Literary Hook:A ‘terrific week’ at The Clearing in Wisconsin’s Door County

If you have been following this column, you know that lately we have been looking at writers’ opportunities at The Clearing, in Door County, Wisconsin. I just returned from teaching “The Process of Writing” there, and it was one of those dream-come-true experiences writers and teachers hope for.

To begin with, the setting was a confluence of wildflowers that truly carpeted the forest floor: yellow lady slippers abounded, the trillium were “a million,” and the forget-me-nots created a sea of soft aqua leading to the bluffs overlooking Green Bay, Wis., with its glorious pink sunsets.

My class was composed of six willing and excited writers who wanted to spend a week trying on various hats: poetry, short essay and a little fiction were part of the mix. We enjoyed a field trip to Gallery 10 (Charlene Berg’s gallery, originally in Rockford). The students wrote interesting and provocative pieces based on a single piece of artwork. I hope to share some of these with you in a future column.

We also gave a group reading at The Bridge in Egg Harbor, Wis. This coffee shop/gallery/bookstore has the perfect ambiance for a reading. The sun sets outside the window of the second-floor reading area. For a few students, this was a first public reading of their work. All in all, it was a terrific week!

Aug. 5-11 , The Clearing will offer “Writing from Your Life,” led by Jerry Apps. He says: “We all have stories to tell of our childhood years, first jobs, military service, life-changing events and never-told secrets. In this class, you will learn how to write memoirs as you focus on your own unique, humorous and original life experiences.”

For more about this class or other classes at The Clearing, access or call toll-free at 877-8854-3225.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet who has written several books of poetry and formerly wrote a column called “The Writer’s Garret” for this newspaper.

from the June 6-12, 2007, issue

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