Rhode Island Environmental
Education Association



How can poetry, stories, and art encourage us to become more aware of the wonders in nature? Earthkeepers, by the late N. Scott Momaday, asks readers to see habitat as a sacrosanct place of muse. Momaday, an acclaimed writer, poet, and Pulitzer Prize winner is credited with establishing Native American Literature as a genre; he passed away in January 2024. Wanda Hopkins, writer and Narragansett culture-bearer will honor his work by using it to inspire us in the Poetry of the Wild workshop. The workshop will also use elements from the Poetry of the Wild project developed by ecological artist Ana Flores. At the project’s core is making poetry boxes built by diverse community members and then installing them in trails through the landscape. The deceptively simple template of the project presents opportunities for community collaborations, creativity, and stewardship. For this workshop plan to walk, read, write poems, create simple poetry boxes, and develop your “Earth-Keeping” abilities.

This workshop will take place on Saturday, June 15, from 10am to 3pm, at Earth Inform Studio, Kings Factory Road, Charlestown. There will be beverages, snacks, and lunch provided.

The Rhode Island Environmental Education Association presents this event as part of the “Creative Practices for Environmental Learning” Workshop series.



Ana Flores (she/her) is a sculptor, ecological designer, and educator. Her sculptural work focusing on cultural and ecological narratives has been shown nationally and abroad, most recently it was featured in solo shows at the Newport Art Museum, Shaman Ladders and Other Stories, in 2023, and “Forest Dreaming” at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, CT in 2021. In 2006, she became the first Artist in Residence for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As an educator, she created the first course in Ecological Design at Bryant University and in Arts and Healing at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her public artwork has included award-winning outdoor installations, parks, and programming that engage people with the history of their local landscapes and the landscapes they carry within. Poetry of the Wild is an outdoor, environmental installation that she has created with communities across the United States since 2003. Her studio and home are next to Narragansett land in Charlestown, Rhode Island.

Wanda Hopkins (she/her) is a citizen of the Narragansett Indian Tribal Nation. She has served in Tribal Government and ministers at the Narragansett Indian Church. For over twenty years, she has served as an Indigenous cultural arts education volunteer at Tomaquag Museum. Wanda has offered her voice, as a culture bearer, at churches, schools, and civic organizations in the United States and Canada. Wanda holds a BA in English from University of Rhode Island and expects to graduate this fall with a MA in English. Her research interests include the regional Indigenous literature and its connections to national Indigenous movements, acts, laws, and agendas. Wanda is employed at URI, manages a weekly book group at the Gloria D. McDonald Women’s Facility, developed the Wunnohteaonk (May peace be in our hearts) writing group, and was the keynote speaker at RIEEA’s 2023 Annual Summit. As a member of the Native American Advisory Committee (NAAC) for both Tomaquag Museum and the University of Rhode Island, Wanda works to increase Indigenous student population and campus representation. The URI NAAC has been successful in obtaining tuition waivers for the Narragansett Nation which aids in this endeavor.

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