants will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Port Angeles Library to carpool to the trailhead. Pre-registration required; 18 participants maximum. To register, go to www.nols.org or call 360-417-8500.
In case of rain, a writing workshop will take place in the library. This Hike & Write is co-sponsored by the Port Angeles Library, Olympic National Park, Humanities Washington, and ArtsWA.
The next time you feel like waxing poetic about your hike, consider filing a trip report.