Earth-house is an ecopoetics of place, of wildness, of the earth community. But what is ecopoetics anyway?

Ecology is the “study of the house,” and for us it means connecting with the earth community in the ongoing pulse and flow of creation. We embrace the creativity and diversity of the planetary home we cherish and share. But what about poetics?

Poetics deepens our experience of wild places and creatures with the quality of our attention. Composing a simple poem in the woods or in a meadow by a river or pond or tadpole puddle can draw us in and stretch our souls. We write not about nature but as nature, finding wildness inside out and the vulnerabilities and joys of creaturely existence. We are guided by the creative voices — most clearly — of Indigenous poets, women of color, and others who speak creatively and generously from the margins.

Each Earth-house retreat is guided by TNS faculty and includes a wilding activity, prompt, and readings from poets we love. In the rich biodiversity of our planet we find a diversity of voices; in silent walking and still reflections we begin to hear what they have to say. One need not be a poet or experienced hiker to join us — only an adult human seriously in love with nature, the joys of a quiet walk and long moments of deep listening. The number of participants is kept small to grow intimacy and creativity.

Earth-house is made possible with generous support from The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (La Crosse, WI) and The Todd and Betiana Simon Foundation.

For more information and to find out if Earth-house retreats are right for you, contact Jack Phillips at . 

*Photos by Robert Smith (header), Kathryn Sutko Twit (middle), and Jack Phillips.