Braiding the wild, the spiritual, and the human into poems and meditations, Chrissa Ventrelle focuses on the soothing wisdom of nature and the gift of togetherness in her second collection, What Nature Knows: Poems & Meditations. She is joined by artist Hillary Waters Fayle who provided the artwork for the volume. The two share a conversation about how nature inspires their work, their creative processes, and discuss Thoreau’s influence on their words and illustrations.
Chrissa Harley Ventrelle is the author of two books, What Nature Knows (2021) and May It Be: Growing a Genuine Life (2017). As a writer and nonprofit executive, Chrissa has written about topics as varied as innovations in philanthropy and the San Francisco Bay Area’s best bakeries. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Michigan. Chrissa is a Northern California native who now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and three kids.
Hillary Waters Fayle received a MFA in Craft/Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a BFA from Buffalo State College. She is an Assistant Professor and directs the fiber program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has previously taught at Penland School of Craft (NC), the Mediterranean Art & Design Program,(Italy), and Yasar University (Turkey). Her work has been widely exhibited and was recently on view at Greenhill Center for Art, NC, The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, WI, the Visions Art Museum, CA. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY, United States Embassy to Sri Lanka, Colombo, the Kalmthout Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Belgium. Professional projects and publications include a collaboration with L’Occitane en Provance and the New York Botanical Garden. A public installation in collaboration with the AKG Museum can be seen year round in Buffalo, NY.
This workshop is part of the Write Connection at Thoreau Farm, a program in partnership with the Thoreau Society. Through writing workshops and author talks we support writers who expand on Thoreau’s extraordinary insights into life, nature, and social responsibility or find in Thoreau inspiration for living deliberately, practicing simplicity, and exploring new ideas for positive change.