Teaching Artists + Writers
Meet Our Team
Meet our past and current teaching artists and writers.
CMARIE FUHRMAN / poetry + creative writing
ALEXIS BONOGOFSKY / journalism + photography
DAVID JAMES DUNCAN / creative writing
ELLIOTT WOODS / journalism + photography
PAM HOUSTON / creative writing
CHRIS LA TRAY / poetry + nonfiction
BRENDAN LEONARD / adventure writing + nonfiction
CHRIS DOMBROWSKI / poetry + nonfiction
WILLIAM DEBUYS / creative writing + nonfiction
HAL HERRING / journalism
HEATHER HANSMAN / journalism + nonfiction
FRANCISCO CANTÚ / nonfiction + creative writing
KARIMA WALKER / deep listening + sound
SHERWIN BITSUI / poetry
AMY IRVINE / creative writing
CAMILLE DUNGY / poetry + creative writing
CRAIG CHILDS / creative writing + nonfiction
CHANDRA BROWN / creative writing + nonfiction
Would you like to teach with us?
We are always excited to bringing new voices, skill sets, and perspectives to our faculty – especially if you have an idea for how your teaching might meet the needs of our community of learners, raise awareness around issues facing rivers and landscapes, and strengthen connections between people and places. Pitch us a course idea at [email protected]. We’re all ears.
This is the best-organized, insightful, inclusive, supportive class I have ever taken.
Freeflow’s SHIFT workshop provided me with the community and energy I needed to remobilize my passion and release expectations of what my craft ought to be. SHIFT was a space to not only grow my own skills but grow my network of encouragement, support and critique. I’m forever grateful for Freeflow for offering me an avenue to return to my art when I need it the most.
I’ve always wanted to teach storytelling, or more accurately, enable new writers to believe in themselves and their stories. Freeflow Institute was a perfect opportunity for me, presenting an analog classroom environment in which students could completely focus on learning how to write and starting to take the first steps in figuring out what kind of writer they wanted to become, and take a break from the mental part every day for a few hours going downriver. I really can’t imagine teaching indoors after my experience on the river last summer.
Freeflow provided me with professional and personal direction, a beautiful community of writers, and a true appreciation for the power of wild spaces. Prior to my Freeflow trip, writing had become arduous and isolating. However, in just six days on the stunning Salmon River, this inspiring journey reignited my passion for writing and creativity and connected me with the most supportive group of gifted writers. I will continue to cherish my Freeflow experience for years to come.
What a tremendous gift this organization was to my writing and life. A week on the Green River through the Gates of Lodore Canyon with Heather Hansman was far more than a writing workshop in a jaw-droppingly beautiful place. Spending six days unplugged in the backcountry with an entire crew of rad writers will fuel my writing goals for months to come. I learned critical lessons about craft and found new tactics to unlock and shape stories. I also met a generous and fun community of people passionate about the things that matter most to me: words, water, mountains, climate change.
At the end, knowing the power of the river, I was thankful for a safe and successful trip—to be more intimately a part of the river for a while and to take that relationship and gratitude back to my work, understanding more personally why we advocate for the rivers and streams in our watershed. I learned to say miigwech in gratitude to the river for passage, life, and belonging.
Although I attended graduate school for creative writing and now work in publishing, it’s still easy for me to get psyched out when I sit down to write. But being on this trip reminded me that writing isn’t alchemy—it’s just effort, time, diligence, and observation. Often, that’s what I like about recreating outdoors too. Kayaking, hiking, climbing: often, these activities boil down to doing one thing, deliberately, again and again. A paddle stroke, or a step forward. A keystroke at my desk. The more complicated I make these activities, the less enjoyable they become. Freeflow helped me to remember that.
Freeflow Institute employs an ingenious approach to training and inspiring the next generation of environmental and conservation writers, taking students out of the classroom and into the wild, where visiting experts lend context and insight to lessons that only nature can teach. Wild landscapes and watersheds, and the ecosystems they support, are an infinite educational resource, but the challenges that the natural world confronts—and that environmental writers must tackle—can be daunting. Freeflow Institute gives budding writers the tools and the confidence to step out on the trail.
Freeflow Institute was a challenging and beautiful life-changing experience. The connections and the backcountry and river field learning exposure I received during that week was the perfect catapult to launch me into a new chapter in my life and begin the writing process I’ve always wanted. The talented writers I met while in the field were radically inspiring! I’ll be forever thankful to Freeflow Institute and Chandra Brown for bringing us all together in more ways than just the week as participants at Yellowstone River Field Institute, but now as writing family who support and care for one another.