Class Title: The Language of Color Part 1
Instructor: Elizabeth Brennan
Class Term: July 30-August 27, 2018
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Color adorns the earth with beauty. The attempt to explain and understand color has always fascinated the human mind. In this course students will explore their personal relationships to color as a way of re-connecting with language.

Class Description

In this writing course we will open our eyes, minds and hearts to the abilities of color to inspire, provoke and heal us. Using the natural world as a starting point, students will walk and observe the presentation of color in everyday plants, animals and objects they encounter. Next, students will consider the implications of color in their inner lives. Over the duration of the course, students will be encouraged to explore their personal relationship to particular colors through a variety of creative exercises which include journaling and poetry. This course aims to inspire writers to connect with the world of color on a personal level while developing insights into the larger, collective imagination of our colorful world.

At the end of this class, students will be able, through observing, thinking, remembering and imagining, to explore their personal relationship to the world of color in order to achieve greater perfection in what they write.

Instruction/Communication Method: Each week exercises and links to examples will be emailed to students and/or posted at the Yahoo group. Instructor and student feedback will be shared, as well as options for private feedback from the instructor.


  • Unit 1: White the Womb of Color: Noticing White, White at Day and Night, The Color of Surrender, Letter Poem, the Color of New Beginnings
  • Unit 2: Wild Delights of Yellow: Wild Delights of Yellow, Praising yellow, Exploring your Inner Yellow, 13 Ways of Looking at Yellow, Proceed with Caution
  • Unit 3: Green the Color of Growth: The Many Shades of Green, List poem, Finding the Green Within, Free Verse Green poem, Green in Unexpected Places
  • Unit 4: Blue, the Color of Faraway: Distance loves blue, Blue Haiga/Haiku, The Blue of longing, Blues/Anti-Blues poem, Into/Out of the Blue
  • Unit 5: The Eye is the Destination of Color: Your Brain on Color, Ode to the Eye, The Colorful World of Animals, Single Syllable poem, Color in the Garden

Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

All writing levels are welcome. Basic internet and computer skills needed. Ability to navigate a Yahoo group and send emails. A willingness to step outside for weekly walking observations.

Time Commitment: Students should plan to spend a minimum of 20 minutes each weekday on a poetry or journaling exercise. Allow for another 20-40 minutes of time spent each weekend on feedback to other writers in the group. Total for week: 2-3 hours.

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $160. Non-SCN members: $200.

Instructor Bio

Elizabeth Brennan Elizabeth Brennan lives in Sonoma County, CA. Her prose poems have appeared in a variety of journals including The Prose Poem: An International Journal, Key Satch(el), Lift, Paragraph, Haikupix Review and ZYZZYVA. She is author of the chapbook Sewing Her Hand to the Face of the Fleeting (Quale Press). Her work is also included in the microfiction anthology Exposure, published in the UK by Cinnamon Press, October 2010, and Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems, edited by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, Accents Publishing, 2011, as well as in the 2015 anthology Digging Our Poetic Roots: Poems from Sonoma County, edited by Sonoma County poet laureate Kathleen Hastings. Visit her blogs: Not a Through Road & Number the Pages.

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Praise for Elizabeth's Classes

  • Great assignments, feedback, and writers in the class. —Lynn E., Tivoli TX

  • Elizabeth Brennan does a wonderful job of getting writers out into nature and exploring it along with the self. She always provides kind, supportive, and thoughtful comments as well as helpful suggestions to improve the writings. Another great writing experience! —Cyndi L., Riverton UT

  • Elizabeth Brennan was very helpful, organized and pleasant. Found the assignments and critique on point. —Ariela Z., Ellsworth ME

  • I would definitely recommend taking one of Elizabeth Brennan's classes. her assignments were challenging and fun and she included a variety of writing forms from Haiku to short prose. She gave me supportive, helpful feedback. —Betty M., Austin TX

  • I was looking for creative ways to think about and write about nature and [Elizabeth Brennan's] class did just that. I would have never thought to write an apology to a tree or write a poem backwards. I loved the class, the instructor and the feedback from classmates. It was well worth my time and money. —Sue S., Cedar Falls IA

  • Elizabeth Brennan's class put me through my paces--gently at first. And then, as I left behind my preconceived notions about what I'd accomplish, I surprised myself by writing some of my best work ever. When Elizabeth offers a new class, I'll be the first to sign up. —Candice R., Fredericksburg VA

  • I produced several very nice pieces of work due to the assignments, and have gone away with even more pieces to continue to revise. Elizabeth Brennan is an excellent intstructor who offers inspiring assignments and encouraging feedback. I was thrilled with the amount of work I produced in 4 weeks. I recommend Liz highly and hope to take another class with her. —Claire M., Elkton MD

  • Elizabeth Brennan offered another way of looking at nature in this "Words in Place" class by considering different aspects of nature that I hadn't thought of before. She created a great learning experience for nature writing by providing appropriate content material along with writing examples and links to additional resources. She is a great teacher, thoroughly assessing each student's writings and offering thoughtful feedback, which helped me make my writing stronger. She also included craft tips from a prominent nature writer that I found most helpful. I received and enjoyed another great, positive experience with Ms. Brennan. I highly recommend her classes! —Cyndi L., Riverton UT

  • I fell in love with nature all over again through Elizabeth Brennan's course. Now my morning walks are richer, my observations skills improved as well as my writing. This is an excellent course for nature lovers. —Lucy P., Sarasota FL

  • I've taken several classes with Elizabeth Brennan—all wonderful nature writing classes in which I learn something new about nature or another way of looking at nature, including myself. Elizabeth is a great teacher, thoroughly assessing each student's writings and offering thoughtful feedback with suggestions for improvement to make the writing stronger. I highly recommend her classes which provide a positive writing experience. —Cyndi L., Riverton UT

  • If you love nature and are passionate about animals, and want to write about them, then this course is for you. It will inspire you and your writing! Elizabeth Brennan is a great instructor—prepared and well organized. In the feedback she gave, she offered further information/instruction on the craft of writing as it related to my writing. She thoroughly and thoughtfully provided me with comments and suggestions on my writing that I found beneficial when it came to revising my work. I had such a positive experience with this class and Ms. Brennan that I didn't want it to end. —Cyndi L., Riverton UT

  • Elizabeth Brennan's suggestions and observations helped me stretch outside my normal writing comfort zone. She encouraged me to connect my own inner world with the plants that I care about. —Carol Z., St. Louis MO

  • The topics Elizabeth Brennan gave us to write on were very good prompts. She was a helpful teacher and got our work back to us with comments quickly. It was enjoyable to read what she and others wrote. I liked this class very, very much. —Molly H., Miami FL

  • This is a great class! The opportunity to use nature as a vehicle to write about insights into my own world was priceless. The exercises that invited me to participate more actively in the nature around me was exciting and fun. Elizabeth Brennan gave excellent feedback to help me stretch and apply the craft of writing. Thanks, Elizabeth! —Carol Z., St. Louis MO

  • It was a very interesting and encouraging class. I would like to join the class again if the course continues. —Jamuna A., San Ramon CA

  • Liz Brennan is a creative and very helpful instructor. I will definitely take another of her courses. —Martha S., Danville CA

  • Elizabeth Brennan put together a beautiful class that I was very inspired by. The assignments she gave us for writing on nature were interesting and enjoyable. She put a lot of herself into the course and her comments, and she is clearly a lover of the natural world. She supported us kindly in our writing and made the course easy-going, yet uplifting and inspiring. I feel that my writing improved from being in this course, and it was a great pleasure. I would gladly take this course again. —Molly H., Miami FL

  • Elizabeth Brennan was very communicative, always give timely feedback and more. I would enjoy taking another class if offered by her. —Susan A., Phoenix AZ

  • Liz Brennan did a beautiful job as an instructor. She was lively, creative with both assignments and critiques. I wanted more! —Martha S., Danville CA