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New Writing Workshop Announced at Sterling College

—John Elder, Ginger Strand, Rowan Jacobsen, and Clare Walker Leslie
Are Faculty for Summer Course—

CRAFTSBURY COMMON, VERMONT— Sterling College is proud to announce that that it will host a new, two-week writing workshop this summer, with several noteworthy writers and artists as part of its visiting faculty.

This workshop, “Writing in Place: Nature, Food, and Culture,” is an immersive writing course for students interested in humanities, food systems, and environmental writing. The course will empower students to explore connections between place, culture, and themselves in their writing. The class will be held from June 9-20, 2014.

Faculty for the course include: renowned teacher and nature writer John Elder; novelist and environmental writer Ginger Strand; science writer and food writerRowan Jacobsen; and writer and illustrator Clare Walker Leslie.

“We are so proud to have these leading writers and teachers on hand for this workshop,” said Dr. Pavel Cenkl, Dean of the College and Faculty. “Students who enroll in this course will be able to give their art time, support, and the mentorship from these visiting faculty.”

The class is open to the public, as well as to Sterling College students. The class is part of the college’s recently launched continuing education program: two- and four-week courses that offer learning opportunities that complement Sterling College’s majors in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Outdoor Education, and Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems. The inaugural continuing education course was the recently completed Artisan Cheese Institute, offered in partnership with the Cellars at Jasper Hill.

John Elder taught English and Environmental Studies at Middlebury from 1973 to 2010 and at the Bread Load School of English from 1980 until 2012. His three most recent books (Reading the Mountains of Home, The Frog Run, and Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa) form a sequence combining discussion of literature, description of the Vermont landscape, and personal memoir. One student said of Elder, “[He] could teach the yellow pages and have people think it was the best stuff they ever read.”

Ginger Strand is the author of three books: Flight, a novel; Inventing Niagara, the untold story of America’s waterfall; and Killer on the Road, a history of the interstate highway system told through the stories of the killers who have haunted it. Bill McKibben said of Inventing Niagara: “If you want to understand our relationship with the natural world, you better read this book.”

Rowan Jacobsen is the author of A Geography of Oysters, Fruitless Fall, The Living Shore, American Terroir, and Shadows on the Gulf.His work has been anthologized in the Best American Science and Nature Writing and Best Food Writing collections. Author Michael Ruhlman said of him: “Rowan Jacobsen is one of the best writers reporting on, and thinking about, food today. Period.”

Clare Walker Leslie has written eleven books, the latest being: The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms. She has taught nature drawing and nature journaling at colleges and universities such as Harvard University, Williams College, the Massachusetts College of Art, and Middlebury College.

For more information on the College and the breadth of courses offered to the public this summer, please visit

About Sterling College

Founded in 1958 in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College is a leading voice in higher education for environmental stewardship and the liberal arts. The College was among the first colleges in the United States to focus on sustainability through academic majors in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, and Outdoor Education. Sterling College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is one of only seven federally recognized Work Colleges in the nation.



Christian Feuerstein, Director of Communications, Sterling College

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