“Nature is our widest home,” Edward Hoagland once wrote, and the workshop would examine why this is so. The course would consider how the cycles, rhythms, and disturbances of the natural world have always had a place in American letters. Some students would have the opportunity to use their observations from and experience in fieldwork as raw material from which to develop finished essays that may touch on a wider sphere of experience; other students would explore what it is about closely observing nature that can breathe life into writing. The exchange between these two realms of interest would be vital to the course and encourage students to evaluate their own ideas about environmental issues and values. Themes, and the personal essays assigned, might address evolving ideas of wilderness; continuity; discontinuity; transformation; scale; displacement and loss. Reading might include works by Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Wesley Powell, John Burroghs, John Muir, Wendell Berry, Edward Hoagland, John McPhee, Gretel Ehrlich, and Verlyn Klinkenborg.