Translating Nature: Words and Images of Place


Gathering Ground and Write On, Door county are pleased to announce a new partnership to present a nature-based creative retreat with former Wisconsin poet laureate Kimberly Blaeser and printmakers Nancy Aten and Dan Collins.

Participants will explore and create ekphrastic poetry and placemaking art based on the inspiration of the natural beauty of Washington Island. Blaeser will lead participants through seeing, exploring and articulating nature through the lens of poetry, and Collins and Aten will lead participants through visual interpretation using natural materials and monotype printmaking. The retreat will be held at Gathering Ground and Hotel Washington, both located on Washington Island.

This program runs all day and into the evening, both Friday and Saturday, July 9 and 10. Tuition for the two-day retreat is $200. Write On members receive a 10% discount. For those not on the Island, we encourage reserving accommodations as soon as possible as this is a busy time of year and lodging goes quickly on the Island. The workshop is limited to 15 participants.

About the teachers

Kimberly Blaeser was the Wisconsin Poet Laureate, 2015-2016, and is the author of five poetry collections including Copper Yearning, Apprenticed to Justice, and the bi-lingual Résister en dansant/Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance. An Indigenous activist and environmentalist from White Earth Reservation, she also edited Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry.  A Professor at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and MFA faculty for the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, Blaeser is founding director of the literary organization In-Na-Po—Indigenous Nations Poets. She lives in rural Wisconsin; and, for portions of each year, in a water-access cabin near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota.

Nancy Aten, PLA, ASLA, and Dan Collins, P.E., form the award-winning Landscapes of Place, an ecological restoration and conservation-planning firm with projects in Wisconsin, Michigan and New York. Nancy is a printmaker whose monotypes (unique prints) are inevitably about natural places she knows or wild places she hopes to restore, telling the stories of her ecological restoration practice. Dan creates monotype prints and works in wire and stone that are inspired by the exuberance, grace and raw beauty of Door County’s natural places.


Kimberly Blaeser

Dan Collins

& Nancy Aten


Gathering Ground envisions thriving communities connected to the environment and their food through work and play. We cultivate community and learning in partnership with the generous earth.