THE DESERT EYE
Seeing the Landscape Through Words
A four-day terrestrial exploration of Southwestern Colorado’s high desert, centered on witnessing and writing
hosted by Craig Childs
26 APRIL – 1 MAY, 2023 | COLORADO
The Desert Eye
Craig Childs writes about cultural history, science, climate, nature, and the visceral experience of living on Earth. With more than a dozen published books, his subjects range from water in deserts to pre-Columbian migrations across the Southwest. His narrative nonfiction and journalism have appeared in The Atlantic, Men’s Journal, The Sun, The New York Times, NPR, Radiolab, and he is a contributing editor at Adventure Journal. He’s won the Orion Book Award, the Colorado Book Award, the Galen Rowell Art of Adventure Award, and three times he has won the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. Born in Arizona, Craig now lives in the high desert between Telluride, Colorado and the Utah border.
THE DESERT EYE
Join us down a long dirt road in the middle of nowhere to soak up the desert and render experiences to paper. This four-day course is for anyone who writes, journals, or scribbles. Your subject may be New York City and this long weekend will be for you. What we learn together will be focused on one place in the high desert of Southwest Colorado, while the techniques apply anywhere. Your instructor, Craig Childs, will lead you through prompts, discussions, and writing sessions focused on ways of witnessing, as well as the craft of putting it into words.
While we will have comforts, you will be sleeping on the ground and walking through complex terrain, probably no more than a few miles a day, but a few rugged miles with plenty of stopping and seeing. There will be wind. It will be cold. It will be hot. You will certainly not go hungry and there will be coffee.
IS THIS COURSE A GOOD FIT FOR YOU?
Professionals, hobbyists, and curious people of all backgrounds will find this workshop compelling. Writers of all genres and skill levels are welcome. This field course is offered for undergrad or graduate credit through the University of Montana’s Department of Environmental Studies. It is open to non-students and students alike.
Space on this adventure is limited to 10 participants.
A non-refundable 15% deposit will be required to save your space.
The Desert Eye is eligible for scholarships through The Freeflow Foundation.
Your program cost of $2750 includes:
- 4 days and 5 nights with Freeflow faculty and your instructor, Craig Childs, who will lead discussions, workshops, and generative writing sessions
- daily walks of one to three miles with your daypack in uneven terrain sounded by red sandstone canyons along the Dolores River
- delicious, healthful meals and snacks on the field course (plus wine and plenty of caffeine from Black Coffee Roasting Co.)
- all permitting, parking, and access fees
- professional outdoor leadership in the field
The course also serves as an introduction to the Freeflow galaxy of writers, leaders, and thinkers. Additionally, our alumni receive discounts on future Freeflow courses.
Participants must bring their own camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad). If you need access to these items, we will help you find them.
We will close registration once the roster is full. Please apply early.
All deposits and payments are non-refundable. Payment plans are available. Payments can be made by mailing in an old-fashioned check, or by credit card or bank transfer via the link in your electronic invoice.
Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.
CLAIM YOUR SPACE
Make space for your creative work, movement, and new ideas this spring. Send us your questions and we’ll get in touch right away. If you know you’re ready to apply, head to the button at the top of this page.