This five-week workshop explores our play/craft of poetry and creative writing through an embodied, ecospiritual, liberatory lens.

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” -Leonard Cohen

Poetry and nature are good medicine. We invite you to join us to explore the magical alchemy that can happen when you take the time to slow down, really be present with the natural world, and then write from that place. This five-week workshop explores our play/craft of writing through an embodied, ecospiritual, liberatory lens.

The joy of creative writing isn’t something that belongs only to a select few. Everybody contains a treasure trove of poetry and heart-stories just waiting to be unlocked and nature beckons as a mirror inviting exploration. This workshop is for anyone who would like to explore the creativity that lives within them with wild nature as co-creator.

WHEN: Sundays, February 19-March 19 (4 classes and a writer’s salon)
Time: 10am-11:30am
Where: Zoom
Cost: $229 (Early Bear until December 23)
$249 after


Through reflection, embodied activities, and writing exercises, you will be invited to create a river of words that tap into the earth as poet and the melody of your whole self. Each week will focus on a different theme, using deep discussion and embodied practice and visualization as inspiration for creative experimentation. The class will include generative writing prompts, somatic solicitations, readings of poems, and generous feedback and attention in a relaxed, supportive online environment. 


  • 🌻Embody techniques for cultivating your natural poetic and written creativity
  • 🌻Learn to see nature as a mirror for reflecting what lives inside you
  • 🌻Deepen your capacity to slow down to hear what is authentic
  • 🌻Sharpen your senses as a guide to sharpen your writing
  • 🌻Be inspired by the poetry of your peers
  • 🌻Cultivate a deeper connection with nature
  • 🌻Explore different poetic forms, style, and images

The Themes:

  • 🌻 Nature as Mirror | Mirroring Nature’s Magic
  • 🌻 Everything Is Experiment | Walk Ceremoniously Towards What You Fear/Desire
  • 🌻 Riverever: Flow and Structure
  • 🌻 Mycelium Meandering/Funky Fungi
  • 🌻 Imaginal Cells and the Archetype of Transformation

For both new and experienced poets and creative writers, and anyone who loves nature and likes to play with words.


Contact Ryan with questions:

Facilitators: Ryan Van Lenning and Katie Baptist

Ryan Van Lenning – Founder of Wild Nature Heart, I am an earth-lover with a deep desire to be of service in the work of re-connection and re-membering during this Great Turning/Great Composting. I started Wild Nature Heart to support people to re-connect with the wisdom of both inner and outer wild nature, to live their soul callings into the world, and to assist in the work of repairing broken belonging. Creative writing is one portal into our most authentic selves.

I am an inner/outer wilderness guide and poet (author of Re-Membering: Poems of Earth & Soul) and High-Cooing Through the Seasons: Haiku From the Forest. I am a certified Ecotherapist through The Earthbody Institute, through which I teach the Level 1 and 3 Ecotherapy courses. I am trained as a rite-of-passage/wilderness vision fast guide through the School of Lost Borders, through which I assist wilderness ceremonies. Prior to moving to California 13 years ago, I taught Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Environmental Ethics at Sinclair College in Ohio. I live among the forest and rivers in so-called Humboldt County, northern California, ancestral Wiyot and Yurok land.

Katie Baptist  – I am a writer and sex therapist in private practice in Sacramento, CA. In both my writing and my work with clients, I aim to discover ways to tell the truth, experience more pleasure, and claim personal sovereignty in our lives. I am currently writing a memoir about finding pleasure, connection and freedom after leaving religious patriarchal conservatism. When we’re living in alignment with our deepest values- our heart story- vitality and clarity are with us. We can meet life’s challenges when we know that what we’re doing matters and that, at the end of the day, the world will be a little better- perhaps a little bit kinder, perhaps a little more beautiful, because we were here. Nobody else can tell you what your own heart story is; not your parents, not your boss, and not your therapist either. I really love to work with archetypes, stories, images, and council way tools for self-discovery and deepening our interconnectedness in the larger web of life.


“I went to an event with Wild Nature Heart on the River, and it was magical! Ryan and Katie were excellent guides and mirrors, and made me completely comfortable sharing my story- even personal at times. I feel more at peace, and a passion for writing has been rekindled; it also doesn’t hurt that they found a beautiful and secluded location 🙂. If you love writing, nature, community or even need a safe space to explore who you are, I highly recommend them!” – Candace C., Writing Wild Gathering, Sacramento

“Thank you for awakening not only my inner playful poet but for allowing me to remind myself all that is in there… including nature and everything in it. What is true reveals itself as I am ready for it, through you guiding us. It’s all unique to everyone; more an ‘unfoldment’ than ‘class’ or exercises. You guys, if you didn’t make it, you are really missing out!” – Karen S., Fremont

“I have never thought of myself as a poet, or even very good with words. Until fairly recently, most poetry left me feeling lost. Ryan helped me discover my “inner poet” by using nature as a means of finding it. It was surprising how easily I slipped over the line from non-poet to poet! Ryan has a gentle way of helping us feel more connected to nature, and thus, to ourselves. I highly recommend trying out his nature poetry events, even if you don’t “feel” like a poet.” — Diane Dew, Oakland

“I find myself repeatedly touched by the depth of your caring for Earth and all her beings and by your dedication to practice and evolving new pathways of relationship and culture. I am moved by the presence that you bring to deep listening and your willingness to explore different perspectives. Your ability to express through poetry and action what’s in your heart and your desire for healthy relationship among all beings is a source of inspiration for me.” —Marianne B. Rowe, MS, LMFT, Summer 2022 Level 3 Ecotherapy Training, Earthbody Institute

“Ryan is a deeply earthy, magical, inspiring poet and person. Katie is a courageous, heart-full, dynamic storyteller and writer. You will be amazed and forever touched by learning and creating with them!” — Ariana Candell, Psychotherapist, Ecotherapist, Dance Movement Therapist, Founder of The Earthbody Institute, Oakland

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