Mar 24

Holly Heads to Oregon!

Dear friends,
Wishing you a warm and bright Equinox wherever spring finds you. Here in the Northwest it’s sunny but chilly; a few hardy daffodils shiver in our neglected flower beds and I’m glad I haven’t yet removed the mulch from the base of the fig tree.

As the school term comes to its usual frenetic conclusion, I’m looking forward to quiet days ahead to return to the garden, sort through stacks of mail, and catch up on reading the growing pile of books next to my bed. But not all of the break will be spent at home. This year, we have two weeks off and I’ll spend the second week in Oregon, teaching a Pen & Bell workshop and giving readings from my new poetry collection, Sailing by Ravens.

I’ll be returning to the First Unitarian Church of Portland  on Saturday, April 5 for a writing/mindfulness workshop  from 1 – 5 pm.  Brenda and I spent a lovely day giving a workshop there last spring—and I’m glad to be returning. Here’s the description:

Mindful Writing for Spring Renewal

“Awakened eye seeing freshly. What does that do to the old blood moving through its channels?”
—Naomi Shihab Nye from
You and Yours

Spring is a natural time for renewal, but sometimes the fast pace of our lives means we miss the opportunity to live more consciously with the natural cycle of the sea-sons. How can we make space for reflection and renewal in the midst of our busy lives?  Holly Hughes will guide us in contemplative and writing practices that can be used as tools for renewal, exploring how the equinox encourages balance. Come prepared to write, rest, reflect and stretch. No writing or meditation experience necessary. Wear comfortable clothing; bring your pen and notebook or laptop. Click here to register. 

I’ll also be giving a reading from Sailing by Ravens at the Grassroots Bookstore in Corvallis on Friday April 4 at 7 pm.  For a full list of upcoming readings, check out my still-under-construction website.

Wishing you the renewal offered by spring  and balance in the days ahead,

Mar 08

North to Homer, Alaska

homer-alaska_spit-eagleDear friends,
This weekend, when I threw open the door, the air smelled of rich, dank earth. Out in our long-neglected yard, a few crocuses have poked through soggy ground with their yellow and purple lanterns, and it feels like spring actually might arrive. In other parts of the country it may be snowing, but here in the Pacific Northwest, the air feels lighter and the days are, too. It’s March and the days stretch perceptibly longer as we march toward the equinox. I love March for leading us into spring—the first delicate antlers of daffodils and tulips appear (not to mention that it’s the month for both Brenda’s and my birthdays, just a week apart!)

March also makes me dream of Alaska. 

Back in my fishing days, we’d head north in March for the herring season, starting in Sitka, then Prince William Sound, then follow the coastline north and west to Togiak in the Bering Sea as the days stretched longer, chasing the silver glint and swirl of vast schools of herring.

I didn’t get to Alaska last summer for the first time in thirty seasons. I missed it deeply and am glad to be going north again this June. I’ll be teaching at the Kachemak Bay Writing Conference in Homer, Alaska from June 13 – 17, then teaching a Pen & Bell Workshop at the Stillpoint Lodge in Halibut Cove from June 26 – 29. If you’ve long dreamed of visiting Alaska, you might consider one of these workshops.

The Kachemak Bay Writing Conference features a wonderful slate of writers, among them Alice Sebold, Scott Russell Sanders, and Marjorie Sandor, as well as Alaskan writers Peggy Shumaker, Sherry Simpson, Nancy Lord and Eva Saulitis.

I’ll also be teaching a Pen & The Bell  Workshop at the Stillpoint Lodge, a wilderness eco-lodge in stunning Halibut Cove, just across the bay from Homer. Our days there will be devoted to interweaving short writing practices with mindfulness practice, alternating sitting and walking meditation with easy yoga stretches and Qi Gong. In between you’ll have time to hike, kayak and explore the art galleries along the boardwalk in Halibut Cove. Meals will feature healthy, seasonal, local food from the lodge’s organic garden and locally caught seafood.

For more information on my workshop and to register, click here.

Feel free to email me via the contact button if you have questions about the Pen & Bell workshop.

Hope to see you in Alaska!