encouragementor

Events

Presentations with Thea

Several factors come into play when I give my lively presentations: my birth-order-shaped enjoyment of attention (I am the youngest of seven), the three stand-up comedy classes I’ve taken, and my passion for writing (or ecosystem gardening. Or God’s grace. Or whatever topic I’m speaking about).

(And, of course, the needs of the audience. I wanted that to go without saying, but couldn’t. It’s key!)

The list below records opportunities I’ve had to encourage others to be creative and/or appreciate our beautiful world (not to mention the years as a college professor helping students to not only learn “about” writing but practice it with enjoyment, so they could appreciate its value in their lives).

If you’d like to discuss how I can offer words of encouragement (and, of course, useful tips) on writing and life to your group, please contact me to start a discussion on how I can serve your audience.

“Writing on the Edge” writers on North Kaibab Trail

Courses taught by Thea Gavin

Professor of English Emeritus, Concordia University Irvine, 1997-2017

  • WRT 102 Writing and Research
  • WRT 102-OL Writing and Research Online
    WRT 102 Writing and Research (honors)
  • WRT 201 Art of the Essay (honors): “Nature, Writing, and Nature Writing”
  • WRT 323 Intro to Genre and Craft in Creative Writing
  • WRT 324 Writing for Children and Teenagers
  • WRT 325 Writing for the Workplace
  • WRT 327 Creative Writing
  • WRT 329 Creative Nonfiction
  • WRT 427 Advanced Creative Writing
  • ENG 383 Modern Poetry

Teaching honors composition at CUI

Presentations

  • “The Nature Park at City Hall: the Future is Now.” Orange Rotary Club meeting. Jan. 18, 2024.
  • “The Nature Park at City Hall.” Orange City Council meeting. June 13, 2023.
  • “Wonderful World of Worm Composting.” Orange Public Library. May 23, 2023.
  • Presentation. “Practical Nature Journaling.”  Shrine of the Ages, Grand Canyon National Park. Grand Canyon Association Field Institute’s annual Hiking Guide Training Seminar: Feb. 16, 2018.
  • Presentation: “Ecosystem Gardening.” 1888 Center, Orange, CA. Orange Home Grown: January 11,  2018.
  • Presentation: “Unplanned: From High School Dropout to College Professor.”  Concordia University Irvine. Friday Chapel keynote:  Jan. 26, 2018.
  • Presentation: “Ecosystem Gardening.” Tree of Life Nursery. October 28, 2017.
  • Presentation: “Adventure After 50: How I lost my shoes and found a new way to hit the trails.” Mission Viejo, CA.  Sierra Sage of South Orange County (Sierra Club chapter): May 17, 2016.
  • Presentation. Lecture on sustainability for Concordia University Irvine Freshman Seminar (200+ students). Sept. 2015.
  • Presentation: “Orange County Wildlands in Verse and Image”  (with Chuck Wright) for monthly meeting of the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Irvine, CA: June 18, 2015.
  • Presentation: “Orange County Wildlands in Verse and Image” (with Chuck Wright) at Cypress Public Library. Cypress, CA: April 18, 2015.
  • Presentation: “Eco-system Gardening.” Senior Fest, Concordia University Irvine. May 28, 2014.
  • Presentation (poetry reading/slide show).  “The Brilliant North Rim.” Concordia University Irvine: Feb. 2, 2013.
  • Presentation. (lecture/slide show/poetry reading). “Sustainability.” Chapman University Freshman Seminar Class, two sections. Nov. 19-20, 2012.
  • Presentation (poetry reading/slide show).  “The Brilliant North Rim.” REI Tustin, CA: June 14, 2013.
  • Presentation (poetry reading/slide show). “The Brilliant North Rim.” Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim Lodge: May 22, 2012.
  • Presentation (poetry reading/slide show).  “The Brilliant North Rim.”  California Native Plant Society, Orange County Chapter. Dec. 2011.
  • Presentation (poetry reading/slide show).  “The Brilliant North Rim.”  Concordia University Irvine. Nov. 2011.
  • Presentation. (lecture/slide show/poetry reading). “Sustainability.” Chapman University Freshman Seminar Class. Nov. 2011.
  • AIR Reading/slide show. “The Brilliant North Rim.” Concordia University, Irvine, CA. Sept.20, 2011.
  • AIR presentation/slide show. “The Brilliant North Rim.” Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim Lodge, AZ. June 26, 2011.
  • “Orange County Nature Writing” slide show, presentation, and poetry reading. Chapman University, freshman seminar class of Dr. Brian Glaser. Nov. 12, 2010.
  • Presentation and poetry reading for Freshman Seminar, Chapman University, Orange, CA. “Nature Writing in Orange County.” Sept. 23, 2009.
  • Presentation and poetry reading for Themes in Literature, Concordia University, Irvine, CA. “Nature Writing in Orange County.” Sept. 22, 2009.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference Presentations

Poetry Readings

  • A series of readings in support of On Foot: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories and Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon. Peregrine Books, Prescott, AZ, Sept. 10, 2015; Orpheum Theater, Flagstaff, AZ, Sept. 12, 2015;  Concordia University Irvine, CA, Sept. 16, 2015; REI Arcadia, CA, Sept. 17, 2015;  REI Tustin, CA: Sept. 18, 2015; Cypress Public Library, CA, Sept. 20, 2015.
  • Featured poet. Night of Hope fundraiser. Concordia University Irvine Amphitheater.  March 15, 2012.
  • Featured with Chuck Wright. “Poets’ Night in the Garden.” Golden West College Native Garden, Huntington Beach, CA. April 20, 2011.
  • “Night of Hope” fundraiser. Concordia University, Irvine, CA. April 1, 2011. (If memory serves, I did this wearing a cow costume.)
  • Beyond Baroque, Venice, CA. New Poets of the American West anthology poets. March 26, 2011.
  • Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena, CA New Poets of the American West anthology poets. Nov. 6, 2010.
  • Borders Books, Goleta, CA. New Poets of the American West anthology poets. Sep. 3, 2010.
  • Vromans Books, Pasadena, CA. New Poets of the American West anthology poets. Sep. 1, 2010.
  • To celebrate the publication of “Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California.” Inlandia/Culver Center for the Arts, Riverside, CA. Nov. 4, 2018.
  • Featured reader at RATTLE #30 reading. Santa Monica, CA. Jan. 17, 2009.

Reading at the Orpheum in Flagstaff

Readings: organizer

  • Organizer/Master of Ceremonies. A reading to celebrate the publication of “Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California.” With Ruth Nolan, Candace Pearson, Lynne Thompson. Nov. 12, 2018.
  • Organizer/Master of Ceremonies. “Native People, Plants, Poetry: A Celebration.” With Lucille Lang Day, Dave Holt, Linda Noel, and Georgiana Valoyce Sanchez. At the California Native Plant Society’s triennial Conservation Conference. Los Angeles, CA. Feb. 1, 2018. (With grants awarded by Poets & Writers, California Native Plant Society State Office, and California Native Plant Society Orange County Chapter)
  • Organizer/Master of Ceremonies. Featured Poet Paul Willis (+ open mic). California Native Plant Society Conservation Conference. Jan. 12-14, 2012.  San Diego, CA.

Residencies

  • Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. Temecula, CA. March 24-30, 2023.
  • Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. Temecula, CA. April 23-27, 2018.
  • Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. Temecula, CA. June 9-15, 2013.
  • National Park Service Artist-in-Residence. Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim. June 6-27, 2011

Writing at Grand Canyon

Workshops led

  • Ongoing: Write Night (in person beginning in 2017, then on Zoom since the pandemic).
  • Creative Writing Workshop. “Creativity-Hiking-Inspiration at Grand Canyon: A North Rim Sampler.” Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim. (Self sponsored): June 13-16, 2022.
  • Creative writing workshop. “Cultivate Creativity in the Garden of Dawn.” Private residence, Irvine, CA: April 30, 2022.
  • Creative writing hike. Fremont Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: May 13, 2021.
  • Creative writing workshop. “Desert Connect Weekend for Women Writers.” Mojave National Preserve (Self-sponsored): April 25-28, 2019.
  • Creative writing workshop. “Writing on the Edge.” Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim: Grand Canyon Field Institute: June 9-11, 2018.
  • Creative writing workshop. “Writing on the Edge.” Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim. Grand Canyon Field Institute: June 16-18, 2017.
  • Nature Poetry Workshop. “Art in the Park,” Crystal Cove State Park, CA: March 27, 2017.
  • Orange County Parks Docent Day workshop: “Nature Writing for Everyone.” Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Orange, CA: October 15, 2016
  • Creative writing workshop. “Writing on the Edge.” Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim. Grand Canyon Field Institute: June 17-19, 2016.
  • Creative writing workshop. “Writing on the Edge.”  Grand Canyon Field Institute. Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim: June 22-26, 2015.
  • Creative writing hike/workshop. “Words in the Wild, Connecting with Place and Purpose.” Crystal Cove State Park, Crystal Cove Conservancy: May 31, 2014.
  • Nature hike. Brownie Troop, Rancho Bernardo, CA. “Leave no trace at Piedras Pintadas.” May 19, 2014.
  • Creative Writing Hike. Red Rocks/Black Star Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: August 13, 2011.
  • Creative Writing Hike. Fremont Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: June 2, 2011.
  • Creative Writing Hike. Fremont Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: April 2, 2011.
  • Creative Writing Hike.  Dripping Springs, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: Nov. 14, 2010.
  • Creative Writing Hike. Weir Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: Oct. 10, 2010.
  • Creative Writing Hike. Fremont Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmark, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: May 1, 2010.
  • Creative Writing Hike. James Dilley Nature Preserve, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Laguna Canyon Conservancy:April 17, 2010.
  • Creative Writing Hike.  Fremont Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: March 27, 2010.
  • Creative Writing Hike. “Connect to Nature.” Workshop for LCWP volunteers. James Dilley Nature Preserve, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park: March 21, 2010.
  • Creative Writing Hike. Fremont Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: Feb. 6, 2010.
  • Creative Writing Hike. “Reflect on Nature ” James Dilley Nature Preserve, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park: Nov. 14, 2009.
  • Creative Writing Hike. “Under the Oaks.”  Fremont Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, . Irvine Ranch Conservancy: Oct. 10, 2009.
  • Creative Writing Hike. “Full Moon at Red Rocks” creative writing workshop. Black Star Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: Aug. 6, 2009.
  • Six-week creative writing workshops, various locations, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: April 5 to May 9, 2009.
  • Children’s nature writing workshop. “Open Art Day” at Bommer Canyon, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, Irvine Ranch Conservancy: May 2, 2009.

Workshops attended

  • July 2013: Summer Fishtrap Outpost writing workshop with Scott Russell Sanders. Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa County, OR.
  • July 2011: Summer Fishtrap Outpost writing workshop with Robert Michael Pyle. Wallowa- Whitman National Forest, OR.
  • July 2009: Summer Fishtrap Outpost writing workshop with Kim Stafford. Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, OR.
  • May 2007: Windbreak House Writing retreat with Linda Hasselstrom. Hermosa, SD.
  • July 2006: Summer Fishtrap nature writing workshop with Don Snow. Wallowa Lake, OR.

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