Into the Woods—and Weeds and Swamp and Infinity of You

A Writing Workshop with Dr. Barbara Mossberg

Dr. Mossberg will host an informal gathering for greeting the group on the evening before this workshop, Friday, September 9, from 7-9pm. 

Saturday, September 10 – 9am-6pm (with breaks)

9:00 am – 12:00 pm  Workshop Instruction at Thoreau Farmhouse

2:00 pm – 4:00pm   Walking Like a Camel “solitude field trips” at Walden Pond

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm   Group Journal Field Reports 

Sunday, September 11 – 9am-1pm

9:00 am – 12:00 pm   Workshop Instruction at Thoreau Farmhouse

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm    Conclusion and Farewell

Limited to 12 people. 

Fee: $175


“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately . . . and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

How does going to “the woods” lead to a meaningful life—the sense that we have truly lived? We have a remarkable opportunity to explore this idea for ourselves in the very woods Thoreau went to, one of the most iconic terrains in history. In the Walden Woods Thoreau made so famous through his memoir, starting from his Farmhouse birth room, we will walk in Thoreau’s shoes, literally in the woods in which he found his purpose and legacy in writing, and metaphorically as we discover our own inner Walden and purpose. By going to this Workshop’s “Woods” to write, this is a time you give yourself, to act deliberately, to honor your own identity as a writer, and through the Workshop’s Thoreau’s word prompts, to engage with yourself as an extraordinary being with “more lives to live.”  


Dr. Barbara Mossberg is a prizewinning teacher and memoirist on the page and stage and in the air, with recent books (Here for the Present, A Grammar of Happiness in the Present Imperfect, Live from the Poet’s Perch, and Sometimes the Woman in the Mirror Is Not You, and other hopeful news postings), in poetry, essays, one-woman plays, and radio and podcast programs. Actor, playwright, dramaturg, literary scholar, diplomat, and California laureate/city poet in residence, Barbara is Professor of Practice, Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon.

She has taught creative writing and literature at public, private, large, small, traditional and innovative colleges and universities, including Indiana University, Union Institute and University, Mt. Vernon College (Distinguished Institute Scholar), Pacifica Graduate Institute (Engaged Humanities Faculty), and the University of Helsinki, where she twice was Senior Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer and Bicentennial Chair of American Studies. She has held administrative and leadership positions at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and National University, and both teaching and leadership positions at California State University – Monterey Bay, as founding dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and Director of the Integrated Studies Special Major, at Goddard College, as President and Professor from 1997-2001, and where she was awarded the title President Emerita in 2001, and at the University of Oregon, where as tenured professor in the English Department she co-founded and co-directed the American Studies program, as well as served as acting dean of the graduate school and director of the graduate Individualized Studies: Interdisciplinary Program.

Mossberg has also held distinguished national and federal appointments, including representing the University of Oregon and United States as U.S. Scholar in Residence to the U.S. Department of State (American Studies Specialist), Senior Fellow to the American Council on Education, and Poet Laureate for the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching. Mossberg is known as a dedicated mentor for writers from school-age through 101, and studies creativity in aging.