Please join us for a poetry work exploring the elements of tenderness led by award-winning poet L. Renée.

Overview: Tenderness holds multiple meanings: It is the quality of being loving, gentle, and kind. It is a feeling of pain or soreness when touched. And, for perennial plants, it is the inability to survive cold and wet weather outdoors.

In this generative workshop, “Tending to our Tenderness,” we will probe these divergent definitions of tenderness, discover craft elements and strategies to write about these definitions by reading model poems, and generate new poems from writing prompts.

We will explore questions like: How do we write about kind acts—both great and small? How do we excavate language to capture our resilience after facing physical and emotional pain? And what do plants teach us about how to thrive and when to rest?

It is my hope that we all leave this workshop with the buds of new poems, fresh perspectives on how we tend to ourselves and our beloveds, and restorative energies to plant toward this Spring and seasons to come.

Eligibility: This workshop is open to writers at every stage of their writing journeys. The only requirement is that you come with an open mind and willingness to nurture your imagination.

About Oak Spring Garden Foundation: The Oak Spring Garden Foundation (OSGF) is a philanthropic foundation based at the former primary estate of the late Paul and Rachel Mellon, who were major philanthropists in the U.S. of the arts, humanities, and sciences in the second half of the twentieth century. OSGF is located in the northern Virginia Piedmont and Blue Ridge Mountains region (ca. one-hour drive from Washington, D.C.). Led by Sir Peter Crane, the Foundation’s inaugural President, OSGF provides workshops, short courses and supports residencies for artists and scholars. Its celebrated Library comprises rare books, manuscripts and works of art relating to horticulture, landscape design, botany and natural history. It is becoming a new center of stimulation of all things botanical, from fundamental research in plant evolution and conservation, to horticultural and plant conservation practice, to the history and art of plants, gardens and landscapes.

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What to Bring: Please bring pens or pencils, a writing journal or notebook that you can take outside, and pair of scissors. Light refreshments will be provided.