Holly Wren Spaulding
Born a poet, and reared on good books and wild nature, I grew up among a community of socially engaged artists who showed me the value of imagination, innovation and collaboration.
These days I bring ideas, conversations and creative practices to people and small groups interested in finding and making meaning. I help my students, clients and collaborators to tell their stories.
I also cultivate structures and relationships where a spirit of mindfulness and solidarity supports our collective, creative practice as writers, and as human beings. I strive to pass along strategies that enable us all to thrive amidst the many social, technological and existential pressures of our time and I’m committed to defending a space for the radical imagination in the midst of 21st century life.
Background: I taught creative writing at the college level for many years and continue to support writers through Poetry Forge (Massachusetts) and Poetry Boot Camp (Michigan), where I offer intensive craft workshops, retreats, and a manuscript incubator called ‘A Body of Work.’. I’m the founder of LIFE/form, a personal advice consultancy and Co-director of STORYhouse, a small, nimble communications firm specializing in narrative.
I’ve conducted trainings in consensus decision-making and direct action, built independent media infrastructures for print, radio, and web, and written for The Nation, The Ecologist, New Internationalist and other publications.
For five years I worked as part of a small team of filmmakers to produce the award-winning documentary, Flow (Dir. Irena Salina, 2008), about the global water crisis and how ordinary citizens are defending our water commons from corporate take-ver. My work appears in the book We Are Everywhere (2006), from Verso Press. My collection of poems, The Grass Impossibly (2008) was awarded publication by Michigan Writers Cooperative Press.
I am a former director of the Leelanau Young Writers Program at Leelanau School, former member of the Creative Writing Faculty at Northwestern Michigan College, and co-founder of the Live Poets Society. Until 2012, I served on the board of Michigan Writers, Inc. and was Senior Editor at Dunes Review.
Education: I studied creative writing and book-publishing and editing at the University of Michigan, Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) and Interlochen Arts Academy. My articles, essays and poems have appeared widely, most recently Michigan Quarterly Review, Witness, Reed Magazine, Scintilla, Dunes Review and Wake.
* Faculty Excellence Award, Northwestern Michigan College
*5 Avery Hopwood Awards, University of Michigan
*2 Pushcart Nominations
*’Best of the Web’ nomination
*Shaman Drum Poetry Prize
*Environmental Journalist of the Year Award, NMEAC
*The CuChulainn to Kavanaugh Award for Poetry (Northern Ireland)
*Rotary International Fellowship to Ireland
*Congress-Bundestag Scholarship to Germany
*Residencies and Fellowships to Blue Mountain Center, Mesa Refuge, The Jean Noble Parsons Center for the Study of Art & Science and The Hill House (I.S.L.A.N.D.)